Day 2 – 10/1/2013
D and I awoke early. We didn’t really mean to, and I had the alarm set for 6am but we were both up by 5:30. Sometimes it just happens. I guess we were like that Disney World ad, “We’re too excited to sleep!” Orrrr maybe it was just not a comfortable room. ;P
Anyway, I let D watch some TV while we were getting everything together, and I made her write a bit in her trip journal. (The trip journal was sadly neglected for the rest of the trip, really.) She found a little Phineas and Ferb and we watched that while I packed things up and took them out to the car. It was still dark outside even after we’d picked up breakfast in the lobby and were heading out back onto the road again.
There’s a movie D took as the sun was coming up, but I am not going to share it, because it’s long and not much happens in it. However, it’s full of me saying a lot of things like “Full tank of gas, the road ahead of us, and Disney World at the end of it!” and “Palm trees… warm sand… Though sadly we just left Rhode Island! AH I made a Muppets reference!”
It didn’t take too long for the sun to come up, and initially it looked pretty promising that we’d make my schedule and get there around 9:30 as I’d planned! Sadly… fate had other plans in store. We ran into a couple of traffic jams… nothing major at first… but right after getting onto I-4 we hit a HUGE backup. There were warnings on the signs, but I didn’t know any alternate routes, so I just stuck with it. It took us about 40 minutes extra to get through it. 😛
So, instead of checking in at Ft. Wilderness at 9:30 and getting to Hollywood Studios by 10am, we got to Ft. Wilderness around 10:20 and made it to Hollywood Studios by 10:45. This meant that the tram was a necessity (normally when I drive I like to get there at park opening so I can walk to the entrance, but you do what you can). We JUST missed a tram so D went into her first “I HATE WAITING” response of the trip and schlumped around bored waiting for the next tram. The PARKING TRAM. Sigh. Sometimes I thought it was going to be a loooong trip. 😉 Fortunately, spoiler alert! The crowds were REALLY low and we had FastPasses for the stuff we most wanted to do, so we were barely in long lines at all!
Anyway once we got onto the tram and I prodded her a little bit about the face she was making, she perked up. 🙂
Then I treated the tram ride like an attraction and took pictures of some of the mini-billboards they had up to advertise their shows and movies. At this point, I had really intended to take a million billion photos and I set off on that goal with a vengeance.
Outside of the entrance of Hollywood Studios, they have a Monsters University topiary. There was even a LINE to stand right in front and get your picture taken, which I found funny. Polite, but funny. LOL. I just snagged a couple of pics of the front, and then when we went around to the other side there were topiary representations of the various frat houses in MU. I told D to pick her favourite and stand in front of it; somehow it doesn’t surprise me that she picked PNK, the girly-girl sorority. ;D
Once we got inside, I started my traditional photo blast of the … well… the entire park, really. I LOVE the design of HS.
I’m on the fence about the Sorceror Hat, really. I actually like it and think it’s a cool design, but using it just for pin trading etc feels like a waste, and the location sucks. I don’t like it blocking Graumann’s Theater. It just feels dumped into what was initially a really thought-out designed area.
Doesn’t stop me from getting our pics taken in front of it though! 😀
Why, precisely, I feel a need to take pictures of the DHS wait time board is beyond me. Not only that, I have done it before… And ONLY in DHS. None of the other parks.
Anyhoo, once I’d stopped gawking at everything (plus squealing to D “We’re here! I can’t believe we’re here!” because I do that), we moseyed over to Toy Story Mania to get FastPasses. I was hoping they wouldn’t be entirely out of them at 11 in the morning, and I was lucky, they still had some! …For 6pm. Like seriously. That was actually a perfectly good return time for us, though, as it gave us a chance to catch up a bit for our late start and not worry about slotting TSM into the mid-afternoon.
Next on the list was Star Tours, but I didn’t intend to rush through the park for it (HS is sort of the only park where I feel like there are few enough attractions that we can get our must-dos done and still have time to wander). We headed off – without a map, maps are for sissies – OK, I’m lying, I did need it a few times but I like to think of myself as knowing DHS reasonably well and mostly I did fine – and D wanted to stop and see Woody or Buzz. I said we’d come back later, but we did run into a few green army guys! D was under the impression that they were my husband’s favourite b/c they were the only character he was particularly interested in getting a picture with last trip so she made sure to get several pics “for Daddy”.
Then we just kept going… I was NOT taking the most direct route to Echo Lake, and I knew it, but I figured who cared? We were heading towards the Streets of America, I think, and that’s my least familiar area of the park. For instance I don’t think I’d ever seen these mist-structures:
And my Splash fountain! I got a pic back in 2008. I need to buy this movie. Actually I was being adorable with my pose, but you can’t tell b/c D didn’t frame it the way I thought she would. Oh well. 😄 (Yes, you heard me. I’m blaming it on a 7-year-old.)
I am *really* glad we took our time through the Streets of America, because I had a great time taking pics and it was shortly after this that I got a “low battery” alert on my camera. And… I had not brought my camera charger. I KNOW, RIGHT?? That was possibly my biggest planning hole. 😦 We had D’s camera and that ran out of batteries before mine did. (And no, I don’t have a camera in my phone, before you ask.) So while I fully intended to just go nuts with the pics, this is the nutsiest I got. But it was pretty nutsy, what can I say? So it’s OK. 🙂