You know, if I’m going to travel around the world with this knee scooter I feel like it should have a name. I’m leaning towards Matthew but would love some suggestions!
Since I’ve never been to Disney World before I don’t have a frame of reference about when to visit each park, I relied on a website called Under Cover Tourist to tell me what to do. And they told me today would be a good day for Hollywood Studios.
The first thing I really noticed about Hollywood Studios is how much it’s like California Adventure. You can tell that they took a lot of the elements from Hollywood Studios and put them into California Adventure; although I feel like the elements are really turned up in California. California Adventure definitely has had its growing pains, after all it was completely revamped starting only six years after it initially opened. Hollywood Studios feels like it still hasn’t quite found its place in the Disney Universe. They are working on adding to their Pixar area, which will help, but the whole place could use a little spiffing up.
That being said, they have Tower of Terror so I’m happy! They also have a lot of other great offerings.
Getting there from the hotel is really simple, they have a bus shuttle service that can run you from the hotel to any of the parks; just line up at the sign that lists where you want to go. I did think it was funny that the security guard at the gates of the park that checked my purse looked in every pocket, including a little pouch I have in there with pain relievers and Tums, and even the littlest pocket, but didn’t look in the bag that hangs on the front of my scooter at all!
Disney World FastPasses work differently than Disneyland. Here you get three a day, but you can actually book them in advance by 30 or 60 days depending on if you’re staying in a Disney Hotel or not. I booked Tower of Terror, then Rock ‘n’ Rollercoaster, and then Star Tours. The plan was to try and hit Midway Mania first, then follow up with Tower of Terror, etc. However, the line for Midway Mania was never less than an hour (and up to two and a half hours at one point), since I was on the knee scooter today I knew it would be too painful to stand in the line that long so I ended up skipping it.
Instead I head straight to Tower of Terror! Which was closed temporarily. After checking the app (gotta love the apps!) I went to Star Tours that only had a ten-minute wait. Not to shabby! And they put me in the front row which was awesome. There was a French family sitting next to me, and you could tell that the mom was the real Star Wars fan. Every time there was something she recognized she’d yell and point it out to her son. At one point I looked over and she had the huge grin on her face. I love those moments at Disney!
Luckily when I got out of Start Tours, Tower of Terror had opened so I was able to head there next and use my FastPass. It is such a great ride! I just love it, man. I loved it so much that as soon as I got off I canceled the unused FastPass I had for Star Tours (the FastPass was for the afternoon, so I didn’t need to use it that morning), and exchanged it for an afternoon Tower of Terror FastPass.
But before that I had a FastPass for Rock’n’Rollercoaster. DUDE! It was so good! It’s a dark ride, like Space Mountain, but it also a straight up rollercoaster! I had no idea that it went upside down, and corkscrewed. It also has a quick start, which is awesome. They take a picture of you just as it starts, I’m sorry I can’t post it here but it cracked me up; inn the picture I’m laughing (as I’m liken to do) and the girl next to me is screaming.
After that I needed to slow the boat a bit, so I went to The Voyage of the Little Mermaid, which is a stage show. You can tell that it is a bit dated, but would have been state of the art when it opened in 1992. They do some of the most popular songs using a combination of actors and puppets. It was a fun a break from the heat and hubbub.
I wanted to keep that sitting around thing going so the next place I visited was the Muppet 3D show. I have to say, I’ve seen a lot of 3D shows in the last couple of weeks, but I really enjoyed this one. The story line is good, the 3D is on point, not to mention its full of the characters we love. Now, I hate to mention this, but we do see Miss Piggy’s unmentionables… twice. So, you know, protect your children.
I had tried to do some research about which quick service restaurant I should get lunch at, one article had the ABC Commissary as the number one choice. I headed there and was completely disappointed. The food was mediocre at best, and they rung up the wrong order for me. Hollywood Studios has some really cool theme restaurants, so if you come here I’d encourage you to make reservations at one of those locations and skip the quick service.
After lunch and a little walking around, I headed over to the Indian Jones Stunt Spectacular. I like the way they did this one, it was much more a “here’s how we do it” kind of thing. They had some scene changes, which was particularly cool because you got to see them move the huge set pieces. And they blew stuff up. Fire is pretty, so I liked that.
I had the final FastPass to use at the Tower of Terror, and gee willikers was it a doozy! Even with my FastPass I ended up waiting in line for a long time. They said that one of the elevators was down, no big deal, it would just take a little longer to get to the front of the line. After a while I just sat on my knee scooter and put on podcast; other folks were sitting on the ground and playing games. I got on pretty quick after the line started moving again.
Once you get through the pre-show you head back into another waiting area, this line diverges into two. I took the one less traveled, and that made all the difference. The ride went as normal, there was lifting, there was dropping, there was screaming, there was laughing. But when the ride was supposed to end we got stuck. There were some people that were more freaked out than others, the lady in front of me was quite vocal about her discontent. The guy next to me was quiet but judging by the death grip he had on the armrest he wasn’t doing too good either. Once they turned on the lights, everyone relaxed a little bit.
All in all, it was a great experience! You’re having a shared experience with 20 other people that you’ve never met before. There’s nothing you can do but try and have a good time with it. There was joking, debates on football teams. There was talk of singing a song, but that never came to fruition. Everyonre kept their spirits up and the good times rolling. What can I say? I’d do it again.
That seemed like a good place to end the day!
To end this post I would like to share with you something I heard a kid say today. “This is totally awesome!”
Okay, see you tomorrow!