Toy Story – Midway Mania Review – Disney California Adventure – Disneyland California

The Rumours are Disney invested over $80million on the Toy Story Midway Mania Ride system. That is an awful lot for a shooting Dark ride and begs the question is the investment worth it. But more importantly, is the ride any good? This Midway-styled Dark Ride shooter aims to take the Shooting ride Genre, a genre we are not really fans of, to the next level with advanced 4-D Graphics and immersive Toy story-theming. Does it pull it off or is this another disappointing shooting ride? Find out with our Toy Story – Midway Mania Review – Disney California Adventure.

Toy Story - Midway Mania Review - Disney California Adventure
  • Location – Disney California Adventure – Pixar Pier
  • Type – Interactive Dark Ride
  • Duration – 5-6 Mins
  • Height Restriction – None
  • Average Queue time – 20 mins – 60 Mins
  • Fastpass – Yes
  • Single Rider – Buddy Pass
  • Additional Info – Next Gen 4-D Shooting game for up to 8 players.
  • Thrill Rating
  • Fun
  • Uniqueness and Theming
  • Smoothness And Comfort
  • Value For Time

What is Toy Story Midway Mania?

The best description of the rise is it is a giant interactive video game. You ride through the indoor dark ride and visit a selection of large floor-to-ceiling video screens each showing a different 3-D Video game of a different Midway Style shooting Gallery all themed around different Toy Story Characters.

The Carriages have large cannons mounted on the front which you use to hit the various targets along the way. the Ammunition is virtual and appears on the screen in front of you as you fire it. The different games all have their own unique projectiles and targets. It really is neet and great fun for pretty much everyone.

Queue And Theme

The Them works really well on The Pixar Pier and was pretty much designed exactly for this purpose. What is more fitting on a Boardwalk-style pier than a selection of midway games? Of course, the Pixar theme plays perfectly into the Toy Story narrative too.

The Queue is a little on the poor side. Apart from the cool Mr. Potato Head animatronic the queue line just meanders around the front of the ride. There is something really unimaginative about all of the Pixar Pier queue lines. It’s like they just decided the pier is enough of a theme so you are on it and that is good enough for a queue. It’s a shame when the Orlando version has an excellent queue line.

Single Rider

Monsters Inc Buddy pass

There is no Single Rider line here but they do occasionally operate the Buddy Pass System. For groups of 1 or 2, you can receive a pass and enter the Buddy Pass Line. While not guaranteed to be a shorter Queue, It is normally a much shorter wait. The System operates on an Ad Hoc basis and you simply need to ask the Cast Member at the entrance if you can get a Buddy pass.

Ride Experience

Along with explaining the ride and giving you details on the different games, we have also provided some tips on how to score high on Toy Story Midway Mania so you can smash your friends and family!

The unique ride cars are back-to-back seats with 2 on each row with the guns pointing outwards There are two cars per train so n total of 8. Each car is able to spin 360° and the ride passes through screen tunnels where the games are played on the big screens. You wear 3-D glasses and these really make the experience come to life, even if you look ridiculous!

The first game is a pie toss and is just for practice. The rear of the guns has a pull cord which when released fires a virtual projectile, in this case, a Pie, at the virtual Target, in this case, Buzz, Woody, Rex, or Jessie. This game is not scored and just lets you warm up and get a feel for things. If you get Jessie however make her pay.

Hamm & Eggs is next. An egg throw game where you have to splat eggs in numbered farm animal targets. The Game feature Hamm the Pig and Buttercup. Attack the Hen House or the Barn and the associated animals for the highest scores

Rex and Trixie’s Dino Darts. A prehistoric-themed game where you fire Darts at balloons. Aim for the Lava and the Comets to launch the bonus games.

Green Army Men Shoot Camp, here we need to throw baseballs to smash the plates. You will see some purple 2000 plates fly up the sides of the screen. Hit those to unlock the hidden mountain tank base. The Tank will fire 5000 point plates, hit those to boost that score!

Buzz Lightyear’s Flying Tossers, hmm we can tell an American named this game, that would not fly in England! Anyway, this ring toss game is family-friendly fun. Hit the 8 aliens in the big ship in the middle. once hit each alien quickly returns, but if you can get them all down at once the ship takes off and reveals a Robot. Shot the mouth when it’s open and each ring is worth 100 points, a bit rubbish, but each time it opens it goes up, 500, 1000, and then 2000. Lots of rings in the mouth at 1000 and 2000 is a lot of points.

Woody’s Rootin’ Tootin’ Shootin’ Gallery. Your final game and the last chance for points. Suction Darts are the ammo and the screen changes a few times. The first screen just try and hit everything and the scores go up. You then enter a mine cart screen and you have to hit every cart to get the scores right up. The Final Target is big and stationary, keep hitting it quickfire and the score per hit goes up and up.

And that’s it. The ride ends with a prize-giving and you will be awarded a virtual prize based on your score with the highest being a giant bear and the booby prize a green turtle. The next screen informs you who the best in the vehicle car is along with the best this hour, day, and month. Expect to need over 600,000 for the last one!

The key to high scores is always a high fire rate. Keep those projectiles flying. The best action is thumb and forefinger and fast pull and release. Your arm will ache so be ready to swap. You just have to fire fire fire!


Overall the ride seems pretty simple and fun but in reality, this is a work of technological art! The 3d effects are fantastic and the whole system is run on 50+ high-end computers and cost over $80million to design and build! It’s crazy the lengths Disney go-to for a bit of family fun.

We are not fans of these types of rides. We find the distraction of shooting games to be a bit of a cheap cop-out and you spend the time focussing on little targets and forget what the ride is really about. They are an excuse for a poor ride that is made tolerable because you never really notice it. Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters, only next door in Disneyland, is very much in this category for us!

Toy Story Midway Mania is a completely different beast and is a genuinely unique and captivating ride that the whole family will enjoy. The effects are wonderful and the games are seriously fun and bring out that competitive spirit.

It is probably worth repeating what a technological ride this is and how it cost $80million. As this is the price for a decent shooting Dark Ride it’s easy to see why the cheap model-based rides fall well short.

Have Yor Say

Have you ridden Toy Story Midway Mania? What did you think? Did you smash a high score or leave with the humiliating turtle Prize? Got any tips for our readers on getting that “best this month” score? Whatever you have to say about the Ride just let us know in the comments below we would love to hear from you. If you have any questions just fire away in the comments as well.

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