Friday, December 1, 2017

Our Disney Trip 2017: Thanksgiving in Hollywood (Studios)

When planning which parks we would visit on what days, I knew that Thanksgiving Day would likely be the craziest day at any of the parks.  It was also our last day at the parks so I wanted it to be extra special.  Although a lot of people may choose to skip Hollywood Studios for more days at Magic Kingdom or Epcot, this park is my boys' favorite park for its cool Star Wars activities, Pixar Toy Story Mania ride, and more.  It really is a neat park to visit at any time, but it did put on a fabulous show for the holiday season.  Can you even imagine getting snow for Christmas on Hollywood Blvd?  I mean, that isn't going to happen in "real" Hollywood, right?  Only Disney can make that kind of magic happen, and it really did feel magical.  We utilized the day to get extra special Christmas pictures too.  It was our longest day at any parks as we had to get up really early to make sure our boys got to do the really special Star Wars Jedi training.  That alone was worth the wait!  I think it was everyone's favorite day!

Grayson was ready to go bright and early.  We skipped breakfast at our hotel since it was so early and waited to eat something at the park.  Grayson really just loved playing with the Mickey wand.  Still his and Mattox's favorite part. 

We arrived at the park as one of the first guests, and it was a beautiful morning.  You usually only see these flower and hedge displays during the Springtime festivals, but I loved this scene from Fantasia.  

Just using our time to take some pictures before entering the park. 

While we waited in line for the park to open, some characters came by and put on a little morning show for us.  After we got in and signed up for our Jedi training, we got a little breakfast and ate outside at a cafe on Sunset Blvd. 

Hollywood Studios was formerly MGM Studios before it was bought out by Disney.  The recreation of Grauman's Chinese Theater makes a good backdrop for pictures, but the park used to have a big Magician Mickey hat for a picture backdrop.  I missed that. 

And Olaf dropped in to see us and did make it a little chilly in Florida. 

We celebrated Mattox's and Grayson's first Disney trip and Grayson's 1st birthday by visiting Chip and Dale.  Big brothers and Daddy were riding the Star Tours Star Wars ride. 

Mattox was really excited to see Chip and Dale when we were waiting in line, but right before our turn he had spotted a little car play area that he wanted to go see so I had a little struggle getting him to go up to Chip and Dale first. 

Holding two little ones isn't always easy, but we got our cute pictures.  I always love Chip and Dale.  One of my favorite childhood cartoons was Chip and Dale Rescue Rangers. 

Chip is always sweet and lovable, and Dale is always a character.  Last trip, he tried to steal our backpack that he thought had snacks in it. 

And Mattox got to see his car at the drive-in theater. 

There were cute holiday decorations including a huge Christmas tree, and the big dinosaur got some festive holiday decor too. 

Another family photo op in front of the Hollywood Studios sign. 

Our magical trip wasn't complete without a new Star Wars light saber.  They like the purple ones because they are different than most Jedi have.  Only Mace Windu had a purple one.  I do not like the "theory" that Mace Windu turned to the dark side to become the new evil Emperor he didn't actually die in Revenge of the Sith.  

Our Christmas pictures in front of the festive Christmas backdrop.  The Hollywood Studios Christmas tree was inside the park instead of at the entrance like at the other parks. 

The boys and I had our turn to ride the Star Tours ride.  This is currently the only Star Wars ride and is actually just a simulator.  They are finally building a whole new  Star Wars expansion with more rides so I can't wait to see how it compares.  It is supposed to be open in 2019.   

Wearing our 3D glasses. 

After the ride, Brody got to build the new light saber since Evan had already made several on our last trip.  This time, they loved the addition of make a light saber similar to the new style used by Kylo Ren. 

I just love how happy and excited our little Mattox was all day.  He was playing peek-a-boo while waiting in line to see a special character. 

Daddy and his silly boys waiting in line. 

We love this section of the park all about the Pixar Studios movie Toy Story.  Raising boys will always give me a special appreciation for the Toy Story movies.  They are also supposed to be adding a huge expansion and more rides and attractions to this part of the park which will open in the summer of 2018. 

Toy Story Mania is always one of our favorite rides.  It is like a carnival game where you shoot at targets to win. 

Brody was watching the Etch-A-Sketch tell him how to play. 

This cutie loved his special glasses. 

I love these little photo spots from the movies while waiting to meet Toy Story characters. The boys try out Buzz's spaceship box on Andy's bed. 

Look at that cute little alien about to get picked by the claw. 

"Ahhhh, the claw!"  ~ Brody

The cutest little alien ever! 

Oh no, the boys got captured by Sid and trapped under a packing crate.  Evan is the first victim to be tied to the rocket. 

Evil big brother attaches little brother to the rocket.  Mattox just looks so trusting. 

Mattox is thinking how lucky he is to have such "loving" big brothers.  Can't you just see the evil look in Brody's eyes? 

But then big brother singlehandedly stops Emperor Zurg's weapon and protects little brother from harm. 

And we finally got to meet Woody and Buzz! 

Awe, big hugs from Woody. 

We all love Woody and Buzz! 

Next, Mommy and the little guys got to see their favorite shows live on stage.  So exciting! 

Yes, all of these boys are a bit obsessed with Disney Junior.  

The Mickey Mouse Clubhouse came out and then Sofia's castle too.  Yes, my boys like Sofia the First.  Thanks, Disney. 

Sofia's magician friend even made it snow on us!  Disney makes bubble snow. 

Mattox was particularly happy when Toodles came out.  "Oh, Toodles!"  Then, Doc McStuffins came out too with all her toy friends. 

More bubble snow or confetti raining down. 

Then, Brody's old favorite show, Jake and the Neverland Pirates.  He has always loved being Captain Hook.  

The finale of the show was a birthday party for Minnie that all of the characters had helped put together.  Confetti and streamers rained down.

Grayson got covered in streamers. 

Then, the boys got to meet Jake. 

After dinner and a special ice cream treat, I got my two oldest boys on the Hollywood Tower of Terror ride.  Yeah, they looked terrified.  We also got a neat video of our ride experience.  It shows us going through the hotel and then into the haunted elevator that plunges down many flights.  

The boys enjoyed the spooky interior of the hotel with its dark cobweb covered rooms and furniture. 

One of the magical additions to the park at night was that the outside of the Hollywood Tower Hotel got transformed much like the Magic Kingdom castle.  

It got dressed up like a stack of presents. 

It looked like pretty Christmas or Alpine chalets. 

And we watched it get decorated into a gingerbread house. 

Hollywood Blvd. became truly magical when "snow" started falling. 

Daddy and Brody loved playing in the snow. 

It was getting very late, and Eddie and the younger boys were very tired so they went out to the car while Evan and I went to see the Fantasmic show that is always a spectacular event.  It is very dark so it is almost impossible to capture the event in pictures.  Video would be better.  The characters were being projected onto bubbles floating in the air and water spraying up.  

These images were spectacular because they were reflected off of huge splashing columns of water. 

The heros and heroines come out riding by the audience on boats. I think that was Prince Eric and Ariel and the Beast and Belle. 

Then, the main hero Mickey drives the big steamboat out loaded with all the other Disney characters. 

After a show of all the Disney villains attacking Mickey and his friends, magician Mickey from Fantasia comes out to save the day with a spectacular show of fireworks and lights. 

1 comment:

  1. That Fantasmic show sounds amazing! I can't believe everything you all did in just one day. That's incredible!


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