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Saturday, 27 October 2018

Our adventures in Disney World- Hollywood Studios

Our adventures in Hollywood Studios

We spent a day and a half at Hollywood Studios, mainly so that we could use fastpasses for both of the new Toy Story rides, Alien Swirling Saucers and the Slinky Dog Dash. On the first day we arrived part way through the extra magic hours which are allowed to Disney hotel guests and after signing the kids up for the Jedi Training later in the day we were able to visit all the Star Wars meet and greets without any queue!There was hardly anyone around, it was great! My son decided that meeting Kylo Ren would be a step too far so we checked out all the Star Wars costumes and vehicles on display there.

Our adventures in Hollywood Studios
Meeting Chewbacca at Star Wars Launch Bay

Our first fast pass was the Alien Swirling Saucers which reminded me a bit of a rougher version of the Cars ride at the Disneyland Paris Studios Park. My son absolutely loved it- we all found it very funny as it was a definite ‘hands in the air’ with excitement moment for him. We fast passed Slinky Dog Dash on our second visit and all I can say is WOW this was a much more impressive coaster than I expected, a bit bigger than I thought it would be. We loved it but my son didn’t ride and would have hated it. My daughter enjoyed the opportunity to ride with us twice due to the baby swap.

Our adventures in Hollywood Studios
Slinky Dog Dash...
Toy Story land is very well themed including the toilets! There was no way we could get bored in the queue to ride Toy Story Mania. We found no need to fastpass this (thankfully- as that would have involved another trip on another day), we did the ride on both of our visits during early evening and both times it was a 20-30 minute wait. My son and I also enjoyed a magic shot in this area. The kids chose not to meet the toy story characters again (we have met them in Paris) but there were opportunities to meet characters like Woody and Jessie and the toy soldiers.

Our adventures in Hollywood Studios
Lights, camera, action!

The kids took part in the Jedi Training Academy at about 11.00 a.m. on our first day. They went to the area where the tickets were given and got their robes and then paraded as a group through the park to the stage. My daughter had done this before at Disneyland Paris but this was the first time for my son. This is the only time ever at a Disney Park when I have questioned whether something is safe. It was just so extremely hot in the August sun and there was absolutely no shade on the stage or cooling (in contrast to Disneyland Paris where the experience is indoors). We were all just melting watching them and so I can’t imagine how bad it was for the kids, in robes too! Thankfully the show wasn’t too long and when they finished they were immediately given bottles of water. We have some great photos taken by the photopass photographers who were present but I really can’t recommend this experience in the height of summer unless action is taken to make the stage safer in the sun- sorry Disney, this is a first for me!

Our adventures in Hollywood Studios
Jedi Training Academy
We had an interesting lunch on the first day- we used snack credits from our dining plan to get the highest value snack I saw on our whole holiday- Funnel cake with sauce and ice cream! They were massive and none of us managed to finish them but we all thought they were tasty and I am so glad we managed to tick this off the Disney World food bucket list!

Our adventures in Hollywood Studios
Chocolate funnel cake

We then saw the Indiana Jones Stunt show. This was fun and a nice way to stay out of the sun in the mid-day heat, there was plenty of action throughout the show to keep us entertained. We then visited the muppets 4d cinema. I remember seeing this on my trip 22 years ago and the cinema technology is definitely showing its age. I thought it lacked clarity to be impressive but it is a well themed area of the park.

Our adventures in Hollywood Studios
Indiana Jones Stunt Show

Our adventures in Hollywood Studios
Muppets 3D
Star Tours is a great simulator and we have been on it a number of times in Disneyland Paris. My two can’t get enough of it (which is amazing as it was only Easter 2017 when I had to do the ‘walk of shame’ off the ride before it had begun with my son who started crying). Unfortunately it now makes me feel car sick so once was enough for me!

