Due to the nature of our tickets, 10 day base tickets without park hopping, we had planned out exactly how many days we would be spending in each park and Hollywood studios was only getting 2 days. Our first day, we had spent most of the time waiting at the animation courtyard, so we needed to be a lot more organised for today. Phil and I sat down the night before, and worked out the entire day with the times guide. We don’t normally like to plan our days like this, but with the shows in Hollywood only being offered a few times a day, and some of them lasting an hour, if you want to see everything you need a plan of attack.
We were up relatively early, and walked to the park. It’s quite a pleasant walk before it gets too hot.
(I didn’t bring the big camera today, so these are all from my little Lumix pocket camera)
Molly has never stopped talking about riding this, and I’ve been nominated to join her
I’m very curious to go inside,and see the ride queue and the ‘story’, but I’m not so keen on the drops, but Carole said it was her favourite ride, and I trust Carole, so I’m going to do it….
As we approached the park, there were 100s of people waiting to get in. I’ve read a tip about a secret side entrance, but as far as I could tell there was a side bag check, but then you were being directed to the main entrance, so we just had to wait. It didn’t take as long as it looked, and I was in no hurry to check into that hotel…..
More nervous than I look.
We had fastpasses for 9.25, but we got to the ride about 9.10 and were able to walk straight on. The queue for Rock n Roller was right out the gate, but there was no queue for Tower of Terror. We decided to walk on and then we could fastpass a second ride if we wanted too.
I’m not sure what to say about the ride, other than Oh My God….. I loved walking through the hotel, and thought the theming was very clever. We were in the front row, and had a good view of all the effects. For some reason, I thought we were going to see a view over the park and then drop, but we dropped before that, so that was fun! And then we went up, and we dropped, and up and down. It seemed to happen 100s of times. I honestly don’t know how many but I was just screaming the entire time.
the doors did open at one point, but I can’t say I really appreciated the view….
We had fastpasses but neither of us were particularly keen to go back on…..
Just as an aside, Molly’s goal for this trip is to ride everything at WDW, this was on her list, and she needs to ride Space Mountain and then she will have done all the rides in Disney. This is a great plan, except she likes someone to join her on these rides.
We met up with Phil and Katie, who had been through the Pirates of the Caribbean experience and taken a look in One Man’s Dream. As we met them near the new Frozen Wonderland we took a look inside. The girls were adamant they weren’t going to skate, but then they saw the rink (which is quite small), and Katie said the ice looked really good, and suddenly she was keen, even with hockey boots and a helmet. They do fixed half hour sessions, on the half hour, and it was 9.45, so rather than wait until 10.30, we booked to come back and skate at 2.30. There was quite a long line to build a snowman, so we didn’t do that.
On our way out, we posed for a photo in front of this snowy scene. there were a lot of these blank scenes and I have to admit, I didn’t quite ‘get’ it until I looked at the photo later.
Next on our schedule was the back lot tour, and that was right next door. We were the first people to enter the queue and I was a little worried we might get asked to perform which is definitely not my thing. We weren’t asked, but neither was anybody else, and they ran the pre-show with no guests, which was a little strange and rather left something lacking. 1000 tons of water is impressive, but it’s a lot funny when it’s landing on someone’s head.
(I can never watch this without remembering a day in Hollywood Studios with Dave, Bev, Michelle and Neil)
(Michelle & Neil’s daughter Natalie is under there somewhere!)
This whole section seemed very short and rushed today, I think maybe they were running behind? although it wasn’t at all busy so I don’t know why it would matter. Anyway, we were rushed through and quickly on the tram.
The costume department was very busy – one of the few time we’ve been through during the working day.
They have painted a smile on Walt’s plane, Molly was not impressed and thought this was most inappropriate.
We had to pull into this canyon for a moment, and would you believe it, a truck caught fire,
Luckily there was a flood conveniently timed to put the fire out
I do like this view of the Streets of America
After the tour, the next thing on our list was Indiana Jones. As we walked around to the theatre we saw the Monsters Inc characters, so we stopped for a photo. I liked the signs in the waiting area,.
