Since the release of the first Toy Story in 1995, PIXAR Animation Studios has presented the world with award-winning, witty, charming films beloved by millions. Who among us hasn't wanted to explore Monstropolis, or race Lightning McQueen, or spend some time with Woody and Buzz? At Disney's Hollywoodland, PIXAR Place allows us to actually enter the worlds of our favorite PIXAR movies, traveling from world to world with just a single step.
PIXAR Place is actually made up of four sublands: one based on the Toy Story movies, one based on Monsters Inc., one based on A Bug's Life, and one based on Cars. Despite how different each subland is from each other, they all have one thing in common - they include some wonderful attractions.
If one enters the land from Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, they find themselves in Cars' Radiator Springs, with the Tatooine rocks and buttes being disguised as the rocks and buttes that serve as a backdrop to, as Mater puts it, "the cutest little town in Carburetor County". Very similar to Cars Land at Disney's California Adventure, Radiator Springs is just like any other folksy town found along Route 66... except that it's inhabited by talking cars.
The headliner in this subland is Radiator Springs Racers, a clone of the popular Disney's California Adventure attraction. This attraction combines a thrill ride and a dark ride for a charming trip through Ornament Valley and Radiator Springs. Along the way, we'll meet Lightning McQueen, Sally, Mater, the Sheriff, Luigi, Guido, and more - and the attraction culminates in a big race between your car and another. Regardless of whether you win or lose, you'll have a wonderful time!
Over at the junkyard where Mater works, guests can participate in another clone of a Disney's California Adventure attraction, Mater's Junkyard Jamboree. Here, we ride in trailers pulled by little baby tractors (twenty-two in total), swinging and spinning this way and that way as Mater - represented as a large animatronic overlooking the tractors, unlike in the California version - sings goofy songs.
Unique to Disney's Hollywoodland is a third attraction called Sarge's Boot Camp. Similar to Autopia, this is sort of a "junior" version of Radiator Springs Racers for those that don't make the height requirement. Sarge invites those wanting to "toughen up" for an off-road drive through Ornament Valley. You'll explore Cadillac Range, Double Clutch Gulch, Willy's Butte, and more. The attraction also pokes fun at Disneyland Australia's attraction Nature's Wonderland, with Cars versions of western wildlife appearing every so often as we drive by.
All that driving around can make a car hungry. Fortunately, there are several restaurants in Radiator Springs for you to stop by and refuel. Flo's V8 Cafe brings back memories of roadside diners from the 1960s, serving American comfort foods like meatloaf and turkey sandwiches, and for breakfast, French toast. Meanwhile, the Cozy Cone Motel is not an actual motel like in the movie, but rather a series of large traffic cone-shaped buildings where hungry Route 66 travelers can grab an ice cream CONE, a bucket of popCONE, or some other sort of CONE-coction. Luigi's Casa de Mangia offers, fittingly enough, Italian dishes... and donuts. Lots and lots of donuts, including a tiny replica of Luigi's iconic "Leaning Tower of Tires" made out of donuts. Those craving a more healthy snack could grab something at Fillmore's Taste-In, where fresh fruit and juice are listed on the menu alongside Fillmore's famous "organic fuel" - actually fruit-flavored smoothies.
Those looking for a souvenir can pay a visit to some of Radiator Springs' other establishments. Radiator Springs Curios, owned by the eccentric Lizzie, and Ramone's House of Body Art both offer a wide selection of Cars-themed merchandise.
After exploring Radiator Springs, we venture out into the desert and find ourselves getting smaller and smaller. Soon, we've wound up in the teeny, tiny world that the characters of A Bug's Life inhabit. Giant blades of grass tower over our heads as we explore the subland, the centerpiece of which is a large anthill.
