« May 2008 | Main | July 2008 »

June 2008 Archives

June 14, 2008

Toy Story Mania - Comparing Disneyland and Disney World!

All Ears® Guest blogger JeanineY is back! You may recall she chronicled the NFFC trip to Tokyo Disneyland a few months ago.

This time she compares the brand new Toy Story Mania attractions at Walt Disney World and Disneyland!

Ride "Spoilers" Ahead. This comparison offers detailed descriptions and photos of the two attractions!

blue line

Recently I spent a few days over at WDW, a not-inconsiderable-portion of which I spent playing their newly-opened Toy Story Midway Mania ride at the Hollywood Studios.

The day after I returned, I attended the annual passholder preview of Disneyland's Toy Story Midway Mania where we were able to ride with minimal waits for designated 6-hour time slots. With luck, I won't spend next week getting treated for repetitive motion injury.

Toy Story Mania Disney's Hollywood Studios Walt Disney World

Toy Story in Disney's Hollywood Studios is outwardly themed around the Pixar Studio buildings in order to better fit with the generalized show-business theme.

Toy Story Mania Disney's California Adventure Disneyland

Toy Story at Disney's California Adventure is designed to fit in more with the boardwalk games that pepper the Paradise Pier area. The ride building is much more attractive and detailed than the other cardboardy-structures around there.

Mr. Potato Head Toy Story Mania Disney's Hollywood Studios Walt Disney World

The multi-million dollar Mr. Potato Head is up and singing in WDW, but was boarded off and not visible in the Disneyland cue.

Toy Story Mania Disney's Hollywood Studios Walt Disney World

Probably the most noticable difference between the two versions is the queue. In WDW the queue is indoors and the concept that the rider has shrunk to toy size is much more developed. Additionally there's air conditioning, which is a huge plus.

Toy Story Mania Disney's Hollywood Studios Walt Disney World

In WDW they have a standby line, and a separate fastpass/single rider line, although the single rider line does not always run, and is not always a time saver. Disneyland will have a single rider line, but will apparently not have fastpass, similar to the Finding Nemo Submarine ride.

Toy Story Mania Disney's California Adventure Disneyland

The Disneyland Toy Story queue is all outdoors, with most of it similar to the outdoor Muppetvision queue, decorated with attraction posters. One can only assume the difference may be due to the more inclement weather Orlando has over Anaheim.

Additionally, the WDW queue is multi-leveled, whereas the DL queue is all on ground level (limited by California Screamin', which runs overhead.)

Frankly, the Disneyland queue looks markedly short, for the number of people you might expect to be waiting for it this summer. One CM stated that he thought the line held a little over an hour's worth of people, and that they were expecting the line to cross the walkway and extend over the bridge all the way to Golden Dreams, on the other side of the lagoon! Given that I saw the wait times at WDW reach around 190 minutes occasionally throughout the weekend, it seems likely.

Toy Story Mania Disney's California Adventure Disneyland

As far as the actual rides go, they're fairly similar. The areas between the shooting screens seemed longer at Disneyland, but the cannons and targets were all identical clones.

On the way out at Disneyland, you pass by this odd little room that, I suppose, is designed to clue you in to the whole "entering the Midway Games toy set" storyline, if you missed it earlier. I am sure some blogger out there knows the significance of the little dog figurines and the bust and the iced tea, but it would not be me.

Toy Story Mania Disney's California Adventure Disneyland

A curious thing is that at WDW, where the ride has been open to the public for some time, they still have no specific shop or merchandise for the ride, with the exception of one Mr. Potato Head t-shirt going for $40.

At Disneyland, where the ride was only in previews, a whole shop was open, with a multitude of purchasables. One cute item was the cannon-replica keychain that had a pull-string triggering a sound similar to the ride sound effect, and projecting a light image of a hoop from the ring-toss screen.

Toy Story Mania Disney's California Adventure Disneyland

As other blogs have gleefully noted the low wait times they've experienced at the press opening of the WDW Toy Story, I include the wait time we had at our AP preview out here.

It does seem likely that, without fastpass, the waits will be considerably longer than this in the near future as it is a great ride in either park.

Have fun, and remember--keep that fox out of the henhouse!

