Thursday, December 16, 2010

WDW Trip Report - Day 4 - Hey Look! It's Steamboat Willy!

If you recall our “I Want to go to Disney World” Saturday, you might think it’s odd that we decided to spend another day at Hollywood Studios, but we chose not to purchase Park Hoppers on this trip and wanted to see Fantasmic. In fact, Mom and Dad were staying with some friends in town and said they would watch the kids while the adults had dinner at Hollywood & Vine and then got priority seating for Fantasmic, so we needed to head back to Hollywood Studios on this day. None of us were super excited about it though, so we got to sleep in a little. :) I love DHS, but the kids really didn't this time.

We got to the Park just after Rope Drop. Randy got in the forever long Fast Pass line while Katelyn and I walked through the One Man’s Dream exhibit. It makes me sad that Walt never got to see Walt Disney World. He was such a visionary. (Random trivia - yesterday was the 44th anniversary of his death.) We rode Toy Story Mania again (I won!), and spent the morning at a leisurely pace. We saw Muppet Vision 3D, watched the street show, shopped a bit (which involved exchanging Josh's Mickey that was ripped which really really upset him), and went back to the resort to swim and do laundry.
Laundry and swimming complete, Mom and Dad joined us to visit for a bit and wait for the kids to wake up as the adults went back to DHS for our dinner at Hollywood and Vine. I *love* WDW buffets, and this one was good, but the service was worse than I’d stand for here in Texas. Our waiter, Kyle, didn’t bring us our drinks until about 10 minutes after we had started eating. Then he waited until we had a pile of about 5 plates before he came to take any of them (but I saw him chatting with another waiter in the side of the room during that time). We ran out of drinks fairly fast, and he only refilled them once after we had sat there with them empty for a long time. The service was so opposite of how Chris treated us at Garden Grill the night before, and yet both meals cost about the same (close to $50). It was disappointing, and I won’t go back there.

I will take a minute to mention the food. It was delicious. There was a seafood alfredo that I enjoyed, and for some reason the bread was a real draw for me. I think all WDW buffets have a carving station, and I always love to visit it (multiple times). The beef there was moist and delicious. Once again the salad was a huge winner in my book, but all in all, it just wasn't worth $50 (tax and tip included). There aren't characters there in the evenings, so I personally believe the price of this meal should go down.

The dining reservation came with a ticket for priority seating for Fantasmic, but we still had to head over there about 45 minutes before the show. Our seats were great, and the show (another thing none of us had done before) was excellent. I did feel the storyline was a little disjointed at times, but the Disney magic was strong, and the effects were cool (projections of water, boats with characters, dancing, singing, fireworks, water set on fire). I’ve seen water get set on fire before, but I still thought that effect was exciting. The steamboat at the end was a highlight for me. As it rounded the bend, I jokingly said, “Oh look! It’s Steamboat Willy!” Imagine my surprise when Steamboat Willy really was the one captaining the steamboat! The rarely seen characters on the boat were an added bonus. I’ve never seen Meg (from Hercules) in the Parks, and Randy had no clue who she was.

After the show we went over to Toy Story Mania to use our Fast Passes from the morning. LaRae & Randy rode together and I rode solo (which is honestly the easiest way to get a higher score since no one else is shooting on your screen). I remain the Price/Crawford Family champion!

On the way out we walked by the line to get into the later showing of Fantasmic. It stretched close to the front gates! So glad we did the dining package. Just another one of those things that helped us NOT feel like the Parks were overcrowded. It’s all in timing and planning really.

Tomorrow we head back to EPCOT, but this time Mom and Dad will be with us.

Side note - Every shirt I'm wearing in the photos you are seeing, except the brown one yesterday, I created by making the images in PhotoShop and ironing them on the shirts. Most of LaRae's and the kids' shirts were created the same way with lots of love and time from LaRae and me. The Incredibles shirts were made by us, and the awesome Mick Fury and Minnie Widow shirts LaRae and Randy wore today were also homemade.


  1. I'm going to ask for Park Hopper option next time. This park wasn't worth two days. I think all of my personal "Worst Walt Disney World Moments" center around Hollywood Studios. (Except when I left a carryone bag on the airplane that one time. That was just pure stupidity on my part.)

    Although to be fair (since I'm told I'm nicer at WDW than at other places)I think Hollywood Studios aims for a little higher age than my kids. In a couple of years Josh in particular would enjoy Indiana Jones, Lights Motor Action, and Backlot Tour, none of which we attempted during the trip. And Star Tours will be back, which is my favorite attraction there. I'm disappointed that they are changing it, but I realize the need to update. I probably should have purchased the action figure set of characters featured in the "Pre-Flight" movie I saw in Tatooine Traders.

  2. Yes, I think that DHS will be a lot more fun when the kids are older. Park Hopper would be nice because then we could go get Fast Passes for TSM and come back later when it was time to ride. I LOVE Tower of Terror, probably my fave ride, but I didn't want to stand in line a long time for it...