Walt Disney World, Hollywood Studios, Rock n Roller Coaster

Pirate in the Parks: Hollywood Studios January 17, 2014 farewell fastpass, toy story midway mania, buzz n woody, rock n roller coaster, tower of terror and sci fi dine in theater

My kids are out of school on January 17th and I’m off work, so let’s go to Disney’s Hollywood Studios!  You’ve heard me say many times that effective park touring begins with arriving at least 30 minutes before park opening (45 minutes or more during the busy seasons).  Here’s the line as we walked up at 8:32 am.Walt Disney World, Hollywood Studios, rope drop And here’s the line at 8:45 am.  The park opened about 8:45 and the line was already beyond the ticket booths.  Why would that matter?  The new Mickey Touchpoints move people through much faster than previously.  Well, it’s because we want to be among the first to go straight to Toy Story Midway Mania for a short wait.Walt Disney World, Hollywood Studios, park opening Mr. Iger…tear down this hat!Walt Disney World, Hollywood Studios, Sorcerers Hat We walked to Toy Story Midway Mania and arrived at 8:53 am.  We were beaten there by about 50 to 100 people because we weren’t interested in doing the Toy Story Trot.  Many people were lining up for the paper Fastpasses.  Those don’t exist any longer, so you won’t have to bother with trying to get a “Legacy” Fastpass.  If you wish to ride twice, just reserve a FP+ and ride this at rope drop.Walt Disney World, Hollywood Studios, Toy Story Midway Mania I didn’t realize when I uploaded a video of the Etch o Sketch a while back that I was among the first to see that feature.  That’s what I get for not reading the 1.7 bazillion blogs and listening to the 2 trillion podcasts on the planet that deal with Walt Disney World!Walt Disney World, Hollywood Studios, Toy Story Midway Mania, Etch o Sketch Walt Disney World, Hollywood Studios, Toy Story Midway Mania, Etch o Sketch http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BNw0fVPPocI Mr. Potatohead was working nicely, but the first guests of the day are in a HUGE hurry, so if you stop for a few seconds you’ll be passed by 62 people who need to ride this immediately. Walt Disney World, Hollywood Studios, Toy Story Midway Mania, Mr. Potatohead My daughter is ready to try to defeat me in the game.Walt Disney World, Hollywood Studios, Toy Story Midway Mania, KennythePirate The champion prevails!  Did you know that she and I once teamed up to win a Disney Cruise playing this game?  It was at the Disboards Disapalooza event.  We ended up with 4 of the top 5 scores too :)  I was a little off this morning.Walt Disney World, Hollywood Studios, Toy Story Midway Mania, Kenny the Pirate We were in the line at 8:53am and out at 9:04am.   It usually takes the average guest 6 times longer just to damage the queue line.   After playing TSMM, we headed across the way to meet Buzz Lightyear and Woody.  I would so trade the Buzz n Woody meet for a Stinky Pete meet and greet!  I would even wait in a line as long as Anna/Elsa or Oogie Boogie.Walt Disney World, Hollywood Studios, Buzz Lightyear and Woody, Meet and GreetHaving tourists means we can’t have too many nice things.  You can see that a Cast Member tried to make a quick repair on the damaged wall with some black tape.  Then someone came along and tore it again.  Uggh!Walt Disney World, Hollywood Studios, Buzz Lightyear and Woody, Meet and Greet Despite the damage, Buzz n Woody were in good spirits.  I think the sheriff should guard the queue line so Stinky Pete can move in.  Hey, I would even settle for a Bo Peep meet and greet.Walt Disney World, Hollywood Studios, Buzz Lightyear and Woody, Meet and Greet To infinity and Sofia the First meet and greet!  We were in the line at 9:05am and out at 9:14am.  A 9 minute wait for these guys is great.  You’ll see posted waits for them in the 30-45 minute range.  I rarely find the posted wait to be accurate though.  You might want to add 10 minutes to the posted wait.Walt Disney World, Hollywood Studios, Buzz Lightyear and Woody, Meet and Greet So, at 9:15 the line is out the door for Toy Story Midway Mania and clueless guests are already using FP+.  Don’t schedule your FP+ for a time that you can actually ride things with little or no wait.  90% of the rides in the park are at 20 minute wait or less within the first hour of operation.Walt Disney World, Hollywood Studios, Toy Story Midway Mania wait time If we waited until 9:15 to arrive at the Buzz n Woody meet and greet, we would find a 30+ minute wait.  See, Disney isn’t the only one that can use the +.  Arrive early if meet and greets are important to you!  If you sleep in and relax and take advantage of your vacation and all that stuff, you’ll be waiting in character lines that can reach 30 minutes to 4 or more hours in Walt Disney World.  Early bird gets the meet.Walt Disney World, Hollywood Studios, Buzz Lightyear and Woody, Meet and Greet, queue It’s 9:20am and this is the line for Sofia the First.  