Toys are them: Disney unveils 4-D ride at park

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Disney has unleashed more of that Pixar synergy it keeps boasting of by unveiling Toy Story Mania! mDubbed a 4-D ride and requiring the wearing of 3-D glasses, it was introduced Tuesday by CEO Robert Iger and John Lasseter, creator of the "Toy Story" franchise, at Disney's California Adventure.

Iger and Lasseter seem determined to push Pixar's CG-animated film characters at its theme parks on both coasts. To wit, Toy Story Mania! represents the first time an attraction was created for two parks simultaneously. The ride opened May 31 at Walt Disney World in Florida.

Toy Story Mania! has riders appearing to shrink to about toy-size so they might scoot through Andy's Room firing virtual projectiles at 3-D targets while collecting points for accuracy.

Lasseter outscored Iger by more than 2-to-1 during the festivities.

"I'm really, really competitive, and I want the high score," Lasseter told guests at the unveiling ceremony.

Andy's Room figures prominently in "Toy Story" and "Toy Story 2," both of which were directed by Lasseter. He is exec producing "Toy Story 3," due in 2010.

Toy Story Mania! joins a host of Pixar-inspired attractions at the Disney theme parks based on such films as "Finding Nemo," "Monsters, Inc." and "A Bug's Life."

The attractions, though, are a warm-up for the main event: a $1.1 billion Cars Land under construction that will span 12 acres at California Adventure. The five-year project scheduled for completion in 2012 could culminate with a change in the park's name.
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