Today we had the opportunity to participate in the Annual Passholder preview of Toy Story Mania! -- aka Toy Story Midway Mania! -- ahead of its official June 17th grand opening.
It was a festive occasion, starting with several cast members exclaiming "Congratulations!" as we received our tickets for admission to the ride.
It was even more fun when we learned that we could ride as many times as we wanted! It was a unique opportunity to learn more about the ride in a short period of time. By our third and final ride, I had upped my score to just under 100,000 (grin). We give the ride a definite thumbs up, it's a great addition to the park in general and Paradise Pier in particular.
The ride building is beautifully themed with cool pastel colors and a "midway games" concept to tie in to the Paradise Pier surroundings.
In contrast, the version at Disney's Hollywood Studios in Florida plays up a brightly colored "toys" theme, with its building decorated with the Green Army Men and a Barrel of Monkeys, and the Florida ride queue is filled with more toys, including a giant Disneyland Viewmaster reel. The Florida version has FastPasses, while the California version does not, in keeping with the gradual phasing out of the use of FastPasses at most of the rides in Anaheim.
The interior section of the queue line is filled with colorful posters describing the ride's midway games. Riders wear 3-D glasses and aim guns at screens to play several different games such as popping balloons. The ride also incorporates effects out of attractions such as "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids," with 3-D objects doing unexpected things such as squirting water on riders.
This poster gives hints on how the shooting equipment works:
Below, a domestic scene decorating the exit line area, featuring a child's Midway Mania toy. To the right of this scene, one can look down over a balcony and view the store below. The look and feel of the interior of the ride building is reminiscent of Disney's beautiful Beach Club resort in Florida, with a touch of the BoardWalk.
The extensive, detailed theming was greatly appreciated:
Mr. Potato Head serves as the barker inviting guests to try the ride. Although we watched him for quite a while, we didn't get to see him take his ear off...
Below is a view of another part of the queue area. California Screamin' roars by overhead:
The ride is truly fun for all ages, a very creative addition to the park which I'm sure we'll enjoy many times in the years to come.
We finished our day with cones at Bur-r-r Bank Ice Cream and a walk through the lobby of the Grand Californian. A great time was had by all.
Previously: June 2 and June 9.