Friday, April 15, 2011

Day 4 at Disney World: Hollywood Studios (Part II)

My last post outlined our big plan for the day at Hollywood Studios and we did a pretty good job of sticking with it.  It was our first time there but we had a better idea of how everything works at Disney World but that time.

First of all, we picked up Fast Passes for Toy Story Mania because it's really the most popular attraction at Hollywood Studios.  We were there quite early and the Fast Pass was already for mid afternoon so it was a good thing we picked them up right away!

Voyage of the Little Mermaid - We parked the stroller as usual and then went to watch The Voyage of the Little Mermaid.  It was another theatre-based show with lots of special effects to make you feel like we were under the sea ourselves.  As usual, the singing was fantastic and we really enjoyed it.  Both Connor and Aleena were a bit scared by the special effects as they did a great job of depicting the Sea Witch with smoke, darkness, water bursts, scary music, etc.  They did all right with some hugs though!  Apparently we didn't take any photos or video of this show although I thought we did.  I'll add it if I find it.

Playhouse Disney - Live on Stage! - This was located right across the street from the Little Mermaid show so we were able to go there right away.  It has frequent showings and happened to be starting right when we finished the last one so we went right in without delay for another show!  This one is great for toddlers and young elementary school aged children.  I took some video that I'll share with you.  I sat at the back with Aleena and Connor sat on the floor with Jeremy. Basically, it's all the favourite Disney characters in a traditional Disney type kids show where Mickey, Donald Duck, Daisy Duck, and Goofy plan a birthday party for Minnie Mouse.  It was cute and sweet for the little kiddos.   Sorry about the shaky video but I had an almost one year old trying to grab the camera.

Mickey Mouse Character Greetings - Again, these were also nearby and we had our stroller parked in the same place the whole time.  We went inside the History of Disney Animation building for the character greeting with Mickey Mouse.  This time, he was wearing the Fantasmic costume but Connor loved Mickey no matter what he was wearing.  We got some cute photos of Connor and then a few other family photos as well.  The wait wasn't too bad..maybe about ten minutes and it was nice to wait inside!

After this very efficient rush of activity, we gave ourselves a huge pat on the back.  Our plans seemed to be working!  We made our first trip to our favourite attraction, the Baby Centre, before getting back to our itinerary.

Baby Centre - Here's a short little review of the baby centre at Hollywood Studios since I'm sure inquiring minds want to know.  It's a bit smaller than the one at Animal Kingdom but still nice.  There are two private nursing areas with rocking chairs and they can be closed off with a heavy movie-like curtain.  There is a small room with TV pumping out the Disney movies and also a small room in the back with a couple of change tables and a toddler-only washroom.  It was clean and in excellent condition.  We made 3-4 visits to the baby centre while we were there.

Next, we split up for  a few minutes so Jeremy could pick up our Fast Passes for the Tower of Terror.  You are only allowed one Fast Pass per every two hours.  I took the kids for cold drinks and we walked towards the next show and enjoyed a few moments in the shade until Jeremy arrived.

Muppet Vision 3-D - This show was hilarious and another of my favourites.  It was even fun waiting for the show to begin as they bring you in a room with TVs and it has various muppets doing silly things on multiple screens that are sort of talking to each other.  The show itself included all your muppet faves including Kermit, Miss Piggy, etc.  We loved it and even Connor agreed to leave his 3-D glasses on for part of the show.  Again, there were lots of special effects and I would definitely recommend it!

Character Greeting with Cars - Okay, they aren't "real" but Connor "met" the cars and I took a few photos.  They were located at the Streets of America set background and I got a few fun photos of Connor on a city street. Don't worry, he wasn't in any danger!  :-)

ABC Commissary - This was a nice, big, and most importantly air conditioned restaurant with typical items such as hamburgers and fries.  They also had chicken curry and rice which was kind of a nice change.  We enjoyed a nice, quiet lunch after a busy morning.  There are lots of restaurants for either table service or counter service at Hollywood Studios and it really was a quiet day as there was no line up and no crowd.

Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage - I think I was looking forward to this show the most at Hollywood Studios as I have always loved the movie.  I bought a copy at Christmas and now Connor loves it too.  He asks to watch Beauty and the Beast all the time.  The show takes play in an outdoor (but covered) amphitheatre on the other side of the park so we had quite a walk to get there.  As I said before though, it was a quiet day so we didn't have to wait and even had time for diaper changes..yep, we worked those in whenever we could.  I took lots of photos and some video.

The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror - This was our only actual ride the whole time we were at Disney World.  I think that's one reason we would love to go back but there just wasn't a lot of time for rides and we had to take turns going on them.  It actually wasn't a huge deal and you can bypass the line with Fast Passes and something called a rider swap so the second person can go directly into the Fast Pass line regardless.  We both enjoyed this ride.  It was a lot of fun and while I wasn't particularly scared but I had a good laugh at the reactions of other people in my "elevator".  It was a great experience and I am glad we got to try out at least one ride!

Jeremy took this photo the following evening as we actually went on the ride during the day.
Toy Story Mania - This is super cool!!  You ride along with a video game type gun and it's basically a shooting game but everything is huge and you're riding along for the whole thing.  You can even compete against people in your car and it gives you your final score at the end.  I can see why it's so popular as like most video games, you want to do it over and over again to improve on your score.  Jeremy and I both loved it!  We were too busy shooting targets, balloons, rockets, etc. so no photos of inside..sorry!

Studio Backlot Tour - This tour sounds kind of boring but it wasn't at all.  It was actually quite exciting after we got motoring along and ended up on the side of a fake cliff where a whole semi erupted in fire and tons of water came pouring down while our tour trolley rocked back and forth.  It was all very dramatic until you drive around and see the behind the scenese part and realize it's all very fake!  I found it all quite interesting and maybe this is why I loved Hollywood Studios so much. It's interesting to see how movies are made and amazing to see how much goes into it all.

Monsters Character Greetings - We were getting the hang of these photo ops by now and happened to see a quick line to the Monsters so we stopped briefly for some pictures with them.

Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular - This was our last show for the day and it wasn't a disappointment.  I think there's a general theme here but everything at Disney really is just very well done.  Nothing is going to disappoint you although I think everyone can pick out their favourites.  I loved this as it showed how the stunts were done for the Indiana Jones movies including the scene where Harrison Ford's stunt double dodges a huge boulder.  I loved watching this show and it also made me realize that even though movies have a lot of magic and special effects, the stunts are still extremely dangerous. I couldn't believe how confidently the actors were flying through the air and jumping off buildings! Here's a photo of the set.  I took lots of video too and plan on adding some but it's uploading really slowly right now so I'll add it later.

That concludes our very busy and very fun day at Hollywood Studios!

Next up: Day 5 at Disney World: Hollywood Studios (Part III) - We went back the next evening to watch Fantasmic and ended up taking lots of evening photos and managed to get some great video of the show.  It is the BEST show at Disney World and not to be missed.

With all that said, I will be posting my long overdue review and giveaway tomorrow.  I was just waiting to get better photos to show off the adorable items that will be up for grabs.  That's right!  There will be two winners so make sure to check it out.

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