Sunday, July 15, 2018

IMPRESSION 5 AMAZING DINOSAURS EXHIBIT

Amazing Dinoaurs
We went on a road trip to Michigan's capital city over the weekend to explore a special traveling exhibit called "Amazing Dinosaurs!" that is making a stop at the IMPRESSION 5 SCIENCE CENTER.  On display at the science center through January 13, 2019, families can learn about these amazing creatures in an entertaining way that will capture the interest and imagination of kids and parents alike.  Take a trek back in time by walking through this interactive exhibit that features replicas of prehistoric relics, dinosaur themed props and models, and real fossils that you can actually touch.

Start off your dinosaur expedition with a Tyrannosaurus Rex encounter. A reproduction of a T-Rex skull greets visitors as they enter "Amazing Dinosaurs!" What a welcoming smile! Perfect for taking a photograph with.

Impression 5 Science Center


Then take a few more steps into the exhibit gallery to find yourself face-to-face with a life size scale model recreating what a living T-Rex's head would look like. Whoa!!! As the dinosaur stares down contemplating whether or not the people in the room will be its next meal, don't be scared to get closer to it.  On a panel below the dinosaur are two buttons. One makes the T-Rex roar and the other produces the sound it would make stomping across the ground.

Next to the buttons is a funnel that people are encouraged to holler into.  How does your roar compare to that of a T-Rex? Also incorporated into this Tyrannosaurus Rex display is a fossil of a portion of one of these dinosaur's femur bones that was found in South Dakota during 2013.  T-Rex had 320 bones for their skeleton and the femur which connects the hips to knees was the strongest of them. How exciting to be able to look over and touch a fossil that was part of a living animal from 67 millions years ago!

Impression 5 Science Center


Beside the femur bone is a cast take from a full fossil of a T-Rex femur bone.  Compare the replica to the actual fossil next to it. Try to determine what the difference is between the full femur bone and the partial one on display.  A plaque also explains how blood vessels interfaced with the dinosaur's femur and encourages you to look for openings in both the replica and the real fossil that show where these would have passed through the bone. A subtle reminder that the dinosaurs these bones belonged to were once flesh and blood just like us.

Speaking of T-Rex legs … how would you stand up against one?  Measure how tall you are versus the height of a Tyrannosaurus Rex leg.  There is a display where you can do that while visiting "Amazing Dinosaurs" at Impression 5.

amazing dinosaurs traveling exhibit

Then see how your footprint would compare to that of a T-Rex.  Those dinosaurs sure had huge feet! Even people who wear size 14 shoes will feel as if they have dainty feet in comparison to a Tyrannosaurs Rex footprint. My daughter got a real kick out of this!

amazing dinosaurs exhibit


A highlight of this exhibit for my son was getting a close up view of a real T-Rex tooth and getting the chance to touch it.  What kid isn't familiar with the toothy snarl of these dinosaurs. He was wowed by the opportunity to check out one of these menacing teeth up close.

fossil tooth
amazing dinosaurs exhibit review
amazing dinosaur exhibit

In fact, there are numerous hands-on opportunities to examine reproductions as well as original fossils throughout the "Amazing Dinosaurs!" exhibit.  A nice touch is that there are stools set up at many of the display areas to provide kids great views and assist them in being able touch many of the things being showcased. Dinosaur claws, bones, eggs, skulls and teeth are a few examples of things that are there to see and feel.

amazing dinosaurs exhibit
lansing science center
lansing science center

One of my son's favorite movies is Walking with Dinosaurs.  He was thrilled to see a fossil of a bird called an Alexornis that played a major role in the film on display as he walked through this gallery of dinosaurs. Delving into what the world of the dinosaurs was like, the exhibit also includes some other species, like the Alexornis, to give some insight into habitats of this time period. I'm not going to give away all of the dinosaurs and other creatures highlighted in the exhibit though so that there are some surprises for when you go to see it yourself. If you are going to be in the Lansing area, take some time for a family road trip to the Impression 5 Science Center to check out the "Amazing Dinosaurs!" exhibit for yourself before it leaves town for its next destination.

