This trip we decided we would do Hollywood Studios twice. Despite popular thought, there is still plenty to do at this park, even with all the construction currently being done. Especially if you plan on having a sit down meal during your park day. Our first day was going to cover the bulk of the park, saving the Star Wars themed attractions and shows for our last day.
By this time of our multiple resort vacation we had moved to the Boardwalk Villas, a walkway travel from Hollywood Studios. We were up bright and early to get to the gates for our breakfast reservation at Hollywood & Vine, a character breakfast with the Disney Junior characters. The entry to Hollywood Studios was extremely busy with many resort guests taking advantage of that extra hour of park time through Extra Magic Hours.
We made our way down the main strip to the restaurant. We were waiting on their front porch for our party to be called while the characters were milling around inside the restaurant. Jake from Jake and the Neverland Pirates came right up to the window and was teasing MacKenzie. She loved this! Our kids are at the perfect age for these characters. They love Doc, Sofia and Jake so this was the perfect way to start our day.
We were seated right in the front and the server was helpful in telling us when to expect the characters so we could go and fill up our plates before meeting these characters. MacKenzie was now wearing her birthday pin, for her birthday the following day, and each character remarked on this. Asking how old she was turning. Giving her extra hugs and high fives.
By the time we met all the characters, ate and bathroomed it was ten minutes to park open. Giving us time to get to Pixar Place to meet Buzz and Woody before our FastPass reservation at Toy Story Mania! This meet and greet area is awesome. They have multiple areas for you to take pictures as if you’re in the first two Toy Story films. From Buzz’s space shuttle to the Claw. This helps pass the time.
Our meet and greet with Buzz and Woody was extremely memorable. Buzz let the kids touch his buttons which “made” him do different things including powering him down. The kids’ faces were priceless. This character experience was the perfect set up for our ride on Toy Story Mania! This is an attraction for the whole family, although younger guests will need some help. I was very impressed with how MacKenzie made out. She got the hang of it half way through after a bit of guidance.
The plan was to get this area done and out of the way so we didn’t have to return that day. This area, Pixar Place, used to be connected to the other area of the park. It isn’t anymore because this is where the new Toy Story land is going to be. Making this area a little out of the way to get to. Certainly hasn’t affected the popularity of it.
As you exit this area the Voyage of the Little Mermaid is on your left. That’s right, this Little Mermaid stage show is still here. This attraction has been here since the park opened and folks, it’s still the same. But, even though it’s nothing new to me it was new to our littles and they ate it up. My mom was with us on this day and just made it for the show with the help of some wonderful cast members. Do they ever make the difference!
Upon exiting this show we saw all the Star Wars characters from Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away walking to the Launch Bay. Wow! I had chills watching Darth Vader, Chewbacca and Darth Maul walk by. With 45 minutes to kill before our Disney Jr Live on Stage FastPass Reservation
we snuck in a little Star Wars to this day and met Chewbacca. This Chewy is the real deal friends. Walking and Talking! The photographer was grabbing pictures of him and the kids and then I was like. I want in on this. I’m not leaving here without a picture of me and Chewy!!
Disney Jr Live on Stage was fun for our family because our kids love all the shows featured in this performance. Sofia the First, Doc McStuffins, Jake and the Neverland Pirates and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Having the FastPass put my mind at ease, I knew we would get in and see this particular performance. Which was great because I didn’t think the kids would do well sitting on the ground later in the afternoon once exhaustion sunk in. MacKenzie and Lincoln really enjoyed the show, jumping up and catching the bubbles, helping Jake find his treasure chest and of course dancing!
After the show we had an unexpected turn of events, instead of going to grab a snack credit lunch both kids passed out hard in the stroller. The 50 times down the Boardwalk waterslide the day before had caught up with them. It served us well though. Jeff was able to jump on Rock n Roller Coaster which was a must do on his list, while my mom and I had a nice little visit. I grabbed an item off my food goal list at Hollywood Scoops, the Apple Pie a la Mode. Delish!
We walked the shops as the kids started waking up from their naps. I love the shops at Hollywood Studios. I find they have a variety, representing all the movies and characters found throughout this park. It’s not so much Mickey and Minnie as there is Belle and the Beast, Buzz and Woody, Darth Vader and Han Solo. You can sometimes find some unique items here that you won’t find elsewhere.
We took some time to enjoy some street performances before the afternoon showing of Beauty and the Beast. Both kids got to participate in the entertainment along with Jeff. He always seems to get roped into these things. M was in her glory.
With the kids napping so early we had the whole afternoon ahead of us. A showing of Beauty and the Beast, a meet and greet with Olaf, and a screening of Muppet 3D. Another example of something dated, something you’ve seen many times but when your kids experience it for the first time you remember how great it is. Lincoln loved Muppet 3D so much he picked up his very own Kermit at the Stage 1 Company Store. He immediately put him on his shoulders. So cute!
At this point it was time to eat an early quick service supper. We were walking right by the ABC Commissary and figured this would be a good place to stop. Boy were we wrong. I don’t know if they had trainees on that day or if we came during shift change but we waited at least a half hour for our food. Ridiculous for a quick-service meal. Plus when we received it, things were missing and it was cold. By far the worst dining experience we’ve had on Disney property. The cast members were not apologetic and they didn’t seem the least bit bothered by our unfavourable experience.
Luckily our mood changed very quickly. It was time for The First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-along Celebration. Right up our alley. With two Frozen loving kids and a family who loves to sing along to any tune, we were in for a treat. The 25 minutes we spent in here were filled with smiles, laughters and tears. It was truly magical. Upon exited the show there’s a little shop on the right where I spied this sweet Elsa gown that had MacKenzie written all over it. I kept it in the back of my mind to look for the following day at the Magic Kingdom to find out the price and sizes.
It was time for the last thing of the evening: Fantasmic! This evening spectacular never disappoints. We arrived plenty early to ensure we had good seats. As always the crowd was entertaining itself by doing the wave. This was the kids’ first experience of the wave and they were captivated. Simple things in life right. Lincoln made friends with the tour group behind us. Chatting up the young Brazilian girls. They were quite taken with him. All the while we were enjoying some Disney popcorn. Nothing else like it.The show itself was spectacular. The night was calm so there was no wind to contend with. We were high enough so we could see everything. The colours of the costumes and projections were bright and clear. Normally my favourite part is the finale but this time we were thrilled to see Moana at the front of Steamboat Willie. Fulfilling one of the characters on MacKenzie’s must do list. The only place you’re able to see her on property during regular season. It was a wonderful surprise.
We left this day with smiles on our faces and a song in our hearts. Filled with excitement for the following day, where we would be celebrating MacKenzie’s 5th birthday at the Magic Kingdom. We were leaving the park at 7:30pm with enough time for early shut eye for all of us.