Toy Story Playland: Big hitter or instant flop?

Anyone whose visited Walt Disney Studios in Paris recently will tell you it’s been crying out for an expansion to help turn this half-day park into a fully-fledged Disney destination. Toy Story Playland, set to open later this year, is Walt Disney Imagineering’s answer to the pleas, but is it going to be good enough for the Disney name?

For those who aren’t familiar with the new land over in Paris, Toy Story Playland is themed to the popular Pixar movie franchise of the same name. Guests will be shrunk down to the size of the toys and will experience a number of attractions based around some of the more familiar characters from the Toy Story movies.

The most talked about of the attractions at Toy Story Playland is the Toy Soldiers Parachute Drop, a conventional parachute drop tower themed to the green army men from the movies. The attraction takes riders up to dizzying heights, where they’ll spend a number of minutes, before being lowered back to the ground.

The attraction is a slightly controversial one, primarily because of its appearance. The tower is huge, especially when compared to other attractions in Walt Disney Studios. To say the big green tower sticks out like a sore thumb would be an understatement; it’s a very worrying addition when taking into consideration the atmosphere of the park.

Of course it’s not all bad. There’s no doubt the Toy Soldiers will give some great views over the park and, as with most Disney attractions, it’s designed for all ages. Capacity may be an issue, with it carrying a lot less than many of the popular attractions around the resort. Expect long lines, especially when the land first opens.

Slinky Dog Zigzag Spin see’s guests hop aboard the famous Toy Story character whilst he chases his tail round and round in circles. Unlike the Parachute Drop, Slinky Dog is a relatively small attraction that’s low to the ground. The ride system is tried and tested over at Tokyo DisneySea where it’s gone down a storm, surely a good omen for its Paris debut.

For me this is the best attraction coming to the new land. It’s fun for all the family and doesn’t stick out too much. The theme looks to be well done, which is going to be crucial when it comes to the long-term success of the land, and it’s based on a character which anyone familiar with the movies will know and love.

The third and final major attractions set to appear at Toy Story Playland is the RC Racer, an attraction similar to a half-pipe coaster seen at many Iron Parks, but thankfully with a much more detailed theme. The attraction will take place on a bright-red Hot Wheels track which will play host to the RC Racer car, which will go back and forth along the half-pipe, taking riders up and down at high speeds.

The attraction looks to be the most thrilling of the three big hitters in the new land, bit faces similar problems to the parachute drop. Firstly, it’s got a low capacity, which means lines will get big on busy days. Secondly it’s a standard midway ride which has been dressed up with a Toy Story theme, occasional guests may not notice but regulars certainly will. Thirdly, it’s quite an eyesore when seen from the rest of the park, though admittedly not as much as the Toy Soldiers Parachute drop.

Disney fans will likely see this expansion as something similar to what Paradise Pier initially looked like over at Disney’s California Adventure, and I’d have to agree. The attractions, for the most part, a fairly conventional midway rides and capacity is low, two factors which can easily give a new land a bad reputation.

Hopefully Walt Disney Imagineering have come up with a way of ensuring that the attractions fit in well within the confines of the relatively well-themed Walt Disney Studios, but the jury will certainly remain out on this one until the final product is unveiled.


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One response to “Toy Story Playland: Big hitter or instant flop?

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