Impression 5

What really stood out about "Amazing Dinosaurs" for me was the ability to really get up close and examine fossils.  They weren't cordoned off behind barriers or enclosed within thick glass cases. Whether they were reproductions or originals, the fossils were all out there right in front of you.  That is why "Amazing Dinosaurs" at the Impression 5 Science Center earned A Geek Daddy nod of approval. Both of my kids as well as my self had an amazing time on this dinosaur expedition.

Impression 5 Science Center is located in downtown Lansing, Michigan along the Grand River. Housed within a historic wagon works factory, the space now focusses on educating children about science and technology. The science center was named Impression 5 because incorporating the use of the five senses to stimulate learning through its educational activities and exhibits has been a longstanding priority for the organization. For more information about the "Amazing Dinosaurs!" traveling exhibit or the science center, head over to impression5.org

Science Center

Saturday, July 14, 2018

JURASSIC WORLD ALIVE


dinosaurs

My son and I headed over to the neighborhood park to have some fun playing with dinosaurs using the JURASSIC WORLD ALIVE app.  Taking a cue from the popular Pokémon GO game for mobile devices, this app lets you search your surroundings by tying into Google Maps' digital platform and GPS technology to discover and collect virtual dinosaurs.  There are more than 100 types of dinosaurs in all you can discover ranging from relatively easy to come across common ones to elusive hard to find rare breeds.



Hunt dinosaurs looking for them on a map that represents your real-time surroundings.  The maps are fairly accurate regarding providing an outline of buildings and streets but don't provide a realistic photographic view of the areas you are searching.  Still they get the job done and are detailed enough to make searching around for dinosaurs entertaining.  You may occasionally find a dinosaur walking down the street or in someone's backyard but the best places to hunt them are in parks and other public spaces where JURASSIC WORLD ALIVE tends to have them congregate. You also want to look for supply boxes that allow you to stay stocked with darts for hunting dinosaurs and credits for upgrading the creatures you've found.

dinosaurs


JURASSIC WORLD ALIVE is FREE to play with in-app purchases available to enhance game play.  We've found the game enjoyable to play without spending any money.  Our trick is to keep an eye out for supply boxes whenever taking the dog out for a walk in the neighborhood and tend to regularly find enough of them to give us plenty of resources to progress utilizing the app's features unhindered.  Note you need to be within a few yards of the geo-tagged supply boxes to open them so hoping to just sit around your house to play the game isn't very practical or as enjoyable as being out and about immersing yourself in this Jurassic World themed experience.

There is a bit more leeway when it comes to hunting dinos.  You can get within the distance of the equivalent of few blocks to be able to go after a target.  Launch a drone in a video game style segment which has you shoot darts at a dinosaur as it attempts to elude you.  Some have thick armor and have to be hit in spots with pinpoint accuracy while others are really fast runners and the drone needs to be guided into just the right spot to get a good shot.  Score enough points and a dinosaur is added to your collection.

Jurassic World game

Once you've hunted down four dinosaurs, the battle arena opens. Challenge other JURASSIC WORLD ALIVE users from around the world in gladiatorial matches pitting your dinosaurs against their collection.  A nice aspect of these bouts is that you don't have to go to a specific location to activate this feature.  The Battle Arena game is accessible wherever you have an Internet connection. So it is as easy to fight a match from a nature trail while you are searching for dinos as it is from the comfort of your living room couch...that is if you have a strong cell signal for your mobile device.

By gaining resources from supply boxes and winning Battle Arena matches, dinosaurs abilities and attributes can be increased to make them more competitive in bouts. Also as you gain more dinosaurs, their dna can be mixed and matched to create hybrid beasts that can be battled versus online opponents.  Rare dinosaurs also have better Battle Arena fighting skills then the common variety so that provides some incentive to go out looking for them.

dinosaur battle mode


Another great feature of JURASSIC WORLD ALIVE is its augmented reality capability.  Once you've added a dinosaur to your collection it can be included in pictures and videos.  The app connects with your camera so you can see dinosaurs in the world around you through it.  We've been having a lot of fun using the augmented reality to take a close up look at dinosaur around us.  You can circle a dinosaur you've brought to life to see it from different perspectives.  Touch it on the screen and the dinosaur will interact with you with special sound and visual effects.

