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Day 1: Hollywood Studios
We arrived late into MCO on December 26. Months before (yes, before we had a trip booked!), I had snagged a pre-rope drop breakfast at Hollywood and Vine for December 27. The kids wanted to do Jedi training (DD12 in particular, since 12 is the oldest you can be), and this ADR seemed like the best way to sign up. But I think we were all questioning the wisdom when the alarm went off.
December 27 was crowded at the parks, but not insane (crowds for the rest of our trip, in my scientific opinion, were insane ). Also, December 27 was a textbook perfect weather day. Sunny, high of 75. Plus, Hollywood Studios has a lot going for it where my family is concerned. We love all the (4) rides that are open. We love Fantasmic and all things Star Wars. The park is smaller, which means a less stressful touring plan for me, the planner, and less walking for the in-laws. All in all, this was a great day!
It was fun to breeze past the crowds at the gate to go to breakfast. A nice CM took this picture with my phone in the empty park.
We signed up for our Jedi Training show in just a minute on the way in. Breakfast was good (love the Mickey waffles and tater tots). Our server was very helpful and did not rush us, but got us the check promptly when we asked for it. My kids are 9 and 12, so they hardly remember the Disney Jr. characters they were meeting (and that was not our main objective, but yet, there they were at our table!). I did think it was nice to see Handy Manny again.
We got out in time to ride Rock and Roller Coaster (DS’s favorite ride) by around 9 with only a short standby line.
A word on planning for a big group in high crowds: I made sure every person’s favorite ride in WDW had either a fast pass or a plan to Rope Drop or Single Rider the line. This, in theory, made sure that no matter what the other plans were, when we were done, everybody could say they got to do their favorite.
We caught the Beauty and the Beast show for the first time. My little theater critics weren’t too impressed, but it was my MIL’s favorite thing we did that day. Jedi Training went well. I think DD displaying no fear whatsoever of Darth Vader shows why she might be starting to outgrow this attraction!
We rode Star Tours (loved the new Last Jedi scenes!), and then my FIL had to settle a score with his favorite ride, Toy Story Midway Mania. 5 years earlier, we rode this ride and he realized afterwards that he had never put on his 3-D glasses! So he thought he could probably do better this time, and he did.
We ducked into Tune in Lounge for milkshakes to go. We planned to take them into Indiana Jones, but that was not in the cards, as the theater was full every time we tried to go that day. Impressive that Indy is still drawing such big crowds after all these years!
We love Star Wars, and throughout the day, we caught the stage show and the First Order march a few times. We also went to the Launch Bay and met BB-8. I can’t wait to see Star Wars land!
We weren’t on the Dining Plan this trip, and I had planned to use the new Mobile Ordering a lot, but my phone battery was dead by the time we went to Backlot Express for dinner! Lesson learned, and I made sure this didn’t happen on future days.
We had fast passes for Tower of Terror and managed to talk my FIL into riding with us. So much fun!
DS and DMIL sat that one out. They watched the holiday projections and enjoyed the snow on Sunset Blvd. while we rode. We finished our night watching Fantasmic in that amazing open-air theater. A perfect day at Disney World!
Thanks for reading!