Join Us For a Ride on Alien Swirling Saucers — Including an Interview with Executive Creative Director of Walt Disney Imagineering, Dave Minichiello

Take a peek inside Toy Story Land at Walt Disney World. We interview Dave Minichiello – Executive Creative Dir of Walt Disney Imagineering.
Toy Story Land Alien Swirling Saucers Ride Interview.jpg

Get ready to say “Ooooooohhh!”, As Alien Swirling Saucers is an out of this world attraction for all ages. Recently we had the opportunity to attend a special media preview of Toy Story Land to sample to cuisine at Woody’s Lunchbox, interview Imagineers, and of course, ride both Alien Swirling Saucers and Slinky Dog Dash.

In Alien Swirling Saucers guests will board toy rocket ships piloted by the three-eyed Aliens — a playset that Andy won at Pizza Planet. The attraction features 22 ride vehicles set upon 2 playset platform areas (11 vehicles on each platform). Once aboard the rocket ships guests will enjoy a spectacular light show and electronic space music with familiar tunes. During the duration of the approximately 2-minute attraction, the ride vehicles will circle 2-times around four objects; Planet Pepperonia, a pizza shaped satellite, an Alien in the clutches of the claw, and an Alien blasting with a jet-pack.

You may recognize that Alien Swirling Saucers in similar to Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree at Disney’s California Adventure Park. While the ride is a similar concept, I found that Alien Swirling Saucers attraction whips and whirls you a lot more than the Cars Land attraction.

Buzz Lightyear statue at Toy Story Land

Before boarding Alien Swirling Saucers, guests can pose for photos with a 14-foot tall Buzz Lightyear action figure that stands tall just outside the attraction queue area. If you look on top of the attraction, you’ll notice a Buzz Lightyear’s toy box (shown above), which is incredible and we really wish the box was accessible for photo-ops.

Once in line for Alien Swirling Saucers, you’ll be transported into Star Command where you can imagine that you are a Galactic Space Ranger as the queue area is painted with colorful graphics and various themed props. While waiting in line be sure to be on the lookout for hidden Mickey’s and an image of a Buzz Lightyear spacesuit without Buzz in it!

If you hear a familiar “Ooooohh!”, Veteran Pixar Story Artist, Jeff Pidgeon (who originally voiced the three-eyed Aliens) reprised his vocal work for the attraction, including the Spanish phrases where Pidgeon worked closely with a dialect coach to make sure it was perfect.

Alien Swirling Saucers Ride Photo

There are a handful of easter eggs hidden within the attraction itself, for those searching for the famed A113 be sure to look at all the bold graphics in the Star Command queue area. My favorite easter egg or design element of the attraction happens to be in the fencing surrounding Alien Swirling Saucers, if you look closely you’ll notice the metal designs spell “OH,” the Alien’s signature one-liner (see photo below).

Alien Swirling Saucers Ride Easter Eggs

While visiting Toy Story Land, I had the pleasure of speaking with Executive Creative Director of Walt Disney Imagineering, Dave Minichiello who shared a few insights into Alien Swirling Saucers, in the video (embedded below) you’ll see our on-ride footage, as well as what the attraction looks like both during the day and at night — in my opinion, Toy Story Land really comes to life at night.

Though Alien Swirling Saucers is not a so-called ‘thrill’ attraction, I found it to be a ton of fun and honestly couldn’t stop laughing during the duration of the ride. The Disney Imagineers and Theme Park team at Pixar Animation Studios have done a wonderful job creating attractions set in a land that truly appear as if it was made from the imaginative mind of Andy. The immersive 11-acre Toy Story Land is a welcomed addition to Disney’s Hollywood Studios and we can’t wait to visit and relive the magic again.

Pixar Post — Julie

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