WDW Trip Report: June 6
This was my first trip to Hollywood Studios since the hat came down, and I was so excited to look down Hollywood Boulevard and see the Chinese Theatre just like I did when I was younger. Unfortunately, since we were visiting during Star Wars Weekends, there was still a giant stage blocking the view, but hey, close enough. We arrived pretty early in the morning, but as you might be able to tell from that picture, it was still outrageously crowded, being a Saturday during Star Wars Weekends. There was some entertaining banter from a duo of Stormtroopers before the rope was officially dropped, and then off we went to Tower of Terror and Rock 'n' Roller Coaster. Neither was terribly crowded since most people were rope-dropping Star Tours, but we had a FastPass+ for later so we weren't terribly concerned about it.
After the Sunset Boulevard run, we went to Starring Rolls for breakfast. After a delicious chocolate croissant, we walked over to The Great Movie Ride, briefly stopping by the SWW stage on our way. I'm not fully sure what was going on, but Han Solo in carbonite was being guarded by two Stormtroopers, one of whom pointed at me and told me they were keeping an eye on me (I was in a Han Solo dress, so I guess I stood out a bit). The Great Movie Ride itself hasn't changed much with the TCM refresh, but the changes that have been made are stellar. The changing movie posters in the queue are pretty cute, and I was thrilled to see a few of my favourites, both well-known and more obscure. What I thought was the highlight of the entire thing, though, was walking into the theatre to see Robert Osborne discussing one of my all-time favourite movies, Singin' in the Rain.
I love this whole informative reel and I wish I'd gotten to see more of it, honestly. It seems long enough that you won't always be walking in at the same point and it was all so fascinating. I loved learning things about movies I love and movies I didn't know much about before. It's really, really stellar. I had been so worried because watching those old trailers was always one of my favourite parts of the Great Movie Ride experience, but this is even better than that. And often includes trailers or scenes from the movies! So I'm totally in favour of it. The changes to the ride spiel are not terribly different but they're nice. The ride itself probably needs a refresh, too, but considering it's one of, like, two things that are still open at Hollywood Studios, that could probably wait a bit.
We stopped by Star Tours just to see what the line was like, and it turned out it had just opened after being down all morning, so we only waited about 10 minutes. I was the rebel spy! It turns out I am in this for your revolution. (Han Solo jokes.) After that we headed to my favourite Studios show, Muppet Vision 3D. I hadn't heard that they changed the pre-show film to add in Constantine, and it's not a huge change but it is very funny and a great addition. I love Muppet Vision, it makes me laugh every time, and I really, really hope they never change it or take it away. It's such a gift to have the last thing Jim Henson worked on at the Studios and I will actually be heartbroken if it goes away. On another note, I'm still so bummed I can't buy a Bean Bunny plush! I just want one thing! Why won't you let me give you my money??
Knowing it would likely be the last time we'd be able to see it, we also watched Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular. It was fun, as always, but it does seem kind of dated. I'll miss it, but I'm hoping something great takes its place. After that it was finally time for lunch at the Hollywood Brown Derby! Though I love it aesthetically it's never really wowed me with its food, which continues to be the case. The kids menu was Guardians of the Galaxy themed and had Gamora on it, though, so that made me happy.
After lunch, my mom and brothers went back to the hotel for a nap and I stayed at the park to do some things I figured they wouldn't have any interest in. First I grabbed one of the SWW cocktails, the Endor, so I could get myself a nice Millenium Falcon glow cube. The drink was tasty, too, but I am all about those glow cubes. After that I went to the Little Mermaid show, which is cute but SUPER dated. The performers are fantastic, though!
Being solo at the parks is often one of my favourite things; I like to go at my own pace and do the things I want to do. People don't always try to talk to me, which I'm mostly grateful for since I'm both introverted and shy and don't really like to deal with strangers if I don't have to, but on this particular day I got lots of talkative people. I'm always happy to talk to kids, and there was a little girl in line for the Little Mermaid show who was wearing a Darth Vader and Princess Leia skirt her mom made, so she talked to me about my Han Solo dress. She was flabbergasted to learn I'm not a teenager though! Oops. Then once I sat down at the show, the guys on either side of me talked to me, and generally I'm less comfortable with strange men talking to me for what are probably obvious reasons. The older guy to my left was making me a bit uncomfortable but the younger guys to my right jumped in and steered the conversation away from him, for which I was grateful. They asked why I was by myself and I explained, saying my brothers didn't want to see the show, to which they responded, "Oh, their loss. The Little Mermaid is the shit!" The Little Mermaid is indeed the shit. Other than that I was mostly left alone for the rest of the day, so that was very enjoyable.
