Monday, May 19, 2008

EXCLUSIVE PREVIEW! Toy Story Mania at Disney's California Adventure

I had the opportunity over the weekend to preview the new Toy Story Mania ride during their “playtesting” phase before it opens next month. The ride is still being “tweaked” and still has a few kinks in it, but it didn’t keep me from having a whole lot of fun.

The ride is essentially a giant blown out video game, disguised as a traditional ride. Which was fine by me, as I like those video games. But it’s easy and compelling enough for those adults that don’t even know how to turn on a TV.
If you can pull a string, wear sunglasses, and chew gum at the same time, you’re in the club.

After I put on the 3D glasses and boarded some extremely shiny new tandem vehicles fitted with pull-string cannons, I was literally whipped around corners stopping at several oversized shooting screens.
I stopped for about 60 seconds at each, or in some cases sometimes longer as they were working out the bugs, and pulled that string like John Rambo shooting at Soviets in Afghanistan -- rapid-fire maniac yelling out things like “I’m your worst nightmare....fake plastic virtual plates…!!”

The shooting effect of oversized cartoon-like darts, green blubber, and plastic rings at things like plates, targets, balloons, etc. was very cool.
As I hit certain targets things shot out in “3D”, some broke, and some revealed even more targets; and when I hit balloons, blowers puffed air into my face giving some pretty cool popping effects and my hair some badly needed styling.

When all was said and done, my score was 134,000. At first, I thought that was pretty good, maybe enough to one-up Stallone. But then the “high-score” leader board was revealed showing scores of 400,000+.
Obviously, it was there to tell me I shoot like Rambo’s grandma, on crack.

Overall, completely worth a trip if you’re visiting Disneyland, and have an extra day, and have an extra $70, $80, $1200 or whatever it costs to get in there now.
It really is great to see a new ride added to the very sparse, ghost town of a park, Disney’s California Adventure. Hopefully they keep adding some more rides like this to spruce up the place.

I recommend a Rambo III ride.