Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Walt Disney World Day 5: Disney's Hollywood Studios

Day five of our trip was our day at Hollywood Studios. (Day 1 Arrival, Day 2 Epcot, Day 3 Islands of Adventure, and Day 4 Resort and Downtown Disney if you want to read those first). We were out of the resort on time and at the turnstiles 15 minutes before opening but the cast members were already letting people in. We stopped to take some Photopass pictures as we entered.

Ready for our day!

Our first stop was Toy Story Mania for fastpasses. Even though it was before 9am the fastpass return time was 12:00-1:00pm. There was even a short line to get fastpasses. 

 Planning our next stop

 It's more fun than a barrel of monkeys

Fastpasses in hand we made a beeline for Rockin Roller Coaster. There was no wait so we grabbed baby swap passes and Nate and the big kids rode while Orion and I waited at the exit. The kids loved it. It was one of their favorite rides! Phoenix and Wynter rode with me with the baby swap pass. Having the baby with us allowed the big kids to ride most of the big rides more than once. Rockin Roller Coaster was fun but a bit bumpy for me. I think I'm getting old because I used to love thrill rides but this trip there were a few rides that were fun but a little more intense than I prefer.

Rockin Roller Coaster

The wait was about 15 minutes for Tower of Terror so we grabbed baby swap passes and Nate and the big kids rode while Orion and I grabbed a cup of coffee and relaxed in the shade. After they rode I took Phoenix and Brennan back for a 2nd ride. Wynter wasn't a fan of Tower of Terror at Disney's California Adventure but I told her to give it one more shot. She used to be a very cautious kid and scared of everything but we've found it we give her some gentle encouragement she finds she likes most things, even thrill rides (Rockin Roller Coaster was one of her favorites). After riding with Nate she didn't want to ride it again. Tower of Terror used to be one of my favorites but sad to say it was a bit intense this time but still fun.

All 4 kids in front of the Chinese theater as we walked by.

Up close

Next stop was the studio backlot tour. We ended up waiting a good 15-20 minutes for this ride. Not a horrible wait but longer than a lot of things this trip. At least in the first queue there are TV's and things to look at. Timing wise I think we got there right as one was starting, then we barely missed the cut for the next one but soon enough we were on our way. I was born in the LA area and still have family there so I've been to Universal Studios numerous times but it has been 14 or 15 years. From what I remember the studio backlot at Universal Studios Hollywood is a much better tour. I think part of the problem at Hollywood Studios is there isn't a lot (if any) real filming going on. The tour was fun though.

The intro involves audience members and fire and water. It was neat to see up close.

Mickey water tower

After we exited the studio backlot tour we happened upon a meet and greet with Mike and Sulley from Monsters Inc. There was no wait so we stopped to say hello.

Brennan giving Mike a hug

Phoenix was not sure about these monsters!

All six of us

Mike wanted to say "hi" to Orion too.

We don't have a lot of pictures from the rest of the day. The only reason I can think of was the torrential downpour and rainy weather the rest of the afternoon. Next it was time for our fastpasses to Toy Story Mania. I was really excited to ride this since during our last trip to Disney's California Adventure all the fastpasses had run out and there were 90 minute waits so we never rode. It was so much fun. The decorations were cute and the ride was a lot of fun. Orion rode with me but I'm glad I had him in the carrier because it would have been hard to play and hold on to him tight enough since it whips around the corner pretty quickly. Toy Story Mania was my favorite ride at Hollywood Studios. I would have rode it again if the line wasn't so long and fastpasses hadn't ran out right away.

We stopped by Little Mermaid but we had just missed it and the next show was 20 minutes so the cast member encouraged us to come back. We then went to catch the next Indiana Jones Stunt Show. I was worried it would be too loud for Orion but I figured I could just leave if it was and meet Nate and the kids at the stroller. It was way too loud so I left a minute in. After the first scene a huge thunder storm rolled in and the show was cut short for safety reasons. It was starting to rain but not too bad yet.

