5/24/09 - Hollywood Studios

On Wednesday of our vacation, after the fiasco that was Makenna getting sick, us spending all morning at the hotel room, Cristi and I spending a couple hours by the pool in the afternoon, followed by one of the worst rain storms I've ever been in (with dime-sized hail and 55+mph winds) we finally made it to Disney Park.

The big ticket items for me at Hollywood Studios were the Rockin' Roller Coaster and the Extreme Stunt Show featuring high speed car chases and stunts. Of course, the Rockin' Roller Coaster was only a feature for me after riding Hulk at Universal.

I don't remember the exact order we went on the rides, but the first ride we went on was Toy Story Mania. We waited for about 30 minutes on this ride (twice as long as any ride at Universal), so we were hoping we hadn't wasted our time. By the time we were done with the ride, we both agreed we would be back as many times as possible that day. It was awesome. It's basically a 3-d video game where you have a cannon attached to your "carnival car" and you ride around viewing different screens where you shoot at targets for points. I beat Cristi twice and then on the last round, she finally beat me.

Some of the attractions we did but weren't all that excited about were The Great Movie Ride which was pretty slow and boring. Walt Disney: One Man's Dream was simply a museum type walkthrough of an overview of the Disney company. We did learn some pretty neat things about how advanced some of the Disney stuff was for the time, but nothing real exciting. And then there were a few that we just simply didn't care for so didn't bother with. These included the live performances such as the Narnia experience, Little Mermaid and Playhouse Disney. Also, during the course of the day there were Star Wars fights and a Highschool Musical Dance off which we also didn't bother with. Sounds Dangerous and the American Idol Experience were both closed although the American Idol experience we would have passed on anyways.

Hollywood only had one 3-d attraction we cared about (we later found out that skipping the Star Wars 3-d ride was a good idea because apparently it's not all that great). The Muppets show was pretty cool though and although Shrek and Spiderman were far better, knowing the age of the Muppets show, I was very impressed.

There was a "Studio Backlot Tour" which was very similar to the "Disaster" attraction at Universal only about 20 times better. I wouldn't have waited more than about 15 minutes for it given a 2nd chance, but I'm glad we did it.

For the kids, there is a Honey, I Shrunk the Kids playground, which we had a quick look at. I was saddened that 1) I was too big to play on the slides and climb through stuff and 2) that I did not have Makenna with me which would have given me an excuse to try to play on the stuff anyways.

One of the live shows was an Indiana Jones stunt extravaganza which was really impressive because they recreated 3 different scenes from I believe Temple of Doom all on one stage. The sets were MASSIVE and so watching the stage change was really cool. The stunts were really neat and the comedy relief got me laughing pretty hard at times. my only complaint is that it seemed to take quite a while and some parts seemed a little slow. I'd watch it again in a heartbeat though.

The other live show was in fact the Lights, Motors, Action car stunt show. We watched this twice during the course of the day because it was so good. It's a recreation of a small European city where basically cars and motorcycles chase each other. They would drift around each other and corners, do donuts and make some pretty impressive jumps. Of course there were plenty of explosions, so all in all, that show was just about worth the price of admission to the park.

Tower of Terror was pretty wicked. Cristi doesn't do heights or big drops so it was out of the question for her to get on the ride. It was honestly nothing like what I had imagined, it was actually quite a bit better. I'm not a big fan of big drops myself and having my stomach in my throat is not my favorite thing in the world, but the rush of not knowing how far, how fast or when you were going to fall or go shooting straight up was quite a rush. I'd ride that ride multiple times given the opportunity.

Rockin' Roller Coaster was AWESOME!!! I can't put it on the same level as Hulk because the Aerosmith themed thrill ride made me a little sicker. I was disappointed that the entire ride is in complete darkness as being able to see that you are updside down is pretty cool. Of course, for my money, the start is worth standing in line for a couple of hours. Going from 0 to 60 in 2.8 seconds while you have 125 speakers, 24 sub-woofers, and 32,000 watts of Aerosmith blasting in your ears is a rush that i can't describe. Cristi even enjoyed it and I'm really not sure why we didn't ride it a 2nd time.

So there you go, there is my summary of Hollywood Studios. I can't really say if I liked Hollywood or Universal best so hopefully I never have to pick between the two in the future. One piece of advice that we didn't find out about until later is that the FastPass at Disney is free. All you have to do is walk up to the kiosk and slide in your ticket. It will tell you when to come back to use your fast pass. You can still stand in the long lines if you want, but the FastPass, since it is free, would get you on twice the rides as if you didn't use them (which is what happened to us). We assumed that it was like Universal where you pay an extra $30 and get to jump lines. Now that we know, we probably would have ridden the toy story ride 10 times by the end of the day.

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1 Comments - Leave one yourself

We went to Hollywood Studios as well as Downtown Disney to see the Cirque show when we were in Florida in March. After having gone to Epcot last year, we were hesitant to do another Disney thing until we have kids and had thought about going to Kennedy Space Center instead. But alas, we chose Hollywood Studios and had a pretty good time.

The Aerosmith ride was pretty cool but I think it would have been better had you been able to see. To me the best thing about roller coasters is the "Oh S*(@" factor when you see what's coming up. That was missing with the Aerosmith ride.

Honestly, with your newfound love of coasters, you should go to Magic Springs for a day and ride some of their coasters. They've actually got some pretty good ones now.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 25, 2009 at 2:23 PM  

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