Two New Toy Story Land Play Sets Are Coming
Disney’s Hollywood Studios will add two new Play Sets at Toy Story Land. Also, some wonderful character greetings are returning to the parks.
We’ve overflowing with good news in the latest DVC update!
Enhancements Coming to Toy Story Land
At the start of 2022, I discussed the arrival of several new park attractions. One of the restaurants I mentioned was Rodeo Roundup BBQ.
Imagineers had initially proposed a Table Service restaurant at Toy Story Land during the blue-sky development phase.
Disney fully intended to have a sit-down, indoor eatery when the new themed land opened in 2018.
Frustratingly, Imagineers were spread too thin at Hollywood Studios at the time. So, parts of Toy Story Land got eliminated from phase one.
Management planned a quick expansion after Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge finished.
Then again, we’re still awaiting phase two, Beastly Kingdom, at Disney’s Animal Kingdom after more than 20 years.
So, Disney fans have understandably worried that Woody’s Lunch Box might be all we get.
Well, I’m happy to report that the official Parks Blog has confirmed the 2022 debut of two new Play Sets.
One of them is Rodeo Roundup BBQ! Better yet, this place will offer precisely what Disney had previously suggested. It’s a Table Service BBQ restaurant. And yes, it’s indoors!
We all know that Toy Story Land lacks the appropriate amount of shade, something park officials are working to correct.
In fact, cast members are currently installing new shading at Woody’s Lunch Box this week as part of the changes. That will make the delicious meals here even better.
The other Play Set is a store called Jessie’s Trading Post. Yes, Jessie from Toy Story will sell “the coolest toys and finest souvenirs.”
Disney didn’t indicate whether this store would be indoors, but that’s what we’re all hoping will happen.
Similarly, the Parks Blog didn’t announce a season, much less a firm date for the opening of these two Play Sets.
Based on recent history, I’d expect summer debuts for each, but that’s pure speculation.
The Return of Disney Characters
Disney executives had planned a strong first quarter at the parks, with many returning amenities.
The Omicron outbreak at the end of 2021 delayed some of those plans. Thankfully, we’re still about to get several new/returning amenities, though.
For example, EPCOT has brought back three different character interactions. Over the weekend, Joy and Vanellope started appearing at the Imagination! pavilion once more.
We hadn’t seen either character here since March of 2020. The current interactions aren’t as touchy-feely as the ones from before the pandemic.
Disney describes them as character sightings rather than interactions. Still, they work about the same. You stand in line and wait your turn.
Then, you walk up to Vanellope or Joy, and they put on a show for you.
These characters appear at Imagination Land, which is a gorgeous backdrop for photo ops. Plus, it’s arguably the two most popular characters from Wreck-It Ralph and Inside Out.
I’ve stood in an hourlong line for Joy before, and everyone was smiling. These are uplifting character interactions.
Similarly, Donald Duck has returned to the Mexico pavilion at the World Showcase. If you’ve ever seen him there, you cannot help but smile at this news.
Donald wears an authentic sombrero and performs some of his moves from The Three Caballeros at this character engagement. It’s definitely a favorite of mine.
Also, Kevin is back at Disney’s Animal Kingdom!
Still, the most intriguing character greeting takes place at Disney California Adventure.
During the pandemic, Raya and the Last Dragon turned into one of the significant success stories on Disney+.
This movie appeared on Nielsen’s streaming service top ten lists for several months.
First, Disney capitalized with a popular merchandise line – I own all the Funko Pop!s – and has now introduced a Raya character greeting.