Said anthill serves as the facade of an attraction called Anthill Madness, an indoor/outdoor roller coaster on the same level of thrills as Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. In this ride, guests are given the role of ants new to the colony that Flik, Atta, and Dot are a part of, giving them the chance to explore the winding underground tunnels that the insects use to get around. The attraction's plot is extremely loose, and in truth it mainly just serves as an excuse to zip around in dirt-made tunnels.
Outside, some small flat rides are scattered about to keep younger guests entertained if they don't make the height requirement for Anthill Madness. Flight of the Bumblebee, for example, is a Dumbo the Flying Elephant-esque attraction where guests ride in goofy-looking bumblebees. Like Dumbo, you can control how high or how low your bee flies, but one must listen to the instructions of the Head Bee standing in the center of the ride. If you follow the instructions perfectly, you're rewarded with "honey" (you're squirted with water). If you don't, you get stung (the seat vibrates). Chili's Tarantula Twirl is a variation on the "Octopus" ride, with a big furry red tarantula named Chili (the same character seen in It's Tough to Be a Bug) in place of the octopus. In addition, there's also the Blueberry Scout Playhouse, a play area a la the Boneyard at Disney's Animal Kingdom where wee guests can run amok and have some fun.
In a small underground theater (accessed via a stairway), you'll find P.T. Flea's Incredible Bug Circus, a comedic live show best described as a cross between Festival of the Lion King and It's Tough to Be a Bug. Combining animatronics, screens, and special effects, the show is hosted by P.T. Flea, who introduces who he dubs "the greatest circus bugs in the world" (and they're gonna make him rich!). Of course, things go wrong with each act. The attraction exits out into P.T.'s Flea Market, a small gift shop where P.T. offers A Bug's Life merchandise, as well as merchandise based on Disney's other bug characters like Jiminy Cricket.
Feeling as hungry as Heimlich? Pay a visit to the Ugly Bug Bar, a quick-service location where fruit-flavored drinks, fresh fruit and vegetables, and yogurt cups can be ordered.
Continuing the "you're really small" theme, the next subland we enter is the one themed to Toy Story. This is also the land entered through the entrance to PIXAR Place in the El Capitan Theater back in Tinseltown. In this subland, you're the size of a toy - and as such, things like building blocks, books, and Lincoln Logs are much larger than usually. A giant Woody greets us with a tip of his hat as we enter the subland. Christmas lights provide illumination once the sun sets. A giant iPod acts as a source of Toy Story-themed background music.
The toys have set up a new "Midway Mania" playset, which serves as the facade of the ever-popular Toy Story Midway Mania!. This interactive dark ride allows guests to play popular boardwalk games with the characters from the Toy Story movies, combining animatronics with screens and 3D effects. Eggs are thrown, balloons are popped with darts, plates are broken with baseballs, pies are launched at targets held by Woody and Rex... it's quite a ride!
Back outside, Slinky Dog invites guests to come with him on a fast-paced ride through Andy's backyard in Slinky Dog Dash. Aboard Slinky's back, we zip, dodge and dash around the land, running into a giant tower of JENGA blocks, an enormous sprinkler, a "tunnel" that's actually a Barrel Full of Monkeys, and more... culminating in an encounter with Rex, whose job is to give us a scare (but alas, he's not too good at it).
Near the attraction's exit is a gift shop, Andy's Toy Box. Held inside what looks very much like Andy's toy chest, here guests can find (what else?) shelf upon shelf stocked with Toy Story merchandise.
Like the A Bug's Life subland, this subland's other attractions are mostly flat rides for those not tall enough for Slinky Dog Dash to have fun on. Barrels Full of Monkeys is similar to the Mad Tea Party, with guests riding in large blue barrels as the monkeys that usually inhabit those barrels form a chain above our heads. Little Green Alien Swirling Saucers is an interesting twist on the classic "Swings" attraction, with the "swings" resembling UFOs being held by the Claw that those Little Green Aliens love so much. Woody's Roundup Wheel is a rickety-looking but perfectly safe Ferris Wheel that appears to be built entirely out of tinkertoys. RC Rush takes inspiration from the "Himalaya" rides at various boardwalks and carnivals, with remote-controlled cars racing in and out of a large "RC Car" box.
