Looking Back: Disney Trip 2011 {The Studios}

I thought while planning for our DW 2014 trip, I would take a stroll down memory lane. I cannot believe how little all of our children are!!!

Here is a repost from September 2011 from my old blog:

**Editor’s Note: I am going back to document our Fall 2011 Trip to Disney World. I also posted an Intro, Day 1, and Day 2.**

On Monday, September 19, we visited the Hollywood Studios.

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I want to note that we always take our photos in front of the respective Park Entrances at the end of our day usually. I have much more cooperative participants. 🙂 It had come an afternoon shower while we were at the Studios thus the wet streets, but it was short-lived as is typical for Florida and it served to cool things off and EMPTY the park. We did stay a bit longer as a result to hit a few more rides and shows.

Our first order of business at the Studios was the new Toy Story Mania ride. We LOVE the Buzz Lightyear ride at the Kingdom and we knew the Toy Story ride would not disappoint. It is also 3D and has a lot more features, and besides we are big Toy Story fans around here. While I stood in the very short line with our children, the Prez hiked over to get fast passes for Tower of Terror and the Rock ‘n Roller Coaster. All of the boys rode the Tower, while only two rode the roller coaster. One doesn’t like roller coasters and one barely missed the 48-inch height requirement, so those who did ride were able to take several passes on it with the 7 fast passes obtained. The Prez made it back right before we entered the indoor cueing area, though I was prepared to let some behind us go in front if needed (but he came back just in time!).

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The ride was awesome, but I enjoyed the staging as much as the ride, which are where the following pictures were taken (inside and outside the ride).

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**Some people were not so into the photos. Can you tell which ones?**

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**This giant Mr. Potato Head in the background was talking like a Carnival Game Attendant. After awhile, that part did get a bit annoying but all of the giant-sized games and toys were amazing.**

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**He willingly took this photo in front of the giant Scrabble board. This is probably his favorite game. And the line in the background is NOT for the “Camera” store but rather a Character Spot.**

We really didn’t have any major must-dos at the Studios except Toy Story, Tower, Rock ‘n Roller Coaster, Beauty and Little Mermaid shows, seeing Lightning and Mater and eating at Mama Rosa’s (one of our most favorite Disney restaurants). So, we did split up some for the shows (while the boys rode rides Li’l Miss and I had some girlie time at the two shows one in the morning and one in the afternoon).

Sorry no pictures because photos weren’t allowed in the shows and I didn’t think to take one outside. 😦 As for Mama’s, YUM again is all I can say. Since we had meal plans this time around, the kids all got dessert (the kids’ meals all come with desserts at most sit-down eateries), so we had some order ice cream but a couple ordered the Spaghetti Cupcake. May I just say it was AMAZING and large enough to feed at least 3 people (so if you don’t have the meal plan but are in the mood for a sweet treat, I highly recommend sharing this one with a few people!).

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The photo does NOT do it justice. It is huge and yes, that is cheesecake for the icing and the cupcake is chocolate and the cherry is some type of raspberry cake and then it has the sauce drizzled over it. It is that good and I don’t even love sweets!

After lunch, we needed to WALK and so we just strolled around the Studios and took in the Muppet 3D movie (highly recommend; it is just fun for all and many people skip it; we love it).

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There is a large fountain outside the Muppet theater and near Mama’s, and Miss Piggy spins around in it (dressed as the Statue of Liberty)! Too funny! A lot of people just pass it by, but our kids of course had to “play” in the water briefly. It was hot after all!

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While strolling, we saw this sign that for us had extra meaning and so we posed the Prez with some of the kids and the sign. I’m sure people wondered what in the world we were doing!

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Then it happened. We spotted THEM.

Lightning McQueen and Mater.

And Li’l Dude smiled literally from ear to ear. The line was only about 10 people deep, so we jumped in. Really we would have waited a LONG time for Li’l Dude to meet them. He loves them that much.

