Rope Drop to Close: An unexpected day at Hollywood Studios

Hollywood Studios: April 12, 2016

On our first visit in 2016 several attractions at Hollywood Studios had announced closures. It was a bummer! The initial plan for the day was altered to include an extra long 5 or so hour break from the park. What actually happened that day was unexpected and amazing!

We walked out the hotel room door at 8:00AM on the nose. We needed to get to the park as early as possible to sign up for Jedi Training. Rumors were that they were letting people in before opening to get in the sign up line. The rumors were true. My son was signed up and then we were off. First, a quick ride on Star Tours, a little bit of time to make light sabers, a preview of a Jedi Training show, and then to his chance to be a Jedi. Unfortunately nerves kicked in and so did the tears. He made it to the stage but only for two minutes or so. He watched the rest of the show with us.

It was a disappointing start, but there was more to do. First stop meeting Buzz and Woody. They were so engaging! Then the kids were in awe at the Frozen Sing-A-Long, we caught the Disney Jr. show, met Jake (even though we were going to have lunch with him soon) watched a excerpt from the Jungle Book and then had lunch at Hollywood & Vine. We thought the food was good. Desserts were AMAZING.  My little one squealed with excitement for the characters. ‘Fia (Sofia the First) and Doc were there! My son was thrilled to meet Handy Manny and Jake (again)!



After lunch was time for a FastPass+ at Toy Story Mania. Then we’re leaving. Right? Nope! No one wants to go. How about we grab a FastPass+ for the Little Mermaid. There were Stormtroopers patrolling. There was a Green Army Guy walking around Pixar Place. There was the March of the First Order. Let’s get a snack. I heard about this ‘random’ character meeting. Let’s see if it’s there. It is! Twenty minutes. Eight amazing characters. Minnie arrived and walked straight to my daughter. Mulan was curious about my son’s “strange sword.” He even gave her a lesson in using it. The Evil Queen was quite bothered by children… but all in character, of course. She signed my daughter’s Snow White autograph book next to a picture of herself commenting on how radiant she looks. She was the best!

Visit Kenny the Pirate’s website for Character Locator subscription info.

We were all energized now! Let’s ride Toy Story Mania again. We found the Green Army Guy and then marching Stormtroopers again. My son was in heaven!

We enjoyed walking around Echo Lake for a few minutes and eventually found our way to Mama Melrose for our dinner reservation. They offered us a Fantasmic Dining Package– which I hadn’t been able to book online– so we gladly accepted. We stuffed ourselves on Italian food for quite some time.

After we took advantage of a Photopass photographer, walked in some stores, then made our way to Fantasmic. By this time we’re approaching 12 hours since we left the room. My daughter was getting tired, but not cranky. That was a miracle. She drifted off to sleep before Fantasmic even started. My son literally danced in his seat and cheered through the entire show. We were all so impressed.


When the show ended it was a mass exodus. Tough holding a sleeping toddler and the hand of an very wound up little boy. We walked slowly off to the side waiting for my husband to grab the stroller and find us.

Time to head to bed. Except we didn’t. We were near the park exit where much of the crowd we walked with was making their way out. As we’re walking my husband said “Don’t they have fireworks here? What time do they start?”

“9:15,” I answered immediately.

“What time is it?”

A quick check of my phone and it’s “9:13.”

“Let’s just stay.”

My son is delighted. He’s yelling for fireworks. And then they begin. You could say the view was slightly obstructed, but we didn’t notice at all. It was absolutely perfect. The fireworks beautifully lit up the palm trees with each blast.


We walked back into our hotel room at 9:57PM. Three out of four of us still awake. Fourteen hours since we had left.

The day was incredible. Unbelievable. Amazing. Fun!


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