Saturday, June 20, 2015

Disney Vacation: Day Five

We went to Hollywood Studios on Wednesday and absolutely loved it!  I know so many people who say this is a half day park for their family, but for us, it ranked right up there with Magic Kingdom.  

We ended up not taking advantage of Magic Hours and opening up the park as we had originally planned, but it was an excellent choice because everyone was well-rested and ready for the day.  We made it to the park shortly after 9:00 and used the Disney phone app to find the shortest lines.  Be sure to use this resource if you go because we walked right and got seated on the 3D Muppet Experience.  In my opinion, it wasn't as entertaining as the other 3D shows Philharmagic and Bugs Life, but it was still really, really good!

Would you believe that we were lucky enough to walk right into the Frozen Sing-A-Long with NO WAIT!  Seriously!!  The attraction was scheduled to be down for refurbishment during our stay, so I never even attempted to get the highly sought Fast Passes.  You can image how excited I was to not only have the opportunity to enjoy the show, but to walk on it with NO WAIT!!

As for the show.  It was remarkable.  The kids enjoyed singing and the narrators (a.k.a Arendell Historians) were hysterical.  It really was wonderful entertainment for the entire family.  Even Eric enjoyed the comedy.

After the Frozen Sing-A-Long, we headed to Pizza Planet for lunch and got in line just a few minutes before they opened.  We actually had reservations for Hollywood and Vine, but Eli had begged for months to eat at Pizza Planet, so we caved and scarfed down our meal in 15 minutes so that we could make it to our first Fast Pass at Toy Story Mania. 

It was a fantastic attraction and lived up to all of the hype, so be sure to Fast Pass it or use the Magic Hours to take a spin.  We left Toy Story Mania and used our Fast Passes to walk right into the Little Mermaid show.  It too was really fun.  I'm not sure that a Fast Pass was really needed, but it did secure us a great view of the stage.  

After The Little Mermaid, we used out final Fast Pass on the Stunt Show.  Rumor has it that that the attraction's days are numbered, but go see it if at all possible.  Again, we probably could have skipped the Fast Pass on this one because we ended up doing a lot of sitting and waiting in the heat while everyone else was ushered in, but it was worth it.

As we were leaving the show, a rain storm popped up, so we took shelter under an awning and took our time making our way to Hollywood and Vine for our lunch reservation.  As I had been warned, the food there was mediocre, but the kids were delighted to see their favorite characters. 

There was Sofia The First, Doc McStuffins, Handy Mandy, and Jake from Jake and the Neverland Pirates.  Ellie was excited about meeting all of the characters, but Eli would only take pictures with the male characters.  Ha!  I guess he didn't want to be too girly. 

We had planned on leaving the park after lunch, but we were having such a wonderful time that we decided to stay for a while.  We found a kiosk and scored Fast Passes for the Great Movie Ride that were good immediately.  By the time we made it to the attraction, we were able to walk right on with no wait.  That actually turned out to be Eli's favorite ride in Hollywood Studios which really surprised me. 

When we got off the Great Movie Ride, we headed straight for the Indiana Jones.  It ended up being an abbreviated version of the show because of the rain, but that gave us a chance to see the Disney Junior Show.  Ya'll there were so many kids and too many crazy parents.  I'd do it again for Ellie, but the line of dads hovering on the back wall sorta reflected my sentiments toward the experience. 

Before leaving the park we decided to try to get Fast Passes for Fantasmic! since the weather was spotty.  A cast member had suggested this to us, and we were thrilled when we scored the golden ticket to coveted attraction.  We went back to the hotel for an afternoon swim and headed back to the park for the show.

After dodging another round of showers and forking over $20 for ponchos because umbrellas are not allowed in the arena, we were less than thrilled when the show was cancelled ONE MINUTE before it was scheduled to start.  Even though they announced several times that it was a possibility, I really do think they held off on making the final call so that they could sell souvenirs, snacks and rain gear. 

No worries because all is well that ends well.  Right?  As we were leaving the stadium, I stopped and asked a cast member about our Fast Passes since they weren't used.  She told me that the 10:30 showing was still scheduled, and we could use our Fast Pass then.  

The park was scheduled to close at 10:00, but apparently you can stay late if you have the Fantasmic! Fast Pass.  Since we had some time to kill, we let Eli pick one last ride.  He chose The Great Movie Ride, which surprise us because we really thought that he would pick Toy Story Mania. 

Anyway, after the last ride, we headed back to Fantasmic!  It was a spectacular show, and you must, Must, MUST do this.  It was unlike anything I have ever seen.  The kids sat perfectly still for the entire 30 minutes which is unheard-of in the Watson home.

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