Disney theme parks pride themselves on immersing Guests in detailed and often accurate storylines, especially when an area or attraction’s source material comes from an established film franchise.
With so many intricacies in place to make themed areas and attractions totally immersive, Disney fans can be left confused when it seems that some glaring inconsistencies are allowed in. As such, we have to wonder what is going on thematically in Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios?
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Toy Story Land has been one of the most popular spots at Disney’s Hollywood Studios since it opened in 2018. The land, which is inspired by the original Toy Story-themed area at Shanghai Disneyland, comes with Slinky Dog Dash, a family-style roller coaster, Alien Swirling Saucers, and Toy Story Midway Mania. Quick-service dining is currently available in Toy Story Land at Woody’s Lunchbox, and a table-service restaurant called Rodeo Roundup BBQ is set to open next year.
Everything at Walt Disney World has a story though, and each story starts with a setting. Disney has confirmed that the setting of Toy Story Land is Andy’s backyard. As you may remember, Andy’s favorite toys (including Woody, Buzz Lightyear, Jessie, Rex, Mr. Potato Head, and Hamm, to name a few) left his house at the end of Toy Story 3 (2010) when Andy leaves for college and gives his toys to Bonnie. As a result, we can assume that if the location of Toy Story Land is “Andy’s backyard,” the time has to be before the toys are given to Bonnie. We could even further assume that Toy Story Land has to be a representation from Andy’s childhood, since he was not playing with the toys while he was in high school in Toy Story 3.
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With the setting of Toy Story Land takes us back to Andy’s childhood, we can’t help but notice inconsistencies when characters from later in the Toy Story films are showcased in the land. Bo Peep, for instance, has appeared as a walkaround character in Toy Story Land, which might simply mean that the timeline has put us in the middle of the events of Toy Story 2 or earlier, since the character did not appear in Toy Story 3 where she had been given away.
The problem with this reasoning comes with Bo Peep’s Toy Story Land outfit, including the bandage on her arm, which is the result of events in Toy Story 4. Bo Peep, at least how she appears in Toy Story 4, could not have possibly appeared in Andy’s backyard when he was a child as this was years before her outfit change and broken arm.
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And, a close look at the photos and concept art for Roundup Rodeo BBQ reveal other characters that were not part of the Toy Story universe until Andy’s toys were given to Bonnie during Toy Story 3.
Most notably, the new restaurant includes imagery of Trixie, the dinosaur toy that Woody is first introduced to in Toy Story 3 when he is mistakenly taken to Bonnie’s house. The concept art below also featured Bo Peep back in her original look, further confusing the timeline, along with Stinky Pete (who only appeared outside of Andy’s house in Toy Story 2). With “Woody’s Roundup” being the theme of the restaurant, it is possible that Andy just gathered images of Stinky Pete, but given the other inconsistencies in Toy Story Land, we have to wonder about this one, too.
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Why is the timeline of Toy Story Land so inconsistent? Disney has not given us an official answer, but our best guess is simply to include characters that Guests would want to see at consistency’s expense.
Earlier this year, characters from The Mandalorian (2019) debuted at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland, again sacrificing the consistency of the land, which is set between the events of The Last Jedi (2017) and The Rise of Skywalker (2019). Characters included in Galaxy’s Edge at the Walt Disney World Resort have remained unchanged.
How much do these timelines matter? It depends on the Disney fan. Some fans are thrilled to see characters not previously included in themed lands, regardless of how they fit into the story, and others are frustrated when inconsistencies are made so obvious. What do you think?