Category Archives: Hollywood Studios


Meeting Sofia the First at Hollywood Studios

We are BIG Disney Junior fans in this family. Both kids are mesmerized Sofia the First. Hollywood Studios recently added a Sofia Character Meeting, and we were there bright and early!


The line was surprisingly long for a day when the park had very low attendance, but Sofia is super popular. Plus, we realized later, everyone who wants to meet her probably isn’t old enough to go to school yet anyway, so they can easily be at a theme park on a Wednesday morning in September!

Luckily most of the line is shaded, and there are ceiling fans closer to the front. And we had princess toys.


Finally, we go to the front.



Scarlett got a little time by herself with Sofia to talk about her Sofia the First sneakers and compliment Sofia’s amulet.



Then Luke got up the courage to join in. He’s doesn’t always like Princesses, but he loves Sofia.


Our goal was to see Jake as well, but he didn’t come out until an hour after Sofia. And then we were busy. And then it rained! So that’s two trips to Hollywood Studios where we missed Jake. It’s a good thing Sofia was just so adorable. She almost makes up for it!


How Not to Visit Disney’s Hollywood Studios Part II

After a much needed afternoon break, we returned to Hollywood Studios in the evening for some more Star Tours, dinner and the Fantasmic! show during Extra Magic Hours. The kids wanted to go right back to Honey, I Shrunk the kids, but it was closed, and after our awkward morning, we had other things to do anyway.

Sorcerer’s Hat at Night

Our first attempt at doing something was getting dinner. I didn’t realize most restaurants would be closed by the time we got back. The only Quick Service place open was ABC Commissary and the lines were really long. I waited to order for about 30 minutes while Tom tried to keep the kids occupied with crayons at a table Finally, I got our food and we wolfed it down as fast as we could so we could get to another long line for Fantasmic. The line went all the way down Sunset Blvd, but luckily moved fairly quickly. We reached the  top of the hill, parked the stroller, and got good seats before the show started. Phew.

Glow Before the Show

This, of course, was before we knew the kids were scared of fireworks and pyrotechnics of all kinds. Both kids enjoyed the beginning of the show with Mickey and movie clips projected on water, but once it gof to the nightmare portion of the show, Luke was done. Too scared to watch anymore, he went with Tom to the concession stands until the finale. Scarlett and I stayed in our seats, but she spent most of the time covering her eyes or hiding her face in my sweatshirt.

As the only one who watched the whole thing, I thought it was really impressive!

Dwarfs, Mary Poppins and More on a boat!

After that debacle, we stopped by Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster to see what the wait time was. It was 20 minutes so Tom decided not to ride. Instead, we went back to Star Tours.

Tom and Luke rode while I watched Scarlett do gymnastics in the Tatooine Traders gift shop. 


When he was done with his ride, Luke got to make a custom Lightsaber. At only $21.99, it was a really fun souvenir.


With Lightsaber safely packed up, we made our way towards the exit of Hollywood Studios. In the end, we had an enjoyable day. It was just a day that fell short of my ambitions to ride more than three rides, my wish to meet the guys from Monsters Inc, and my desire for a Darth Vader cupcake.
This park needs a do-over for sure.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios: Honey I Shrunk the Kids Playground

Just before we left Hollywood Studio for our mid-day break, we visited Honey, I Shrunk the Kids Movie Set Adventure.

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This was by far the highlight of the kids’ day.

I adored Honey, I Shrunk the Kids when I was little, and I rented the movie before we went on our trip so the kids would have some reference for the giant ant and stuff at this attraction.

We spent about an hour in here. Luke went off with Tom to explore (and put his hands up the giant dog nose) while I stayed with Scarlett, who spent almost the whole time sliding. She had never seen a roll of film before, so that element was lost on her, but it sure was fun!

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Scarlett also thought the giant Play-Doh can was pretty awesome – especially since it was pink!

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It was a really good time on an otherwise blah theme park day. 
See Part I and Part II for more of our Hollywood Studios trip.