augmented reality


My son has really gotten into this game! It is nice that he's been wanting to go on father-son walks together to hunt dinosaurs.  I've appreciated him wanting to spend some time with his good ole dad enjoying an activity together and getting some exercise as we walk around looking for dinosaurs. It is also nice that the app's developers steer you towards parks and open areas versus businesses and residential areas to search for dinos.  You have to admit Pokémon GO players crowding in front of a house or storefront can be annoying and this isn't as much of a factor when it comes to JURASSIC WORLD ALIVE.

dinosaurs


This app also provides educational information about the dinosaurs you collect. My son gets so excited when we discover a brand new dinosaur and enjoys scrolling through the ones we've collected reading facts and trivia about them. So it is nice to see him learning while being entertained at the same time with this app.

dinosaurs


Add in the Battle Arena game aspect of this app and you can see we've had a whole lot of fun playing with it. As I mentioned earlier, we've been able to enjoy the app for FREE without feeling the need to make in-app purchases which is another plus. Based upon my family's experience, JURASSIC WORLD ALIVE has earned A Geek Daddy nod of approval.

JURASSIC WORLD ALIVE is available for Android and Apple phones and tablets. For more information, head over to www.ludia.com/en/games/jurassic-world-alive

augmented reality

FANTASTIC DINOSAUR DECORATIONS AND COLLECTIBLES

dinosaur statues
Are you or someone you know fascinated with dinosaurs? If so you'll want to take a look at the collection of Jurassic Park and Jurassic World items available from Sideshow Collectibles. They have some fantastic dinosaur busts, statues and replica movie props that make incredible for incredible bedroom, game room, office, and home theater decorations.

dinosaur egg


Wow! Who wouldn't want to hold a baby dinosaur?! This replica movie prop from the original Jurassic Park movie recreates the remarkable on-screen moment when a baby dinosaur hatched from an egg into the hands of park creator John Hammond. This life size scale dinosaur egg and baby raptor collectible piece are a perfect size to fit on a desk and is sure to give someone bragging rights for having one of the coolest office or home decorations ever.  These are going to be a limited edition production so make sure to order one while they are available!

This prop replica will be 11" high x 6" wide. Find out more about it: Jurassic Park Hatching Baby Raptor Jurassic Park Prop Replica

Dinosaurs


We all know velociraptors are deadly predators, but who knew they could be so cute! This eye catching diorama of baby raptors playing is amazing! These dinosaur statues are displayed in a life size scale format. Very impressive!

Movie visual effects artist Mark “Crash” McCreery played an influential role in designing the dinosaurs of Jurassic Park. He rendered hundreds of concept art drawings for the Jurassic Park production team. Once filming began, McCreery brought a number of the movie's dinosaurs to life through puppetry. He even wore a full-size Raptor suit for scenes in Jurassic Park.

This diorama is based on concept art by McCreery that was never used in the film. The drawing of the baby raptors playing together shortly after hatching from their incubated eggs wasn't included in the movie because it was thought their cuteness factor would take away from scariness of the raptors later on in the film. What do you think? I do know these baby raptors really are adorable!

Buy one here: Jurassic Park Crash McCreerys Baby Raptors Jurassic Park Diorama

Dinosaur Collectibles


For those who like the scary version of raptors, there is also a life size bust of one's head available from Sideshow Collectibles. This incredibly detailed bust stands roughly 30” tall and spans 28” from the back of his head to the front of his jaws. The life-size dimensions of this spectacular bust make it the ideal centerpiece for any dinosaur collection. This attention getting piece is sure to get attention.   Don't be surprise if people want to get their pictures taken with it.

This bust is 30" high, 10" wide, 28" long and weights 65 pounds Learn more about it: Jurassic Park Male Raptor Jurassic Park Life-Size Bust

Baby Blue Raptor

For me Baby Blue was the star of Jurassic World 2: Fallen Kingdom and the scenes featuring this baby raptor were my favorite part of the movie.  Now you can bring a life size Baby Blue home with this impressive raptor statue.  Having saved the day in both Jurassic World movies, this statue of Blue the velociraptor is a great collectible for fans of the movie to have. Baby Blue was made using the same digital files from Industrial Light & Magic used in producing Jurassic World 2 in the film, so this is one of the most screen-accurate reproductions of Baby Blue you will be able to get your hands on.

