A Family of 5s Day at Hollywood Studios
It’s all everyone has been talking about when talking about Disney World in 2020, Galaxy’s Edge found in Hollywood Studios. Everyone wants to know how to get on the newest rides, how to get into the restaurant, what’s it like. We were just as curious. We are big Star Wars fans. I grew up in a family of Star Wars lovers and we’re introducing our kids to the films and stories. With so much to see and do in this new area of Hollywood Studios we knew we wanted 2 full park days for Hollywood Studios. The first one with a focus on Galaxy’s Edge and the second with more of a focus on Toy Story Land. This is how we went about booking our FastPasses. We booked FastPasses for our Galaxy’s Edge day with the intention of spending the afternoon on Sunset Blvd. We booked our FastPasses for our Toy Story Land day with the intention of doing the Jedi Training in the morning and Toy Story Land in the afternoon. We are a family of 5, my husband and I and our three kids (7, 5 and 1). So our days are still filled with diaper changes, stroller naps and kids still a little afraid of certain rides.
For our first day at Hollywood Studios we wanted to be there first thing to be able to ride the Rise of the Resistance ride, the newest attraction open at Galaxy’s Edge. For the full story on that check out this previous post. This meant a 7am park arrival time. We were up and out the door of our room at 6:10am, we were on a Hollywood Studios bus at 6:15am. Friends, the bus was full! It was like we were leaving the park at the day of the day. Wild! We made it inside the park in time to secure a boarding group. But now it was 7:00am at Hollywood Studios, what to do? We didn’t want to follow the massive crowd heading to Galaxy’s Edge, we opted to go to Toy Story Land and grab some coffees, hot chocolate and a 2nd breakfast at Woody’s Lunch Box. For the two older kids we got box tarts and for our littlest we grabbed him some babybel cheese. The lines were already very long for Slinky Dog Dash and Toy Story Mania! so I took the two older kids on Alien Swirling Saucers, it has a 32″ height requirement so we all couldn’t ride together. Our estimated 30 minute wait was only 20 minutes. There were a few things for the kids to do in line but they were extremely cold because of how early it was and the sun was just warming up the park. Once we got on the ride though their mood brightened up. They loved riding this attraction, they were definitely the target age group. On this ride you spin back and forth, sometimes very quickly, other times kind of slow. The unexpected aspect of the ride really made them giddy. Once we got off the ride it was around 8am and we walked into Galaxy’s Edge through the Toy Story Land entrance.
We spent some time wandering around the Galaxy’s Edge stores and taking in the whole area. We took pictures of the pod racers and droids from our favourite Star Wars scenes. It was so cool to be in and amongst these items we know so well. The whole area is not for the weary, there’s stairs everywhere making it hard to manoeuvre with a stroller. With our whole morning open, we decided to rider switch Smuggler’s Run. I opted for the single rider line with the intention of Jeff taking the two older kids on once I got off the ride. I waited in line for about 30 minutes, a fraction of the 75 minute wait others were waiting. By waiting in the single rider line though I didn’t get the full experience, I just ended up in the Millennium Falcon without any of the buildup. I got to ride with a really cool family with the same makeup of our own just 15 years ahead. I sat in the last row, so I wasn’t able to get the full experience I think you would get from the very front of the cockpit. Each seat has its own job to do and buttons to push, which makes it more interactive. The most impressive part of the attraction is the unit itself. It really looks exactly like the Millennium Falcon. After the ride was done I made my way out to Hollywood Blvd to find Jeff and the kids watching one of the street performances. Which of course they then got involved in. MacKenzie even won a prize for singing it’s a small world.
Jeff and the kids headed off for their own Smuggler’s Run while I passed time with William. While he was wondering around I noticed he had a big blow out! The next 10 minutes I spent in the bathroom cleaning him up. Unfortunately he’d made a mess of his clothes so I was searching the backpack for his extra outfit. I couldn’t find his extra bottoms. He only had a shirt. I felt so bad. The rest of the day I kept popping into stores to see if they had any little boy bottoms, with no luck. During this fiasco I get a text from Jeff saying that Lincoln changed his mind and didn’t want to go on the ride. So I rush over to Galaxy’s Edge to rescue him and allow Jeff and MacKenzie to get on the ride. Because they went through the FastPass line they got the full experience which includes a big presentation on the mission at hand. It was all too real to Lincoln, he didn’t want to fly off to a galaxy far, far away. He wanted to stay here. This gave us a chance to have a talk about these being only rides and they’re not really real. But also that facing your fears and doing something a little unnerving is good for us. And by giving in to our fears we can end up missing out. He later regretted opting out of the ride but it was a good lesson learned.
