Friday, December 13, 2013

Disney: Hollywood Studios

Disney Recap: ArrivalEpcotAnimal KingdomMagic KingdomHollywood StudiosEpcot Holidays

Thursday the 28th - THANKSGIVING DAY! - we hit Hollywood Studios. [No, we did not miss our traditional Thanksgiving dinner ;-) (literally or figuratively - we had it early, the Saturday before. :-))] This park/day choice was also strategic: it was the one my parents cared about least (they went to visit Hershel's dad in Homosassa) and it was the first night of The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights! This park was much more about shows & experiences instead of rides.

First priority upon entering the park: JB went to get our FastPasses for Rock 'n' Roller Coaster® Starring Aerosmith while I took the kids to sign up for the Jedi Training Academy! Coaster: 7 PM & Jedi: 3:40 PM. On with the exploration...

Will & JB were excited for Star Tours® - The Adventures Continue, a 3D motion-simulated space flight ride. Honestly, it made me sick; I took off the 3D glasses after about 30 seconds & practiced my yoga breathing to ride it out. :-P Everyone else enjoyed, though, and I didn't want to barf all day long ;-) so SUCCESS! :-D

I shook it off, and we ventured over to Muppet*Vision 3D, an interactive 3D Muppet Show (that didn't make me ill like most 3D. ;-)) It was fun & funny!
Waldorf and Statler are *THE* BEST!!!

Next up: Indiana Jones™ Epic Stunt Spectacular! - watch "heroes triumph over traps, villains and epic obstacles, [as] a director explains the movie magic. Learn the difference between stunt doubles and stunt actors. And watch demonstrations of basic fight routines—how to safely throw and take punches, fall from tall buildings, and even wield whips in the midst of complex action sequences."

We checked out Voyage of The Little Mermaid - another show giving another retelling of the story, but I actually liked this better than MK's Under the Sea: this was a live blacklight puppet show that was really well done. :-)

The *ONLY* characters Will gave a flip about seeing in ALLLLL of Disney were Wreck-It Ralph and Vanellope Von Schweetz from one of the kids' most favorite movies. I was so impressed with how much time they took with us!
Here's a shot from waiting in line: it's a view from the movie that makes it look like you are stuck inside an out-of-order arcade game.
Welcome hugs!
Ralph walked up to JB, who was standing back by the photographer, took one of our throw blankets off him, and wrapped himself up in it. :-P Then Vanellope followed suit, and they had us join in for another pic. :-D
Vanellope didn't want to give Annelise's blanket back at first :-P but she was really cute about it. ;-)

We enjoyed a simple lunch from Catalina Eddie's in the warm sunshine before The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow experience. It was part show, part "pirate training".

Next up: Studio Backlot Tour - this was pretty long, but interesting. There was an effects section that presented a sea battle with fiery explosions & water bursts, followed by a long walk through the prop warehouse, after which we got on a tram that took us through the backlot, past the Earful Tower:
& the boneyard (where big old props & set pieces wait to be repurposed) and into the set of Catastrophe Canyon for an even bigger water + fire effects display.

But then we had to RUSH, b/c we were almost late for the kids' Jedi Training!!! That would have been such a loss! We came thisclose to them giving the kids' reservations away. (It's a coveted ticket!) WHEW!!!
They gave each kid a Jedi robe, and they all marched out to the training area together. There, a Jedi Master taught them "how to use The Force — and their wit — to wield their lightsabers." :-D They also each got to "fight" a bad guy (Darth Maul - so creepy! I was surprised that Annelise wasn't nervous ;-)) individually one-by-one before "graduating".

We kept the action high by going to Lights, Motors, Action!® Extreme Stunt Show. JB loooved getting to see the amazing stunt driving. He really appreciated all the special car details.

Finally, Will (& Annelise...and JB!) got to do what they'd been waiting for all day: they built their own custom lightsabers at Tatooine Traders. (We waited so we wouldn't have to lug them around all day. :-P) They got to choose their blade colors, switches, rings, etc. (I don't know what any of those choices meant, but it sure made them happy, so YAY!)

*I* was happy that it was finally time to ride Rock 'n' Roller Coaster...and it did NOT disappoint - except for in one respect: height requirement is 48" and Annelise is 47.5". I was soooo hoping they'd let her squeak by like the one ride in Animal Kingdom did, but this FastPass lady was a stickler! She would NOT let her on. :'( (It *REALLY* stinks, b/c had it been warmer, she could've worn her 2" wedges, and there would have been no question whatsoever. She would've LOVED this coaster, too. WE MUST GO BACK!!!) Will & I rode first while JB waited with her, and then we switched, so lucky duck Will got to ride it twice. Initially, he was scared of it; he had been excited all day until the stupid lady at the lightsaber store told him it went upside down. (It *does* but it's in the dark! He may have never even known!!! Argh...) I told him he absolutely HAD to ride this...and it's now officially his favorite ride at Disney. :-D (We'll see if it usurps Everest for Annelise next time, too. ;-) I loved both, but I give Everest the edge. :-)) The best part of this one is that it goes from 0 to 60 mph almost instantly. All the signs say to keep your head facing forward, and it's no joke! :-D

Street shot

We grabbed hot dogs in pretzel rolls & pumpkin milkshakes (yes, it was cold, but I wasn't going to pass up this seasonal treat! :-D) at Min and Bill's Dockside Diner before strolling over to...

The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights! Stunning!!!

We consciously chose to skip Fantasmic! (yes, I know; how could we do such a thing?! :-P Next time!) b/c JB & I were exhausted and wanted to head back to the hotel...where the kids proceeded to have the time of their lives with their new sabers...

It was *SUCH* a happy Thanksgiving!!!

One Disney day left...

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