Monday, June 2, 2014

Our May 2014 Disney Trip....Day 4 - Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios!

To start Day 4 we went to Animal Kingdom.  We had't been there yet and we wanted to get there relatively early for a good safari ride.  (The earlier in the day the better for the animals!)  I had booked fastpasses for this and I was excited to ride as it is one of my favorites.  After three long days we were moving a bit slow and Emma and I barely made it in for our fastpasses for Expedition Everest.  

One of her favorite rides!!  And for that reason I rode several times just for her!

My fear...heights!  Expedition Everest's big hill...not good for my fear!
Bad picture because I needed to hold back on with TWO hands!!!
While we did Everest - my mom and Owen went on Primeval Whirl - his favorite ride in Animal Kingdom!  We then did it again the 4 of us later in the day with another fastpass!  But first it was time to use our fastpass for Kali River Rapids!  It was a warmish day, but I am not big on getting soaked.  Emma, my mom and myself wore ponchos, Owen did not.  He of course got drenched!  But he loved every second of it!  Emma got pretty wet too and then spilled a drink on herself at lunch and earned herself a new dress upon exiting the park!

After lunch it was time for our fastpass to Kilimanjaro Safari!  We got a great ride.  Lots of animals out and very active!  We even saw the Lion!  I think I can count on one hand how often we have seen him.  He was passed out on a rock, but we saw him!!

Safari pictures....

After all of that it was time to hop back to Hollywood Studios and eat with Jedi Mickey and friends.  After our experience on day 3 at the Galactic Dine with Vader I was a bit nervous, but I was pleasantly surprised!!  Today was a MUCH better experience!  First things first - I got in there and went straight to a FP kiosk to see what I could get.  There wasn't much since it was so late in the day so I booked FP+ reservations for the second Fantasmic show.

We still had to wait for a bit, but check in went much faster.  We were eating at 5:25pm.  We had to wait in a line to get into the actual restaurant.  Upon entering we were greeted by Chip and Dale dressed as Ewoks!  As you can see we got to take some of our pictures with them and the interaction was great!!
Waiting to go in.

A hug from Dale!

Fun picture...notice Emma's new dress!
Then we were taken to our table.  We were in a great spot because we didn't have to wait long for the characters to come to our table.  The food was really good and it was themed for the meal - mainly just the names of the dishes.  They had a pasta station, which I really enjoyed!  I hope they keep this meal for good!  It was well worth the two dining credits we used!

We then headed over and rode standby for Star Tours.  There was a minimal line and it is Owen's favorite ride in the park!  First some shots pretending to be stomped by an AT-AT walker!!  Look out!

I am pretty sure we rode it more than once, but my memory is getting a bit foggy on the exact details!!  I do know that Emma was chosen as the Rebel Spy!

After some rides we decided that since we were there and everything had a long line or FP already booked we would try to catch the ending show and the fireworks that were special for SWW.  So we found a spot and the kids did some dancing to the DJ and we waited for the show to start!  To get a good spot to see all the characters you want to be close to the hat stage, but to see the fireworks you wanted to be far away from it.  It was a VERY obstructed view from where we were.  So it depends on what you want to see on where to be.  I think in the future I would do it twice - once for the show and once for the fireworks.  But alas, it was what it was!
After that and realizing we had a bad firework spot we just headed to Fantasmic.  It is a bit chaotic getting in even with a FP+ reservation, but the seat was very good!  Middle section.  We didn't sit to close to the front because I didn't want to get wet - it was a bit cool that night!  We don't see Fantasmic every trip, but it is a show to be seen!!  I love the ending!!
So that pretty much ended Day far so good!  I will say that after low crowds our first few days it definitely felt more crowded on the weekend!!


Our May 2014 Disney Trip - Day 3!

Sorry for the delay in adding more to my trip report!!  We have had a busy few days!!

Day 3 - Hollywood Studios for Star Wars Weekends!!
We arrived bright and early!  We were in line to get to what used called turnstiles by 7:20am!  The park had an official posted opening time of 8am, but you can never trust that on Star Wars Weekends. They actually started letting us in by 7:35am!

