Monday, November 23, 2009

Disney Day 6: Hollywood Studios

Mallory has been talking about going to Disney a lot lately. A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned something about doing something together on the weekend, and she looked at me excitedly and said, "Are we going to Disney?" Ahhh, if only it were that easy, little one! She was talking about going to Disney again last night and I said, "Yes, we will go back to Disney, but it won't be for a few years." And then Chad pointed out that I hadn't finished my trip report. See... if I don't get something done shortly after I start it... I lose steam. THAT is why I tend to jump into things headfirst. Gotta strike while the iron is hot, so to speak.

The fact of the matter is that I finished my Disney album... or 99% of it anyway... at least a month ago. And since then, it's kind of been off my radar. (Will the remaining 1% ever be finished? I don't know. I think my 2003 Tanzania album is still 1% undone...) Nonetheless, here's the lowdown on Day 6 of our trip. I know I said that Epcot isn't my favourite park, and it isn't, but Disney's Hollywood Studios probably bottoms the list. It's still a nice park and there is still lots to do there... it just isn't my favourite. (I think Chad was offended when I told him that!) We started our day with another character breakfast, this one at Hollywood & Vine. The characters were JoJo the clown and the kids from Little Einsteins. We don't watch either of those shows (well, we do have one LE DVD that Mallory enjoys, but overall those characters don't get the same kind of airtime in our house as, say, the Disney princesses.) We were out of breakfast in time for rope drop. The big new attraction at DHS is Toy Story Midway Mania, and we didn't think we would see that one at all, because we weren't willing to spend hours in line for it. At rope drop, 95% of the crowd took off to queue up for that attraction and/or get a Fastpass for it. We circled the entire way around the park to the Honey, I Shrunk the Kids playground - thinking it the more appealing choice. Except that when we got there, there was a sign up saying the playground didn't open for another half hour. That really caught us off guard and so we wandered over to check out TSMM. Lo and behold, the line was not bad at all (meaning 15 minutes or so), so we decided to try it. Note to self: the weather in Florida in August can be awfully hot... but the lack of crowds more than makes up for it! TSMM is a 3-D midway/arcade type game. Thus the long lines: you go through once, you get a score, you immediately hop back in line to try to beat it. I hope Disney does not come up with too many more of these types of attractions that bring people through multiple times. It was fun, though Mallory had no clue what was going on and it only just registered with Liam. Give us a few years and we will likely be that family lining up yet again! By the time we came out, the playground was open and we headed back over to frolick with the six-foot-tall blades of grass and ants as big as a cow.

We also caught a few stage shows in the morning. The first was a puppet version of My Friends Tigger & Pooh, a show our kids do watch, so that went over well. The second was the live version of The Little Mermaid. Mallory adores Ariel, so this was very exciting for her. All was fine and well until the sea witch Ursula came out, at which point Mallory cried (in a voice loud enough for the entire theatre to hear): "I don't like her, she is a mean mean lady!" As for Liam, he scowled the entire way through the show because there were several scenes set (duh!) in/on/around the water, and they kept misting the theatre to add to the effect. Who knew that Liam hates getting wet so much? Not me...For lunch we went to the Sci-Fi Drive-In, which was our only bad meal of the entire trip. You pay for the atmosphere here, not the great food. The kids loved sitting in a car to eat and watching old movies on the drive-in screen while we waited for our food.We made an early exit that day to spend some extra time at the pool. On our way out of the park, Chad was sad to discover part of the Star Wars attraction boarded up for refurbishment, but running into the green army men from Toy Story made up for it a bit.We came back to DHS that night for dinner at the 50s Prime Time Cafe. I just love this place. The food is great (even though it's theme-y; I had meatloaf and Chad had pot roast) but the real reason you go is for the experience. All of the furniture and decor are authentic 50s items. After you wait to be seated in the mid-century modern teak living room, you are escorted to a seat in the formica-tabled kitchen, complete with black and white check floor. The waitresses scold people for putting their elbows on the table and not finishing their vegetables. (Chad was awarded a 'Clean Plate Club' sticker for finishing his meal.) Up until this point in the trip, we'd been feeding Mallory bits and pieces off our plates for the most part, because she is under 3 and therefore was too young for the meal plan. But she was pining for some macaroni and cheese (and there was no way we would ever get her to eat meatloaf!) so we traded in one of our adult meal credits (which could be worth $50+ at some restaurants on property) for her kids dinner. Then, she didn't touch it. I mean, she did not eat one noodle. It was so exasperating, I can't even tell you. I laughed so much because if I didn't, I think I would have cried.

While we were eating, a monsoon rainstorm broke out, and we were suddenly very thankful for the dollar-store ponchos we'd brought along. Waiting for the bus back to our hotel was the only time during our trip that we got caught in the rain. I'd say that was pretty lucky!Next up: Day 7 - The Magic Kingdom Finale. Hopefully it doesn't take me another month to get around to posting it!...