Hungry? Not to worry, Andy recently bought a Pizza Planet playset on a trip to the restaurant that it takes inspiration from. Unlike the former Disney's Hollywood Studios location, this Pizza Planet is almost exactly like the one from the movie - neon lighting, robot guards, alien slime dispensers, games, and yes, even a rocket-shaped claw machine in the center of the dining room. If you don't want to play any of the games, Pizza Planet still offers scrumptious pizza and other Italian specialties. For a lighter meal, a nearby "snack stand" called Bullseye's Carnival Concessions offers state fair treats like funnel cakes, cotton candy, caramel apples, shaved ice, and freshly-squeezed lemonade. Yum!
Upon returning to our normal size, we find ourselves in the magnificent city of Monstropolis. This is where Mike, Sulley, and their friends employed at Monsters Inc. take up residence. It's really not too different from a regular old city... well, minus the fact that its inhabitants are monsters. Big monsters, small monsters, furry monsters, scaly monsters, even a few with seven eyes. Many of the monsters peek out of windows as we go by. One emerges from a sewer grate. One, an Italian monster named Tony, operates a small market called Tony's Grossery, where one can actually buy a fresh piece of fruit.
At the end of the street is the magnificent facade of Monsters Inc., where monsters venture into children's rooms to make them laugh and collect energy for their city. This is also the facade of the land's main attraction, Monstropolis Ride and Go Seek. Very similar to the attraction at Tokyo Disneyland, guests are invited to participate in a game of Flashlight Tag with Mike, Sulley, Boo, and the residents of Monstropolis. Each two-person vehicle is equipped with a flashlight for each rider, which said rider can use to find hidden monsters all throughout the attraction. The attraction exits out into a gift shop, Monsters Inc. Company Store, which is naturally dedicated to selling Monsters Inc. merchandise.
Laughs are abundant in Monstropolis (after all, their city is powered by them) and a great place to find a good laugh is Mike Wazowski's Laugh Floor Comedy Club. A clone of the Magic Kingdom attraction, this interactive show invites guests to help the monsters power up their city by - how else? - having monster comedians... or comedian-wannabes... entertain them with jokes! Mike is the M.C. (that's "Monster of Ceremonies"), introducing us to such wisecrackers as the two-headed Mac and Jeeves, the supposedly "mind-reading" Buddy Boil, and Mike's adorable nephew Marty Wazowski. Guests can even text jokes to the monsters while in the queue, if they'd like. The monsters might just use it in the show!
When night falls on Monstropolis, most of its residents head for its most popular restaurant, Harryhausen's. Straight out of the film, Harryhausen's is an exotic restaurant manned by a sushi-cooking octopus. Japanese cuisine is served to hungry guests - and monsters - as Harryhausen himself slices, dices, and chops fish and vegetables in the open-air kitchen. And don't be surprised if, as soon as you walk through the door, everyone inside shouts, "GET A PAPER BAG!"
Thus concludes our tour of PIXAR Place. Next, our tour of Disney's Hollywoodland concludes with a trip to Superhero City...
This is it. The penultimate land of Disney's Hollywoodland. Let's visit...
Since the world was introduced to The Phantom in 1936, superheroes have been an iconic part of pop culture. MARVEL has given us many, among those many some of the most popular of all time - is there anybody on this planet who hasn't heard of Spider-Man, or Captain America, or Iron Man? The penultimate land of Disney's Hollywoodland, Superhero City, is a tip of the hat to these characters. Upon entering the land, guests find themselves in a magnificent metropolis straight out of a comic book or MARVEL movie, the kind of city where people sleep well at night because, no matter what happens, someone like Iron Man or Thor will be there to keep them safe.
