Hollywood Studios

On Sunday, we woke up early to head to Hollywood Studios (formerly known as MGM). Our first stop was to sign up for Jedi Training, which was the thing the girls were looking forward to the most of the trip. It was so awesome it deserves its own post, so you’ll have to wait until tomorrow to hear about that. For now, just know that we got there in time to sign up for a session after noon, then headed out to have other fun in the park.

These days, Hollywood Studios is full of Star Wars stuff. The girls and I are big Star Wars fans, which is why the three of us were looking forward to it more than any other day. So, we took advantage of our Extra Magic Hour to go on Star Tours. Jen even got caught up in the Star Wars excitement so much that she joined us, despite it being the kind of ride that usually doesn’t sit well with her. The girls and I loved it (Jen less so) - such a fun ride to get in on the Star Wars space travel action.

The exit for Star Tours leaves you in Tatooine Traders, which is a great place to shop for Star Wars stuff. They even let you build your own lightsaber, which both of the girls were looking forward to. They both had Disney gift cards (thanks G’Mom and Grampa), and had saved them for this.

Build your own lightsaber

Thanks to William from Endor for helping the girls with constructing their lightsabers.

Build your own lightsaber

Build your own lightsaber

Not only can you build lightsabers, you can build little droids as well. The girls were excited to do so.

Build your own droid

Here they are with their lightsabers and droids (R8-D8 and R2-L2).

Lightsabers and droids

A few notes for those interested - the lightsabers are $25 each for standard ones like ours, though they can be up to $45 if you want double sided with Kylo Ren cross guards on each side. Droids were $22 for two of them (I think). We did this early, and discovered that was the best thing to do as the place gets crowded and the supplies get less plentiful as the day goes on. We tried to have them send our stuff to our room so we didn’t have to carry it, but they said it might not make it before we checked out the next day. Instead, we had them send the items to Package Pickup where we picked them up at the end of the day.

Outside, the girls got to sit on an Imperial Speeder Bike.

Speeder Bike

Then we headed off to our first FastPass of the day - Toy Story Midway Mania, which was lots of fun. Then we thought we had some time before our next FastPass, so we hopped on the Great Movie Ride. We didn’t have as much time as we thought, but thankfully the attendant at Voyage of the Little Mermaid let us in despite being late. We ended up having to wait for the next show there, but that wasn’t a big deal. Then, on to our last prebooked FastPass - For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration, which was funny and fun. We then headed back to Jedi Training, where we ate our PB&J sandwich lunch standing while they gathered the kids together (more on that tomorrow).

After Jedi Training, we headed over to Muppet*Vision 3D. It was a fun show, and next to a kiosk we could use to book an additional FastPass (for Star Tours again, of course). But that FastPass was for several hours later, so we instead opted to check out other Star Wars stuff. We went to the Star Wars Launch Bay, where we got to watch a short behind-the-scenes movie and then look at a bunch of movie props.

Then we walked over to Sunset Boulevard to see Beauty and the Beast - Live on Stage.

Beauty and the Beast Live

There wasn’t much else for us over on Sunset Boulevard, so we headed back to the Animation Courtyard for a family picture.

Family pic

Family pictures with signs are fun, but family pictures with Wookies are even better. So, we headed back into Star Wars Launch Bay to wait in line to meet Chewbacca. The girls also wanted his signature, but we were told that he was not signing anything to avoid leaving a paper trail that the First Order could use to track down the Resistance.

Chewbacca family pic

Chewie wasn’t sure about my shirt when he saw Darth Vader on it, but he seemed to be OK with it after I pointed out Luke, Leia, and her Chewbacca doll.

Explaining my shirt

We also met a Jawa wandering around there.


After that, it was time for a snack. Everywhere you walked, you could smell the popcorn, and the girls really wanted some. Jen and I instead opted for something that brought me back to my childhood - Mickey Mouse Ice Cream Bars. These aren’t the same ones I remember (those were vanilla ice cream with chocolate ice cream eyes and mouth, and only the ears were dipped in chocolate). But these were still excellent.

Mickey Mouse Ice Cream Bars

At that point, we’d done most of the stuff we wanted to. The girls kept asking to go back to Star Tours, but our FastPass there wasn’t for another hour. So, we decided we’d just stand in line for it (well, the girls and I would - Jen was not up for a return trip). Here we are ready for our second space flight with front row seats.

Star Tours again

After we got off the ride, it was about time for our FastPass, so we went back for a third time. Note that they do have a bunch of different elements that they mix together, so each ride was slightly different.

For dinner, we had our only quick counter-service meal of the trip at the ABC Commissary. Then we headed to get a seat for some evening entertainment at 7:00. Fantasmic is a huge character, fireworks, and water show (they even project video onto a sheet of water being sprayed into the air). It was very cool.

Then we swung by Package Pickup to get our lightsabers and droids, and headed to the Animation Courtyard to watch Symphony in the Stars: A Galactic Spectacular - a Star Wars-themed fireworks show at 8:00. It was the perfect finale to a fantastic day.

Nighttime pic

Note that we stayed at the park all day. It was crazy busy, and the girls loved it so much there was never a hint of exhaustion. We left the hotel at 7:30 in the morning and got back around 9:30 at night. Our girls are awesome.

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