Opened in June 2008, Toy Story Midway Mania is a groundbreaking, world class dark ride that takes you through a series of carnival games with your favorite characters from Disney Pixar’s Toy Story and and Toy Story 2.  Not only does the ride give you the most fun the Disneyland Resort has to offer but as well, some of the most advanced technologies that can be found on any dark ride.

Once guest walk into Paradise Pier at Disney’s Caliofornia Adventure, it is hard to miss the elaborate, detailed, and beautiful structure that houses the queue and loading area for Toy Story Midway Mania.  Once guest enter the queue they pass one of the most advanced Audio Animatronics at the Disneyland Resort: Mr. Potato Head.  Mr. Potato Head is dressed up as a boardwalk barker telling guest to get in line and expierence Toy Story Midway Mania!  Not only does he move extemely fluently, but he also interacts with guest.  He points guest out by identifying them with their clothing and asking them questions.  Once he gets an answer, he has a vast number of preset answers that he will use to answer the questions.

Riders proceed through the outdoor queue before heading indoors and passing by a number of signs that advertise the different games that you get to play, as well as intsructions and tips on how to play.  Finally guest grab their glasses and head up to the loading bay.  From here, a cast member assigns them their row and they wait for their “Midway Tram” to arrive.  Each tram features a character from the movie like Slinky, Woody, Wheezy, Hamm, or several others.  Guest bring down their lap bar and get adjusted to thier spring action shooters before leaving the loading dock and heading out for some fun!

Warning Spoilers ahead!

Once inside, the trams stop infront of the first set of screens.  Here guest get used to their Spring Action Shooters.  The Spring Action Shooter is basically your weapon.  It is a cannon shaped object with two handles for aim and a ball hanging of a string that you pull back to shoot.  The key is too pull back as quick as possible as many times as possible, be sure to let the ball return all the way back to its original position before firing again.

Trams travel down a hall that actually passes under California Screamin’ and into the main ride building behind it.  Candyland, Walt Disney’s Adventureland, and several other classic board games can be found covering the walls as you wait for your games to begin.  Here you can really take time to appreciate all the detail that went into the ride system.  After this board game hall, the track splits into two seperate routes.  Each route offers the same games just in a slightly different layout.  Not only does this increase the capacity of the ride to keep the often long lines moving, but it also allows the trams to stop at each game for a longer period of time without disrupting the flow of the other veichles.

Finally the games begin with the first game being Hamm and Eggs.  In this game, riders get to shoot eggs onto different Barn themed targets like moles, ducks, birds, horses, and even a few mice.  Unfortunately this is probably my least favorite game as I can’t seem to find any true cheats.   Be sure to shoot all the low targets like the moles as they are worth more then some of the targets in the middle.  Also, hit the mouse creeping over the barn and the barn will open up to reveal a huge family of mouses.

Next up, is the wonderful Bo Peep’s Baaa-loon Pop.  Guest get to fire darts at different ballons worth different ammounts of points.  At the top of each side of the screen are clouds.  Each cloud is covered by 5 balloons, one set of yellow and the other set blue.  You are your partner each should hit 4 balloons in your own sets, then on for the final baloon, shoot them at the same time and it will reveal a rain storm of balloons each worth 2,000.  Not only is their a great “easter egg” (high value “cheat”) in this game, but the game is also one of my favorites because of the blast of air and/or water you get when you hit different balloons.

Following the Baaa-loon Pop, is the Green Army Men’s Shooting Camp.  In this fun game, you can launch baseballs that hit and break plates.  Each plate with a corresponding point value.  Shortly after the game begins, two plates will be thrown up in the air, on both sides of the screen.  Both plates are wort 2,000, if you and your partner it both plates before they disapear, then the mountain will rise revealing a huge tank.  Hit all the plates the tank throws at you and you are sure to rack up some serious points.  Shooting Camp probably does the best at using the 3-D effect as lots of things are thrown at you if you hit the right targets (it is hilarious if you are a single rider to watch your fellow riders reaction as the tanks shoot balls at them.)

My personal favorite game, and the next game is Buzz Lightyear’s Flying Tossers.   Rings are flinged onto several targets, most of the targets are Little Green Alien which make it a hit with the little ones.   No joking around this game.  Go mad.  Hit every (in totaly 8) green alien on the rocket, before any of them come back up.  If done successfully, the rocket ship blast off to show a huge robot.  The robot will open his mouth allowing you to put in as many rings as possible each ring being worth either 100, 500, 1000, or 2000.  Ignore the first open mouth worth 100 and hit the rockets, planets and alien worth 5,000.  Then don’t stop shooting into the aliens mouth when it is open and go back to the rockets and 5,000 alien when it is closed.   This game will be the deciding factor on your score.

Even though Woody’s Rootin’ Tootin’ Shoot Out appears to be one game, it is really 3 games.  First is Bulls eye,  hit all the targets as fast as you can and once completed they will all automatically reappear double what they were worth of their previous values were.  Next is the moving section, just hit all the high value targets low in the screen.  Finally when the mine carts come down, don’t stop shooting the carts.  Moving your Spring Action Shooter in a pivoting motion back and forth clearing out each row of mine carts.  Don’t look at bats, they are too small of targets with little pay off to try to shoot.  Lastly, when the big target appears, shoot at your absolute fastest.  The value of the target will increase depending on how many targets you hit.

From here, riders come out to prize booth where they get to shoot their own confetti and also “recieve” their own rating prize.

Overall, this is a must see attraction.  The technology used in it is insane and Toy Story Midway Mania is just pure fun.  I can’t put it any better.  Toy Story Midway Mania is one of my favorite attractions at the Disneyland Resort and I totally must do it every time I go.  If you go to Disney’s California Adventure and don’t ride this attraction, you are missing out on a great oppurtunity!

Leave your comments and park thoughts!  Thanks for reading

First image, copyright Disney.  All other images from me.