There are two things we have been wanting to see in the Disney World theme parks. One is the Avatar Flight of Passage ride (we've been in line for it, but left because the line is soooo long) at Animal Kingdom. The other is Toy Story Land at Hollywood Studios. We recently went to Orlando and went to 2 parks: Hollywood Studios and Magic Kingdom, so we got to see the latter, woohoo! As we walked into Hollywood Studios, we were met with scenes from Fantasia in the topiary display at the entrance. Disney always does such a great job with their displays, but this one was an instant favorite. I love that movie, and can't wait for it to come back out of the vault (I had it on VHS, never on DVD).
Hollywood Studios was all dressed up for Christmas, and the characters were out in full swing too. I wanted to meet Daisy or Donald, but the line was pretty long and we really wanted to see the newest addition to the park (Toy Story Land), so we kept moving. I couldn't resist a quick pic. though. I do love Donald. :)
I got the mandatory road shot, and we were on our way.
We actually had no intention of stopping until we reached our objective, but "Walt Disney, One Man's Dream" was right in front of us, and I couldn't resist the opportunity to go inside. I was so glad that I did.
The photographs on the walls were amazing and really swept you into another era/time.
This sepia-toned photo was a fave. I'm sure it was staged, but it was still cool to see Mr. Disney at work.
There were so many treasures inside of this building, including early drawings of the mastermind, himself.
Nostalgia was touched time and again as we read and walked through the various displays. My son is far too young (11) to 'get' a lot of what's going on in there, but he still enjoyed the visit too, and was excited to see older versions on paper, that were drawn of the castle. This is a must-see if you are in the area. They have really done a great job of representing history.
And then we made it to Toy Story Land. There were some lines to wait for the rides (it's pretty new and we went on a weekend), but we were content just the same. We did consider making our fast passes, but we knew we were headed to Magic Kingdom later in the day, and you can only do passes for one park on the Park Hopper pass, so...we made good use of our gig waiting in line. We logged into our Disney account (free to sign up) and added our passes. Then we spent some time going through the options and getting our fast pass times set up for later in the day. What a good idea that turned out to be.
The larger-than-life displays of all of the characters from Toy Story were fun to see. Jessie is a personal fave of mine. I do love her so. :)
|Slinky Dog Dash Roller Coaster|
The Slinky Dog is another favorite, and this roller coaster was just too cute! The tail was a slinky tail too, which I thought was cute and clever.
While we were there, the toy soldiers came marching by, and boy did they put on a good show. They stopped at the end of the street and played (their drums) and interacted with the crowd for a good long while. It was fun to watch, and a pleasure to hear too.
Piggy (a.k.a. Dr. Evil Porkchop) is my son's favorite Toy Story character...I don't know what it is with this kid and pigs, lol, so we did stop for a photo opp at the life-sized piggy. This statue-pose does no justice to the excitement this youngster was showing before I picked up the camera. Something along the lines, of "Piggggggy!!" were coming out of his precious lips. ;)
We got to ride the Alien Swirling Saucers and felt like we were part of THE CLAW for a few. This ride was fun, and the seats were so nice and roomy. Everything was so new and shiny.
Of course, Buzz Lightyear was standing nice and tall, overseeing all of the action.
We headed over to Toy Story Mania and visited Andy's room. There were life-sized games and toys littered all about.
Then we got to the 4D arcade and the competition was on. I always lose at the Buzz Lightyear ride in Magic Kingdom, but for some reason I was slaying on this ride, woohoo! I may or may not have rubbed in the victory. ;)
We had to go through Andy's backyard to exit, and came across a huge checker set he left out there. ;)
We also came across a plane crash with the green Army men, out in full force to help!
Tinker Toys and bulb lights adorned the (thankfully since the day called for an 80% chance of rain) blue skies.
We had a blast. In fact, it was so much fun, we contemplated staying in this park the whole day, but we just couldn't resist the urge to get over to Magic Kingdom. We picked up our ice cream on the way out (bar for he, and sandwich for me) and said our farewells to Hollywood Studio.
This is a park I recommend for everyone. There are shows, good eats, and so much to see and do that one could easily, and very contentedly spend the entire day here and leave with nothing but great memories.
A short drive over to Magic Kingdom and we were met with this view. Christmas decorations in full swing,
and a Christmas Tree so high in the sky I couldn't even get it all in the picture.
Instant merriment and cheer filled our hearts as we practically skipped down Main Street. Disney really knows how to do Christmas.
We stopped in a lot of the shops and got some shopping done for friends and family. How could we resist going inside with window displays like this one here. :)
The Christmas Store is my favorite, and there were so many decorations I could have easily spent a whole paycheck if I hadn't had my responsibility hat on for the day. :)
We went to some of our favorite haunts (if you're looking below, no pun is intended),
and used our fast passes to ride the rides. We always wait to get on the Haunted Mansion ride, because we love it, but it was so nice to just skip through it all and walk right in on the fast pass side. Setting our tickets up really left us so much time to see attractions we otherwise might have missed. I have to say, I don't overly mind waiting in line (comes with the territory), but I do love NOT having to wait in line. If you decide to visit and haven't utilized that fast pass app, I highly recommend using it. There's no charge and it's worth it's weight in gold to take up the few minutes to set it up on your phone.
We rode a lot of rides that day, including Buzz Lightyear, where I got slaughtered as usual. Ahem.
This kiddo's just got a knack for that particular ride.
One change we saw was the penny machine, you know the type where you select the penny you want and crank a handle until it's made. Perhaps it's been this way awhile and we just noticed? In any case, I was torn. On the one hand you can use your credit card, which is great because we never seem to have two quarters and a penny to make them. On the other hand, there is no longer a crank and the machine makes it for you!!! Boo. Part of the fun was being able to 'make it' yourself. We opted to skip it. If I'd have had a group of kids, I'd have probably made the purchase for the group set and given one to each person.
We closed the park down, staying for the fireworks and the light show at the castle. We waited too long to get a view out front (we were riding rides until the very last second), but we still had a marvelous view from the bridge (side of the castle). Disney is always a favorite, and the older I get, the more I love it (if that is even possible). It's even better during the holidays.
Merry Christmas Everyone!