Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Spring Break 2017 - Day 7 - Universal Studios

Ok, so more than a month has passed and I haven't finished the Spring Break blogging.  Time for the last day in the parks - Hollywood Studios!  The good news was that the park didn't open until slightly later and we din't have any breakfast reservations.  We ate granola bars in our room to tide us over until we arrived and made it about 30 or so minutes before the official park opening.  The entry way area was already open so we headed straight to Jedi Training sign-up.  B, irrationally, refused to participate in Jedi training in any way.  E was 1000% in and stoked.  M was convinced to join him and take care of him (and secretly seemed quite happy to do so).  Both made it in and were scheduled to return to training at 12:40. We then headed to the Pixar area (see above photo) for our first FastPass at Toy Story Mania

This was great fun for me. It was different than the Buzz Lightyear ride at Magic Kingdom, but still a shooting things at targets in a variety of ways that feel like a carnival.  B pointed out that it is pretty much identical to a video game we have. Brent, obviously, got the high score by a wide margin.

After this came the struggle to find food, we walked a silly long way around asking people where to eat and everything seemed closed beyond a pretzel stand, which I still regret not just eating at immediately.  Eventually, we bought the kids huge bags of popcorn (???@@) before realizing that the boat in the center had some minimal breakfast foods.  Brent and I got cinnamon rolls and coffee (apparently our #1 vacation breakfast) and hot chocolate for the kids.  In the process of sitting down with the food we briefly lost E.  This was the only time on vacation that we had this happen and it was completely terrifying.  He quickly emerged and everyone got a stern talk about sticking with us.... this morning was not our brightest moment of the trip--- hangry parents, stubborn B, and missing kids are no bueno.  The good news is Star Wars was up next and that is pretty much a sure thing with our crew :)
Our next fast pass was for "Star Tours." This is sort of a flight simulator type ride that, I'm told, takes you to different Star Wars destinations on each ride.  The standing in line area was full of cool Star Wars robots, ships, etc... too.  This was also where E lost his Magic Band..... sigh. In the ride, Vadar says there is a spy on the ship and pursues us.  It was B! (He of course says he is definitely not a spy, but isn't that what a spy would say?)
Brent had been holding off on souvenirs waiting for this park so we spent lots of time in the gift shops enjoying all the Star Wars goodies.  Each kid made their own custom, totally awesome light saber.  E's is like Kylo Ren's.  M's is sort of a Darth Maul/Mace Windu mash up.  B's is a mix of three different styles from Yoda, Count Dooku, and Kylo Ren.  They are super sturdy and awesome.  This was definitely a moment where I was glad we saved the money and drove as having the extra savings on hand to buy the really awesome souvenirs was lovely.  They still play with these multiple times a week a month later :)
We went past customer service and got E a "magic card" to replace his missing band.  Then off to our early lunch reservation at Hollywood and Vine.  While we waited, there was, of course, Lightsaber practice.  Mind you, M's is actually taller than Brent so it takes some care to use it in spaces like this.  
Brent might have enjoyed it as much as the kids (ok so did I).

Oh! I forgot to mention that M & B finally picked out mouse ears! C3PO and BD-8 respectively!  Our lunch was a big buffet with Disney Junior characters wandering around.  They don't really talk, but did make gestures.  Our kids were largely too old for them, save E who refused to actually take photos with them. The food was good, plentiful, and with plenty of variety for everyone.  I particularly liked the desserts and we all left pleasantly full, which is key.

The main point in this lunch reservation was getting VIP tickets to Fantasmic later in the day as part of the lunch package. Sophia was our last signature in our autograph book. 

Next up - Jedi training.  See, B is fine. He doesn't need training. (No idea his issue).  Brent is adorable in M's ears :)
E may have been a scared monkey for some rides on the vacation, but he was a brave Jedi all-star for this.  He talked to the trainers, answered trivial, did everything asked, and never showed a bit of hesitation or fear.  SO impressed by him as the littlest Jedi in training.
They line up by height, partially for robe fitting purposes so M & E weren't close to each other, but M ate the whole thing up and practiced using the force while waiting.
Next up robe fitting, instructions, and establishing team names. Could he be any more adorable? This is also one of the few pictures of him not in his Stitch hoodie, but the ears just didn't work with the robe!
So the Jedi in training walk through the park to the training grounds.  They are in height order and the littlest ones get to carry the banner - Go E!
M was on E's team, but back with the taller/older kids.

