Trip Report: Day 3, Disney’s Hollywood Studios 2013

Christmas Tree at Disney's Hollywood Studios
Christmas Tree at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Fun day at Disney’s Hollywood Studios! My daughters and I went ahead of the rest of our party and got to ride Toy Story Midway Mania through the Stand-by Line before my wife, son, and mother-in-law joined us. And, since we were given Key to the World cards in addition to our MagicBands, I decided to see if I could score a set of Legacy Fastpasses for later. I was able to accomplish that task with no problems. The return time, however, was 7:20PM. I ended up giving those away to a friend via the LINES Chat and put a smile on a little girls face! A little magic goes a long way!

I did the walk-through of Tower of Terror, but wasn’t feeling my oats enough to make the ride portion. I know! I admit it I USED THE CHICKEN DOOR! But, I saved my breakfast in the process.

After our second ride on Toy Story using Fastpass+, my daughters and I headed to the Great Movie Ride to meet up with the WDW Today podcast group for a special Rocky Horror Picture Show style ride. The responses to the Cast Member script were funny, but it was really hard to get the timing down to make it work. And, while the wait was a lot longer than I had hoped it would be, it was incredibly fun! It was also nice to meet, in person, Matt Hochberg and Len Testa. I am hoping to meet up with them again on Saturday.

WDW Today's Matt Hochberg
WDW Today’s Matt Hochberg

We grabbed a quick meal at The Studio Catering Company located off of the Streets of America next to the “Honey, I Shrunk The Kids” play area. The Buffalo Chicken Sandwich was not bad. I do think it could use a bit more buffalo flavor, but I dipped in some honey mustard and it was pretty good that way! Overall, nice location with lots of seating in the shade, and it’s close to Backlot Tour, Pixar Place and Light, Motor, Action.

And, speaking of Lights, Motor, Action! That was our next stop with the use of Fastpass+. And, this is my first real criticism of the FP+ system. If the Fastpass+ gives you a dedicated area that has better viewing, it is worth it, if only for that reason. However, this is NOT the case with LMA. We were at the far end of the stadium and had a support beam blocking nearly half of the view. So, I would not recommend Fastpass+ for this attraction. It really isn’t a necessary one, except during busy seasons.

Muppetvision 3D was a really cute show, and enjoyable! Not only is the theater air-conditioned, but the show itself is quite entertaining. This was our first time seeing the attraction, and I think it is one to visit on future visits!

Star Tours may be the most disappointing part of this vacation, so far. The first time, it was fun and I liked the sequence that I got to experience. However, a visit just before park closing gave me almost the same EXACT sequence. The only change was we had Yoda on the first flight, and Princess Leia on the second. I’m not convinced that there is much randomizing in this show! But, I will have to wait until my next visit.

Our featured meal for today was at 50s Prime Time Cafe. I have heard much said about this restaurant, and I have to say it was the most fun of the day! The Pot Roast lives up to its reputation! It was incredibly tender and the meal was full of flavors I remember from childhood when my mother would make it for Sunday dinner. My wife had the Flounder and raved about it, as well. The kids all enjoyed their meals, also. And, the Pumpkin Spice milkshake? Can you say ‘YUM’!

One Man's Dream

We did the walk-through part of “Walt Disney: One Man’s Dream”, but didn’t have time to see the movie as it was time for us to head to our first experience of Fantasmic! And, this show did not disappoint. The presentation was stunningly beautiful and the story was engaging! On our last visit, F! was closed for refurbishment, so we were really glad to get to see it this trip!

I closed my night out by making a quick visit to “The Osborne Spectacle of Dancing Lights”. Can you say ‘crowded’? It was packed! But, I managed to take a brief walk-around video. It’s not much, but it lets me know that I need to really plan better, should I choose to return another time. It is beautiful!

That pretty much rounds out our day at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. I have some thoughts on the whole MagicBand experience, but will expand on that later.

For now, it’s sleep and then a marathon visit to EPCOT and my first, ever, Candlelight Processional!

Until then, have a blessed and magical day, my friends!

Magic Kingdom Park Makes Disney History As All Walt Disney World Parks Go Turnstile Free « Disney Parks Blog

Is this a significant step in the MyMagic+ roll-out? I think it is, but I am really starting to get concerned about how long this seems to be taking to complete. When I couple this system with the continued crashing of the Walt Disney World website, I am beginning to doubt how much stuff can be put on the MagicBand. But, I am trying to remain hopeful that these bugs will be worked out! Please read on, and respond if you feel led.

