I have a hard time not calling this park MGM since that’s what it was when I was a kid.
Whatever name it is, that’s where we went on Friday. Also, is anybody else really upset that the Behind the Scenes Backlot Tour is gone? DEVASTATED!
I anticipated from past experiences and from my months of research that this park would have the shortest list of must-dos – there are definitely more shows than rides. I was right, but we still managed to have a busy, jam-packed day. Luckily, Disney is currently working on two entirely new sections dedicated to Star Wars (coming in 2019) and Toy Story. Until one of those opens, I’d probably give only 1/2 a day to this park.
Our plan was to run to the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster (the “Aerosmith ride”), but as soon as we got there they announced that they were having technical difficulties, so we jumped over to The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror – I was really dreading this one because I hate being dropped, but it really wasn’t that traumatic. It felt like the drop wasn’t as bad or as high as in the past? I kind of felt like a weenie for being so dramatic…
We then made our way to The Great Movie Ride. Boyfriend had also never ridden this one (seriously, what did he do when he came to the parks??), and this one also has a special, nostalgic place in my heart because my parents really like it.
Next up was Voyage of the Little Mermaid – who doesn’t love sitting in a theater that feels like it’s underwater while watching giant underwater-puppets? (Clearly not the child who screamed for 10 minutes until his mom FINALLY took him out.)
My dad loves Muppet*Vision 3D, and I think I love it because he loves it so much. It’s a show we ALWAYS went to at Hollywood Studios. Boyfriend had never been, so it was fun taking him to another attraction that has a special place in my heart. The show gets even better when you sit near older men who literally LOL throughout the show.
Since Hollywood Studios is becoming super Star Wars-focused, one of the shows is Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away and takes place in front of the Chinese Theater. We timed our “lunch” and the show perfectly and managed to score a table within eyeshot of the show.
A little later we plopped down on the side of the street for the March of the First Order, which is literally just a march of Stormtroopers up the street.
Beauty and the Beast – Live on Stage is mostly under shelter, so that was our next stop. It’s a really great show and the costumes are beautiful, not to mention it’s a good place to get out of the sun and sit down for a while to recharge…
Or digest and make room for a funnelcake!
When your boyfriend tells you he “just wants a beer” and you choose a funnelcake with chocolate sauce, ice cream, and strawberries, do not believe him. He will not hesitate to eat half of your funnelcake.
Our funnelcake and beer break (that sounds disgusting) was close to the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular so we could scoot in before it got filled – and we almost cut it too close but still ended up with great seats close to the front.
We got through Star Tours – the Adventures Continue thanks to a FastPass. This ride feels a little dated even though they’ve updated the story to include characters from the newest Star Wars movies.
After Star Tours we made our way to the other side of the park for Toy Story Mania! which is another shooter ride (I LOVED this ride!). We had a FastPass, but when we arrived the ride was down. We tried to wait it out (and shout-out to the cast members who passed out bottles of water!), but when they realized it was going to take longer than they thought, they told people in the FastPass line to come back later and our passes would be accepted whenever we came back.
Boyfriend had seen Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano (menu here) when we were near Muppet*Vision and apparently couldn’t get pizza out of his head. I really have to be in the mood for Italian, but he’s so sweet, easygoing, and willing to let me be my control-freak-self that I couldn’t argue with him. It’s probably a good idea to get reservations; we got lucky with only a short wait, but I can imagine on busy days you probably can’t get near this restaurant. The food was delicious (see below), the atmosphere was charming, and our waitress was super sweet and delightful!
I had the Penne alla Vodka (hello little delicious pieces of pancetta!) and boyfriend had the Carne d’Italia Flatbread. I do not recommend a rollercoaster after all this food.
The night events proved a little difficult because of scheduling. I really wanted to see Fantasmic!, the nighttime firework/laser/Mickey-fighting-villains show, but the end of the show overlapped with the start of the fireworks, Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular. But we made it work. Before Fantasmic! was over, we did some major speed-walking to the fireworks area and established our domain there (and I may or may not have shoved a kid with me leg who came up into my space last-minute and literally leaned all over me – survival of the fittest, y’all). The fireworks show is amazing, so I highly recommend making it a priority for your visit to Hollywood Studios, especially if you’re a Star Wars fan!
Since we had extra magic hours, we spent the remainder of the night getting our fix of the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster – we managed to ride it three or four times in a row before the line started backing up. We walked back to Toy Story Mania! for one more go and managed to ride it three or four times before the park closed.
What are your favorite things to do at Hollywood Studios? Do you have a favorite restaurant? Which new area are you looking forward to the most, Star Wars or Toy Story?