November 29th
 

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November 29th, 2020              

Today marked day two of our weekend trip to Walt Disney World, which would be the final day for Drew, Jayden, Tara, and I (Grandpa Gary, Grandma Terry, Steve, and Aunt Erica would stay an extra day or two). Today's destination was Disney's Hollywood Studios.

I woke up early this morning, setting an alarm for 6:50am, all in an effort to get into a boarding group to Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. We have not been successful in getting onto this ride since it opened, but today turned out to be our lucky day! I was able to secure a spot in Boarding Group 35, despite starting as soon as the clock hit the 7:00am start time! Whatever group we got, we will take it!

Like yesterday, this morning we ate breakfast in the condo before heading off to the park. Once we were full, it was time to make the short drive to Disney's Hollywood Studios. Once we arrived and made it through security, our first stop was at Oscar's Super Service to pick up the wheelchairs for Steve and I.

With both of us ready to roll, we headed out to find a ride to enjoy. Since it was new, we decided to use Steve's Disability Access Service (DAS) to get a pass for Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway. With some time to kill before our allotted return time, we had to figure out something to do while we waited. We ended up settling on Toy Story Mania! Drew would be mad if I didn't mention that he beat all of us in this game, scoring 134,100 points overall, beating the rest of us pretty soundly.

Our time finally arrived for us to ride Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway, which is technically the newest ride in the park (though not as highly awaited as our next destination). Though I still miss the Great Movie Ride that was formerly housed in this building, and am sad that Tara & I could not share it with the kids, I did enjoy it's replacement as well. The trackless ride system felt especially cool, as each of the cars followed its own path through the ride. The premise behind the ride was neat as well, as we were placed inside of a cartoon environment with some of Disney's most famous characters.

It was after the Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway ride that I got notified that our one-hour window had opened for the ride that Tara, Drew, Jay, and I have been waiting for - Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance! We headed off to Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge to join the line. Although there was no avoiding the wait, I can honestly say it was worth it regardless of the wait! I won't reveal much of the ride, but I will say that this was perhaps Tara's favorite ride ever, and it is high up on the list for the rest of the family as well! All I can say is, if we get the chance again soon, we will definitely be back for this ride again!

After Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, we decided that it would be a good time to stop for lunch. After ordering food in the park yesterday, today we packed our lunch. This gave us some leeway in where we chose to eat, so we found a nice spot in Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge to sit and enjoy our meal.

Once we had all gotten our fill, Grandpa Gary, Steve, Drew, Jay, Tara, and I headed over to utilize a DAS pass on Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run. Despite having been on this ride quite a few times now, we still really enjoy it.

Our next stop was to get a DAS pass for Slinky Dog Dash, which we have ridden several times, but apparently Grandpa Gary, Grandma Terry, Steve, and Aunt Erica had not been on before. With some time to kill before out allotted return time, we headed over to the Animation Courtyard to take part in the Disney Visa Cardmember Star Wars Photo Opportunity in the Star Wars Launch Bay. We were able to enjoy this little perk thanks to Grandpa Gary & Grandma Terry having the Disney Visa card. Although character meet and greets aren't happening right now, we got to virtually take pictures with droids and stormtroopers thanks to the magic of Star Wars Magic Shot technology.

We still had a bit of time to waste, so we headed over to Sunset Boulevard so that I could stop the Sunset Ranch Market to buy a Mickey jingle sipper (drink cup). While there we got to watch a cast member make a neat drawing of Donald Duck on the ground with water. Disney certainly employs some talented folks throughout their entire organization!

It was finally time for us to get onto the Slinky Dog Dash roller coaster, so we headed off to Toy Story Land. This ride always has a long line and is hard to get a FastPass+ for, so we often end up skipping this one, but it is enjoyable enough when we get the chance. Plus, not all of our group has been on it before, so it was a chance to do something new with them. For some of us, this roller coaster just wasn't enough for us. We headed back across the park to the end of Sunset Boulevard, first to sign up for a a DAS pass to the The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, then to get in line for the Rock 'n' Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith. Although I really enjoy this ride, and we've had a lot of fun on during past visits to the park, this particular time caused me to get off the ride with a sore shoulder (something that I am still feeling two weeks later!). Of course, I'll probably be back on it the next time we visit the park!

By the time we went through the line and rode the the Rock 'n' Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith it was time for our trip across the road to ride The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. It was just Steve, Jayden, Tara, and I that were brave enough to enjoy a stay in this hotel!

We weren't sure what else to do at this time, so we made our way back towards the replica of Graumanís Chinese Theater and the Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway ride, as the wait was incredibly short at this point. I told you we'd ride it again!

We made one last stop in the park, this time at Star Tours - The Adventure Continues. We still love this ride, despite it not being located in Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge. And to top it all off, I got to be the rebel spy that was being transported! That was first for our family!

After the ride we decided that it was getting late enough, and we should call it a day. We did stop for some pictures in front of the Echo Lake Christmas tree, but we headed out after that.

For dinner tonight the kids convinced Tara to make the trek over to the worlds largest McDonald's, the two-story behemoth at International Drive in Orlando. This McDonalds is notable for being one of the only ones in the world that sells pizza, which of course we had to get one to share and try. Once we got our food, we headed back to the condo to eat and pack for our trip home. We were sad to see the weekend come to an end, but work and school beckons tomorrow. Until next time Disney!

