Sunday, August 3 we set out for an afternoon visit to Hollywood Studios that would include a visit to Character Palooza, rides on Rock N Roller Coaster, Tower of Terror and Star Tours, a bit to eat at the ABC Commissary and the Frozen Fireworks with a peanut butter and jelly shake.
We arrived around 5:30pm and noticed that the parking lot looked kind of empty. I’ve learned that a lot of Georgia schools are going back into session beginning today. My kids start back with the local schools on August 18th, so that will be a key week for the crowds to really begin dying off and continue to it’s lowest levels around Labor Day.
We up to the log jam that is the Coolest Summer Ever Dance Party in front of the hat. They set up the ropes for the Fireworks viewing area really early, so it’s difficult to maneuver this area while the characters are out. The characters that usually appear are Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Chip and Dale. They appear at 5:30, 6:30, 7:30 and 8:30 nightly until September 1. The characters and costumes are exactly the same as the Rock Your Summer Side Dance Party version that changed names quickly.
They started handing out different Olafs recently. This rendition has an umbrella. It’s because the other version made a terrible fan. I think he should have had a cloud over his head. What do you think?
After a really brief visit to the dance party area, we headed over to Character Palooza which began right on time and right where it should during the Frozen celebration. If you ever have a question about when Palooza will begin on a given week, use my Character Locator app. All schedules are on there including things you won’t find anywhere else.
Here are the characters that appeared for Character Palooza.
Queen of Hearts
We were thinking about heading to the Sing a Long, so we turned left on San Francisco Street. We found this large family trying to take a selfie and they asked us to take their photo on their iphone. I obliged and asked if they wanted a better quality photo of the moment.
From there we headed to ride Rock N Roller Coaster with our pre-arranged Fastpass+. The song in the limo was “Dude looks like a lady,” so we called this photo, “Dude looks like a snowman.”
We rode Tower of Terror, but our photo didn’t look that great, so we just moved along. From there we wandered a little bit, looked at the line for the Great Movie ride and decided to grab a bite to eat at the ABC Commissary instead. Jordyn and I shared a chicken club sandwich which was surprisingly good and hot too.
We then used our final Fastpass+ for Star Tours. It was close to 8:30pm, so we headed over to the Magic of Disney Animation area in hopes of taking part in one of the drawing classes. These classes have become so popular over the last couple of years that people wait up to an hour for them. We learned that the final class of the day was at 8:30pm. They do start back up again for late Extra Magic Hours on Mondays after the fireworks. The final film session area was at 8:45pm, so we caught that.
It’s now 9:00pm, so we began to scout an area to set up our tripod to take a few Frozen Fireworks photos. We chose a location right in front of Disney & Co because there wouldn’t be people standing right in front of us. I can tell you that it is a nice place to watch, but you can’t hear most of the the pre-show dialogue because the CMs are constantly yelling directions to everyone leaving Fantasmic and trying to scramble for a viewing location.
Tip: Watch the Frozen Fireworks first, then catch the later Fantasmic. You’ll have a better location for both experiences.
This is my first attempt at using my Nikon D5200 since a friend told me a bit about using Shutter Priority. I set the ISO at 200 and practiced between a 5 and 8 second shutter opening. The finale photo at the bottom is my favorite. These photos are completely unedited.