Thursday, November 7, 2013

Disney Recap: Hollywood Studios

Just joining us for the recap?  Check out all of the previous Disney World posts here!

This was the day that I was most nervous about: we were heading to Hollywood Studios and hoping beyond hope that we would be able to get Jake signed up for the Jedi Training Academy that is offered there.  I had heard that there is a mad dash at park opening to get to sign-ups, and that they often fill up very quickly.  While Brian more or less went along with whatever I said we were doing for the entire trip and let me plan the whole thing, this was the one thing that he had an opinion about and said he'd do whatever it takes to get Jake into it.

So, there we were at 7:20am at the gates of Hollywood Studios!  The bus ride from our resort was much faster than we anticipated (less than 10 minutes!) so we were literally the first people at one of the turnstiles that morning.  Go us!  Fortunately, they had success and were able to secure a spot for Jake in the 11am show!  Phew, now we could move on with our day (I'll do a post about the training all by itself, it deserves a solo post!)  And while walking over to meet us, Brian and Jake ran into Stitch!!

The first thing we went on was Toy Story Mania, it was so much fun for everyone!  We rode it standby first thing, and we had fast pass + reservations for it late afternoon, so we got to go twice.

Grandparent love!!
Next up was Star Tours; all of the grown ups loved it, Jake didn't care for it, Liam was too little to ride.
ready to take on Darth Vader!
After that, we made our way over to our next Fast Pass + reservations: Tower of Terror and Rock n Roller Coaster!  This isn't the best quality (picture of a picture) but check out that back row of crazies on the Tower of Terror:

I have no explanation as to why I look like I am imitating the claws of a wild animal.

We made some time in the afternoon for character meetings....first up, the army men from toy story!  Liam was funny here, there were 2 identical army men and he insisted on meeting them both and getting them both to sign his autograph book :)

Next of their favorites (note their matching shirts!)...JAKE!!

Video of their interaction with Jake:

To be honest, I would have loved for the boys to meet more characters (because they loved doing it), but the lines were just way too long sometimes.  We only had to wait about 10 minutes to meet Jake, but Sophia was right next to him and her wait was probably closer to 30 minutes.  Liam was asking to meet her, but was quickly distracted with the promise of ice cream, so we dodged that bullet.

Face of bliss.

I found Hollywood Studios to be one of the harder parks to tour efficiently, mainly due to the number of shows and experiences there vs. rides.  We also had Jedi Training to take into account (which was at 11am) so we were working around that and our existing Fast Pass + reservations, plus a lunch reservation.  We did get to see a number of shows: Muppets 3D (very cute, kids got a kick out of it), Disney Junior Live on Stage (Liam was mesmerized...the grandparents were good sports about sitting through it, let's just leave it at that!), The Little Mermaid (short, good show, especially since it was air conditioned, it was a nice break to fill some time right before dinner)  I really would have liked to have made it to the Lights, Motor, Action stunt show but it was only running 2 times that day and we missed both shows :(  Same thing with Beauty & the Beast, the timing just didn't work out.  But, I do feel like we still got to do and see a lot, so no complaints here!

After grabbing a quick bite to eat for dinner, we headed over to the 7:30pm showing of Fantasmic.  I had heard great things about this show and while it was certainly enjoyable, I think we were all just done by then.

that was Jake's expression for the entire show.  He had a death grip on my shirt.
It had been a long day, Jake was scared of the show, and I just kept looking around the insane number of people in the theater and thinking "OMG, all of these people are going to be leaving at the same time, this is going to take forever!"  It did take a long time to get out, though not quite as bad as I thought.  Anyway---good show, just not sure it was a good pick for us to stay quite that late for it when we had been at the park so long.  They both ended up crashing in the stroller on the walk out.

 That's a wrap at Hollywood Studios!!

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