I set out on a Saturday to learn what Hollywood Studios would be like on an Extra Magic Hour day. I rarely recommend that people attend parks on Extra Magic Hour days because the lines are longer than other days, the restaurants are busier and it just feels more busy.
Hollywood Studios started something new just for the Frozen Summer of Fun Live celebration. In the recent past the parks have moved to eliminating “Welcome shows.” Studios used to offer a simple one at the corner of Hollywood and Sunset, but dropped it in favor of opening around 15 mintues early and letting the crowd ease into the park.
Now the majority of people are crowded into the Hat stage area for the short park opening show with a cast member and Olaf. Here’s a video that I took yesterday:
After the rope drop, the majority of guests are heading straight to Toy Story Midway Mania. At this point I recommend that you get Fastpass+ for this attraction or be among the very first guest in line. Arrive at least 45 minutes early for any park opening to reduce waits for several attractions. Here’s the crowd in front of me already, because I don’t run.
Buzz and Woody were standing out front attempting to gather some people to meet them. I was first in line. Do you think a guy with an app called Character Locator would start with Toy Story Midway Mania?
Just don’t EVER believe this sign. The posted waits are never correct here and posted waits near park opening aren’t ever right in any park at any time. They haven’t run the red cards through the line yet to check.
I waited 28 minutes to ride TSMM. Many of my Facebook friends said that’s not bad, but I HATE to wait. I would use FP+ for this and then use FP+ as 4th option at Rock N Roller Coaster, if I had it to do over. However, this park is best experienced over TWO days.
The posted wait now for Buzz is now 25 minutes, but it will easily take 35-40 to meet them because the queue is already full. I do feel that during the Frozen celebration it’s important to meet them right away at park opening. They close at 8pm and the line stays packed all day long.
From there I decided to head over to meet Phineas and Ferb. If I had hung around the Great Movie Ride area a few more minutes, I would have met Chip n Dale and Stitch with little or no wait. Still had a very brief wait for Phineas and Ferb.
I thought I would just go from meeting Sofia to meeting Jake, but he had a line, so I returned later with no wait. I decided it was best to arrive a few minutes early to meet Mickey, which was a wise choice.
I dropped in to visit Minnie next. It’s funny because I was standing in line with someone following one of my character plans and they didn’t even know it was me. They began to discuss how they would meet Mickey, Minnie and Ralph/Vanellope before heading to the parade.
I’ve seen the Frozen parade from the best viewing areas a couple of times, so today I wanted to investigate the areas from American Idol to Star Tours, so I would hang around to visit Wreck-it Ralph and Vanellope. According to my sources, they are going to be gone in November2014.
Someone told me that they were given the advice to stand right here and watch the parade and welcome show with Anna and Elsa. You could stand here if you want, but it’s a terrible view of the parade and the show. Follow the advice I gave in this post. Or you could stare at a tent, it’s up to you.
But Kenny couldn’t we just stand on the OTHER side of the ugly tent that blocks guests views and sells libations? NOPE. Three cast members stood there, chased everyone away and watched the parade and show themselves.
This was their view
Here are the people that sat in that location. If watching the parade AND the welcome show are important, Follow that link I gave you earlier and do exactly like I said. It’s not hard, but it does require arriving early.
These benches on the right are filling about 12 minutes before the parade. You can stand beside the benches on each side as well. If you want better photos of Elsa, stay on this side. Anna is on the opposite side.
After the little show, Anna and Elsa re-board the float and the parade continues, but the parade portion in this area is really odd. They take a minute to realign the floats and dancers and get the music in sync. They should have just done the parade and skipped the Welcome Show thing IMO.
They added these citizens since the last time I watched this parade.
After the parade, I headed over to catch the 11:45am Beauty and the Beast Show. I was seated on the left hand side and there was plenty of viewing available.
I liked how Belle was caught up in her book,but the villagers were riioting.
I bet you never noticed that Beast is a smooth operator. He pulled the classic “yawn and arm around move” on Belle.
I took a one hour break and ate lunch at Rosie’s.