We grabbed a baby swap pass to Star Tours and Nate and the big kids rode that. The rain was really starting to come down so I had to try to find better shelter. I had my poncho on and I had Orion's clipped to the stroller. It was raining so hard and he was pulling on it so on the way to the bathroom the poor kid got soaked. The temperature really dropped during the downpour and we were both freezing. We hid out in the bathroom for awhile. I got him a clean diaper, dry clothes, and warmed him up a bit. I couldn't reach Nate on my cell because the bathroom was basement level and I had no cell coverage. People were crowded into every area with a roof over it so the entrance to the bathrooms was a mad house. I decided to make a run for Muppet Vision 3-D. I got the stroller parked and Orion and our stuff to the entrance. I kept trying to call Nate but he wasn't answering. The cast member said the show was starting and I needed a dry place with a seat to nurse Orion so I went in without Nate. I told him to hurry and try to get in. While waiting for the show to start I figured he was too late but low and behold I see Nate in the kids in the back corner of the waiting area. We were able to all sit together. I was able to nurse Orion. The show was cute and all was well.

I didn't realize it right away but at some point in the poncho on, poncho off, running in the downpour I lost one of my diamond earrings. I thought it was most likely where I had parked my stroller. We back tracked and I didn't see it there. I asked the cast member and they hadn't found anything. They were 1/4 ct TW so pretty tiny and really could have fallen out anywhere. The cast member encouraged me to call the main lost and found tomorrow as sometimes a janitor will find an earring cleaning up. The earrings weren't that expensive and were many years old at that point so I wasn't too upset, just a little bummed. I think hubby was more upset than me because they were his graduation gift to me when I graduated college.

It was still raining but lightly so we moved on. At that point I was over riding Star Tours so we headed over to Staring Rolls for a highly recommended treat. It was late afternoon at this point and the selection was slim. If you want a cupcake there I'd recommend going earlier in the day. I did get a carrot cake cupcake that was amazing but the kids couldn't all find something they wanted so a couple of them saved their snack credit for later in the day.

We caught the afternoon show of Beauty and the Beast and really enjoyed it. The theater was outdoors and I was hoping for an indoor theater with air conditioning but we survived.

Beauty and the Beast

We then went on the great movie ride. We had the gangster on our ride. I just learned this week that there is a cowboy version too. It was a fun ride.

It was getting close to our 5:30pm dinner reservation at 50's Prime Time Cafe so we headed over and checked in early. 50's Prime Time Cafe has mostly good reviews but some people complained about the food. I thought the big kids would love the banter so I booked it. The restaurant is decorated really neat and there are TV shows from the 50's playing. It feels like you are in a kitchen/dining room from a home in the 1950's. Our waitress was fun and gave the kids homework to do while we waited for our food but I wish she teased the kids even more. My kids get a kick out of these kind of things. I ordered the fried chicken and collard greens and they were delicious. Nate got the fish special, Wynter pot roast, Phoenix pot pie, and Brennan fried chicken. We were all happy with our choices. On the dining plan you could get a shake for our drink and a dessert but I think most of us chose soda or tea for a drink because it is so much food.

Our waitress checking our homework

Fantasmic and American Idol were both on our to-do list for the evening and squeezing both in was going to be a challenge. We hit the finale show of American Idol (7:30pm) which was 25 minutes long. Fantasmic started at 8pm. American Idol was a lot of fun and we're glad we didn't miss it. All the singers were really good. I loved that the winner from the day got a front of the line pass to try out for the show when auditions came to their area. As soon as the winner was chosen we hurried out of the auditorium on our way to Fantasmic.

As were walking up to Fantasmic it was announced over the loud speaker that it was standing room only. We kept going, figuring standing room only couldn't be that bad. We quickly parked our stroller and were ushered not to standing room area but nearly front row on the far right (score!). Our seats were great and we had an awesome view of the entire performance. This was the only night time show we planned due to making rope drop every day and having a 4.5 month old baby in tow. 

Fantasmic did not disappoint. It was a great show and we all loved it. Unfortunately my point and shoot camera does not take good low light photos so no photos of Fantasmic. I had heard that if you rush for the buses after Fantasmic you'll be waiting for a bus forever. We decided instead to take our time and wander out of the park slowly. We took some pictures and looked in the shops. Eventually it seemed like we were the last people in the park and were kind of being shooed out so we made our way to the buses. We waited less than 10 minutes and were the 2nd family in line. We all got a seat and the bus wasn't very crowded. It was definitely worth it to take our time.

Rockin Roller Coaster at night

Being silly

Howdy partner!

Overall we had a great day at Hollywood Studios. We made it to the turnstiles before they opened, saw most everything we wanted to see, had a yummy dinner, and enjoyed a nighttime fireworks show. Once we were back at the hotel we went to sleep quickly because tomorrow we had another big day, Animal Kingdom!


No comments: