Showing posts with label Disneys Hollywood Studios. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Disneys Hollywood Studios. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Walt Disney World: Hollywood Studios - Millenium Falcon: Smuggler's Run

Date of Visit: January 15, 2020

Mik and I initially didn't go on Smuggler's Run as we weren't sure if it was too much of a thrill ride for us. Later in the trip, after the rest of the group was able to assure us it was worth trying, we decided try it.

Mik wasn't much into the queue, but only because it was right after we had done Rise of the Resistance and had been in the park over 9 hours. Later he realized it was the kind of experience we always feel like we miss when we do Star Tours because the wheelchair access for that ride skips the regular queue entirely and only gives a brief look down at it.

When you get to the front of the line, you are given cards with your role (pilot, gunner, or engineer). As there are only six per vehicle, our group had to split to two groups (5 and 2 paired with others).

We then waited for our color group to be called for our mission. This is interesting designed waiting area and as we had to wait about 15 minutes for the one spacecraft that is easier for transferring, we had plenty of time for playing/photos.

The ride is a simulator pod. I assume the middle aisle is smaller on the other pods and the reason we had to wait it that this one has a wider middle aisle to roll into and transfer to the ride. It is a very easy transfer as the seats don't have armrest to even have to move, although that then means there is on armrest. Again, after our Jimmy Fallon simulator experience we just don't see how this simulator couldn't have been designed as a non-transfer ride, especially considering the Rise of the Resistance has a simulator part that you can freely roam on.

The actual ride experience of a mission and working together is interesting and I actually enjoyed this Star Wars attraction. I was one of the engineers and had to press whatever buttons lit up. Mik was one of the gunners, which we actually did some trading of role cards for him as those that had been on before explained it was the easiest (at least if done on auto). He probably could have done engineer also, but it would have been harder for him to reach everything and enjoy the view part of the ride. He wouldn't mind doing either gunner or engineer now that's he's been on it, but he doesn't want to even try pilot as it seems hard to reach the controls as our dad had to reach over to push one button when needed for the five-year-old.

And the best part of the attraction, the elevator at the end. Not really as we actually enjoyed this attraction, but different themed elevators have been a favorite thing for us to discover ever since Mik was little and we used the ones to access the Indiana Jones ride at Disneyland. One of these days maybe we'll actually put together our list of favorites in order that we keep meaning to do.

Overall we really did enjoy the ride as it was like simulator game. In particular, it was amusing how our pilots (our dad and the five-year-old) ended up calling each other bad pilots and we were all yelling at our dad when the button needed to be pushed. While we really feel you could still have been a very fun non-transfer ride experience without the movement if they had done something like how the movement can be turned on or off for Winnie the Pooh, this is one of the very few transfer rides I can see us doing on the WDW trips Mik and I do on our own.

Destination Info:
Millenium Falcon: Smuggler's Run
Hollywood Studios
Lake Buena Vista, FL

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Walt Disney World: Hollywood Studios - Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance

Date of Visit: January 15, 2020

Experiencing everything in Galaxy's Edge was the main priority for Mik and pretty much our whole group except me for this year's family trip. We picked Wednesday as the easiest day for us to get to the park when it opened and have a chance at a boarding pass to get on Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. We did barely manage to get us all in the park a few minutes after park officially opened around 7am and ended up with a number that starting "boarding" around 2:15pm.

While I'm totally not into Star Wars and especially the too realness of interactions that happen in the new land, I do like this new concept for handling the line for a new attraction. The only issue with it was that we only had one chance to make it work this trip, which meant we had to just all go if we were going to do it instead of most going on Smuggler's Run first and then being able to give a real idea about if it was worth it to transfer Mik (or for us non-thrill people).

The first part of the attraction is going into a room as a large group and a hologram recruiting you for the resistance. Or maybe you're volunteering to join. I don't know Star Wars obviously and I honestly wasn't paying much attention to anything except trying to not get hit in the head again by Dad taking pictures.

Next you board a transport. This is a simulator type thing, but you can stand wherever you find a spot. There is a screen in front and back, but Dad ended up positioning Mik in the middle facing forward where people blocked the view. Thus, Mik found it an extremely annoying experience. It was like taking a metro ride in the middle of the "line" for an attraction rather than actually being a part of an attraction. Basically, it seems you had to know that you should try to get a place to actually experience this part and not be the stragglers loading last...

The transport gets captured or something and you become prisoners, I think.

