Walt Disney World ICP - Day 42 - Hollywood Studios and Hotels - 14th July 2013

I had the day off today so it was time to tick a few more things off the bucket list by visiting Disney’s Hollywood Studios. I arrived just after 1PM and the line for Toy Story Midway Mania was 70 minutes. This is by far the park’s most popular ride in terms of queue times - with waits regularly exceeding 100 minutes. As such, 70 minutes is great. The ride is an interactive experience where you go from screen to screen shooting at things, popping balloons and trying to beat the 7 other people in your set of vehicles. I was pleasantly surprised by the queue as it was well themed, but unfortunately the interactive Mr Potato Head was having a few issues and kept missing the punchlines of the jokes he was making.

Inside Toy Story Midway Mania

I got on in under 40 minutes so I was chuffed - it was definitely worth the wait and was a lot of fun. I got the best score in the car which for my first time I was pretty proud of!

Next, it was time for the Studio Backlot Tour which I preferred to the Parisian version as it was longer and more about how films are made. They didn’t get anyone to star in the movie as they said they would which was weird.

On the Studio Backlot Tour

For lunch I fancied pizza so Pizza Planet it was. To be honest, I can’t recommend it at all for the food. It had arcade machines which I got suckered in to and ended up spending $10 and not winning anything - lesson learnt.

Star Tours was the next stop and it was a walk-on from the moment I stepped in to the moment I got on the StarSpeeder. The ride is meant to be different every time but I had already experienced that particular sequence bar one part which was slightly disappointing.

Next it was over to The Magic of Disney Animation which was a surprising gem with lots of character meet and greets such as Wreck it Ralph and the highlight for me was the drawing class where I got to draw Tinkerbell. I will definitely be going back as it was so much fun and interesting to see how the professionals draw the characters.

Voyage of the Little Mermaid was next which was an alright show though I wouldn’t particularly wait in line for it, but it was a fun distraction.

Courtney texted me to say she was off in the afternoon and we then met by the Swan hotel which was about a 20 minute way away from Hollywood Studios. We climbed to the top of the Swan hotel where you could see everything in Walt Disney World from Expedition Everest to the left, to Epcot on the right, and even Space Mountain right in front of you. We found a small balcony by a fire exit and took some great photos while up there.

As I wanted to visit all the resorts whilst I was here, it was then time to explore other nearby resorts as we visited the Dolphin hotel, the Yacht Club and the Beach Club. At the beach club we stopped for a snack at the magnificent 'Beaches and Cream'. This soon turned into a full blown dinner as I had a burger meal, a drink and shared a giant ice-cream sundae with Courtney. The total was $26 which wasn’t too bad considering but money was definitely starting to run out as I was left with just a dollar on my disney pay card.

I visited the lobby and other parts of the Boardwalk next and then we got the boat over to Hollywood Studios to get a bus to Courtney’s old work location - Animal Kingdom Lodge. All I can say it WOW - it is spectacular in there. It’s so well themed, the lobby is stunning and I even spotted some giraffes and zebras in the safari area in the hotel. It was so cool and I definitely want to take my family there to visit it.

It was now nighttime and the savana at night was incredible. A great, if exhausting day. The plan for tomorrow morning before work - Animal Kingdom!

Next post: Walt Disney World ICP - Day 43 - Return to Animal Kingdom...(and work) - 15th July 2013

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