After the show I stopped in at Watto's Grotto, but didn't find anything I couldn't live without. After that I went to the Magic of Animation building (R.I.P.) to meet Hiro and Baymax. They had just left for a break, and the cast member told me it would be about 50 minutes until they were back. I was near the front of the line and in air conditioning (and I had just about been DYING running around outside in the heat) so I was completely happy to just sit and wait. It was a really nice and much-needed cooldown time. Interestingly, the line was full of groups of teenagers and young adults, but not very many small children. Most of the merchandise I've seen for Big Hero 6 seemed to be marketed to younger kids, but the line makes me think that's not the demographic that enjoyed it the most. Anyway, Hiro was really nice! I was super anxious and awkward and didn't know what to say to any of his questions, I was just there to hug Baymax. I love Baymax hugs. Alert me when I can get a Baymax of my own. I'm sorry I was weird, Hiro.
I thought about waiting for some of the Star Wars characters but those lines were outside and incredibly long. Waiting outside in the heat was just not gonna happen. My phone was dying and I needed it to stay functional so my mom could contact me when she and my brothers came back, so I camped out at the ABC Commissary at an outlet until I heard from them. We rode Tower of Terror and Rock 'n' Roller Coaster again a few times before grabbing dinner at the Commissary and then camping out for the Symphony in the Stars fireworks. We grabbed a bench on Sunset Boulevard so we couldn't see what was going on on-stage, but I honestly didn't care that much. We could see the fireworks fine and we weren't in a crush of people. The fireworks were really great, I thought it was really well-done. I honestly don't care much for Fantasmic so this was a delightful change of pace for the end-of-night show.
...except it wasn't the end of the night for me, because I got straight on a bus to the Magic Kingdom while my mom and brothers went back to the hotel. I had thought the extra magic hours that night were until 2 AM, but I didn't double-check and everything was closed by 12:30, but I still got a few good Magic Kingdom hours in there. My first stop was Astro Orbiter, which it turns out is a much scarier ride when you are a tiny person riding by yourself. I was thrown around quite a bit, but it was so much fun! I love Astro Orbiter so much but no one else I go with does. Before I've usually been able to rope a sibling into it but this time it was just me. Oh, did I slide. But it was fun! I would probably do it by myself again. I'll just...anchor myself better...somehow...
After that I walked behind the castle (completely deserted, so eerie and lovely) to get over to Liberty Square and ride the Haunted Mansion. I love Haunted Mansion all the time but especially at night, so that was really fun. I was stopped for a few minutes and saw a CM with a flashlight walk by twice, so I was thinking I was going to get evac'd (which I've never done, even though I've been to WDW half a billion times) but all I got was stuck in the attic listening to Constance chatter for 10 minutes. Ah well. Still fun!
I stopped by Peter Pan's Flight next to check out the new queue. I think it's lovely, and the increased A/C space is certainly nice. The Tinkerbell effect in the nursery is so cool, and the shadow play is really fun, and the pixie dust hallway is so charming. It makes the wait just a bit more bearable, but it's still not worth the 50+ minute wait it often gets. I only waited about 15 minutes, so that wasn't bad. I was sitting in my own pirate ship and the CM at the end of the moving walkway sprinkled pixie dust on my ship before it flew away. I was so tickled, that was such a cute thing to do. Thanks, CM whose name I forgot.
After a charming night-time ride on the carousel, I thought I'd go over to Jungle Cruise, but that's when I realised everything was closed and they were gently herding us out. So I stopped to take a couple of pictures of the new hub area, which is just gorgeous and so pleasant, before heading back to the hotel. It was a jam-packed day but quite a good one.
Up next: clopening the Magic Kingdom! It's better with coffee.