Monday, 30 May 2016

Disney Studios, Florida - Day Two

Wednesday 27 April 2016. We will be heading for Disney Studios for our second day in that park. There's another meal with characters but first will come a look at the park and some of its features and a close encounter with some Storm Troopers of the Star Wars kind!

Before we set off though there is another slow morning at the resort, at least for me. Miss Franny had decided that this morning she would visit the laundrette for our part of the resort and after a cry for assistance on how the machines worked (she's asking me???) I am free to enjoy a coffee and the view in Port Royale.

We had bought one of these mugs each as part of our meal deal. Without a meal deal they were $17.99 but once you had one you could fill it with any non-alcoholic beverage from a Disney resort (but not a park) as many times as you wished. That's tea, coffee, Coca-Cola, Sprite, Fanta etc... This was a great money saver over two weeks!

We have a meal booked in Hollywood Studios for tea time and decide to spend the full day there. Well... half a day there... This is the walk from the bus stop and it's already noon.

We in the UK pick up so much of America's cultural past from films and TV programmes set in the 1950s and 60s and from fun series like American Pickers and American Restoration where people chase all over the back roads of the States, looking for old things and then restoring them to an unbelievable level of pristine condition.

It's fun to see stuff like this. Mind you, I'd find it equally fun to see a Ford Zephyr or Hillman Minx in front of an Esso Golden or National Benzole petrol pump too...

A busy Hollywood Boulevard looking towards the Chinese Theatre at the far end. On the right, The Darkroom is one of the outlets where you can buy prints of any photos taken on rides or by the on-site Disney Photographers.

The balloon seller is doing business and makes a colourful addition to the street! So do the large groups of teenage girls - it turned out there was a Cheerleader's competition on. Each group had their own design of t-shirt printed and they really stood out in the parks. At night when some of them were dressed up (this did not necessarily involve much material...) Miss Franny had to tap my chin and roll my tongue back up a couple of times! However, after the competition weekend there were quite a number of them with a leg in kevlar (they probably would have not been able to mix so much plaster of paris...!) and crutches became the order of the day.

Sunset Boulevard runs off to the right from Hollywood Boulevard and recalls to mind Gloria Swanson's 1950 comeback as a silent movie star, reluctant to admit that she is getting older and given to watching films of her younger self. "We had faces then..."

It's not really a cinema, it's a shop selling Star Wars merchandise. I remember the original Star Wars in 1977/78 introduced the world to an explosion of merchandise and it is incredibly sought after today. Sadly there are no Millenium Falcons littering my attic...

Half way along Sunset Boulevard and with Hollywood Tower in front of us. It's a haunted hotel where you sit in the lift and it plunges 13 storeys at 39 miles per hour, pulled down slightly faster than a free fall would be. This causes riders to float out of their seats until restrained by their seat belt. Eddie had a go on it. There was a really neat video of it on our Memory Maker account folders once we got home too.

I'm not lugging a guitar that size about on stage!!! The Aerosmith Roller Coaster. No, I don't know why... Inside the shop they were selling 30p (UK price) guitar plectrums for $3. I refused to buy one and was dubbed Grumpy by the rest of the family. My lovely daughter bought me one as a present. Love you, Gill xxx. Nearly three quarters of the embossed design managed to stay on until we got home...

The sound of explosions rent the air and we made our way to the Center Stage where the Star Wars show was taking place. As the show ended a detachment of Storm Troopers marched before us.

If we thought The Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin was fun yesterday in Magic Kingdom, then Toy Story Mania! here at Hollywood Studios is totally awesome! Again you have guns but instead of lasers they have a little pull string at the back with a ball and you yank it like a pop gun.

Instead of targets you face a 3D movie screen and you shoot little doughnuts at a multitude of moving and stationary targets. My favourite ride of the fortnight. I scored the most of the family by a factor of three, but Eddie was scoffing at my mere 30% hit rate. Hey - but I would have killed more baddies! Pull that string quicker! If you snooze, you lose!

Fran and I go on The Great Movie Ride before we meet up for tea once more at Hollywood & Vine. It's a dark ride through a series of scenes from old movies from Busby Berkeley musicals to Indiana Jones. The driver of your vehicle interacts with actors inside the ride and gets kidnapped at one point. Also to watch out for are some original movie props on display in the pre-show queueing area. It's worth walking through slowly even if there isn't a queue holding you up.

We meet back up with the EGGs at the Hollywood & Vine restaurant and this time the vibrating gizmo vibrates satisfactorily, our name is called and we are seated with great efficiency. Goofy, Donald, Mickey and Minnie are the characters for the meal.

Grace is as excited to meet the characters now as she was on day one, but on looking through her autograph book she particularly likes the comment from Doc McStuffins; "Thank you for taking good care of Lambie. Love, Doc McStuffins".

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