Disney's Hollywood Studios
If the BAH (Big Awful Hat) weren't bad enough (though I can get use to it), the High School Musical stage is a travesty. If neither were there, you would see a beautiful approach to to the facade of Mann's Chinese Theatre which serves as the entrance to the park's Signature attraction, The Great Movie Ride.
Our friends David & Sommer are in town, so it's harder to keep up with the updates. We met them on our Disney cruise in 2006 and have the great pleasure of catching up with them when we come down since they live about 90 minutes away. They know the food scene at Disney very well, so nice meals usually frame our time together.
We want to play Toy Story Mania at Disney's Hollywood Studios. Unfortunately (because we are night owls), opening the park is the only way to do this. At 9:02, Fastpass return time is already 10:30 and the standby line is 30 minutes! However, it's the only place we really encounter lines in the parks this early in September, so we can't complain.
David & Sommer stay at the Omni, so they picked us up on their way in and we get there just as the opening ceremony begins. It's kind of cute - a German director and his assistant come out to "film" a crowd scene starring "us!" One of the best features of the park is the streemousephere characters - actors who personify characters from the "Hollywood that never was and always will be." The wander the streets, interacting with guests, and perform routines throughout the day. It's a lot of fun to watch them.
Well, at 9:00, we're off with 75% of the guest to one attraction. We get our FPs and hop into the standby line. Green Army Men from Toy Story monitor everything to make sure guests aren't cutting, running, or causing any other kind of unauthorized mayhem.
It looks like they were drafting this troop of Boy Scouts as assistant crowd control guards today . . .
After our first run through, it's 9:45 and our FP return time isn't for another way, so we head over to Starring Rolls cafe for a caffeine infusion. It's fun to take the time to catch up with one another while the street scenes unfold around us. I can have as much fun in the Studios feasting on the eye candy of park design and people-watching, as I can on the attractions themselves.
After our second round on Toy Story, we head over to MuppetVision 3D. I think it's the best written of Disney's 3-D films, and theatre is so well done with Muppet Mayhem.
After the film and touring the gift shop, it decides to rain on us. Just one lonely cloud above, but it's full of water and dropping it all over us. It's time for lunch so we grab a bit in Mama Melrose, the only table service restaurant in the Studios we haven't tried. It gets average reviews, so it wasn't on our list, but I've always been curious. I like basic Italian, and they didn't disappoint. Jim and I shared a calamari appetizer and split a penne in Vodka sauce for the entree.
Afterwards, we decide to take a resort break before catching up again for dinner. Unfortunately, on the way back to Kidani Village I discover our server never gave me back my Tables in Wonderland discount card. This card gives us 20% off of our table service meals, so It's very important! Since a replacement is $50 I head back over to the Studios to retrieve the missing card while Jim relaxes. Unfortunately, by now the sun is at it's brutal Florida peak of 3 PM so I'm baking as I hurry through the park to Mama Melrose (which is as far from the entry gates as you can get). I'm dying for a tasty Disney milkshake to cool me off on my way back, but every place that sells them between the restaurant and the exit is closed. Darn you September and your low crowds!
Well, the review of Narcoossee's will have to come later. The pool is calling us . . .
This is the view outside of our room.