Thursday, December 01, 2011

Hollywood Studios

Traveling to Disney isn't what it used to be. In order to minimize the wait times, you need to have a plan of attack each day. My friend Shauna recommended this great site.  It gives you touring plans in the park,  has a forum with tons of great information from Disney veterans and also identifies which park is recommended on a particular day.  It also has a crowd calendar that shows how busy the park will be each day. We knew that we were traveling during high season, but we were not ready for the crowds on this particular Sunday.
Hollywood Studios
This is what it looked like outside the park 45 minutes before opening.
Hollywood Studios
Here's a shot (via Nick) 10 minutes before opening. We were not alone.  The plan at this point was to send Mr. "I can walk faster than you can run" ahead of the family to grab fastpasses (kids definition: a ticket that lets you cut in line, but not right away and maybe not in front of everybody) for Toy Story Mania - the bottleneck of this particular park. I did a lot of pre-trip planning & told Nick that he should probably shimmy up toward the front of the pack (or at least in front of all the strollers). I had read that if you want to try to ride TSM twice in one day, you need to grab a fastpass ASAP because they sell out very quickly.
I think you can tell where this story is going. He didn't listen. It took us 10 minutes to walk to the ride. 10 minutes later, Nick was still in line for fastpasses & the kids & I were walking into the building. Eventually Nick caught up with us in line (but without passes).

The line inside is deceptively long. The ride is short (and overrated if you ask Nick). It was 9:45 by the time we got off the ride which is a problem in DHS because most of the attractions are performances rather than rides. We were already behind schedule &, more importantly, behind the huge crowd. At this point, our group split up & Nick took Ella to do Rock & Roller coaster (twins too short) & Tower of Terror (I wasn't sure the twins would like this).

As we left the ride, we saw Buzz & Woody - the only two characters Charlie wanted to meet. The line looked reasonable so we hopped in line.  Charlie was a bit grumpy from an early morning start & badly skinned knee. I thought posing with the props would boost his spirits.  Instead, upon seeing my phone he shouted "GRETA!!! WHY DO YOU ALWAYS HAVE TO RUIN MY PHOTOS?" I thought it was very funny.
Afterward, we tried to get into the Voyage of the Little Mermaid (sold out 30 minutes before the show). So we kept walking & were the last people admitted to the Muppet Show. It was a pretty neat 3-D show. When Ella heard she missed it, Greta said "Don't worry, it wasn't that good."  What can I say? I liked it.
Hollywood Studios
We met up with the roller coaster riders & caught the 11:30 Indiana Jones Stunt Show (SRO). 
Hollywood Studios
I thought it was a great show, but a little more violent than I expected. The girls didn't like the loud noises.
Hollywood Studios
After lunch, we hit Star Tours. And, we realized that our kids have never seen any of the Star Wars movies. The ride was a big hit - especially when Charlie's face popped up as the secret agent we were trying to help escape.  This would be the second time that Charlie's face appeared on a ride & he totally missed seeing it. After the ride (which we all liked, but never got to ride again), we walked outside to a crazy crowd of people. So, we decided to head back to the hotel to swim & relax.


Poozoe said...

Your posts have made me realize that I don't have it in me to do this trip!

shauna said...

Thanks for the compliment Krista! I like your DHS photos, especially Toy Story Mania. I am so proud of the twins for riding Tower of Terror! I remember the crowds..... just unbelievable and overwhelming. Great planning on your part!