Doing Disney: Hollywood Studios

I’ve been terribly remiss in my postings lately – we’ve been on the go and having fun! I didn’t even select a throwback Thursday post! Sorry.

After purchasing our shiny new annual passes, the first park we hit was Disney’s Hollywood Studios Theme park. I’m old enough that I still slip and call it MGM studios! It’s hard to break old habits …..

Disney decorates beautifully for the holidays and it’s always a pleasure to visit during those special times. Each park has its own themed tree and unique décor. Hollywood Studios shows its holiday spirit with the decked-out Sorcerer’s Apprentice, and even the toy soldiers had decorative scarfs. Christmas music drifted from every speaker.

Although we had just visited last December, Hollywood Studios had a new attraction – Toy Story Land. We wandered through, but all of the rides (being new) were super-popular with super-long lines. We’ll wait until we can FastPass those on a return trip, and just focused on the old favorites: Rock N Roller Coaster, Tower of Terror, Star Tours, etc.

If you’re not familiar with FastPass, it’s a mechanism to “reserve” a time for a particular ride in advance, allowing you to skip the majority of the line. IF you have a ticket, you can reserve online 30 days in advance (60 days if you are staying at a Disney resort). Otherwise, you can visit a FastPass kiosk at the park when you arrive. It used to be that you could ONLY obtain a FastPass on the day at the park. Now with the advance booking, we find that the FastPasses for the uber-popular rides are booked up, all of the time. I have heard rumors that additional passes open up during the day, but I’ve never gotten lucky yet. Jeff hates the new system because popular rides are booked immediately by people who may never even use the passes.

We took a lunch detour over to the Boardwalk, a quick 15 minute cruise by boat from Hollywood Studios. The resorts also decorate for the holidays, with some of them really going all-out. The Beach Club Resort constructed a giant gingerbread carousel – impressive! It spins around and everything.

025Seeing all of the gingerbread made me want a cookie. Of course, one was conveniently available for sale. Yum! The price was exorbitant, but hey – it’s Disney!

After a late lunch at the Brewery, we sailed back to the theme park to catch “For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing Along Celebration”. It’s one of my favorite things! They added a special holiday ending, with songs from last year’s “Olaf’s Frozen Adventure” short film. Very cute!

The best thing about having an annual pass is that you don’t HAVE to do a marathon day just to maximize your ticket value. I remember trips where we arrived at rope-drop and park-hopped until the last one closed down  at 11 pm! Since we can go back any time, we can take it all in measured doses. I like that. By dark, we wandered back to our car, tired but not exhausted.

Ready for the next time.



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