Thursday, January 8, 2015

I Wonder how Ben's Doing?- Disney Hollywood Studios

Back to vacation posts.

“Ben, it’s okay. It’s okay Ben. You need to calm down. Ben, really you need to stop now.”

Our morning started with Ben. 

We settled into a seat on the parking lot’s tram and watched two flustered- wearied exasperated parents with  four children under seven, the youngest being Ben, settle into the seats in front of us.  Ben was having a melt down and the day had barely started (usual Disney child melt down time is between 2pm and 3pm). There was sobbing, wailing; huge tears cascaded down his cheeks. He was perhaps three years old?  He would not be consoled. He would not be distracted by his parents and siblings trying to point out all of the amazing things to see along the tram ride; telling Ben which characters he would meet and what he would ride that day. Ben remained stalwart.

I have to admit that I expelled a sigh of relief as we exited the tram with no little ones in tow. Those parents had a long day ahead.  I wondered how long it took before Ben actually calmed down and for the remainder of our trip one of us would wistfully ponder out loud,

“I wonder how Ben’s doing?” 

We were on a mission when we first entered Hollywood Studios. 

We had booked an early morning fast pass for Toy Story Midway Mania. The only fast pass we needed to use at Hollywood Studios. 

Even with the fast pass it was one of the longest lines we waited in during our entire trip.  Fortunately the queue is a feast for the eyes and imagination.

I left Toy Story Mania slightly baffled.  When you break it down, it is pretty much just a video game with a moving car. It seems like it wouldn’t feel all that spectacular, but it does.  We had a lot of fun on the ride playing the variety of 3D shooting games. We would have gone on it again and again like Men in Black if the wait time wasn’t  75 minutes for the rest of the entire day (we checked several times).

 The thing we were most looking forward to at Hollywood Studios was all of the Star Wars fun.

I realize that from an audience standpoint watching little kids fight Darth Vader is far more loveable and entertaining than watching an adult fangirl fight Darth Vader, but I am still sad that the Jedi Training Academy is for kids only.

We rode the Star Wars ride 5 times during our trip.  

Each ride is different because the simulator pulls different scenarios that are sequenced together each time.  We were really hoping to get Hoth during one of the rides, but alas it never happened.

The plot of the ride is that your ship is transporting a Rebel Spy to safety.  At the beginning of the ride a photo of the Rebel Spy flashes on the screen.  It is a photo of one of the guests on the ride.  On our 5th ride, Shannon’s image popped on the screen as the Rebel Spy.  It was awesome, though I was slightly jealous because being the Rebel Spy allows you to legitimately purchase/wear the I am the Rebel Spy t-shirt.  It would have been a nice one to add to my collection.  

We loved hanging out in the Star Wars section and I can’t wait to see what the new Lucas Land brings.

Speaking of Lucas Land, we were fortunate to ride the Back Lot Tour one last time before it closed for good. We also caught a viewing of the Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular just in case its time comes up before our next visit.

It’s strange because on a few of the podcasts I listen to, they complain a lot about how lame Hollywood Studios has become. I just don’t get it. Maybe you have to be a cinephile to truly enjoy the park?  
We especially appreciated our time at Hollywood Studios and I guess people complain because there aren’t a lot of flashy major attractions there, but we found this a positive. It was a slower relaxing day where we didn’t feel like we were racing around to cram everything in. It gave us a day to catch our breath.  

I have a phobia of costumed characters, but I made an exception because I love Phineas and Ferb. Okay mostly I love Perry the Platypus. At least he's in the background. 

Our Hollywood Studios day was also the hottest day of our trip and we were grateful for all of the air-conditioned places like One Man's Dream and Voyage of the Little Mermaid (yes Mermaid is a little outdated with its cheesy laser goodness, but Ursula is my favorite villain and bubbles fall on you so it’s A+ for me).

 The Great Movie Ride is a good time even though the munchkins creep me out. 

 In the evening we saw Fantasmic.  

Again, something people state as being lame and outdated, but I still found it goose bump worthy.  I love theatrical productions. I’m always fascinated by the costumes, props, and effects. They are all things that someone had to see first in their head and then they made those ideas happen.  For me, Fantastmic still retains its magic and was a great way to top off what had already been a wonderful day.

I'm a writer so I had to stop

 If we had been in Orlando longer, we probably would have spent another day at Hollywood Studios just chilling out; satiating our cinephile desires, and wondering about Ben. 

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