Saturday, April 20, 2013

Disney Diaries, Post 5 (Let's Go To Hollywood!)

On our third park day, we ventured to Hollywood Studios, which is the old MGM. In addition to a lot of the Pixar characters, there are Star Wars rides and of course the Tower of Terror. We began with the Disney Junior character breakfast at Hollywood & Vine. The food was tasty. The atmosphere was just okay. If it hadn't been for the fact that Jack's favorite character was here, this would have been a skip-able one. The boys did get to meet Jake of Jake & the Neverland Pirates, and they were thrilled. Handy Manny, Agent OSO and one of the Little Einsteins was also there, but the boys were not as interested in them.

I left breakfast a little early to get the boys signed up for the Jedi Training Academy. Once in line I realized the boys had to be present to sign up. They hustled over and we began quizzing Sam on his age. You had to be four to participate. If he wanted to do it, he was going to have to pretend to be four, rather than three. He was cool as a cucumber in line, saying, "I'm 4!" Then, once we got up front and the man asked him how old he was, sweet thing said, "I'm 3!" So, needless to say, he didn't get to participate. Maybe next time.

While I was in line with the boys, Josh scored fastpasses for Toy Story Mania. Once we got Jack's Jedi time assignment, we headed over to the Star Tours ride, which was a big hit with everyone. Sam loved it to, but that may have had something to do with the 3D glasses. He got to wear them again when we saw Muppet Vision 3D. The boys got to meet Phineas and Ferb, Lightning McQueen and Mater, and even Buzz and Woody.

Around noon it was time for Jack to report for his Jedi Training Academy. He received a robe and was instructed on his duties. Soon, the show began. A master Jedi carefully instructed the padwans. Suddenly, Darth Vader and two storm troopers emerged. Each padwan had the opportunity to show their new skills and fight Vader. It was quite thrilling, and Jack loved it.

The boys agreed to brave the Tower of Terror, especially since we called it a haunted hotel. Jack enjoyed the introduction which includes a Twilight Zone type retelling of how the hotel became haunted and why the elevator no longer functions properly. But, he didn't enjoy the drops. Afterwards, he said, "that wasn't fun." Sam added, "That was not a good idea." It may sound a little cruel, but any time the boys got a little whiny or complained we jokingly suggest we return to the haunted hotel. They'd straighten up immediately!

With sure action and excitement, we thought the boys might enjoy the Indiana Jones stunt show. It was a little late starting, and we learned it was because of some set difficulties. So, they were only able to show us the first scene (of 3), which is only about five minutes long. The boys didn't know any different, and didn't seem to mind. Later we got in place for the Pixar Pals parade. Somehow in all the loud excitement, Sam managed to drift off. After the parade, Jack noticed his brother, "Mom, look at Sam. He's asleep. He's pretty cute!"

We enjoyed some down time and then headed to a car stunt show. It included cars racing, jumping ramps, motorcycles and fire. In other words, the boys loved it! We had dinner at Mama Melrose's, which was good, but not great. Our service was not so good, but our bellies were full. We did a couple more rides and then headed to watch Fantasmic, the closing show.

I had heard Fantasmic was a bit scary for small children, so I was a bit worried the boys wouldn't like it. The hardest part was the wait. You have to arrive 30-45 minutes prior to showtime to get an okay seat. Keeping the boys entertained on the bleachers required all the goodies in my backpack. A coloring book worked for Jack and a set of stickers kept Sam occupied for a solid 20 minutes. I'm so glad I hauled that backpack around all week. Once the show began, all was good. The special effects were pretty spectacular. I could see why the show had a reputation. At one point there was an enormous evil dragon and the entire lake was on fire! I saw families with tots streaming up the aisles and out. Our boys didn't seemed too concerned, and the show ends on a much happier note.

Tuesday favorites:
Jack: Indiana Jones show, the parade & picking out a gift to bring back for our neighbor, Fin
Sam: The good guys at the end of Fantasmic (again, the most recent thing he had seen)
Mom: The Jedi Training Academy
Dad: The Star Tours ride and the Muppets Show

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