Lots of debuts on the menu at Walt Disney World this week

June 26, 2018, 1:13 PM · After last weekend's debut of Pixar Pier at Disney California Adventure, Disney continues its celebration of Pixar with the opening of Toy Story Land at Walt Disney World's Disney's Hollywood Studios in Florida.

I will be flying to Orlando tomorrow to cover the media preview all day on Thursday and the dedication moment on Friday morning, in advance of the land's public opening on Saturday. Please follow us on Instagram, on YouTube and here on ThemeParkInsider.com for all our coverage and videos from Toy Story Land, including rides on the new Slinky Dog Dash Mack Rides launching family coaster and Alien Swirling Saucers as well as the new food from Woody's Lunch Box.

To get ready for the new land, Disney has released another promo video, this time looking at the design work for the new land at night.

Disney will be webcasting the dedication moment live at 10:55am EDT on Friday, on the Disney Parks Blog, as well.

Toy Story Land isn't the only thing opening at the Walt Disney World Resort this week. The former Portobello Italian Trattoria reopens as Terralina Crafted Italian on Thursday. Under the direction of James Beard Award-winning Chef Tony Mantuano, Terralina Crafted Italian will feature northern Italian favorites such as Lasagna and Chicken Parmesan to specialty creations such as Housemade Porchetta and Capellini with Crab.

"Italy's Lake District is one of my favorite places to vacation, specifically the Lake Como region," Mantuano said. "In Lake Como, you can take a boat from town to town and experience all the region has to offer. At Terralina Crafted Italian, the spirit of Lake Como is found throughout the restaurant from handmade pastas and fresh seafood to a wide variety of Italian and grape sparkling wines."

Disney World, here we come!

Replies (15)

June 26, 2018 at 1:52 PM

All this for a couple of rides that won't be out of place at a Six Flags park

June 26, 2018 at 3:16 PM

Nothing more nerve-splitting than visiting WDW the weekend before the 4th of July. Good luck at the madhouse.

June 26, 2018 at 4:08 PM

Lots of debuts at Walt Disney World on the menu for the next few years. Toy Story Land, Galaxy's Edge, Guardians of the Galaxy, Mickey's Runaway Railway, EPCOT space restaurant, Ratatouille, Tron, NBA Experience at DSTP, Cirque at DSTP, Skyliner, Riviera resort, Coronado Springs tower ... And on and on and on.

June 26, 2018 at 8:33 PM

Two rides in a park that took ten years off (since Toy Story Mania) isn’t all that impressive. What was holding them back from doing this expansion over the last ten years? And with the slate of new rides on the horizon, couldn’t we get something that’s not tied to an IP? Even other Disney resorts are having trouble with this... everyone’s getting Fantasyland envy, including BOTH Tokyo parks.

And as for Italian food, yawn. Disney Springs is busy building so many places to eat (more are still under construction if you count NBA, Jaleo, Wolfgang Puck, and Planet Hollywood’s outdoor patio expansion). How much sq. Ft do they need for pricy lunch and dinner options?

WDW has gotten predictable. It’s a lot like the redesign of Mickey for Runaway Railway and modern cartoons... it’s soft, lacking depth, and hollow behind the eyes. It doesn’t know what it wants to be; is it for grown-ups nostalgists or for the kids? It’s lost a lot of the craftsmanship and personality that made it special in the first place. Some see these parks as only as good as their last expansion. I’ll go back and enjoy myself at WDW, but the soul is gone.

June 26, 2018 at 10:08 PM

Opening new things is nice, but shouldn't we wait to see if they're good before overflowing with pride?

June 27, 2018 at 9:05 AM

My wife and I made our first visit to WDW in 1975, and now visit several times a year, stay at an on-site hotel, and always have a wonderful time.

Some rides and attractions appeal to us, others do not. But WDW has to cater to multiple age groups, so that is hardly surprising. For example, while Disney Jr. at HS doesn't necessarily appeal to me as an adult, I have seen the show several times, and I always appreciate the energy, talent, and technical skills it requires to put on the show. And I have never NOT seen an audience of noisy, excited, and appreciative 3-7 year-olds there.