Magic Kingdom Park Makes Disney History As All Walt Disney World Parks Go Turnstile Free « Disney Parks Blog.

Personal MyMagic+ Testing Next Week

Greetings Readers!

Beginning Wednesday, December 4, I will be at Walt Disney World and starting my own personal testing of the MyMagic+ system. I plan on taking notes and passing it on to you all daily. I am excited about what this could all be, but also a bit apprehensive.

Magicband-Box

There has been a lot of negative stuff on the web the past few days, talking about how the investment in this project has halted other ‘creative’ projects. This may be true, but I don’t know if the source can be trusted. All I know is that am one who believes that Disney will get it right! Walt was one to create technology that didn’t previously exist, and this is just another step in that process.

As I am preparing for my departure, I am working to make sure I have everything I need to give you as much as I can. That may include pictures, some video, or who knows what.

If there is anything specific you want to know about the MagicBand process, please email me at threestrandswdw@hotmail.com and I’ll do my best to get results!

The adventure begins Tuesday as I drive about 19 hours to WDW! Until then, may Disney Magic fill your weekend! Happy Thanksgiving to those in the USA!

Be Blessed!!!

Is Star Wars All There Is

With Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm, there has been a lot of talk about creating a Star Wars Land somewhere on the Walt Disney World resort property, most likely at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. My question is, with so many fabulous properties under the Lucasfilm brand, why limit ourselves to Star Wars.

LucasMouse

I got to thinking about this after listening to some thoughts shared on one of my favorite podcasts, Resort Loop at http://www.resortloop.com, that we may be limiting our vision a bit. On the podcast, the question was raised as part of a discussion about creating a fifth gate on the WDW property. If that is to be considered, I think it fits best to be LucasLand and to include more of the Lucas films. Who can forget one of the earliest movies out of the Lucas corral, American Graffiti? And, of course, there’s more that could be done with Indiana Jones! And, I’d like to see something that would explain the evolution of THX sound!

Sure, I’d love to see more Star Wars at any of the Disney Parks. But, if we consider the idea of a fifth park at WDW, I think there’s enough in the Lucas arsenal to bring several ideas to life.

This is just my opinion, but I wanted to share and seek your input, as well.

Thanks for reading and have a blessed and magical evening!

Christmas in the World

Christmas WDW
Photo from WDW Info

As I am in the midst of preparing for our next visit to Walt Disney World, I am excited about the plethora of Christmas options being offered in the Magic Kingdom and EPCOT.

We are skipping Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, I just can justify the cost for this trip. Someday, I hope to be able to fit it in, just for the experience. We have Candlelight Processional booked with our meal (I’ll save the location until after our trip). And, I am really looking forward to the Holidays around the World at EPCOT! I think seeing how other countries handle this beautiful time of year.

Osbourne Lights at Disney’s Hollywood Studios should be an absolute delight. Pardon the pun! And, of course, the Magic Kingdom is still decorated! I am really going to enjoy this vacation! I am also hoping to drop by a few resorts to get some pictures of the decorations. We are staying at Art Of Animation, but I hope to see Wilderness Lodge, Grand Floridian, and maybe Port Orleans – Riverside, too.

So, let me ask you all to help me out a little.

Have fun with this! That’s all it’s meant to be!

Have a Blessed and Magical Weekend!

One Man’s Dream

Years ago, when I first visited Walt Disney World with only two parks, I went to the Magic Kingdom. I remember on the right as I walked in the gate that there was a theater marquee that read “The Walt Disney Story”. Inside were a few small exhibits with pictures and replicas of the Oscars given to Walt for “Snow White”, and a movie called “The Walt Disney Story”. That movie was the telling of the history of who Walt Disney was, and what he accomplished despite the setbacks and struggles.

One Man's Dream

Now, when you head to Disney’s Hollywood Studios, you go to the Animation Courtyard area and find “Walt Disney: One Man’s Dream”. There you will find some of the same things, and more!! A multi-plane camera like the one used by Disney Animators in the making of “Snow White” and other classics, a scale model of Walt’s Burbank Studio office, many biographical and historical pictures with details, and at the end of that little museum walk, a theater that presents “Walt Disney: One Man’s Dream”.

Many people walk past this theater because maybe they don’t feel it’s all that important as compared to getting to Toy Story Midway Mania or Tower of Terror, but it is an opportunity to show those who never knew him, to meet Walt Disney through history! I never miss it! So, I urge you, next time you visit Disney’s Hollywood Studios, make it a point to see this movie and keep Walt’s memory alive! Maybe it will inspire one of our kids to be the Walt of a new generation!

Thanks for reading and have a Blessed Day!!