The menu reminded me of our Year 5 ICT class, with the Monster Menu
Sully does good hugs – 2 at once.
We walked down through Streets of America – and spotted this very long queing area, I think this must be for the Frozen sing-a-long which fortunately is not on our list for today.
It was around 11, and they do this little Frozen parade at 11. They seem to close off vast areas of the park for it to pass through, so I was a little worried we wouldn’t actually be able to get to the Indiana Jones show, but we were allowed to cross. We got there a little early, but were all quite happy to sit, and eat ice cream while we waited.
The was no boulder in the first scene of the show. I have a vague recollection that this is a common occurrence? It’s a shame as the scene was missing something without it.
I was quite pleased not to be a volunteer….
and quite amused at the guy still wearing his Mickey Ears….
Next up on our list was Rock n Roller Coaster for Molly and Phil, but we had a break before their Fastpass, so we decided on some lunch. We went down to the food court area near Rock n Roller coaster. I went to one stand for a Deli Sandwich, and Phil and the kids went to another for burgers and chicken nuggets. They were absolutely ages, and I was starting to think there was a problem, eventually Phil appeared and said that the till had frozen and he hadn’t been able to pay. They had tried to fix the till, and then as his food was already prepared they just gave it to him for free. So we were quite pleased with that result.
After lunch, Molly and Phil went off to Rock N roller coaster, and Katie and I browsed the shops. We had planned a fastpass for Toy story but I couldn’t’ get the times to line up with the RnRc, and we would have been late for Lights, Motors action, so we decided to shop instead.
While we were waiting, we saw this street act, they were quite funny. Doing a math based act.
Molly was adamant that she was going to ride this, I think partially because her older sister won’t ride. But I have to say she wasn’t too sure when she got off. She’s ridden it twice now, and she said she doesn’t think she needs to do it again.
After we found each other again (a bit of a challenge as our usual spot of under the hat, is taken over with the frozen show), we went round to Lights Motors Action. This is only run twice a day, so it’s very busy and we didn’t want to miss it or it was going to throw off our whole schedule. We were quite late getting there which meant we were right at the top of the stadium. They said the show was delayed to start due to technical difficulties, I’m not sure what that was all about but there were people streaming into the stadium right until it eventually started.
This is an impressive show, but it’s a really hot stadium, there is no relief from the heat at all. we had a couple of drinks but we were just too hot. Personally, I just wanted to be out of the stadium but I think the others enjoyed it.
(the backwards car)
The Spy Car with secret weapon
We eventually made it out of Dante’s inferno and our scheduling proved a real blessing, next stop, Frozen Funland…. We got there and collected the helments, hockey boots and socks. As the girls were putting on their hockey boots, I got chatting to a group of cast members. I asked them if they were skaters, and was going to ask how my figure skaters would find hockey boots, but before I’d even got the words out of my mouth, the manager said ‘I’ve got some figure skates in the back that I can loan you’, Katie’s face lit up, she had wanted to skate but she really wasn’t keen on the hockey boots at all. The manager was also saying that some people were bringing their own boots but she thought they were mad as they are heavy to carry around the park. This was exactly my view, I could take them to Orlando but I wasn’t keen on walking around with boots all day.
The lovely manager found us 2 pairs of softec boots with figure blades, they weren’t pretty white boots but the girls said they were comfortable if a little blunt. Before the session started, a couple came out and did a little show.
They didn’t do anythign too technical (Katie said there was an axel), but it was a cute show and the crowd enjoyed it. After the show, cast members came out and fixed the ice. Before the show, there had been a zamboni on, and now people with buckets of ice were smoothing it out. We were quite amused at the effort for a bunch of none skaters to cling onto the barriers.
My shy retiring daughter turns into a different person when she’s got boots on her feet. She was particularly pleased to have to wear a helmet!
there was a photopass photographer taking pictures from the end of the rink.
I couldn’t quite work out how we were going to get the photos, but she came around after the session and gave us a photopass card with our photos linked to it.
The half hour session went by very quickly, and I had really appreciated spending the time in the cool. It was very cool in this area, colder than most of the other indoor areas , btu it was lovely and refreshing. I am quite happy next to a cold rink, and even though the girls couldn’t do much in the way of skating, it was lovely to just stand and watch them.
After the excitement of ice skating, we had another little break before the next showing of Beauty and the Beast which was the last thing on our ‘must do’ list for the day. We decided to get a snack from the Writers Stop. Now, this place gets rave reviews as a hidden gem, but it’s the second time we’ve been and then second time I’ve been disappointed. the problem isn’t the place, it’s cute and they have nice drinks and snacks, but the extreme lack of seating is ridiculous. There is a sofa and a couple of chairs but the people sat there looked like they were settled in for the day, one lady had her laptop out and appeared to be doing work. I live my laptop, but I don’t take it to a theme park. There are also 3 tall tables, but again, no one appeared to be moving anytime soon. So, we grabbed our drinks and cakes and went and sat on a wall outside. With so little inside seating, there needs to be some shaded outside seating, but there isn’t really anything nearby, so we opted for the wall. Next time, I think we’d go to starring rolls, similar food and lots of tables outside.
Anyway, no photos as it was far too hard to balance drinks and cakes without taking photos as well. molly had an Olaf marshmallow snowman, I had a brownie in the shape of Mickey ears, Phil had a carrot cake cookie, I can’t remember what Katie had (no you see why I take photographs)
The writers stop is also a bookshop, and Katie had bought a Kingdom Keepers book earlier this week, so decided to buy the 2nd in the series. Molly bought a book about all the animated characters.
After our break, it was time to walk down to the Beauty and the Beast show. You can get a fastpass for this, but we noticed that for all the shows, the fastpass times mean you have to be in the show at least 10 minutes before it starts, and if you arrive 10 minutes early you would always get seated anyway, so I wouldn’t waste a fastpass on any of the shows.
We had good seats for the show, right in the middle, and I did get quite enthusiastic and video one of the songs, but now I can’t find it on the memory card. I wonder if I had actually pressed record?
After the show, we decided it was time to go. We had done everything on our list, and were quite pleased with ourselves for that. the only other thing I would have liked to do was to have another attempt at seeing the cowboy scene on the great movie ride, but as molly said, we will just have to come back to Orlando again.
We got the boat back to the Swan and Dolphin and then walked across the bridge to the Boardwalk, this saves about 10 minutes and is quite a quick walk across the bridge.
We were all tired, and we are moving to Bay Lake tomorrow, so we need to pack. But we just chill out for an hour or so, and then we go to Fuddruckers for tea. Fuddruckers is at the Crossroads, and we’ve now worked out that it’s much easier to dip out onto the I4 before Downtown Disney rather than drive past it. However, Crossroads itself was crazily busy and just driving across the lot was very slow going.
We ordered at the counter, and then we were seated and a waiter brings out your food, it’s like a cross between fast food and full service. They do a family deal for $25 which his good for those Dibbers looking for a budget meal out. We didn’t have that as Katie eats an adults meal, but even with 3 adult meals, 1 kjids meals and 2 milk shakes, our bill was only just over $40.
Molly and Katie had burgers, Phil had a salad and I had chicken fingers, not very classy but I rather fancied them. There is a salad bar to top up your burgers. both girls also had Oreo milkshakes which were lovely, The kids milkshake isn’t very big but the adults one is huge with enough for a second glass as well.
After dinner, we were stuck in traffic trying to leave the Crossroads for ages. In the future, we will avoid this area as most of the restaurants here have other branches that must be less congested.
We made it back to the Boardwalk and pulled out the cases and started to pack. While I am quite excited to try the Bay Lake Towers, I do love it here and I don’t really want to move. I’m also not so excited to be moving back into a studio but I am definitely not complaining, we’ve still got 4 more days of fun and I want to make the most of them.