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We actually all got in one and I thought the CM took our photo with our camera (they will do that), but apparently only the CM with the Disney photopass camera took our family together. 😦 Oh well, there is always next time! Li’l Dude actually felt Lightning and was just in AWE of this very special meeting. As much as Li’l Miss wanted to meet Ariel, Li’l Dude wanted to meet Lightning.

And I had a photo of him standing by Lightning but sadly it didn’t turn out. No doubt he has the memory etched in his mind!

I wanted to add we split up more at this park than any other because we wanted Li’l Dude and the other boys to see the Lights, Motor, Action Stunt Show but I also was concerned it might be too much for Li’l Miss. Since we were going about seeing Beauty and Ariel in their shows (and the boys did NOT want to see them), it worked out well to split up more at this park.

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**You might notice strollers in this photo. Yes, we took two: our larger jogging stroller with storage basket and the umbrella. This worked well as sometimes we just used them for storage and other times we used them for little (and middle) people (at one point Mo did take a ride). Mileage varies but we find taking them is worth the hassle, though it DRIVES ME CRAZY to park your rides next to each other only to come out of a ride and find them moved FAR APART (and this happens a lot because the Cast Members are continually rearranging the strollers to make room for more.).**

We also took in The Great Movie Ride and One Man’s Dream and had planned to do the Backlot Tour again (cheesy but our boys remembered it and we do love it). Sadly it was closed for refurbishing. It is worth your time and it cues quickly from our experience (you may get wet though so beware). A note of caution on the Great Movie Ride (it scared Li’l Miss more than once and it does have some adult themes involving shoot-em-up scenes). We just had Li’l Miss’s eyes and ears covered but I wish I would have been more prepared.

On the Indiana Jones show, we skipped it. We’ve seen it twice and BOTH times the Prez was chosen from the audience to be in the show. NO JOKE. While he didn’t mind, we just decided to do other things and none of the kids minded skipping it. We rode Star Tours twice and everyone loved it, and this time the Prez didnt’ feel queasy as he has in the past. Really on these types of rides, if you start to feel off, just close your eyes because the “vehicle” actually moves very little at all. Again no photos. 😦 I had planned to take some of the boys on the Star Wars speeder outside the ride but completely forgot. I have some of Mo and Curly when they were younger and they are some of my favorites. Don’t forget that if you have Star Wars fansfanatics like we do.

Perhaps the highlight (or one of them) of our day at the Studios was an impromptu and longer than planned “break” in the Honey I Shrunk the Audience playground. Don’t miss this! It is so cool and all of our loved it. If you have younger children, you’ll want to go through it with them though there is only one way in and out and the entire thing is surrounded by mesh stuff. But we paired ours up with olders and youngers and the Prez and I enjoyed watching them come and go. We parked ourselves near the entrance and just relaxed!
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They could stand here and get sprayed by cold water. They came back to this often.

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Well I have YET to see Fantasmic and I know it would be worth the wait and crowds, but once again I was outvoted and we did have as one of the must-dos a trip to the LEGO store in Downtown Disney. So we left the Studios late in the afternoon/early evening and headed Downtown of course. I should mention we drove each day to the parks. A lot of people swear by Disney transportation but we liked having our own vehicle and it definitely saved us time for not having to do all of the transfers (and it is FREE parking for guests staying in any resort; you receive a pass to stick in your dashboard).

We did use the boat from Fort Wilderness to MK more than once and the monorail for a round-trip from EPCOT and back to EPCOT (this the most scenic in my opinion and usually not crowded after lunch; you used to could ride up front with the driver but this was discontinued after the head-one collision between two monorail trains a few years ago).

But back to Downtown Disney, we spent a lot of time there letting the boys check out the LEGO bricks. Li’l Miss and I ducked out to check out the World of Disney store where she found a purse to spend a bit of her spending money on. It is very cute and was less than $10, so I thought that was a good deal. A few photos …

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On day 4, we enjoyed a planned *rest* day at the Ft. Wilderness Campground. We spent most of the day at the pool. So glad we planned for that.

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