Day 12–Hollywood Studios and MK

This getting up early is getting serious now,   we are up and out by 7:15,  as we want to get to Hollywood Studios for Extra Magic Hours which start at 8am.    We have a nice walk along the river bank,  and get to MGM (as I will insist on calling it) in plenty of time.   We wait for the opening, and are allowed in about 7:50.    There is no longer a rope drop,  as soon as you are in,  you can head right into the park,   so we all walk straight for Toy Story Mania.  The kids run ahead and by the time we get there, they have fast passes in hand, and we walk onto the ride.   And I mean,  we walk straight on.   There is no queue at all.   I was really surprised.    I love this ride,  dead straight forward, and not complicated or scary, but it’s good fun.    By the time we get off, the queue is up to 40 minutes and there are people standing outside the building.   We did well!

We wander towards Star Tours,  stopping for an over exposed photo in a very empty park.


(how did I get the only 2 other people in the park, in my photo?     It was early and I think I was still half asleep,  camera was still set up from the previous day)

We got to Star Tours and walked straight on.  Katie commented on ‘The Gold Man’,   so I think we need to educate Katie on Star Wars.


   I have only ridden the old version they have in Paris.  This was loads better,  really really good fun.    There are different sequences,  so you don’t see the same show each time.   What I particularly liked was the whole ride was so smooth,  so I didn’t feel jerked around or seasick at all.   It was very slick.  We all came off very excited so we walked around and went straight back on.   Molly and Phil didn’t fancy a second ride,  so they went for RnRC fastpasses.

The second ride was even better that the first.   We had a snow sequence where we went sliding down a mountain,  and then we went underwater and got attacked by a sea monster.  It was brilliant.

After Star Tours,  it was time for our fastpass on Toy Story Mania.    Once again we were straight on the ride,   that’s 4 rides before 9am and no queuing!  It’s definitely worth getting up early.

Our next stop is Rock N Roller Coaster.  Phil and I rode this once about 7 years ago,  Molly has never ridden it, but she’s really keen to try it,  and Nicola wants to try but she’s not really sure if she will like it.   The other’s are chicken and sit it out.

We have fastpasses, so we get on very quickly,  and Molly doesn’t even flinch when she sees the car take off.    I don’t think Nicola is at all sure, but she says she wants to do it,  so we board our limo and 3 2 1,  we take off.   The take off is absolutely breathtaking, and once the ride starts it never stops,   there isn’t a single moment when you can stop and check if the person next to you is ok.    I couldn’t ride this often, but I enjoy it,   it’s amazingly fast and loud and exhilarating.

When we stop,  I check everyone is ok,  and Molly thinks it was fab,  and Nic’s is not quite so happy.  But she’s survived and she’s ok,  I don’t think she will be rushing back on though!


It’s not even 10 o’clock and we’ve hit 5 big rides and no queues.    We are on a roll.  We have a photo done on the way to Muppets 3D and then we head out of the park



We head out of the park around 10:45 and catch the bus over to Magic Kingdom.   We can’t get a bus direct to MK,  we have to go to TTC and then catch the monorail.

When we get to MK we are all hungry,  and our ADR for Crystal Palace isn’t until 1:30.  We walk up through the shops, and I buy a new t-shirt (they are offering 20% of in the shops if you buy before noon),   and then we go to Crystal Palace and see if we can be seated early.    It’s really really quiet, and we are seated straight away.   The restaurant was really empty,  and almost as soon as we were seated we got to see 3 characters in quick succession.






In between the cuddles and the photo ops,  we had some lunch.    They had some salmon which was delicious,  so I had quite a large helping of that, plus lots of other stuff.  No food photos,  by the time we took all the character photos we needed some time to eat!  All in all, I think the characters came around about 4 times!


It was feeling a bit more crowded than MGM but still not too bad.   We decided to start with Mickey’s Philharmagic.  I’ve got to admit I didn’t see any of the show,  I sat down and I was dozing within seconds!

Our next stop was It’s a Small World. 


This actually had a bit of a line,   but it wasn’t too bad.  There were 2 sides to the line,  so the kids went in one side and we went in the other.  Somehow,  they ended up in front of us.    At the last minute,  I thought we were going to overtake them,  but then they passed us at the final hurdle Smile


I tried to take some photos in the ride,  not because I really need any photos of It’s a Small World, but it’s really hard to take photos on the rides,  so I like to try and see what I can manage.  (Plus, you need to do something to distract yourself on this ride)

  This is the only one that came out.


In our mission to avoid all queues,  and sit down a lot,   our next stop was Hall of Presidents.   I haven’t been in here for years,  but I thought it would be a great opportunity for another nap.    However, something bizarre happened when it started,  it was actually really quite interesting.  Well, certainly more interesting than I was expecting.

When we came out of Hall of Presidents it had been raining,  and the parade was just passing by.   We managed to get a partial view from some steps by Hall of Presidents,  and when the rain started again we all donned our ponchos.  We decided it was time to go,  we’d had a very early start, and we’d done loads but we were all quite tired by now.    We walked off wearing our ponchos and within minutes the rain had stopped,  so we looked a bit daft!

I tried a bit of artistic nonsense on Main Street.




We caught the bus back to the Boardwalk,  and crashed out.   We borrowed a movie and watched Tangled,  and then Molly and Phil went for a swim.

Eventually,  we roused ourselves and went to Chili’s for some tea.  The traffic around DTD was really heavy and it took us a little while to get there.  We had a table with a view of the tvs,  so we sat eating and watching the Olympics,   we saw Usain Bolt,  and the Blade Runner,  plus quite a lot of Beach Volleyball.  The Beach volleyball seems to be getting a lot of coverage over here!

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