Our Hollywood Studios day was the one day I was absolutely determined to get to the park by rope drop. We were NOT going to have a repeat of the morning before. We set the alarm, got up early, ate cereal in the room, and were at the bus stop right on time. We arrived at Hollywood Studios around 8:25 for an official park opening time of 9:00.
Rope drop happened about 8:35... excellent. I told J.C. he was going to be our runner for Toy Story Mania fastpasses, "As soon as we get through the turnstiles, you run for fastpasses, we'll meet you there." He said, "I don't know where it is though." I just said, "Follow all the other people running who look like they know where they are going, and you'll find it." Those instructions worked quite well... much simpler than pulling out a map. We met him at the stand-by line and walked right in... maybe a 10 minute wait. I love this ride. In fact, I think I may spend tonight playing the Wii game just to reminisce.
We hopped off and got right back in line.
At this point, I think the posted wait time was about 25 minutes. By the time we had ridden it a second time, the posted wait time was closer to an hour... gotta love rope drop happening 25 minutes before the official park opening time. We had already ridden it twice before most people thought the park had even opened!
With slightly sore arms from playing Toy Story Mania twice in a row, JC and Elise headed over to Tower of Terror while I took the younger two to get pictures with Buzz and Woody. Nina had so much fun in the queue.
We actually remembered to bring the autograph books this day too! Score! Is Buzz the only character who rubber stamps his autograph? I've never seen any other character do that.
After that, it was a few more photo ops and then back to Toy Story Mania with our fastpasses!
Then we were off to lunch at Hollywood and Vine. Poor Hollywood and Vine gets a bad rap. No, it isn't 'Ohana or Boma in terms of food quality, but it serves a perfectly tasty buffet lunch. It filled us up, and we had no complaints.
Plus, you aren't there for an extraordinary culinary experience. You are there because your five year old is a HUGE fan of Jake and the Neverland Pirates. All Addie could talk about in the weeks leading up to our trip was the Dumbo ride and getting to meet Jake. She didn't care about Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Woody, Cinderella, or Mary Poppins. She was all about Jake. Unfortunately, this lunch was scheduled early enough in the week that Addie hadn't quite warmed up to the characters yet. Jake got to the table, and Addie froze. She wasn't about to get in a picture with him. Jake was great though. Addie had her stuffed Izzy (Jake's pal) with her, and Jake played a little hide and seek with Izzy.
Addie laughed hysterically.
That broke the ice, but she was still hesitant about a picture. We knew she would regret it later if she didn't get a picture with Jake though, so JC grabbed her and hopped in the picture.
After lunch, we talked to a few of the "movie stars" who were out and about. They were hysterical!! We've never talked to any of them on previous trips, but they were so much fun! They really cracked me up.
I think characters like these are part of what makes Disney World such a fun, unique, magical place!
We then hit up the Disney Jr. show for a little more time with Jake and Izzy before JC and Addie headed back to the resort for naps.
The rest of the afternoon, Elise, Nina, and I rode Tower of Terror (fun!!),
bumped into Stitch,
watched the Beauty and the Beast show (beautiful),
had a little chat with Chip,
went to the Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular (great show... even Elise thought so after declaring with her tween tone and rolled eyes on the way in, "This is SO not going to be worth it."),
saw the Disney Channel Rocks Show,
and rode Rock n' Rollercoaster. I hated that... shut my eyes through almost the whole thing. I won't be going on that again! Elise didn't like it either. Nina loved it though. She'll have to convince JC to go on it with her for our next trip!
We got back to the room about the time JC and Addie were getting up from their naps. We were treated to a cute towel turtle from mousekeeping sitting on the bed next to Elise's turtle.
For dinner, we just went to the food court at the resort. I have to say that Riverside began to redeem itself at that meal. They have a design-your-own pasta bar that is fantastic. That was probably the best counter service meal of the trip. I got penne pasta with shrimp, fresh spinach, roasted red peppers, artichoke hearts and pesto, all prepared fresh in front of me. Delish!
Day three was a busy day, but so much fun - Toy Story Mania three times, lots of other new rides and shows, Addie getting to meet Jake, and a great dinner. After such a rough start the day before, it was wonderful to have everything go according to plan!
Day 3 Favorites:
Addie: Disney Jr. Show and buying Izzy
Nina: Rock n' Rollercoaster, Tower of Terror, stunt show
Elise: Tower of Terror, stunt show
Ann: Watching Addie laughing with Jake at lunch, Toy Story Mania
JC: Watching Addie with Jake at lunch, Tower of Terror