So, while some of the attractions (new and old) may draw a yawn from me, I understand the need to appeal to the broad base. It seems the only danger Disney could face as their parks grow is skewing the attractions too heavily toward one age group or the other. Our favorite park has always been World Showcase in Epcot, which we have always considered the "adult" WDW park. We'd love to see one or two new attractions/countries join the land around the lake. Are you listening Australia? How about a gondola ride around the country Italy? Ski lifts touring Germany?

Now if they would just reverse the absurd new "parking" charge at the resorts.

June 27, 2018 at 10:56 AM

In all the bits I'd read/seen about the new Terralina restaurant, I somehow missed that Tony Mantuano is behind it; he's a crazy good chef. For me, that changed the thought of the restaurant from "ho-hum" to a "must-try" on a future visit.

June 27, 2018 at 10:59 AM

@ - Back in the early 90s, a company named Sierra On-line created the most amazing adventure computer games of their time. The challenges, game play, graphics, music and story lines stole the hearts of gamers of that era. But today, 1st person shooters dominate the scene and the charming and heart warming games of the 90s are long gone. I miss them dearly and care very little for today's hottest titles....but the current generation sees it differently.

I liken this to Disney using all IP based attractions. It's what the current generation of park goers are looking for. The days of original characters and attractions are something I fear those of us who look for nostalgia, simply have to accept as "the norm".

June 27, 2018 at 11:30 AM

Sadly, use of IP is like a lot of things wrong with today's generation, they're playing to the lowest common denominator.

People want instant gratification, instant recognition, instant everything. They have no patience to experience something where they have to figure it out, they would rather have it dished to them.

It's the same, as you say Sarah, with video games. The games before were more imaginative, but now they're mostly shooters, there's no imagination, it's just mindless shooting. And we wonder why disaffected people resort to mass shootings.

I'm fine with using IP for now, but hopefully it's a cycle, where people will want to get back to original attractions with imagination.

June 27, 2018 at 1:09 PM

Y'all realize the IP here was an original creation by the company, right

June 27, 2018 at 1:44 PM

@evanweston - Except it was a creation of Pixar, which was not owned by Disney when Toy Story came out. That's like saying Galaxy's Edge is based on originally created IP because Disney currently owns Lucasfilm.

June 27, 2018 at 3:38 PM

I for one have no problem with with the wide use of IP at theme parks. Whether it’s Jaws or Men in Black (USF), Harry Potter or Spider-Man (IOA), Star Wars (DSTP), Avatar (DAK) or Indiana Jones at (DHS). Frankly I hope Disney’s impending acquisition of Fox will increase the presence of great IP in all of the parks. It will certainly ensure WDW’s standing in the TEA/AECOM report. Even beyond 2021/2023.

June 27, 2018 at 4:54 PM

Should probably anticipate an Al's Toy Barn, shown in the project's initial overview rendering near Woody's entrance and left out of the project due to budget cuts, to be added to DHS's Toy Story Land in the near future, similar to the one that just opened at Shanghai Disneyland's Toy Store Land. And after Galaxy's Edge opening in 2019, DHS's next expansion project will most likely be a replacement of the existing Studio Courtyard with another well established IP, such as The Incredibles. If DHS can't use Marvel, The Incredibles are definitely the next best thing. Keep the improvements and expansions coming, WDW!

June 27, 2018 at 5:09 PM

Might not have been"budget cuts." Rather (and what is more typical) is that bids come in and the proposals from contractors are higher than the projected costs. Consequently, the concepts are value engineered to decrease the impact of the overruns.

June 27, 2018 at 5:40 PM

When riding the Little Mermaid ride in the Magic Kingdom for example, they try to tell a 90 minute movie in 90 seconds. They utterly fail. Seriously, if you didn't already know the plot of the movie, you'd have no clue what was going on. Tell me a story that doesn't rely on me already knowing the story. Tell me something new.

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