Monday, June 23, 2014

Day 4 - Disney Hollywood Studios - Part 1 (Star Wars and Aerosmith)

The hot chocolate bribe totally worked. It was a long morning walk, but to be perfectly honest - it wasn’t a burden at all. I truly enjoyed the early morning light, the quiet, the huge polka-dot bird I saw flying noisily over the lake (I know that sounds strange but it seriously had polka dots...wish I’d had my phone with me to take a picture) and loved starting the day with a private walk as I began to get excited about our Star Wars Day.

Sure enough, the kids were perky and ready to tackle DHS - they hopped up on the rocks outside our building to prove it. (Spoiler - this wasn't what caused the trip to the ER...)

Do I even need to tell you how I Bounded on my Disney Hollywood Studios day? This was the day we had our Jedi Mickey meal so I was Princess Leia, of course! (Yes, Leia counts as a DisneyBound now that Disney owns Star Wars.) <*sticking fingers in ears and pretending not to hear anyone who disagrees with me on that point*>

I informed my family that there would be none of that “back-of-the-rope-drop-crowd” nonsense on our DHS day. No, sirree! We were going to be up there near the front. To be honest, we are ALL certified Star Wars fans so this is probably the day that excited all of us the most. This becomes obvious because we had SO much fun with the various Star Wars stuff hanging around the park during the day.

I grabbed a Jedi Mickey dinner at Hollywood and Vine the first day they became available (it pays to stalk those Disney forums, people) and Dennis asked a few times each day for the exact date we’d be going to the Star Wars dinner - so he was clearly excited about that meal, just like me. Truthfully, we were all pretty psyched about getting to DHS and I’d warned them it would be a looong day so everyone needed to be rested so we could make it all the way from “true” rope drop to the first Fantasmic. (That was the “plan”…and you know what they say about the best laid plans, don’t you?)

The PhotoPass photographer at the front of the park came up with another kissy shot for us (we didn’t even ask for it but loved it!).

And I’m sharing this one because it perfectly sums up how my kids relate to each other. We’re lucky parents - they look out for each other no matter what.

I’m glad we stopped for those pre-rope drop pictures.

During the bus ride to DHS, my son announced he planned to try Rock n Roller Coaster. I was pleasantly surprised and his decision was probably one of the highlights of our trip. The original plan was for my husband and daughter to do RnR themselves and I didn’t think I’d get to do it. Not only did I get to do it but my son LOVED, LOVED, LOVED it. (We all did.) He sat with his big sister on all the rides he could and my husband and I could hear him yelling during that first ride. We asked him later what he was saying and Kathryn told us he was yelling “I am so awesome!” Gotta love it. We rode it again that night before we went home.
Here we are on our first RnR ride:

And here we are that night, when we rode it again...I was so proud I managed to hold onto the heart shape with my hands long enough! When I saw that my daughter and husband had matching expressions I couldn’t stop laughing. :)

The entire family loved that coaster and couldn’t wait to go again. After RnR, the plan was to go straight to ToT. (In hindsight, I should have gone again with Dennis while David and Kathryn went to ToT.) My son was less sure about ToT but I encouraged him to go through the queue because I told him we could enjoy all the theming then get out before getting on the elevator. I also told him it was bound to be less scary of a ride than RnR or Expedition Everest. Here’s the problem: I was thinking of velocity, loops, and G-forces - I wasn’t considering the spook factor. That turned out to be a mistake. This is the ride that taught me that my son doesn’t like “spooky.” Scary, fast rides are fine - but the Twilight Zone, spooky aspect was NOT OK with him. We didn’t ride it (of course) but even the line bothered him until we took the optional exit out. Now we know. David and Kathryn liked the ride all right but said they wouldn’t have waited in a long line for it. Hmmm. I’ll probably try it some day but I don’t feel as if I was missing much.

Our touring plan worked brilliantly all day long with two important exceptions, both of which happened at the end of the day. Before that point, however, we did so much and enjoyed DHS a ton! 

We rode:
- Star Tours 3 or 4x, 
- RnR 2x 
- David and Kathryn did ToT 
- we all went to the animation class early (thanks to advice I got on the boards) so we didn’t have to wait very long for our class 
- we met Wreck it Ralph with only a 15 minute wait (it was only character “line” we waited in...but it was important for us because we are the Reck family)
- TSMM with our FP
- GMR with FP (the Alien scene wasn’t pleasant for my son….because the creepy/spooky factor isn’t fun for him.)
- we all enjoyed the museum and movie at One Man’s Dream
- and we also spent a good amount of time in the Star Wars shop where my daughter bought most of her goodies and my son made a lightsaber. (That line was a bit long, but worth it.) 

Oh - and of course we went to the Muppets. They were great! You might be thinking that this schedule doesn't account for all our time but there was quite a bit of time we spent in the Indy theater (more on that later) and also just wandering around a bit, getting the kids' pictures taken on the Star Wars speeders, grabbing a vodka lemonade for yours truly, and other enjoyable activities.

We particularly loved the ducks wandering all over the place. It was a pretty rainy day after about 2:00 and at one point we came across a momma duck with her babies following her. They just hung out under a bench during a rainstorm so we all oooohed and awed over the cuties. Don’t let yourself get so caught up in your mission that you fail to stop and smell the roses, or play with baby ducks as the case might be.

Stay tuned for my next update, in which I shall offer more priceless advice and tell you about the only two let-downs of our DHS day.

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