Friday, August 15, 2014

Trip Report 2013 - Day #3 - Hollywood Studios Rope Drop, Morning Extra Magic Hours, Hoop Dee Doo, Play 'n Dine

A new day equals a new rope drop to be had.

We beat the sun to Hollywood Studios this morning and was able to watch the sunrise through the palm trees.  We are there to tackle Morning Extra Magic Hours!

Also looking into the theme park we get a great sunrise hue over the park.

With the advent of FastPass+ we needed a quick way to see our schedule.  I know I should say "I open MDE app and its all there!"  but it is so slow opening some times when you are in the park, it is nice just to have it all in writing.  Anyway you can see how we have our day laid out.  We put start times for FastPasses if they have an hour return window but the show (Disney Jr.) only has a 15 min window so we put both start and end times one that one.  Also our dining reservation numbers.  We have a picture of the paper because I liked to just open my phone and look at the picture of the paper.  Still way faster then the app.

Getting close to being time to head in.  The electronics are put away and smiles are on faces.

We are in and we are nearly the first ones on Toy Story Midway Mania!

Sam road on her own this time around.  The world was not built for a family of five.

The boy team doing the practice round.  Maybe Doug should focus on the targets.

I told you he should have focused he didn't break 200,000 so we have to listen to him whine until his next try.  He blamed the gun.  

After Toy Story Midway Mania, we headed to meet Sofia the First.  She starts her meets a little after park opening so you have to check your times guide.  Luckily for us she started at 8:15 so we really did not have to wait much more then 15 min.  Lines for characters don't get very long when the character is not present.  So knowing when they start is key.  

After waiting for Sofia for a little bit Alden decided he was too cool to meet her, so Doug and Alden went to meet Jake from Jake and the Neverland Pirates instead.  

Now it is time to put on our big boy pants and go on some "big kid" rides!  We went from Sofia over to the end of Sunset Boulevard.   Alden was going to ride Rock 'n' Roller Coaster  for the first time. Sam chickened out and decided to do tower of Terror in stead.   

Alden did it.  He wasn't sure if he went upside down or not but he did it and it is his new favorite ride.  

Meanwhile... the short (Clair), the chicken (Samantha), and the motion sick (Doug) went on the much tamer ride, Tower of Terror. I had no problems with Alden in line for Rock 'n' Roller Coaster  while Doug had his hands full with the girls in line for Tower.  The preshow has lots of lighting in it and then you go into a second line in the boiler room.  Samantha decided to cry, even though she has been on the ride since she was three.  Eventually, the people around Doug in line started to talk to Samantha about how much fun it is.  Doug said he has never ridden with a nicer group of people.  Almost his whole elevator was one big group.  They even talked to Samantha and Clair after the ride.  Doug said it was much better then in 2012 when both Alden and Samantha cried in line while everyone around stared at him.  As soon as the ride was over, they both wanted to do it again.  So, the moral of the story is to put up with a little crying to get them on the ride.  They guy in front of Clair actually felt bad when looking at the picture because he blocked her.  

After our big thrills, it is on to the Shooting gallery to meet Buzz Lightyear and Woody.  The que to meet them is a bunch of different photo ops.

Somedays I think they might get lost in the luggage.  

This meet has a neat background because it looks like Andy's bed in his bedroom in the movie.

The McKnight's and the Kirk's 

After meeting some toys we would criss cross the park to hit Star Tours before the line got too crazy long. On our way we ran into Doug's cousin's family.  So we made the kids pose for a quick picture.  They were on their last day of their trip and headed to the airport after lunch in the park.  They were also on a mission to use up some of their last dining plan credits.  It was really fun to run into them in the park.  We did not plan it because neither of us really wanted to be stuck to a plan to meet up.  You can tell that both families are set in their park touring ways. :) Doug had already met up with them and gotten some of their "left overs."  We were even staying at the same hotel but it is so huge that when he met up a car was in involved.  We talked for about 10 min and then we were both on our way.  

The before picture of Doug and the kids right before we boarded Star Tours.  He was still wearing his patch from the flight down.  Even with the patch it still gets him a little sit.  He says the "light speed" parts really get him and looking away or closing eyes does not help.  The kids just call him a wimp.  We run with a rough crowd.  

