Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Disney Trip, Day 3

So after a great first day and a fantastic second day, would the third day be a charm?

Well, not exactly...Molly woke up at 6am, essentially guaranteeing that we'd all be cranky by mid-afternoon. We headed out to Disney Hollywood Studios (it seems they are dropping the MGM name) and arrived about 20 minutes before the gate opened, got in line, grabbed some maps, and started to plan our day.


I started to get cranky immediately when the the turnstiles we were queued for quit working for about 5 minutes while we watched everyone around us stream into the park ahead of us. I guess it really didn't matter as we never really saw another line all day. The crowds again were super-light.

Our first order of business was to hit up some character photos while the lines were short. We got pictures with Goofy, Chip n' Dale, Pluto, and Stitch first thing in the morning, then later in the day the kids got to meet Woody & Buzz.


The first ride we went on was the Great Movie Ride, which kind of set the tone for the day. Most of the movies featured in the ride were not kid-oriented and the kids were both bored and a little frightened by some of the gimmicks/noises. At least when we came out of that ride, we caught something the kids were into...the High School Musical 2 street performance. I still don't get why the HSM franchise appeals to kids Max's and Molly's age, but both our kids were riveted to the performance, even getting up to dance on cue with the actors.

We then caught a performance of Voyage of the Little Mermaid, a combination movie/live-action stage performance which both interested, but startled the kids a few times. The show started with an excellent black-light theater performance of Under the Sea which was pretty cool.

When we came out of Ariel's show, we had to explain to the kids why they couldn't go see the big Playhouse Disney show that was directly across the plaza. The one show at Disney Studios that is uniquely geared towards their age was closed for refurbishment, our biggest disappointment of the trip so far.

Instead, we took in the Jedi Training Academy, which was very similar in nature to the Jack Sparrow show we caught yesterday...except with lightsabers and Darth Vader! Molly was absolutely livid that she didn't get picked to be a padawan, and I thought we were going to have our first real meltdown of our Disney experience. I managed to distract her by playing on an Imperial Speed Bike while Max enjoyed the show and eventually she calmed down enough to watch the show.


After some refreshments, we saw the MuppetVision 3-D movie which probably saved the day for us. Molly turned from whining to hysterical laughter when she saw the 3-D movie. It was definitely the biggest hit for her so far.

We grabbed lunch and did the Backlot Tour, which I must say really pales in comparison with the Universal Studios (California) tram tour. Max was frightened by the earthquake canyon but managed to survive. Afterwards, we piled into a massive stadium for the 1:30 showing of the Lights! Motors! Action! stunt show.

With the exception of Molly, I think we can all say that the stunt show has been one of our favorite attractions of the whole week so far. It was an exceptional live demonstration of the stunt driving you see in many action movies, complete with jumps, gunfire, and explosions. And of course Max was in heaven with so many cars and motorcycles whizzing by in rapid succession. In addition to being something really interesting for even adults, it was also a photographer's dream to shoot. I got some really great shots with my 300mm lens that I luckily had brought along in my bag.


By the time the stunt show was over (around 2pm), Molly was done. There were a few attractions we hadn't done yet, but most of the bigger rides at the Studios weren't geared towards kids anyway. We figured it was best to call it a day before it not only ruined Wednesday, but future days as well. I ended up having to carry her on my shoulders most of the way to the car. I even think she fell asleep at one point sitting atop my shoulders with her head resting on mine.

After a refreshing swim back at the townhome, Molly perked up, but I bet she'll be asleep early tonight. That's good, because we're off to Epcot first thing tomorrow. But I expect it will be a short day tomorrow too...I mean, how long can you keep kids interested in songs/rides about hydroponic agriculture?

Full pictures from Day 3 are on Flickr.

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