How Not to Visit Disney’s Hollywood Studios Part I

After a very late night at Magic Kingdom, we spent our first full day in Orlando at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. I had ambitious plans for this park but, as you can see from the photo below, the kids were really not interested in what I wanted to do.
After two rides on Toy Story Mania and an aborted attempt to meet Woody and Buzz, the kids were grumpy. We tried to stand in line for Voyage of the Little Mermaid, but it was crowded and with about 10 minutes left until the show started, we left. If there was anything our family would like, it was Star Tours.
3D Glasses and a smile!
Scarlett was too small for this ride, so Tom and Luke went on the ride while Scarlett and I played with LEGO people and pretended to drive outside of the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater.

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To Infinity And Beyond!
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Then we did a rider switch and I got to do Star Wars with Luke, too. Yay, fun!


Next we headed over to The Magic of Disney Animation to meet Wreck-It Ralph and Vanellope, one of Tom’s top character meetings. We had planned to meet Jake (of Neverland Pirates fame) while we were over there, but the kids weren’t used to characters yet, and didn’t want to meet him. Since the Disney Junior Live on Stage show was closed for renovations, we decided to just go ahead and get lunch. More grumpiness ensued.

We never did meet any other characters. No Sulley, no Incredibles, not even Lightning McQueen.


We did spend a good hour at Honey, I Shrunk the Kids Movie Set Adventure. It was really fun, and tired the kids out just in time for a midday nap.

On our way out for rest time, everyone was happier.


We came back a few hours later with more mixed reviews. Part II is coming up.

Lunch at Hollywood Studios: Toy Story Pizza Planet Arcade

There was no way we were going to Hollywood Studios without eating at Pizza Planet.

Toy Story + Pizza + Video Games = Best Lunch Ever!

He’s Happy. Really

And actually it wasn’t just the atmosphere that was good – it was tasty food too!

With the Quick Service Dining Plan, I got a Meat Lovers pizza, side salad, Cappuccino cupcake, and a Coke.

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Picture of half-eaten lunch.You’re welcome.


I reluctantly split my cupcake with Luke, who was disappointed by his measly chocolate chip cookie. It was a big sacrifice – the cupcakes at Hollywood Studios are awesome! Luckily, they are also huge. So it worked out.

Scarlett was determined to play a video game with her pressed penny. That didn’t work too well. We had to distract her with promises of Star Tours and Fantasmic, but we got her out of there without spending all of our pressed pennies.


Disney Hollywood Studios: Toy Story Midway Mania!

It was our first full day at Disney World and we were up bright and early. We had to get to Hollywood Studios, and more specially, we had to ride Toy Story Midway Mania!

We walked quickly down Hollywood Boulevard, grabbed Fastpasses for later, and hopped in line. It was already about a 25 minute wait. While this was the shortest wait all day (it was up to 75 minutes at one point), Luke was not impressed.
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I admit, I was kind of impressed.

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Once we made it through the line, Luke cheered up. He really enjoyed shooting stuff! It’s basically a 3Dshooting range video game and it’s really fun. Luke didn’t even wear his 3D glasses, so he did well considering. (I still kicked his butt, though.)

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We got to ride again right away with our Fastpasses. Luke was refusing to go until we convinced him we could bypass the line. The second time was much better!

Yay, Fastpass! Luke is forever indebted to you :).


Disney World Character Greeting: Meeting The Little Mermaid at Ariel’s Grotto

On our last day at the Magic Kingdom, the plan was for me to take Scarlett to Enchanted Tales with Belle first thing to beat the crowds. But we were about 10 minutes late for rope drop and Friday was way more crowded than it had been the rest of the week. By the time we got over to Fantasyland, the wait for Belle was 30 minutes. This was too long for a 2 year old!

We skipped out and made a quick trip over to Ariel’s Grotto. The wait was only about 15 minutes to meet Ariel, so we stuck around for that. Scarlett was not fond of waiting there either, but it was at least cool inside the little cave, and she was pretty much contained in line.


I think Scarlett left a trail of Tinker Bell fruit snacks throughout the line. But before too long, it was our turn to meet The Little Mermaid!


Honestly, I think this was the least good character meeting. Ariel was pretty and the environment was awesome, but Ariel wasn’t as bubbly as she was in the movie, and it didn’t last very long.

Scarlett got a nice hug, though. She was happy to have met a mermaid, and to be free from waiting in line.
We wanted to ride Under the Sea as well, but it was closed for the morning, and we had to leave before it opened up again. Boo! Oh well, guess we will have to go back!