June 17, 2008

Epcot's Sounds Like Summer Series - Stayin Alive!

Hello All! My name is Amanda.

First, a little about myself. Currently, I am working on my Masters of Science in Software Engineering. My family and I just moved to Florida from Colorado last month.

One of the first things we did upon our arrival was purchase our annual passes to Disney World. We both are long time fans of Disney and with our annual passes we use Disney as our daily hang out. Our two favorite parks (although we love all four) are Epcot and Animal Kingdom. Excited about all there is to do at DisneyI I started an online journal I like to call Mouse Beat . Disney fans be sure to stop by!

Thank you to Deb for asking me to share my Disney Adventures with you all! And to get the ball rolling here is a little bit about what we did last night at Disney.

It turns out that Disco is not dead!

stayin alive sign at American Gardens Theatre Epcot

Now in its second week the "Sounds Like Summer Concert Series" at Epcot was host to "Stayin Alive" A Tribute to the Bee Gees.

If you like the music of the Bee Gees, definitely head on over to the America Gardens this week. They will be there all week and the show times are 5:15, 6:30 and 7:45.

The band has about 20 songs on their play list and from the excitement of the crowd they are some of the Bee Gees greatest hits.

Unfamilar with the music personally I did not recognize many of the songs, and was a little disappointed that they did not play "Staying Alive" in their last show of the night.

The group "Stayin Alive" did a great job paying attention to detail from the stage setup to their costumes. Here are the brothers all dressed up...

Barry Gibb


They were crowd friendly. Although they never left the stage like 2U A Tribute to U2 (last week's Sounds Like Summer group) , they do make an effort to include the crowd.

They tell jokes to each other, talk about Mickey, remark on the America Gardens and encourage the audience to dance. And oh boy did the audience dance! In the bleachers, in the aisles, disco got their feet moving!

The adults in the crowd were having a fantastic time but I did notice that some of the youngsters were not as entertained. Unlike the 2U concerts last week the kids in the "Stayin Alive" audience spent most of their time on the bench eating their goodies.

Oh and one note, "Stayin Alive" does not permit the audience to video record their performance. You are allowed to take as many pictures as you want but not video recordings. Just a note.

Overall it was a good time and I recommend it to all those Bee Gee fans out there!


Have a Disney Day!


June 24, 2008

Our Great Gorilla Adventure at Animal Kingdom

Hello! Amanda here again.

This week I wanted to share with All Ears® readers Norwood's and my great gorilla adventure at Disney's Animal Kingdom. While at the Animal Kingdom Park the other day we walked the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail (Africa).

We knew that a person who took the trail had the chance of seeing a Gorilla or two but that morning we were quite lucky to see five different Gorillas.

The first one we saw was cuddled up under a rock sleeping. ..

Gorilla Pangani Forest Exploration Trail Disney's Animal Kingdom

The next one we saw outside and he appeared to be stretching.

Gorilla Pangani Forest Exploration Trail Disney's Animal Kingdom

As we moved along the trail we came to the exhibit where the Gorillas can come up to the glass. When we arrived there were two (a male and a female) just hanging out right there.

Gorilla Pangani Forest Exploration Trail Disney's Animal Kingdom

The male Gorilla was quite a ham, he loved the attention that the people on the other side of the glass were giving him. He would roll on his back stick out his tongue as we all clicked away.

Nearing the end of the trail we ran into one more male Gorilla. He was sitting out in the open watching all the people watch him and snacking on some leaves. Here are some shots of the last guy, who was also very photogenic.

Gorilla Pangani Forest Exploration Trail Disney's Animal Kingdom

Gorilla Pangani Forest Exploration Trail Disney's Animal Kingdom

It was an amazing morning. All the previous times we have been to Disney we have never encountered so many Gorillas.

Many say that in the morning you have a better chance of encountering the Gorillas. So the next time that you are in Animal Kingdom you might want to plan to see all the animal exhibits in the morning and ride the rides like Everest in the afternoon or evening.

Have a Disney Day!

Return to Blog Central

About June 2008

This page contains all entries posted to All Ears® Guest Blog in June 2008. They are listed from oldest to newest.

May 2008 is the previous archive.

July 2008 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.