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 2015

31st July 2015 (Day 8) – Hollywood Studios

Off to Hollywood Studios again today (our second but final visit there this trip). To read the previous blog entry you can find that here. Walking in from the parking area the sky was amazing and the row of palm trees looked fantastic.

Amazing Sky
Amazing Sky

We decided to watch the Frozen Royal Welcome again and I think I got some better pictures this time around. We were in almost the same spot again.

Anna
Anna
Olaf
Olaf
Kristof
Kristof
Wandering Oaken
Wandering Oaken
Elsa
Elsa

After the parade we used our first FastPass for the Little Mermaid show.

The Little Mermaid
The Little Mermaid

We didn’t really need the FastPass for this ride (and maybe should have used it to go on the Buzz Lightyear ride again) but we were straight in and seated for the live show.

The Little Mermaid
The Little Mermaid
The Little Mermaid
The Little Mermaid

After that we used our second FastPass for the Indiana Jones Stunt Show.

Indiana Jones Stunt Show
Indiana Jones Stunt Show

The first act was great but as the second act started they announced they were going to move quickly due to a storm coming in and reports of lightning in the vicinity.

Indiana Jones Stunt Show
Indiana Jones Stunt Show
Indiana Jones Stunt Show
Indiana Jones Stunt Show

Unfortunately the storm was heading right for us so the third act was called off and we didn’t get to see that.  So the show ended at the end of the second act with the rain once again tipping down outside the arena.

Indiana Jones Stunt Show
Indiana Jones Stunt Show

Every time we come to Hollywood Studios it seems to absolutely pour with rain!

Raining Again
Raining Again

It was heading for lunchtime anyway so we took shelter at the Studio Catering Company for some food.  Rosemary tried the Smuckers Crustless PB&J Sandwich which went down well. The humidity level at this point was horrendous, probably the highest during the whole trip.

PB&J
PB&J

Spotted a ton of bricks dangling precariously nearby.

Ton of Bricks
Ton of Bricks

We had a mooch around some of the shops in the area including some of the shops down the Streets of America.

Selfie
Selfie

There is the fantastically named “Youse Guys Moychindice”.

Youse Guys Moychindice
Youse Guys Moychindice

Weather was really improving by this point and we stopped for ice creams at Gertie’s Ices.

Mickey Ice Cream
Mickey Ice Cream

Olaf’s Summer Cool Down show was going to be starting so we headed to the stage area (now without the Mickey Sorcerer Hat which was the icon for the park) for the show.  Lots of singing and dancing.

Summer Cool Down
Summer Cool Down
Summer Cool Down
Summer Cool Down
Summer Cool Down
Summer Cool Down

Afterwards we went and had a rest for a little bit and then we could hear music, so went to find out what was going on. Which was a street party with the characters dancing about.  We joined in (a bit anyway) with Daisy Duck.

Street Party
Street Party
Street Party
Street Party

I can’t honestly recall where we eat dinner that day, but after that we went to the Beauty and the Beast show.  We were a bit late getting there so we were a long way back, so didn’t get the best pictures.

Beauty and the Beast
Beauty and the Beast
Beauty and the Beast
Beauty and the Beast
Beauty and the Beast
Beauty and the Beast

Unfortunately around this time Julia managed to get stung by a bee and was in some really nasty discomfort from it.  So we headed to the first aid by the park entrance.  They got the sting out, patched her up and gave her an ice pack to reduce the swelling.  Poor Rosemary was so worried!

First Aid Emergency
First Aid Emergency

Our final event of the day that we had planned was for Fantasmic, which we had never seen before, so really looking forward to.  The arena it takes place in is huge (I had no idea how big it was until we got in there) and was pretty much full. Being a way back and having to zoom to get anything worth capturing meant the photos were really poor though, so rather than worry I just watched the show and just got a few when things were a bit brighter.

Fantasmic
Fantasmic
Fantasmic
Fantasmic
Fantasmic
Fantasmic
Fantasmic
Fantasmic

So that was the end of the day and we headed towards the exit of the park via the back way out of the arena.  But as we were leaving the Frozen fireworks show was underway, so we stopped at the park entrance to watch it.

Frozen Fireworks
Frozen Fireworks
Frozen Fireworks
Frozen Fireworks

A nice way to end the day and our visits to Hollywood Studios.