Upon entering the park we watched the opening show with the Stormtroopers.  I really enjoy this and it really starts off the day in a fun way!  If you are going to SWW, be sure to get there early one day to have some Stormtroopers tease you about staying behind an itty bitty tiny rope!!  :-)

Owen and I hightailed it straight to the Jedi Training Academy sign ups!  We were not to far back in the line.  My mom and Emma walked back to Toy Story Midway Mania.  We did not have fastpasses for that ride that day and were unable to get any either, so they snuck in for a quick ride with no line! Lucky ducks!!  Owen and I made our way through the Jedi Training Line.  We got the 10:05am show, there was a very long line behind us!  After that was done we met up with my mom and Emma and had some breakfast and then got on Star Tours for the first of several rides this trip!  We had a FP+ reserved already.  Once we were done on the ride it was just about time for Owen to go check in for Jedi Training!

Off we went and my mom and Emma secured us a good viewing spot.  On this day the 10:05 show was the first one to have two siths to face - Darth Vader on the main stage and Darth Maul below.  Owen got on the main stage to fight Vader.

Owen is on the stage....

After Jedi Training we had our breakfast/brunch reservation for the Sci-Fi Drive in for a Galactic Breakfast.  I am not one to complain much, BUT this is one that I am sending a complaint email about.  The price is high so the experience should be fantastic.  We had reservations at 10:45, so we just headed there straight from Jedi Training as it is just down the way.  We go there the suggested 15 minutes early and I checked us in.  We had to stand in a long line just to check in!  Then we proceeded to wait until almost 11:15am to be seated.  I happened to overhear people discussing that lunch started at 12:10pm and that the Star Wars stuff couldn't be there because that was a different experience.  First thing - you walk in and are greeted by Darth Vader and Boba Fett - this is the WHOLE reason I booked this meal and used TWO dining credits.  We were rushed through.  I don't even know if my kids realized who they were meeting or what was happening.  They forced us into a group shot, would not let me take a pic of my kids with Vader and Boba and then we were whisked into the dining room.  I was disgusted.  Then we sit down.  I was told it was an all you can eat style meal.  Well we were giving menus and had to pick from a VERY small selection of food.  Nothing really jumped out at me, but that may have been because it is so dark in there you can barely seek the menu.  The kids barely touched their food and I didn't care for mine either.  My mom's food however was quite good.  The character interaction inside the restaurant and the service was great, but the initial interaction was really a thorn in my side.  I was going to ask if we could revisit our photo, but was told that the characters were gone as they were now on to lunch.  Overall I was bummed and that is why I am emailing Disney because if people never let them know what is wrong how can they fix it?
Here's some shots from our meal....notice nothing with Vader or Boba Fett...I have to download the image they took and I haven't yet.  No fun candids, nada.  :-(
Hanging in the "car" for our meal.

Meeting some troopers!

They were fun!!  :-)

Trading with Jawas and getting an autograph!

We forgot to bring small things to trade - i.e. paper clips, so we made do with what we could find - sugar packets!!

Dark picture with the Jawas!

Greedo - he was great.  Apparently he was being hunted down by troopers while at our table and proceeded to hide from them behind us!  He told us to keep quiet!!!  :-)

Blue Milk - I didn't care for it and neither did Emma.  Owen enjoyed it.

Yoda shaped Melon!
Ending "desert" - still not sure what it was.  Emma and Owen liked it, I did not.
Ok so enough complaining from

We then had some other fastpasses to use and we did.  We rode Great Movie Ride and Emma and I did Rockin Roller Coaster.  She loves that ride...I do too, but it scares me!!  :-)

Then we headed back to swim!  We had been up for a LONG time at this point and day one of Star Wars Weekends is a bit much for me!  We have always done the 4th weekend and I just think the first one is too much!  All the collectors are there and I don't know, it was a different experience.  We didn't do any character meet and greets and steered clear of the long lines for the merchandise area and the shows.  I was kind of bummed because I have enjoyed it a bit more in the past, but it was ok. We were all tired and needed a little break.

After a pool break we hopped over to Magic Kingdom!  We hadn't been there since day one and it is our favorite park.  We recapped some favorites again and got on some that we hadn't day Space Mountain and Buzz Lightyear!!

Waiting to board Space Mountain...front row!
Overall day 3 was a success.  I was half wishing that day 4 was not including another meal at Star Wars Weekends because it was just too crazy for us....but it does so stay tuned....