Monday, November 04, 2013

30 Magical Moments: #8 Sketch in the Animation Academy

Despite not having kiddos to wake us up early, LaRae and I still woke fairly early and made our way over to Disney's Hollywood Studios. Walking in, the crowds were pretty sparse. We were really thinking we'd lucked out and picked a great park for the day!
No stage blocking the hat made for GREAT photos!

We were able to pull FastPasses for Toy Story Midway Mania, a favorite attraction that plays right to our sisterly competitiveness. The queue was so short, we were able to practically walk on to get a first ride in before our FastPasses!  Again, we really thought we picked a great park for the day. All signed were pointing toward small crowds and quick queues.

L for LaRae!
I can't remember if the winner was LaRae or me, but
I thought it was cool that our accuracy was the same!
We stopped at Starring Rolls for breakfast cupcakes, a Disney tradition of mine that I cannot pass up, and it was pretty busy.  As we walked toward Tower of Terror and Rockin' Roller Coaster, we started seeing cheerleaders. Tiny young ones, pre-teens in full makeup, and teens all eager to cheer. Every single one of them had a huge bow atop their heads. Let me start by saying I was really impressed with most of what I saw. Many times an older cheerleader had a much younger one by the hand or on her back for a piggyback ride. The teams exhibited respect for the teams whose names were emblazoned across their uniforms and t-shirts as they helped each other and treated others with respect. All of them were excited.  All of them were high energy. We'll keep it positive for now.

When we got to Tower of Terror to pull a FastPass, a man was walking away and traded our later passes for his earlier passes!  Talk about a Magical Moment!  We had just enough time to ride Rockin' Roller Coaster in the Single Rider Queue before our FP time. For those of you not in the know, the queue for Rockin' Roller Coaster, one of Hollywood Studios' headliner attractions, can get super long, super fast, especially with a park full of tween/teen cheerleaders. The Single Rider Queue is ideal for pairs and small groups.  You walk through a (usually) shorter queue together and are only likely to get split up at the last minute just to ride the ride.  LaRae was only one "limo drive to the show" ahead of me.  Absolute quickest way to Rock without a FastPass!

Me, front of the coaster, with my new 3-minutes only bestie! 

After Rockin' Roller Coaster and Tower of Terror (fabulous as always), we went to ride Star Tours.  This is when the problems began, and it was with one group in particular.  As we entered Star Tours, a group of tween cheerleaders and their group leaders entered ahead of us.  Three girls got split from the group and then cut the line to catch back up with their group.  By "cut the line" I mean they were WAY behind their group and SHOVED around 20-30 guests like they owned the attraction.  LaRae and I rolled our eyes and enjoyed the ride.  

The queue was still so short when we got out that we decided to ride again. We saw the same group ahead of us and waited a bit to let them get ahead. One part of the group thought they had time to ride again and ran off. Another part of the group insisted they didn't have time. We let the group going on the ride get going, and then we entered the queue again. Now I don't have anything against cheerleaders. I was a band member on a trip to Walt Disney World in high school. I am a high school teacher, and I know teens are excitable. I also know that they behave as expected when expectations are clear and enforced. They reflect upon the adults they are with and the entire group they represent.

This time the SAME three girls hung back and got split from their group again.  They were again about 20-30 people behind their group (which was a full queue room ahead of them).  LaRae and I, not fans of queue jumpers no matter their reason, made ourselves take up the entire queue and strolled through. When one of the girls shoved me, I turned and firmly said, "no. You may not jump in front of me. You may wait like the rest of us." The girls grumbled behind me and then made fun of me and my birthday button. I am an adult. I ignored them. We proceeded to not give passing room.

In the last room, their group leader came back for them. That's when I saw red. It's one thing for a tween to make a bad choice. It's another for a group leader to openly teach them to be entitled. When she told them to jump line, I mentioned that we were all waiting in the same queue, and that jumping queue isn't ok. I don't know what got into me. I really don't. I'm not confrontational with strangers. I let people star in their own movies and just laugh at them, but this "educator" ticked me off! Cheer mom reeled around to tell me off, and I asked "what are you teaching them? You're showing them it's ok to jump line!" She yelled at me as she stormed off with the girls.  My argument is that she shouldn't have left them in the first place OR the whole group could have waited for the 3 to catch up before boarding the attraction.  

I know what I'm saying can be considered controversial.  I'm NOT slamming cheerleaders, but after that, I was ready to get out of Hollywood Studios and find some adult refreshments.  The CM's said the cheerleaders were out of control and running through queues like that all over.  I teach students to be respectful and aware of those around them. This leader was teaching her girls that they not only owned the park but were better than everyone else who wanted to enjoy their vacations. That's simply not ok. *Getting off soap box now.*

MuppetVision 3D to help us smile again!

Finally, though, before we left we decided to go to the Animation Academy in Animation Courtyard.  For free, a Disney animator will teach you how to sketch a (random) Disney character.  Our session sketched Pluto.  You get a light table, a piece of paper, and a pencil. No erasers! I found the lesson easy to follow, and at the end I got to keep my sketch! After the lesson the animator gives his sketch out to the winner of a trivia question. I never knew the answer, but I was excited to have my own Pluto sketch! (As a side note: this is best for children aged 8 or over. I recommend younger only if good at following directions and artistically inclined. Those who stress over perfection and a slightly quick pace might struggle in this activity.)

All in all, our morning at the Studios was so much fun! I wish I hadn't let the cheer mom get to me. My blood still boils a bit months later, but I know for next time to just let it go. Have you completed Animators Academy?


  1. First, let me say how much I LOVE this series. We don't have kids so I love to look at Disney from an adult traveler perspective. I love Animators Academy. I stumbled upon it one day and it's worth the time and wait. It's so cute and such a valuable souvenir. I will be following along your adventures. :)
    Rosanne @ The Disney Point

    1. Thanks, Rosanne! Adults only trips to Disney are so different than trips with kids. I really enjoy my trips with my niece and nephew, but this one with just my sis was really special.

      I could do Animators Academy over and over and over again! We did two sketches this trip, and they're currently framed in my guest room.

  2. This is a great series! And good for you for standing up to the adults in charge of the cheerleaders. Sometimes it takes just one person NOT to look the other way.

    1. I appreciate that, Tricia. I was shaking still when we got off the ride, but I didn't let it spoil my fun. Hopefully once the heat of the moment had passed, that adult took some time to consider what I said to her.