Our own Chris Lastrapes was lucky enough to attend the first-ever Disneyland Resort Meet-Up and has some photos from the event to share with us:
From the Disney Parks Blog:
More big news to share today…a new game with new faces is being added to Toy Story Mania! at Disney’s California Adventure and Disney’s Hollywood Studios as part of the celebration of the soon-to-be-released Disney*Pixar film, “Toy Story 3.” We’re also introducing a new character that you’ll have a chance to see and greet at both locations –- and it’s all happening in May.
The new Toy Story Mania! game, called “Rex and Trixie’s Dino Darts,” will involve shooting virtual darts at all new balloon targets in a primeval world filled with volcanoes and lava balloons. You’ll be cheered on by Rex (the nervous Tyrannosaurus rex) and his new friend Trixie (a blue Triceratops, one of the toy characters from the new film) beginning in late May. Walt Disney Imagineering has also added some hidden surprises to the game that will be replacing “Bo Peep’s Baaa-loon Pop.”
And starting May 9, you’ll also get a chance to see “Lotso” (short for Lots-O’-Huggin Bear) at both parks. He’ll be greeting Guests in the meet-and-greet area inside The Magic of Disney Animation and be part of the “Block Party Bash” at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The new character will also join “Disney’s Pixar Play Parade” at Disney’s California Adventure and guests will be able to pose alongside the “Toy Story” gang inside a life-sized “blister pack” as if they themselves are toys.
The OC Register’s Around Disney blog has more information on the new Wii version of Toy Story Mania! being released this fall:
Disney Interactive Studios has announced plans to release “Toy Story Mania!” this fall for the Nintendo Wii console.
Although many aspects of the game are still in the works, a demo version of the Wii game was premiered recently and will be showcased in June’s E3 Expo, an annual gathering for computer and video gamers.
“From the success of the ride, Disney felt that the Wii was a good fit to bring the ride home,” Senior Show Producer Richard Robledo said.
The game was produced by the Irvine-based company Papaya Studios. Because of the company’s close proximity to the theme park, game designers got to spend time understanding the game.
The toss in space game is show producer Robledo’s favorite. “Especially when you’re playing with a friend, it’s a good competitive one. You can kind of steal each others points,” he admits.
“We’ve been working a lot with the WDI group, learning what they went through and how they built their story. In this game, we’re hoping to expand that story so you get a little more insight into Andy’s room and the toys and how they’re setting up the different games,” Senior Show Producer Linda Jo said.
Toy Story Mania! for Wii is very similar to the Toy Story Mania attraction, which opened last summer in Disney’s California Adventure and at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida.
The game version includes the five carnival galleries found in the ride, such as balloon pops, plate tosses and darts. In addition, game developers came up with new and original galleries along with a series of mini games, for a total of 30 different games.
“Half of this game is pretty much shooting galleries, which is similar to the ride,” Jo said. ”We don’t exactly copy it, because we want to make sure that the toys are constantly changing things, and then we expand on that – that’s where we get, like, the block hit, a hammer game, and all sorts of games that you’d find at a carnival.”
Other new elements of the Wii version include a fishing game and a butterfly-catching game hosted by Bo Peep.
“We just kind of imagined when Andy’s away, what type of games would the toys build that would be fun to play,” Jo explained. “The audience is the toy now.”
Because the characters from the movie are a focal point of the game, the original voice actors from the movie are used in the game as well (Although the voice of Woody, originally played by Tom Hanks, is instead played by Hanks’ brother James).
In developing the game, designers wanted to make use of the variety of functions that the Wiimote can perform.
“It’s not always pointing and shooting. We want to expand off of that. You’re skeeball-ing, you’re throwing, you’re fishing,” Robledo said.
Robledo challenges some experienced gamers to a game of Toy Story Mania.
While working with Imagineers, Papaya game designers noticed the emphasis on the attraction’s use of layered targets.
“It’s great, because sometimes when you’re playing by yourself you might not see all the good things that are in one level,” Roledo said. ”When you’re playing together — even though you’re trying to outscore each other – you’re going to see new things that you couldn’t score with by yourself. They helped us understand the teamwork.”
The only aspect of the attraction noticeably missing in the Wii version of the game is one of those pesky spring-action shooters, notable for their ability to build the riders’ arm muscles — or to just make them really tired.
While some games use the Toy Story Mania attractions concept of point and shoot, other games make use of the Wiimote features, such as this skeeball game.
Jo: “Just keep testing out the different targets in there. The targets aren’t just, well, the targets. There’s a progression to them; you keep finding things to unlock and find out what leads to another surprise or bonus.”
Robledo: “On block hit, you’ll notice in the background the parachutes. At one point, a crate is going to be falling. If you hit that crate, you get more balls, which in turn will give you more points, because you have more blocks to hit.”
Toy Story Mania! will be released in stores this fall and will retail for $49.99.
D23 also has some information on the Toy Story Mania! Wii game at this link.
Billboards around SoCal for Toy Story Mania have been changed to say “Take aim and ride” as opposed to “Opening June 17th”
Some ground work has been done at Goofy’s Gas in Toontown
Goofy’s car has returned outside Goofy’s House
Banners for Toy Story Mania in Downtown Disney
Another Toy Story Mania ad, this one in the Esplanade
Cast Members at the parking toll booths are passing out flyers for the Indiana Jones Summer of Hidden Mysteries
The It’s a Small World train has been stripped down to the bear
The pond underneath Gadget’s Go Coaster has gone dry while the connecting water for Donald’s Boat is drained during the Boat’s refurbishment
The fire truck in front of the Toontown Fire Depot is missing
The article (linked above) has a detailed look at the Create Your Own Ear Hat station in the Gag Factory in Mickey’s Toontown
A look at the new Hot Dog Hut’s menu
While this isn’t really news, I thought I would share with you all, this pristine quality image of the Toy Story Midway Mania attraction poster:
I advise y’all to check out the latest Official Disneyland Resort Vidcast. This latest vidcast takes a look at the new Mr. Potato Head audio-animatronic in Toy Story Midway Mania:
In this video podcast we “peel” back the curtain and watch Walt Disney Imagineers “whip up” a 5-foot version of the popular childhood toy, “Mr. Potato Head.” The famous spud will welcome guests into the new attraction, “Toy Story Mania!,” set to open at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at the Walt Disney World Resort in May, and at Disney’s California Adventure at the Disneyland Resort in June.
You can find this, & many other episodes of the Official DLR Podcast here!
It seems the rumors were true… The walls for the new food stand & store for Toy Story Midway Mania did in fact come down today! Our friend MintCrocodile has a few excellent pictures up on his SmugMug page:
The store, Midway Mercantile, is now open!
A look inside the store… It looks like they have some good merchandise
The little sign pointing towards the exit is obviously the exit to Toy Story Midway Mania
Also, the area opposite the attraction has been “uncovered”
The new food stand, Don Tomas, is also now open for business!
Just shade for the moment… Maybe something else will come here?
Thanks again to MintCrocodile for these pictures. You can few even more from the uncovered areas by clicking here!
The Harbor Blvd. entrance to the resort is closed due to electrical work for the DCA & Grand Californian expansions
The Pixar Play Parade sign at the Mickey & Friends Tram Station is getting some work done
A copy of the Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters mural has been added to the Segway Experience in Innoventions. Talk about originality!
Here’s a better look at the new Build Your Own Lightsaber stand inside Star Traders
The exit waterfall at the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage is getting some extensive work done
The hot dog/turkey leg stand opposite Toy Story Midway Mania is to be known as Don Tomas
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