The construction of the new Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, has hit a notable milestone. The final piece of track for the the Slinky Dog Dash roller coaster, the land’s signature ride, was this week lowered by crane and put into place. The new coaster is all set to open summer 2018. “It was a great moment to see the final piece fit right in,” said Stephen Poniatowicz, ride mechanical engineer for Walt Disney Imagineering. “We got to a good point, found a good nice high piece to make our last piece and capped off the ride.”
“There is a ton of work to do just on the track. We have to level it all, shim it all, make sure everything’s set and then pack it all with grout, lock it in,” said Nate Bender, assistant construction manager with Walt Disney Imagineering.
When complete, Slinky Dog Dash’s theme will be as if Andy has built a roller coaster track all over his back yard using his Mega Coaster Play Kit combined with other toys. So strewn about Toy Story Land and visible from the ride will be larger-than-life statues of Rex, Jessie, Wheezy, Mr. Spell and Mr. Mike and others.
“In exciting times ahead, we’re going to have our Slinky ride vehicle arriving here shortly,” said Shannon Mashchack, senior project manager for the land. “Our team’s actually in Germany right now checking it out, and before you know it, we’ll have Slinky riding around this track.”
While details about the ride’s length and speed have not be released, from the park’s rendering released in 2016, it looks like riders will leave the building at the rear of the park expansion and proceed on a flat track pretty far before climbing up an initial incline that immediately turns 180 degrees and down into a complete 360 degree twist that then runs into another 180-degree, inclined turn before heading straight over the walking path that parkgoers take to get to the entrance. With no initial climb, the ride may have a propulsion launch to get riders enough speed to enter into that first turn. Once over the bridge, there’s a blue-and-red track that could give Slinky Dog another push into a small incline that then sends riders into a five-turn zig and zag finale before returning to the building from whence they started.
Once completed, it will join the Rock ‘n Roller Coaster to become Hollywood Studios’ second roller coaster. The other new planned ride in Toy Story Land is the Alien Swirling Saucers, which is themed after the little three-eyed, green alien toys from the claw machine at Pizza Planet. Riders will spin around while avoiding the claw. It’s a double ride set up in a similar approach to the expanded Dumbo rides at New Fantasyland. Both new rides will join the existing Toy Story Mania! ride. The new land’s 2018 opening will be followed in 2019 by the opening of the 14-acre Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, which is also under construction at the park.
“We just can’t wait to share this experience with the guests next summer,” Mashchack said.