Hollywood Studios! Man, we had low expectations after Universal, but Disney really came through with Hollywood Studios. The first time I went was before Disney had bought Star Wars, so all that was really there was Star Tours, the ride. This time it was all Star Wars-ed out! We walked in and started our morning with a little show:
The First Order Show of Force
There was this stage kind of in the middle of Hollywood Studios, and as soon as we got there we waited by it to see the Stormtrooper show that was supposed to happen. It was pretty cool. Stormtroopers marched around right in front of us, they tried to intimidate us, Captain Phasma gave them orders and shot off these rockets out of their blasters. Pretty cool. Something I noticed here that was kind of on my mind all day was the significance of Captain Phasma being a woman. That used to be kind of rare in sci-fi. I guess there weren’t many girls interested in it or something. As a girl that loves sci-fi, I’ve long accepted the fact that the main character of anything sci-fi is almost always a guy, and the supporting character, and the villian, and really everybody. They’re all always male. I’ve accepted the fact that if a woman is there at all, she’s usually simply the love interest. Or is in danger and has to be saved. I don’t mean I’ve accepted it as in I’m okay with it, that’s just what I’ve come to expect of sci-fi. To enjoy it I have to enjoy it for what it is. Think of Princess Leia, who spends all of A New Hope being rescued. And also a good part of Return of the Jedi (and that slave Leia costume?) Anyway, I love Priness Leia in the originals because she’s stronger than most females in sci-fi. But what amazes me about Captain Phasma is that she’s a woman, but you only know by her voice. She never takes off her Stormtrooper armor, isn’t used as a love interest or as some sexy villian. She’s just a stormtrooper that happens to be a woman, plain and simple. And I love that they’re so casual about it.
After we saw Captain Phasma and her Stormtrooper buddies we used our first fastpass of the day for Star Tours. Star Tours was amazing!!! It’s one of my all time favorite rides. Basically what happens is you walk through this building that’s set up to be like a space airport. You see all these droids working on different ships, you see R2-D2 and C3PO working together. It’s entertaining. And then you get put to one of the different rooms they have and are told to sit down and buckle up, you’re on a spaceship! Also, C3PO is flying it, so your flight might be a little rough.
The Star Tours ride isn’t a real ride. The room just moves along with what’s happening on the screen in front of you. That makes it sound like it would be more lame, but actually it allows th Star Tours ride to be much more interesting than the other rides. The ride is actually different every time, so if you go on it more than once you can get a different variance of what you had before. It’s pretty cool. And they changed it up a little from last time I went on it to have more Force Awakens stuff incorporated.
Star Wars Store
The Star Wars store had typical Star Wars stuff. It was pretty crowded with all the kids at the build-your-own lightsaber station (pretty neat). What stood out to me was one wall by the cashier that had all these Star Wars dresses. Little girl dressses, which ruffly tutus, made to look like R2-D2 or C3Po or BB-8. Dresses for girls my age of a similar style, made to look like R2-D2 or Darth Vader, both ages subtle enough that one who didn’t know anything about Star Wars would not realize the theme of the dress. There was a tank top dress with Rey, a $100 purse in an R2-D2 theme, scarves with tie-fighters on them. I was in nerd girl heaven.
I was just so validating to have a section of the store for me. Like I said before, women in sci-fi has been a rarity, both in content and in fanbase. But Star Wars is starting to change that, started, really, when they first created Princess Leia as such a strong character. And now more and more girls are getting into sci-fi. Star Wars is what first made me love science fiction. It’s nice that they recognize the girls that love it with their merchendise. 🙂
My dad loves puppets; he does puppets for the preschoolers at our church. So of course he signed us up to see the Muppet’s 3D show. It was entertaining, filled with the typical muppety nonsense. It was also good for all of us to be out of the sun for a little bit. We were still tired from the first day we went hard at Magic Kingdom. All of my siblings and I have been forced by our father to love the Muppets, so we were perfectly happy to use one of our fastpasses to watch the muppet show.
Voyage of the Little Mermaid
Speaking of puppets, as soon as we got out of the Muppet show my dad found that there was another puppet show playing soon, a Little Mermaid puppet show. He insisted that we go to it, since Little Mermaid is my favorite and I would love it. My siblings were complaining about going to another show (Saffron especially wanted to go on another ride). I told my dad we didn’t have to go on another ride, we were staying in the Little Mermaid section of Art of Animation, like I got my fill of Little Mermaid it was okay, but then he said, “No, Celadon. Puppets.”
