Tag Archives: Disney World
I get a lot of questions and emails on Chip and Company asking me the best ways to tour the parks. I wanted to share with you my next to the last Touring Plan – Hollywood Studios. If you missed my past Touring Plans click here to read about Touring Magic Kingdom and Touring Epcot.
So lets jump right in..
Let me start off by saying:
Hollywood Studios is one of the harder parks to visit. When you are looking at the Disney Park on the map it is pretty scattered. I am unsure the layout structure here as both the Magic Kingdom and Epcot are circular and more fluid, Hollywood Studios on the other hand is more jumbled and not the greatest park to navigate.
Also this park is much harder to plan a Touring Plan as a lot of the park is made up of shows and depending on how long it takes you to view them and when the next available showtime is it makes this park very tricky. Hopefully this touring plan will help you minimize your wait times and make for an enjoyable day.
The basics – Get there early
Like the other parks you want to get there at rope drop.I tell my wife all the time you can sleep when you get home so we make it a point to be there before the park opens.
Quick Tip – If you can get into Hollywood & Vine for breakfast you can sneak down Hollywood Blvd for a quick picture of Sorcerers Mickey’s Hat.
To Infinity and Beyond
As soon as the rope drops we make a B-Line straight to Pixar Place and Toy Story’s Midway Mania. Normally we don’t dash to the biggest ride in the park when the rope drops but here you have to. If you notice you will see 2 clusters of people at rope drop, the ones headed to the all new Star Tours and the other Heading to Tower of Terror/Rock-n-Roller Coaster area. Once you ride Toy Story once or twice grab a fast pass for later.
Quick Tip – Usually by lunch time all the fast passes for Toy Story Mania are completely gone. This has happened every time we have been at the park.
Rock the Tower
With Toy Story Fast Pass in hand head over and ride Twilight Zone Tower of Terror and Rock n Roller Coaster. There probably won’t be a line yet and you can get right on both rides. If there is a line it will be no more than 10 minutes. Most times your safe as people are getting off these rides and heading to Toy Story Mania which you have already ridden Go you!
Toy Story Mania Again?
Yes go back and cash in your fast pass for Toy Story Mania. You can pick up another fast pass if you really love the ride or just let it go for now.
If you done with Toy Story Mania walk all the way on the other side of the park to take in all that is Star Tours. All the Star Wars Nerds should be done riding it 10 times by now. If your into the Jedi Academy check to see if it is running right now otherwise just enjoy the ride. I do recommend riding it more than once!
Now is the time we usually like to see the Voyage of the Little Mermaid and Playhouse Disney LIVE Shows. We need to take a little break from walking back and forth and welcome the coolness of the air conditioning.
Quick Tips – If you have younger children I would avoid going to The Magic of Disney Animation. Maybe when they get older they will enjoy it. It’s a good show for adults. Unless they are Disney Deeks.
After a busy morning it is getting close to lunch time. We like to take an early lunch and Starring Rolls Cafe is on the way to Streets of America our next area to visit. This is my absolute favorite snack location in all of Walt Disney World!
Quick Tip – Try the Butterfinger Cupcake!!!!!!!!
Check the show times
If your picked up a showtime list with your park map you can start to coordinate times to see Indiana Jones, Lights Motor Action, Studio Backlot Tour, American Idol and anything else you might have missed. We like to fill in wait times with the Muppets Vision 3D show, and the Great Movie Ride. There is no set schedule to follow here just be sure to not go past 3pm because you don’t wait to miss…
Pixar Pals Countdown to Fun!
Check out the all new Pixar Pals Countdown to Fun Parade. We have found the best spot to see the show is near where Hollywood & Sunset Blvd come together. There are some trees there that offer some shade and seats. Being in this location will help after the parade.
Make a Mad Dash
After Block Party Bash since you are near Sunset Blvd make a mad dash to Beauty and the Beast – Live on Stage for the 4pm showing. Most of the prime seats will be taken but you can squeeze down front and off to the sides still.
Most times we have a snack for lunch so after Beauty & the Beast we are getting hungry. There are several great food options here in DHS and we usually book Sci Fi Dine In Theater or 50′s Prime Time Cafe. Also they have a ferry that will take you to Epcot or Disney Boardwalk so there are even more options for dinner. Nothing like a relaxing boat ride to dinner.
After dinner the temps have come down a few degrees and if you have little ones now is a good time for them to head over to the Honey I shrunk Kids Movie set. Which is in need of an upgrade. If you don’t have kids you could always get some character autographs & pictures, do some shopping, or revisit some of your favorite rides.
