Hey, howdy hey! A plethora of attractions, meet and greets and food venues closed down around Hollywood Studios last Saturday… and as soon as the park closed, construction walls went up.
Down by Pixar Place (the aisle in the back of the park near Toy Story Mania) the temporary walls display concept art for the new Toy Story expansion.
Confirmed rides include:
Slinky Dog’s Coaster: A family-friendly “thrill” coaster that takes up the majority of the expansion.
Alien Saucers: The green aliens from the franchise will have their own ride similar other amusement park’s “scrambler.”
Toy Story Mania: An expansion of the current ride. This addition will add more tracks as well as more interactive games, assumably creating a “longer” ride for guests.
Now, take a closer look at the recently posted concept art in the Backlot Area:
Pictured above is the full expansion. As you can see, Slinky Dog’s Coaster takes up a very large portion of “Toy Story Land.” All the way in top righthand corner, you see a ware-house looking building. That is going to be where the majority of the queue will be stored. On the left side of the coaster (the straight strip with Slinky’s body around the track), that seems to be where the vehicle brakes before taking you back under Andy’s bed. Next to that straightaway, you see a blue-covered which is where the Alien Saucers will be.
In this second image, you can see two loading docks (the green-covered circles) for the Alien Saucers– leading me to believe the queue will move fairly quickly. To the left of the Alien Saucers you see a small blue building with a rocket ship and satellite nested on top. Many probably (and rightfully so) believe this is a gift shop, however, I am led to believe this will be a meet and greet location for Buzz Lightyear.
That small structure is perhaps the most interesting piece of the whole expansion concept; if this is in fact a meet and greet for the space ranger, then there would no longer be an opportunity to see Andy’s favorite toys together. Why do I think this is a character greeting location? I think Buzz is destined to meet here because of the setup of the building and the theming that is in this are of the location. The middle of the Toy Story Expansion seems to be all of the galactic toys, not to mention Buzz’s shuttle/store packaging box is right on top of the roof. Lastly, look at the setup of the walkways. They lefthand side has signage over the walkway (which could list a wait time), the middle is divided by bushes and the exit is on the righthand side. At the mouth of the alleged exit path you see a Buzz Lightyear statue, possibly furthering any indication of him being located in building behind.
Next, let’s zoom in on a different area of the board:
I’m going to dub this area of the expansion “Woody’s Roundup.” Now, there have been no official ride/restaurant/gift shop confirmations that would presumably be in this area of the park. I believe there will be snacks and beverages offered at the window that looks like an open lunchbox. As you can see, there are umbrellas with tables to the right of that, as well as some TinkerToys [no pixies here ;)] that could constitute a play area. If you look at the front of the building (the lefthand side of the Tinker Toys canister and across from the Buzz statue) you see red boxes/signs on the face of the wall. Yes, it’s only concept art and I am going through each vision with a fine-tooth comb, but I believe this building will be where you meet Woody and Jessie (together). The two red signs could be for stand-by wait times and Fastpass+. Every other park has at least one meet and greet with Fastpass+ accommodations– Magic Kingdom: Mickey, Anna/Elsa and Rapunzel/Cinderella, Epcot: Character Spot and most likely Anna and Elsa when they return to Norway and Animal Kingdom: Mickey and Minnie at Adventurer’s Outpost. They Toy Story characters are still extremely popular, thus making the Fastpass+ a legitimate option. Also, it’s safe to assume the Green Army Men will continue to roam throughout the whole expansion once it opens up.
One thing I am crossing my fingers for is a everyday location for Lotso to meet guests. Lotso currently meets in Hong Kong, hopefully we will get the chance to see him once this expansion opens up. This is a distant dream that I fear won’t come true because WDW is beginning to shy away from having villains in the parks other than Halloween and special events. Luckily, Lotso is pink, cuddly and cute.. so we will just have to wait and see.
Stay tuned for an opening date to be announced, and just remember, this is concept art– everything can change at the drop of a hat. Hopefully no one pulls out their angry eyes during development and everything continues to go according to plan.