Step INTO Toy Story Playland

Time for the second part of our walk through Toy Story Playland at the Walt Disney Studios. After a closer look ath the giant Buzz Ligtyear at the entrance of the area in the first part, we are now inching closer to the entrance, approaching the walkway behind him that will lead us through the bamboo surrounding the area. To the right of the walkway the official marquee of the area stands. The Toy Story logo is placed on a large yo-yo that stand up on a huge tower made out of building blocks spelling out “PLAYLAND” from top to bottom.

A close-up look at these blocks reveal that they are not as solid as they seemed when the top of the marquee was initially spotted over the construction fence. Instead the backdrop of the letters will actually light up to illuminate the marquee at night. Also the letter swill shine out light on their sides to add some extra glow.

The whole Toy Story Playland features numerous lighting effects. In fact Tracy Eck, in charge for lighting Toy Story Playland at Imagineering and her team have placed 900 lights in the area of which only about 25% are actually visible , while all others have been hidden – e.g. in the Tinkertoys along the paths (Tinkertoys are a popular construction set for kids in the US created 1914 by Charles H. Pajeau and Robert Pettit) . Certainly even those lights that are visible have been cleverly themed – for example as huge christmas lights that are criss crossing the walkways in the front of the area (and partially visible across the construction walls already).

The lights and everything else in the Toy Story Playland has to follow the rule / motto set up by Jim Shull, the Imagineer helming the project: “If you can see it, it’s a toy!”. Take for example a look at the railing at the side of the walkway leading into the area: it has been created from more of Andy’s toys and signs (e.g. indicating “cast member only” doors) are given the impression to have been stuck to the railing with elastic bands. Everything in the Toy Story Playland seems to come from the toy collection of Andy or is something else he has picked up in his home to set up the area playing with his toys – and guests are shrunken to the size of his toys the second they approach the giant Buzz. Everything in the Toy Story Playland has been made sure to be in a consistent size, as also indicated by the two giant footprints by Andy found on his walkway – one in front of the Toy Soldier Parachute Drop and one in front of the Slinky Dog ZigZag spin. If the scale used to determine the size of the toys and everything in the Toy Story Playland would be applied to Andy he would tower high above the highes attractins in the area, just look at his footprints!

Further down the walkway guests will discover that the area is not flat like most of the Walt Disney Studios Park but actually sloped downward toward the back of the Toy Story Playland and the RC Racer. Therefore what looks like a giant toy ball has rolled into the direction till it was stopped by a little rock. Fans of Pixar will certainly immediately notice that this ball is a replica of the ball with which Luxo, Jr. the little mascot of Pixar played in the now famous short created by Pixar. To get around the ball sitting in a planter, down to RC Racer  guests can follow the wide pathway leading them along a wall built by Andy out of his multicolored domino stones (Imagineering did check and apparently there are multicolored domino stones).

Some of you might have wondered by now, why Andy should set up his toys to play in his backyard (i.e. what we call Toy Story Playland), after all he has just went off to college in the latest Disney Pixar release Toy Story 3 (in cinemas world wide right now). Well, planning for the Toy Story Playland began in ernest 28 months ago. As little of the final look of the third movie in the series was known to them by then they decided that Toy Story Playland and its story would be placed shortly after the end of Toy Story 2 when Andy was still a young boy playing with his most favorite toys…

In the third installment of our series scheduled for Tuesday: a close look at the Toy Soldier Parachute Drop, including the interior of the queue line…

One Response to “Step INTO Toy Story Playland”

  1. […] Quarter. But I couldn’t help myself, Disneyland Paris was so close and it was on my mind. Toy Story Playland just opened and I would not go and visit it? How could I do this… Well, it looks like I […]

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