If you planned your day right you should be here on a night they are running Fantasmic. We like going to the 9pm showing and find ourselves just killing time walking around and relaxing after dinner.This late in the day we have done everything we wanted to do and like to walk around exploring and taking pictures. If you can find Leroy Small he makes for some funny interactions. Check out a video of him picking on me here. Fast Forward it to 1:45 for the abuse.
Well that is about it for my Hollywood Studios Touring Plan. If there is something I missed or if you want to share yours with us let us know in the comment section below.
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- Unlock Disney Resort Memories Sweepstakes (chipandco.com)
- Southwest Airlines – Disneyland Dream Suite Getaway Sweepstakes (chipandco.com)
Sanuk is launching a new flagship store with a grand opening on Friday, June 10, at 10:30 a.m. To celebrate the opening, Sanuk is offering a free bag to the first 100 guests who purchase merchandise at the new Downtown Disney District location.
On June 15, join the grand opening celebration of Apricot Lane, a new merchandise location (next to AMC 12 Theaters) featuring celebrity-inspired apparel, handbags and accessories. The celebration will feature appearances by style expert Lilliana Vazquez and beauty guru Sara Happ. Also, everyone who attends will be able to purchase one item at 20 percent off.
From 9-10 a.m., Disneyland Resort Annual Passholders will have the opportunity to take advantage of an exclusive shopping hour, with personal style tips from Lilliana, mini lip scrubs by Sara and a free gift bag with a $75 purchase.
Then, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., everyone is invited to the grand opening celebration, where you will have the chance to meet Lilliana and Sara. Also, the first 20 guests to purchase a Sara Happ product will receive a free lip product.
Source Disney Parks Blog
When I first started planning my upcoming California trip, I expected myself to be completely overwhelmed. Not only did I pick up the Imagineering Field Guide to Disneyland but also the Disneyland Passporter, newest Birnbaum guide, as well as Fodor’s Los Angeles with Disneyland & Orange County, Knopf Maguide to L.A, and Charles Ridgeway’s Spinning Disney’s World on my Nook. I have an arsenal of planning material and Disneyland history.
After thoroughly reading through all of the information I picked up, I realized… this planning overload came from my perspective of what there is to expect at Walt Disney World. For all my planning purposes, it seems, Disneyland Resort’s two theme parks (which are located side by side) are the equivalent size-wise of Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World. And I marvel at what I get done monorailing between Magic Kingdom and Epcot (which is gigantic compared to California Adventure), there is so much to be said for being able just to walk between two parks! While my intention with our California trip is to spend time with the Pacific Ocean and visit the Hollywood/LA landmarks as well, this will not be as hard as originally planned. We even changed up our reservations to include only 2-day park tickets.
I will be sure to report back on Disneyland from a Disney World addict’s perspective this summer but for now, here are some helpful tips I have come across for Disney World veterans heading out to the west coast.
1. Dining Reservations are much more relaxed- most eateries do not even take reservations. You can reserve seating at many Downtown Disney & hotel restaurants as well as park restaurants Blue Bayou, Ariel’s Grotto, and the Vineyard Room by calling 714-781-3463. Do not expect to hear the phrase “180+10″ when planning your meals at Disneyland parks!
2. There are only 3 “on-property” hotels: Grand Californian, Disneyland Hotel, and Paradise Pier. There are quite a few “good neighbor” hotels which in some cases are more centrally located in relation to other southern California attractions and offer great deals. You can still book through Disney Travel Company and stay at these hotels. The Disneyland website has a complete list of good neighbor hotels.
3. You can create an all-inclusive Southern California trip through your Disney reservation. You can add local attraction tickets to your Disneyland reservation which include: Universal Studios, Sea World, Knott’s Berry Farm, Legoland, Medieval Times, San Diego Zoo & Safari Park, Aquarium of the Pacific, LA/Hollywood Tour, San Diego Tour, and/or a tour of the OC. These can be added to your vacation package through the Disneyland reservation system and included in your package price.
4. There is no such thing as Disney’s Magical Express at Disneyland. You can pay for airport transfers to and from your hotel but they are not a free and your baggage will not magically appear in your room.
5. This is where it all began – While many people going from being a Disney World fan to visiting Disneyland for the first time report back things like “it is much smaller than I expected” or “I could hear road noise, its not like being in the Disney World bubble” I think it is important to keep in mind both when planning and visiting: this is where it all began. Walt Disney worked in that apartment over the firehouse and walked down Main Street. And that feeling when you glimpse Sleeping Beauty castle, shouldn’t be of disappointment that imagineers hadn’t perfected forced perspective yet, it should be awe in the history of Disney Parks staring right at you!
