Friday, April 14, 2017

Orlando Day 3

DisneyWorld has 4 parks including Hollywood Studios, which you won't find in California.
After the long day yesterday, we knew we'd have a hard time getting everyone over to Hollywood Studios by 9 am when it opened, but we managed to get there about 9:20 and headed straight for Star Tours. That was easily the favorite ride of the day, and we returned a total of 4 times, and each time it was different. We'd sit in the same theater seats, but the 3-D movie was different every time. The boys favorite was the final time, when Darth Vader grabbed our ship and shook it around with the force really hard! I think the boys would have been content to just loop through Star Tours for the entire day. One of our favorite parts of Star Tours is that they choose someone from the audience to be the rebel spy. One time it was Dad, and another time it was Seth. It was so fun to see their pictures pop up on the screen!
It was hard to capture how much the children loved Star Tours,
but I guess 4 times on the ride is enough to show it was their favorite of the day.
Waiting in line at Star Tours is fun, too!
On one of our rides the cousins took up almost the entire theater!
Another time riding Star Tours with a different group!
We had so much fun.
Everyone had a different post on the speeder. Here is Dax.
Classic Seth face.
Even Dad got in on the speeder pictures.
Mark had an original pose!!
There are lots of things to see in Hollywood Studios, so we headed over to the Beauty and the Beast show. We were running a little late, and we had to sprint, but lucky the Hollywood property would all fit in Epcot's lake. When we go there, they closed the gate in front of us. We were disappointed, but Aunt Melanie came running out and told them she had seats for us. They opened the gate back up and we made it inside and only missed the first minute of the performance. This was a beautiful stage version of the movie. It only lasted about 30 minutes, and the boys thought it was nice, but Mom and Dad really loved it! The costumes and dancing were really fun, and that show is easily the best Disney story.
The show was so fun. It was all the songs, so everyone was singing along!
Mom loves this story!
Here's the end where the Beast is now a prince!
We all watched the show together minus Jason who came late today.
After an early sandwich lunch we went on the Toy Story ride. This was a favorite of the boys because we rode in little cars with shooters. There were two tubes on the front of every car, and they had a string coming out of the back. You aimed the tube and pulled the string to shoot targets. The whole ride was basically driving up to a target range, shooting like crazy for 30 seconds, and driving to the next target range. Dad and Seth rode together and laughed and laughed as Seth pulled the little trigger string as fast as he could. Most of his shots went straight up to the ceiling, but he had a better time than anyone.
The streets were designed to look like Hollywood, and it was just as crowded as the real Hollywood.
I didn't get any pictures on the Toy Story ride because we got split up, but you can see the Sunset Theater.
And here is the Chinese Mann Theater.
This was the hottest day of our trip, over 95 degrees, so we bought some frozen lemonades, which were totally worth any amount of money. We sat in the shade with all the cousins and sipped lemonade until Dad began to get antsy. Then we split up and Dad and Mark, Mom, Bob and Abby ran to the Aerosmith ride because the line was short. Well, at least we thought it was short. When we showed up we found out that the line was over two hours. So we decided to hop into the single rider line, but at the last second Abby got nervous, so Mom stepped out with her so Bob could ride. We didn't get to go together, but we were back with the group in fewer than 45 minutes. The ride was a super fast roller coaster, which reminded Dad of Space Mountain in the old days when it was dark, fast, and spinning all over the place. Mark said the best part was singing the Aerosmith songs. Dad just likes screaming in the dark. Mom and Abby wandered around for a bit because Steph and Raymond were meeting Woody, and Grandma and Melanie had all the other kids in a movie. We all caught up together at the next Fast Pass.
Mom and Abby had a good time just wandering around waiting for everyone else. 
Disney Junior was our next show, and it was geared to 5 year-olds. Our kids were pretty tired and hungry, so they were happy about just sitting on the floor. Unfortunately, because we don't watch that much TV, they didn't know any of the characters. Seth didn't even get excited when they dropped bubbles on us, and he didn't get up and dance when the time came. He did like the part with his favorite character, Captain Hook, and Dax gathered a lot of paper coins that blew out of an exploding treasure chest.
The Disney Junior show was fun, but our boys didn't know most of the characters.
Seth loves Captain Hook, though, even though he's never seen the Neverland Pirates TV show.
Seth looks so tired as he claps along in this picture.
As soon as that show ended, we hoofed it over to lunch. Grandpa had another character lunch for us, and the food was buffet style. There was prime rib and roast turkey, along with a lot of other things, and there were some pretty fancy desserts. We were so tired and it was so hot that we spent almost an hour and a half in the restaurant. We got to see most of the characters three or four times in that span, and it was some of our favorites. Goofy came first, and he was the boys' favorite. Mickey was next, and we ended up getting his autograph in our book three different times throughout the week. The best encounter was Minnie. She gave each of the boys a kiss right on the head. They didn't know whether to be ashamed or not! Donald Duck came by, too, and unlike in the cartoons, he didn't seem angry at all. Finally, we all took a picture with Daisy. She was standing at the front of the restaurant greeting everyone, so she didn't come around to the tables. It was so much fun. The character lunches turned out to be some of the most fun things we did on the whole vacation.