Ahh. He just wanted to see more puppets.
The LM show was good. They basically performed two songs from the Little Mermaid and some of the fish were puppets, but you couldn’t see the puppeteers because it was dark. It was neat and they did a good job. The girl who was playing Ariel was not a puppet and she sang “Part of Your World” quite well. It was live, amazing, and gave me chills.
We had an average lunch at the ABC whatever. The notable part about it was the cupcakes. There were Dory, Olaf, and Darth Vader cupcakes. I had a Darth Vader one. It was dark chocolate and peanut butter. 🙂
Star Tours Again
After lunch we did Star Tours again. It was a family favorite. 🙂 The second time wasn’t as good only because we got a different version that had Jar Jar Binks. I hate Jar Jar.
While waiting in line we got a glimpse of a tiny jedi show that was happening just outside the building for the ride. What happened was these little kids, probably all under the age of ten, were given brown cloaks and lightsabers, then put through some “Jedi training” on a small stage for everyone to watch. Adults ran the show (it was two women, which I thought was cool. Girls can be Jedi too!) and throughout the show they brought up an “image” of Darth Vader for the Padawans to battle and (which was cute). The kids would go one at a time and swing their lightsaber in the general direction of Darth Vader in a halfhearted attempt to kill him. Some kids backed out all together. I mean, he did come onto the stage out of this slidey door with a bunch of fog. Pretty intimidating.
But the scariest part, at least for the Padawans, was when Kylo Ren showed up. The REAL Kylo Ren (this is sarcasm). Then one of the adults was momentarily swayed to join the dark side, but the kids all encouraged her not to. Then, and I’m not really sure how this connects because I missed the part in between, but the kids all started yelling at Kylo Ren “I am not afraid!”
It was adorable. I love Star Wars.
Next was our last fastpass, the Indiana Jones stunt show. Saffron was complaining that she didn’t want to see another show, but we shushed her and I sat in between Cobalt and Magenta instead. Cobalt and I were the only ones of my siblings who’ve actually seen Indiana Jones, so we kind of knew what was going to happen with the large boulder-shaped opening and the incline. But Magenta had no idea. She gasped when the boulder chased him down. It was kind of funny.
The show was really impressive. I had seen it before, but this time we were closer and could actually feel the heat from each explosion on the stage. It was really impressive how the stunt people manage to do all those crazy things. They’re jumping off two story buildings (onto squishy, trampoline material, but still), in cars that are flipped and caught on fire, sitting on top of and fighting around a moving airplane.
I could never do it. I prefer my seat in the audience. It was a really cool show, and longer than I remembered. But I enjoyed every second of it.
Festival of Fantasy Parade, Again
We said goodbye to Hollywood Studios and hurried back to Magic Kingdom soon after the Indiana Jones show. We had reservations at the Be Our Guest Restaurant to celebrate our cousin Peyton’s birthday. And we didn’t want to miss them, like Peyton and her mom had missed the princess lunch. We got back just in time to see the Festival of Fantasy parade again, though we were standing behind a bunch of people on Main Street, so it was quite difficult to actually see anything. My sisters were a little grumpy, especially Saffron, who was entirely done with watching things and wanted to go on another ride. But I enjoyed listening to the Festival of Fantasy song and being reminded of the things Disney stands for: imagination, fantasy, dreams.
Be Our Guest Dinner
The Be Our Guest Restaurant, which takes place at the Beast’s castle, is absolutely wonderful. The castle is beautiful. We ate dinner in the ballroom, which is like an actual ballroom. The chandeliers are huge and glittering, the ceiling is painted the same way it is in the movie, and the windows in the back show a perpetually snowy twilight. Everything was bright and golden and amazing. I was in awe just looking around at the detail that had been paid attention to in order to make this place perfect. The food was delicious as well, though I had to fight with Lilac in order to get her to pick something to eat. She’s very, very picky and had basically been surviving on mac and cheese and french fries all week. She didn’t realize there was mac and cheese on the menu, since it was called something different, and kept arguing with me when I tried to tell her that it was, in fact, mac and cheese.