She begins appearing in 10 minutes and 5 families would be in front of you.  We’ll come back later and check on this again.  My kids wanted to ride Rock n Roller Coaster and Tower of Terror over and over and over, so we didn’t meet her today.Walt Disney World, Hollywood Studios, Sofia the First, Meet and Greet Unnecessary dedication to Jake.  His line may build quickly at 9:30 am, but it’s pretty much empty in the afternoon. Walt Disney World, Hollywood Studios, jake and the Neverland Pirates, Meet and Greet Goofy and Pluto meet over here on the left side of the hat.  Early in the morning this can be an absolutely terrible photo location.  The sun is right behind the characters.  If you don’t like the shot, you can ask the character politely to change positions a bit to avoid that bright sun blowing out your picture.  The waits were in the typical 10-15 minute range.  That may not seem like a big deal, but there are 6 different meet and greets near the hat, so you may be dedicating one hour or more to these meets.Walt Disney World, Hollywood Studios, Pluto and Goofy, Meet and Greet My daughter was excited that we found that paper Fastpass (now extinct) was spitting out Fastpasses for immediate return at Rock n Roller Coaster and Tower of Terror.  Some of them were for times that were BEFORE the current time.   My son had done his job as Fastpass runner (also extinct) and acquired Fastpasses for both rides.  We were going to head over to Star Tours, but my daughter realized we could walk right on.Walt Disney World, Hollywood Studios, Tower of Terror, Fastpass We started by riding Rock n Roller Coaster with the immediate Fastpass.  What What!Walt Disney World, Hollywood Studios, Rock n Roller Coaster My son looks excited to ride.Walt Disney World, Hollywood Studios, Rock n Roller Coaster They position the lighting to intentionally mess up your photo of the on-ride snapshot.  They want you to spend the money to purchase their photo.  I’ll just take the red dots.  We were done with Rock n Roller Coaster at 9:47am Walt Disney World, Hollywood Studios, Rockin Roller Coaster On to my #1 most favorite ride in the interplanetary system.  I haven’t traveled through the whole universe yet though.  We had a fist full of “ride now” Fastpasses.  We had so many we couldn’t ride with them all before they would expire.  Those other people were waiting 45 minutes or more while we walked right on :)  Hey, I didn’t make the machines spit out FP like that.  I tweeted the info out and within an hour the system was back to normal.  Disney doesn’t follow bloggers on Twitter though.Walt Disney World, Hollywood Studios, Tower of Terror Fastpass Should we take this dilapidated elevator?  Looks kinda  sketch. Walt Disney World, Hollywood Studios, Tower of Terror, Service Elevator Peace.Walt Disney World, Hollywood Studios, Tower of Terror, Ride Photo We used another round of FP to ride Tower again.  The wait had climbed to 60 minutes.  Someone really needs to ask the Hotel Impossible guy to come review this place.  Walt Disney World, Hollywood Studios, Tower of Terror, queue Hello!  Is this Mr. Iger?  Bob, do you remember meeting me at the grand opening for Cars Land?  Awesome!  Well, I just wanted to ask if you could tear down the big, ugly, eyesore hat?  Walt Disney World, Hollywood Studios, Tower of Terror, queue The world famous Backside of Letters! Walt Disney World, Hollywood Studios, Tower of Terror view Creepy Bellhops are the best bellhops.Walt Disney World, Hollywood Studios, Tower of Terror Bellhop Can you tell we were having a blast this day?  We rode Rockin Roller Coaster 3 times, Tower of Terror 2 times, Toy Story Midway Mania 2 times, met Buzz and Woody, rode Star Tours, ate lunch at Sci Fi and we were gone by 2:00.  We completed most of our rides by 12:00.Walt Disney World, Hollywood Studios, Rock n Roller Coaster My little girl used to hate roller coasters and thrill rides, but she’s a big girl now and she loves them.  It took some time and patience to get her to overcome her fear.Walt Disney World, Hollywood Studios, Rock n roller coaster After taking a tour through Hoth and Naboo with Yoda, I stopped to check out the Darth Donald hat.  I like it except the little dangly things on the sides.  What do you think?Walt Disney World, Hollywood Studios, darth donald hat It was 12:00 and we went to check-in for our reservation at Sci Fi Dine in Theater.  I love the theming of this place, but the food isn’t very high on my list.  Don’t tell a 50 foot woman she can’t go shopping!Walt Disney World, Hollywood Studios, Sci Fi Dine In Theater I need to get a copy of all these old B movies so I can watch them all.  Anyone have any laying around the house?Walt Disney World, Hollywood Studios, Sci Fi Dine In Theater, Missile to the Moon poster I have two of these in my home and one who likes to think she’s there already…Walt Disney World, Hollywood Studios, Sci Fi Dine In Theater, Teenagers from outer space poster OMG it’s an Eva Bartuk film.  