Monday, September 30, 2013

The end of our adventure... Day 4 at Hollywood Studios (Part 6)

Before we ventured into the parks for our last day, we had to check out of the resort and figure out the logistics of how we--and our bags--would get to the airport.  Throughout out trip, we would marvel about the "magic moments"--those moments where Disney cast members would go out of their way to show kindness or be helpful or calm storms. The Magical Express was just that--magical and fast. Patrick could not believe the ease with which he held our bags, checked in with our airline, and checked out of our resort. When we had first begun dreaming about our trip, we strongly considered staying off-site at a Marriot where we had travel vouchers. When we found out about the free dining option, we traded deals and decided to stay on Disney property. Best.decision.ever.hands.down. The Magical Express alone would have confirmed that decision, but there were so many other perks to just being inside the property.

While he was taking care of this business, I was getting two little girls ready to meet their penultimate heroine--Sofia. They were over the moon at the mere possibility. We also tried to capture some of the essence of our Royal Room. I love the care and attention that Disney Mousekeeping gives. The girls were always so excited to see what they had done to our room at a day's end. Dumbo was their favorite for sure!
 These two photos show the silhouettes of the princes that hung over the table and chairs in the room. These silhouettes were carefully studied by two curious and love-stricken girls.

 Since Tiana was our hostess, there was a large portrait of her hanging on the wall leading into the vanity room.
 Adjacent to the girls' bed was this gallery wall of princesses. I referenced this in an earlier post where Addison fell asleep mid-gaze each night.
 This is one of the two headboards with the special effects. When walking into the room each night, the girls would turn this on and giggle.
 Since we were flying out Monday night, we had to get creative with our meal credits. We sure weren't about to let any of them go unused, so this morning, we got to our resort's restaurant and ordered breakfast--Mickey Mouse pancakes, eggs, bacon, sausage, strawberries, french toast, the works. It was delicious and it offered us a chance to enjoy this beautiful view from our window.
We had heard that Hollywood Studios will sometimes open their gates a little bit early, so just like the other days, we caught our bus:
to arrive at the park about 30 minutes before it opened.  (It was definitely worth it to do this at this particular park because of the early admittance well as The Magic Kingdom because of the awesome welcome show and the ability to check in with your Magic Bands before the park opens. I would not have rushed as fast to get to Epcot as they do not even begin scanning tickets and bands until precisely when the park opens. So there was a lot of standing and waiting there. Just my 2 cents.)

Before we entered the park, we stopped for some unique photo opportunities: Monster's University with our "roar" faces...
 And a random Meet and Greet with Donald and Daisy which we were lucky enough to come upon.
 After meeting Carni-Daisy, I was pleased for the girls to see a more classic Daisy, and it's always a pleasure to see Donald Duck!
 When we walked through the gates of Hollywood Studios at 8:45 (what we had heard was right), we were entranced with the Hollywood feel of the streets and buildings. The girls gasped at Mickey's sorcerer hat.
 With our girls the ages that they are, and knowing we only had a limited time (We needed to leave by 2:30 to catch the Magical Express to the airport.), we had to forgo some of the fun adult rides and attractions and shape our day around what we could maximize with our girls. (This, obviously, just feeds our motivation and desire to come back one day. ;) ) Of course Toy Story Mania was on our "must-do" list. We had reserved a Fast Pass for 11 a.m., but when we entered, we headed straight to Pixar Place anyway. Since there was only a 10 minute wait at the time, and the first thing we wanted to do wasn't until 9:40 anyway, we went ahead and rode it knowing we would have the opportunity to do it again. I was sort of thankful for the slight wait because it allowed us the opportunity to soak in and appreciate all of the elaborate decorations. The girls were loving it!

 I don't think Ansley was quite old enough to appreciate how cool the ride was, but she did love wearing the glasses and shooting at things. She hit a few too. After her experience on the Buzz ride at the Magic Kingdom, Addison was all about this one and gave Patrick and me a run for our money with the score. Patrick snapped this picture on our way back to Animation Courtyard. I think Walt Disney has become one of his heroes.
 One of our main reasons for choosing Hollywood Studios was for the Disney Junior appeal for our girls.  We are all huge fans of Doc McStuffins, and although she does not make character appearances yet, she is a part of the Disney Junior Live Show.  We attended the first show of the day in this floor theater, and the girls loved the interactive aspects of it. The Mickey Mouse Clubhouse characters are the main event as they are trying to solve a problem, and they consult several storybook characters--Sofia and her gang, Doc and friends, and Jake and his pirates. It was cute and familiar, and the girls loved catching bubbles, singing and dancing, and seeing all of their morning tv buds.

 Just outside of the theater, Sofia was making character appearances. She was the one remaining princess that the girls had been waiting the whole trip to meet. We had to stand in quite a long line to finally make our way to her. Addison told her that she loved her beautiful amulet. Ansley told her to tell Amber and James hello. It was just precious.

 Addison knew that this was our last day, and all morning she had been saying how disappointed she was that we'd never made it back to Ariel's grotto, and that she just needed to give Belle ONE more hug... so we were thankful to get to catch these two amazing shows. First we went right across the street to the Voyage of the Little Mermaid, and I have never heard such shrieks and giggles when Ariel made her way to the stage:

The special effects of this show were really impressive, and in 17 minutes, you felt like you had truly experienced the story of the Little Mermaid. We had two happy little girls.

From there we walked over to the Streets of America intending to play on the Honey I Shrunk the Kids playground. Unfortunately, it was closed for the day, so we wandered around the Cars area. The girls were hot, restless, and tired by that point, so we easily made our decision to catch the earliest Beauty and the Beast show. We were glad we did because our lunch reservation took much longer than we anticipated, and we would not have had time to see it if we had missed this one. I mentioned earlier that Belle is MY favorite princess and she is both of my girls "2nd favorite" princess, but this show was the best one I saw all week. I would see it again and again, and so would my family. It was perfect timing for us as well.

After the show, we went back to Hollywood Blvd for our lunch reservation at Hollywood and Vine. This lunch was hosted by some Disney Junior characters, and my girls couldn't wait to meet some of their favorite friends:

Jake from Jake and the Neverland Pirates
June from The Little Einsteins
Special Agent Oso
And Handy Manny
This was a fun, interactive lunch where the kids could get up and dance and "help" the characters. My girls loved it, and I am glad we picked this one for our first trip because by the time we come back, they might have outgrown the Disney Jr phase... Oh, time, please slow down!!!

After our lunch, we were antsy to make sure we had enough time to get to the airport and get home, so we took a couple of final photos:

and headed to the bus stop.

Boy, was it hard to leave.

On our way to the airport a Disney Cruise Line Cast Member sat behind us and gave the girls Minnie pins as a hope that they would one day return--just one final "Magic Moment" to keep our Disney Dream alive! 

The dream that we wished DID COME TRUE! Until next time, we'll be dreaming of you!

Read about our magical first Disney experience here:
Part 1 (for resources, planning, budgets, gifts, autograph books)
Part 2 (for how we gave our girls the surprise of their lives)
Part 3 (for our first day in The Magic Kingdom)
Part 4 (for our second day at Epcot and our resort pool)
Part 5 (our return to The Magic Kingdom)

1 comment:

Haley said...

YALLS ROOM IS AWESOME!!! PRINCESSES GALORE! SO jealous! My aunt had the same type room when we went in February but she didn't take pictures of it so I never saw what she was describing! Wow! I know the girls had to love it. Mary Ella will be in heaven just looking at these.