Next up - they were taught the fighting sequence by their leader.
Then they practice--- there is a bit of a skit going on with the cast members about conquering one's fears, etc...
The wall opens and the villian to be fought is ----- Darth Vader!!!

{Practice video}

M battles Darth Vadar!

E battles Darth Vadar!!! (this is insanely cute)

Our awesome little Jedi!
After that excitement, we went and watched the march of the First Order.  Captain Phasma and her team march through the center of the park on the hour for most of the day and put on a little show in the center of the square. It is kind of intense. 
This is the big theater behind the Star Wars show stage.  Sadly, we didn't get to ride this ride.
Our next FastPass was for the Frozen Sing-a-long. M and I sang along.  The boys were less enthusiastic.  For some random reason those two people on the left just basically retell the moving in about 20 minutes with periodic pauses for the big songs. Anna and Kristoff make occasional appearances.  Elsa only shows up for the last number complete with lots of snow blowing everywhere--including all over the audience. I"m still not sure what that was made out of. s
We then visited Star Wars Launch Bay - this included a short movie about the making of Rogue One and tons of items from the Movies.
Pod racer
Actual costumes.

Meeting Jawa's in the cantina!
Rey's ship and costume.

Then gift shops where the staff will gladly have a light saber duel and more artifacts to explore. 

We went to the 3D Muppet show.  The 3D was really well done and we all really enjoyed it.

Then the kids relaxed while Brent gathered up the photo pass pictures from Jedi training.  Next up was diner (Fairfax Fare) and ice cream (Hollywood Scoops - probably my favorite dessert of the trip) along Sunset Boulevard.  We also did a little shopping as Brent and I were still looking for souvenirs. I ended up with a Christmas Tree ornament and he bought a shirt.  E got a Mickey, which we briefly lost on Sunset Boulevard where we had been eating ice cream, but it was still there when we returned. 
The storm troopers were often just sort of wandering around harrassing people. They bothered B about his BD-8 ears at one point.

Earlier, E had wanted to meet Chewbacca, but the line had been too long.  By this point, it is only a 10 minute line so we go back to the launch bay and say hi!
Kylo Ren's line was even shorter.  So, we had this slightly awkward photo op as a bad guy can't very well be friendly when meeting us.  He seemed to think between E's new Darth shirt and Kylo Ren saber he might be persuaded to the dark side. 

Then, off to Fantasmic!

 This was sort of loosely based on Fantasia (which our kids haven't seen) but really more Mickey dreaming about things.

They do characters and songs from lots of movies - some, like Pocohontas, that we hadn't seem much emphasis on in other parts of the parks. 

 And then a bunch of the villians show up and do villanous things.

This includes setting the water on fire, which is a neat trick. 

Not to worry, Mickey saves the day in the end and there are boats full of characters (literally) princesses and their princes, etc... It all ends well. Well, maybe not all of it.  As we leave it becomes clear that by going we have missed the bigs Star Wars fireworks show.  We catch pieces of it from an area near the entrance and it looks cool, but we really can't see, especially the little ones.  So we leave and B is bummed (tears)  and makes us promise to watch that next time instead of Fantasmic. We readily agree. 
I love this shot from the main thoroughfare.  It was a great day despite some bumps and signs that we're all getting a little too tired.  The Star Wars things were wonderful and I'm excited to see what comes when they open the new Star Wars section in 2019.  I will say that if you weren't as in to Star Wars this park might not take a full day, but for us it was a good fit. 

We headed back to the hotel with fireworks in the distance, sleepy, but happy.

I'll do one more wrap up post on the journey home and final thoughts and memories. Thanks for reading alot as I know it is very lengthy and detailed, but I truly want to remember it all!

No comments:


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...