 


Disney's Hollywood Studios


Some of the Christmas decorations spotted along Hollywood Boulevard after entering Disney's Hollywood Studios.

Today's ride on Toy Story Mania! was the first time I noticed just how gigantic the door is to Andy's room!

Tara and Erica waiting for our first ever ride on Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway!

Grandma Terry, Grandpa Gary, and Tara on Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway.

Steven, Drew, and Jayden on Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway.

A look at some of the scenery on Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway...

 
 
 
 
 

After months of being unable to get in a boarding group to Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, today marked the first time we were able to get a chance to ride!

Here is some of the scenery we were able to enjoy while in line for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance...

 
 

Drew was able to make a shoulder-shaped dent in the wall in the Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance line.

Here is a look at the indoor part of the Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance queue...

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A hologram of Rey during one of the pre-boarding scenes.

A fighter ship that we passed while in line.

The inside of the one of the transport vessels that we were in...

...and a shot of our driver!

A look outside the "window" of the transport vessel.

We were greeted by a bunch of Stormtroopers after exiting the transport vessel.

Another scene with Stormtroopers.

This member of the Empire asked for $5 from me after I took her picture!

Kylo Ren made an appearance too!

A look at the droid that was piloting our ship...

...and a similar droid in the ship behind ours.

Some more scenes from Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance...

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The family exiting Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance.

One last look back at the Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance building.

And now some scenery from Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge...

 
 
 
 

Drew and Jay waiting for lunch.

After eating our lunch, some of us went on Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run.

Drew and Steve waiting to board Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run.

A scene from the Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run line.

Drew and Steve...

...making their way through the halls of...

...the Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run line.

Some more of the scenery from Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge...

 
 

The giant Buzz Lightyear that can be seen in Toy Story Land.

The Lass-O's cereal box that is found in Toy Story Land comes from Battle Creek!

Rodney and Steve posing for a picture.

Jay throwing deuces outside the Star Wars Launch Bay.

Grandma Terry, Aunt Erica, Steve, and Tara walking through the Animation Courtyard.

One of the cast members made this cool Donald Duck...

..."painting" with water on Hollywood Boulevard.

Woody standing alongside the Toy Story Land signage.

Jessie and Rex stringing the holiday lights atop Slinky Dog Dash.

Rex standing on a Jenga pile working on the holiday lights.

Some of the signage and decorations in the Slinky Dog Dash queue...

 
 
 
 
 

A view across the park while riding Slinky Dog Dash.

Wheezy singing a song as we return to the Slinky Dog Dash station.

A couple of the toys at the end of the Slinky Dog Dash ride...

 

The animated neon signage for Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway lit up at night...

 

Steve, Drew, and Jay in line for Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway once again.

Aunt Erica and Tara on Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway.

Grandma Terry, Grandpa Gary, and Aunt Erica on Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway.

A couple of scenes from the Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway ride...

 

Drew, Steve, Aunt Erica, Jayden, Grandma Terry, Tara, and Grandpa Gary in line for Star Tours - The Adventure Continues.

C3PO as the pilot on Star Tours - The Adventure Continues.

The Christmas Tree located at Echo Lake.

The moon as seen between the palm trees from outside of the Epic Stunt Theater.

Minnie Mouse got a special ride down Sunset Boulevard in a customized Camaro...

...as did Mickey Mouse, in a Camaro of his own!

A look down Sunset Boulevard from the front of the park.

Another look down sunset boulevard, with the sign for Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway in the background.

A look at the Crossroads of the World.

A closer look at Mickey on the spinning globe atop the Crossroads of the World.


Below are some of the official Disney PhotoPass pictures from our day at the park...

 


Disney's Hollywood Studios - Official Disney Photos


Jayden, Steven, and Drew posing for a Star Wars Magic Shot with a couple of Stormtroopers at the Disney Visa Cardmember Star Wars Photo Opportunity in the Star Wars Launch Bay.

A close-up of Jay, Steve, and Drew.

Grandpa Gary, Aunt Erica, and Grandma Terry posing for a Star Wars Magic Shot with a couple of Stormtroopers at the Disney Visa Cardmember Star Wars Photo Opportunity in the Star Wars Launch Bay.

Rodney & Tara in a Star Wars Magic Shot with a droid at the Disney Visa Cardmember Star Wars Photo Opportunity in the Star Wars Launch Bay.

Rod & Tara posing for a Star Wars Magic Shot with a couple of Stormtroopers at the Disney Visa Cardmember Star Wars Photo Opportunity in the Star Wars Launch Bay.

Grandpa Gary, Aunt Erica, and Grandma Terry in a Star Wars Magic Shot with a droid at the Disney Visa Cardmember Star Wars Photo Opportunity in the Star Wars Launch Bay.

Group shot!

Grandpa Gary, Steve, Jayden, Aunt Erica, Grandma Terry, Rodney, Tara, and Drew.

A couple shots of us using the force!

 

Rodney, Jayden, Grandpa Gary, and Grandma Terry on Slinky Dog Dash.

Aunt Erica and Steve on Slinky Dog Dash.

Jayden, Steve, Tara, and Rodney on The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror!

Lastly, a couple shots of Tara, Rodney, Drew, and Jayden in front of the Echo Lake Christmas tree...

 


 

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