When Hong Kong Disneyland opened in 2005 it was by far the smallest Disney park. Opening with just 22 attractions [ehow.com] compared with 44 in Paris, 45 in Florida and Tokyo, and 65 in California, the first impression of the park was underwhelming. Since then they’ve added a number of new rides and the park is slowly catching up in size with the other parks. In 2011 they opened Toy Story Land.
Toy Story Land is similar to Toy Story Playland opened at Walt Disney Studios Park near Paris. The area is surrounded by tall bamboo meant to look like grass and is themed to make you believe that you’re toy sized. Giant versions of familiar toys are everywhere.
There are three main rides in Toy Story Land. The largest of the three is the RC Racer ride, a giant U-shaped ride meant to look like a Hot Wheels track. Starting in the middle, the ride car goes forward up once side and backwards up the other, progressively going higher and higher on each pass through the loading station until you get to the very top. It’s not a particularly fast ride and the wide curve doesn’t give you much of a drop sensation but you do get some very nice hang time on each pass.
If a dropping sensation is what you’re looking for, the Toy Soldier Parachute Drop may be more to your liking. While it’s got more of a drop feeling than the RC Racer, the ride is meant for all ages and the drops are not overly menacing.
Surprisingly, the ride that seems the most tame is actually the one that I found the most wild. The Slinky Dog Spin is a Tilt-a-Whirl type ride with ride cars built into a giant Slinky Dog chasing its own tail in a circle. The bumps in the track aren’t very large, but the seats are wide enough to seat 3 and use only one giant lap bar per car so centrifugal force sends you sliding towards the outside while you go up and down.
This new area of the park also has a couple of meet and greet areas to take pictures with characters as well as a food stand that sells Pizza cones which are exactly what they sound like. They’ve done a great job with theme and there are loads of great details to explore including these great popsicle stick benches. I was very tempted to see if they had any residual popsicle flavor but quickly realized that actually licking the bench would be a bad idea. You have to admit they look real enough to imagine that woody, fruity, sugary taste that you tried to suck out of the stick when you were a kid.
Overall this is a great addition to the littlest Disney park and goes a little way into making Hong Kong Disneyland a bigger destination. Grizzly Gulch and Mystic Point lands are scheduled to open in 2012 and 2013 respectively. By the time they finish those expansions I expect that any complaints about the lack of attractions will be a distant memory.