I think this where we get lined up for processing as prisoners or something and then we get help from the Resistance and freed? Seriously, I'm clearly not the one that should be trying to explain this experience!

Now finally you get on the actual ride. Not sure if thee side of front row always opens that wide or if they made that happen to make the transfer easier, but it was a relatively easy transfer. Also, the way this ride is trackless seems to help allow for to you really take your time loading if needed.

I might not have understood the attraction of the ride, but Mik enjoyed the experience as did the rest of our group that was as much if not more into Star Wars as him.

Certainly not an attraction I would care to do again, especially without someone else transferring Mik, but I will admit that the attraction was impressive. As it really wasn't that much of a thrill ride, though, we would do again if the rest of the family wanted to on a future trip.

Basically, the only part that was a thrill was the drop at the end, which apparently Mik wasn't prepared for (to me it was obvious we were entering an "elevator") because he grabbed my arm and didn't even realize he had when I asked for my arm back when we were pulling up to the unloading area.

The end of the ride was a little confusing as the wheelchair wasn't there and they kept asking us to get out. You unload in a different spot so clearly the wheelchair has to be moved and it appears they did do that as it didn't take them long to grab it once they realized we needed it. Apparently, they are supposed to mark the vehicle or something when loading, though, so they know to bring it when you arrive to unload.

Destination Info:
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
Hollywood Studios
Lake Buena Vista, FL

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Disney's Hollywood Studios 30th Anniversary

Date of Visit: May 1, 2019

I did want to visit Disney's Hollywood Studios on the 30th anniversary, but I originally thought it would be October 1 like Magic Kingdom and Epcot and was going to do a birthday trip with Mom and Mik. By the time I realized it was actually May 1, we had already booked our 2019 just Mik and I trip to do the Epcot Flower & Garden Festival and arrived on May 1 and it was too late to make changes to arrive April 30. In the end, though, arriving at the park around noon still worked out great and I even had time to bring Mik back to the room and go back for my 5pm fastpass for the Aliens that he let me book instead of Toy Story Mania for once because he sometimes doesn't want to go to the parks our first day as he's tired from the flight and sitting on the plane.

We were happy to get the 30th anniversary button when we went in the park (I also ended up with an extra when I came back later, but they seemed to be done with them when I was leaving the park around 6). They also handed out posters when you left the park, which are nice, but not sure if they will survive the trip home, although our Mary Poppins ones from Destination D did okay by rolling them around a Pringles can and as usual we did bring one of those as a snack so they might.

Mik's number one priority for the 30th anniversary was the special food. In particular, we both wanted to get the lightsaber churros.

We also had fun going to a couple of the special photo ops with props for the 30th. Mik was kind of done for the day by then and also still needed to get some new sunglasses, so not the best photos, but he did at least try for me and they didn't all end up horrible.

Destination Info:
Hollywood Studios
Lake Buena Vista, FL

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Frozen Sing-Along Celebration at Disney's Hollywood Studios

Date of Visit: February 7, 2017

At first I thought Mik just agreed to do the Frozen Sing-Along fastpass+ because it was what the rest of the group was doing and it was one of the few things he could actually do. Turns out that he was actually interested in checking it out even though he wasn't sure he'd like it.

We ended up entering the fastpass+ queue before the rest of our group because Mik wanted to avoid the noise of the March of the Order going on. We figured our group was big enough to be split up inside anyways, but they ended up catching up and being allowed over to the area we were waiting for the upper accessible seating. It seems it's similar to Fantasmic in that they keep the row in front of the top row clear for the whole group to be "together," although we all were able to sit in the top row with Mik since there was room.

We had the option to go up front, but from recent experience with only having front row for Country Bear Jamboree and past experience of choosing front for the Mickey's Magical Map show led Mik to choose the back. At the end when it snowed, Mik was particularly happy that he choose the back as it only happens in the front two-thirds or so of the theater.

Overall we all enjoyed the show more than expected mostly because of the humor. I thought it was too much story and not enough singing considering the show's name, but at least it is a different way of experiencing the story with the historian narrator characters.

The only thing we found disappointing was that there are screens in the area you wait for the doors to open, but not by where they have the upper wheelchair section and we felt like we missed the preshow experience, which could easily be fixed with just installing one TV. I mean, after all we think the best part of Soarin' is the preshow now that they changed the attraction to be around the world.

