As the hour passes, more people show up and are forming lines. Next thing I know, there are TONS of people getting ready to enter the park. I started getting a bit nervous. I don't want my 8yo nephew to get run-overed by the masses. Here is a video clip of the people who are waiting in line:
At 9am, we were escorted to the Toy Story Mania Fast Pass machines & attraction. Since we were up close to the rope line, we were one of the first people to grab Fast Passes and then jump into the line. YEAH!!! This was my main goal of the day. My nephew LOVES anything to do with Toy Story. And he's been excited to ride this attraction. The wait is about 20 minutes, which is great. My nephew is just overwhelmed by the pre-show area. He loves the over-sized toys and board games. And he loves the talking Mr. Potato Head.
My nephew is LOVING this attraction. We're going thru all the games and shooting at everything and just laughing our heads off! He's having a great time. He loves the idea that we're inside a huge video game. As we exit the attraction, I look to see how bad the line is. Its now a two hour wait! Our Fast Passes are for 11am. So we have time to ride other attractions.
So we walk over to Muppet-Vision 3D. As we approach Muppets, I see that the turnstile is still locked. So I look around for a Cast Member to see if Muppets is open or not. But all of a sudden I see two Cast Members walk up to the turnstile and open the gate. After we go thru the turnstile, I make my nephew look under the mat that is located next to the turnstile. I'm sure you Disney Geeks know what he's looking for. I won't tell you what he finds, but on your next Disney trip I suggest you do this and see what you find! (HINT: Look at the next pic for a clue!)
As we enter the pre-show area, I start looking for the tribute to one of the original Mouseketeers, Annette Funicello. I look above me and I find it hanging from the ceiling. Look at the following pictute and see if you can figure out the tribute:
We go into Muppets 3D and enjoy it. This is one of my favorite 3D films. Plus I love The Muppets! After the film, we walk around because we still have time before returning to Toy Story Mania. As we walk towards Mama's Melrose's restuarant, we find the Phineas & Ferb photo location. Phineas & Ferb is another favorite of my nephews. So we get in line. This photo op has a theme. A 'movie crew' and 'director' show up to entertain the crowd before Phineas & Ferb come out for photos. The 'crew' select kids from the line so they can do skits. My nephew gets picked to perform in a 'band'. It was fun to see my newphew enjoying himself and having a good time.
After our Phineas & Ferb meet & greet, its time to head back to Toy Story Mania to use our Fast Passes for a second spin. This ride just gets better and better with every ride. Again, I get the high score but that's not important. Sharing some 'dork' time with my nephew is all I want.
Now that I have accomplised my goal for the day, everything elese is bonus. But now its time for lunch. Plus it has gotten very HOT! So we need to cool down fast. We head over to Toy Story Pizza Planet for our lunch. I had the pepperoni pizza and my nephew had the chesse pizza. After our lunch, we head back out to the park and see what we can do next.
So another goal I had for our visit to the Studios was to ride the new version of Star Tours. I was really doubting that we would get to ride Star Tours even once. Well was I surprised. As we neared Star Tours, I checked the stand-by line time. It was only a 30 minute wait. But before we got in line, I got Fast Passes for later in the day.
As you might know, Star Tours got a MAJOR over-haul. New films were made for the attraction. And depending what sequence you ride, you get different storyline everytime you ride Star Tours. Plus, the films are now in 3D. All I can say is WOW! This ride is fantastic. 1st, the digital films look amazing. They are so sharp and beautiful to watch. 2nd, the various storylines make it fun to see what story and characters you'll see. This is great for any Star Wars fan. And 3rd, the 3D effects are thrilling. All these elements combined make a great attraction. The 1st thing you notice as you enter the pre-show area, are the new films that are shown on the jumbo screen where R2-D2 and C-3PO are located. Here is video of one of the film sequences you might see:
After walking thru the pre-show, you then get directed to your ship to board. Before boarding, you get handed very cool looking 3D glasses that you need to ride the attraction.
The basic concept of Star Tours is that you board a 'Star Speeder' that is hiding a rebel spy. Various charcters appear demanding the release of the spy. The Empire Force then chases after you, but you eventually escape and are able to deliver the spy to safety. With the various beginnings, middles and endings, there are 54 possible 'storylines' that you might see when you ride Star Tours. Here is video of what you see right before you board the ride attraction:
This is a great improvement for this ride. Let me say I was impressed beyond my expectations. The ride experience is very realistic with the 3D effects. It was thrilling, exciting, surprising and fun. I highly recommend this re-vamped attraction. After riding the 1st time, my nephew and I were hooked. We wanted to ride over and over and over, just to see if we could see different storylines. So we did! When we checked the line, it was still a 30 minute wait so we rode again. And we got a different storyline! It was great! After the 2nd ride, we decided we would defintely ride again, but later in the day or at night.
After Star Tours, we decided to see what the wait times were for Tower of Terror and Rock N' Roller Coaster. Well both had waits of over an hour and the Fast Pass return times were for later in the evening. Gee, I wonder what might have caused that? Yes, the Brazillians were everywhere. But I could not get any Fast Passes because I was still locked out with the Star Tour Fast Passes I had gotten earlier. This was fine. I thought Rock N' Roller Coaster might be too rough for my nephew because this coaster does go up-side down. So I decided we would skip this attraction on this trip. I also thought it might be better to ride Tower of Terror at night when everyone is watching Fantasmic! and the crowds are smaller. Plus, Tower of Terror is much scarier at night-time!
So we make our way towards The Great Movie Ride. This is one of the last attractions I wanted to see before we take our mid-day break. Plus its another attraction where we can cool off and get out of the hot sun. This is another fun attraction. My nephew thought it was cute, but he was itching to go back to the resort for a much needed swim. After The Great Movie Ride, I wanted to see what the wait time was for Star Tours. This time it was only 20 minutes, so we rode again! One more ride before heading back to the resort.
Well I think this is a great place for a trip blog break. In my follow-up report, I'll write about our dinner at 50's Prime Time Cafe, One Man's Dream attraction, riding Tower of Terror at night, attending the 2nd showing of Fantasmic! and riding Star Tours. Again. Four Times In A Row!