Day Four – Hollywood Studios
Rereading this day, I do a lot of complaining! Be prepared, as Scar would say.
Oh, day four, you were a tough one. To begin with, it was cold. Like, really pretty cold, and we’re from Canada.
We put on layers, topped them off with the fall coats we’d worn to the airport leaving Canada, and stuffed a blanket from the hotel under the stroller, and headed out. Walked over to Boardwalk Bakery for some breakfast treats, then over to the boat launch, where we JUST missed a boat, and were told that the next one was coming in 20 minutes, but also that it was a 20 minute walk. Decided to walk, so headed back to the boardwalk. We got…pretty lost. We walked through the Boardwalk hotel, and asked the valet, and she gave us somewhat confusing directions that we also totally misinterpreted, and then we were walking down a very main road and used google maps and turned the wrong way at the intersection and…ugh. 20 minute walk turned into 40 minute walk, we got to the park right at 9, there was a crowd for security, we missed rope drop, by the time we got to our first stop (meet Woody and Jessie) there was a huge line and I was kicking myself. Waited 45 minutes to meet them while trying to explain to DS3 why we couldn’t ride Slinky Dog, which was zooming past us about every 60 seconds (“so many reasons, buddy! You’re not tall enough, and also it’s a two hour wait!”). We were about three people back from meeting them when the lady in front of us said “My husband and son aren’t here yet, you go ahead.” So we moved up one, and then about three minutes later she said “Actually, I just heard from them, they’re almost here, I’m going to go ahead of you.” What? I mean…I thought that was weird. You already gave up your spot in line, just wait the extra two minutes! It seemed pretty ballsy.
Anyway, we met them, and then decided to skip our next step (Alien Swirling Saucers, but we were supposed to get in line about a half hour earlier) and head to meet Mike and Sully. Except the lineup there was another 45 minutes, so we bailed on that also and headed to our first FPP, Toy Story Mania, which was really fun and cute. After that we checked back in on Mike and Sully and the line had gone down to 25 minutes, so we did that, then did Frozen (I had considered skipping Frozen and am so glad I didn’t, even my “I hate Frozen” 5 year old was cracking up and singing along), getting out just in time for the March of the First Order, which was so cool! Seeing all those Stormtroopers marching around was really really neat.
After that we headed to Backlot Express for lunch, which was a mystery – the chicken strips were REALLY good, but the chicken on my chicken salad and my husband’s chicken burger was basically inedible, super dry and tasteless. The daiquiris were pretty good, though (I don’t usually drink at lunch but when you’re trying to get the most out of the dining plan you have to go for the booze!). From there we split up – my husband took DS5 to Star Tours, and I took DS3 to meet Olaf, with a quick side trip to see another March of the First Order. The lineup to the Olaf meet was advertised at 25 minutes and took more like 50, so we had some impatient kids (the rest of our group met up with us, because it took so long) but they were happy to meet Olaf. It was also in this lineup that I had my first really grab/modify success – I was able to grab an Alien Swirling Saucers for 7pm. Modified and refreshed about 50 times seeing either nothing before 8 or nothing at all until suddenly, a 2:15! Huge victory for the grab and modify system!
We had half planned on going back to the resort for a break but with DS3 not napping and it too cold to swim, we pressed on – saw the Voyage of the Little Mermaid (where I encountered some total a-holes, who decided they were going to sit in the middle of the row and everybody else could just squeeze past them. When I asked them to move down they refused and said I could go past. When I pointed out that there were only two seats beside them and we needed four, they said “we’re not moving” and shrugged. So I turned to all the other people, said “They won’t move down”, and sat down on their right. At which point they moved down one seat, so there was one empty, the two of them, one empty, and us. There were still people filing into the theatre so then I moved over one. At which point the man huffed “She thinks she’s everybody’s mom!” and moved to the other side of his wife, so I moved over AGAIN, and all the seats were full. Why are people such jerks?). Little Mermaid was kind of meh, I probably would skip it next time. We did the Incredibles Dance Party but it was pretty underwhelming, the Hakuna Matata dance party had way more energy. Shared some churros, hit the Muppets as a nostalgia thing for me, and then headed to our 5pm reservation at Sci-Fi planning to eat, go to the Launch Bay and meet Chewie and BB8, and then use the Fantasmic FPPs I’d picked up. Got to Sci-Fi about 4:55, and they said they were running 15-20 minutes behind on seating people, they’d page us, but “don’t go far because when we page you you only have a few minutes to get here.” Kind of annoying, but fine. We found an empty area and played rock soccer for 25 minutes, then went back to see if we’d missed a page, or what, and they said there was a problem with the kitchen, maintenance was on its way, but they weren’t currently seating anybody and didn’t know when they’d be able to start again. Which…was a problem, because we were on the dining plan and we really needed to use the table service credits. We asked what we could do and they said 50s Prime Time could probably fit us in and they’d call over, so we headed over there. When we got there they said they could seat us, but it could take up to 30 minutes. We said we couldn’t wait that long, explained the situation, and they said they’d get us in sooner. Which, I guess they did…five minutes sooner. It was a long grumpy wait followed by a mediocre meal and the realization that we no longer had time to do Launch Bay. Finished dinner, got our desserts to go, and headed over to Fantasmic. Our FPPs said to arrive between 7:20 and 7:35. We got there at about 7:28 and the FPP section was probably 75% full – I was pretty surprised! (I later found out that this day was a crowd level 9, which maybe explains some of it).
I found the show to be pretty underwhelming, but it could be because at this point I was pretty cranky. Getting out of the theatre was a nightmare – the FPP area is on the far side from the exit and the crowd was shoulder to shoulder. A very sweet lady behind us heard DS3 saying “I want what she’s eating!” about her daughter and shared some lollipops with my kids, which was lovely. We finally got out of there, bundled the kids into the stroller (borrowed blanket for the win!) where they promptly fell asleep (eating a lollipop and then not brushing their teeth for the loss!) and walked home on the correct, 20 minute walk, path.