Saturday, July 20, 2013

Disney Day 2 {Hollywood Studios & EPCOT}

We started the day with an early reservation at Hollywood and Vine.  It was nice, because we could walk to Hollywood Studios from our resort.   This is a restaurant at Hollywood Studios, with a breakfast buffet that features Disney, Jr. characters.  For this meal, we arrived at the park around 8:00, and our reservation was at 8:20.  So, we got in a little early to enjoy the park with no crowds and get some fun pictures.  We didn't wait long after checking in at the restaurant.

It was a super fun place, lots of colors and for sure caters to the younger crowd. Natalie was having fun, and the boys were enjoying themselves, too.  Hollywood Studios is their favorite park, and so they were excited to be there so early, which meant less wait times, a chance to sign up for the Jedi Training Academy, and lots of rides on Star Tours.

We had our breakfast, and some of the characters made their way to our table.  We saw Jake and Handy Manny.  Natalie didn't really care about Oso, and so we left before he made it to our table.  I didn't want to rush through our meal, but I did have a slight agenda.  I REALLY wanted to sign the boys up for the Jedi Training Academy.  They have many shows throughout the day, but if you don't get to the sign ups right away, you won't get a spot.  So, we ate and Derrick stayed behind to pay.  I took the boys to the Jedi Training Academy to sign them up-and we actually got a spot.  Meanwhile, he took Natalie to get some fastpasses for Toy Story Mania.  We got the 2:20 time for the Jedi Training Academy, and 11:30 return times on Toy Story Mania.  Awesome!!!!!

So, we made our way around Hollywood Studios.  The wait for Star Tours was very minimal, so the boys and Derrick rode that.    We hit the first Disney, Jr. Live on Stage Show of the day.  Of course, Natalie was over the moon about it.  Doc McStuffins and Sofia the First made an appearance in the show, and that pretty much made her life worth living.  It was so cute to watch her enjoy the show!  Right next to this is the Animation Academy.  Super cool!!!!!  We had never done this before, and the boys loved it.  Well, sort of.  It was kind of hard for Matthew because he is such a perfectionist with his drawings, and they don't give you an eraser :(.

The Animation Academy allows about 40 people in at a time.  You take a seat at an animation desk, which has a stool, piece of drawing paper, and a pencil at it.  There is an Imagineer at the front, who leads you through, very step by step, directions.  At the end of the 20 minute session, you've drawn a Disney character.  Super cool!  It was pretty fun, and we drew Pluto.

After this, we hit Toy Story Mania, the Backlot Tour, and then got some lunch.  By then, it was time for the Jedi Training Academy.  Woot!  So while I took the boys to get their costumes on, Derrick stayed with Natalie and let her play on the Honey, I Shrunk the Kids movie set.

They were SO excited.  Since the Jedi Training Academy fills up literally within less than an hour of the park opening, we were very lucky to even get two spots for the 2:20 pm show.  So the boys donned their young padawan robes, and were marched from the prep area across the park to the Jedi Training Stage.  In this show, someone comes out and teaches all the young padawans a light saber routine.  Then, Darth himself comes out so they can test their routine against him.

About 7 or 8 minutes into the show, it started raining.  They called all the kids off the stage, and decided to cancel it.  The boys {and I} were SO bummed.  To make up for it, they lined the youngsters up and led them behind the scenes of Star Tours for a special meet up/photo opportunity with Darth Vader and some Stormtroopers. 

 So, after this we walked our way to the entrance, and the boys and I took the boat back to the resort while Natalie and Derrick walked.  Believe it or not, he beat us back.  But oh well.  The boys wanted to ride the boat.  He put her down for a nap, and the boys and I stopped at Beaches and Cream for an ice cream treat.  Yum!  Hello yumminess!!!!  I had a No Way Jose, and the boys had ice cream, too.  We hung out in our room for awhile, and waited out a little rain.

Since the rain looked like it wasn't going to stop-yet it had let up some-we decided to brave World Showcase again.  I mean, we could walk from country to country, check out the shops, and get some food.  Even though we were all in ponchos, we made the best of it.  The boys had a Norwegian cinnamon roll, I tried some German caramel corn, and we even rode a few rides.  It was fun, despite the rain.  Then, we grabbed some dinner at the Electric Umbrella.  

After we ate, we made our way towards World Showcase Lagoon to catch Illuminations.  We got a decent spot, just where you enter World Showcase from Future World.  That is such a fabulous fireworks and laser show.  The boys LOVE it.  We got out the glow sticks and hung out while watching Illuminations.  

What started as an early day, mixed in with some serious rain, ended up being a GREAT day all around.