Family Disney Trip 2017: Day 3 – Hollywood Studios
Day three took us to Hollywood! I was honestly not looking forward to our Hollywood Studios day too much since there’s just so much closed in the park right now. HS used to be one of my favorite parks because 2 of my favorite rides are there (Tower of Terror and Rock ‘n Roller Coaster), but with so much closed to construction on the Toy Story and Star Wars areas, I figured the day would be a bit slow and kinda boring. I was pleasantly proven wrong!
We started our morning with a Disney Vacation Club Information Session at Kidani Village at Animal Kingdom Lodge and a wonderful cast member picked us up and drove us straight to Studios so we didn’t even need to wait for a bus!
When we got to the park, we started off by heading straight on over to the Joffrey’s stand in the Toy Story area for giant doughnuts and an iced latte. We sat and ate and watched the crazy-long FastPass line for Toy Story Mania as we waited for my family to join us.
The wait time for Rock ‘n a Roller Coaster was looking nice and short so before our Toy Story Mania FastPass, we ran and met my sister just as my family was getting to the park so she, hubby, and I could ride.
Next up was Toy Story Mania! For the most part, my sister and niece have been riding together on anything that pairs you off since it’s our niece’s first time and of course her mom wants to experience everything with her. But, for some things, sibling rivalry will always take priority and my sister and I rode together. She pretty much always wins on this ride (and Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin in Magic Kingdom) but I kicked her butt this time!!!
We got off and the standby line was pretty short, so we elected to immediately go for round 2. We did let the 5-year-old choose her opponent this time and she wanted to ride with Auntie, and really who am I to say no to her?? So, I managed to get away without a rematch with my sister and got to tease her that she didn’t get to beat me.
By then it was already lunch time, so we headed on over to Fairfax Faire on Sunset Boulevard (right across from the entrance to the Beauty and the Beast show). One of my missions for this trip was to try to eat at as many different places as possible. With quick service lunch, I feel like we often fall back on the ones we’ve eaten at before because we know them, or the big, crowded ones because those are the ones you spot. In the weeks and months leading up to the trip, I looked through every menu for every quick service restaurant we’d never eaten at and tentatively chose one for each day. Fairfax Fare was on that list and I am so glad I chose it! I honestly thought it was just french fries and hot dogs and chicken fingers just by walking by the area (I think there may be another stand in that same strip that does have that typical fast food) but my husband and I both got empanadas and my mom had fajitas.
I’d been continuously checking wait times for Tower of Terror and Rock ‘n Roller Coaster because I’m obsessed. My dad and I did get FastPasses for Tower of Terror, but it is my absolute favorite ride of all time, anywhere, any park, any anything, so I was hoping to ride more than once since I actually had a riding buddy (my husband hates ToT and so do my mom and sister).
In total, my sister, hubby, and I managed to ride Rock ‘n Roller Coaster twice that day and my dad and I got on ToT 3 times (including our FastPass). It was a major win for me that I got to ride the only 3 rides I really cared about more than once each!
After all the thrill rides, we decided to stroll around a bit. Echo Lake stepped up the Christmas decoration game in a big way this year, so I had to stop and stare and take some photos. The views from this side of the lake are in a smoking area, so we made it a quick stop before walking over the Gertie the Dino’s side for a different perspective.
We had a FastPass for Muppet Vision 3D but it’s something a FastPass is completely unnecessary for and we’ve seen it a zillion times. We figured we may go see it, or we may not, be we were relatively flexible. We did some shopping on Hollywood Boulevard and decided to head in that direction, but not for Muppets.
We were really looking forward to trying out the new Baseline Tap House, so we snagged a table outside in the corner for optimal people-watching and enjoyed some giant beers and shared a pretzel. The weather at that point in the day was my perfection and I was just so much in my happy place. 🙂
We had dinner reservations in Epcot, so we decided to head on over to the boat and take the relaxing trip on over, via the Swan & Dolphin, Yacht & Beach Club, and Boardwalk. So we said goodbye to Mickey at the Crossroads of the World and were on our way.
Dinner was at Tokyo Dining in the World Showcase and we intentionally scheduled our reservation late enough to coincide with IllumiNations. We got there ahead of our reservation time and asked to be seated in the window. As with ‘Ohana on our first night, they said they can’t guarantee this but would try and we reiterated our willingness to wait longer, if need-be. We got our wish and had the most amazing seats for the holiday IllumiNations and it was truly the perfect end to a really amazing day.