Blog post number 2 as I continue on my experience visiting Disney World for the first time in fall of 2019. If you missed my post on Epcot, you can find it here.
Today I am focusing on Hollywood Studios. It was my husband's second favorite park (a close second for him) and I would rank it number 3 of 4 parks. This park has gotten some attention lately because of the addition of Galaxy's Edge. Its an area of the park that is designed to feel like you have stepped into a new planet and are part of the Star Wars universe. I have to admit, though I enjoyed a couple of the newer movies like Rouge One, I am not really a Star Wars fan. I never got the hype. I will say I thought the area thematically was well done. Not as cool as Harry Potter World at Universal, but I can see how fans of the movie franchise would enjoy it.
Picture below taken by me of the Millennium Falcon in Galaxy's Edge.
As a reminder, we only dedicated one full day to each park. We tried to do all that we could, but there are only so many hours in a day. Here is a break down of what we did by category and my thoughts.
We actually took in 3 shows while we were visiting this park
Beauty & the Beast
This was sort of a spur of the moment decision. We saw the show was about to start and wanted to sit down for a little bit. The show pretty much tells the exact story as the cartoon movie, with the same songs. The biggest difference is that is a condensed version that just hits the highlights. Its one of those, that you fill in the missing pieces in the story line because you know the movie so well. if you had never seen the movie, it may feel like its lacking something. However, I am going to guess if you are at Disney World, you have seen this movie. Not one I would go out of may way to see but it was a nice way to sit down and take it easy for a while without worrying if you were paying attention.
Photo taken during show by my husband Wanderer.Steve.
This to me was classic and a must see for us when planning our trip. Any time I ever seen a TV show where they visited Disney World, this show somehow makes it in (Full House anyone?). The person running down the path from the big rock ball is something I knew I would see before I even sat down. This show was interesting to me. I expected it to be a minor retelling of the movie, but it was more a behind the scenes of the movie. They perform some scenes from the movie, but also explain the process behind some of the stunts. You get the action of the movie, but also feel like you are part of the crew. It was one I was glad to see once, but not sure I would do it repeatedly when visiting the park in the future.
Photo taken during show by myself on iPhone.
Frozen Sing Along Celebration
This one is from the first Frozen movie (the second one was not quite out yet when we went). There are two historians of Arandelle who take you through the countries recent history, which is the first Frozen movie. As they tell the story they sing the songs from the movie. Their is a big screen up with the lyrics and the audience is encouraged to sing along. Though Elsa, Anna, and Kristoff do make an appearance in the show, the two historians are the main entertainers and they are awesome! They were hilarious, entertaining, and made it a true Disney experience. They add their personal spins and jokes that work for both kids and adults. This was my favorite show of all the parks and they were the reason why.
As I may have mentioned before and probably will again, my husband and I shared almost every meal. We decided that by only ordering a couple of small things per restaurant was the best way for us. We could each try it and not ever get really full. That would allow us to sample more food as there was lots we wanted to try.
Woody's Lunch Box
We started our day at Hollywood Studios here eating breakfast. We had the breakfast bowel which is breakfast all in one bowl. Eggs. potatoes, and brisket all smothered in a white gravy. The we shared a fruit lunch box tart, which is Disney's version of a pop-tart, but so much better. I think the tarts are what this place is known for and I highly recommend trying.
Photo of the lunch tarts below from Disney World's site.
Any pre-trip research I did mentioned this is the place to go if you want good Italian food and it did not disappoint. We were there middle of the afternoon. We didn't make a reservation, but luckily they squeezed the two of us in at the bar. I think we got lucky, so I do recommend reservations if you plan to eat there. We enjoyed the bar as we sat right next to the woman who had to roll the bread for the flatbread's they served. We didn't want to stuff ourselves on pasta or something heavy so opted for two appetizers to share. The calamari, and the margherita flatbread (watching her make them looked too good to pass up); both were excellent. We also had a nice glass of wine and some delicious bread with olive oil to dip our bread in while we chatted and waited for our food. Next return trip, this place is high on my list to visit again and enjoy and actual entree.
Jack Jack's Num-Num Cookies
This was sold at a stand in the park that had stuff for The Incredibles. This was sort of dessert to satisfy my sweet tooth. Its a chocolate chip cookie on steroids. Bigger and much thicker (that's what she said), and more a cookie bar. I enjoyed it but honestly not the best chocolate chip cookie/bar I've ever had. It was a little to much sugar for me and that says something, as I have a sugar addiction problem.
Rosie's All American Cafe
For dinner I really wanted to try Hollywood Brown Derby but was full from the late lunch at Mama Melrose's and the cookie. The Brown Derby looked busy, and was much more expensive. We just weren't feeling it and decided to go to a quick service option. They had your classic park food like hamburgers, hot dogs, fries,etc. We shared the chicken nuggets and fries basket. It was typical for what you expect from a theme park but its Disney, so a little bit better than standard.
Finally we get to the good stuff, the rides! Now since we have been there, two new rides have opened. Rise of the Resistance and Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway. We saw the outside of both and know the location, but they were not open yet for us to try them out.
This is the Millennium Falcon ride in Galaxy's Edge. I did not ride this ride. I have mixed emotions on rides with screens. Some are ok but some get me motion sick. Not being a Star Wars fan either, I had no desire to ride this. My husband did though. The good part is he used the single rider without me and was able to get on this ride quickly. I asked him his thoughts. He said he got the engineer position, and showed me his photo of his perfect score in this position. He enjoyed the ride but would like to try it again before making an official judgement. He would like to try another position next time. I have heard from many fans of the ride, that whoever you get for pilot can make or break your ride.
Photo of his perfect score taken by Wanderer.Steve.
Tower of Terror
This was me and my husband's favorite ride of the park, and one we did twice. I have to admit I was a little nervous about this one. I'm not always a fan of the rides that take you high and just drop you. This one is handled well, and I didn't get the big feeling in my stomach that makes me nauseous on similar rides. The drops were smoother and I found myself smiling and laughing as they occurred. I just wish the view from the top lasted a little longer.
Photo below of outside of building taken by me.
Rock N Roller Coaster
This is an indoor roller coaster with an Aerosmith theme. When you enter the building it feels like you are going into a music recording studio and greeted by a video of the band Aerosmith. They eventually invite you and give you a back stage pass to the concert, which leads you into the ride itself. The ride takes you through a dark building with neon lights, a few small loops and turns; all at a faster speed. While you travel you get to listen to one of the band's songs. This enjoyed this ride immensely and almost beat out tower of Tower of Terror for favorite ride of this park.
Slinky Dog Dash
The other roller coaster in the park we tried located in Toy Story land. this one always seemed to have a massive line and wait time. We could not get a fast pass and finally decided to suck it up when the estimated wait time was only 90 minutes (which ended up being more like 210 minutes). We did it after our lunch at Mama Melrose's, which worked out well. We were full and it gave our food time to digest. Its a cute coaster and overall not bad, but not nearly as good as most of the other coasters in Disney World as a whole. I'm glad we did it but I would never wait that long again to ride it. I would only ride it again with a fast pass or if the wait time was under an hour.
Photo below taken by me of the giant glue bottle while in line for Slinky Dog Dash.
Overall, even though I ranked it number 3 of my parks, I really did enjoy this park. While I wont return to Epcot until some of the updates are done, I would this park tomorrow if I could. The rides are solid, it had the best shows, and the food was delicious. To me its not the same as Magic Kingdom where I could go from open to close, but its worth dedicating most of a day here. I look forward to my return visit. To leave is a picture I found below on Unsplash, which makes the Tower of Terror looks creepy! Thought it as a great image!