Destination Info:
Frozen Sing-Along Celebration
Hollywood Studios
Lake Buena Vista, FL

Friday, January 15, 2016

Walt Disney World: Hollywood Studios - Meet Sorcerer Mickey

 Date of Visit: January 8, 2016

When heading to Toy Story Mania for our Fastpass+ time on our last day, we found that there was a Meet Sorcerer Mickey next door and there was pretty much no line (and we still ended up having to wait a few minutes for our Fastpass time afterwards). Definitely, never seen a Mickey character experience where you didn't have to wait in line. Plus, we've never managed to do a Sorcerer Mickey photo before and it's the one time Mik extremely willingly posed this trip because he knows it's my favorite character.

Destination Info:
Disney's Hollywood Studios - Meet Sorcerer Mickey on Mickey Avenue
Lake Buena Vista, FL

Monday, January 11, 2016

Walt Disney World: Hollywood Studios - Fantasmic!

Date of Visit: January 4, 2016

I'm pretty sure the last (and only) time Mik say Fantasmic was back in 2011 when we did the dessert package at Disneyland. We've always skipped it at Disney World because it didn't seem worth waiting to get in and it never popped up as a Fastpass+ option for the days we choose for our Hollywood Studios selections. We still would've skipped Fantasmic this trip except we decided to try to get another Fastpass after using our three for the day at Animal Kingdom and the only option at Hollywood Studios was for Fantasmic.

For the wheelchair seating, they escorted our group to a spot at the top of one of the sections. Here they have benches for one person to sit next to the wheelchair and two rows of benches in front that they keep clear for the rest of the people in the groups with wheelchair guests.

I know we're Disneyland snobs, so yes we think Fantasmic is just better on the Rivers of America. However, it really is a nice experience to be able to sit in the stadium style seating at Hollywood Studios with just a Fastpass rather than having to do the dessert package to be able to have a seat at Disneyland.

I'm still not impressed that you end up with poles blocking the view, especially when it's in an area built for a show rather than how it's sort of improvised usage of Rivers of America in Disneyland. Overall though it was still enjoyable and we were particularly glad that we ended up at the top with Mik because it was cold and we only got a little mist from the show's water's effects.

Destination Info:
Disney's Hollywood Studios - Fantasmic!
Lake Buena Vista, FL

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Walt Disney World: Hollywood Studios - Star Tours The Adventure Continues

Date of Visit: January 4, 2016

This trip was the first time we weren't sent straight through the Fastpass line when we went to go on Star Tours. Instead they gave us a card with a return time. This is a good system since the regular line is not accessible. It was also still a shorter wait time than posted as the wait time was 30 to 40 minutes and they gave us a return time for in 15 minutes.

Mik really enjoyed doing Star Tours at Hollywood Studios as it is the one ride in both California and Florida that is actually better in Florida since you get to still see some of the props in the queue when you go through the accessible entrance.

See more detailed review here.

Destination Info:
Disney's Hollywood Studios - Star Tours
Lake Buena Vista, FL

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Walt Disney World: Hollywood Studios - Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights

Date of Visit: January 4, 2016

The last few years we have enjoyed visited Walt Disney World during the holiday season. This year we only got the chance to visit for a few hours in December to renew our annual passes before our Disney cruise and only went into Epcot. We knew this was the last year of the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights, so we wanted to make sure we saw them while they were still up during this trip.

Mik really enjoys rolling through the streets and seeing the lights (including the ones on his wheels). They are especially fun to watch when they "dance" with the music. Definitely going to miss seeing them every year, but we are now thinking of having our annual visit as an extended family trip like this trip and probably won't be coming for the holiday season every year anymore.

I enjoyed getting The Spectacle drink with a lightbulb ice cube. Also, the "That's A Wrap" shirts are cool, especially since we hadn't done a matching cousins photo in a long time (and we now get the PhotoPass photos free with our annual passes!).

Destination Info:
Disney's Hollywood Studios -Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights
Lake Buena Vista, FL

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Walt Disney World: Hollywood Studios - Star Tours The Adventure Continues

Star ToursDate of Visit: July 30, 2011

Star Tours is pretty much the only transfer ride I will do with Mik since it is an easy seat to seat transfer and there is no rush with the ride vehicle not being on a track.  We had already done the new Star Tours in Disneyland and I did not much care about doing it in Disney World, but it is one of Mik's favorite rides, so we decided try the WDW version.