- Thursdays with Mel… Disneyland vs Disney World. (disneybabiesblog.com)
- Phineas & Ferb Meet and Play First Look at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Full Intro From Cletus Filmore, Extended Fun Ending! – Photos & Video (jefflangedvd.com)
How to make the most of your encounters with Disney superstars.
Walt Disney World makes magic real for Guests every day. A large part of that escape to fantasy comes by brining beloved characters to life in the form of character greetings. Here are some pointers on where to find a few of your favorites, as well as tips on what to keep in mind once you find them.
Find Out Ahead of Time Where Your Favorite Character Will Be
Do some research before your trip to make sure you’ll be able to locate your top- priority character. A simple inquiry on any WDW forum should suffice. Each park’s Guest Relations is also helpul in locating specific characters, as is any character handler Cast Member you see with another character within the parks. It saves time in the long run to know where to
find your favorite before you arrive, but if you don’t the Cast Members are still ample help.
Know Where the “Bargains” Are
A bargain means several characters greeting in one convenient location. Often it saves time to know where this is implemented.
For instance, you could spend a fair amount of time tracking down Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Pluto, and Donald all individually at Magic Kingdom . . . or, you could head to Epcot and wait in one line to meet all five of them at the Epcot Character Spot (though you’ll still meet each of them separately). That’s more like it! Granted, the line gets a bit lengthy for the Epcot Character Spot given the popularity and convenience of the entire Fab Five in the same place, but overall the wait is worth it (and, if you go first thing in the morning, there’s hardly be a wait at all).
Other locations also benefit from this “one spot, many characters” convenience. At Magic Kingdom, Town Square Theater allows the the option of wait in one line to meet Mickey and Minnie together, or entering a separate line that leads to Cinderella, Aurora, and Belle (though you’ll meet each princess individually). Over at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Sorcerer Mickey’s Hat hosts some of Mickey’s friends in the mornings; they have especially short lines right at park opening. Also at DHS, be sure to stop by The Magic of Disney Animation during the 5:00 hour. In addition to the characters that are present in this building all day long (which currently includes Mickey Mouse, Winnie the Pooh, and the Incredibles), the 5:00 hour also sees an explosion of random characters, many of them with rather short lines. You can literally jump from line to line, and before you know it, you’ve met a dozen or so characters. At Animal Kingdom, Mickey and friends are all to be found at Camp Minnie-Mickey. You’ll have to wait in separate lines for each of them, but there’s no searching around trying to find all of them.
Typically, individual characters have shorter lines than group greetings. You simply have to consider whether you’d like to wait in many, shorter individual lines or fewer, longer group lines.
Consider a Character Meal
There are many character meals to choose from. A full list of Walt Disney World character dining locations can be found on the resort’s official website (on the left sidebar, click “Dining Experience” and then select “Character Dining”).
Character dining is a great way to have a relaxed meeting with some of your favorites. Characters make their way around the restaurant and come to you; no flagging down necessary.
If you’re dining during a less-crowded time of day (like a very late morning breakfast), you’re likely to have even better character interaction, having a good chance of seeing each of them more than once. This creates some humorous running gags, if you will, and establishes a fun relationship between your family and the characters.
Respect the Character
It’s important to keep in mind the boundaries of the character and to respect some of the limitedness the character may have. It helps to have autograph books open and pens ready while you’re waiting in line; not only does it speed up the wait for everyone else, but it also excuses the characters from having to flip the thin autograph book pages with their big furry paws. For the latter reason, characters also prefer large pens or sharpies so that they can have a better grip on what they’re writing with. This also ensures a more quality signature for you, the Guest!
It’s also respectful to keep in mind the characters’ sight lines and hearing. Make sure you speak to them clearly and loudly so that you’re able to say what you mean with as little confusion as possible, remembering that most of them can only respond to you in pantomime.
Keeping within the characters’ safety boundaries doesn’t mean that you can’t have little fun. Characters love to interact with Guests, and always like when you mention something specific to their movie or personality. Asking Mary Poppins where Bert is can serve as an excellent conversation starter, while telling Donald that Mickey is #1 can spiral into a hilarious fit from the jealous duck. Some characters naturally start the interaction themselves; Stitch is always mischievous and Goofy is always extra clumsy. Thinking about what you’re going to tell the character or coming up with a unique question to ask the character is an excellent idea for helping pass the time in line.
Many of the characters that inhabit Walt Disney World are nothing short of childhood heroes, and meeting them in person is a huge deal. All of these suggestions can help you as a Guest and as a family have better-quality character greetings during your Disney vacation.
Say hi to Mickey for me!
- Stress Free Disney World (chipandco.com)
- How Beyond the Attractions: A Guide to Walt Disney World with Preschoolers Comes Together – Part 2 (chipandco.com)