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Toy Story Mania! Review Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s California Adventure

Hollywood Studios entrance. Credit: wdwinfo.com
California Adventure entrance. Credit: mousehacking.com

Toy Story Mania! is an interactive shooting dark ride manufactured by ETF Ride Systems and is located at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Disney California Adventure, and Tokyo DisneySea. In this review I will be breaking down the ride experience and what you can expect when you ride at either Hollywood Studios and California Adventure. I will only be doing these two versions as these are the only two versions I have ridden at the moment I’m writing this review. Both parks have the exact same ride, but the queues and exits are different at both parks.

We will start by looking at Hollywood Studios’s queue. The ride at DHS is located in Toy Story Land. The entrance was located in the now-defunct Pixar Place, but moved into Toy Story Land once that land opened in June 2018. If the line is long, the queue will begin in a shaded outside area with a set of switchbacks under a cardboard cutout of a toy box. After making it through the outdoor queue, you will move into the indoor queue, which contains of a bunch of toy props and the Mr. Potato Head animatronic. Mr. Potato Head will interact with guests in real time while moving in lifelike ways. It is a really cool figure and will entertain while you wait for the ride. If you have a Fastpass+ reservation, you will enter in a seperate door and bypass the entire stand-by line up before the stairs You will then pick up your 3D glasses and will then make your way down the stairs and on to the loading platform. Once you get to the platform, you will get in groups of two in a row. You will then pull down the lap bar and you will be on your way!

Main part of outdoor queue. Credit: smartmousetravel.com
Main area of indoor queue. Credit: wdwinfo.com
Mr. Potato Head in the back half of the indoor queue. Credit: katlast.com
Loading station. Credit: Undercover Tourist on YouTube

In California Adventure, you will enter in the Pixar Pier area of the park. The queue here is not anything very special at all, as the only notable thing here is the same Mr. Potato Head animatronic from the DHS version. It is a couple set of switchbacks with some posters up to the loading station. Once in the loading station, you will get in groups of two, pull down your lap bar, and the ride will begin!

Main queue area in California. Credit: yesterland.com
Mr. Potato Head in California. Credit: themainstreetmouse.com
Loading area. Credit: ronechuli.tk

The ride is the exact same at both locations, so this description can be applied for both versions of the ride. First your vehicle will start at the Pie Toss practice game where you will fling pies at targets held by Buzz and Woody. This game is not worth any points, but rather just practice for what is to come. Your vehicle will spin after the game is done into the next game, which is Hamm and Eggs. In this game, you will shoot eggs at targets related to things on the farm that are worth a various number of points. After this is Rex and Trixie’s Dino Darts, where you have to fire darts at balloons that contain points. Your vehicle will then spin into the next game, Green Army Men Shoot Camp. In this game, you must shoot baseballs at plates worth a various amount of points. Following this game is Buzz Lightyear’s Flying Tossers, in which you must shoot rings at certain rocket and alien targets to rack up more points. Your vehicle than spins into the final game, Woody’s Rootin’ Tootin’ Shootin’ Gallery. In this game, you have to fire at targets relating to western style objects. During this game. the vehicle slowly moves across and moves to the final screen where you shoot at a target. The more you shoot here, the higher the point value increases. After this, you will get your final scores to determine the winner and come to a board that compares the winners score to the best score of the hour, day, and month. Your vehicle will then make it’s way back to the unloading station.

Pie Toss practice game. Credit: earsofexperience.com
Riders playing their last game. Credit: disneydining.com
Credit: tripsavvy.com

After reaching the unloading station, your lap bar will release and you will exit your vehicle. When you exit at Hollywood Studios, you will exit into a small gift shop where various Toy Story merchandise is sold. At California Adventure, you will exit back out into Pixar Pier.

Gift shop at the exit of Hollywood Studios version. Credit: wdwnt.com

My Thoughts: I think this is a very fun attraction and one of my favorite shooting dark ride attractions I’ve ever been on. After riding Men in Black: Alien Attack over at Universal, I came off liking that more because of that attraction’s size and scope, but this is a close second. It’s interactivity and competitive nature makes this ride extremely rerideable. This is just an attraction you can pair up with someone from your group and see who gets more points, and then go on again to see if it’s a different result. I do like the Hollywood Studios version better because of it’s queue. I did not see anything special other than the Mr. Potato Head animatronic in the DCA queue. Otherwise, the ride in both locations give off the same amount of fun and competitive spirit of the ride.

Tips: Let’s start with Hollywood Studios, waits here can be around 50-75 minutes on a normal crowd day and around 75-95 minutes on a busy day. If you want to avoid these lines, make this one of your first attractions upon rope drop along with the other rides in Toy Story Land. This is a Tier 1 Fastpass selection along with the other Toy Story Land rides. I would recommend selecting Slinky Dog Dash over this, but if any members of your family are not into riding Slinky Dog Dash or you only want to ride SDD once very first thing, than the use of FP on TSM would work out just fine! At DCA, this attraction sees just around the same average wait times. I say this but Disneyland wait times are very unpredictable. Go within the first two hours of operation or use Fastpass. Make this a Fastpass selection after you have finished Cars Land and Guardians.

Final Thoughts: Toy Story Mania is an extremely fun shooting dark ride and brings a fun competitive nature to the parks that they reside. It’s a very interactive experience with a lot of fun things thrown in. Ride it if you’re at one of these parks and you have the chance to!

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