Have you or your family been fans of Pixar since Buzz Lightyear and Woody first walked across the screen? Do you ever dream of setting off on your own roller coaster ride through the warehouse of doors at Monsters, Inc.? While we are very sad to report (and a tiny bit bitter) that particular ride doesn’t exist at any Disney theme park yet, there are plenty of Toy Story rides and other Pixar attractions at Walt Disney World.
The Pixar World of Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Magic Kingdom may be home to Disney World’s first Pixar attractions, but they’re nothing compared to the veritable Pixar takeover at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Aside from Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, much of the park that is home to the “Hollywood that never was and always will be” is dedicated to the colorful world of Pixar – including two (well, more like one-and-a-half) different lands.
Toy Story Land
Similar to Disneyland’s Cars Land, Hollywood Studios’ Toy Story Land is the pièce de resistance of Pixar at Disney World. This immersive, larger-than-life setting – seriously, you’re made to feel as if you’ve shrunken to the size of a toy – neighboring Pixar Place and Galaxy’s Edge plops you in the thick of Andy’s backyard.
Andy loves setting up his board games and other toys in the grass, so giant Tinker Toys, boulder-sized blocks, and crayons as big as a log all tower above you, along with massive versions of Woody, Jessie, and other Toy Story friends. You can even walk in Andy’s very big footsteps – 25 feet long, comparable to a size-240 shoe, to be precise!
The whimsical theming doesn’t stop there, with even the queues of the Toy Story Land rides getting in on the fun. In fact, they might even make waiting in line almost as fun as the ride itself. Almost. Plus, it won’t just be the kids looking around in awe. With mega-sized versions of classic toys like View-Masters and Uno cards, even adults will find themselves feeling nostalgic.
Entertainment, dining, and rides at Toy Story Land include:
Toy Story Mania!
While the rest of Toy Story Land has you exploring Andy’s backyard, Toy Story Mania! takes you through a massive toy chest and into Andy’s room. As you wind your way through the queue, you’ll come face-to-face with huge Little Golden Books, a Barrelful of Monkeys, and so much more, including an impressive Audio-Animatronic version of Mr. Potato Head. As long as you’re in the normal queue anyway – if you hop in the FastPass line, you’ll miss out on the boardwalk-barker antics of Mr. Potato Head.
We’re going to go right ahead and call it: The best Toy Story ride in Disney World is Toy Story Mania! and Hollywood Studios. While the theming is definitely geared towards children, kids of all ages are sure to enjoy Toy Story Mania!, especially those with a competitive streak.
The attraction takes the concept of the ride-through shooting gallery, like that of Magic Kingdom’s Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, and, as Walt used to say, pluses it. Rather than moving through a series of rooms filled with sensors for targets, Toy Story Mania! is like a 4D trip through the mighty midway where you try your hand at throwing darts to pop balloons, tossing rings, and other classic carnival games – all virtually, of course.
Slinky Dog Dash
When most people think about Hollywood Studio roller coasters, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster is probably the first that springs to mind. Unlike the Aerosmith roller coaster, however, Slinky Dog Dash was made especially for Disney World’s smaller guests. That being said, this family coaster is still a bunch of fun, with kid-friendly thrills and bird’s-eye views of the rest of Toy Story Land.
And just what was Disney Imagineers’ inspiration when creating Slinky Dog Dash? As the racetrack was set up by Andy in his backyard, according to the ride’s backstory, the whole ride was made to mimic what it might feel like to ride on an actual toy. Imagine, the accordion-like movements of a Slinky being stretched and flung back together as you make your way along the track, or the way your Hot Wheels would race forward after being pulled back to wind them up during the coaster’s two separate launches.
Alien Swirling Saucers
Alien Swirling Saucers is another ride in Toy Story Land, this one inspired by the little green men that worship The Claw machine from Pizza Planet. As with the other rides at Toy Story Land, Alien Swirling Saucers is meant to be one of Andy’s toys, left abandoned in the backyard after winning it at Pizza Planet. For this ride, guests join their fellow “aliens” in trying to escape (be captured by?) The Claw.
Of all the Toy Story Land rides, Alien Swirling Saucers feels the most familiar, as it is similar to Magic Kingdom’s Mad Tea Party or the classic Scrambler carnival ride, and is pretty thin when it comes to theming, at least compared to the land’s other rides. In other words, for us, this ride isn’t worth it if the line is long. In fact, those prone to motion sickness may want to skip it altogether.
Green Army Patrol & Green Army Drum Corps
Although we’re lumping them in together, the Green Army Patrol and Green Army Drum Corps are actually two separate entertainment offerings in Toy Story Land. Unlike the rides listed above, these fun, short shows are a nice little break from waiting in line.
