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?
- 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.
- 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?
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.