Posted in Florida 2016

26th December 2016 (Day 9)-Hollywood Studios

Boxing Day and not such an early start, but breakfast at the hotel and then heading out to Hollywood Studios for our first visit there of this trip.  There was lots of work going on there and a lot of parts were closed off so we were only  doing 1 trip there this holiday and we were going to do everything we wanted on that day.

We started off with a visit  to Goofy, who was still in his Santa outfit.

Santa Goofy
Santa Goofy

We then headed to the Star Wars Launch Bay.  Hadn’t been in here before and there were a lot of props and a couple of meet-and-greets.

First we met Chewie who was very pleased to see Rosemary wearing her Star Wars dress and I was wearing a Chewie t-shirt which made him laugh.

Chewie
Chewie

After seeing Chewie we went to see Kylo Ren.  Slightly different attitude shall we say!  He was being particularly moody that day apparently and wasn’t please to see my shirt.  He posed for 1 photo and then sent us on our way as he didn’t want to conspire with filthy rebels.

Kylo Ren
Kylo Ren

We then had a look round at some of the props and the little scenes you can have your photograph taken in.  I don’t think any of the models or props were screen used ones and were most likely recreations for the area.

BB8 and Rey's Speeder
BB8 and Rey’s Speeder
Blockade Runner
Blockade Runner
Falcon
Falcon

Rosemary played a bit of holochess, and she did let the Wookie win.

Holochess
Holochess
At the bar
At the bar

As we were leaving we got accosted by a Jawa, but we sent him on his way and didn’t look like he stole anything.

Jawa
Jawa

We had booked a few Fastpasses for the day and first one was the Great Movie Ride.  We’d never done it before and glad we did (especially as now writing this ages later the ride has now closed and is gone forever).  Don’t think Rosemary was that bothered by it but we both liked it.

Great Movie Ride
Great Movie Ride
Great Movie Ride
Great Movie Ride
Great Movie Ride
Great Movie Ride

We then caught the Star Wars show which runs on the stage with all the characters.  Very good and managed to get in quite near the front.

Star Wars Show
Star Wars Show
Star Wars Show
Star Wars Show
Star Wars Show
Star Wars Show

In what was turning into quite a Star Wars day we then used our second FastPass to go on Star Tours.

Star Tours
Star Tours

The ride was quite different from last time we were on it and the sequences we got were all different. And included the section on Jakku with the shuttle following the Falcon through the wrecked Star Destroyers. Coming out the ride we squeezed onto the Speeder Bike (despite it being really crowded there due to closed walkways and lots of people just milling about).

Speeder Bike
Speeder Bike

And our final FastPass was for Toy Story Midway Mania.  Lots of fun as usual but no ride photos as the 3D means nothing comes out in any case.

Midway Mania
Midway Mania

We did some shopping after this, had some snacks/food and just took it easy for a bit.  There were 2 fireworks shows that evening and we wanted to see both.  The first was the Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular Fireworks show.  We thought we wouldn’t get to see this as it had been stopped to make way for the Christmas themed show.  But that had been getting some bad reviews and they fortunately reinstated the Star Wars show a few weeks before we came.  Was really good and the projections onto the Chinese Theatre worked amazingly.

Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular Fireworks
Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular Fireworks
Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular Fireworks
Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular Fireworks

I managed to get the whole show on video and will upload that eventually onto YouTube.

At the end of the show we decided to visit the Walt Disney: One Man’s Dream display, which is something we’d never been into before.  We actually didn’t even realise that Moana was in there doing a meet-and-greet.  So took the opportunity and the very short queues to see her.

Moana
Moana

The second fireworks show was due to start by this time and we headed back onto Hollywood Boulevard.  We were quite a way back this time though. The show (Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!) was OK but I can see why they brought back the Star Wars fireworks as it wasn’t nearly as good.

Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!
Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!
Snow in Florida
Snow in Florida

And that pretty much brought our day to a close.  We got everything we wanted to do achieved but look forward to all the closed off areas reopening so that the park is back to it’s old self.

