Thursday, September 22, 2011

Day 6 - We Visit Disney's Hollywood Studios - and Friends

8/27/11

Today we are going back to The Studios to do the attractions we didn't get around to doing yesterday, and to meet some online friends. Over the years I have had the pleasure of meeting some of the people I know from both the rec.arts.disney.parks (RADP) usenet usegroup, as well as from Laughing Place. There are a few that I know who are in Disney World this week, but with our schedule and priorities it has been hard to find a way to be in the same place at the same time. Today we will try to meet Michelle and her family.

Today Michelle will be in The Studios, and we keep in touch by text as my wife and I take the boat over to the park. Once we arrive, I take my wife's park ticket and head over to get fastpasses for Toy Story: Midway Mania. Once again Michelle and I text each other. We arrange to meet by Gertie the Dinosaur as it is near the Indiana Jones Stunt Show which Michelle and her family are planning on seeing next. As my wife and I arrive in the area, I see Michelle and her daughters there waiting for us. Her husband, Tim, will meet us here in a few minutes and then all of us will head in to see the show. We catch up on all of the events of the week so far and it is as if old friends were meeting, and of course, in a way it was. We have known each other for quite a while online, and it is nice to finally meet in person. Her husband arrives and we head in to watch the show.

Once the show is over, we part ways and my wife and I head towards the Muppet 3-D show. My wife does a little souvenir browsing in the Muppet themed store while I wait, and then we head into the show. When we come out, Florida's famous "liquid sunshine" is once again falling, and we wait in the exit area until it stops. As shows let out, the area becomes quite crowded, but happily the rain stops before the crowd reaches critical mass. Once again it becomes sunny, hot and very humid as it has been, and will be, for our entire stay this time.

We walk out to Streets of America, and my wife checks out one of her favorite stands, "Youse Guys Moychindice" (we New Yorkers take a lot of ribbing, don't we?).

Next up is a stop in the book store at the end of the street. Always a nice place to cool down, and perhaps get a drink or a cookie or cake. While in there my wife asks me if I would be interested in looking into how long a walk-in at Sci-Fi Dine In would be, and I naturally like the idea. She goes in to check. Having been here often, we don't mind if we are given a table in the back rather than a car to eat in. She comes back and says that we will only have about a 15 minute wait, and she has already checked us in. Very shortly our name is called and we are shown to our car. When our meal is over, and we are into the second time through the movie loop, our car hop brings us our check, and something special. Our car has been randomly selected for a surprise gift, and we are all (us and the family in the "front seat") given a Sci-Fi mug filled with caramel popcorn. Very nice indeed!

After lunch, and continuing on the theme of finding indoor entertainment to keep cool, we head towards the Animation Courtyard, and once again backdoor ourselves through the Art of Animation store. One of our favorite things to do here in The Studios is the Animation Academy. Each time we are here we like to do at least a few classes. It is here that an animator takes a group of guests every half hour and guides them through the process of drawing one of Disney's well known characters. Most people who take part are quite surprised how, by following the animator's instructions, they can actually draw the character pretty well. Today we get to draw Mickey Mouse himself. Over the years we have drawn many Mickey's from various angles and, of course, with his sorcerer's hat. Today we get to draw a classic Mickey Mouse pose.



From the Animation Academy, we decide to head over to The Great Movie Ride. Not only is it cool and you can get off your feet, but it lasts for quite a while. And by this point of the day and the trip we are hot and the feet are a bit tired. (Okay, more than a bit ... they hurt!)

Earlier in the day, we got fastpasses for Toy Story: Midway Mania and now it was time to get to use them. We head over to the area and present our fastpasses and enter the proper queue. As I mentioned earlier, I always enjoy meeting some of my online friends while I am here, and Toy Story is where one of them is currently a cast member. As we go through the queue and get on our ride vehicle I keep my eyes open for Kellyn, but do not see her. However, as we are exiting the ride, I see a CM who is just coming off her break, and it is Kellyn. I tap her on the shoulder and we have a brief conversation in the unload area. Unfortunately, she is working and my wife and I are ready to head back to the hotel, so the meeting is brief, but it was certainly nice to get to meet her. Hopefully next time we are here we can find a more convenient time and spend some more time together.

After exiting the ride, my wife and I decide to call it a day and head to the boat for the trip back to The Boardwalk.

More pictures from today can be seen here.