I didn’t shoot much variety of video this day (few pieces which are quite long of the parade, stunt show and Olaf’s Summer Cool Down) but what I did is on YouTube and can be found through the link below.

 

Posted in Florida 2015

28th July 2015 (Day 5): Hollywood Studios

Off to Disney’s Hollywood Studios this morning.  The weather forecast wasn’t looking too good for the afternoon so we weren’t planning on staying too long.  But we had FastPasses booked and also a lunch reservation, so off we went.

On arrival there was a massive Frozen sand sculpture which sets the theme that there is going to be a lot of Frozen stuff in the park.

Frozen
Frozen

First stop of the morning was to watch the Frozen Royal Welcome Parade (yes, Frozen again).  We really lucked out and got a bench with the Indiana Jones Stunt Show behind us and just opposite the ABC Sound Studio.  Meant we could sit down and wait for the parade to come along.  As we had a little time before that happened I took Rosemary off to watch the Jedi Training, which was on, while Julia waited at the bench.

The Padawan’s were just fighting Darth to gain their Jedi status.

Jedi Training
Jedi Training
Jedi Training
Jedi Training
Jedi Training
Jedi Training

After Darth went the Stormtroopers were left behind and provided some good comedy.

Jedi Training
Jedi Training

Looked like lots of fun and would probably sign Rosemary up next visit.  Took a picture with the AT-AT which sits over the Star Tours entrance.

AT-AT
AT-AT

At this time the parade was starting and we nipped back.  First off Anna cam out followed by some dancers.

Royal Welcome Parade
Royal Welcome Parade

There was even some snow (or at least some foam).

Royal Welcome Parade
Royal Welcome Parade
Royal Welcome Parade
Royal Welcome Parade

The parade also included Olaf, Kristoff and of course Elsa.

Royal Welcome Parade
Royal Welcome Parade
Royal Welcome Parade
Royal Welcome Parade
Royal Welcome Parade
Royal Welcome Parade
Royal Welcome Parade
Royal Welcome Parade

After the parade we used our first FastPass for the Frozen Sing-A-Long.  This features two narrators who whisk through the story of Frozen. They spent a while at the start of the story and then whizzed through the end of it.  Good show though, although even with our FastPasses we were a long way back and not sure it gave us any advantage at all.  Everyone is let into an ante-room and then there is a mad race to get into the theatre.  Would have been nice if the FastPass got you into the theatre rather than just the ante-room so you could get closer to the front.

Frozen Sing-A-Long
Frozen Sing-A-Long
Frozen Sing-A-Long
Frozen Sing-A-Long
Frozen Sing-A-Long
Frozen Sing-A-Long
Frozen Sing-A-Long
Frozen Sing-A-Long
Frozen Sing-A-Long
Frozen Sing-A-Long

When the show finished we were close to our lunch reservation time and headed off to the Sci-Fi Drive-In Diner.  This is a large mocked up Drive-In Cinema where the cars are really tables and you have lunch while there are 1950’s sci-fi movie clips playing.  Was a good novelty.  Rosemary wasn’t that bothered by it but the food was actually pretty good.

Sci-Fi Drive-In Diner
Sci-Fi Drive-In Diner
Sci-Fi Drive-In Diner
Sci-Fi Drive-In Diner
Sci-Fi Drive-In Diner
Sci-Fi Drive-In Diner
Sci-Fi Drive-In Diner
Sci-Fi Drive-In Diner

Only complaint I would have is that we were there an hour and the movie reel started again in that time.  I would have thought it could go a little longer than that to be honest as no-one is likely to be in an out that quickly.

When we came out the weather was turning a bit and it was starting to rain.  Our next FastPass was for the Toy Story Midway Mania ride.  We’d tried to get onto this before but never managed it because the stand-by time is usually around 90 minutes.  Armed with FastPasses we were straight in this time.

Midway Mania
Midway Mania

Lots of fun.  I went with Rosemary and Julia went behind us on her own.  Think she won and got the most points.

Midway Mania
Midway Mania

The weather was definitely on the turn so we decided to us up our last FastPass and actually managed to bring it forwards through the iPhone app.  So we joined to queue for Star Tours.

Star Tours
Star Tours

You can see the rain running off the AT-AT.

AT-AT
AT-AT
Ewok Village
Ewok Village

FastPasses really pay off on this one as well getting you through the queue way quicker.  Only disadvantage is you whizz through the queue area and miss a lot of the interactive stuff like C3P0 and R2D2 prepping the ride.