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Posted in Florida 2016

25th December 2016 (Day 8)-Epcot

Yeah, Christmas Day and we are spending it at Epcot.  After a lot of research we concluded that Epcot would be the least busy of the parks and also provide the most stuff to do which might not have long wait times.  Magic Kingdom is meant to be packed and they often close access to the park within a few hours of opening because of the crowd levels.

We had some breakfast at the hotel and then headed down.  Crowd levels weren’t too bad and we parked up quite close to the entrance, so no need to wait for the tram and just walked to the entrance.  We had a few FastPasses booked for the day just in case lines were long but first we discovered that we could see some of the Pixar characters (quite hidden away really) and there was virtually no queue.

So first up we met Baymax.

Big Hero 6
Big Hero 6

Then we met Sadness and Joy in the control room.

Sadness and Joy
Sadness and Joy

Our first Fastpass was to meet the Disney Pals, Mickey, Minnie and Goofy. We were hoping they might be in Christmas clothes but they were just in their normal outfits.

Mickey
Mickey
Goofy
Goofy
Minnie
Minnie

Our second Fastpass was for The Seas, so we headed over to there as it was just next door anyway.  Great ride and we got straight onto it.  After going to the ride we went round the aquarium areas and met Bruce and Chum.

Bruce
Bruce
Chum
Chum

After going on the ride and looking round the aquarium we started to head out round the World Pavilion.  Lots of photos but will only post a few below.

Norway
Norway
China
China

As we were walking round and it was sometime until lunch we decided it was snack time and got a caramel apple (I think from the shop in Germany).

Snack Time
Snack Time
Italy
Italy

When we got to the American pavilion we got some family photos done by the Photopass photographer.

Christmas Tree
Christmas Tree

And as Santa had finished his duties for the year, his chair was free and we could use his chairs for a photo.

Santa's space
Santa’s Chair

For our Christmas Day lunch we had fully tradition and had booked Tepan Edo in the Japan pavilion.  Was absolutely delicious and cooked in front of us.  We shared a table with 2 other families (a couple and a 3) which was nice and we had a great lunch.  Rosemary thoroughly enjoyed it and loved having it cooked in front of us and the tricks the chef did, making a volcano out of onions.

Tepan Edo
Tepan Edo
Tepan Edo
Tepan Edo
Japan Pavilion
Japan Pavilion

The lunch I booked was a package so we could get seats for the Candlelight Processional which runs just in front of the American Pavilion and has a celebrity narrator, and is really a church service/carol concert.  For Christmas Day the narrator was Jodi Benson.  Not a name I instantly knew but she did the voice of the Little Mermaid and Barbie in the Toy Story movies.  Was an excellent “performance” with lots of Christmas carols.

Candlelight Processional
Candlelight Processional

After the show we got as far as France and got an ice cream.  By this time it was already getting dark.

Ice Cream Time
Ice Cream Time

By this time we started to head back towards the areas around the entrance.  We still had one Fastpass left (which was late in the day but the only time I could get one) which was for the Frozen ride in Norway.  The queues were quite long when we got there as we found out the ride had been down earlier in the day.  But we didn’t have to wait too long (about 20 minutes?) and had our first ride on it.  Unfortunately the ride photo never came through.  It’s on a clever system which picks up your Magicband details and is meant to add it to your account.  But clearly failed that night, which is a great shame.

We didn’t wait around for the fireworks because we wanted to get back to the hotel so Rosemary could open her Christmas presents.

Night Time
Night Time

While at the Christmas Tree me and Rosemary got a Turkey Sandwich as an evening snack.  It was great, massive amounts of turkey, mashed potato and cranberry.

Epcot Christmas Tree
Epcot Christmas Tree

And that was pretty much the end of our Christmas Day at Epcot.  We headed back to our hotel so Rosemary could open her presents.

Christmas Presents
Christmas Presents
Christmas Presents
Christmas Presents

A lovely day and a great Christmas Day as well!