Over the last few years, Disney has really taken the time to add new attractions and even an entirely new land (Pandora) to the Walt Disney World experience. However, I think there’s one element of Disney’s additions that is getting vastly overlooked, Toy Story Land. While the project was officially announced a few years ago, the project really hasn’t receive the media attention I trull expected it to. Sure, Disney has released little videos teasing the area as it has been built over time and given us an “inside look” at the expansion, but when you really think about it, we know very little about little details of this project.
Of course, we have some of the “big picture” details about the large scale plan, but at the time being we don’t have any menus for counter service locations, the details of potential stores or merchandise, ad we really don’t have much of an idea of what to expect from the attractions. With all that being said, I still remain incredibly excited about this project and here’s why.
Toy Story has been a part of my life since the beginning. I know that sounds insane, but you have to realize a few things, and Disney really does too in order for this land to be as successful as it possibly can be. First and foremost, the Toy Story animated film debuted in 1995. Essentially what that means in the big picture of things is that anyone under the age of 22 has never known a world without that iconic animated feature. As many of you may know, I’m 21 years old. Taking that into consideration, I know many people in my age group that have appreciated and watched these movies their entire life. I couldn’t even begin to tally the countless hours many of us have spent watching and rewatching this series. Even in 2010 when the most recent film in the series debuted, many of us returned to the theater eager to see the next installment in the story.
You see, for many of us, Toy Story isn’t simply a series but also a piece of our childhood that has grown into one of the most iconic animated films ever developed. As that iconic feature plays out on the largest stage in the theme park realm, Walt Disney World, I can guarantee you that not only I, but many others like me will be there to continue building upon the nostalgia that has arisen over the years.
Sure, young children will adore this new land and adults will appreciate it’s influence in the parks, but a large audience will be those of us reliving those memories of our childhood. Ironically, that’s one of the many talents of the Disney organization. The Disney company, no matter if we’re talking parks, resorts, or simply films, has a way of taking guests back to their childhood in a way that is truly hard to put into words. This expansion isn’t simply adding Intellectual Property to a theme park, but rather a way of connecting with a generation of Disney fans in an entirely new way. To be quite honest with, that’s why so many of us keep retuning to the parks. It’s not always about the attractions, or even the food (as much as I love the food), but rather because of that very feeling of being a kid again and not having a care in the world for even just a brief minute. Those moments of pure enjoyment create some of the greatest memories of life and that’s what the whole Disney experience is all about and the sole reason I am beyond excited for Toy Story Land’s debut in the Summer of 2018.