While the Green Army Drum Corps dazzles with their energetic performance and toe-tapping rhythm sequences, the Green Army Patrol is an interactive character experience. Fall in line behind Sarge and the other cadets as you put your skills to the test during this impromptu boot camp. Sarge Says, anyone?
Woody’s Lunch Box
Need a place to refuel and rest your feet for a bit? Get in touch with your inner child at Woody’s Lunch Box. The over-the-top theming continues at this quick service restaurant in Toy Story Land, with the whole place designed to look like Andy’s open lunch box with its lid propped open by his Woody’s Roundup Thermos. He tipped it over to make a picnic spot for his green army men, but like everything else in his backyard, he’s left it unattended, and the toys have taken over.
You might not think that a glorified food window with a bunch of outdoor seating would count as can’t-miss Hollywood Studios dining, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Aside from a playful menu of lunchbox and comfort food favorites, which we’ll get to next, it’s worth snagging something from Woody’s Lunch Box for the theming alone. We’re talking, a canopy of old-fashioned string lights, seating made from the wax that encases Babybel cheese, tables made from discarded notes from Andy’s, and a perimeter set up by animal cracker-toting green army men.
As we just hinted at, Woody’s Lunch Box is positively filled with family-friendly meal options. Kids and kids-at-heart alike will enjoy cozy dishes like a BBQ Brisket Melt, Grilled Three-Cheese Sandwich with Tomato-Basil Soup, or “Totchos” drowned in meaty or plant-based chili and cheese (or dairy-free “cheese”). And whatever you do, be sure to save room for a Lunch Box Tart, Disney’s take on the classic Pop-Tart, for dessert.
COMING SOON! Rodeo Roundup BBQ Restaurant
Ok, you caught us – this next Toy Story restaurant isn’t actually open yet, but when it does, we’re sure you’ll want to make a reservation. At Toy Story Land’s Rodeo Roundup BBQ Restaurant, Andy has decided to throw a rodeo in his backyard for Woody, Buzz, Jessie, Bullseye, and the rest of the gang. And nothing says rodeo quite like smokey, saucy barbecue (although we’re not sure what exactly as the menu hasn’t been released yet).
What we do know, however, is that like the rest of Toy Story Land, the Rodeo Roundup BBQ Restaurant will be crammed with tons of immersive details. For this table service restaurant, you’ll enter a makeshift rodeo arena made out of “cardboard,” with cutouts of Toy Story characters for the rodeo crowd. Although no opening date has been announced yet, our best guess is that it will open its doors to guests starting with the 50th Anniversary.
Once the only Pixar land at Hollywood Studios, Pixar Place is now less of a “land” per se and more a themed transitional area connecting Toy Story Land to the rest of the park. While this used to be where you would go to ride Toy Story Mania!, with the entrance moved, this is mostly just a spot for a couple of Hollywood Studios snack stands and some Pixar character meet-and-greets. However, it’s also worth a visit for its Pixar-inspired theming.
With its iconic Pixar Studios sign and brick-bedecked buildings, the whole area is designed to look like the Pixar Animation Studios campus in Emeryville, CA – along with some extra fun details for good measure including chains of monkeys set free from their barrel and green army men surveying the land.
Meet the Incredibles at Pixar Place
With a little Disney and Hollywood magic, Pixar Place has been transformed into a block in the fair city of Municiberg, home of The Incredibles. Along with some superhero-inspired photo opportunities, you can meet Edna Mode alongside some of her masterpieces in her Super-Suit Gallery and even follow clues like laser marks, footprints, and cookie crumbs to track down Jack-Jack.
Meet Sulley at Walt Disney Presents
Typically busy helping his friend Mike, Monstropolis’s Sulley has taken a break to pal around with Hollywood Studios guests. Pose for a picture in front of Boo’s door, and be sure to get a hug from Monsters, Inc.’s number one scarer.
Technically, this meet-and-greet with the Monsters, Inc. star is actually part of Walt Disney Presents in the Animation Courtyard. However, it’s close enough to Pixar Place that we figured we’d include it here anyway.
The Neighborhood Bakery first made its appearance with the Incredibles’ invasion of Pixar Place. With a number of Incredibles-inspired items on the menu like the boozy Frozone Slush and Secret Identity, Municiberg’s Neighborhood Bakery is also the ancestral home of Jack-Jack’s famous Num Num Cookies. These gloriously thick chocolate chip cookies are served warm and are an absolute must for any dessert lovers or Pixar fans visiting Hollywood Studios.
Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy
Although it’s completely on the opposite side of Hollywood Studios from Pixar Place and Toy Story Land, fans of Pixar’s Cars franchise won’t want to miss Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy. This high-tech new show features the cast of Cars and stars an impressive audio-animatronic version of the racecar himself.
