A November Day at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Because I’m in a Disney mood today (but let’s face it, when am I not in a Disney mood though) it seems like a good time to detail another day of my November Disney trip. It was me, my sister, my mom, and my grandmother, who we call Grandy. One of my favorite parts of that trip was Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, which I’ve already detailed in a separate post. Aside from that, we had four incredibly magical days at Disney.

This trip was mostly about making sure my Grandy had a good time, she turned 80 over the summer and was really excited to go back to Disney. The first thing we did on our first day there was rent her a wheelchair. Initially she had insisted she wouldn’t need one, and we all know that she gets around well, but Disney is like another level in terms of walking! So Grandy and my mom took their time getting through security, while my sister and I quickened our step, went ahead, and got a wheelchair for her near the front gate of Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

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We went straight to the Great Movie Ride, where we will able to keep her in the wheelchair throughout the entire queue. We all agreed that the ride is one of our classic favorites. They recently updated the montage of movie clips at the end, and we all thought it was great. For our next ride, my mom, my sister, and I all had FastPass+ reservations for the Tower of Terror. Granny decided not even to come through the queue and instead we set her up at a peaceful little spot in the shade where she could people watch while she waited for us. After a little snack it was time for our second FastPass+ reservation for The Little Mermaid show. I forgot how cute this was! The blacklight puppets are so well done. Grandy fell asleep, but I guess when you’re over 80 you can get away with that!

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We were a little bit early for our lunch reservation at 50s Prime Time Cafe, but it worked out because we got seated 10 minutes early. Grandy just loved the theme! The restaurant is kind of modeled after kitchens of the 1950s, kind of like old black and white TV shows (Leave it to Beaver is the one that comes to mind for me). The waiters and waitresses tend to be pranksters, making themselves part of the theme by yelling at kids to eat their vegetables and keep their elbows off the table. It was a really great meal, the food was delicious and the service was good.

Muppet Vision 3D is still one of my all-time favorites at Hollywood Studios. To me, it is reminiscent of what Hollywood Studios once was, back when it was still called MGM Studios. While it could use an update, I really hope they don’t ever get rid of it completely. Grandy loved it too, and she also loved shopping at the Christmas shop in that area of the park.

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Our last FastPass+ reservation was for Toy Story Mania, a sort of interactive ride where you move from screen to screen playing 3D games. We didn’t think it would be too much for Grandy to handle, but she said it moved too “briskly”! She still got a pretty decent score though, I can never seem to do well on these things! Our last experience of the day all together was Beauty and the Beast Live. Once again we were so so so happy we decided to get a wheelchair for Grandy. We were able to keep her in it the whole time, which meant she didn’t have to walk up the sort of steep hill to the seating area, or walk down the stadium seating stairs to get to her seat. We all agreed that this show is incredibly well done!

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My mom and Grandy went back to the room, while my sister and I stayed to enjoy the park a little more. We waited about 40 minutes for Star Tours, the Star Wars themed motion simulator ride which is one of my favorites. Then we had a quick dinner before meeting up with our cousins! It just worked out that my two cousins were also visiting and we were so lucky we were able to plan this little evening together.

Our first stop was the launch bay where we were able to meet Chewbacca and Kylo Ren. This was without a doubt one of the best character greeting experiences I have had in a while! Chewbacca is so incredibly tall and so sweet, while Kylo truly belongs on the dark side… my sister, who is not a Star Wars fan, made the mistake of letting it slip that she didn’t actually know who he was, and hilarity ensued. We then hustled back to the main area of the park to watch the Star Wars fireworks and I was surprised that we managed to nab a decent spot in the crowd. It was a really cool show with projections on the Chinese Theatre building.

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“Everybody just try to act normal while Kylo Ren yells at us…”

Now Extra Magic Hours was beginning, which meant that these last two hours the park was opened was only for Disney Resort guests. As a result the crowds thinned quite a bit, but when we got to Rock n Roller coaster, the line was still 70 minutes long. So instead we went back to Tower of Terror and only waited 20 minutes for a ride. We were able to do Toy Story Mania once again with only a 15 minute wait and once again I did not really improve my score at all! Deciding to try for Rock n Roller coaster one more time before leaving was a great idea, the line was 30 minutes long now, and we didn’t actually get on until after park closing time, but it’s one of my favorite so I was excited we got to ride it.

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Of course the on-ride photo is hilarious! There was also a really funny moment in the queue area as soon as you enter the building. It is meant to look like you are in a recording studio, so there are posters on the walls with names of bands and artists. We initially thought this was all just made up. Until we realized one of them said “starring Nicole from New Jersey”. Well, my cousin’s name is Nicole, and she’s from New Jersey, so at first we were like, “oh wow what a coincidence”. Until we realized one of the other signs said “featuring Margaret”… my sister’s name is Margaret, but no one ever calls her that- it was however, the name that she used when she booked her ticket, and therefore the one that was attached to her Magic Band technology… we soon realized that there was some kind of magic going on, something that was reading our magic bands and putting our information on these fake posters. The girls behind us in line got such a kick out of it and honestly, so did we!

It was a fantastic way to end our day at Hollywood Studios! We knew that Grandy had a wonderful day, she didn’t get tired out or too exhausted and she got to experience so much that the park had to offer. We were also so excited to get to spend time with our cousins in a place that means so much to all of us. A lot people have said that Hollywood Studios is now a half day park, in a bit of an identity crisis while Disney tries to rebrand it. But we spent the whole day there and found plenty to do!

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