November 2, 2009

Let the Mania Begin...

This week we will look at one of the favorite series we have done, about Toy Story Mania, and I know some of you have seen these before, but there are SO MANY new followers, also, later on this week, we will have some NEW CONCEPT ART that was shown at the D23 Expo, so if you have or haven’t read this series before, please stay tuned this week… This is what we call, a REVISIT.
Announced on January 26, 2007 at a Press Conference at Walt Disney World Resort, Toy Story Mania, as it was announced, was to be built at two different park simultaneously, a first in Disney Theme Park. Announced as a first of its kind attraction integrating 3D technology, dark ride effects and games.

Park guests would wear Carnival Gaming Goggles aboard spinning vehicles that travel through virtual environments based on classic carnival games. The attraction features five mini games after a practice round, each includes at least one "Easter egg" which could trigger additional effects, targets, or game play changes. But for now lets go back to the origins of this attraction and original rumored themes.

In early June 2006, speculation started that a new attraction by the name of Midway Mania, note no Toy Story, would soon be coming to a Disney Theme park. Then later that month when Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? was confirmed to be closing of August 2006, speculation grew bigger. With the original storyline to feature Mickey and Gang around Mickey's Milestones, then the rumors grew bigger and bigger with Pixar characters, and then detailed to Toy Story characters with a different Toy Story character to host a different game. Also speculated was that the video projections would be changed for different seasons, to add to the re-ridability factor, such as making a Holiday themed one, Halloween, Summer and other like that...
In early January 2007, Toy Story Mania! concept art was released in the Disney Corporate Report. Then later on January 26, 2007 Disney officially released and confirmed the Toy Story Mania attraction to open in 2008. With the official press release reading:

It's the wondrous world of Woody the Cowboy, Buzz Lightyear and Green Army Men. And coming in 2008, guests of Walt Disney World and Disneyland resorts get to ride and play inside an energy-filled toybox of fun with the debut on both coasts of "Toy Story Mania."

Celebrating the Disney-Pixar classics "Toy Story" and "Toy Story II," "Toy Story Mania" will take the interactive ride-game experience to exciting new heights. High-tech yet rooted in classic midway games of skill, "Toy Story Mania" will match the delightful characters of the films with games that best suit their very animated personalities.

Fun for the whole family, "Toy Story Mania" will immerse guests of Disney-MGM Studios and Disney's California Adventure into the "Toy Story" world as never before. Donning 3-D glasses, guests shrink to the size of a toy, and hop into fanciful ride vehicles that travel and twist along a colorful midway-themed route. Upon arriving at each game booth, they will aim for animated targets using their own special on-board "toy cannon."

As guests score points, they will be cheered on by favorite "Toy Story" friends like Woody, Buzz Lightyear, Hamm, Bo Peep and the Little Green Men. Hidden targets garner players extra points and lead to different levels of play. The energy of the characters, the competition with other riders and the hilarious, unpredictable game action make this a unique experience that families will want to try again and again.

The attraction features games that audiences of all ages and skills -- from beginner to serious gamer -- can enjoy. No matter how many times guests return to ride and play, they can be sure every ride-through will be different. Players pair up and sit side-by-side for a friendly competition that delivers an ever-changing variety of targets and surprises.

People became excited and thought that this attraction would bring great life to both parks that it will open in: Disney's California Adventure and Disney- MGM Studios (at the time). At the time similar technology was used in the DisneyQuest attraction Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle for Buccaneer Gold. Also, both attractions would feature a large Audio-Animatronics figure of Mr. Potato Head in the line as the "Boardwalk Barker", he later on becomes an unofficial icon of the attraction with a certain number of signature lines and movements, like removing his ear.

With the announcement for the one at DCA it also opened up more speculation for the new Disney's California Adventure makeover, which was announced in October of 2007. Both opened in Summer of 2008, DHS's on May 31 and DCA's on June 17th. With the attractions soft opening many people didn't understand why the promotion items, such as hats, pins, shirts, and ads used Toy Story Mania! as the title, but the in park items, like signs and maps used Toy Story Midway Mania, which was used on both attractions entrance signs. To this day no one really knows except the people at Disney. Some believe that the title Toy Story Midway Mania! was to long to use on promotion items, especially advertisements, but no one knows.
Both attractions opened in newly themed lands, DHS's opened in the old Mickey Avenue, now Pixar Place, themed to the Emeryville Pixar Studios, while DCA's emphasized the Victorian boardwalk theme and started the newly refurbishing of most of the attractions, shops, and restaurants in the area.
These two concept art (building plans) were shown at a D23 Expo Panel Discussion. The top one is from Disney’s Hollywood Studios, while the bottom one is of Disney’s California Adventure. As you can see, DHS’s changed a bit, while DCAs seems to be what they have now.

On March 24, 2009, it was announced that Toy Story Mania will be coming to Wii gaming stations on the Fall 2009. It was said that it will be similar to the attraction, with more games.

In April 2009, it was announced that Tokyo DisneySea would be getting there own Toy Story Midway Mania! attraction, opening in 2012 in the American Waterfront section, along with Tokyo Disneyland getting a new Cinderella Castle walkthrough. But many Disney fans speculate that the TDS version will be better than the DCA and DHS ones. Many wonder how they can make an already fantastic attraction even better...

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