I just love her work. Walt Disney World, Hollywood Studios, Sci Fi Dine In Theater, Spaceways poster Nope, 50 years into the future we had Michael J. Fox, a Delorean and a fake hover board.   Oh, we can meet Doc Brown at Universal Studios too.Walt Disney World, Hollywood Studios, Sci Fi Dine In Theater, Flight to Mars poster Please obey the posted speed limits.Walt Disney World, Hollywood Studios, Sci Fi Dine In Theater, speed limit sign It’s a high-end, reservation-only restaurant because it offers free ice water.  It would be ultra high-end if they put lemons in the water though.Walt Disney World, Hollywood Studios, Sci Fi Dine In Theater Walt Disney World, Hollywood Studios, Sci Fi Dine In Theater, entrance As a child, my father used to take us the local drive-in movie theater.  I remember seeing Smokey and the Bandit as a first run movie there.  We would grab some tacos from Speedy Gonzalez and visit the movies by the car load.  It was a great childhood memory.  I have taken my kids to a couple of drive-in movies and we even stayed in a teepee once too!Walt Disney World, Hollywood Studios, Sci Fi Dine In Theater Walt Disney World, Hollywood Studios, Sci Fi Dine In Theater I want one of these for my living room :)Walt Disney World, Hollywood Studios, Sci Fi Dine In Theater, seating Walt Disney World, Hollywood Studios, Sci Fi Dine In Theater They keep you entertained with clips from these old B movies and some of the little intermission snack clips.Walt Disney World, Hollywood Studios, Sci Fi Dine In Theater We always get a shake when we visit here.  My daughter had the Oreo shake and she really liked it.  My son went vanilla and I was chocolate.  My favorite shake is the PBJ shake at 50′s Prime Time.  Walt Disney World, Hollywood Studios, Sci Fi Dine In Theater I have people ask me from time to time why I don’t do food reviews.  It’s because I eat burgers and chicken nuggets mostly.  I could do a compare and contrast review of those if you prefer.  I didn’t bother taking any of those artsy photos of my food either.  My daughter and I split a Bacon Cheeseburger.  It arrived with one little limp piece of bacon and no cheese.  No cheese on the CHEESEburger?  I politely told the carhop and she took it back to repair it.  She returned and told us they were going to comp one of the shakes.  That was nice of her.  I was satisfied with cheese though.  A little later she asked if the manager had stopped by.  We hadn’t requested a manager visit.  She said he wanted to offer us a Fastpass for any attraction for the lonely bacon no cheeseburger.  They really went out of their way to make us happy.  It’s nice to see the Disney spirit alive and well.Walt Disney World, Hollywood Studios, Sci Fi Dine In Theater, No Strings Attached pass Our group chose to head back to Toy Story Mania.  Those other chumps were waiting 65 minutes, but our cheeselessburger got us right on the ride :)Walt Disney World, Hollywood Studios, Toy Story Midway Mania Dueled my son this time and came out ahead again.  This ride makes my shoulder sore though.Walt Disney World, Hollywood Studios, Toy Story Midway Mania On our way out we noticed that The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow attraction had no line, which was really odd for this attraction.  It’s not the greatest attraction in the world, but it usually has 30-45 minute waits.  The sign informs us that they are special Fastpasses available.  Walt Disney World, Hollywood Studios, Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow So Disney spent 2 bazillion dollars to create this whole digital experience thing they call MyMagic+, Fastpass+, DoesntWorkHalfTheTime+ and ImOnMyPhoneTooMuch+ and they are handing out a piece of paper that doesn’t even have a date on it?  I could come back next Thursday at 2:30 and walk right in.  At least there is a cool photo to document the event!Walt Disney World, Hollywood Studios, Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow We had to leave the park by 2:00 because my son had a basketball game, so we took this photo of the line for Sofia the First.  Remember that 5 person 10 minute wait at 9:20am?  Well, it’s a little worse right now and you will not want to be standing in this line pouring sweat between April and September! Walt Disney World, Hollywood Studios, Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow I’ve gotten a lot of emails and questions concerning Character Palooza and people saying it doesn’t happen and junk like that.  It happens and it is very close to the times I’ve posted.  It may not happen EXACTLY at that time because it’s at the Cast Members discretion and weather.  I haven’t been to visit lately because I’ve been busy with work and my son’s basketball games are far more important to me.  I’ve received numerous reports that Character Palooza is alive and well just as I reported early this month.  Things could change, but drop in Streets of America sometime to visit a few characters for a few minutes.Walt Disney World, Hollywood Studios, Sci Fi Dine In Theater

