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Ride Guide – Toy Story Mania
One of the newest rides in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Toy Story Mania is an exceptionally busy ride. Definitely plan to get there early and also use the FastPass facility, but, beware, the FastPasses can all be allocated quite early in the day for this popular ride.
Themed and inspired by the Toy Story films, Toy Story Mania is a great ride for all the family. Riding with two players side by side and another two back to back, your car whizzes through different areas for the game, gently turning as it goes. Each rider has their own canon to shoot with, using a draw string as a trigger to fire the canon.
This is billed as a 4D ride, with the interaction being the fourth dimension, but you wear 3D glasses to really appreciate the cleverness of the games you play. The cartoon style graphics of this game make it seem incredibly simple, and all of the games are essentially the same task, with the cannon you fire at things. What you may not realise, though, is just how much computing power is controlling this whole ride! The ride uses more than 150 PCs! They keep a track of where the cars are, send instructions to move them along, will calculate where the car stops in relation to the screen and analyse where you are shooting and keep a track of your score.
The scoring adds a fun element of competition to the ride. At each game there is a series of different things to shoot at, sometimes firing rings or darts and even custard pies! On a central screen between the riders you can see what score you are amassing and also how accurate you are. This is interesting as often someone may have a lower score, but a much higher accuracy rate. So, you can compete on either or both of those factors to see who wins.
There is a practice round initially so that you can get the feel for firing the canon and then there are five scoring rounds. The games have been updated since the ride was initially launched to now also include elements from Toy Story 3.
This ride is definitely a family favourite. The pre-ride area is wonderfully themed, with lots of giant versions of popular toys and a huge Mr Potato-Head keeping the crowd entertained. The downside of this ride being so good is it always feels like it is over far too quickly!
It is really amazing at the end of the ride when you are sitting there feeling quite content with your score and then you see some of the high scores shown that have been achieved! ! Also watch out for bursting a water-filled balloon!
For those that need their fix of Toy Story Mania between vacations, you can always get the game for the Wii or even play a version on the Disney World website.
Minimum Height – None
FastPass – Yes
Single Rider – No
Location – Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Pixar Place
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