Our adventures in Hollywood Studios
Stormtroopers like pressed pennies too!!!
My daughter is definitely a girl after my own heart as we both loved visiting ‘One Man's Dream’, the Walt Disney exhibition and accompanying film. I loved the exhibition itself as the artifacts were interesting, including 1930s Mickey dolls like I have in my own collection. My daughter loved the film telling the history of Walt Disney so much that we watched it on both days of our trip. It filled my heart with joy to see her love for Disney history and the origins of the company as I fine this exciting too.

Our adventures in Hollywood Studios
One Man's Dream 
We had an early dinner at The Hollywood and Vine restaurant to take advantage of the Fantasmic dinner package which gave us guaranteed seats to the performance that evening. The buffet was a welcome relief from the heat, it had a good family friendly selection of food and drinks and the characters were fun. The buffet is themed depending on the season so we had a summer theme.

Our adventures in Hollywood Studios
Meeting Minnie at Hollywood and Vine
We saw some of the citizens of Hollywood as we walked around the studios, they were just hilarious! I want a job travelling around in a little car and pulling funny faces! They certainly are characters  and I was so glad we came across them!  

Our adventures in Hollywood Studios
Absolutely fabulous Citizens of Hollywood!

We also saw the Star Wars March of the First Order a couple of times which is a great way to see stormtroopers up close and personal on their way to the Star Wars show on the stage. 

Our adventures in Hollywood Studios
March of the First Order
My daughter is braver than me! I managed one ride on the wonderful Tower of Terror but she did three over our two days in Hollywood Studios. I love how the lead up is longer than the one in Paris but the drop isn’t quite as bad. I did ride this on my first visit to Disney world 22 years ago (one ridden not forgotten!!!) but I still find it genuinely terrifying. I am always glad I did it though and once the drops start I can’t stop laughing! Keith also braved the Rock ‘n’ Roller coaster which none of the rest of us could be persuaded to try.

Our adventures in Hollywood Studios
Hollywood Tower looking broody!
The only major flashback I got to my trip 22 years ago which I had forgotten was when we went to see the Beauty and the Beast live show, I had definitely seen it before! A quick check shows that this opened in 1991 and is still as fresh as it was then due to the popularity of the film. This is a cleverly produce short trip through the highlights of the songs and events in the film.

Our adventures in Hollywood Studios
Be Our Guest!
We ended day 1 with our trip to Fantasmic. This is a little walk from the main part of the park to the lake area where the action takes place. The story shows Mickey battling the forces of evil villains on a mountain and unfortunately even though we had prime positions at the front of the seating I felt the characters were too far away so that it looked a bit lost and underwhelming. I don’t know, perhaps it was the weather that was threatening to storm but I was a bit disappointed by this show. It looks much better on photos I think than in real life! Watching the characters go past on the boats was fun though and I am very glad we saw the show.

On our second day we also managed to do the Disney Junior and Little Mermaid shows, these were nice and I liked trying to work out in the Little Mermaid which characters were people, which were puppets and which were animatronic, such is the beauty of Disney. We also finally managed to do the meet and greet with Minnie and Mickey in their Hollywood finest and we then took shelter from the oncoming storm by having dinner at the Sci-fi diner. I loved the atmosphere with the vintage films playing as we sat in our dining car. I would say the service and the food were ok, definitely not the best we had experienced in the parks. We were very thankful to shelter from the storm.

Our adventures in Hollywood Studios
Sofia in the Disney Junior show
Me met Olaf in his summer finest and then our final meet and greet was with the wonderful and exceptionally cute baby Groot! This was a very funny interaction, so much more than a photo as there was so much laughter.
Our adventures in Hollywood Studios
I really want to adopt baby Groot! 

Between us we did all that Hollywood Studios had to offer at least once, sometimes twice or three times in a day and a half. Toy Story land is an essential addition but this park will really benefit from the opening of Star Wars land and we can only hope that they will relocate the Jedi Training Academy as part of this!
Our adventures in Hollywood Studios
Bye bye Hollywood studios!


  1. We LOVED Toy Story Land! So glad you got to visit! And, lunch with Minnie makes DHS extra fun!

    1. Yes, definitely had a great time in Toy Story land. Loved Slinky dog, style of the area much like Disneyland Paris but bigger and with far more going on.