Saturday, April 12, 2014

Day 2- Hollywood Studios


On Saturday we got up nice and early, leaving our condo by 7:00 a.m. to head to Hollywood Studios for the Extra Magic Hours which started at 9:00 a.m. I was really worried about going early because I wasn't sure if Denise would be able to get us in with her maingate passes but we saw people go in ahead of us with them so we were in luck. It was so nice being at the park in the cool morning without a big crowd of people. As soon as we were in the gates, Michael and I headed to the Jedi Training sign up and Scott and Denise went to ride on Tower of Terror and Rockin' Roller Coaster. 

Visiting with Aunt Denise on the way to the park- a great perk to having a rental car even though we were staying on property, Denise's property was over by Downtown Disney. Fortunately it had a Starbucks across the street which we stopped at both mornings! Win! We loved being able to just hop in our car and buzz around...I felt like when we stayed on property before lots of my memories included waiting for the bus. 

It was a beautiful morning for extra magic hours!

Michael got to participate in the Jedi Training Academy and it was so cool! I have a bagillion photos I will share those tomorrow in a separate post. I was very worried about not being able to get him signed up but actually each class can have 30 participants and there are 15 shows a day so even if you get there a little late I doubt there will be 450 kids in line ahead of you. That being said, we hustled right over there (some people were running...totally not necessary) and we were in the 2nd show of the day which was nice to get in early. When we reported back to our time a few hours later there were people still signing up for the evening times. So if it is important to you, than yes, head over there first thing but I wouldn't lose sleep over it if you are not there for extra magic hours or the first ones at the turnstiles (which I actually did lose sleep over-I was nervous!). I will talk more about this tomorrow but it was a big highlight of the trip for everyone! 

After getting signed up for the Jedi Training, Michael found a very special character he wanted to meet by the big blue hat- Stitch! 

Meeting Stitch was also a win for me because there was no line (I think character lines are deceiving and I will never stand in a long one again after being traumatized by waiting over an hour last year for Buzz and Woody- but still, worth it!) Meeting Stitch was a highlight for Michael and it made him really happy. Luckily there was a cart nearby selling Stitch friends so we got on right on the spot and it became Michael's buddy for the rest of our trip. 

We also grabbed some photos from the photopass people as I pre-purchased the memory maker package ahead of time and wanted to be sure I got some photos in! nice strolling down Sunset Boulevard with no crowds! 

On our way, Michael also spotted not one but TWO power rangers in a store window! He is obsessed with power rangers and I kept telling him I didn't think he'd see them at Disney World but he proved me wrong! Look at that smile! He said I am the yellow ranger and Denise is the pink ranger. Michael is the blue ranger and Scott is the black ranger. Got it? Good. 

We waited for Scott and Denise to get down on their rides while we sat on a nice shady bench and had a snack/coffee. It was lovely! 

Since we used Denise's guest passes to get into the park we had no way of scheduling our fastpasses ahead of time but we had no trouble finding a cast member in the park who got them all scheduled for us. We had fastpasses to Great Movie Ride, Little Mermaid and Toy Story Mania. 

Our fastpasses were scheduled for Little Mermaid right away at 9:20 but the ride was down so we watched a showing of Disney Junior Live on Stage instead. It was a short wait and a really cute show. 

It features stories from Doc McStuffins, Sofia the First and Jake and the Neverland Pirates. There are lots of special effects like bubbles and gold dubloons coming down from the ceiling.

After the show we headed over to do Star Tours and then got ready for Michael's Jedi Training Show (will post tomorrow). 

Up next was the Great Movie Ride:  

We had ridden this before in 2006 but it seemed a lot different to me- I was more impressed this time. Scott had no recollection of it and I doubt I rode it by myself so I know he went on it before! Michael liked it and wasn't too scared of any parts. It was a nice break to get out of the hot sun and not wait in line. 

After the ride we found a nice spot for our picnic lunch by the food area off the Sunset Boulevard area of the park. We had turkey sandwiches, chips, apples, and cookies. It was great! 

We were very far from all the food booths and it wasn't too busy so I didn't feel bad taking up a table. We did buy drinks and a Uncrustable for Michael so technically we were patrons of the food places if anyone was concerned. I am really happy we took our lunch to the park- it saves a lot of waiting time and everyone waiting for food looked really tired and grumpy. 

After lunch we headed to Toy Story Mania! 

At some point we also used our fastpasses of Little Mermaid (which was down earlier) and then we headed back to the resort to swim and rest before heading back in the evening. We took advantage of both the cars and nemo pools and it was a refreshing break (unfortunately, no photos! I know, what?? Come on, Rose!)

The break was just what we needed and we headed back to the park around 5:30 and got to ride the parking lot tram!

Michael, why are you not more excited? It is the parking lot tram!

Okay, that is better! 

Back into the park, we wandered the streets of America and ended up at the Honey, I Shrunk the Kids play area. It closed about 5 minutes after we got in but it was still cool to look around a little bit. I think Michael thought it was neat and we even watch the movie a few weeks ago. 

Film slide! 


We then caught a quick viewing of the Muppet Vision 3D show and then ate dinner at Pizza Planet. Right after that we headed over to get seats for Fantasmic- about 45 minutes before the show started. 

Wow- I had no idea Fantasmic filled up so quickly! This was getting seated almost 45 minutes early and we felt like we grabbed some of the last seats. I would definitely recommend being there an hour or more early or waiting for the later show if there are two. 

Did someone say Mickey bar? 

We had some glow sticks to keep up entertained that I brought from home and Scott ran out to get us some snacks. It didn't seem like too long before the show started and there were cast members up front who led the crowd in trivia games and Disney sing alongs. 

Mmm...Mickey bar. Michael devoured this in seconds! 

"Say Cheese!"

We had also seen Fantasmic on our 2006 trip but I had very little memory of it and this show was awesome. We had good seats and the weather was perfect. It was fun to see all the characters and to just sit back and enjoy the show. 

Michael was so excited when he spotted Stitch on the boat of characters that came out! 

Overall, it was a great day at Hollywood Studios. It was warm but we never felt too hot and really did a good job of pacing ourselves so we weren't too tired. I didn't even have sore feet! 

I'll be back again tomorrow with the Jedi Training photos and then we'll wrap it up with our last day at Magic Kingdom! 


  1. I think we will skip Fantasmic this time, but your post is making me second guess that! I am so excited for the Disney Junior show at TS Mania!

  2. Brings back some great memories from our recent trip. Benjamin too was super excited about the Power Rangers. :)


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