Toying With Us By Land And By Sea
by Georgina Cruz
Buzz Lightyear & Dino, during the production of Toy
Story-The Musical on the Disney Wonder
It’s like somebody just handed you the key to a magical toy
trunk! Buzz Lightyear, Woody and all their buddies from the
Disney-Pixar hit movies Toy Story and Toy Story 2 are now under the
spotlight at sea on Disney Cruise Line’s Disney Wonder. And they are
playing with you on land too at Disney parks in Florida and
California –perfect for those looking for fun pre- and post-cruise
Youngsters and the young at heart can try Toy Story Mania! a new
attraction officially opening on May 31 at Disney’s Hollywood
Studios in Orlando and slated to open on June 17 at Disney’s
California Adventure in Anaheim. A five-foot Audio-animatronics
figure of Mr. Potato Head welcomes visitors to this interactive 4D
attraction, which is a pass to the toy trunk of Andy, the boy of the
Toy Story movies.
Like all Disney attractions, Toy Story Mania! has a story to
tell: it seems that Andy received for his birthday a new toy, which
is a series of fair midway games, and the toys from his trunk rushed
to open the box and prepare booths to play and have fun –before Andy
Mr. Potato Head, who converses with you as you enter the
attraction, invites one and all to play. Donning 3D glasses, you get
on one of the attraction’s vehicles to enter Andy’s room. Inside,
you are surrounded by big toys and gigantic murals, which give you
the impression that you’ve shrunk to the size of a toy.
|Disney visitors enjoying one of
the fair-style games hosted by Toy Story characters
The vehicles proceed to fair-style game booths and you use
special spring-action shooters to hit 3D animated objects. Every
time you hit a target, you get points to compete for the highest
score on several different games. Since this is a “4D” attraction,
there are special effects to add to the excitement. For example, you
“feel virtual objects” fly past your head as they pop out of 3D
scenes hosted by Andy’s toys.
In the first game you throw “virtual pies” at targets.
Afterwards, Hamm invites you to play at a Ham And Eggs booth, where
you hurl “virtual eggs” at barnyard targets. Bo Peep hosts a booth,
“Bo Peep’s Baaa-loon Pop,” filled with sheep-shaped balloons. You
shoot “virtual darts” at them –but watch out: a dart may hit a
balloon filled with water and another 4D effect kicks in: you get
sprinkled! Other games include throwing “virtual balls” to break
plates with Andy’s green toy soldiers, and “virtual ring-toss” to
encircle those cute green extra-terrestrials in the Toy Story movie.
The final game is with cowboy Woody –it is a shooting gallery themed
to the Old West.
“It is just plain fun,” said Julia Mendez from Orlando, a guest
who received a special dream pass for four to experience the game
during a press preview of the attraction in mid-May. “And it’s kind
of addictive-–I can’t wait to get back on to improve my score.”
The attraction’s music consists of variations of the Randy Newman
Oscar-nominated song for the Toy Story movie, “You’ve Got A Friend
In Me,” with arrangements by Bruno Coon, who often collaborates with
If you want to enjoy an interlude with Andy’s toys at sea, the
Disney Wonder inaugurated a new show this spring, also inspired on
the Toy Story movies.
The lovable toy cast of Toy Story-The Musical
The Broadway-style show, “Toy Story–The Musical,” presented during
the ship’s three- and four-night Bahamas cruises, is faithful to the
theme of the movie: that jealous adversaries—Buzz and Woody—can
become the best of friends. And it offers sets, music and costumes
worthy of Broadway.
It’s the type of high-quality entertainment that “sets us apart
from the rest of the cruise industry,” Tom McAlpin, Disney Cruise
Line president. The quality of this type of offering, which McAlpin
called “the next generation of theatrical entertainment” at Disney
Cruise Line is one of the reasons passengers return to the cruise
line time and again, McAlpin added.
The production incorporates the song, “You’ve Got a Friend in Me”
and seven new songs by Valerie Vigoda and Brendan Milburn of the
GrooveLily band. The costumes, by Ann Closs-Farley, is one of the
most ambitious at sea and includes puppets and balloon characters.
Children who watch the production are entranced at the sight of
the toys come to life. And for adults like me, it is an opportunity
to go back to my childhood, even if just for a little while.
IF YOU GO
lodging choice is Disney’s Old Key West with villa-type
accommodations near Downtown Disney and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
By sea: For details
about the Disney Cruise Line, visit
The cruise line photos are courtesy of Disney Cruise Line; the
Toy Story Mania! photos are courtesy of Walt Disney World.