Lightning McQueen is your host and guide throughout this intricately choreographed presentation which is more like an amped-up version of Epcot’s Circle-Vision films than the real-time conversation of Turtle Talk With Crush. Nevertheless, the graphics and technology featured here are truly something to behold, making this an enjoyable stop for Pixar fans of all ages.
Monster, Inc. & Toy Story Rides at Disney World’s Magic Kingdom
Hollywood Studios may have the most Pixar attractions of any Disney World park, but Magic Kingdom is home to the originals: Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin and the Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor, both in Tomorrowland.
Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
The Evil Emperor Zurg is stealing batteries from unsuspecting toys in his relentless pursuit for domination. Take him out with your expertly aimed laser beam – and battle it out with your ride mate – in this shooting arcade-style Omnimover ride.
Although it lacks the eye-popping technology (literally – it’s 4D!) of Toy Story Mania! at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, part of the charm of Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin is its low-tech, frills-free fun. Kids love it, adults love it. Really, it’s a can’t-miss ride for both kids and adults, whether you’re a Toy Story fan or simply the type to never turn down a little friendly competition.
Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor
It’s laughter they’re after over at the Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor. Ever since the monsters of Monstropolis figured out that human laughter earns dividends of energy over standard scream power, they switched up their energy-mining tactics and never looked back. And of course, what better way to drum up some wattage than with a little stand-up comedy? Join Monstropolis’s most promising up-and-coming comedians in this interactive, live comedy show.
Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor is like Epcot’s Turtle Talk with Crush on a much bigger scale. Before entering the theater, guests wind their way through the hallways of Monsters, Inc. While the crowds here can seem daunting, they move quickly when the previous show lets out. Plus, fun details like Employee of the Month photos and a bulletin board with employee announcements help pass the time. There’s even a number you can text to submit a joke or two of your own for the show. Once you’re in the theater, remember that this is comedy in real-time, so don’t be surprised if you or someone nearby becomes the target of one of the monster’s jokes. Like, That Guy.
The World of Pixar at Disney’s Epcot
Aside from beautiful animation, lovable characters, relationships that tug at the heartstrings, and a propensity for causing tears, many Pixar films are known for either teaching a lesson, like the cautionary tale of over consumerism in Wall-E, or sharing aspects of the world’s culture, like in Coco. So, it should come as no surprise that Epcot, a theme park built around both those things, is home to the second greatest number of Pixar attractions at Disney World.
COMING SOON! Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure
Although it’s not open yet, when Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure does open its doors to guests on October 1, it’s sure to be the crown jewel of Pixar rides at Epcot. For this daring 4D caper, you’ll don your little chef’s hat for a rat’s-eye view romp through Gusteau’s restaurant.
A clone of the same ride at Disneyland Paris, this trackless ride will feature super-sized kitchen items as well as a backdrop of 3D scenes projected onto giant screens. We, for one, can’t wait to scamper our way through all the sights, sounds, and smells of a bustling Parisienne kitchen with Chef Remy as our guide.
The Seas with Nemo & Friends
Nemo is lost again over at The Seas With Nemo & Friends. Hop into a Clamobile and tag along with Marlin and Dory as they try to track that squirrely clownfish down on this slow-moving dark ride, with Epcot’s aquarium as the backdrop.
Compared to the queues of other Pixar rides at Disney World, the queue for The Seas with Nemo & Friends is surprisingly lackluster. However, there are still some nice details to be seen, as the cue helps you transition from the sandy coastline to Nemo’s big blue world. Similarly simple is the ride itself, although it is a particularly fun bit of technology and Disney magic that makes it appear as if the Finding Nemo gang is swimming along with the actual fish in Epcot’s aquarium.
Turtle Talk With Crush
As anyone who has watched Finding Nemo can attest, Crush the sea turtle has been around the ocean a time or two, and with age (150 years, to be exact) comes wisdom. So, you can be sure that he knows a whole heck of a lot about life beneath the waves. Gather up your little dudes, then sit down for an interactive Q&A session with the turtle himself, as Crush takes questions from the crowd in real-time. There’s no doubt that kids will love this entertaining, educational attraction, while older Pixar fans will appreciate the cuteness of it all.
Bruce’s Shark World
Part of The Seas With Nemo & Friends, Bruce’s Shark World is a small, shark-themed interactive exhibit with a fun photo op. This hands-on walkthrough area features stations filled with fascinating shark facts led by Mr. Ray, as well as tips on how we can help keep our toothy friends safe. Once your kiddos have learned all there is to know about sharks, have them jump into Bruce’s mouth (remember: fish are friends, not food) for the perfect vacation photo.
