Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Day 5: Disney Hollywood Studios

We started our day with breakfast at the lounge. I had a bowl of quinoa and blueberries, as well as a plateful of fruit. It's definitely nice to not worry about where you're going to go for breakfast while on property. We arrived at the Studios around 8:45. It felt pretty crowded for opening, but that tends to happen. There really aren't that many people there, but everyone is in a small space, versus the entire park.

After the brief opening show, we made our way to Toy Story Mania, along with everyone else. The standby time is automatically set to 60 minutes. There's also a controlled line for the fast pass distribution. I didn't want to wait in line by myself (I hate holding a spot for someone who's not in line), so I waited in the area while Tamara got a FP. We ended up getting one for 10:25-11:25. Here we are waiting in line. The standby line ended only being about 30 minutes. The line is also fun to look at. It's not interactive, but there are lots of fun, oversized toys.

The monkeys are all over the area just outside of the ride. This paint splatter is on one of the walls inside. This Talking Mr. Potato Head caused quite the line back up. People really needed their picture with it. So large groups of people would stop and pose, and most people didn't really want to cut by them. That resulted in some strange line movements. You'd be standing still for a a few minutes, then move a really large distance suddenly. We ended up naming this phenomenon "The Mr. Potato Head Effect", as we observed similar phenomena in other queues.

I ended up getting around 120,000 points. Tamara beat me but not by much. It's actually quite the upper arm workout, you have to pull out the string trigger to shoot. And of course, if you want lots of shots, you have to do that quickly and repeatedly.

We headed over to The Muppets next. It had very few people waiting, so a cast member announced to sit anywhere. So we did exactly that, we sat right near the back, in the middle of the row. This group of 3 or 4 people walked by, and the lady gave us some sass about not following instructions. The great thing about traveling with Tamara, is if someone gives her sass (especially if it's not deserved), she will sass back. It's really not our fault that they didn't hear the announcement. We are all about following the rules, but if someone officially says you don't need to follow them, then great! And if they had observed the rest of the theatre, they would have realized that we weren't lying. They were stubborn, and sat at the end of the row anyways. To prove our point though, there didn't end up being anyone between us, in the middle, and them at the end of the row.

We looked through the Muppet store a bit, then started to wander the Streets of America. For some strange reason, they had already installed the Christmas lights. I'm really not sure if this was earlier than normal, but that meant that we couldn't play around on the street with the entertaining photo ops. All the facades were roped off. I didn't even want to take photos, since everything had a thousand lights, wires, and other metal structures on it. I'm sure when the lights are on, it looks nice, but by day, it looks ugly. Here is one shot I did take. I understand the No Standing signs, but I think the local "Idle-free zone" are perhaps a better description of what not to do.

It was time to return to Toy Story for our FP. I didn't do as well as the first time. Tamara did a bit better. It gets really tiring! After, we headed back to the front of the park (I really wish this park had more circular routes), there are definitely areas that get bottlenecked. There was more of a wait than I expected at Rock N' Roller coaster, so we picked up FPs. That took much longer than it should have. Tamara waited in line, while I took pictures of the area.

It was pretty much time for our lunch reservation at the 50s Prime Time Cafe by this time. Check out this delightfully hideous sign!

I think we were seated a little early. I found the table for two very small here. It was too difficult to try and take photos, so this shot of my Root Beer Float is the only thing you get to see! I had the Stacked Sandwich (basically a club sandwich). Tamara had a Chicken Caesar Salad. The food was tasty. We didn't see too many antics. I got scolded for not doing my chores (I hadn't set my table setting, since I was busy fiddling with my camera). Tamara got caught talking with her mouth full (even though she wasn't actually doing that at time). There were a lot of birthdays, and the staff make sure to sing Happy Birthday as badly as they can.

There was a family seated next to us with a birthday in their group. They were obviously on the dining plan (since they all had entrees and desserts), but they had also ordered a special cake for the birthday girl. At this point, they were all full, so they offered us each a slice of cake. We said sure, it was a cake made by Disney, and we saw it brought out by the waiter, so it didn't feel too strange accepting. It was chocolate and vanilla, pretty basic, but good. It was one of those hilariously random things. It seemed appropriate for the restaurant too, all the waiters call themselves your Aunt, Uncle, or Cousin. So I guess the other diners are family too!

We were told "No Tower for Half an Hour" upon leaving (which is actually pretty good advice). We definitely were agreeable to that statement, so we headed to the Great Movie Ride. I quite enjoyed taking pictures on the ride. Our driver/narrator had a lisp, that unfortunately was amplified by the microphone on the ride.

Here's the beginning of the ride, before you enter the "live" shows.

I quite enjoyed some of the scenery. Tamara pointed out the gem below. I was equally amused, so I took a picture.
How about a little Indiana Jones and the Lost Ark?

At some point, we checked out the store under the Sorcerer's Hat. I took a few shots of the swirly stars, and managed to trip awkwardly over a small pavement jut, but I didn't fall down! Woot, I'm awesome like that.
It was time to head over the the Rock N' Roller Coaster for our FP use. I enjoyed the ride, I think Tamara found it a bit uncomfortable this time around. It can bob your head and neck around quite a bit.
On our way out of the park, we saw that Citizens of Hollywood show was underway- it was a radio show, Hollywood Matchmaker. It was hilarious!! Definitely one of my favorite things from the trip! Here are the three bachelors:

Number 2 ended up winning, he was quite the charmer. He also kept getting stuck in his chair.

This guy was the host's assistant. He also performed one of the advertisements for G-Strings (for your ukulele of course!). These next two shots were from the walk out of the park, down the main street. There are some cool buildings and signs, and I can hardly resist taking pictures of those!

This car was going down the street, this guy saw that I was about to take a picture, so he brought out this crazy pose, which I appreciated, it made me laugh.

We ended up canceling our dinner reservation for the Sci-Fi Drive-In Theatre. We were done with the park, and didn't really want to go back to the hotel, to just turn around and come back.

Here's our bus stop. Although I kind of complained about the retro colours of aqua and pink everywhere, it really does work! We got back to the hotel around 2:30. So we headed to the lounge for a few snacks, then lounged for a while.

We didn't really feel like attacking any of the other parks, so we went to Downtown Disney instead. We walked the whole strip, and back, checking out plenty of stores along the way. Here are the awesome chandeliers from inside the Tren-D store.

I ended up buying a t-shirt on clearance (only 4.99, woot!) and some Ghiradelli chocolate. We ate dinner at Wolfgang Puck Express. We shared a Greek salad and a 4-Cheese pizza. Both were very good and very reasonably priced.

There was a beautiful sunset that night.

We made one last stop at the candy store, where we each created a "Make Your Own Treat". I went with a Mickey-shaped Rice Krispie treat, covered with chocolate and Reese's Pieces.

Tamara went with a Fudge Cookie, covered with chocolate and Reese's Pieces, as well as M&M minis.These two items would take us the rest of the week to eat! They kept well enough in the fridge.
There were plenty of Halloween themed foods available at the candy store, like these cute ghost cupcakes.
We returned to the room sometime between 8:30 and 9:00 and found that the lion and giraffe were friends! Imagine that, perhaps that would change later...?

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