Up front I must say we haven’t been movie goers in years. We vote with our dollars since that seems to work as well as our votes at the ballot box. So when movie star salaries got even more ridiculous and the cost per ticket went over $8.00 a seat, we stopped going. I miss the big screen but my principles are very important to me. I think they reveal who each of us really is.
All of that said, we don’t know much about recent movies. We haven’t seen the latest Star Wars and have even missed some of the more recent Disney Princess Animated Films. But in our visits to Disney, we’ve never been to Hollywood Studios and this year David wants to go. My day was yesterday, his is today so we take the bus from the Fort Wilderness to Hollywood studios.
First thing, as in every park, we must be inspected by security. David approaches the counters.
That works fine but here he is after they pull him over for a “random” more thorough security check. “Who Me?” Yes you definitely look like a trouble maker.
And here he is after passing double security checks but being rejected for entry with a perfectly valid magic band. This is the 4th and final person who tries to “help” him. They all check and confirm that his pass is valid. FINALLY we find someone who can make it work. I’d say he’d better forget coming back to Hollywood Studios after it takes us nearly an hour to be allowed to walk inside.
Once inside, they definitely know how to appeal to him right away with this vintage gas station.
We walk down Hollywood Boulevard headed for Grauman’s Chinese Restaurant. Of course all the shopping is along the Boulevard.
Grauman’s does not have a bakery so David makes a quick stop on the way at the Trolley Car Cafe for a chocolate breakfast croissant eaten outside on a cool but at least not rainy day.
We reach Grauman’s which has the “walk of fame” in front. We find the hand prints of Sissy Spaeck, Robin Williams, Kermit the frog and numerous others.
We enter Grauman’s in order to do the Great Movie Ride which turns out to be, along with the two things we see after it in Grauman’s, our favorite things of the day.
Inside we wait in a queue and watch the President of Turner Classic Pictures tell us about the history of the movies and show us clips from their collection. This is the best wait line I’ve been in at Disney. It is so good I want to stay and see it all rather than go in for the ride, I ask one of the attendants how long it runs before it starts over and whether we can come back in and watch the whole thing later. She says sure. So we do.
The Great Movie Ride took us through lots of great Disney and non Disney movies. I’ll share only a few like Mary Poppins which we later learned Walt Disney claimed was his greatest film masterpiece.
There was Tarzan. That’s him swinging through the jungle. Jane is on the other side sitting on top of an elephant.
And then here are Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman. “Here’s looking at you kid.”
We travel through Munchkin Land and are of course scared by the Wicked Witch “My Pretty”.
I could go on and on with the films. It is a great time if you love classic movies. After that we find ourselves in a fantastic exhibit of the life of Walt Disney from his birth and childhood up to the numerous amazing things he did in his life.
I’m old enough to have been in elementary school when the Mickey Mouse Club was on. How I loved it and the series Spin and Marty.
There are beautiful detailed miniatures of all the castles at the Disney parks all over the world. There is Tokyo Disney Resort, Hong Kong Disneyland Resort, Shanghi Disney Resort. Are you seeing a pattern here? BUT there is also Disneyland Paris known as Euro Disney Resort and the castle below is Le Chateau de la Belle au Bois Dormant. The Castle of Sleeping Beauty.
And at the very end of the exhibit we are treated to a super preview of Disney’s latest 3D computer-animated action comedy adventure film produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios. Zoolandia is the 55th Disney animated feature film.
I just enjoyed the preview which was long enough to get everyone in the audience hooked. I would really love to see it on the big screen when it comes out on March 4th of this year.
Just outside, we see a line for a “meet and greet” with Chip and Dale. I love that these two teenaged boys are standing in line with the kids and when it’s their turn they play around in good fun. No embarrassment visible to me.
So now, which way to go? What do we want to see next? There’s a fast pass station, let’s see what we can get.
You are only allowed to have three fast passes reserved at a time. Of course the things David wants to do are sold out of fast passes for the entire day. No passes for Toy Story Midway Mania or for Indiana Jones epic Stunt Spectacular or for The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.
Here is what we chose.
We head down the street toward the Tower of Terror to see how long the wait time is.
When we arrive, of course it is too long so we head back and just stop at the things with large venues that we can easily get in.
There is plenty of room to see the story of Beauty and the Beast. The excellent cast does a shortened rendition of the story. The costumes are fantastic. These kids sure can sing and dance.
I love the Maurice Chevalier voice of the candlestick.
Be our Guest!
That is one HUGE costume.
And of course the happy ending.
On we go wandering around the streets of Hollywood.
Great water tower.
On Sunset Boulevard the cable cars are out.