Star Tours
It ended up being a good choice to do it at Disney World because you actually get a better queue experience than Disneyland.  At Disneyland we just get the boring outside line and little bit interesting one room experience, but you miss out on seeing C3PO and the ride vehicle model in the regular queue when you go in the side door for the elevator.  At WDW we ended up skipping the whole line (I think only because the wait time was not that long) and going a separate way to the loading area.  We still skip the inside queue, but the way it is set up a WDW allows you to get an overlook view of C3PO and the vehicle model.

The actual boarding process is just like at Disneyland, though.  You can roll the wheelchair into the ride vehicle and the Cast Member will take it out and bring it back at the end of the ride.  The armrest can be swung to the side to make transferring easier.

Destination Info:
Disney's Hollywood Studios - Star Tours
Lake Buena Vista, FL

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Walt Disney World: Hollywood Studios - Walt Disney's One Man's Dream

EntranceDate of Visit: July 28, 2011

Walt Disney's One Man's Dream is an exhibit and movie.  You can wander through the exhibit at your leisure and then go in and watch the movie when they announce it is about to start.  However, after the movie you have to exit and have to come back around if you did not finish looking at everything before seeing the movie.  It is an okay place to get out of the heat, but the exhibit area seems to get crowded easily even though the theater seemed rather empty when we then saw the movie.

Wheelchair Seating
Mik and I both really enjoyed the displays of various things from Disney and Disney World history.   However, it got rather congested in some spots with there not being much open space to maneuver around the stuff on display and people trying to skip around.  The theater was good, though, with wheelchair spot and companion seats in the back.

Destination Info:
Disney's Hollywood Studios - Walt Disney's One Man's Dream
Lake Buena Vista, FL

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Walt Disney World: Hollywood Studios - Toy Story Mania

QueueDate of Visit: July 28, 2011

The Toy Story Mania ride itself is pretty much the same as at Disney's California Adventure, but the queue and loading area is much different.  The queue is so much fun to walk through with it trying to give you the impression of being toy size in Andy's Room.  There are a lot of different toys and such around including a giant Viewmaster, a Lincoln Log cabin, and of course the talking Mr. Potato Head.  It is nice that it is mostly inside and much more interesting than in California, since it can be a long line.

Wheelchair Waiting Queue
The wheelchair loading area also separates at a different point than in California.  In Florida, the stairs are before you get on ride instead of at exit, so you end up going off to a ramp to the wheelchair vehicle loading area.  However, the wheelchair loading area is not as nice as in California.  In California, there is a long bench for you to sit on as you wait for the wheelchair vehicle to come around and it to be your turn, but there is not one in Florida.  Not a big deal, but it is kind of nice when you sometimes have to wait for the wheelchair vehicle to go out and come back a few times for your turn.

Wheelchair Loading Area
The wheelchair vehicle is the same, but it was our first time with the new system of having tie downs in the wheelchair vehicle for Toy Story Mania.  I guess a lot of people had problems of tipping back some when riding, which makes sense as the ride is kind of jerky, but surprisingly Mik has never had that problem, as he freaks out on buses with tie downs and any tiny movement.  He actually hates the addition of the tie downs.

Mik was quite annoyed that it took them about 10 to 15 minutes to get the tie downs clipped onto his wheelchair.  I barely convinced him to go a second time later in our trip by telling him they are still new to this with the tie downs being a recent addition.  Luckily, the second time the CMs were better at finding the places to clip onto his chair.  However, after our August 2011 trip to Disneyland we have realized the problem is them never seeing Mik's chair design as in Disneyland they ended up calling who we think was the supervisor to do the tie downs (the next day he came out to do it right when we started loading), but that only took about 5 minutes because they quickly realized it was better to just ask someone more experienced than figure it out themselves.  Now I also know what spot to tell them to use with the size hooks they use.

Destination Info:
Disney's Hollywood Studios - Toy Story Mania
Lake Buena Vista, FL

Monday, August 29, 2011

Walt Disney World: Hollywood Studios - The Great Movie Ride

Great Movie RideDate of Visit: July 2011

The Great Movie Ride is a fun ride through various movie scenes.  The line queue is fun with you going by some props from movies including a carousel horse from Mary Poppins.  It is a nice long ride and a good way to escape the hot humid Orlando weather for a little bit.

Great Movie Ride
All the vehicles for the Great Movie Ride have room for wheelchairs in the back.  This area has wide open area to the right of two benches and probably could fit two wheelchairs with the group being able to sit right next to them.

Destination Info:
Disney's Hollywood Studios - The Great Movie Ride
Lake Buena Vista, FL