Star Tours
Star Tours

You do get very cool 3D glasses for this ride though.

Star Tours
Star Tours

With a break in the weather we called it a day and decided to head back to the car.  We had just cleared the park entrance when the heavens opened and decided to empty themselves onto us.  We were absolutely drenched by the time we got back to the car.  I threw my poncho over the buggy to try and keep that and Rosemary dry, which more or less worked, but did result in getting very wet but the clothes would dry off and we were finished for the day anyway.

Posted in Florida 2013

5th December 2013 (Day 4): Disney Hollywood Studios

For this trip we decided to visit all four of the Disney parks, and bought a 5 day ticket. So to kick off our visits we decided to go to Hollywood Studios (we had also tried to plan out visits using one of the crowd planners so we would be at each park on quieter days).  We’d never been here before, so this would be our first visit.

The park is all 1950’s Hollywood themed and there is a entrance street running up from main ticket entrances. There are really tall palms on most of the streets to add to the California look.

Hollywood Studios
Hollywood Studios

At the top of the street is the Mickey Sorcerer’s Hat which forms a stage and most of the rest of the park radiates out from here.

Mickey's Hat
Mickey’s Hat

We decided to go into the Art of Animation area first which is where there are a number of character meets and greets.  Rosemary had never done one of these before so we weren’t sure how she would react.  When we visited Peppa Pig World she was a bit freaked by the Peppa there (as she was “bigger than I thought she would be”).  While waiting to see Mickey we weren’t too sure.

Waiting for Mickey
Waiting for Mickey

But when she actually got there everything was fine.

Mickey Mouse
Mickey Mouse

After seeing Mickey we really wanted to see Minnie as well.  Initially we were really confused as to where she was.  Mickey was in the hall and there was also Mr Incredible and Frozone in the hall (although we didn’t meet them).  But no sign of Minnie anywhere.  We asked a cast member and were told where to go, which was a queue by a door.  Turns out Minnie has her own dressing room to meet guests in which was really lovely and meant it was really private as well as it was just you in there.

Minnie Mouse
Minnie Mouse

After we left we went to the Voyage of the Little Mermaid show which was just outside.  This is a live action show which whizzes through  the film at some speed.  Was a good show though.

Little Mermaid
Little Mermaid

And then we went onto the Backlot Tour.  This starts off with some stunt effects which you watch.  There are a lot of water effects and felt sorry for the volunteers as they got drenched.

Backlot Tour
Backlot Tour

The tour then goes onto a tram which takes you round some exhibits including cars and planes from movies, and a couple of props from Star Wars.

Jabba's Skiff
Jabba’s Skiff
Snowspeeder
Snowspeeder

It finishes with a fire and water stunt which is pretty amazing.  Link to a video of this.

We stopped for a snack at the Writers Stop, Mickey gingerbread man for Rosemary and coffee for us.

Snack Break
Snack Break

We had hoped to get Fastpasses for the Buzz Lightyear Midway Shootout but they were basically gone by the time we got there.  But we did catch a few more shows during the day, including the Muppets 3D.

Muppets
Muppets

And we got a few more Meet and Greets in as well.  Queues weren’t too bad, although took sometime to see Mike and Sulley.

Monsters University
Monsters University

Goofy was great and loved my t-shirt, calling over the photographer and “minder” to see it. It was great that he was all dressed up for Christmas.

Goofy
Goofy

We continued our walk around the park, including seeing the AT-AT near the Star Tours ride.  Rosemary was too small for that so we’ll do it another time.

AT-AT
AT-AT

We got something to eat at Rosie’s All American Cafe (seemed appropriate) and then went to see the Beauty and the Beast show.  This is a big production with lots of singing and dancing.  Rosemary loved it.

Beauty and the Beast
Beauty and the Beast

And finally we headed back to the Streets of America where the Osborne Family Specticle of Dancing Lights was on.  This was really amazing, with Christmas lights absolutely everywhere.

Dancing Lights
Dancing Lights
Dancing Lights
Dancing Lights

There are a couple of videos of it on my Flickr page which can be found here and here.

The lights are also meant to work with the new Mickey hats which have light up ears and the ears and meant to sync together.  Couldn’t really see this happening and they all looked like they were flashing independently, but they were nice.

Mickey Ears
Mickey Ears

And with that it was time to leave as it was getting very late and we were all pretty exhausted.