Baby Blue is 24" high, 13" wide and 37.5" long. Take a closer look: Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom Baby Blue Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom Statue

Jurassic World


A nice representation of the velociraptor Blue and her trainer Owen Grady.  This ninth scale statue was crafted in consultation with Universal Pictures and Industrial Light & Magic.  Jurassic World fans are sure to appreciate this!

The Owen & Blue Statue is 8.5" high, 12" wide and 8.5" long. More info here: Jurassic World Owen and Blue Jurassic World Statue

Jurassic Park


The raptors get a lot of attention in the Jurassic Park and Jurassic World movies but Tyrannosaurus Rex remains king of the dinosaurs. These hand-numbered limited edition faux bronze Tyrannosaurus Rex statues are a perfect addition to any dinosaur themed collection. Modeled after Stan Winston concept art used for Jurassic Park, this polyresin statue feature a roaring T- Rex standing on a smooth black base.

10" high, 9" wide and 24" long. Reserve yours now here: Jurassic Park Bronze T-Rex Jurassic Park Statue

Friday, July 13, 2018

SLINKY DOG DASH


Toy Story Land at Walt Disney World Resort lets guests at its Hollywood Studios theme park have a wonderful playtime pretending they are toys.  The area themed after the popular PIXAR animated movies is decorated by Disney Imagineers so that people feel like they are toy-sized and walking through the backyard of the boy whose collection of playthings are the main characters in the Toy Story films.  A highlight of Toy Story Land is its roller coaster that features one of those toys from the movies as the star of the attraction … SLINKY DOG.

Slinky Dog Dash is a roller coaster playset that you as an honorary toy can ride when visiting Andy's backyard. It was assembled by Andy from his Dash & Dodge Mega Coaster Kit with one big alteration. He picked everyone’s favorite floppy-eared dachshund with a stretching coil body – Slinky Dog – and dropped it onto the coaster track to use as the roller coaster vehicle instead of the one that came with the kit. Remember, you are toy-sized and immersed among Andy's playthings while visiting Toy Story Land.

A Geek Daddy had the chance to ride Slinky Dog Dash during the Toy Story Land grand opening festivities and can say it is a very impressive ride.  Slinky Dog Dash is Disney World's first double launch roller coaster that incorporates a power booster so riders are shot off twice at different points on the track. When your Slinky Dog hits the midway point of the ride, the coaster stops, reverses a few yards, then shoots through multiple rings pulsing with sounds, spinners and flashing lights as it launches riders into the second act of the ride experience.



One of the really fun details about the ride is when approaching the boarding area you will notice Andy’s construction plans sketched out in Crayola crayon on notebook paper hung up to see. Glue bottles, empty toy boxes and stray coaster parts and pieces are also strewn all about the queue area. There are lots of great elements like these sprinkled all throughout Toy Story Land that are really exciting and entertaining to discover. Plus these touches help you feel as if you are a Toy Story toy yourself while exploring Andy's backyard.

Slinky Dog Dash


My 9 year old twins were so excited to be some of the first kids to be able to ride the Slinky Dog Dash during a special pre-opening event.  They LOVED it !!!!  In fact, both of them agreed that this roller coaster is now their favorite ride at Disney World. High praise indeed! Especially from kids who really aren't much of roller coaster enthusiasts.

While the speed and swoops of Slinky Dog Dash will absolutely get some butterflies fluttering in your stomach it isn't a scary ride at all.  The Slinky Dog theme provides a light hearted, unintimidating vibe to the roller coaster. Most people who meet the ride's 38 inch height requirement should have a good time on it.

Slinky Dog Dash Roller Coaster


With that in mind,  Slinky Dog Dash has earned A Geek Daddy nod of approval because it is an excellent ride for parents and children to enjoy together for some family fun.  My wife and I took a ride on Slinky Dog Dash with our kids and everyone was all smiles throughout it.  That may have been the most memorable family moment of this Walt Disney World Resort trip.



