If you follow me on any form of social media, I’m pretty sure that you won’t have missed the fact that I was back in my favourite place on earth recently for the opening of brand new Toy Story Land at Walt Disney World Resort, Florida. First up, I’ve got a video we had great fun making, showing you all the highlights of this incredible new addition to Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and then I’ll tell you five reasons why you need to visit new Toy Story Land at Walt Disney World – the largest expansion in the history of the park!
The opening ceremony (one one of the hottest, most humid days I’ve ever experienced), was just phenomenal (you can see it all on my Instagram IGTV channel or here on my YouTube channel). The part where the fantastic Tim Allen joined Bob Chapek, the Chairman of Disney Parks Experiences and Consumer Products to pull the crayon lever to officially open the park and set Slinky Dog Dash running (aided by the Green Army Men providing that all-important battery power) was only slightly less exciting than the bit where Tim Allen and Buzz Lightyear actually talked to each other! – talk about surreal.
So what’s the big deal? Well, I’ve got five reasons why you need to visit Toy Story Land at Walt Disney World very soon:
1. Slinky Dog Dash is epic and could well be my new favourite attraction
Climb into one of the cars on the stretched-out slinky dog and whoosh around and above the whole park, with the best views ever (especially at night). On the way, you’ll glimpse Jessie and Rex, and then – for the first time on a Disney coaster – there’s a bit of a rewind before the brilliant power boost section, which sends riders rocketing through a series of rings complete with lights and amazing sound effects, before an exhilarating drop and an up-and-down section that never fails to make you giggle. Look out for Wheezy the Penguin and Mr Spell at the end of the ride too. I guarantee you’ll just want to get straight back on!
2. Alien Swirling Saucers are the cutest
This attraction is just the best fun! I thought it was a bit like a souped up version of the Mad Tea Party teacup ride. The cute little green aliens whirl and swirl in their toy rocket ships, pulling you along and whizzing you around in different directions. It’s absolutely guaranteed to make you laugh out loud – but be careful of The Claaaaawwwwww overhead! Ooh and don’t miss a photo opp with the enormous Buzz Lightyear just near the entrance!
3. Toy Story Mania! is even bigger and better
Toy Story Mania! has always been one of my favourite attractions, and it’s now been expanded with a third track and given a fab new entrance in Toy Story Land made to look like the box that the game came in. Climb in to two-seater carts, pop on your 3D glasses and get firing – you’ll find yourself flinging cream pies, smashing plates and firing pop guns to score points – and beware – it has the uncanny ability to make everyone super competitive (my best score is 153,300 – can you beat me?!).
4. The theming and attention to detail is breathtaking
From the 20 ft tall Sheriff Woody who welcomes you to the entrance of the park, leaning nonchalantly against a pile of huge wooden blocks, to the colourful strings of fairy lights strung across the park, the whole of Toy Story Land is just like magically walking back in time. You’ll find benches made of lolly sticks, still stained with pink, colourful Lego bins, Crayola crayons, Rubik’s Cubes, fences made from K’nex pieces, the Barrel of Monkeys, and colourful bathrooms with the walls made of dominoes. Oh, and look out for the Green Army Drum Corp marching past, and Sarge and the Green Army Patrol playing games like hide and seek with the guests at the park too!
5. The exclusive merch and food options are addictive
So once you’ve been shrunk to the size of a toy and immersed into the colourful world of Andy’s backyard, you’ll find two fab merchandise locations: a toy camper and a dump truck, selling loads of unique collectible items, from the cutest Slinky Dog and Aliens headbands to pins, cups, hats, shirts, backpacks and more.
At Woody’s Lunch Box, you can step back in time and rediscover some of your childhood favourites. The breakfast options include eggs and potato barrels, and delicious lunchbox tarts (like Pop Tarts but made fresh daily) in either raspberry flavour with freeze dried raspberry topping or chocolate hazelnut with candied bacon.
Lunch options include a delicious BBQ brisket melt sandwich made with garlic butter sourdough and filled with Texas-style smoked brisket, Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses, pickles and BBQ sauce; the extra gooey stringy grilled three cheese sandwich, a toasted cheese sandwich made with Cheddar cream cheese, Provolone and Cheddar, all wrapped in garlic butter grilled French bread. Another favourite was totchos: potato barrels with chilli, sour cream, cheese and corn chips – yum!! If you’ve got a sweet tooth, you’ll love the s’more French toast, oozing with chocolate ganache and marshmallow topped with graham cracker crumbles. You’ll also find Mini Babybels – the Official Snack Cheese of Walt Disney World Resort – both in cheesey form and jazzing up tables and chairs outside.
And if you think this is all too gorgeous during the day, don’t even get me started on how beautiful Toy Story Land is at night!
Massive thanks, as always, to everyone at Disney Destinations International, the lovely people at Virgin Holidays and Virgin Atlantic, and the incredible film crew who work so hard to make the most amazing videos xx
If you’re now raring to head to Orlando to experience Toy Story Land, as well as everything else that Walt Disney World has to offer, I’ve got all the information you need:
We love travelling with Virgin Holidays. The Virgin Atlantic cabin crew are just so efficient (and super stylish too), and the service is always top notch with so many thoughtful touches along the way. We always start off with a visit to one of the lounges (I have a post about the differences between the Virgin Holidays v-room and the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse coming soon). The lounge experience is the best way to escape the hustle and bustle of the airport and start your holiday while you’re still on the ground!
Enjoy seven nights in Walt Disney World in Florida with Virgin Holidays. including scheduled Virgin Atlantic flights from London Gatwick direct to Orlando, with accommodation at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge from £4485. The price is for a family of two adults and two children and is based on a standard view room on a room only basis with park tickets, car hire and all applicable taxes and fuel surcharges which are subject to change. Virgin Holidays is a member of ABTA and is ATOL protected. To book:, 0344 557 3859 or visit one of our individual retail stores or one of the 110 stores located in Debenhams and Next stores nationwide or visit www.virginholidays.com.
This time, I tried out the APH Park and Ride service, where you park your vehicle off-site a little way from Gatwick. I found it really easy (and the people were so friendly) – you just park your car outside the reception area, leave your keys with the staff and hop on a bus which takes you straight to the terminal with no hassle at all (the transfer time is around 10 minutes). On my return, I arrived at the bus stop just as the bus was leaving and the driver very kindly stopped and let me on. What a sweeetheart!