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Hollywood Studios Update

by Meghann on March 6, 2017

This is a completely random post of thoughts I had at Hollywood Studios over the weekend. It was the first time I’d been to the park in years (it’s in the process of a complete overhaul) and I can’t say I’ll be returning anytime soon. Most of this was dictated to my phone while taking Maddie on her evening walk. Multitasking at its finest, right?

  1. Hollywood Studios has seen better days

As I mentioned above, the park is in the middle of a complete overhaul as two new lands (Toy Story Land and Star Wars Land) are added to the park. I think I’m still mourning the loss of the Back Lot Tour ride, Osborne Lights, Honey I Shrunk the Kids Playground, the Street of America, and other attractions from my childhood that were recently gutted from the park.  There is currently a huge chunk of Hollywood Studios missing and it’s evident almost as soon as you enter the parking lot for the park. There are construction walls everywhere and, once inside, the park feels very cramped and stuffed. So many people, and nowhere for them to go.

I know the construction is just temporary, and I’m very much looking forward to the new lands, but until they open it’s tough the justify a dedicated trip to the park until everything opens in a couple of years.

  1. Star Wars Overload

I should probably preface this part by saying that I’m not a huge Star Wars fan. While I grew up with the movies, they never really appealed to me and I didn’t get what all the fuss was about. Please note this is just a personal view point and I’m sure there are many, many, MANY people out there who roll their eyes when I geek out over musicals, Harry Potter, Disney, or any other nerdy thing that I love (and, trust me, I love MOST nerdy things – just not Star Wars for whatever reason).

Anyway, in anticipation of the new Star Wars Land, Star Wars has pretty much taken over Hollywood Studios. As in, it’s EVERYWHERE and it feels very forced and unnatural. There’s the dark and grim Star Wars Launch Bay that stands out like a sore thumb in the Animation Court, the hourly parades and shows (the dark music from the Storm Troopers march really freaked Annalynn out earlier in the day), the dedicated night show, and other pieces I can’t recall the names of. I’m totally fine with the new Star Wars Land, the Jedi training, and Star Tours ride, but forcing it EVERYWHERE looks unauthentic and resembled an ugly band aid plugging a gaping hole. Maybe I would appreciate it more if I was a Star Wars fan?

  1. Not the Best Park for Toddlers

Hollywood Studios is definitely more of the thrill seekers’ park. In fact, that seems to be all of the rides that are left. Tower of Terror, Rock’n’Roller Coaster, Star Tours, etc. All GREAT rides, but not great for families with toddlers in tow. There are a lot of shows that are kid friendly, but trying to get a one year old to sit still for 20 minutes is a pretty tough challenge, especially when your kid has no interest in the show that’s being presented. Annalynn sat still for about 10 minutes of the Muppet Show, and I was pretty impressed she made it that long.

We did discover Toy Story Mania has no height limit and is baby friendly, so that’s a win. On another note, my Dad beat my score while playing with Annalynn in his lap. I really need to up my game skills!

The major issue I had, wasn’t exactly the rides, but there wasn’t anywhere in the park to let the kids run loose.  We eventually found a quiet area outside of the Muppet show that wasn’t heavily trafficked that the kids could run around, but we were definitely missing the Honey I Shrunk the Kids playground that filled this void previously.

Also, I will give Hollywood Studios props for trying to make up for the lack of activities for young kids with plenty of character spots. With minimal wait times, we met Goofy, Sorcerer Mickey, Hollywood Minnie, Donald, Pluto, and Princess Sofia. Basically all of Annalynn’s favorites. And while she was a little camera shy, she was giving high fives and waving “bye-bye” with every visit.

We also saw the Disney Junior show. Parents, heed my advice and avoid this show. Trust me, your back will thank me. It’s an open theater concept when they require you to sit on the floor for 30 minutes. It was actually quite amusing to watch all the grown-ups slowly make their way up after the show.

  1. Beauty and the Beast Sneak Peek

Man, I sound like I’m ranting here. I promise we still had a great day. The highlight was definitely the Beauty and the Beast sneak peek that’s currently being shown in the park. It was essentially a full preview of the opening number of the show (you can see half of it here), and it was amazing on the big screen. The live action film opens on March 17th and I can’t wait to see the rest of it. Beauty and the Beast was a childhood favorite of mine and definitely pulls at my nostalgic heart strings.

Just an FYI: Target has adorable Beauty and the Beast inspired dresses and outfits for little girls now in stock. I bought Annalynn’s Belle dress from our local Target for $20 (more than half of what a princess dress would cost me in the park).

  1. Roe-ing at Disney

We had some AMAZING weather at Hollywood Studios on Saturday. It was absolutely perfect for my new Lularoe rose leggings.