As you are soaring around the track, keep an eye out for Toy Story details surrounding the roller coaster.  For example, Andy built the Dash & Dodge Mega Coaster Kit around his Jenga game set. As the coaster swoops around, you'll notice Rex, the toy dinosaur, is precariously perched atop the unstable Jenga stack. He is trying to decorate a toy block city Andy also within the roller coaster's course by stringing up colored Christmas lights. A daunting task when you’re a dinosaur with short front arms but fortunately you will also see Jessie comes to his rescue helping to untangle and set up the lighting. By the way these lights actually illuminate Slinky Dog Dash at night and it is an impressive experience to ride the roller coaster when it is aglow in the dark.

Slinky Dog Roller Coaster

Slinky Dog Roller Coaster


Andy has also placed a special treat for his coaster’s finale. Wheezy, the squeaky toy penguin from the Toy Story films, serenades coaster riders with a rendition of “You’ve Got a Friend in Me.” This Audio-Animatronics figure of Wheezy created especially for Slinky Dog Dash is unique among all the Disney Parks located around the world. Completing the scene is a backdrop that includes a remote control car box, a Pick-Up Snakes game cannister and toy wooden blocks spelling out F-U-N – along with a towering book, Mr. Pricklepants’ “Songs for Singing,” compiled by the huggable hedgehog from Toy Story 3.

Wheezer


To wrap up, the Slinky Dog Dash at Toy Story Land in my opinion is the ultimate family-friendly roller coaster because it will delight kids + kids-at-heart. It has the speed and twists to be exhilarating yet isn't frightening. One of the smoothest riding roller coasters you'll find anywhere!

Thursday, July 12, 2018

ALIEN SWIRLING SAUCERS

Have yourself some Pizza Planet themed fun on the ALIEN SWIRLING SAUCERS ride within the Toy Story Land area of Walt Disney World Resort's Hollywood Studios theme park. This swirl-and-whirl ride revolves around the quirky aliens that originally called the claw game machine in the arcade at Pizza Planet restaurant home before joining up with Buzz Lightyear, Woody and the rest of Andy's collection of toys in the Toy Story movies.  Jump in a toy rocket ship piloted by one of those three-eyed green aliens for a fun spin.



On your way over to ALIEN SWIRLING SAUCERS, take a moment to get a picture with the giant Buzz Lightyear action figure standing on a pile of building blocks that is watching over the ride's entrance.  It makes a great backdrop for photos! Then make your way into the ride queue by passing between two robot guards that look just like the ones portrayed flanking the restaurant entrance to Pizza Planet in the original Toy Story movie.



Take some time to enjoy the details of the scenery while going through the ride queue area.  Look around and you may see army men keeping guard to make sure no human interlopers discover that toys come alive when people aren't looking.  Remember … you are an honorary toy playing in Andy's backyard while visiting this area of Hollywood Studios. The layout is meant to make you feel like you are a toy's height surrounded by other playthings that are your size like army men, building blocks and popular characters from the Toy Story movies.  Be on guard because it looks like Andy just dropped his toy ray gun and could be stomping by again soon!



As you approach the ALIEN SWIRLING SAUCERS the queue area has the vibe of being inside Star Command.  You'll feel like you are in the Buzz Lightyear aisle at Al's Toy Barn.  Your surroundings aren't just decorative either.  Push buttons, turn dials, and toggle switches to activate audio and visual special effects while waiting your turn to ride a swirling saucer.



Eventually you will be directed to one of two ride spaces.  Each of the two spaces has 11 "flying saucers" though it is important to note this ride is more like the Magic Kingdom's Tea Cups ride then Dumbo … the rocket ships never actually lift off the ground.  Each saucer holds 1 to 3 riders along with your Toy Story Land alien pilot. There are a total of 22 saucers that can be swirling around at the same time between the two launch spaces.

If you plan on waiting for someone to get off the ride be aware there are a number of possible exit points depending on which ride space someone ends up in and where a saucer comes to rest after its flight.  So it is important to keep an eye out on multiple exit points.  Fortunately there is an accessible public viewing area between the two spots providing a nice vantage point to keep an eye on riders while they being swirled around as well as to see where they get off.



