As Phil Collins said (again), today was to be the Stu, Stu, Studios.
Well before that could happen I felt the need to be awake at 4am again. I forced myself to stay in bed and horizontal until 6.30. Just before 7am I opened up the My Disney Experience app, thinking I would take a look at some new ride I had heard about. Something about resisting a rise. I mean how hard could it be to ride something at a theme park?
I was very soon reminded that I was off-site scum and Disney would rather set me on fire than allow me to get on a ride I had spent a lot of money buying a ticket for the park it was in. I felt, for probably the first time, like some sort of outsider to the Disney experience. Off-site idiots are now blatantly treated very differently in relation to this stuff. This has been the case in other ways over the years yes, but that was about stuff like free car parking or an hour or so extra in a park. This is a fundamental barrier to actually experiencing an attraction based upon your accommodation preference. I am not a fan. I also felt that I did not understand how all this worked yet. Sure I hadn’t done the required amount of research, but I was just wanting to go to a theme park and ride some rides, not perform surgery.
I bought Genie+ again and immediately felt ripped off and resentful. This is exactly what Walt had in mind I’m sure. It was now just after 7am and the best LL I could book was Tower of Terror for 12pm as we wanted a slightly later start today due to tiredness. Sure, I could have not bought Genie+ and then rocked up to the park mid-morning and found wait times longer than my old fella for the entire day, but what good would that be? In the good old days we would have had three FastPasses secured for the day about 60 days ago and be able to plan our day accordingly.
I called Louise to see how things were back home and I think a good summary was, better than they were yesterday. Mary was home.
A bagel and some fruit entered me with my consent and I had a shower and put some clothes on. I wasn’t naked eating breakfast. I put some different clothes on.
We drove to Hollywood Studios and arrived around 10.30am. I’ve had a moan above about some things but I will say again, well done to Disney for properly sorting out the security checks when entering a park. It is an immeasurable improvement.
We could already tell that the park was busy. The app confirmed this once we had entered with long wait times for anything and everything.
Rebecca went for a wee and the rest of us stood here.
The only/best option for us was to go and watch the Beauty and The Beast show starting at 11. We grabbed a seat and waited about fifteen minutes for it to start.
Freddie got a bit bored so I let him take some photos.
Then we did more selfies.
Thankfully for everyone having to look at those photos, the show started. It’s a show we have seen countless times and we noticed some fairly heavy adjustments to accommodate social distancing so it looked a bit odd. It was still enjoyable though.
We were out by 11.30 and by jingo if it wasn’t time to get some lunch!
We stood and sat here whilst mobile ordering some stuff. We were eating early as we had an early ADR for “dinner” at 3.50 this afternoon. You know you are on a WDW holiday when you have to plan ahead to be anything like hungry for your next ADR.
Our order from Rosie’s was ready at 11.50 and we found ourselves a table to eat at.
Freddie had a hot dog as long as his entire body.
Tom had one with Chilli on it.
Rebecca and I had chicken nugget things.
Emily just got some fries which I deemed unworthy of a photo.
As we finished eating and were heading to Tower of Terror for our LL, Louise phoned with a technical issue with the TV back home. Once again I was in remote support mode, trying to figure out what had been pressed and what needing pressing to undo that. It was an easier thing to resolve than yesterday’s issue.
Everyone who wasn’t pregnant went on the ride. Our LL helped us avoid a 60 minute standby wait at this point.
You will notice today that I had remembered my camera had a selfie mode.
We had been a little concerned that Freddie my be frightened, not by the drops, but by the dark and spooky nature of the ride. We need not have worried.
He loved the whole thing and had his arms up, screaming with laughter as we dropped over and over.
We headed for the Indiana Jones show next as it started in 15 minutes.
When we got there it was already full. I did say the park was busy.
Instead we headed over to the Frozen show instead and were seated immediately.
This is just good fun.
We left in a better mood and state than when we entered and that’s how it should be.
Freddie added to his plastic tat collection and we made our way to Star Tours that only had a 20 minute wait posted.
Where he met and very much liked “shiny man”. From here on in, “I want to go on shiny man ride” was a regular phrase.
