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Toy Story Midway Mania
Toy Story Midway Mania

Opened

May 31, 2008

Designer

Walt Disney Imagineering

Vehicle capacity

8

Ride length

5-6 minutes

Toy Story Midway Mania (marketed as Toy Story Mania) is an interactive 4-D theme park attraction, located at Disney's Hollywood Studios at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.

Designed by Walt Disney Imagineering and inspired by Disney·Pixar's Toy Story franchise, the attraction was first unveiled during a press conference at Walt Disney World in January 2007. The Florida version opened officially on May 31, 2008.

Attraction Description[]

Park guests wear 3-D glasses (Carnival Games Goggles) aboard spinning vehicles that travel through virtual environments based on classic carnival midway games. Ride vehicles seat up to four in back-to-back pairs. The attraction features five mini-games after a practice round, each of which includes at least one "Easter egg" that can trigger additional targets or gameplay changes. These games include:

  • Pie Throw Practice Booth (pie toss target practice game, a no points introduction)
  • Hamm & Eggs (egg throw game, now featuring Buttercup from Toy Story 3)
  • Rex and Trixie's Dino Darts (dart throw game; once Bo Peep's Baa-loon Pop)
  • Green Army Men Shoot Camp (baseball throw / plate breaking game)
  • Buzz Lightyear's Flying Tossers (ring toss game)
  • Woody's Rootin' Tootin' Shootin' Gallery (suction cup shooting game)

Each guest's score is recorded by an onboard display screen as points are acquired with individual toy cannons firing simulated projectiles at virtual targets. Toy Story characters including Woody, Hamm, Buzz Lightyear, Rex, and Trixie appear during the attraction's different games.

Similar technology has been used in Disney attractions such as Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle for Buccaneer Gold at DisneyQuest and several Buzz Lightyear attractions. According to Disney, it is the first attraction created simultaneously by Walt Disney Imagineering for two theme parks.

The line at both parks features a large Mr. Potato Head Audio-Animatronic figure that interacts with guests through pre-recorded snippets of dialogue performed by comedian Don Rickles, who voiced the character in the Toy Story films. The sophisticated figure identifies people in the audience, sings and tells jokes. Only five mini-games can be used at a time at Toy Story Midway Mania The following games have been featured as part of Toy Story Midway Mania in the past, but have been since replaced:

  • Bo Peep's Baaa-loon Pop (dart throw game) - Replaced May 21, 2010 with "Rex and Trixie's Dino Darts" (updated with the release of Toy Story 3)

Technology[]

Toy Story Midway Mania is one of the most technologically sophisticated attractions yet developed by Walt Disney Imagineering, costing an estimated $80 million to design and build. It marks the company's first use of industrial ethernet for a ride's control system. Many of the parts for the attraction's control system came from two of Disney's corporate sponsors, Siemens AG and Hewlett-Packard.

The control system is divided into three components: one for the ride vehicles, one for the games, and one for the attraction's special effects. Programmable logic controllers in the vehicles alert the control system wirelessly via ProfiNET RT to the vehicle's speed and location. The central controller then sends its instructions back to the vehicles using a hard-wired network within the track. The one-way communications flow adds a factor of safety, even though the wireless network is protected against outside interference, such as a denial-of-service attack.

The attraction features more than 150 PCs, which includes one HP Windows XP PC for each of Midway Mania's 56 game screens, as well as others that control the special effects at each game. At the game screens, two tracking systems provide the game control system with the vehicle's exact location, making sure that gameplay is not affected by even minor differences in vehicle position. According to Jody Gerstner, executive director of show and ride controls, "The game doesn’t care if the car parks in the same spot every time. It just needs to know where each car has actually parked, and it can compensate." Additional sensors in the spring-action shooter provide information on its orientation, which is fine-tuned using data on the position of the ride vehicle at the screen and the rotation of the seats on the vehicle base.

All three sub-systems work together to handle any contingency. For example, if a delay or other vehicle stoppage is detected (such as might occur if the loading and unloading of the ride vehicles is taking longer than expected), the control system can command the affected game screens to launch a non-scoring practice round, so that guests may continue to shoot targets while they wait. Similarly, it can instruct the show control system to play an audio spiel telling guests about the delay.

As the games are software-based, changes can be made to the attraction's lineup of games without significant effort. In April 2010, Disney Parks announced plans to replace "Bo Peep's Baaa-loon Pop" with "Rex and Trixie's Dino Darts." The change took place on May 21, 2010. The new game includes one of the new characters from the Toy Story 3 feature film, which was released in June 2010.

Music[]

Music for the queue area was arranged and recorded by Jennifer Hammond at Capitol Studios with a live orchestra. More than an hour of music was recorded, all based on the first two Toy Story scores composed by Randy Newman.

Sources & External Links[]

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