Florida 03/22 – Hollywood Studios
After a decent night’s sleep, which you’d expect after doing 12 hours of the Magic Kingdom running on fumes, it was time to visit a park that had a certain amount of stress attached to it, Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
The stress obviously came in the form of would or wouldn’t we get to ride Rise of the Resistance today? and this led to us making a slightly silly mistake in regards to our shady hotel shuttle bus.
Much like yesterday the bus dropped us off at the transport hub outside Magic Kingdom. Not knowing how connections worked from here to Hollywood Studios we asked our bus driver. His reply was something along the lines of, ‘Disney’s internal transport is screwed because of Covid, it will be a major faff and will take almost 2 hours. But… I can drive you straight there for a tip!’
I think deep down all 3 of us knew he was lying to our faces but in the stress of the moment and honestly not knowing how we’d even think about getting there we opted to pay the man.
About 5 minutes later and after several near misses (he was driving like a madman so this extra bit of money making wouldn’t affect his schedule) we arrived at Hollywood Studios.
Where we tactically decided to tick off MuppetVision 3D as we walked past it.
I’ve wanted to watch this show ever since I first heard of it many years ago, and it didn’t disappoint! The main show was great, as you’d expect from The Muppets, and the surprises and 3D elements only helped to enhance it.
Then it was time to get serious and venture into Galaxy’s Edge.
Confession time, I have not seen a single Star Wars movie, nor am I attached to the franchise in any way whatsoever. Did this stop Galaxy’s Edge from absolutely blowing my mind? It most certainly did not!
I can only imagine the joy Heartline (he’s a huge fan of Star Wars) must have been feeling because I was completely awestruck by the detail and scale of this land.
Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
Enough about how great the land is, let’s go fly a spaceship.
The insane levels of detail from Galaxy’s Edge continue into the interior queueline of Smugglers Run, the land’s lesser but still amazing ride. And don’t even get me started on how amazing the animatronic is for Hondo Ohnaka.
The ride itself, the best kind of motion simulator, is great fun, with the interactive elements and complete immersion making it feel so real and epic. Oh and yeah remember, this is the lesser of the Star Wars rides…
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
So let’s go ride the main event!
Yes, Rise of the Resistance was open and could be experienced from a stand-by queue, which wasn’t 9 hours long.
It was almost 3 hours long however, but needs must, I reckon this one will be worth it.
And oh man was it!
I’ll say the absolute minimum that I can in order to convey my thoughts but not spoil anything because RotR is so much better when you know nothing.
First off, it’s so much more than just the main ride part.
The moments from being batched into the first preshow section until you board the official ride vehicle are ridiculous. Awe, intense excitment, legitimate tension and fear, wonder, it’s so good, I was beyond buzzing by the time that it came to take my seat in the actual ride.
Then things got even better!
Rise might be the best dark ride in the World and I promise you that I’m not saying that lightly or without experience.
Breathtaking in more ways than one, a technological marvel from start to finish and an ending that I promise will blow your mind.
The three of us left Rise shaking with excitement and spent the next 20 minutes talking about what we’d just experienced, the sign of a fantastic dark ride.
After a bite to eat, which turned out to be a fatal mistake, it was time for another fantastic dark ride.
Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway
With a trip to the Chinese theatre to ride Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway.
This massive trackless dark ride, with many surprises, was amazing, and that’s coming from someone who stepped off RotR an hour ago.
The animated styling is adorable, the use of screens and projections are handled in a way that doesn’t distract from the experience, the surprises the trackless system throws at you are pretty special and I don’t know if it’s just me but I found the whole ride really funny.
I just wish I wasn’t dealing with stomach issues from the previously mentioned fatal mistake because I’m sure I would have enjoyed it even more.
We only got one ride on Runaway Railway throughout the entire trip, due to it always having a queue and sharing the same park as RotR, which is a shame because I’d have to loved to have ridden it again.
After dealing with said stomach issues, getting some water and doing a stock take. We came to the conclusion that due to Hollywood Studios having the longest queues in the whole resort that it would be impossible to finish the park today. This caused us to fall back on an old favourite technique of just doing the shortest queues first and seeing how the cards fall.
Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster
This technique led us to Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, which technically was the shortest queue on park (of things we needed) but was still almost 2 hours…
We spent the queue researching how we were going to get to Epcot later for our bus pick up.
While there was no way it would take 2 hours to get from the transport hub to Hollywood Studios, our shady bus driver was correct in saying that transport between the Disney parks was a faff.
Oh yeah, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, it was fine, not as good as the Paris one was. Only in the respect that I prefer the rock show theming more than cardboard cutouts of signs.
Upon leaving Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster we concluded we had just enough time to ride Slinky, if the stated queue time was correct.
Slinky Dog Dash
It wasn’t, it was even shorter.
Which meant it was now time to ride a Mack multi-launch at a Disney park.
Slinky Dog Dash is great fun and honestly far more impressive than I was expecting.
Disney and Mack have found the perfect medium between family friendly Toy Story coaster and probably the best coaster hardware on the planet to create something special.
Slinky has decent airtime moments, fun laterals, some positives and the launches are quite punchy too.
I liked it, and if it wasn’t pegged at 3 hour queues from opening to almost close every day I would have loved to have ridden it again.
Hollywood Studios then…
As a park, other than Galaxy’s Edge, there’s almost no atmosphere other than it’s busy and too hot.
As a ride line up though, in my opinion, it’s the best on resort, in terms of both numbers and quality.
Now let the faff begin.
We left Hollywood Studios and spoke to a cast member about the plan we’d seen online about getting from here to Epcot and if he agreed with it. He did, because quote, “there are no buses to Epcot”.
With that we jumped on the Skyliner and took far too long, via several hotels, to arrive at Epcot’s World Showcase.
We arrived at park kicking out time, so in order to know which stampede to join the back of to get to the bus park out the front, we asked a cast member. Her reply was something along the lines of, you shouldn’t have travelled here on the Skyliner, you’re not allowed to walk through Epcot to get to the front at this time, you’ll have to beg security at this check point to let you through.
Her opinion wouldn’t change even after we explained we were told to come this way, so we walked over to the security lady to beg.
“Come straight on through guys, have a good night!”
Well that was easy, not really sure what the issue was…
After a slightly hurried walk through Epcot (spoilers!) we got to the bus park with enough time to ask a transport cast member about our plans for tomorrow.
We needed to be at Animal Kingdom for opening in order to make the most of our day, yet our shady shuttle bus wouldn’t be able to get us there any time near opening.
Can we easily and quickly get from the transport hub to Animal Kingdom?
After a few seconds of thinking and several stutters the reply was no. Let’s just take the car.
Thank you for reading, click here for day 4 of my trip report where we visit the beautiful Animal Kingdom and the fantastic Epcot.