Hollywood Studios - Happy New Year!

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December 31st 2011
Published: January 3rd 2012
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Happy New Year everyone!

We decided to try and “avoid” the Disney crowd as much as possible on New Year’s Eve, so we headed off to Hollywood Studios. We made a good decision – the crowds weren’t out of control until around 11pm-midnight.

In the morning we went to see Beauty and the Beast the musical – essentially they just strung together all the songs from the movie assuming you knew the story enough to fill in the blanks haha. It was great – as per all the Disney songs, we sung along 😊 Good old Disney. Gaston was a great ham in the play, and it was fun to watch Lumiere and Ms Potts prance around the stage.

Tower of Terror was next door – that was a great ride. I think one of my fav things about Disney is the intricate details they put into all their set designs – waiting for the ride, you really felt like you were in this old abandoned hotel that was covered in dust – fake cobwebs (that looked real), broken windows, crooked signs, everything. The ride itself was also great of course – beautiful view of the park before you fall those flights of stairs 😉

We met some characters after that – finally found Piglet, and we came across Chip n’ Dale too – then we headed off to the Backlot Tour which was essentially a tour showing off some movie special effects, like how they do water stunts/cannons and how they do real explosions and set design stuff. It was alright – probably my least favourite activity at Disney so far... but still good.

One cool thing was that we drove past the staging area for the Extreme Stunts show – so these high-performance car drivers would spin 180 backwards into a full backward park/stop then wave to us as we went by on the tram lol. (That’s a cool thing about Disney too – everyone is always waving at you and saying hi/goodbye – it’s nice)

Afterwards we walked along “the Streets of America” (a huge set built to look like NYC and San Fran) and went to see Muppets 3D – the Muppets did not disappoint, especially Fozzy Bear and all the “stunts” he pulled with the 3D effects lol.

Next was the Indiana Jones Stunt Show – it was basically human stunting, so fight sequences, falling from tall heights, etc. It was cute because they asked for volunteers – this one guy kept acting up on stage/not paying attention and then goes to do a pretend fight and ends up falling over doing a headstand... we figured then he was a plant haha. It was good though – “Indiana” had a great fight with this HUGE “German mechanic” that had a good foot and a half on him.

As we exited that, the parade was about to start so we of course watched that – it was essentially all the Pixar stars (Toy Story, Monsters Inc, Ratouille, Bug’s Life, Incredibles, Up) to the tune of Drum All Day (or whatever that song’s called), so I basically sang that for 10min straight haha.

Star Wars has this 3D flight ride which was alright, then we happened to spot a Green Army Man (from Toy Story) “supervising” a kid zone, so we ran over. This one kid was in front of us and was trying to get the guy to move/take a picture with him, but the Army Man wouldn’t move. Finally the “handler” was like, “you have to say please!” When it was our turn the Army Man wouldn’t take a photo with me unless I gave him a salute.

(Sidenote: the characters are so much fun when they can’t talk – the games of charades you play with them, and the hugs, and blown kisses, and just everything is so much fun. I legit have been waving goodbye to every character and high-fiving up a storm)

The Extreme Stunt Show – Lights Camera Action was really intense – it was all high-performance driving stunts that are ridiculous to watch live because you know one split second off their timing could end up deadly. They were doing sliding 180s, ridiculous chase scenes, jumping obstacles, everything. One of the motorcycle chases even went through a fire wall so that the driver would catch fire. So crazy.

Character hunting continued with Mike and Sully – it was too cute watching the little kids in front of us because practically every kid under the age of 4-5 was terrified of Sully, so he’d try to make them laugh by dancing or playing peekaboo – sometimes it worked, other times it made the kid burst into tears hahahaha. If the latter happened, Sully would sulk into the corner. Poor Sully.

Next were Buzz and Woody – they had a super long line, but it was indoors and had other photo spots (like Andy’s Room, or the Alien Claw Game) so at least we kept busy. Hugging Buzz hurt lol – too much hard plastic.

And last stop on the character hunt brought us Mr + Mrs Incredible (she loved to pose for the camera – meanwhile his legs just looked abnormal), gloomy old Eeyore and Pooh Bear who kept trying to cheer him up, and Mickey in his Sorcerer’s Hat :D yay. When we got there, Mickey had just come back from a break, so he was hamming it up for the photographer – he kept pointing at the camera just as he’d go to take a picture, then start laughing when he’d be “scolded”. Silly Mickey.

Since it was getting dark, we figured it was a good time to see Fantasmic – I decided to grab a beer (oddly the ONE thing that is not overpriced at Disney!!) and enjoy the show. It was basically a good characters vs bad characters show with images/videos projected on water jets while Mickey tried to fight the Evil Queen from Snow White. At the end the good characters obviously win, and this great big boat went by with all the characters on it – very cute. I liked how they showed clips and played songs from practically every single Disney movie I can remember watching... def makes me want to have a Disney marathon when I get home.

On the way to Toy Story Mania (the current “it-ride” at Disney – it had a 140min standby time... thank goodness for Fast Pass) we came across Disney employees giving out New Year’s hats and noise makers – suh-weeeeeeet! We had fun making tons of noise.

Toy Story Mania lived up to its reputation – so much fun! It’s pretty much a 3D shooting-arcade game, all themed with Toy Story characters of course.

We returned to Streets of America for pictures of all the Christmas lights, and we were treated to this fantastic show about 5min after arrived – all the lights went out, then Carol of the Bells started and we were treated to the best Christmas light show EVER. I have an epic video on my cell phone – pretty sure I got the whole thing.

Last ride of the day was the Rock n’ Roller Aerosmith Coaster, aw yeh. Very neat having an indoor coaster of that intensity.

It was just about time for Fireworks after that – the front half of the park (where you needed to be to really see the fireworks) was beyond ridiculously packed... but we still managed to see the show and ring in the New Year at Disney. Can check that off the bucket list 😊 The sound level was unreal with all the noise makers haha - absolutely loved the atmosphere with the music and fireworks too of course. Disney certainly does it right.


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