Florida 2012 Journal – Hollywood Studios, Star Tours & Toy Story Midway Mania
February 25th, 2012 by Jessica

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Hollywood Studios, Star Tours & Toy Story Midway Mania

Remember when I said that people rarely get the opportunity to stay in the Yellowstone Suite?  Not only do they not stay in the suite, but Florida is cold so infrequently that they never turn on the heater.  NEVER.  By 2:00am, my throat had swollen so badly I couldn’t swallow.  We were covered in dust and pollen and awful odors from the heating ducts that caused such a major allergic reaction in my head that by the morning, it turned into a full blown illness that plagued me for the rest of the trip.

Meeting the Mad Hatter

Meeting the Mad Hatter

As if I hadn’t been up most of the night trying to figure out how I was so sick so suddenly, Mickey and Stitch woke us up at 6:00am again.  We sent our portrait clothing to the laundry for pressing and left just before 7:00am via water taxi to the Contemporary and then transferred to the Monorail to go to the Grand Floridian Resort.  We were the first table seated at 1900 Park Fare for their Supercalifragalistic character breakfast, where we met Pooh, Tigger, Mary Poppins, Alice and the Mad Hatter.  The staff presented us with a keepsake placemat and two Happy Anniversary chocolate cupcakes.  We ate one, then promptly gave the other to the Bell Desk when they kindly shipped our souvenirs back to the room for us after breakfast.

The bus took us to Hollywood Studios where we rushed over to Rock ‘N Roller Coaster only to find it shut down for maintenance.  We grabbed a fast pass for later and crossed the park to ride Star Tours twice in a row.

The first time we rode Star Tours at Hollywood Studios we got to see the following scenes: a confrontation with Darth Vader, scanned the vehicle for the Rebel Spy, flew through the forests of Kashyyyk with the Wookiees, received the holographic message from Princess Leia, and then traveled through the oceans of Naboo. Only the finale section was new for us, and was one of the better clips. In this one we not only saw Jar Jar Binks, but we were almost eaten by an undersea monster (with his tongue pressing against the view screen), and then we crash landed in a hanger where another ship’s nose broke through the class viewscreen. This Naboo scene did the best job of selling the 3D for the ride.

Rock 'N Roller Coaster

Rock 'N Roller Coaster

Due to the short waits, which were a far cry from the hour wait at Disneyland, we got back in line to ride it again which only took about 5 minutes.  The second flight started off the same with Darth Vader and the spy. We then got caught up in a pod race that we won, which was followed by the message from Leia. One more light speed jump and we were part of the war above the planet Alderan.

After our adventures in Star Tours, we sat down for Muppets 3D and followed it up with some fun pin trading, then walked over to check on the times for the Lights, Motors, Action: Extreme Stunt Show.  The Disney Mobile Magic app for Android on Verizon had mistakenly shown the stunt show wasn’t playing that day.  The park attendant told us that the official Disney Mobile Magic app had nothing to do with Disney and that it was always wrong.  At this point, I began wondering why Disney kept putting its official name on stuff that has no affiliation with Disney whatsoever.

We walked around for a little bit and grabbed fast passes for Toy Story Mania.  We were shocked to see they weren’t until after 5:25pm which was about 7 hours from then!

Dessert at Hollywood Brown Derby

Dessert at Hollywood Brown Derby

We decided to have lunch at the Hollywood Brown Derby restaurant which was a real treat.  We enjoyed dishes like lobster bisque, crab spring rolls, chicken ham dish, pork tenderloin, three way chocolate and grapefruit cake.  It would have been $115 plus the $20 tip for that meal, and it was delicious.

I made the mistake of picking up some Benadryl at the advice of my sister due to my exploding allergies.  She warned me that it might make me drowsy, but I didn’t expect it to literally knock me flat out.  It was the only allergy medicine available in the park.  At 1:20pm, we sat down for the Lights, Motors, Action: Extreme Stunt Show and I took the Benadryl.  I loved the start of the show with the stunt driving and the close encounters.  It was pure adrenaline!

After the show we used our fast passes to ride Rock ‘N Roller Coaster but to our dismay, the inner lights were out and the ride actually stalled while we were on it.  A little bummed, we shopped around for a bit and picked up some Mickey head ice cream bars as a snack.  I was able to check out the Pin Trading Station before we hopped on the Great Movie Ride.  By the time we sat down for the Beauty and the Beast stage show, I was asleep at the wheel.  I slept through the entire stage show.  Andrew somehow managed to get me up the stairs and out of the theater.  We sat down with a cookie and a snack, and I couldn’t keep my eyes open.

We decided to keep me sitting as much as possible.  Andrew decided to ride Star Tours again but as a solo rider, leaving me to nap on a bench nearby. The third flight included Darth Vader, the spy, pod racing, Leia, and the journey in the oceans of Naboo. No new scenes on this trip.

On the final and fourth ride the story finally switched up a little bit. It began with a chase alongside the Millennium Falcon and TIE Fighters, a message about the spy, we joined the snowy battle on Hoth, received a holographic message from Yoda, and then finished up in the oceans of Naboo.

Toy Story Midway Mania Scores

Toy Story Midway Mania Scores

By then it was 5:30, so we made our way over to Toy Story Midway Mania and I’m glad I was awake for it, because it was one of my favorite rides of the entire trip!  You sit in pairs on either side of a four-person cart, two on each side.  The cart swings and flips and stops you in front of shooting gallery 3D screens where you compete against your cart partner in mini games with a toy gun you fire by pulling a string.  It is incredibly fun and competitive!  Andrew kicked my butt of course, but I loved it.  At the end of the ride, it displays your score on a large screen and shows you your prize.  Andrew got a cat with his score of 197,400 while I nabbed a beaver with my 126,000 points.

Antipasto Plate at Mama Melrose

Antipasto Plate at Mama Melrose

We walked over to our dinner reservations at Mama Melrose’ Italian Kitchen.  We were a few minutes late past 6:00pm and didn’t realize the restaurant actually closes at 6:00pm.  When we arrived, the staff celebrated because they were finally able to seat the last patrons of the day.  We had the antipasto for two as an appetizer.  I had the panna cotta and the sirloin while Andrew enjoyed the chicken parmesan and chocolate cake.  The total bill would have been $90 plus the $15 tip.

We made our way back to the Wilderness Lodge by bus and found our laundry had been returned to the front closet in our room ($22).  We ordered room service just to use up the dining points, snacked a little bit and crashed hard at 8:00pm.  The long days and the allergy problems were really starting to drain us down.

We definitely agreed on our Favorite Thing of the Day: Toy Story Midway Mania

Did you know? There’s a lot more to this story!

Flight to Florida & Universal’s Royal Pacific Hotel
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter & Islands of Adventure
Universal Studios & Arriving at Walt Disney World
Visiting the Magic Kingdom & The Richard Petty Experience
Water Sports & The California Grille
Hollywood Studios, Star Tours & Toy Story Midway Mania
Epcot & Around the World Segway Tour at the World Showcase
Our 10th Wedding Anniversary
Animal Kingdom, Mini Golf & The Yachtsman Steakhouse
Our Final Day at Disney & our Private Illuminations Cruise
The Missing Towncar & Our Flight to Phoenix

Flickr Photo Collection of Our 10th Anniversary Trip to Florida
See the Wilderness Lodge Yellowstone Suite Video Walk Through
See my Richard Petty Ride Along Experience Video

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© 2013 Jessica M. Green