Trip Report: Hooray For Hollywood

If we aren’t in Magic Kingdom, then you’re likely to find us in Hollywood Studios!

It seemed like we were waiting forever in our trip to finally make it to our other top park. With just three more days left we were at Hollywood Studios. Rise of the Resistance was a priority since it was something we had not yet done. The plan for the day actually included a lot of new things. We needed to be INSIDE the park at 10am in order to try to get a boarding pass. We had left the hotel with plenty of time… or so I thought. The parking line was way longer than I had anticipated.

It took over 10 minutes to get to a parking spot. We were ready to jump out of the car immediately and into the security lines. I tried explaining the process to my husband multiple times. Including saying “You’ll know. At 10 o’clock everyone will be looking at their phones.” We entered the park at 9:59! And seriously every single person was waiting and looking at their phones. No luck for us on getting the pass. The next try would be at 2pm.

It wasn’t wasn’t end of the world. Our day was just beginning. What a better way to start than with one of our favorites Tower of Terror. (Ok, so almost everything here is a favorite. It’s too hard to decide.) The kids marched their way straight to the ride. We were in line and off the ride within 20 minutes.

We really only arrived at the park early for the boarding pass and to sneak in one ride. We had an early lunch booked at Beaches & Cream Soda Shop. We took the skyliner from Hollywood Studios to the Epcot station then walked to lunch. It was our first time at the restaurant and it was amazing! It’s so amazing it deserves it’s own post, but look how delicious.

After lunch we wandered around the very empty Boardwalk before we made our way back into the park.

Right after eating seemed like the perfect time to try a new-to-us ride– Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster. Before we had left home, I had measured Diva and she seemed to be exactly 48″. I don’t always trust my home measures to the “official” ones in the parks. When we were at Legoland she passed their measurement so we were pretty confident she could finally ride. She was going to be super disappointed if Disney told her she was a hair too short. She did just make it but was checked prior to boarding the ride as well. The kids and I squealed with excitement as the ride jolted to a start. They were both thrilled when they go off! It was definitely a two thumbs up kind of ride.

With a 20 minute wait it was one we needed to repeat right away. Grumpy was not feeling it. His motion sickness has a limited tolerance. The time was wearing 2pm anyway so he was going to try to get a Rise of the Resistance boarding pass again. I was also going to attempt while in line, but the line moved so quickly we boarded seconds before. I tried to push the buttons before we took off. Even through the speedy start I managed to tap the right spot, but it said we already had a boarding group. Grumpy had succeeded! We were boarding group 56. They were at groups 29-41 at the time.

The kids asked for a third ride on Rock ‘n’ Rollercoaster! I directed them to Toy Story Land instead. The entire walk I attempted to explain to Grumpy what a “back up” boarding group meant. He didn’t believe me. We rode all three rides in Toy Story Land, played a second competition of Toy Story Mania and took a snack and water break over the next hour and a half.

Grumpy was watching the boarding groups still. He was certain that the numbers were going to start over at 0 and they would never call us. It was getting closer to 56 when we entered Galaxy’s Edge and he was still debating. I walked up to a Cast Member and asked her “Can you tell my husband he’s wrong?” as I explained his belief about the boarding groups. We both laughed. She didn’t say he was wrong, because a Disney Cast Member wouldn’t do that, but she did tell him I was right and we’d probably be called to board in the next ten minutes. While we waited we chatted with Rey and took another water break inside Galaxy’s Edge. Sure enough, we recieved a push notification on our phones within a few minutes that our group had been called and we could head to the line queue.

Warning: I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned we are not a big Star Wars family. When I was young, my dad watched the movies frequently. I remember them in the background. I know Princess Leia, R2D2, Chewbacca,”the Gold Guy,” Darth Vader, and the Stormtroopers. That’s about it. I do recnognize newer characters like Rey and BB8 because of their popularity. Don’t ask me any their stories. So, I really didn’t know what we were in for on this ride– I guess I should say experience since it’s a mix of everything.

Even though the boarding group was called, there was still a line to get on. I think it took about 20 minutes to get through the line. Honestly, I was very confused by when things actually started because everything is so themed it really blurs the line between the queue and the experience. Or maybe the queue is the experience at a certain point! I spent most of my time trying to figure out what was going on. We entered a room where Rey appears as a hologram and BB8 “talks.” It seemed like it would be the pre-show some other attactions have. Then we walk outside! I wasn’t expecting that part. We boarded into another vehicle where we stood on our assigned spots and we were being transported. When we exited the vehicle the room of Stromtroopers that has become a signature photo from this attraction was there. They aren’t moving, but looking to be standing guard. It was more impressive than it was intimidating which I think is the intent.

Moving through, we were put in a room– only us and another couple. (This room was probably crammed with people pre-covid.) The door was closed. Kylo Ren and another person appeared to “threaten” us.

This is where everything fell apart. They left and nothing happened. They doors didn’t open. There wasn’t an announcement. We waited. And waited. The other couple looked around and so did we. They hadn’t been on either and were also very confused. We wondered if we were supposed to try to get out like it was an escape room. Grumpy touched the door we entered through and it slid open. The Cast Member was now the confused person. We all asked at once what was happening. She told us just sit tight and the other door will open. It was about 6 minutes in that room before the door actually opened. We moved on and then were sitting in a ride vehicle trying to escape. By the time it ended, I didn’t know it was actually ending or if there was still more to come. I was still processing when we walked out. Peanut said he loved it. Diva wanted to go again. (She always does!)

Watch until the end!

While I continued to figure out what we just did, we moved onto another new to us experience, Muppet Vision 3D. I haven’t seen anything Muppets in yeeears! It was cute and funny. The kids laughed even though they didn’t know the characters. Next, we stopped again to re-hydrate. It’s definitely the biggest issue while wearing masks. It’s so easy to forget to stop and drink. If you’re following me on Instagram you’ve seen we have a lot of these delicious slushies! They are cool, refreshing, and our favorite drink in the parks.

When the wait time is 13 minutes it definitely means it’s time for a second drop on the Tower of Terror! We couldn’t pass up a walk-on to this one.

Then headed for yet another new to us– and pretty much everyone since it opened days before the parks closed– Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway. I had been looking forward to riding this on the spring break trip that had been planned for April 2020 and it was finally time. It was adorable! I loved the music, the cartoon sketches, and the train car. It’s absolutely one of the cutest rides at Walt Disney World! This was one I wanted to repeat right away, but the family had been checking wait times and we decided to ride Slinky Dog Dash once more before the park closed instead.

Grumpy was done with rides (and the heat) or we probably would have ridden twice. He waited on a shady bench while the kids and cruised on Slinky.

It was a very fun-filled day and we accomplished so much. One of my favorite things is getting to do new experiences together as a family. We have so many top attractions that we love to repeat, but it’s so much fun there’s so much to do that there’s almost always something new to try.

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