Tokyo DisneySea – Toy Story Mania!

Toy Story Mania! is an indoor interactive dark ride that uses 3D projection and special effects. It brings guests through several carnival games that are highly entertaining and engaging.

This is the key attraction at Toyville Trolley Park – an old fashioned, Coney Island style, amusement park that’s tucked at Broadway and Park Avenue, American Waterfront.

As the most popular attraction at Tokyo DisneySea, Toy Story Mania! usually has a wait time of 120-180 minutes. The record was 400+ minutes during the ride’s grand opening period.

These are some photos taken during the park’s early minutes into opening. The line spills over to Broadway and starts from the Venice section of Mediterranean Harbor.

Madness. Madness. And it’s an ordinary weekday.

Well, it gave me an opportunity to walk around the outdoor queue.

Cast members are stationed at some Fastpass machines to help speed up the process.

The Fastpass machines have a similar shape like those used at Tower of Terror, but with an antique silver finish.

After all that craziness from the park entrance, I managed to get Fastpasses with a return time between 1:55PM to 2:55PM. As I walked out of the area with the machines, the return time jumped by ten minutes. It’s selling fast!

Fast forward to the afternoon…

It was raining, but we’re back at Toyville Trolley Park for Toy Story Mania!

Guests walk through a heavily themed queue through Andy’s Room that’s briming with larger-than-life toys from the past. Colourful toys everywhere, some showing a bit of wear from long hours of play time.

The Fastpass Only! path makes you feel like a (somewhat guilty) VIP in this ride. You know, the other line barely moves.

See that open box in the distance? That’s the Carnival Games play set getting unpacked. It’s the game which we’re all going to be “part of”.

Buzz Lightyear isn’t as prominently featured in the ride as the rest of the characters, probably to keep with the old school feel of the attraction. He’s still in the ride, just not as much as Woody’s Roundup Gang.

Step right up to the Carny Cannon!

Cute illustrations of Toy Story characters in a Japanese miniature art style.

A shot of the Standby line that’s moving at an excruciatingly slow pace. The wait time was 3 hours, so we skipped this ride on our first day.

While the queue area is very interesting, I’m not sure how I’d feel if I had to stay in this place for more than 2 hours.

Another look at the area we just went past.

The “play set” comes with 3D glasses. This is just where guests pick them up, but I adore the the whole toy box treatment here.

The 3D glasses collection point is right after the spot where both Standby and Fastpass lines merge. After collecting glasses, the path leads to the loading area. It reminds me of Toy Story Land in Hong Kong Disneyland at night, with the lights and all.

We’ve just walked through a giant door to get to the loading area.

Here comes the ride vehicles! Each vehicle sits 2 guests on each side, back facing each other. Apparently these are called “trams” and they go through the ride in groups of two (carrying a total of 8 guests).

Loading is very efficient, thanks to a dedicated unload platform.

Notice the two cannons at each side of the ride vehicle? These are pull-string cannons used to participate in the games!

We boarded our ride vehicle and waited for loading checks. The moment that’s done, our vehicle moved under “Andy’s Bed” and into the famed Automated Shooting Gallery set up by our dear friends from Toy Story.

Toy Story Mania is essentially “arcade games”, presented in 3D with special effects, in moving vehicles. However, it is incredibly pieced together into a seamless experience.

The first stage was just a tutorial, with Jessie and Woody holding up targets. We then learned how to use the cannons – just pull and release. A pie flew onto the “screen” which really, with clarity of the 3D projections, hardly seemed like one.

The visuals also look incredibly detailed and smooth, which is amazing for real-time rendered graphics.

Then it began. The insane and rapid triggering of the pull-string cannons which went on for a few minutes, with just mere seconds of breaks in between. Ride vehicles would then dance around this room filled with carnival “stalls”, pushing guests to the next stage. As soon as the Toy Story characters introduced themselves and their games, the crazy action-packed gameplay begins.

The game stages are all very elaborately designed and have a LOT of (secrets) targets. It’s a shooting frenzy, as if Buzz Lightyear Astroblasters was sped up 10 times. The “4D” effects were also well integrated. We had off-screen lighting, water splashes and balloon pops simulated. I also particularly enjoyed the sound effects and music used, which greatly reminded me of the films.

The entire ride lasted minutes but we had an amazing time. In fact, the ride felt longer than I thought it would be – which is great, considering the hours of waiting involved for guests in Standby line. It’s amazingly fun, so there’s this heavy feeling when the ride finally ends and we had to leave. I guess that’s why thousands of guests don’t mind waiting for 2-3 hours just for minutes of this experience.

Therefore this attraction also gets my “Best Attraction in Tokyo DisneySea (and the World)” award.

Let’s take a look at the other mini attractions at Toyville Trolley Park. Carnival Corral and Toybox Playhouse.

Carnival Corral is a mini play area with three stations.

Blazin’ Buckaroo, a sort of “fastest running-on-the-spot” game.

At Woody’s Wonder Wagon, puppets of Woody’s Roundup Gang come to live.

The last station is Manic Mirrors, which is basically a set of… funhouse mirrors.

Mr. Potato Head performs at Toybox Playhouse. Unfortunately I’ve never been able to catch a show, but this is one of the most advanced animatronic figures in the world. Apart from exhibiting fluid movement (including its mouth), Mr. Potato Head can even remove his ear.

The rest of Toyville Trolley Park is beautiful at night.

Only one small stall at Toyville Trolley Park – to the relief of many parents. But once they step into McDuck’s Department Store

A map of the New York area at American Waterfront, showing other key attractions around the area.

Some details at the benches and clock in the middle of the park. Toy Story characters are featured here, of course!

Notice something about the clock’s face design?

It’s a few hours before park closing, but the waiting time is still more than two hours.

But you know, guests are still entering the queue despite knowing that they will only get on the ride after the rest of the park closes.

While yes, the wait time does drop towards the last hour of park opening, don’t put all your chances on that last minute ride. If the wait time is really long, the Standby line closes as early as two hours before park closing. Only guests with Fastpasses will be allowed in line.

This is definitely one of the nicest “sub-lands” I’ve visited. I love the Toy Story series, and I think this ride is a great attraction. Toy Story Mania! should be built at Hong Kong Disneyland, since they have a Toy Story Land there (and there’s space, actually).

Well, I hope you’ve enjoyed the three-part tour of American Waterfront. We’ll be going back to Tokyo Disneyland for the next set of entries!

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