Nothing opened up early on Tuesday, so we got to sleep in. And luckily, Brian woke up feeling really good. So good that we actually beat Mike and Erin to the bus!
But as we boareded, I had no idea what Hollywood Studios was. Out of all of the parks, I really spent no time researching it before our trip.
First Impressions of Hollywood Studios
I believe it is the smallest of the four parks that we visited and it seems it. Overall, fewer rides exist but it has the best look of the parks we visited so far. It isn’t the iconic Magic Kingdom, but it truly felt like we were on a soundstage. There is no golf ball like Epcot. And since I love movies (especially old movies), I really enjoyed walking down these streets. As we raced into the park, we headed to the two major rides: Rock ‘n’ Rollercoaster (starring Aerosmith) and the Tower of Terror.
Rock ‘n’ Rollercoaster
For starters, I hate Aerosmith. I have listened to classic rock more than any other type of music, but I really hate Aerosmith. I cannot think of one song I would ever hear again. And honestly, what does a bad band have to do with Hollywood Studios?
The first time, I decided not to ride the ride. I was not yet ready for a fast rollercoaster, so I let Brian, Mike, and Erin ride. But I stood in the line with them. I got to watch the worst movie I have ever seen – the plot of the ride. You walk into their studio and they are standing around doing nothing. Then their manager comes in to tell them that they need to get moving. But Steven Tyler, ever the fan’s man, says that he cannot leave us all behind. If you have seen a middle school production of any play, you have seen better quality acting than this. So, in the end, we are all invited to get back stage passes to see Aerosmith play – but first, we get to ride in their hellish limo!
In the end, the ride was not terrible. It’s incredibly quick. The inside looks like a psychedelic highway. I closed my eyes for most of it as I am scared I will hit my head. But the lines are hellish.
We waited about two hours to ride the second time. In fact, a mother left her daughter with us as she went to go get them food. It reminded me of people trapped on a highway during a snowstorm who go use the bathroom.
Additionally, Mike fell out of the car. Not while it was moving. But when the ride was over, he missed the exit and fell right on his back. Erin could not stop laughing, so I could not stop laughing. But no one came to make sure he was okay. That’s real rock ‘n’ roll!
Tower of Terror
I love the Twilight Zone. And that’s how Erin convinced me to get on the ride. The first time, I walked through with everyone and both Brian and I decided to sit it out. Brian was not feeling 100% yet, so we let them go. We boarded a non-falling elevator with a creepy bellhop. It was not scarier than the actual ride, but it was not fun either. I just imagined the bellhop with a magnifying glass and some leaves.
Later in the day, we had a Fast Pass and they convinced me to ride. Erin told me the story was pretty cool and then apologized when I did not like the story very much. It could have been way better. But really, no one but I cared about the story. Everyone else just wants to fall.
The Tower of Terror puts you in an elevator and you enter into the hallway where some spooky things are happening. But then the elevator goes up or drops. Erin said that it all is relatively random and that it can be completely different each time. Nonetheless, I was frightened. I do not like to fall and they warned me that the doors open and you can see out into the world.
I did not see out into the world. In fact, I used some meditation skills my therapist taught me several years ago when I feel anxious. I began to breathe and then began to hum a song. The song in question: This is My Happy Song by Daniel Tiger. Now, Daniel Tiger entertains small children. One small children in particular is my nephew Trevor. Regardless of the song, I did not scream once. I just let the ride go and it felt like I was in a very weird car.
But I did not want to do it again. Mike, Erin, and Brian rode it at least once more. I believe twice – but I cannot remember anymore.
In addition to a lovely pizza lunch with Rizzo the Rat, we watched the Muppets 3-D show. Twice.
I love the Muppets. So, this was an easy sell for me. The story was clever and funny. They did the typical weird 3-D things that we had seen with the Bug’s Life movie. But it had many of my favorite Muppets. If only Rowlf the Dog would appear.
Overall, it was another fun little show.
The Great Movie Ride
Standing in line for this ride was really cool. You saw lots of clips from old movies and a lot of discussion from the great Robert Osborne, who recently passed away. Inside the ride, several cool movie scenes were re-created with animatronics.
The only down side…another stupid storyline about the person leading the tour. It may have just been ours. But it just slowed down the ride for no real good conclusion. In the end, it was cooler to see the animatronics and if they just pretended to shoot at us, I’d have been happy.
However, if you want to see James Cagney or The Wizard of Oz by robots, this ride will work for you!
Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular
I’ve only seen one Indiana Jones movie. Brian loves them. And this was okay too.
I wanted to see more of the tumbling boulder.
However, they walked through how the stunts work with some participants from the audience. Most of those participants were relatively boring, even though a majority came from Chicago. I would have preferred if Erin was chosen (and so would she!).
They built up to something pretty cool, but there was a lot of talking. More action, more spectacular!
Beauty and the Beast – Live on Stage
With the new movie out, this was a popular show. And although the changed Beast tripped as he exited with his new wife before the curtain call, this was a fun show. I believe the highlight for all of us was when Cogsworth and Lumiere (in big old costumes) fought off the townspeople by wildly flailing about with very puffy arms.
All of the songs are still wonderful. The costumes were very pretty and silly (I could see Chip’s feet a lot). I can see why these shows are always crowded. It’s a wonderful little break from the action – with great stories.
Toy Story Mania
I LOVED THIS RIDE! Mainly, it is a video game that acts like a ride, but even though I was not very good at it, I loved it. You sit in this spinning car shooting digital objects and screens. Brian and I competed and Mike and Erin competed – then we compared scores. I lost each time, but I’m okay with that. As you walked through the line, you got to travel through Andy’s Room. You jump into this little car and shoot and shoot and shoot. It goes by incredibly fast but I think I laughed more during that ride than any of the others.
Unfortunately, it went down early in the day. We could have easily have played many more times, but the lines were too long. Boo, Hollywood Studios!
Odds and Ends
We had a full day at Hollywood Studios, but it did not seem as rough as Animal Kingdom. It helped that there were lots of places to sit down and decent lunch and dinner spots.
And I think the funniest part of the trip happened that day.
As we walked down Sunset Boulevard, a group was listening to someone who looked a bit like a director. We were minding our business and just talking. And then this guy comes out of nowhere and yells – “THERE HE IS!” We look and he is running towards us. “THERE’S RAINN WILSON – FROM THE OFFICE!” And Brian knew where they were going. So, he yelled, “No!” and ran down Sunset Boulevard. Mike, Erin, and I trailed him laughing and laughing and laughing. I suppose that’s what Hollywood Studios and Disney World really is about – bringing people together with laughter.
What do you think?
At least the hair part was correct!