After the conference, we were ready to tackle Disney World for a couple more days. We actually decided to go to Seaworld on the Friday and then back to Disney World for Saturday and Sunday. We chose to visit Hollywood Studios because a lot of the attractions and shows sounded like things we would all be interested in including Connor. Aleena just came along for the ride but she certainly seemed to enjoy a lot of the music and shows too.
If you read my previous posts, we were kind of Disney World slackers in that we didn't arrive early despite our best intentions. We were determined to improve on this and woke up early to get to Hollywood Studios for opening at 9 am. Considering we have two very young children, we did quite well at getting ready and were there around 9:15 am. We would have made it earlier but we listened to the GPS instead of common sense and clearly marked signs!
When we arrived at the park, Jeremy asked me if I had the tickets which I didn't. He didn't have them either as we had left them in the safe in our hotel room. We discovered this as we were walking towards the front entrance. Rather than panic and drive back to the hotel, we thought it was worth asking if we could get replacement tickets since it's all done electronically. Of course, we were really, really hoping we wouldn't have to drive all the way back to pick them up and fortunately, we didn't. So there ya go! If you forget your Disney World tickets, ask them for replacement tickets and it really wasn't a big deal. It caused us some stress and I wouldn't recommend forgetting your tickets but I doubt we were the first ones that have done it.
In addition to arriving on time, we actually created a touring plan for the day using a website aptly named touringplans.com. I highly recommend it as it has all the information you need regarding attractions, events, dining locations, etc. They allow you to create a map and it even labels it for you so you can take it along and navigate your way around the park. Another feature we loved is the website has wait times that you can access on a Blackberry for example. We used this while we were at the parks. It also has a crowd calendar to let you know which days are busiest including crowd levels ratings out of 10 where 10 is the highest. We were happy to see that Hollywood Studios was a 4.4 on that Saturday which was kind of odd because it was Spring break and every park was at least a 9 the whole time we were there. We figured it was because it was a Saturday and many people start their trips that day and usually choose the Magic Kingdom to see first. Also, Fantastmic, the big attraction at Hollywood Studios, wasn't playing that day.
I just realized that this post is already getting really long! I think I will just post a couple of teaser photos and write more about the actual attractions and performances tomorrow. I will also post a portion of the touring plan we used to give you an idea of what it looks like. After doing Disney World without a plan and then trying it with a plan, we'd highly recommend the latter. Admittedly, it's a bit hard to really know what you're getting into so maybe you can go without for the first day or just be very flexible with your plan.
Once you know how it all works, it's best to get your Fastpasses for the more popular attractions and to plan around performances that show at specific times. We enjoyed Hollywood Studios the best because it was amazing but I think part of the reason we loved it so much is because we were more prepared. I have copied and pasted the actual plan that we made...we added the times and other info below the attractions which I believe it gave us to choose from on the site. Also, because I copied and pasted, the little dots and markings on the map have disappeared. It actually labels all the numbers in your itinerary on the map so you can see where you are going and if it's going to work logistically.
The Two Under Three Plan
Park: Disney's Hollywood Studios
Uses EMH Morning? No
Uses EMH Evening? No
Group: Parents with Small Children
Length: One Full Day
Start: Regular Park Opening
Last Updated: March 25, 2011
Click on the [drag] and drag to reorder the steps on your plan!
- [drag] Toy Story Mania! Ride Toy Story Mania!
- [drag] Toy Story Mania! Obtain a FASTPASS for Toy Story Mania
- [drag] The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror Obtain FASTPASSes for the Tower of Terror
- [drag] Voyage of the Little Mermaid IntermittedlyCharacter Greeting with Mickey Mouse? - 17 Minutes
- [drag] Playhouse Disney - Live on Stage! 9:40, 10:30 & 11:20am, 12:10, 1:30, 2:20, 3:20, 4:10, 5:00 & 5:50pmCharacter Greeting with Mickey Mouse - Magic of Disney Animation 25 Minutes
- [drag] The Great Movie Ride The Great Movie Ride19 Minutes Skip if running behind
- [drag] Muppet*Vision 3-D See Muppet*Vision 3-DMeet Cars near Streets of America - Character Greeting
- [drag] ABC Commissary Dine at ABC Commissary
- [drag] Backlot Express Dine at Backlot Express
- [drag] Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage 11:30am, 12:45, 2:00, 4:00 & 5:45pm30 Minutes
- [drag] Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular 11:30am, 12:45, 2:00, 4:15 & 5:30pm30 Minutes
- [drag] Studio Backlot Tour Take the Studio Backlot Tour
- [drag] Journey to Narnia: Prince Caspian Walkthrough Journey to Narnia: Creating the Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe
- -- Restroom Location.
- -- Attraction distributes FASTPASS.
- -- Riders must meet height requirement. The height requirement is shown in yellow.
- -- Intense attraction. May not be suitable for young children, pregnant women, or those with certain medical conditions.