Apart from Magic Kingdom (which stands alone in its unparalleled magic quotient), the kids’ favourite park was Hollywood Studios. There is so much to do that it took us 2 whole days to finish all the attractions. I’m going to attempt to fit it all in one post so here goes.
Rule #1, if you have kids aged 4-12, there’s one thing you absolutely have to do – get them enrolled in the Jedi Training Academy.
We first saw this at Disneyland (Anaheim) during our honeymoon; we were like 15 days into our marriage and I remember turning to the husband and saying “one day we will have lots of kids and those kids will be trained in the ways of the force to duel Darth Vader.”
The husband was all “um, ok good plan…”
The limited spots in the training academy fill up fast (like 30 minutes after park opening) so get there at rope drop and start running (I’m serious, don’t walk) to the sign up area. We were sprinting like maniacs and barely made it for the final few spots.
Being one of the youngest kids, Kirsten was struggling with the lightsaber activation during the training session, which led to some really priceless hilarious exchanges with the Jedi Master. But she was so determined to make it work so while the other kids took their turn fighting Darth Vader, she was at the corner practicing her activation move.
Then when it was finally her turn, the Jedi Master was all “ACTIVATE!!” and BB-ZSHOOOO, she did it and the entire audience erupted in wild cheers.
Awesome daughter is awesome.
The husband made a video of the whole sequence, go watch!! That video just kills me dead, it’s so full of win. I’m just a proud momma, I can’t be more proud.
As far as rides go, there are 3 headliners in Hollywood Studios.
1. Rock and Roller Coaster. Brace yourself for the blast off, it’s brutal.
2. Tower of Terror. By far the scariest ride for me. I didn’t dare get on the last time and this round, both Truett and Kirsten could make the height limit so they were all “c’mon, let’s all do it together”. You guys already know what my thoughts are on being challenged by the kids to ride scary roller coasters.
Little did they know what they were in for.
It’s an elevator ride (with seats) that takes you right to the top of the tower and drops you 180 feet multiple times, except that it’s pulled by cables, so it’s worse than free-falling because you’re effectively being yanked down faster than the speed of gravity. Everyone in the elevator seemed pretty calm but I was screaming and screaming during the entire ride like “OHMYGODLETMEOUTHELPPPPPPPP.” It was all very classy and not embarrassing at all.
But hey, achievement unlocked!
3. Toy Story Midway Mania. This is insanely fun and not scary at all, trust me. We rode this like 8 times and every time was more fun than the last.
Ok, moving on to the shows. We’ll get to the end eventually, I promise.
There are tons of incredible shows to watch at Hollywood Studios but the two most stellar ones for me were Fantasmic! and Beauty and the Beast.
You get the laser displays and fireworks and water effects and pyrotechnics in Fantasmic!, which are all great but it’s the story that really gets you. It’s the story about the power of imagination, the triumph of good and the importance of a dream as told through the eyes of our favourite mouse (and all his friends).
Beauty and the Beast? It’s flat out the best rendition of my favourite Disney princess story ever.
Hollywood Studios is the only place you’ll get to meet the Disney Junior and (most of the) Pixar pals. Truett and Kirsten are raised heavy on a diet of Disney Junior and Pixar so they went a little mad meeting Jake, Oso, Handy Manny, Sophia, Lightning Mcqueen, Mater, Incredibles, Ralph, Venelope, Mater, Woody and Buzz, as well as Mickey and Minnie.
We’re almost there! In appreciation of your determination to stick it through to the end, I’m wrapping up with a somewhat obscure fact about Hollywood Studios. If you’re a Disney resort guest, stay for the Extra Magic Hours in Hollywood Studios because that’s when the Disney Junior block party happens.
What’s a Disney block party, you ask? It’s only the most awesome dance party you’ll every go to. If you’ve never seen Mickey dance, all I can say is that mouse has some serious moves.
Disney dance parties are on another level of awesome and best of all, it was relatively quiet so the kids got to spend some quality dance time with all the characters. Handy Manny was leading a conga line and Sofia taught Kirsten some princess dance moves, IT WAS SO COOL I have to stop gushing now.
//The end. Finally!