Hello WHAT TO DO WEDNESDAY friends! I am so excited about this week’s attraction: Toy Story Midway Mania! at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Let’s all agree once more that an acronym would be appropriate, and call it TSMM! for short today. TSMM! is what I think of as a “big ticket item.” It’s one of the best attractions in all of Walt Disney World, and it is certainly one of the most popular.
Here’s the rundown: this fantastic attraction is a ride where you get to play 3D carnival games hosted by beloved Toy Story characters. Once in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, you’ll find TSMM! at Pixar Place. This is also where the Pixar Place Camera Dept. is located, where you can meet some of your favorite Toy Story pals. Entering the queue transports you into a child’s toy wonderland. Everything is large and scaled to make you feel as though you are suddenly toy-sized. The ceiling and walls are constructed of game boards. Crayons, blocks, Lincoln Logs, playing cards, and game pieces are scattered everywhere.
In the back of the queue you’ll find Mr. Potato Head in a straw hat and carnival striped sleeves, armed with a microphone. He moves and talks, entertaining guests with songs, jokes, and general commentary. I’m not sure if Disney included him as an added element of fun, or if they anticipated the popularity of this attraction and knew the queue line could frequently be lengthy. Either way, Mr. Potato Head certainly provides some welcome amusement while waiting in line, making time pass more quickly.
Once you’ve meandered through the game and toy pieces room, you pick up a pair of nifty 3D glasses and proceed to the loading room and board a vehicle. The vehicles are cream, each painted with a Toy Story character such as Bullseye or Little Bo Peep. The vehicles seat 2 couples that essentially sit back to back, making a total of 4 people per vehicle. In front of each person is a miniature cannon with a pull-string for playing the various carnival games.
Before you know it, your vehicle is zooming, twisting, and turning. Through the ride, your vehicle will travel to several different screens, each featuring a different scene, characters, and a classic carnival game (ring toss, balloon darts, pie toss, etc.) My favorite is the third game hosted by the Green Army Men, where you toss balls to break plates. Listen carefully and you’ll hear “I am not your mother!! Break those plates!” Makes me smile. Each game is timed and your scores are recorded so the player with the highest total points at the end of all the games is the winner.
Here are the 5 reasons why I think this attraction is beyond awesome:
- Toy Story Characters – Lovable, fun, and enthusiastic, the Toy Story characters bring this attraction to life.
- Movement – The way the vehicles move in TSMM! is so much fun. They zip around quickly, but the movement isn’t harsh in any way and it’s often a bit unexpected. It always has me giggling as the vehicle hastens along.
- Game Variation – I love that you get to play several different games. It’s like having several attractions in one!
- 3D Technology – Disney gets better and better at presenting 3D technology and this ride proves it. The scenes are clear, crisp, bright, and very effective.
- No Height Limitations – This ride is something the family can enjoy together as there is no height requirement. But it goes beyond that; TSMM! is fun for all ages. And, if you’re anything like my family, the element of competition elevates the stakes. The winner gets bragging rights.
So now that everyone is pumped and ready to go whiz around and champion the games, let’s mention the downside. Because this attraction is so wildly popular, the queue line can often be long. REALLY long in peak seasons like summer and Christmas. Here’s how to help avoid an excessively long wait time:
- Arrive at Disney’s Hollywood Studios early and make this your first stop. Early to rise and seize the short lines!
- If you are staying at a WDW Resort Hotel (which you should be!) try to visit this park during Extra Magic Hours, especially the morning ones. There are less people in the parks at those times, and therefore queue lines are shorter.
- Utilize Fastpasses! It feels so amazing to step into the Fastpass queue and bypass the standby queue. Especially when the standby queue is over 45 minutes long.