So, I had used my 3 Fastpasses. The world came to an end right? Well, I stopped by the Tower of Terror FP+ kiosk and received a FP+ for the Great Movie Ride that was for immediate return. You couldn’t do that under the old system!
I then acquired a FP+ for Muppet Vision 3D that I would change to Lights, Motors, Action and change again to Fantasmic! with little effort.
I wanted more air conditioning and headed for Disney Jr, but it was broken. How does a puppet show get broken??? I headed to Walt Disney: One Man’s Dream. I drew this little sketch. Do you think it will ever catch on?
The afternoon character meets return to the area that is dominated by the “Premium package” guests for their afternoon meets.
I noticed there was a new Photopass Magic Shot going on beside the ABC Sound Stage and decided to try it out.
I headed over to Lights, Motors, Action.
Or your hand!
So I moved swiftly over to see the Indiana Jones Stunt Show and was seated left center. There were still a decent number of seats for the final show of the day despite walking in right as they finished casting the extras.
Then finished up my day with a disappointing Character Palooza. It only featured FOUR characters. Jafar, Pocahontas, Meeko and Rafiki. Still had a fun time.
I had the paper return card for the Sing a Long at 7:00pm, but chose to skip and spend some time with a good friend. I also didn’t use my Fantasmic! FP+ that was so easy to acquire.
Here’s a parting shot. It’s the Photopass Magic Shot inside the Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post next to Toy Story Midway Mania. One mom said she would take her daughters there instead of Magic Kingdom.
Here’s a summary of my 25 attractions without really trying day:
|In Queue||On Ride||Off Ride|
|1||Meet Buzz n Woody||8:07 AM||8:09 AM|
|2||Toy Story Midway Mania||8:09 AM||8:37 AM||8:45 AM|
|3||Meet Goofy||8:48 AM||8:50 AM|
|4||Meet Pluto||8:50 AM||8:51 AM|
|Walked about looking around||8:51 AM||9:05 AM|
|5||Meet Daisy||9:05 AM||9:08 AM|
|6||Meet Donald||9:08 AM||9:12 AM|
|7||Star Tours (used FP+)||9:16 AM||9:22 AM||9:29 AM|
|8||Meet Phineas & Ferb||9:31 AM||9:38 AM|
|9||Meet Sofia the First||9:46 AM||9:51 AM|
|10||Meet Sorcerer Mickey||9:53 AM||10:12 AM|
|11||Meet Minnie||10:13 AM||10:21 AM|
|12||Meet Ralph & Vanellope||10:23 AM||10:39 AM|
|13||Meet Jake||10:41 AM||10:43 AM|
|Checked parade spots from Hat to Star Tours||10:46 AM||10:50 AM|
|14||Parade reached American Idol and stopped||11:04 AM|
|Parade restarted||11:12 AM||11:15 AM|
|15||Rock N Roller Coaster (used FP+)||11:27 AM||11:35 AM||11:40 AM|
|16||Watched Beauty and the Beast||11:44 AM||12:15 PM|
|Ate lunch at Rosies||12:15 PM||1:20 PM|
|17||Tower of Terror (used FP+)||1:23 PM||1:33 PM||1:42 PM|
|Acquired Great Movie Ride FP|
|18||Great Movie Ride (used FP)||1:46 PM||1:51 PM||2:20 PM|
|19||Relaxed at One Man’s Dream and watched next show||2:27 PM||3:00 PM|
|Took short break||3:00 PM||3:10 PM|
|Stopped by to check on Chip n Dale and Stitch||3:11 PM||3:12 PM|
|20||American Idol||3:14 PM||3:45 PM|
|21||Muppet Vision 3D||3:53 PM||4:04 PM||4:20 PM|
|22||Lights Motors Action||4:30 PM||5:10 PM|
|23||Indiana Jones Stunt Show||5:15 PM||5:50 PM|
|24||Met Indiana Jones||5:55 PM||5:55 PM|
|25||Character Palooza||6:00 PM||6:11 PM|
|Spent time with a Friend|
|I had return card for 7:00 PM Sing a long, but skipped|
|I had FP+ for Fantasmic, but skipped|