Disney and Pixar Short Film Festival
For many Pixar fans, the shorts that play before the feature films are almost as important as the main event; and with good reason, as Pixar shorts have been winning awards for years. Luckily for you, you don’t have to wait for the new Pixar movie to get your Pixar shorts fix. Just head on over to the Disney and Pixar Short Film Festival at the Imagination Pavilion.
However, these fan-favorite films are a huge step up from what you’ve seen on Disney+ or before a feature film at a movie theater, however: they’re all shown in 4D! While there are three shorts shows during this attraction, two of them are actually Disney shorts. The Pixar short that’s featured, Piper, is a dreamy, atmospheric journey about a very hungry sandpiper hatchling.
Mexico Folk Art Gallery
If you’re looking for a Pixar character-filled romp with larger-than-life theming, this isn’t the Pixar attraction for you. However, if you’re interested in learning more about the inspiration behind the breathtakingly beautiful Pixar film Coco, then make your way over to the Mexico Folk Art Gallery, just inside the entrance to the Mexico Pavilion’s pyramid.
The tiny gallery’s current exhibit called Remember Me! is based on the holiday which inspired the film: Día de Muertos. Here, you’ll get a deeper look at the holiday’s colorful traditions and celebration, with art – all created by Mexican and Mexican American artists – like papel picado, or colorful Mexican paper cutting usually hung as a garland, and calaveras, which are painted sugar skulls.
Pixar Shows & a Scavenger Hunt at Disney’s Animal Kingdom
From fish and surfer-dude sea turtles to a traveling bug circus to a giant momma bird named Kevin, many beloved Disney/Pixar films are centered around lovable characters from the animal kingdom. So, it’s no wonder that Disney’s Animal Kingdom touts several Pixar attractions.
Finding Nemo the Musical
Take a trip Down Under with Nemo, Marlin, Dory, Crush, and the rest of the Finding Nemo gang during Finding Nemo the Musical. With its exciting theatrical puppetry that recreates life in the big blue world and a catchy score written by the songwriting masterminds behind Let It Go and other Frozen earworms, this exclusive Disney World Pixar show is about as close as you can get to Broadway at Disney World.
It’s Tough to Be a Bug!
Have you ever wished you could dig a little deeper into the world of A Bug’s Life? Then be sure to catch It’s Tough to Be a Bug. During this 4D film-meets-stage show hosted by the bug of the hour, Flik, you’ll learn about just a few of our world’s talented insects. That is, until the surprisingly terrifying grasshopper Hopper drops in unannounced. We’re not kidding – Hopper will be the stuff of nightmares for some kids, as will some of the bees and black widow spiders he brings along with him, so use your best judgment.
Aside from the creepy-crawly antics of Flik and the rest of the It’s Tough to Be a Bug! cast, the other highlight of the ride is the queue. From the bug-themed takes on classic movie posters to the close-up, decidedly Pixar-free views of the Tree of Life, there’s plenty for you to look at while you wait.
Up! A Great Bird Adventure
While hard at work earning his Bird Badge for the Wilderness Explorers, Russell and his trusty pal Dug somehow manage to find themselves in the quaint village of Anandapur, also known as Asia in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. During their visit, they happen to meet a fellow Wilderness Explorer, Troop Leader Jones, who teaches them about birds from all over the world. This stage show is yet another Pixar attraction with the perfect combination of education, entertainment, and Pixar characters.
Like any Wilderness Explorer worth their salt can tell you, “The wilderness must be explored! Caw-caw, RAWR!” Now, you can learn more about the world around us and earn your own adventure badges by becoming a Wilderness Explorer.
As a Wilderness Explorer, you’ll take part in several interactive, self-guided challenges with a nature-themed twist like observing animals, learning wilderness survival skills, and more. In the end, not only will you come away with over 25 different badges, a win for any fan of Pixar’s Up, but you’ll also leave with some unique memories of Animal Kingdom and maybe even a bit of newfound knowledge.
All-Star Movies Resort – The Only Toy Story Hotel in Disney World
If you want to visit the Pixar world at a Disney World resort, then make a reservation for the unofficial Toy Story hotel in Disney World: The All-Star Movies Resort. For those of you who have never stayed at one of Disney’s All-Star resorts before, sections of the sprawling hotel are themed after popular Disney movies from over the years, with Toy Story being the only Pixar film represented at the resort.
As one of Disney’s value resorts, guests are greeted by massive, multi-story versions of characters like Woody, Buzz, and Rex. Inside the simple but comfortably appointed rooms, walls are bedecked with vibrant pieces of art featuring characters from the movie. Overall, it’s a cozy, affordable stay for Pixar fans and budget-savvy Disney guests alike.
Alrighty folks, that concludes our roundup of absolutely everything Pixar-related at Disney World. Do you have a favorite Toy Story ride, Pixar show, or other animation-inspired attraction? Let us know in the comments!
Disney World Planning
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