After this ride we were supposed to go to Oga’s Cantina, but when we saw the line just to get into to our reservation we decided to skip it. We knew the place wasn’t ideal for kids and wanted to do something we could all enjoy together. We decided to go check out Journey of the Little Mermaid but when we got there the show was closed due to technical difficulties. We felt we just couldn’t catch a break. So off we went to Muppets 3D to finally do something all together. If you’re familiar with Hollywood Studios you’ll gather that we were all over the map. Walking here, there, and everywhere. Not ideal. But this is due to the fact not many attractions are open at Hollywood Studios until 9am or even 10am. Which really limits what you can do in those first few hours the park is open.
When Muppet 3D was over, MacKenzie and I tried our first attempt to get on the Rise of the Resistance, to no avail, again for more information on that check that out here. We met the boys for lunch at Backlot Express, a perfect quick-service restaurant at Hollywood Studios. They have a great selection of salads, burgers and chicken nuggets. They also have amazing service. My mother-in-law went to order fries here and they wouldn’t charge her. They said it was outrageous for her to spend so much money on just some fries so they just gave her some. Well done! The kids had some nuggets and Jeff and I had the Southwest salads, which were delish. I would opt to eat here every time over ABC Commissary, it’s quick-service counterpart.
It now being the afternoon I felt like the day was zooming by without us having done much of anything. We finally got on the Rise of the Resistance ride, and by we I mean myself and MacKenzie. Jeff and Lincoln got part way through and then it broke down. Yeesh. We left Galaxy’s Edge behind and trekked over to Sunset Blvd for a Beauty and the Beast showing and a ride on Tower of Terror, both of which we had FastPasses for. In the middle of the Beauty and the Beast show I could not find my phone. I looked through each and every pocket of our backpack, looked through my pockets, went back to the stroller and couldn’t find it anywhere. I was loosing my mind. We were only on the 2nd day of our vacation. Without my phone I couldn’t take pictures, mine was the phone with all the FastPass info and reservations. Jeff finally found it on the curb behind our stroller at stroller parking. From that point forward I always kept my phone in my pocket at all times. Another hiccup in our bumpy day.
One little bonus of the afternoon, while Jeff was taking Lincoln on Tower of Terror, MacKenzie, William and I were waiting for them outside the exit and Tower of Terror gift shop. As we were finding a shady place to sit, these gates open and there are six random characters ready to meet guests. For 15 minutes these characters took pictures with unsuspecting guests. MacKenzie met Max, Stitch, Pluto, Chip n Dale and Pinocchio. After we got all our pictures taken, we went back to wait for the boys and just like that the gate was shut again and the characters were gone. It was totally random and totally awesome.
Next up on our roster was For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-along. We love going to this show. The Frozen songs have been sung so often in our home they feel like part of our families anthem. Before heading to this FastPass, the boys tried yet again to go on Rise of the Resistance, this time they got further then before but only to have the ride break down. They were very frustrated to say the least. We all got to sit together for this Frozen performance, and as always I teared up at the end as Let It Go plays and our littles sing their hearts out. Our dining reservation at Mama Melrose was approaching so we made our way there exhausted and hungry. The early morning and the many disappointments from the day were catching up with us. During our delicious meal we decided the boys would try to ride the Rise of the Resistance one final time and then we would call it a day. But as we left the restaurant Lincoln couldn’t summon the courage to attempt it again. So we buckled the boys into the stroller and said goodbye to Hollywood Studios, hoping that our second park day would be more successful.
Many lessons were learned from this day. Keeping my phone in my pocket at all times. Our kids are younger than we think they are. Always bring an extra pair of shorts. And not each park day is going to be picture perfect. Our day before at Epcot had gone so well, that this Hollywood Studios day was a major fail in comparison. Thankfully the following day was a non-park day. A day to not rush out the door. Eat a relaxing breakfast and visit the pool. With all the changes at Hollywood Studios, this is the park that really requires the most planning. With so many attractions having differing hours then the park itself, you can take for granted that things are going to be open when you are in the park. Comb through to check what’s being offered and when. This should steer you towards a more successful day then we had. Happy Planning, Friends.