By Gaby Leslie
From 17 August, be plunged into infinity and beyond! Well, more like into Andy’s backyard as Disneyland, Paris proudly introduces to the world a micro-wonderland of adventure where guests shrink in size to become even smaller than the famous toys from the Disney Pixar franchise.
This summer’s new attraction, Toy Story Playland, is the first of its kind and the very first to be a part of the Disney World theme parks. And with three signature family-friendly rides and a colourful display of fun and oversized characters to discover, the whole experience is something ‘Toy Story’ and Disney lovers will never forget.
The three unique attractions in the Playland stand alongside intricate details which tease the Disney visitor into thinking they are actually playing in Andy’s back garden - where the toys (minus Woody) come to life literally before their very own eyes.
A wall constructed from dominoes, huge Buzz Lightyear and Dinosaur Rex figures, toy airplanes, walkie talkies, fairy lights, benches made from Lincoln Logs and towering blades of grass allow visitors of all ages to feel like they have left the adult world behind them.
Andy’s enormous footprints that can be found on the pathway through the Playland truly reinforce the notion of scale. Even the cast members are in on the adventure, wearing costumes that have over-sized buttons on them.
Forget the conventional queuing experience - guests wait patiently inside an army training camp, on a giant Scalextric-style racing track through the forest and in a massive empty toy packaging box to join the three main rides.
David Wilson and Tracey Eck, the principal Disney imagineers behind the phenomenal Toy Story Playland created the uniqueness of the attractions by using cutting edge technology to tell a story… and they do this extremely cleverly.
By dotting oversized toy objects and well-thought out features around that aren’t supposed to be there, the theme simply works!
Remember the toy soldiers from the films? Near the entrance to the Playland, thrill seekers can be suspended 27 metres in the air and when the Sarge yells “Go!”, your chute dips back down and up again on a simulated fall mimicking a parachute drop at the Green Army Men boot camp.
The second of the three attractions is less intense, but equally as entertaining. Inspired by the retro “caterpillar”, an oversized toy dachshund named ‘Slinky Dog’ chases his tail round and round in a circle whilst guests sit happily onboard.
Dare to go on the white knuckle RC Racer! Experience the half pipe manouevre similar to the popular Hot Wheels track, but on a gigantic scale. Guests are shot out of the station by a super charger. When the lever is pulled, the radio-controlled toy car races to the top of an exhilarating 25-metre half pipe on a U-shaped circuit, leaving your stomach right at the top.
The exciting Playland attraction is a miniature adventure for everyone and goes beyond all expectations. With all the excitement the two parks at Disneyland, Paris have to offer, why not spend the rest of the summer being immersed in film at the Walt Disney Studios Park?
With Disneyland, Paris being no more than two and a half hours on the Eurostar from St Pancras, it’s hard to say no.