On top of Lilac, I was sitting near the birthday girl, Peyton. Since my Aunt K had left her with us. Opa (my grandfather) was the closest adult, but he seemed quite tired and wasn’t really paying attention. So I had to be the one to make sure Peyton knew what she was ordering, made sure she ate her dinner and all that. I mean, I guess I didn’t have to, but she was just turning five and I think that’s pretty young to be left to your own devices.
Aunt K was very dependent on her parents, my Oma and Opa, when it came to taking care of her daughter. As a result, she became kind of irresponsible in general when it came to Peyton. At least, that’s what my mom said.
I did watch over Peyton a lot that week though.
After dinner we had our desserts (two, birthday cake and the dessert that came with the dinner) and then all went our separate ways to enjoy the rides and things in Magic Kingdom. I went with my mom and Saffron and Lilac to the Enchanted Tales with Belle, which felt like it was actually for preschoolers. We had to “tell” the story with different motions and sound effects. It was for the little kids, I know, but they didn’t even give the big kids a chance to meet Belle. 😦
That’s okay, I never really liked her anyway.
Her restaurant was super pretty though. 🙂
Tea Cup Ride
Before we had left the Be Our Guest restaurant my dad scheduled fastpasses for me, Saffron, Lilac, and our mom to go to the teacup ride. After we met Belle (or, Lilac and Saffron met Belle) I navigated us to the tea cup ride. I don’t know why my mom put me in charge of getting us from place to place because I’m horrible with directions, but somehow I got us where we needed to go. I didn’t even get lost!
The tea cup ride is pretty basic and pretty fun. You sit in a tea cup and then spin the wheel in the middle to make the tea cup spin faster and faster. There’s a lot of spinning involved: you are spinning in your teacup, that tea cup is rotating in a circle of tea cups, and all the tea cups are on this giant circular board that is also rotating.
I was so dizzy.
In a surprise twist, our mom was the one who kept making us go faster and faster. She had told us stories of how her brother would make them all sick on the tea cup ride when they went, spinning it as fast as they could go. And then she did that to us. Saffron and I ended up leaning back and then were stuck there, pulled by the centripetal force. (I did learn something in Physics class).
It was crazy fun.
Pirates of the Caribbean With Everyone
The first time we had gone on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride my mom sat out with Saffron and Lilac, thinking that it would be too scary for them. But I really wanted to go on the ride again with my mom, so as we were figuring out how to do that we decided that Lilac and Saffron would probably be fine and we should just all go on it. So we did. The Pirates ride is pretty tame, anyway. Other than the initial drop it’s just like the Little Mermaid ride. Except with pirates. And a very lifelike Captain Jack Sparrow.
Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate’s life for me 🙂
Peter Pan ride with Lilac and Saffron
After we did the pirates ride, (which Saffron and Lilac were totally chill with. After the Gringotts ride nothing could scare them) we split up again and I headed back to the Peter Pan ride with Saffron and Lilac while Magenta and Cobalt did Splash Mountain or something. My dad organized fastpasses for us all again, but there weren’t enough for our mom to get a fastpass for Peter Pan as well, so she waited outside. It was weird, just me and my youngest sisters. I was asked a couple times how old I was by the staff. I didn’t realize there was some kind of rule. Thankfully I was old enough for whatever the requirements were and they let us on the ride. This time Lilac and Saffron didn’t freak out as much as they did the first time.
The End of the Night
The rest of the evening at Magic Kingdom is kind of a blur. We got slushies at Pinnochio’s, and there was this really amazing staff member there named Tori that was totally accomodating to Lilac’s picky choices. She let her try some of the slushie before she made her decision. It was really kind.
We down towards Frontierland and got really good seats for the electric parade. It was cool to actually see it this time. The glowing bug things kind of bothered me, mostly because I couldn’t figure out how they were controlled.
We were walking during the fireworks, heading back to Ariel’s grotto. It freaked Lilac out to be walking and not really being able to tell where the fireworks were. But I thought it was kind of cool. Since we were walking behind the castle the show was all around us. It felt like we were right in the middle of all of it.
Ariel was adorable, of course. She’s still my favorite Disney princess. We talked to her and took pictures. The camera guy got this really nice one of me hugging her. 🙂 I swear, I will never grow up.
I was sad to leave Magic Kingdom. It’s one of my favorite places. But we were getting on the cruise the next day, a new chapter in our vacation. I had never been on a cruise before. I was excited to try something new. And I know for sure that this will not be my last time in Disney World. I will come back again someday.