As I’m sure you’ve heard we have an official opening date for Disney World’s newest land in Hollywood Studios, Toy Story Land, and it’s June 30th.
So now what?
I’ve gotten quite a few questions regarding Passholder previews as well as planning your visit to this new land. Obviously we don’t have any more official details from Disney regarding how they will handle the opening. So disclaimer: none of what I’m about to say may be what ends up happening since we just don’t know yet. BUT, I can give you my best guess of what we can expect based on what they’ve done in the past.
Before we get into that, here’s a recap of facts about the new Land, so we’re all on the same page.
Here’s what we know for sure:
There will be a total of three attractions in Toy Story Land-
- Slinky Dog Dash (a family friendly roller coaster)
- Alien Swirling Saucers (a teacup style ride)
- Toy Story Mania (the existing ride we’ve had, but with a newly built entrance directly from the new Land)
It will also have a new eating spot – Woody’s Lunch Box, which will be a quick service place.
Aaand, that’s about it. Now we get into the realm of speculation and planning. This post will be constantly updated with the latest news and updates on Toy Story Land, as well as my best tips once it opens, so you may want to bookmark this page for future reference. Now for the FAQ’s:
Will Disney have Passholder previews for Toy Story Land like they did for Pandora?
It’ll be some time before we have any official word but it does make sense that they would be planning to have Passholder previews. It may just come down to timing, and how close they are to their deadline for opening day. But progress seems to be well along for the land, given that we’ve already seen the biggest attraction (Slinky Dog Coaster) test running on its track.
How will I know if they have a Passholder preview and how do I get in?
For any type of Passholder offer that requires prior registration Disney will send out an email with a link to login to your Disney account and sign up through there. However, not everyone seems to get the emails from Disney and they don’t always send them all out at the same time. This can become a problem with something that’s very popular and likely to fill up by the time all the emails are sent out.
As you know, I keep very close tabs on all Disney news. I will know the moment they release information on Passholder previews, and I will immediately send out an email to you with the information and link. So if you haven’t yet, you need to get me your email address so I can add it to my list and you don’t need to stress about finding out when the previews become available. I’ll make sure that you know is soon as I do.
How early did they let us know about the previews for Pandora, so we know what to expect for Toy Story Land?
If they do it like they did for Pandora it was just under two months (seven weeks) notice before the previews began. So if you’re hoping to be able to schedule a trip to Orlando once you find out about the previews then hopefully they’ll give you enough notice to do that like they did before.
When can we expect the previews to happen if they do offer them?
If they do it like they did for Pandora it was the week prior to opening.
I’m not an Annual Passholder, is there still a chance I may be able to see Pandora before the official opening date?
Many people have asked me that, because they have vacations planned right before Toy Story Land opens and they’re hoping they may be able to see it while they’re here. While we can’t know for sure often times Disney has what we call “soft openings” before the official opening dates. With Pandora, they did the soft openings randomly the week before the official opening. There is never any advance notice for these – they happen completely at random. At various times during the day they’ll open up the land briefly, they’ll stay open for a short time before closing it again. So it’s one of those things where you need to be at the right place at the right time. But, in theory, there will be opportunities to see the land before it officially opens.
Will I be able to get a Fastpass for both of the new rides?
Again, we don’t know anything for sure, but I’d say it’s very likely Disney will put both of the new rides (and the existing Toy Story Mania) as Tier 1 Fastpasses, meaning you can only choose one of them per day. (or until you use your three FP’s) If you are super on the ball and you see options for both the Alien Saucers and the Slinky Dog coaster on your FP list, go for the Coaster, as that will likely attract the longest wait times.
What will be the height requirement for the new rides?
Slinky Dog Dash will be 38 inches
Alien Swirling Saucers will be 32 inches
Will Disney offer Extra Magic Hours for Toy Story Land?
They will have extra magic hours for those that are staying at a Disney resort. This can be a huge advantage, since Extra Magic Hours will be offered every morning from 7 am to 8 am and then every evening from 10 pm to midnight. So if you’re staying on-site you should think about using those extra times to visit.
If you’re staying off-site, (we almost always did when we vacationed at WDW) and you’re planning to visit the park when they’re still offering morning extra magic hours, then keep in mind when you enter the park people will already be there. So that can alter your plans a bit, as you won’t be able to take advantage of the first hour of park opening, But still go as early as you can, and always show up even earlier than the listed opening time because often you can get in a bit earlier than they say. I’ll know more about specific strategies for off-site guests once the park opens, since they are also the same strategies that apply to local Passholders.
How To Plan Your Next Disney Vacation for the Crowds of Toy Story Land
There are several things that you can do in order to prepare for your visit to this new and extremely popular land. Fastpasses for the new rides will be top priority in planning your visit. You can expect lines for the new rides to be extremely long and getting a fast pass for even one ride will be a huge time-saver.
Some things that will help:
1: If you haven’t yet, install the My Disney Experience app and get yourself signed in to your Disney account. Also it’s a good idea to make sure you have your Disney login and password stored on your phone’s internet browser. This will help for signing up for previews as well as anything else that you need to sign up for quickly.
2: Get a Fastpass for at least one of the new rides. Lines for the two new attractions, (the alien saucers and the Slinky Dog roller coaster) will be extremely long. So getting a Fastpass for at least one of them will be a huge time-saver and needs to be your number one priority. Set an alert on your phone the second your booking window opens for fast passes because fast passes for those new rides will go extremely fast. For guest staying at a Disney resort the Fastpass booking window is 60 days, and it’s 30 days for everyone else.
For those of us with a 30 day booking window getting those Fastpasses will be a challenge for a while. So if you haven’t seen it yet make sure you check out my video on getting hard to find Fastpasses. It will help you a lot in learning how to work the system to your advantage.
3: Plan out your park days to allow for the increased crowds the new land will bring. First, remember that crowds are lowest early in the day, and late at night right before closing. So if possible, block off one of those windows of time for Toy Story Land. I’d recommend being at Studios at rope drop, (that means arriving an hour to and hour and a half before official opening time) and heading straight for the new land.
It will be a mad dash and there will be tons of crazed people manically pushing strollers and running people down in order to reach the new area first. Do not let this sway you. Stay strong! It will look like thousands of people and you’ll think, what’s the point if all these people are going there too? Don’t worry- it’s just because they’re all in one place. Once they disperse in the new area it will still be far less people than you’ll have an hour after opening.
Don’t freak out if you arrive (panting and breathless from almost being run over by scooters and strollers) and you the see the wait times for the rides already have an extremely long wait listed. They do this on purpose. If you arrive and see 240 minutes, maybe you’ll leave and try something else. Don’t be fooled! There’s no way the wait time is already that long. And if they’re coming way out of the entrance, they probably don’t have the queue fully open either, so it will look longer than it is. Just stay there and wait. This will still be the shortest the line will be all day. So whatever it is, you’re going to need to wait for it. Just be patient.
Once you’re finished check out anything else you want to look at and then get the heck out of there before the mass crowds arrive. Then you can hopefully ride the other ride with a FP at some point later depending on what time you were able to grab.
If you want to eat at the new quick service spot then try to eat earlier than regular lunch times,or use mobile ordering (whenever they start offering it there) to shorten your wait time.
As I said above, they will be offering Extra Magic Hours to Resort guests so make sure you pay attention to the adjusted hours for those.
I’ll continue to keep you updated on the latest news and touring strategies for the new Toy Story Land… yes, it will be crowded, but if you have a plan, you can still successfully go and enjoy all that it offers.