Thursday, November 15, 2012

Guest Post: The Journey to Toy Story Mania

 Time for another Disney memory!  This one is from Mrs. Scepter!  I don't know about you, but I would totally run like mad to make it to Toy Story Mania before the rest of the crazed crowd...
When I first met my husband, I was absolutely shocked that he had never been to Disney World.  How do you grow up as an only child and never take a trip to the happiest place on earth?  I was determined to get him to experience the amazingness that is Disney World, so I planned a trip for us to go a few weeks after our college graduation.  Being the super type A person that I am, I bought guidebook, researched restaurants, and planned almost every minute of our trip.  

We had five full days at Disney World, so I planned to spend one day at each park and spend the fifth day letting Eric golf on one of Disney's golf courses. Epcot, Magic Kingdom, and Animal Kingdom all went according to plan.  We did the popular rides early in the morning (before they had a long wait) and scheduled out our fast passes like a pro.  (Side Note:  If you do go to Disney World use the fast passes!  They are ingenious!)  Our third day was our trip to the Hollywood Studios park, and as a surprise bonus it just happened to be one of their Star Wars weeks.

Here's Eric with Chewbacca and an ewok
At the time Toy Story Mania was one of Hollywood Studios' newest and most popular attractions.  We both really wanted to ride it, but the first time we walked past it the wait time was 90 minutes so we decided we would come back to it.  (In retrospect this was a large mistake.)  By the time we made our way back to the ride the wait was 120 minutes and all the fast passes were sold out for the day.  Epic Fail.  While I was trying to figure out a way to ride Toy Story Mania, a huge rainstorm began and we decided to go back to our hotel for a few hours.    

After a two hour nap and a shower, we boarded one of the Disney buses and headed back to Hollywood Studios.  We were hoping that if we went to ride close to the parks closing time the line would be shorter. Luckily, we were right!  When we made our way back over to Toy Story Mania the wait time was only 30 minutes.  We could definitely handle 30 minutes.  The line moved fairly quickly, plus Disney had a very detailed design for your to marvel over as you waited.

Waiting in line to ride Toy Story

We had about five minutes left in our wait time when the line suddenly stopped moving.  We kept waiting, but with the parks closing time fast approaching we weren't sure what was going.  After waiting for another 20 minutes an announcement came on over the PA system and let us know that the ride was having technical issues and they were going to have to shut it down for the night.  NOOOOO!!!! 

We had spent our entire day trying to ride Toy Story Mania, and we still hadn't managed to make it on to the ride. At that point we had sunk so much time into the ride we were determined to make it happen.  We had planned to go to Magic Kingdom first thing in the morning, but we decided we would go to Hollywood Studios the minute it opened, ride Toy Story Mania, and then take a bus or the tram over to Magic Kingdom.  (The Disney transportation system is amazing.)  

The next morning we were at Hollywood Studios by 8:45.  Even though we were there 15 minutes early, Disney does not allow people to access the majority of the park before the official opening time.  We started inching our way towards the Toy Story area of the park, but we began to get the feeling that everyone else had the same idea we had.  As the clock got closer to 9 am more and more people started showing up and pushing each other towards the rope.  Even though I am fairly positive that the crowded madness is a daily occurrence, even the Disney workers started to look nervous.  At ten seconds to go a countdown came over the PA system and I began to get oddly nervous.  The crowd actually started chanting with the PA System.  10...9...8...the guy behind me pushed past...7...6...the man next to me grabbed his kid and swung him onto his shoulder...5...4...3...I looked at Eric and we exchanged confused looks...2...people actually started elbowing each other our of the way...1!!  The Disney worker opened the rope and the crowd was set free.  (To this day I wish I would have videotaped what happened next.)  

For the first few seconds the crowd tried to keep it classy, and fast-pace walk to their destination, but once one father started a light jog everyone else did as well.  Within a matter of seconds the entire crowd was running.  Not fast walking, not jogging...they were in an all out sprint.  So what did we do?  We joined the freak show we were standing in the middle of and started running.  I blame mob mentality.  On the path to the ride, I saw a man hurdle over a three-year-old girl, watched another man try and jump a chain fence, (he ended up getting his foot tangled in it) saw a woman carry two kids on her back like they were sacks of potatoes, and watched my own boyfriend (now husband) make it to the very front of the line. 

After three attempts, two days, and one running of the bulls-esque event we had made it onto the Toy Story Mania ride.  Was it worth it?  Without a doubt. 


  1. That's a hilarious story....and I've seen it happen too! I've been there are park opening with the express purpose of riding Toy Story Midway Mania!

  2. This is hilariously funny! I can't stop laughing, because I see this scenario happen often at Disneyland. I'm glad you got to ride it though! It's so fun!