December 10th

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Saturday, December 10th, 2022              

Knowing that it would be a while before we got to return, we decided to make a last-minute trip to Disney's Hollywood Studios today to take in the sights, sounds, and smells of Walt Disney World. Drew, Jayden, Uncle Steven, and I spent the early part of the morning taking Drew's senior pictures at the University of Tampa in downtown Tampa before making the drive across I-4, so we didn't get an early start in the park today. In fact, we ended up eating at McDonald's on our way.

When we arrived at the park we headed off to Oscar's Super Service to rent two wheelchairs - our usual one for Steve, and a second one for Jayden, who had sprained her MCL earlier in the week and she wasn't prepared to spend the day walking around. With our wheelchairs secured for the day, we headed over to guest services to make sure that we could make sure that we were all on Steve's Disability Access Service (DAS) pass. They weren't as helpful today (perhaps because of Jay in the wheelchair? I'm not really sure...) but they didn't seem overly interested in giving us the pass that we have never had an issue securing in the past. Regardless, we were finally able to get us all added and go about our day. We noticed something strange during our brief time in the park today, however, and none of us were really sure what to make of it. After some internet sleuthing by Jay, we discovered that today was The Dapper Day Holiday Outing, an unofficial "holiday" created by a fashion designer a few years ago that has taken on a life of its own. It absolutely provided some fascinating people watching throughout the park!

Our first DAS reservation was for the Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance ride in Galaxy's Edge, but we had some time to kill before we were allowed to ride. We decided to see the Muppet*Vision 3D show, as the wait time was minimal. This is a great show, but it definitely needs some updates - most to the seat special effects don't seem to work any more, and the graphics are certainly dated. I truly think a refresh would do wonders for the Muppet franchise in the parks! While we were in the general area, we also decided to take a ride through the galaxy on Star Tours - The Adventure Continues. This is a ride that has been effectively updated with a variety of ride sequences, and that makes for a truly different and memorable experience each time. We headed off to Toy Story Land next to ride one of our favorites, Toy Story Mania! Aside from the Mr. Potato Head not working during our last few visits and some damage to the walls in the queue, this ride is certainly one of the best arcade-style games in Walt Disney World.

It was finally our turn on the Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance ride, so we headed over to Galaxy's Edge to enjoy the action. This is an enjoyable ride for any Star Wars fan, with plenty of action taking place throughout. Definitely a must-do! With our must-ride out of the way for today, it was time for us to schedule another DAS ride. We opted for Rock 'n' Roller Coaster starring Aerosmith, mainly because Drew isn't a fan of the drop sensation on The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. Since we had a little bit of a wait before our ride, we decided to grab a snack at Rosie's All-American Café. We got a 50th Celebration Sandwich Cookie to try, along with a Mickey Mouse Snow Globe sipper to add to my collection. We enjoyed our snack before heading over to take our spin on the Rock 'n' Roller Coaster starring Aerosmith. Although I still enjoy this ride overall, it seems somehow different than it was prior to its recent refurbishment. Perhaps it is my imagination, but it just seems... off.

We had time to make one additional DAS pass before we had to call it a night, so we reserved a time for Slinky Dog Dash. With a bit of time to kill before our return time, we decided to try something new - the Lightning McQueen's Racing Academy show. We have talked about going to see this show before, and even attempted to see it only to find it closed. The show itself is pretty enjoyable, but definitely geared towards the little Lightning McQueen fans, so we likely won't be making it a part of our regular routine unless we once again find ourselves with some time to waste. It was a fun experience anyway!

We headed back to Toy Story Land for a quick stop at Woody's Lunch Box to grab a Frozen Mystic Portal Punch in an Alien Sipper, yet another to add to my collection. We finally made it on the Slinky Dog Dash rollercoaster for a fun spin around the track. By this time it was dark, and we had already had a long day, so we decided to head out of the park.


Disney's Hollywood Studios


Drew and Steven at Oscar's Super Service after renting the wheelchairs for today.


A look down Hollywood Boulevard.


Statler and Waldorf in their Muppet*Vision 3D balcony.


A look at the "Skyline" of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge.


Some of the scenery around the Slinky Dog Dash ride.


A Peter Pan View Master slide in the Toy Story Mania! queue.


A peeling wall in the Toy Story Mania! queue. Why do guests feel the need to do this?!?


Even though she wasn't with us physically, Samantha was with us in spirit in the Toy Story Mania! queue.


Drew ended up with the highest score on Toy Story Mania!


BB-8 in one of the queue scenes of the Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance ride...


...and Rey from the same scene...


Lieutenant Bek from the transport ship sectionof the Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance ride.


Although we didn't know it when we booked our tickets...


...we quickly realized that something was off when we kept seeing a variety of nattily dressed people in the parks...


...that today was a non-Disney sponsored special day - The Dapper Day Holiday Outing!


We decided to grab a snack from Rosie's All-American Café - a 50th Celebration Sandwich Cookie. Drew and Jayden weren't wowed by this pretzel shortbread cookie with strawberry jam and peanut butter-chocolate fudge inside.


We saw the Lightning McQueen's Racing Academy show for the first time, and although it was geared towards the little ones, it was an enjoyable experience. Here are a few pictures from the show...


Woody in his winter scarf standing at the entrance to Toy Story Land...


...that is decorated for the holidays.

  The outside of The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror with a holiday projection.  

Mickey Mouse atop the Crossroads of the World at night.


We found ourselves at Chili's in Champions Gate for dinner while on our drive home. We enjoyed a good meal, and got to celebrate Jayden's birthday when it was over. You can see a few pictures of her having "Happy Birthday" sung to her, and of her enjoying her birthday treat!

Dinner at Chili's


Jayden laughing...


...and looking on at the staff singing "Happy Birthday: to her...


...before she enjoys here ice cream sundae.



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