We find a spot that reminds us of the Key West Sculpture Gardens. It’s the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame. Recognize these folks?
By this time we’ve completely missed our first fast pass to Star Wars but we are enough early for Muppet vision 3D that we have time to pick a spot to eat the lunch we’ve brought with us. We want to stay nearby so we hang out under a tree on “the back lot”.
After admiring the Miss Piggy fountain, it’s time to go inside.
We get in the fast pass line, press our magic bands against the magic band reader and it flashes a green Mickey. We’re good to go.
Among the coming attractions
Inside is a beautiful theater with box seats. The one on the right accomodates two wise cracking Muppets who give Kermit a very hard time as he tries to show us around their new 3D studios. No pictures of the show since it’s all in 3D.
Outside again on the streets we find we are in New York. What?
But when we get closer we find that it is a back drop.
Boy does it look real until you get right up next to it.
This fine establishment Youse Guys Moychindice is a real store. LOVE the name!
Turning down another street, we’re in San Francisco. But they do have the street blocked off so no one tries to walk up hill.
We wander by Honey I Shrunk the Kids Movie Adventure and although we’ve never seen it and we aren’t kids, David is a good sport and goes inside with me where we walk under giant blades of grass and next to enormous cans of play-doh.
My favorite here is the huge sniffing dog nose. I laugh out loud every time someone approaches it and it sniffs.
As you can imagine, in the grass there are insects everywhere.
We happen upon the Voyage of the Little Mermaid Show which is also in a large venue. No problem getting in so we do.
It’s a mix of real players and antimated folks like the main antagonist Ursula.
Back outside these guys are being escorted away. I have no idea who they are but you all probably know.
We have time before our last fast pass so we wander back down toward the tower to check out the wait time now. We pass the famous Hollywood Brown Derby where they will serve you very expensive food.
All thoughout the day there have been skits taking place along the streets. In this one, two young women of the 40’s are auditioning with impromptu jokes. The casting director asks for a subject and each hopeful in turn has to do a joke about it. Those gathered around decide which one is the best.
This impromptu team is very good. They are quick and funny and get lots of laughs. Makes me wish we’d hunted up all the on street entertainment here all afternoon.
Back at the foot of the street, David checks the tower time. 20 minute wait? That’s less than half of what it was. OK then, let’s go.
We walk up to the tower and in less than 20 minutes are in “the library” waiting for the “elevator”. We board the elevator and the terror is that the elevator falls down stories and bangs to a stop and then zooms back up and repeats enough times to make you hope you haven’t eaten too recently.
Back outside I find no one is paying any attention to the crossing signs. Do you remember the “Stop” and “Go” signs?
I also find my favorite T-shirt of the day.
We join the folks in another large venue at an attraction entitled For the First Time in forever: A “Frozen Sing-Along Celebration” Everybody here but us seems to know all the words.
We arrive outside to find the sky putting on a Disney color show of its own.
The colors are faded but night is coming on fast and it’s time for our last Fast Pass. This turns out to be at the largest venue of them all and the only benefit to a fast pass is that you “might” be able to get a better seat down front close to the water. The stage is in the middle of a lake.
We are here at the biggest outdoor venue we’ve seen at Disney World with, we estimate, four to five thousand friends currently unknown to us. But when we check it later we find out it has a capacity of 7900 seats and room for 3000 standing. Most of the seats are full. I thnk we under estimated.
The theme here is reminiscent of the ones in the Magic Kingdom about the power of dreams. Mickey is here, the Princesses and Princes are here, the villains are here to disrupt the whole thing.
It’s a water, lights and pyrotectics extravaganza entitled Fantasmic.
There is villain after villain to test the power of Mickey’s dreams. Here are a couple of them.
Of course he proves victorious and saves the day.
All is right again with the world and everyone waves as they float happily by.
Water, fireworks, and fire displays for the Grand finale
Soon we are trying to exit from our far section down front seats. If you come be sure to take seats down the first or second aisle you come to if you can. There is only one way out although they must have fire exits which they didn’t use today.
We actually manage to beat a great deal of the crowd out and there is almost no line at the ice cream venue outside. Time for dessert in the only hand scooped spot in Hollywood Studios. This time it’s a brownie sundae with Prailines and Cream ice cream. The brownie is warm and it is delicious!! Boy don’t I wish my real life could have ice cream 3 days out of 5.
We are completely surprised by the fireworks as we are leaving the table to to make our way to the gates and out of the park.
This was David’s day and the last picture is one I know he’ll enjoy!
This is our last day in Disney World.
Sadly we’ll be leaving Fort Wilderness tomorrow.
I am wondering just how long it would take me to tire of being here and I’m already planning to return.
Every time we come we have a wonderful wonderful time!