Sunday, September 2, 2012

Hollywood Studios: March trip report pt. 7

Wednesday brought another bright and early morning, this time heading to Disney's Hollywood Studios.  We made a bee-line to Toy Story Midway Mania, picked up fast passes, then rode via standby line.  We ended up waiting approximately 20 minutes and enjoyed all the queue details.  Next, we headed to sign the boys up for Jedi Training Academy.  I've never had a problem with this in the past, but the line to sign up was so long that the only way they could get a reserved spot was to miss Fantasmic!  We opted to put them on the stand-by list and check in periodically to see if any kids did not show up.  Unfortunately, that never worked out and Ari was pretty disappointed.
We took a ride on the new Star Tours, which the boys loved, then spent some time in Tatooine Traders.  The boys got their Jedi on in a cool green screen photo, and Star Wars merch was purchased.  Up next, a visit to Muppet-Vision 3D (which had a line outside), then mom and I did the whole divide and conquer, with me taking the boys through the meet & greet with Lightning McQueen and Mater, then rushing them over to where she was so they could meet Phinneas and Ferb.  By then everyone was starving, so we hit Pizza Planet.  Again, outrageous line, and we had to split up to find a table upstairs.  After everyone ate, the boys had a little time to play in the arcade before we headed back out for the Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular.  We had great seats near the front and both boys really enjoyed the show.  I personally am ready for them to do something new in this area - maybe even bring over the Indiana Jones Adventure ride from Disneyland - but it was fun to see the wonder in the boys' faces as the actors performed each stunt.  It must have been inspiring because after the trip was over, we were treated to stunt shows at home!  Thankfully, those consisted of some well choreographed fight scenes, no jumping off buildings!!
When the show was over, we took another spin on Star Tours, then tried one last time to get the boys into Jedi Training Academy via stand by, but as you read earlier, no success.  So after a quick drink stop at the Backlot Express, we headed to yet another stunt show:  Lights, Motors, Action.  It was packed with people, and we had to move seats a bit before the show started, but once again, we had two very excited boys on our hands.  It's funny to think about the things mom and I probably wouldn't have done if we didn't have the boys with us.  This is definitely one of the things we would have skipped.  But all those car jumps, motorcycles, jet skis, gunfire & explosions, along with an appearance made by Lightning McQueen, secret agent, added up to great fun according to Ari & Payton.
By the time the show was over, we had to get a move on to make it for our dinner reservation at 50's Prime Time.  I LOVE the themeing of this restaurant.  If you've never visited, you really have to check it out.  Every part of the restaurant, including the waiting area and bar, is decorated in classic 1950's style, from the furniture, to the tables which look like something out of grandma's kitchen.  The staff dress in period attire, and many times, refer to themselves as "Cousin."  They will introduce you to the people at tables around you and ask you to set your own table (place the silverware, etc.).  This restaurant is known for it's great comfort food but also for the fun the staff will have with you.  For example, you can get in trouble for putting your elbows on the table or not finishing your vegetables.  Unfortunately for us, although we got a great waiter, he just didn't play with us.  Thankfully we were seated in a room that did have a couple of wait staff who were totally into it, so even though we didn't get to play, we did get to laugh with others who did.  One table had a man who complained about not getting his drink refilled often enough.  Next thing you know, every server in the place was bringing him a new soda until the table was nearly full!  Then a bus boy came through and was clearing a table when he "accidentally" knocked a meatball off a plate of spaghetti.  Then came the boys' favorite moment of the meal, when he led the room in a rousing rendition of "On Top of Spaghetti."  I will say this, they have the best chocolate malt I've ever tasted!

Well, by the time dinner was finished, we were running a bit late to get in line for Fantasmic.  So we rushed across the park and down Sunset Boulevard, and walked right up to the amphitheater.  Well that wasn't a good sign - that and people near the top saying it was standing room only!  So we moved across the top, looking everywhere for seats, then finally gave up and sat at the top on some concrete slabs.  When the show started, we could barely see, and people kept standing in front of us, so we kept maneuvering, trying to find a spot where the boys could see at least a bit of the show.  We were finally able to put them in a decent spot, and decided right away that we were heading out before it ended.  Ari and Payton both said they enjoyed it, but I was disgusted.  Like I've said in previous posts, I guess I'm spoiled with going at better times of the year and avoiding these crowd levels.  All I could think was, we should have skipped this and let the boys do Jedi Training Academy instead!
Instead of heading back to the hotel aggravated, we opted to make our way back toward the Sorcerer Hat and enjoy the park at night while the crowds made their way to the buses.  We spent some time wandering through the shops & running into the Power Rangers costumes was the highlight of Payton's evening!  Then Mom made a phone call, and the boys and I explored the area near the "hub" of the park, taking night pics of The Great Movie Ride, American Idol, and just enjoying the quiet of the park and the cool night air.  We probably stayed in the park just exploring for another 45 minutes to an hour before finally heading to the bus.  By then, most of the crowd had already left and the wait for the bus was much nicer.

Next time:  Our morning at Coronado Springs!

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