Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Dream Trip Report Alternate Day 2--Hollywood Studios

Guest post written by my husband Brian:

We arrived at Hollywood Studios around 7:15am. I hadn't told Nathan about Star Wars Weekend but since there were signs everywhere I pointed one out and told him that's what today was, a special Star
Wars day at Hollywood Studios. A few minutes before 7:30am, the unofficial park opening time, storm troopers were raised onto the roof of the entryway and performed a little skit, asked some trivia
questions, then ordered the gates opened. I didn't see them much because they were above where I was standing, but Nathan got out of line and watched them. He seemed to enjoy them.

Once the gates opened it was a mad dash to the Indiana Jones theater to reserve a spot for the Jedi Training Academy. We managed to snag an early spot at 9:45am, and I was glad because while the weather was nice in the morning we knew it would probably rain later in the day. From there, we went to Star Tours and rode it twice in a row before giving Nathan a chance to exercise his one true passion: browsing gift shops. It's pretty much his main drive when we go to the parks and everything else is a break from or an obstacle to getting to the gift shop. I let him browse for about 30 minutes, and during that time we also managed to build two custom droid action figures (this is something new at Hollywood Studios this year). He built one for him self and I built one for Joshua.

Darth Vader Goofy and Stormtrooper Donald
Jedi Mickey

Boba Fett guarding Han Solo:

From there, we went to Toy Story Mania to get a fastpass for later in the day. Our fastpass return time started at 1:35pm which would be pretty tight with our lunch reservation at 1:45pm, but the fastpass
attendant assured me that all fastpasses would be taken by 11am and we could probably be a few minutes late to lunch. So, we just rolled with that time rather than try to get a later one by coming back.
Next, Nathan wanted to look in a gift shop so I let him do that for a while to kill some time before his Jedi Training Academy return time. Shortly before 9:15am we went to a separate theater where they gave everyone instructions and lined everyone up for the Jedi Training. Nathan didn't want to do this at all, he wanted to spend more time in gift shops and do the Jedi Training later. I told him this was the only chance he could do it today, and after some hemming and hawing he finally decided to do it. They marched him and the other kids over and Nathan got into the ground level stage to battle Darth Vader's alternate (last time it was Darth Maul). To our surprise it wasn't Darth Maul that Nathan got to fight, but Ventress from the Clone Wars. He also had Ahsoka from Clone Wars as his instructor which was pretty cool, too.

After the show we ran into my friend Pam, who was there with her two children. Nathan was dying to go to another gift shop and Pam's son, Jake, was there to meet C3PO, so we went to Darth's Mall to do that. While they stood in line to meet C3PO and R2D2, I let Nathan loose and I picked out shirts for him and Joshua from Star Wars Weekend. Nathan ended up picking out a double lightsaber and a Savage Opress costume (Nathan practiced his double lightsaber skills the rest of the day when there was more than two feet clearance around him).

We also saw a couple who were fans dressed up as Savage and Aurra Sing. I snapped a picture of them posing with the droids. Their homemade costumes were great.


After Darth's Mall it was time to line up for the Star Wars parade. Pam took her daughter to find a spot and I took her son and Nathan to ride Star Tours again (Pam snagged fast passes but couldn't take her daughter on the ride, so we used them). We found Pam on the parade route where she staked out a great spot for everyone. While we were waiting it started raining and we thought the parade would be cancelled, but it ended up starting a few minutes late as the rain died off. Also, while we were waiting I ran off to get Tower of Terror fastpasses for later.

The parade was great. All of the characters were there: Chewbacca, Bobba Fett, Jango Fett, Captain Rex, Commander Cody, Darth Vader, Darth Maul, Darth Sidious, Aurra Sing, R2D2, a wide selection of of storm troopers, clone troopers, jedi, and emperial officers. Plus, there were the Star Wars versions of the big four Disney Characters there, too (Jedi Micky, Storm Trooper Donald, Goofy Vader, and Princess Minnie). Also, there were voice actors from the Clone Wars series (Obi Wan Kenobi, Ahsoka, and Ventress) along with the actor who portrayed Bobba Fett in episodes 5 & 6 and the guy who portrayed young Bobba Fett in episodes 2 & 3 (I think?).

After the parade we said goodbye to Pam and her kids and went to rideToy Story Mania at our return time. We got there right at 1:35pm and it took several minutes to actually get onto the ride even with the fastpass. On the ride I'd like to say that I was magnanimous and let my son outscore me on the virtual midway games that the ride runs you through. But I wasn't.  Whooped his butt. I scored something like 250K points to his 3K. I didn't brag about it, though... too much anyway.

Once off the ride we ran to the '50s Prime Time Cafe for lunch. I don't mean we walked expeditiously, but we full on ran through the park dodging people, strollers, and characters to make our reservation time. I was impressed that Nathan kept up the whole way. All told we were about 7 minutes late but it wasn't a problem. We were seated quickly and had lunch (fried chicken for me and chicken nuggets for him). Lunch is always good there and a great way to escape the heat for a while.

After lunch it was off to the Tower of Terror. In the line up to getting on the ride I could tell Nathan was a bit apprehensive about it. But, he was mostly cool with it until the car started dropping us
up and down and then he really wanted it to end. In fact, after getting off the ride he would tell some random people that they shouldn't go on the ride, either.

After the ride, since we were nearby, I decided to let Nathan have another run through Darth's Mall and then it was onto the car stunt show (Lights, Motor, Action!). He really enjoyed the car chases, motorcycles, and stunts in the show. The plan was to catch the Indiana Jones show right afterward,
but the walk to and from the stunt show is REALLY long so that wasn't happening. We had to defer to a 6:45pm show for Indiana Jones.

In the meantime, you guessed it, gift shops. I let him peruse one that was on the way back from the stunt show, and had to pull him away with the promise of a bigger gift shop in order to get the Jedi Training Academy pictures transferred to our photopass near the park entrance. At this bigger giftshop he purchased his second weapon of the trip, a Bobba Fett blaster. When leaving this shop we ran into an old college friend, Christine Barnes and her husband Dan, with their twin girls. It took me a few seconds to realize who they were even after Christine came up to me and said, "Brian?" They were wrapping up their Disney vacation where we were just starting ours. It was good to see them and glad to hear they enjoyed the parks with their kids.

Fully armed with toy weapons, we went to the Indiana Jones show. We snagged seats front and center, and Nathan really liked this show, too. He especially liked the stunt fighting which they do a lot of in this show. After the show was over it started to rain again. But, it was time to leave anyway. We put on our ponchos and trugdged out of the park and, luckily, didn't have to wait long for the bus back to Carribbean Beach.  We had a quick bite to eat in the food court and headed back to the room, where Nathan insisted on immediately changing into his new costume.

Note from Nancy:  When we met back up with Brian and Nathan at the hotel and I asked Nathan how his day was, he said it was his "best day EVER!"  I'm so glad the timing of this trip worked out so that they could experience this special Star Wars day.

1 comment:

  1. we loved star wars weekend was Jack's birthday, and the year of magic fastpasses on your it was a fabulous day!
    Mary Anne