Stark Towers stands proudly ahead, in front of it a statue of Tony Stark with his alter-ego Iron Man. Inside, you'll find the Hall of Fame, a museum of sorts with exhibitions dedicated to all of MARVEL's most beloved superheroes, from the Avengers to the X-Men. The museum exits out into a gift shop, Stark Industries Gifts, for all your MARVEL merchandise-related needs.
Nearby, the Stark Expo Center is where the best and brightest men and women of nations and corporations all over the world gather to share their collective vision for a brighter tomorrow. Today, visitors are given the opportunity to "suit up" and join Iron Man on a mission to fight evil in the Iron Man Experience. Aboard the Iron Wing, we're enlisted by Iron Man to fight HYDRA, who've launched an attack on the city. It's very similar to its brother at Hong Kong Disneyland, but not identical.
Also at the Stark Expo Center, child prodigy Hiro Hamada invites visitors into his workshop for a robotics demonstration. Hiro's Workshop is a live show combining live actors, animatronics, and screens, starring Hiro and his Personal Health Care Companion, Baymax. Hiro shows the audience his nanobots and the many different things that they can do, but in a city like this, it's not unlikely that a supervillain or two might interrupt the show and make a mess of things. Fortunately, Hiro and his friends are on hand to save the day.
Those hungry should pay a visit to Shawarma & Burgers, a dive joint reminescent of Manhattan. The diner has clearly seen better days, what with the Hulk-shaped hole in the wall and the vending machine seemingly destroyed by Thor's hammer. Regardless, the shawarma, burgers, and fries are truly one-of-a-kind.
Have you ever wondered what it's like to be very, very small? At the SHIELD Science and Technology Pavilion, Ant-Man is there to help. Ant-Man: Adventure Thru the Microverse is a family-friendly dark ride that harkens back to Disneyland's former Adventure Thru Inner Space attraction. Aboard a new invention of Ant-Man's called "Micromobiles", guests are shrunken down to the size of an ant and join him on an exciting trip through a universe only accessible through "vibrational attunement".
Peter Parker, who as you probably know fights crime as Spider-Man, works at the Daily Bugle... which also serves as the entrance to Spider-Man: Web-Slinging Over Manhattan. This is an indoor suspended coaster that sends guests zipping past skyscrapers and into alleys. When the Green Goblin attacks, it's up to us and Spider-Man to save the day. Near the attraction's exit is another gift shop - a small bookstore specializing in MARVEL comic books old and new, fittingly called MARVEL Comics.
Even the Guardians of the Galaxy, usually seen protecting... well, the galaxy, have landed in the city... mainly because the Collector has, too. Another indoor coaster, Guardians of the Galaxy: Battle For the Galaxy, has guests joining Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax, Rocket, and Groot in a fight against Ronan the Destroyer and his Sakaaran army... at first. Somehow, Star-Lord, Gamora, and Drax wind up captured, and it's up to Rocket, Groot, and the riders to save them and the day. And yes, the attraction includes some of Peter Quill's favorite songs.
The mysterious Sanctum Sanctorum, a three-story townhouse, is the home of master of the mystical Doctor Strange. Inside, a trackless dark ride called Doctor Strange: Into the Next Dimension takes guests on a dimension-hopping tour of the superhero's abode, similar to Hong Kong Disneyland's Mystic Manor attraction. Combining the eerie, the bizarre, and the magnificent, and with MARVEL-ous special effects galore, fans should leave the attraction with one question in their minds - "How did they do that?"
And so ends our day at Disney's Hollywoodland. As we walk out the front gate, we can finally return to our hotel room, relax, and say that we managed to see and do everything there is to see and do at Disney Down Under Resort's three theme parks. What an incredible place this resort is.
Well, we've visited all three parks. For those wondering about the future of this thread, I plan on posting concept art. I'm also hoping to build some of the rides on Roller Coaster Tycoon 3, but I'm having problems with it at the moment. So in the meantime...