Rebecca and her bump once again waited outside as we rode.
This was one of Freddie’s favourites and no doubt kicked off his Star Wards discovery in the coming years. As we met Rebecca on the bench she had been waiting on a small cavalcade passed by.
Anything that we may want to actually ride had a ride time too long to be tolerated so we toddled off to the Muppets.
Even on a busy day like today this wasn’t full and I even allowed us to sit down in the middle of a row once I had been assured it would not be full. Now able to wear the glasses and appreciate the 3D Freddie really enjoyed this one.
I know we only ate a few paragraphs ago, but it was now time for our ADR at 50’s Prime Time Café. We strolled over in that direction.
We were seated after a five minute wait. You can check in via the app now in case you didn’t know.
Obviously the experience here is not what it was before the pandemic. I don’t know if that is 100% of the reason but when we first dined here many years ago the interaction was legendary. Elements of it remain and let’s hope and see if they come back when any form of normality does.
Freddie and Tom ordered a milkshake.
It will not surprise you to hear he did not finish this.
Rebecca ordered this drink which seemed to involve something happening when Pluto was dropped in but it escaped me.
Emily chose a cocktail purely on the basis that it had a glow cube.
She was a little more limited for vegetarian options so ended up with a salad.
Rebecca, Tom and I had the Fried Chicken
Freddie had Chicken Tenders.
We ventured into dessert territory, with Emily and I sharing a peanut butter layered thing. Again, probably not what appears on the menu as its description.
Tom had one of those to himself and Rebecca a brownie based thing.
The food was all very tasty, but the bill of $215 including tip would be better justified once the full experience is back here. We were however very full, which was odd as we hadn’t eaten a lot today.
Since riding Tower of Terror at midday, I had been booking other LLs every two hours and now we found ourselves with stuff stacked up so we were looking forward to some queue free fun. This was not scheduled to start until 7pm so we rode “shiny man” again.
Freddie got a remote controlled BB8 from the gift shop. Having finally released it from the most ridiculous packaging known to man, everybody but Freddie then played with it for a bit. We gave him a turn eventually.
It was 6pm now and we had a choice of watching Indian Jones or going to Galaxy’s Edge. We chose….
It was just lovely watching Freddie’s reaction to the fantastic theming. He was enthralled by all the droids and fighters we walked past.
He got especially excited when we reached the Falcon.
He was absolutely desperate to ride it. The wait time was ridiculous and we had a LL for 8pm. Trying to explain to an over excited four year old why he can’t go on something that mind blowing until later is tricky. See….
We wandered off trying to distract him with other stuff….
and sat him in stroller with my camera as we made our way to Toy Story Land.
Thankfully for your and my camera’s sake we soon arrived at Toy Story Land.
Our first LL at 7pm was for Swirling Saucers so we all rode that, firstly via the 20 minute standby queue which was more like five and then Tom and Freddie rode again using the LL.
The rest of us found a bench to wait on.
It had become very cold, very quickly so we reached for the hoodies and walked to Toy Story Mania for our LL at 7.10pm.
I rode with Freddie and showed absolutely no mercy in the manner of defeat I inflicted upon him. I did so knowing it will only be a few short years until those roles are reversed.
We still had half an hour until our LL for Smuggler’s Run so Tom took Freddie on “shiny man ride” one more time.
Finally it was time for our LL for Smuggler’s.
It is hard to describe how excited Freddie was. He literally could not stand still during the short amount of time we had to wait to ride. It was just a joy to watch him. He almost exploded with anticipation.
Emily and I were gunners with Tom and Freddie piloting the Falcon. It was all a blur of images, noises and excitement but it was fab. This is so immersive that Freddie was absolutely convinced he had just flown the big Falcon he had seen outside and that is how it should be.
We walked out of Galaxy’s Edge and to the park exit.
With Rebecca struggling now after a full on day, Emily and I walked back to the car and then drove back to the front of the car park to pick everyone else up. We only missed them a couple of times and got there in the end!
We were home by 10pm after a full, sometimes frustrating, but enjoyable day.
Till the next time…..