With “The Claw” dangling overhead, climb aboard a rocket ship and hover in Pizza Planet’s version of “deep-dish space” for an out-of-this-world saucer whirl to a techno beat version of the Toy Story  movies musical theme. People don't have any control of the speed or direction of their saucers, so just sit back and enjoy the ride.  In comparison to other Disney World attractions, ALIEN SWIRLING SAUCERS could be described as a mild version of the Tea Cups since riders can't increase the velocity of their spinning beyond preset limits.



 It is an enjoyable ride that will get your adrenalin raised but won't stir up your stomach too much. I rode ALIEN SWIRLING SAUCERS six times with my kids and three times by myself during the Toy Story Land grand opening festivities.  It was a blast and from my children's enjoyment of the experience as well as all the fun I had, ALIEN SWIRLING SAUCERS has earned A Geek Daddy nod of approval.


Taking a spin on ALIEN SWIRLING SAUCERS shouldn't be a big deal for most people as long as someone doesn't have severe back or heart problems, isn't pregnant, doesn't easily suffer from motion sickness, and is over the 32 inch height requirement.  It is not going to send you to infinity and beyond but WHOO-WEE you'll have a good time riding it! If you get the chance, take a whirl at night when the ride is lit up like the rave party bathtub scene from the Pixar Toy Story Toons short film "Partysaurus Rex."

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

TOY STORY LAND

Woody Statue

It was an amazing experience to be able to participate in the grand opening festivities for Toy Story Land at Walt Disney Word Resort's Hollywood Studios theme park.  A Geek Daddy received a behind-the-scenes tour, attended an on-site media gala, witnessed the official unveiling ceremony of Toy Story Land, and my children had a chance to be some of the first kids to ride the rides during a special preview event. From my impressions of Toy Story Land, I'm sure it is going to be delighting a lot of kids and kids-at-heart who stop by to play in Andy's backyard.



Disney Imagineers have designed the space so that people feel like they've stepped into the backyard of the boy whose collection of playthings are the main characters in the Toy Story movies.  You're not walking into Andy's backyard as an ordinary person though, but rather are taking on the role of an "honorary toy."  The surroundings have been shaped specifically to make visitors feel as if they are toy-size themselves.  Walk through a barrel of monkeys to have the best playtime ever!

Barrel of Monkeys


Inside Toy Story Land at Walt Disney World Resort's Hollywood Studios theme park see the world from a toy's perspective.  Walk among a balsa wood airplane, building blocks, board game pieces, and K'nex creations that are your size.  There are lamp posts shaped like Tinkertoys, benches built from Lincoln Logs, and signs that look they are written in crayon on pieces of paper and taped up. While walking around meet up with costumed characters from the Toy Story movies including Buzz Lightyear, Jessie and Woody to get an autograph, hug or photograph with them.

Restrooms


Green Army Men are everywhere in Toy Story Land.  While Andy's away the toys will play. Costumed toy soldiers interact with guests as they wander around on patrol.  Be prepared to be challenged to participate in some of Sarge's interactive bootcamp challenges. Ten-hut!

army men


You'll also notice army men situated on the lookout throughout Toy Story Land. They are keeping guard to make sure no human interlopers discover that toys come alive when people aren't looking.  Remember … you are an honorary toy playing in Andy's backyard after all.  Disney is striving to immerse their guests into the whimsical world of a child's imagination when visiting Toy Story Land.

Disney World

Three rides are incorporated into Toy Story Land that are sure to provide a rootin' tootin' good time! Alien Swirling Saucers, Slinky Dog Dash and Toy Story Mania provide a good mix of rides that is sure to be appealing to families for being entertaining but not too intense so everyone from young children to teens to grandma and grandpa can have fun enjoying them.

ALIEN SWIRLING SAUCERS
Disney World Rides

Who wants to take a spin on a flying saucer? The green three-eyed aliens from Toy Story have powered up their rocket ships and want to take you for a whirl! Based upon a playset Andy won at the Pizza Planet restaurant, an alien will swirl around piloting a spacecraft with you in tow while “The Claw” hangs overhead. There are two riding space areas with 11 saucer/rocket-ship pairings in each to spin riders through a multi-colored galaxy accompanied by a raucous, energetic musical beat.

