Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Disney Parks: Hollywood Studios

Our next full day at a Disney park was spent at Disney's Hollywood Studios on Wednesday. I know there are those who don't really care for this park, but I'm not one of them. With Star Tours down for its refurbishment, it's true that there is less to do here than usual, and it's also true that the park is sort of heavy on shows and light on rides anyway. But that said, I like it quite a bit. I like the dining choices and I like the rides it does have.

We ate at the Hollywood Brown Derby for lunch and at the 50's Prime Time Cafe for dinner. You can read my thoughts on those in previous blog posts if you're interested. (Feel free to comment if anything strikes a chord...)

We made it on many rides at the park but we did not go on Toy Story Mania, because all the FastPasses were given out by the time we got there between 10:30 am and 11:00 am. It's a good ride, but not one I'd stand in line for over an hour to ride, even if the queue is supposed to be really cool. (We've never seen it, having only ridden it using FastPasses.) Plus, we have the Wii game, and while it isn't exactly the same, it's not totally different either. (Some levels are even in 3D!)

We also skipped the Backlot Tour, not because we hate it, but because we never seemed to make it that far back in the park. We also didn't go to the Beauty and the Beast show (something we've never done to this point) or to Lights, Motors, Action! on this trip. Fantasmic wasn't running on the day we were there, so we didn't have to make a decision about going to see it.

We did ride Twilight Zone Tower of Terror twice, once with and once without a FastPass. We rode Rock'n'Roller Coaster (with Fastpasses) and my younger son declared it to be his favorite roller coaster ever! We did the Great Movie Ride and we saw the Indiana Jones Stunt Show. All fun rides.

We also made sure to wander back into the Animation Academy and take a drawing class. We drew Dale (the one with the big nose), and had a blast doing so.

While we were on the Tower Of Terror, my wife wandered over to the Writer's Stop, then when I called her that we were out of the ride, she said that she was watching the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights, and that we had to see it. So we made our way across the park to the Streets of America, and watched the shows for about a half hour. This display was perhaps the coolest thing, decoration-wise, I've seen in the parks. It's extensive and quite beautiful. All that light movement synched to was really impressive.

When we came out of our dinner, the park was closed, and it's pretty neat to see it without people but still lit up. My wife tried to get some good shots of the boys with the Hat in the background, and I tried to get some pictures with my cell phone of the Hat and the streets without people, like so many of the publicity photos you see at various places. I'd like to report that I got some great pictures, but the truth is, I wasn't impressed with any of my shots. (If you've seen my photography, you probably have to wonder just how bad these were for me to call them bad. I guess they weren't THAT bad - just not anything special.)

It was pretty late by this time, but we didn't have anything scheduled for the following morning, so we made our way back to our room, and called it a day!


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