Friday, February 4, 2011

Hooray for Hollywood!

New Year's Eve at Hollywood Studios ... need I say more? I woke up really excited about the day Candy had planned for us. We were up and ready to go early as usual. Today wasn't as cold as it had been and when we got to the park we did have to wait for the rope drop. We were right up front ~ I loved this statue!

Seeing the Hollywood Studio symbol rising high into the air was exciting as well!

When the rope dropped Chris was off like a shot to pick up fast passes for us - we walked as quick as we could toward the back of the park where we would soon see Toy Story of the most popular rides in this park!

Woody topiary

The toys hard a work preparing for their guests

Loved this!
We went ahead and got in the standby line so we could ride this one first. We had fast passes so we could come back again later, but wanted to jump on in line before it got too awful long!
More of the amazing theming while we waited for the ride

Sure brings back the memories!

I think I used to own this Viewmaster slide!

Loved the decor of Andy's room as we waited in the line

Spirograph - had one of these too!

Christmas over tinker toys - gotta love it!
After we rode the ride we started down the street towards the back lot. As we passed a storefront window we saw Buzz Lightyear and Woody posing for pictures and signing autographs. Peyton loves Buzz almost as much as I love Mickey!!! Of course we turned right around and got in line to meet Buzz.
Now this line is totally designed for the kids. You follow two separate lines - one for those to be photographed, and one for the photographers. You stop at several places on the way to see Buzz and get your picture taken in different places around Andy's room.
In Buzz's box!

The next Space Ranger!

The claaaawwwwww!

Watch out Sydney - I think they gotcha!

Now this is more what I would expect!

Now he was ready for his closeup!

With Stinky Pete

Pepaw finally photo bombed me!
Finally we were next in line to see Buzz and Woody! Oops - their "manager" had to take them back for their break. Peyton's face started to fall - but the lady turned to him and told him Buzz would be right back after he "charged his batteries". Of course Peyton understands the changing and charging of batteries so he was OK with that. In a matter of minutes they were back again greeting Peyton and giving him hugs. He was so happy and excited. We all stood with them for pictures and got autographs in our books.
Now it was time to make our way to the back lot...we were off to see the Muppets!
As we walked to the theater we passed by this Speeder. Peyton and Chris demonstrated how it worked for us! Then as we walked further we were passing the Ewok village and noticed a sign-up area for Jedi training. We stopped and signed the girls up. (Peyton wasn't old enough.) We got a great time for the training and promised to come back then.
We went in and watched the Muppets in 3D - a pretty good show, and look who was waiting for us when we came out!
Mater and ...

Another of Peyton's favorites! This was turning out to be a very big day for him!
We had very special dinner plans for this evening, so Candy had scheduled an earlier lunch...we all knew we were going to try to eat a little lighter today - no repeats of our "double buffet" day!
We walked up to the front part of the park and went to the 50's Prime Time Cafe.
Our lunch venue.

A step back in time!

How cool!

We loved watching the old 50's TV shows that played while we ate our lunch - but the absolute best was when I ordered a root beer float with my lunch...Peyton was next to me - he just got a soda with his. She brought the drinks out and set them down - first Peyton's, then mine. He took one look, pushed his away, pulled mine over in front of him and started eating away. The look on his face was pure bliss! Everyone at the table started laughing! What could I do but order another for me...told you this was HIS day!

After lunch it was time to head back to the Ewok village for Jedi training! The girls went in and the rest of us went over to get set up so we could have a good view of the stage. Once the girls came out and were waiting in line I took a look at Madison and she just didn't look happy. We called her over and determined that she didn't feel comfortable at all. One of the Disney World photographers was there and overheard the conversation. She left for a minute and came back with a diploma for Madison...she told her it took a lot of courage and knowledge of self to decide not to participate and that was what being a Jedi was all about! I love the people at Disney World - they are all about keeping everyone happy!
Sydney was ready for her lesson.

The Jedi Master and apprentice

Darth Vader

Darth Maul jumps down to fight the older Padowans.

Last minute instructions

Just a little scary!

Ready to graduate!
We made our way back over to Toy Story Mania and rode it another couple of time with our fast passes. That ride is so much fun and soooo worth the wait in line!
Once we did that we walked over to see Mickey's Clubhouse. This was a show for the little ones based on the new show on Disney. My only complaint here is that EVERYONE sits on the floor...They really need to have a bench or chairs in the back for the grandparents that come with the little ones - I was pretty uncomfortable in this show - but Peyton and Madison had a BLAST.
From there it was off to see the Voyage of the Little Mermaid. This is a combination puppet show and live theater. It was amazing - I wouldn't have minded watching it again!
Neptune's Trident.

We headed on back toward the front of the park...we wanted to look around and go to the Darkroom so Rick could see what was there. It was also getting on toward time for our dinner reservations. We had the Fantasmic Package so it was an early reservation.
The Sorcerer topiary
We enjoyed our dinner at Hollywood and Vine. Once again the food was amazing! We left the restrant and walked right over to Fantasmic. Since we bought the package we had designated seating for this we walked past the line I was sure glad Candy had planned this ahead of time for us! We got to the entrance and showed our passes, the nice ladies there handed us plastic top-hats and noise makers and let us go though the back passage to the show. It was a long walk but so worth it. We sat pretty close to the back - Candy's research was accurate again...wonderful choice. Unfortunately I was so caught up in the show I totally forgot I had my camera with me - I just watched in amazement at the magic playing out before my eyes!
When we came out of the show we headed toward the center of the park. We were all soooo tired and it was really getting crowded with the New Year's Eve revelers. There was really only one more ride that I wanted to make sure I rode on...The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. There was NO WAY Sydney would ride this one so Candy and Peyton stayed with her and Chris, Madison, Rick and I made our way over to the ride.
Inside the lobby of the hotel

The cobwebs above the door
As we waited for the ride Madison was pretty concerned. We talked about how this was just like a roller coaster, (she is the roller coaster QUEEN!) that part of the fun was in being nervous before getting on the ride. I assured her that it was ok to "scream" just like on a roller coaster. We rode and as we exited she looked up and told us that it was so much fun "floating" in the air that she wanted to ride again! Way to go Maddie!!!! We were so proud of her that we stopped in the gift shop and bought her a Tower of Terror pin to celebrate her ride!
We met back with the others and decided we were all too exhausted to fight the wall to wall New Year's Eve revelers any longer - trying to get the stroller through that crowd was simply next to impossible! We went on out to the car and headed home to begin the challenge of packing up for our trip back home!

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This is about my life. My life as a wife. My life as a mother. My life as a Memaw. My life as a teacher. My life as a runner. My life such as it is.