Alien Swirling Saucers



SLINKY DOG DASH
roller coaster

From his Dash & Dodge Mega Coaster Kit, Andy has assembled this roller coaster. Its tracks and supports are bright colors of red, orange, yellow and blue snapped together according to Andy’s hand-drawn plans. Rex and Jessie helped by stringing lights above Andy’s stacked Jenga game pieces. To complete his creation, Andy picked everyone’s favorite floppy-eared dachshund with a stretching coil body – Slinky Dog – and dropped it onto the coaster track to use as the roller coaster vehicle instead of the one that came with the kit.

Slinky Dog Dash is inspired by the delightful pooch spinoff of Slinky, the classic 1940s American toy. While racing around the track, Slinky Dog bends and twists his coils around curves, over hills and down drops in the Slinkyest coaster ever.  In a first for a Disney coaster, there is a second launch at the midpoint of Slinky Dog Dash that has riders experience cool sound effects and spinning lights while darting through a series of rings on their way to the attraction’s finale featuring a serenade by Wheezy, the squeaky penguin from the Toy Story films.



TOY STORY MANIA!
Disney World

Already one of the most popular attractions at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Toy Story Mania has received a colorful all-new entrance within the interior of Toy Story Land. The new entrance is actually the box Andy’s Toy Story Mania! game came in. A third track has been added to the attraction so even more guests can experience the carnival playset action, using virtual objects from baseballs to cream pies to hit targets in a variety of whimsical, fast-paced scenarios. To the highest scorer go the bragging rights!

Hollywood Studios

BACKYARD GUIDE


Here are a few things to look out for while exploring Toy Story Land:

ANDY'S FOOTPRINTS

toy story land

The little boy whose toys you are playing with may not be around at the moment, but he's left his mark on the backyard.  Keep an eye out and you may just come across one of his sneaker prints on the ground. What size shoe do you think this is?

TOY STORY MANIA EXIT PATH

While leaving the Toy Story Mania ride take a good look around the outdoor path that leads back to the main Toy Story Land concourse.  You'll find some of the best examples of Disney Imagineering within Toy Story Land here.  The balsa wood plane is incredible to see up close!

balsa wood plane


REST ROOMS

Sometimes rest rooms can be hard to come across at an amusement park.  Not the case in Toy Story Land which has its own dedicated spacious rest room area. Look for the Cootie on the roof to find your way to them and the building blocks which spell out boys and girls to know which way to go.

bathrooms


SOUVENIRS

Keep an eye out for a toy camper and toy dump truck that serve as gift stands within Toy Story Land. Some of the items they sell include Slinky Dog headbands and small scale replica toys of the Alien Swirling Saucer vehicles which were my kids favorite souvenirs from this trip to Walt Disney World.  There is also a Buzz Lightyear shaped bubble blower that lights up so that the bubbles glow in the dark.

hollywood studios


SNACKS

Get quick service take-out meals from a food counter built into a vintage Woody themed lunch box that is propped open with a giant thermos. I'll give A Geek Daddy nod of approval to the BBQ Brisket Melt which features Texas-style smoked brisket garnished with cheddar, Monterey Jack, pickles, BBQ sauce on a garlic butter-grilled sourdough. For picky eater kids Woody's Lunchbox has a menu with grilled cheese or turkey sandwiches, both come with potato barrels and mandarin oranges. When it comes to beverages you can get a classic Barq's root beer float or a Mystic Portal Punch (PowerAde Mountain Berry Blast with flavors of lemon-lime and tangerine) as well as standard soda fountain drinks or water. For those 21+, there’s a Grown Up’s Lemonade with cherry vodka, Odwalla Lemonade, and black cherry purée available there too. Disney Dining Plan is accepted here.

woodys lunchbox


AFTER DARK

During the evening, Toy Story Land is aglow with color and music that gives the place a PARTYSAURUS REX vibe.  This place is fun to play at day or night!

toy story land


You  will have a ball at Toy Story Land!!!

toy story land