Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

I have always loved this park. I have heard people say, ” It is a half day park” Not true! We spent a full day there on July 11th and still only scratched the surface. Here is a quick run down of my thoughts of a great day at Hollywood Studios.

Fast Passes. (For more info on how fast passes work visit my previous blog on the Magic Kingdom)

Tower of Terror, Star Tours and Rock ‘n Roller Coaster are easily the best choices for fast passes! I can not stress enough that getting fast passes for the shows is a total waste of fast passes. Don’t do it.

IMG_5428The Tower of Terror (left)

This is the best ride at the park,  if you want to be terrified. I first took my son on this ride when he was five and I do think I gave him a lifelong fear of elevators so maybe don’t do it  if you have a five year old,  but if you are ten or higher….go for it! My suggestion is to  get to the park as it opens and head straight to this ride. That way you can get a ride in before the lines get bad and you will still have a fast pass for it later, believe me, you will want to do it twice.

The Rock n’ Roller Coaster.

This is also an all time favorite roller coaster, its fast, smooth and fun! Highly suggested.

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Star Tours –  The Adventure Continues (left)

This is a “Star Wars”,  simulation ride. You travel through the galaxy with motion simulation. If you are at all a Star Wars fan, it is a must do.

I would say that after you have done these three rides you can pretty much wander about the park and take in the great shows that run at set times all day. The only ride that is probably not worth the wait is  Toy Story Midway Mania. It was a huge line and a bit of a let down after waiting so long. If you have a big Toy Story Fan in the house, you may want to fast pass this ride to avoid the long wait. I think the Buzz Light year ride at Magic Kingdom is better and will give you the same experience.

At the end of the day be sure to catch the musical light show “Fantasmic” and then the incredible, and I mean incredible fireworks. The Fireworks are to the “Frozen” theme and really are breathtaking.

I am just home from an amazing trip to the beautiful Province of Alberta, Canada.  Coming up next, review of the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise.

Disney Theme Park Review- Magic Kingdom

Lets just say that going to a theme park is not on the top of my travel to do list. That said I had a blast at both the Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios. Having my kids with me defiantly made it extra special. This review will give you an overview of each park and some tips!

 Magic Kingdom- July 6th 2014

IMG_5131This park has something for everyone. From the awesome Space Mountain Roller coaster to Pirates of the Caribbean,  every ride is special. You don’t just line up and wait to go on the ride, even the line ups are enjoyable (yes it is true) but to be honest the longest we ever stood in line was about 30 minutes!. On arrival at the park we went straight to guest services for fast passes.

What is a fast pass? Well it is kind of like a reservation that you can make for up to three rides at the park. The fast pass lets you skip the long lines, it would be crazy NOT to take advantage of the fast pass. Once you have used up your three fast passes that day you can add more.

There is a very user-friendly app that you use to make your fast passes and other Disney perks manageable called “My Disney Experience” you load it to your phone, scan your ticket and volia.. you can start planing your day. You can use the app for everything from Fast Passes to Meal reservations.  If you are with family and friends you just connect your tickets and you can plan your fast passes at home before you even arrive at the park.

We had a group of about 16 people the day we went to the Magic Kingdom and connecting all the tickets through our app seemed a little tricky so we went to guest services, they fixed us all up. Planned our fast passes and off we went. The rides we got our fast passes for were:

Space Mountain Roller coaster , Pirates of the Caribbean and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.

splash

As soon as we used them up we go another one for Splash Mountain. Here is a pic of me on splash mountain…  I am on the right, 2nd row,  in the red dress 🙂 Warning, this ride is scary lol.

Advice for the best day at Magic Kingdom

1) Download the My Disney Experience App before you leave home. Once you have your tickets play with it and get you and your family and friends connected. If you plan ahead you can  get the most out of fast passes and the park.

 

2) Use your fast passes wisely. Don’t waste them on shows,  these lineups are never bad. Use the fast passes for the big rides with big waits.  The four mentioned above probably give you the best advantage. If you or your kids want to meet a character, like the Disney Princess, the fast pass is also good for this.

3) The indoor restaurants will give you free ice water if you ask for it!

4) You will get wet on Splash Mountain!

turkey5) You will see lots of people walking around eating turkey legs. They look disgusting, cost a fortune but man are they delicious! You have to try it. They are sold in Frontier-land. Its worth the effort to find them. Trust me on this! (picture left)

6) There is a new ride this year called the “Seven Dwarfs Mine Train” The lines were ridiculously long when we were there. I would strongly suggest that if you want to try the new ride, (which does look awesome)  try get a fast pass for it (we couldn’t when we were there) or go straight for the ride as soon as the park opens in the morning. When we were there is was an 1 hr 45 min wait!

7) Enjoy the crowd, the noise, the heat. And if you start letting it get to you just hum a few bars of “Frozen’s”, “Let it Go” and you will be fine 🙂

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Next Review…Hollywood Studios

 

 

 

 

Walt Disney World 2014

mouse earsHi Everyone, I have been travelling like crazy this month and have finally recovered from my most recent trip to Orlando and am ready to Blog! I will be reviewing; Two Walt Disney World Theme Parks, The Walt Disney World Swan Resort,  Southwest Airlines and Transportation in Orlando I should have all the reviews posted by the end of the week.  But lets start with my thoughts on getting around Orlando.

Transportation in Orlando

On arrival at MCO, Orlando’s airport, it is super easy to find transport to your hotel. Many people have asked me if its better to rent a car, take a taxi, or book a shuttle to get from the airport.  I took a taxi. It makes no sense financially for a family to take a shuttle.  It is $36.00 round trip per adult for a shuttle with Mears Transportation. A one way taxi fare is $67.00.  We have rented cars on previous trips but found it was more of a hassle than just taking taxis for the odd times you need to go off property. If you are staying on the Walt Disney World Resort Property, everything is connected by a complementary network of buses, water taxis, trams etc. It is efficient, easy to use and very relaxing. The Swan Resort charges $16.00 plus tax per day to park, this adds up quickly. During our week we left the Disney Property twice. Each time using a taxi. A trip to Wal-Mart for supplies, cost $18 each way. A trip to the Outlet mall for fabulous shopping was $20 each way. The rest of the time we used the complementary  transportation to get to all the Disney attractions.

If your accommodation in Orlando is not on Disney property or you would like to visit Universal Studios and do a lot of shopping a car rental makes more sense. Remember however,  you will have to pay $17.00 per day to park you car at the Disney Parks. But, if you are going primarily to be at Disney, (like we were!) I would suggest staying at a hotel on the Disney Property. It makes everything so much more convenient, to give you an example, we spent one day at Disney’s Hollywood studios, took the quick 8 minute water taxi back to our hotel, had a shower and dinner and then returned for the evening fireworks, simple, fast and easy to do. Here is a picture of us returning to our resort on the water taxi.water taxi

 

Next Post….Review of The Walt Disney World Swan