On Saturday, my daughters and I decided to head over to Hollywood Studios for some character fun and to ride a few of our favorite attractions. My youngest really wanted to finally get to visit Vanellope and Sofia the First. We used FP+ to ride Toy Story Midway Mania and The Great Movie Ride. When I tried to book 3 FP+ for TSMM on Friday night, it was only showing availability for 7:00 pm, so I decided to wait. The next morning around 7:00 am I tried again on the My Disney Experience app and it said “Standy by Only.” At 8:30 a.m. on an 8:00 opening date, I found a number of slots open to choose from, so we choose a 9:45-10:45 a.m. slot so we could have some character fun before riding.
We started out our day with a photo op in front of the big Christmas tree. I’m not much of a photographer, but deduced later that the picture would have been better with my daughters closer to the camera and still have the tree in the background. Was I taking a photo of the tree or the kids with the tree?
We began our day with a Chip n Dale meet and greet near the hat. I noticed that the sun was flaring behind the characters, but decided to go ahead and snap the photo as a demonstration. One could easily ask the characters politely to turn a bit and get rid of that early sun. My daughter asked Chip if he would be able to accept a chocolate chip cookie. He got really excited, but Debbie didn’t have a cookie to actually offer him. He communicated that she will need to return with said cookie. She promised him a homemade cookie on her next visit with him.
Pluto was standing near the chipmunks and he is my little girl’s favorite character, so we waited 7 minutes to meet him early in the day. The attendant was informing everyone that they might end up with Donald Duck, but thankfully Pluto was still there when we arrived. Debbie asked Pluto if he prefers bones or actual steaks. Pluto is a bone lover. Now she’s commited to bringing TWO treats back to Studios, lol. Pluto’s tag says, “Backstage Pass. Valid today and tomorrow. Pluto.” Oh, by the way, during the Christmas season, Goofy is hanging out on Streets of America as Santa Goofy from 1:00 to 5:00 pm and again from 6:30 to 30 minutes after park closing, but get in line early as there is a long wait. He also appears as Santa Goofy in Animal Kingdom.
The girls held the second spot in line at the Sofia the First meet and greet while I went to acquire some paper Fastpasses for Toy Story Midway Mania. We thought we would return later to ride. I acquired these FP at 9:12 am. They were all acquired within 60 seconds. I watched as Fastpasses were gone for the day before 9:30 am. We had to leave the park early, so we gave the Fastpasses away so another family could use them.
My little girl was really excited to finally meet Sofia the First and wanted to play along with her. She was the second guest in line for Sofia’s first meet. She noticed the shiny amulet and wanted to see that. Sofia only seemed interested in taking a photo. After the photo she tried to get a look at the amulet again and I mentioned in a louder voice that she just wants to see the magic amulet, not grab it. Sofia just gave us a “move along” hand gesture. Seemed out of character from my previous 3 meets with her. Pretty disappointing first meet, but my little girl bounces back quickly.
Jake’s line was still pretty short, so we moved over there to meet him. Jake was in a great mood and was doing some dance moves with a little boy pirate in line in front of us. Jake was really fun for my little girl to interact with. He was fist pounding and jumping and acting piratey with her. He helped take the sting out the of the previous meet. Yo ho!
We haven’t been back to meet Sorcerer’s Apprentice Mickey Mouse in quite some time. It was always part of our family traditions when we vacationed at Walt Disney World, but it hasn’t been a priority lately. We decided it was time to remedy the situation. We were 2nd in line to meet Mickey inside the Animation Building. We helped several other families plan out the remainder of their character day while we waited.
With Minnie Mouse in her new, unmarked, meet and greet area it was really easy to walk right in after meeting Mickey. There’s no sign or marquee whatsoever that would point to this being an attraction. Just the still inoperable Fastpass+ area. I mentioned before that this will eventually become a Fastpass+ exclusive meet and greet. I’d guess they will add the marquee at that time? Minnie was very welcoming and spent a good amount of time showing my girls around her new room. My little one was quite impressed with what Minnie had done with her room and told Minnie she’d like some decorating tips. She was also impressed with Minnie’s shiny new dress. 3 beautiful ladies all together in one photo.
Wreck-it Ralph and Vanellope were supposed to arrive at 10:30 am, so we we decided to become first in line to meet them and relaxed on the floor while Debbie played some of the interactive games and chatted with other little girls. She meets friends every where we go.
I decided to join the meet and greet fun because I hadn’t met Vanellope alone before. Vanellope didn’t seem too excited to hang out with a pirate who told people about a major flaw in the FP+ system. It’s cool though. Ralph once gave me a Hero medal. So, where’s Ralph? The attendant informed us that we wouldn’t be able to meet him until 11:00 am. We chose to just meet Vanellope, it was the MAIN reason Debbie wanted to go the Studios anyway. She HAD to meet Vanellope.
Mr. Incredible and Frozone also meet inside the Animation area, but we chose to skip them in favor of using our FP+ reservation for TSMM. I noticed that they had added a cool Etch-o-Sketch since the last time I visited (or paid any attention).
I also decided to try to make a video of the attraction. I’ve been videoing (can’t really call it videotaping because it’s on a flash memory card) all the attractions and shows a little at a time to add to my newly re-designed attractions pages. I started with Animal Kingdom‘s re-design and I’m moving to the other parks in coming weeks. I’m also going to create image galleries for every attraction, show, character, dining etc to help people who wish to plan their trips. I tried to place the 3D glasses over the end of the camera as best I could while getting swung all over the place. If you get a loose stomach, you can stop the video 🙂
After our game of TSMM, that I lost due to video, we found the Green Army Man patrolling the area of the toys and decided we’d take part in a quick meet and greet. Salute soldier!
We then took in the Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow walk-through type attraction. This thing is really popular and regularly has lines of 30 minutes or more. We saw the doors opening with only the one cattle pen filled and decided to drop in for a visit. My little one had never seen it. She said, “Eh, that was okay. The Captain Jack part was kind of funny.” That reaction may mirror what your child says after leaving.
We next used our Great Movie Ride Fastpass+ to ride this attraction. I noticed that the props in the queue area had been replaced with some that were new to me. I don’t really keep track of when little things like this are changed, so when I notice them I try to snap a quick photo. I took a video of this attraction but haven’t had a chance to upload it to my youtube account yet. We had the Cowboy scene, which is my favorite. Love some fire and explosions!