Donald Duck was wearing a snappy ensemble at lunch.
Goofy was really tall. We were all happy to see him, though.
Daisy never left this area at the entrance to the restaurant, so we had to go to her.
We had the characters sign a little autograph book, and it was amazing how similar the different Mickey signatures were.
Dad has always liked Donald Duck the best.
The boys didn't realize that Minnie kissed each of them.
She got every one of them, though.
When they saw the pictures, they were horrified!
Mom has always liked Minnie the most.
I don't think we ever got all 24 of us in a picture, but this was pretty close.
A lot of Hollywood Studios is geared around Star Wars, and we stopped and watched two different outdoor shows. During one, Kylo Ren was battling Rey, and she had a bunch of little Jedis who were lucky enough to get to participate, helping her. The other show featured cameos from almost all of the new Star Wars characters. Then we went to a mashup Star Wars movie, that was about becoming a Jedi. It went through the first seven movies and showed scenes from each one, strung together to tell a Jedi story. Though the footage was familiar, the story was still unique. The boys really enjoy all that type of stuff, and Seth chose to spend his share of the Disney Jar, which the boys have been saving for about a year, on his own red light saber.
Kylo Ren is a very intimidating figure.
The boys aren't nearly as scared of Darth Vader.
This show was so busy that we couldn't get around to the front to see very well.
One of the features of Hollywood Studios is a stunt showed geared around Indiana Jones. None of the boys have ever seen an Indiana Jones movie, but we went to the show anyway. This show had three scenes that demonstrate how a movie is made. Dax was a bit afraid of the loud pistol shots and explosions, but he got into the spirit of the stunts as Indiana flipped, rolled, whipped, and punched the bad guys. The show was pretty funny, too, with narrators stopping the scenes to explain the stunts and pulling people out of the audience to participate. I don't think the boys are old enough for Indiana Jones yet, but at least they got to know who he is a little bit.
Indiana came down a rope from the ceiling. He was a real stuntman.
There were several fighting sequences, but the chases were better.
They even blew a truck up!
Soon we were running out of daylight, and we still wanted to do two shows. Dad really wanted to see the Muppet Show, which is done in 3-D. It was 35 minutes long, and every bit as zany as the old Muppet TV Show. The boys really liked the 3-D effects, too, because they came right to you. Both Seth and Dax were reaching to grab flying Muppets. They also sprayed water and bubbles and things on you, which made it really fun. None of the boys were brave enough to go high-five Sweetums when he came out before the show started, though. Mom and Dad's favorite part was Waldorf and Statler wise-cracking from the balcony. When we came out of the show, it was twilight, and we knew we had to hurry.
The boys look great in their pink glasses at the Muppet Show.
Sweet'ums was a bit intimidating. They stayed back from the rope!
Some of this show was done with really Muppets. The rest was done as a 3-D movie.
We ran hard to get to the Little Mermaid show and found out that it ran from 7:40 until 7:57. Unfortunately, we had to be at the final show of the night by 8:00. We didn't let that stop us, though. The usher told us if we really wanted to see Little Mermaid, we could sit in the back row and run out as soon as it ended. We could still make it to the seating for our next show. Little Mermaid was interesting because it was part live-action and part cartoon. Ariel was a real mermaid sitting on a rock, but a lot of the scenes were done on screen. Like Beauty and the Beast, this was a shortened version of the movie, so the boys were disappointed when their favorite scene with Chef Louis didn't make the cut. As the lights came on, we took off running again. We just made it in time to get to the finale of the night, which is a massive show called Fantasmic.
Ariel sang beautifully.
The animatronic Ursula was huge. 
Fantasmic takes place after dark, and the story is that Mickey Mouse is dreaming and the bad guys from about every Disney movie invade his dreams. There is a massive gallery of seats like you are at SeaWorld. In the front, there's a huge water area, and a mountain towers over the back. Mickey is dancing and shooting fireworks all over the place, and then they shoot water up and project movie clips on to the curtains of water. It gives the feeling of a misty sort of dream, and occasionally, real characters show up on stage and battle or help Mickey. The show is pretty long, and the coolest battle is between Mickey and a massive Jafar serpent. Then, in the final battle, he shoots the black dragon, which is really Malificent, with Excalibur. Finally, all the characters come sailing out and waving from a riverboat. The boys really loved this show, and even though it ended pretty late, we were glad we stayed. Stephanie and Mom brough glow sticks that helped keep the kids occupied while we waited for the show to start. And luckily Grandpa had spoiled us with preferred seating so we had amazing seats and we didn't have to shove a million people out of the way for them!
In one of the Fantasmic scenes, Mickey dreams about the princesses and they float by.
Ariel and Eric floated by.
Snow White and Prince Charming.
The dreams became nightmares and Jafar turned into a snake.
The final battle pitted Mickey and Excalibur versus Malificent's dragon.
Then about every Disney character floated by waving goodbye.
It was pretty dark and plenty late for a picture, but we had to take one anyway!
By the time we got shuttled back to the car and drove home it was after 10pm, but we gave the boys showers anyway. We've got to be all cleaned up for tomorrow's big adventure!

1 comment:

  1. Oh my gosh!! This post brought back a ton of memories for me!! Sounds like it was another fun-filled day!


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