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6 thoughts on “Pirate in the Parks: Hollywood Studios January 17, 2014 farewell fastpass, toy story midway mania, buzz n woody, rock n roller coaster, tower of terror and sci fi dine in theater”

  1. Looks like a fun day! Our tentative plan is similar to yours: arrive at RD, ride TSMM, meet Buzz & Woody & then head to Rockin Rollercoaster. What are the wait times like for RnR by then? We’re going in early June.

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  2. We had an amazing time at this park on September 2nd, thanks to your blog! We grabbed our TSM fast passes right away & headed over to meet Phineas & Ferb, my 7 year old’s reason for visiting this park. We were first in line & although we had to wait a few minutes, it was well worth it, Ferb couldn’t believe that most of the pins on my sons hat were of him (we couldn’t find one of just Phineas), he grabbed the hat to show the cast member. They spent so much time with my kids that it made me feel a little bad for the people behind us….well, not really! We were also first in line, or close to it for so many of the other rides & characters, we met another family while waiting for the character palooza which never happened but by talking to a cast member we found out about the dance party next to the hat which had just started that day. We got to meet Meeko there :) We also stayed behind at the Indiana Jones show & met Indiana Jones & Marion. And because of the blog there was no need for fast passes for Fantasmic, we could have sat in the front row if we wanted, we decided to sit a couple of rows back but we still felt the heat & mist, I kept having to wipe my glasses! It was such a great time, last time I was there (2010) I hated this park, which I had the blog to help me then! Kenny YOU ROCK!! Thank you for all the time you put into this!

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  3. The rockin roller coaster disappointed me when I rode it- wish there was more to see in the actual ride part of it. Feels like they did an amazing job of theming the entry and then got lazy with the actual ride scenery. And yeah, the park centerpiece is lame- they need to come up with something better than the hat.

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