Thursday, February 21, 2008

Disney Day 3: Over and Over and Over

Today was our trip to the newly named Disney Hollywood Studios. While the kids still didn’t want to get up this morning, they did finally get motivated and we made it into the studios before rope drop. As soon as the rope dropped we made a beeline for Rockin Rollercoater, staring Aerosmith. None of us had ever ridden this before. They don’t have it in Disneyland and the kids were all too young to ride when we visited WDW in 2001. So it was all a surprise to us.
We walked right into the preshow room and then in a short line to get into our super strech limo. While in line we were finally able to catch a glimpse of the ride in motion. Oh my goodness. You sit at a dead stop and than rocket off into the darkness. We were all so excited to go! I must say that this ride didn’t disappoint us. The takeoff was fast but smooth and you went right into a loop that had us screaming our heads off. A few more twist and turns in the darkness and then you get to the corkscrew … so awesome! The kids all thought it was so cool and, I must admit, Brian and I did too. Carissa's comment was “I could live on this ride.”

Rockin Rollercoaster is only 90 seconds long but so worth the wait in line. We loved it so much that we decided to ride again right away. The lines were short again so we got on fairly quickly. And after that ride we decided to grab some Fastpasses so we could ride again later in the day.

While we could have gone on riding this all day long we let Tristan lead the way to the Tower of Terror.
We LOVED this in Disneyland and rode it so many times while we were there, yet when it’s sitting next to Rockin Rollercoaster it just isn’t quite as good. Sure, we liked it a lot, especially since it pushes the cars horizontally into the elevator shaft - quite a different effect than the Disneyland version. Tristan, who was very apprehensive about riding ToT, since he didn’t like it at Disneyland, decided he’d give it one more try. He was scared from the beginning but he ended up absolutely loving it. Go figure.

We had spent enough time down Sunset Boulevard so we decided to find some other entertainment. We got there just in time to see High School Musical 2. Carissa absolutely ADORED this. You can just tell by the look on her face.

Thankfully she has a really tall Daddy though, as the place we chose to sit (up top near the big sorcerers hat) was the BACK of the show and you couldn't see a darned thing from there. So Brian just put her up on his shoulders and found a place to stand behind the hoardes so that his daughter could see. What a Dad!
We only watched part of the show but were put off by the crowds so we decided to head to the nearby “Great Movie Ride.” Well, let me tell you, we didn’t think it was so "great". *yawn* ‘nuff said.

Next up we were ready for something unquestionably filled with Disney magic, The Little Mermaid. Unfortunately, the Little Mermaid show was having technical difficulties and wasn’t currently open. We did shop a bit at a nearby store filled with girly things, where Carissa bought an adorable charm bracelet for herself.

After the disappointment I bet you can’t guess where we went. Back to RnR, of course! We used our Fastpasses and had another thrilling ride.

Lunch time was here and we were going to try to grab it and catch the next “Lights, Motors, Action” stunt show. We picked up some tasty pizza from Pizza Planet but never quite made it to the stunt show. We found some seats outside and just sat and soaked up the wonderful sunshine while we went through our scheduling options for the day.

After much debate and decision making we decided to forego the car stunt show and instead go to the Indiana Jones stunt show, which the kids all wanted to see. But first we hit the nearby Muppetvision 3D.

Not as good as Mickey’s Philharmagic, but cute anyways.

Next was the Indy stunt show, however I don’t quite think choosing this over the car stunk show was a great choice. Indy was an ok show but really rather slow moving with only 3 short segments of action. Another *yawn* for this one from Brian and I, though it was one of Chase’s favorite parts.

Brian and I actually snuck out of Indy early with Carissa and staked out spots for the soon-to-be-defunked “Stars and Motor Cars” parade. This was quite the task. When we sat down no one was there and it was easy to save seats, but then Brian left to get some frozen lemonade (yum, yum!), people started showing up and Carissa and I had to defend the sidewalk ourselves. Not an easy task, especially since she wanted to pin trade with every castmember who walked by. (She even traded with a dream team member who gave her a free pin for her birthday as well as a birthday card signed by several Disney characters. How cute!). But we were able to secure our spot and wait for Mom, Dad and the boys. And wait we did … and wait some more … and wait even more. The parade was about to start and they still hadn’t arrived. After Indy they had gone on a quick ride on Star Tours before making their way to our carefully planned parade spot. Unfortunately they couldn’t find us. First they were too far up the street, then they were too far down. By the time they finally reached us the parade had just about reached where we were sitting. But at least they made it in time.

We enjoyed seeing all the characters in the parade. Check out Tristan's face when he saw his favorite Disney character, Stitch, in the parade. Priceless!

I was a bit disappointed that Giselle from Enchanted wasn’t in the parade, as she had been found at the parks only in this parade. Thankfully I hadn’t mentioned this to Carissa who would have been sad to miss out on her favorite princess.

As I said, our choice of parade viewing spot was very strategic, as we had to hop right over to the Beauty & the Beast stage show right after. I must say that this was one of those instances when having a handicapped family member was an asset. We got seated in the handicap seating right up front in the 2nd row. Wow! What great seats. The show was a broadway-style production and was just awesome. The costumes were so wonderful, the movie was carefully reshaped into a 30 minute show and the wonderful songs were kept intact.

I really, really loved it and teared up while watching. It was just so magical and powerful.

By now we were running out of steam and I knew it was only a matter of time before we needed to head home. But we couldn’t go home until we’d ridden RnR one more time. So Brian ran to get us Fastpasses and then we all took some leisurely shopping time. Brian bought himself a hat, I bought a shirt, the kids bought some little trinkets too. Of course, shopping means stores and stores means lots of people working there with lots of pin lanyards. The kids had a hayday pin trading with everyone they came across. Chase was lucky to find many, many hidden Mickey pins, which is the only thing he is trading for. Carissa found a plethora of various princess and girly pins. Tristan showed remarkable restraint as there wasn’t much of a selection of Stitch pins to choose from.

While shopping Carissa and Tristan were both asked to send special letters to their favorite chararacter. Carissa wrote one to Belle and told her she was beautiful. Tristan sent one to Stitch telling him that he was cute and fluffy. Then they were given Magical Moment certificates to commemorate the experience.

Not 10 minutes later Carissa, who was wearing her birthday button, was given a set of special Tinkerbelle pins. These are pins that cast member give out with very specific instructions: Keep one special pin for yourself and give one special pin away to another guest. Carissa was so excited to get it. She hasn’t yet given the other pin away but I’m sure it will happen soon.
After we’d had our shopping fill we took our last trip of the day on Rockin Rollercoaster. Again, what an amazing ride. I loved it more this 4th time around than I did the previous rides. I keep thinking I know the track and I know what it’s going to do next but it seems like I never do. It always surprises me, even after 4 rides in one day.

Disney Hollywood Studios didn’t really have a lot going for it in our opinion. Maybe it’s because we didn’t hit all of the shows (we’re headed back in a couple of days for more rides on RnR and ToT as well as The Little Mermaid show and maybe to even catch a showing of Lights, Motors, Action). Maybe that will change our mind. But the two awesome rides are worth the trip to DHS. Even if it is to just ride those two over and over and over again.

1 comment:

Catherine said...

What a pretty Tinkerbell pin!