Now back accross the park to meet some folks.  We basically walked right into meet Minnie Mouse.   They still hadn't put up a sign so no one knows where she is.  This is in the back of the Animation building.

We also went to meet Wreck it Ralph.  He was up to no good and stood in front of Vanellope.  (Look closely, she's behind him!)

Clair loves Vanellope and told him to move so he finally behaved himself!  

Now it was time for another spin on Toy Story Midway Mania.  Doug was off his game so I won't even post his score.  

We were a little early for our lunch reservation so we got a family picture.

They kids almost seem to know how to smile.

Getting a little better.  

We were hungry and still had over 30 minutes before our Play 'n Dine reservation.  We have had luck in the past with getting in a few min early or late but we have never tried 37 minuets.  That is exactly how early we checked in for lunch 37 min.  We were seated in about 10 minutes which is normal for Play 'n Dine.   

We really enjoy Play 'n Dine at Hollywood and Vine because it has lots of good food and it has a big, easy to move around buffet.  We also feel like the clock is ticking on how much longer our kids will want to eat here due to the Preschool characters.

  The kids met June from Little Einsteins.

Jake from Jake and the Neverland Pirates.

Handy Manny and Alden.

And Special Agent Oso.   If you want to see more about Play 'n Dine you can check out our review of it HERE.

After lunch we met some cars…

The whole family with Lighting McQueen and our favorite Mater - Larry the cable guy voices him and he is from my mom's home town - Pawnee City, Nebraska.

When looking at this picture lets keep in mind we were at the Halloween Party yesterday.  Actually we were leaving the party extremely early this morning and now we have Christmas!

In case you ever need to find the biggest, emptiest bathroom in all of Disney world…this is it.  It is located between the entrances to the Backlot Tour and Lights Motor Action.  It is packed after the show gets out but if you check your times guide and avoid those times (usually only 1 or 2 times a day) then you can have the whole place to yourself.

We decided to take the kids on the Back Lot Tour for the first time ever.  

It is entertaining and the kids liked it, but I remember it when it was much longer and a lot more involved.  They either need to update it or replace it, just my opinion.

Here is their version of updating.  They put eyes on all the planes.  Because of the movie planes!!   You can also see the back side of the Lights Motor Action show in the background.  It is a huge stadium.  Be early if you don't want to climb a lot of steps.

They also added a Speeder from Hoth.

After our tour, Clair and I went to Disney Jr. and Doug, Sam and Alden headed to Rock 'n' Roller Coaster. They stood in line for a while and didn't go any where and eventually they announced that it had broken down and had to leave the line.   While in line Doug got to explain what the magic band was and how it was working because no one around him had one on.   And now it was time for a nap!

After our short nap back at the resort we dined at The Hoop-Dee-Doo Revue.  It is located at Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground.  It is not the most convenient meal to get to.  We drove to the resort and then searched for a parking spot.  Then we waited and waited for the internal bus.  Then road on the bus for about 20 min to the Area the pioneer hall was located.  This is us "enjoying" the bus. When we do it again, we would bus to Magic Kingdom then take a boat to Fort wilderness.  The boat lets you out in the right area of the campgrounds.

Here are all the details if you care to enlarge it and read.

This is the face of a mac and cheese eater at a real meal.  She did eat her weight in cornbread and drank enough chocolate milk to let her earn her keep.

It is a wild time.

I got selected to be in the show.  They only pick 4 people out of the whole place so if you don't want to get picked, don't worry, because the odds of being picked on are very low.  I got to do some Can Can dancing.

I got picked by this member of the cast.  He said he picked me because of our shirts.  He grew up in Bellevue, Nebraska (just minutes from where we live)!  It always pays to support the Huskers.  The show was great and so was the food.  I would defiantly recommend it!  The kids loved it!

This was our picture that they take before the meal.  If you want to check out more about the meal you can HERE.

Then we caught a bus back to the van and then headed home sleep!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Sunrise or Sunset?

This picture is in the next trip report.
Who can guess if it is a sunrise or a sunset?  
How well do you know my Disney Travel habits.

If you are the first person to comment below and have the correct location of where this photo was taken at Disney World, my husband will make a custom luggage tag for you! :)  
Leave your answers in the comments below!