We got up early again on Monday to get to Disney's Hollywood Studios. I though the name change had gone into effect on the 1st, but they told us that the day we went (Jan 7) was the official first day of "Disney's Hollywood Studios." Quite a few times we heard a cast member say something about "Disney MG - oh, uh, Disney's Hollywood Studios."
First we made a mad dash to Rock and Roller Coaster. 5 minute wait. My bf didn't really want to go on this since he doesn't really like roller coaster and he despises Aerosmith, but I talked him into it. I really liked it - definitely the most extreme of the thrill rides at Disney World! The first part, where you're just blasted forward and do some loops and stuff in total darkness was AWESOME. Even though I'm not a fan of Aerosmith (until riding this, the only song I had heard of theirs was the Armageddon song!), the ride was totally worth having to listen to the music. Totally fun! I screamed really loud...though I do that on a lot of rides...my bf complains I'm going to make him go deaf!
By the time we got out of Rock and Roller Coaster, the line for ToT was long (about 35-40 min, if I remember right), so we got a FASTPASS.
Next we went on the Great Movie Ride about a ten minute wait pretty early in the morning...not impressed with this. Too slow and boring for me, although this could be because I hadn't seen most of the movies on the ride (they were mostly really old movies!). The only ones I had seen was Alien (which was the highlight of the ride) and Wizard of Oz (though I haven't seen that movie since I was about 5 years old). Our car broke down right near the end (before the doors opened up to get to the unloading area) - our tour guide cast member guy tried to keep us entertained with jokes and stuff, but eventually he ran out and just looked nervous! Finally they fixed the ride and we were free to go!
The Backlot Tour was decent...but looked really lame next to the Backlot Tour of Universal Studios Hollywood. If I had never gone to the Universal one, maybe the Disney one would have been cooler. No line, though, we walked right on. Although there was one cool thing - my bf and I were chosen as "actors" for that mini-movie thing they make at the beginning (with a ship getting bombed and shot at). It was fun - we wore giant boots and a big rain coat and pants to protect our clothes and shoes...the outfit smelled funny though!
It was hard to hear the instructions they were yelling at us during the action, but it was still fun. We got SO much water splashed on us, but because of the protective outfit, our real clothes stayed mostly dry.
Star Tours was nice...I seem to remember the one at Disneyland being of longer duration and more rocking around, but that could be my imagination. We got a FASTPASS for this right after the Indy Stunt Show, since it was packed right after the show let out. There was some kind of "Jedi training" thing outside Star Tours that a lot of kids were totally having fun at.
Both stunt shows (Indy and Lights! Motors! Action!) were very cool. They were some of the best parts of Hollywood Studios. The Indy one is much more humorous, but some of the car and motorcycle stunts (including a guy skidding of his motorcycle and catching on fire!) were amazing!
Sounds Dangerous was okay. A short wait while we waited for the next show to start. I was TOTALLY freaked out by the sound of the swarm of bees! I'm very bee-phobic...that part nearly gave me a heart attack!
Muppet Vision 3-D was really cute. Again, little wait (this was mid-afternoon). My bf and I both liked it. The two old guy puppets in the balcony (what are their names?) were totally funny. The bunny puppet was cute. When Beaker came on the screen, a bunch of kids yelled out his name in unison - I didn't know he was such a kid favorite!
When I was looking up Disney menus online, I read that ABC Commissary had a tabbouleh wrap and a vegetable noodle stirfry. When we went there, those items weren't on the menu! I asked the cashier and he said they had stopped offering them.
So the only other quick vegetarian food stuff we could find nearby was a grilled vegetable sandwich at Backlot Express, which was too oily for my bf and it was pretty much made up of veggies he didn't like anyway (he's a picky vegetarian!). Thankfully we packed enough sandwiches for him to eat for lunch and dinner. The cashier told us he thought they offered a veggie burger somewhere in the park, but he didn't know where. Besides, after the really gross veggie burger at MK, we weren't psyched to try one here. We didn't want to go to a sit down restaurant (takes up too much time and is outside of our budget!).
After lunch we headed back to ToT (it was past our return time but they let us on with no problems). We sat in the front row. I loved it! The unpredictable drop sequences, the special effects, the theming and overall spookiness...totally awesome! Unfortunately, my bf complained it made his head feel "weird" so we didn't go on it again.
We headed over to claim seats for Fantasmic at about 5:20 (show at 7). There was already quite a line! We ate our sandwiches while we waited. We got nice seats when they let us into the stadium...and then it started to rain!
We got pretty wet waiting there. I went up to buy a towel from the Disney guy at the front of the stadium and I asked him if they would cancel the show. He said the show would go on unless there was thunder or lightning. So we kept waiting...some people left, figuring that Fantasmic would be canceled. But eventually the rain let up and the show went on! It was just raining a little during Fantasmic. The show was totally awesome! I loved it! Lots of cool effects of all kinds! I loved how it wasn't just one thing (not just fireworks, not just lighting, not just characters) but an amazing combo. I think it is better than the one in Disneyland because it is SO much nicer to be seated in a stadium than be jostling all over each other trying to see around the lake.
We used evening EMH to see Voyage of the Little Mermaid, which I loved since that was one of my fave movies as a kid. I loved when they sang "Under the Sea" - I used to sing that song to my parents all the time! My bf has never seen the Little Mermaid movie (!) and he said now there is no reason to, since he's seen this version. I think I'll have to make him watch it sometime though! Also, he said Ariel was a "stalker" over Eric!
By the time we made it back to the buses, we got on the second shuttle (although we again had to stand!).
Overall, I think the Studios were okay. I think they need more cool rides like Rock and Roller Coaster and ToT...more cool stunt shows too! The movie oriented stuff (like the Great Movie Ride and the Backlot Tour) really pales in comparison to Universal Studios (Hollywood, that is - never been to the Orlando one). Also, like most of the parks, they need more counter service vegetarian food (Epcot was the only park that had a lot of good veg options).
The next park we hit was Animal Kingdom - I'll talk about that in my next post!