On our third and final day of our whirlwind weekend celebrating Walt Disney World’s 50th anniversary, we headed to Disney Hollywood Studios. I mentioned in my post last week that Epcot has always been my favorite park. Well, the Studios (or MGM as I still think of it) has always been my least favorite park. But, in the 7 years since my last visit, a lot has been added to the park and my appreciation for it has grown.
This day started much earlier than I had anticipated. Since we were checking out, I called bell services at our resort to have them store our bags while we enjoyed our last day at the parks. I expected this would take at least half an hour. I was shocked when someone was knocking on our door less than 10 minutes later! We loaded all of our things onto a golf cart and he drove us to the front of the resort to catch a bus to the Studios a full hour before the park opened! We were one of the first buses to be allowed into the park that day. We went through security and sat down on the ground in the line for Rise of the Resistance to wait for the park to open.
I am very glad we chose Rise for our first attraction of the day. I have seen the original Star Wars trilogy but I am in no way a Star Wars fan. Even still, I think this ride is one of the best on Disney property! The ride itself is fun. It tells the story very well and the cast members were just phenomenal! I do know that it would have really freaked me out as a kid, so if you are traveling with an anxious child who doesn’t like to be yelled at, you may want to consider doing rider swap for this one. Sorry if that is a little vague, but I don’t want to give away the premise of the ride if you haven’t done it yet. Just trust me when I say it was great!
We got off the ride as the park was officially opening for the day and we headed to Ronto Roasters for breakfast. I had pre-ordered on the app so we just had to walk to the counter and pick it up. The downside of the over-the-top theming in Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge is that the signage is nearly non-existent. As a first-time visitor to this part of the park, even with the app open, we passed Ronto several times before we found it! This was a big problem when Animal Kingdom first opened and they ended up having to disrupt the theming for clear signage and I think this may end up being necessary at Galaxy’s Edge.
From there we headed to Toy Stoy Land, the other new area of the park since my last visit. Toy Story is one of my favorite Disney movies so I loved the theming in this part of the park. Slinky Dog Dash is a fun addition to the park!
I was very excited to ride Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway, but it didn’t live up to the other new attractions, in my opinion. Runaway Railway uses the same Trackless ride system that Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure in Epcot uses. While it is exciting to finally have a Mickey and Minnie attraction in the parks, the animation is not the Mickey and Minnie from my childhood. They are based on the 2013 animation style. The train cars that you ride in seat four and so I was seated next to people I don’t know. When the ride gets to the Daisy dancing scene, our bare legs touched and that was kind of weird. Overall, it was a fun attraction and if you have kids that are used to this more modern animation, they will love it. I just wasn’t rushing back out to do it again.
For lunch, we ate at the Sci-Fi Drive-in Theater Restaurant (left). Sci-Fi is located on Commissary Lane, not far from Galaxy’s Edge. The theming of the restaurant is an old Drive-In. Diners sit in booths that look like cars from the 50’s and enjoy their dinner while watching trailers for ridiculous sci-fi movies and commercials for the concession stand. We ate here once when I was a kid and I really enjoyed it so I wanted to bring Chris. While the food is good, expect burgers and fries, you choose Sci-Fi for the theming.
This day we waited in the longest lines of the weekend, but with the Studios being such a small park, we still ended up riding everything we wanted multiple times. We did Rise of the Resistance twice, Slinky Dog twice, Midway Mania twice, and Smuggler’s run twice. I even finally got to ride Rock n Rollercoaster (I could never justify the wait last trip), but it didn’t live up to Galaxy’s Edge and Toy Storyland.
Overall, this day greatly improved my opinion of Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Hopefully, I will be able to get back down there and check out Animal Kingdom again (I still haven’t seen Pandora-The World of Avatar) and maybe come up with a new ranking of the parks. Be sure to check back next week as I review our stay at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort!
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