Yes, it’s safe to say that I’ve recently developed a bit of a Lularoe addiction. My addiction was pretty much sealed after I discovered a Lularoe Disney Group on Facebook with Disney-inspired Lularoe outfits. It was there that my high school BFF Allison and I bonded over our love of rose leggings and the hunt for our “unicorns.” The competition is shockingly fierce for some rose leggings.

The Disney trip was actually our way of celebrating  scoring our leggings and giving us a chance to test them at the parks (it helps we’re both annual passholders). I even had custom matching shirts made (shirts were from B.Rose) because why not. (remember, I told you I was nerdy – just not nerdy for Star Wars)

Anyway, the leggings were awesome and I’ve now gone down the rabbit hole looking for more Disney inspired outfits featuring Lularoe leggings.

Okay, those are all my random thoughts from the weekend. Take it or leave it, just thought I’d share.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1 Meagan March 6, 2017 at 8:38 pm

We’re on our way down to FL at the beginning of May for a week at Disney. I’m not particularly excited for DHS because of pretty much everything being closed, but my top two overall favorite WDW rides are Toy Story Mania and Tower of Terror. If it weren’t for those two rides, I’m not even sure if we’d bother heading over there. I’m super excited for everything else though. I may have become slightly obsessed with Disney World ever since we did our honeymoon there a few years ago.
Meagan recently posted..Motivation Monday #3

2 Lauren March 6, 2017 at 11:54 pm

We’re really looking forward to Toy story land opening. My 3yo loves toy story, he all but thinks he’s Andy ?We are hoping to go next year, probably late Feb and I believe some of it should be open?
We liked the Disney jr show when we went a year and a half ago. It was a big hit.
My son was 19 mos and took off, watching my husband follow him through a tunnel and down a slide he didn’t know was a slide was great! That playground was the best, I forget the play area that is supposed to replace it, but my husband thought it would be good. It might not open for awhile though.
Next year at 4.5, and being tall, I think there will be some things he can do, but I’m really hoping some of toy story is open. Im sad that the car show (lights camera action?) is gone. He would’ve liked that.

3 Mrs B March 7, 2017 at 9:37 am

I don’t think you are ranting. Here is the thing, Disney parks are absolutely amazing! I don’t think ANYONE leaves a Disney park thinking “Eh that was okay.” So, the bar is set really, really high for Hollywood Studios and other parks!

I mean there is a reason why people travel across the US to go to Disneyland/Disneyworld.

4 Jennifer March 7, 2017 at 10:24 am

I’m feeling very meh about HS lately. I do enjoy the Sci-Fi restaurant and Frozen show but other than that, nothing else is very appealing, especially if you’ve done TOT and RNRC before.
Are you renewing your AP? If I renew this will be my third year of AP, every year I say it will be my last and every year I’m talked into renewing by my family!

5 Mara March 7, 2017 at 1:25 pm

You didn’t rant but it shows what you liked about the park previously (pretty much everything we hated) and what you need it to be for your family now. We enjoyed it a lot and easily filled a day. Just goes to show that everything appeals to someone even if it doesn’t make much sense why to you/me.

6 Megan R March 8, 2017 at 2:48 pm

It’s interesting to me that you rant/complain about the park not having enough toddler activities, but then ranted/complained about the toddler friendly show you went to and even told parents to “avoid this show”.

Admittedly, I don’t get the huge Disney hype (my sisters in law are the same way as you, as are some coworkers) and we’ve been a few times with and without kids (always just a one day thing, never a huge disney vacation), so I usually mostly gloss over your Disney posts, but that issue really stuck out to me.

7 Jennie March 8, 2017 at 5:10 pm

Check out Fabulegs on Facebook- they have perfect Beauty and the Beast rose leggings!

8 Rachael March 9, 2017 at 7:11 pm

I have a toddler at home and it’s not out of the ordinary for me to be sitting on the floor for at least half an hour at a time, and I’m definitely not the world’s fittest person.. am I coming out of left field here if I say I don’t think that should make you stiff and sore?

9 Kristina March 10, 2017 at 7:39 pm

1000000 percent agree. DHS has always been my least favorite park.

A few things that are *good* though:
– Frozen sing along is ADORABLE! Abby loved it, and it’s in the old American Idol venue so the seats are very comfortable and the theater is pretty giant so no worries about waiting forever to get in.
– Moana and Olaf Meet and Greets – Abby really enjoyed these. IMO they are not well-marked, but that means a pretty short line.
Kristina recently posted..“You are 15 (months), going on 16…”

10 Ashley T March 13, 2017 at 10:41 pm

I’m in California and Disneyland is pretty torn up here as well, can’t wait for everything to be done! I have followed you for years and I just recently because a LuLaRoe consultant and would love to help you and your readers find your unicorns!! https://www.facebook.com/groups/lularoeashleytow/

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