Walt Disney 2020
Day 7: Disney Hollywood Studios: Terrifying drops, fast roller coasters, Star Wars invasion and bigger than life toys!
Up and at em! Today we are headed to Disney's Hollywood Studios! I love this place but it's been awhile since we were there last. My favorite rides of course is the Tower of Terror and Aerosmith's Rock n Roller Coaster! I knew that Sakari was going to love these rides! My little extremist. I have to say I was a little worried because everyone talked about it's best to go on a week day and less crowded. I just really didn't want to do back to back theme parks and Hollywood is a VERY busy place and hard to book at times. When we booked our reservations, Saturday (today) was the only available day for Hollywood within our time frame they gave us to go on our tickets. With it being a Saturday, I just knew the lines were going to be longer than we had experienced at the other parks. But, I was keeping my fingers (and toes) crossed that this 35% capacity was going to work in our favor! I would prepare myself for the worse though.
We had breakfast and piled in the van and was so excited to see where our GPS would take us this time. #rollseyes Off we headed on our little adventure. Eureka! It actually took us a way that we had been before. Whaddayaknow!
We pulled up to Hollywood and was directed to the VIP section for parking...just like the stars we are! Front row parking and all I had to do was tell them I was Mitsugirly! Well that and flash them my handicapped sticker...but I'm sure they knew who I was.
We headed off to the entrance to flash them our VIP cards in hand that we obtained our first day at Walt Disney and in we went.
But first, I needed my people mover. We stood in line and I was a little shocked to see there were quite a few others that wanted one of these contraptions to run people over with.
I paid my $70 and it was time for instructions how to operate this new aged vehicle. Here is the button you push to warn people that you are running them over, this is the boost button so watch out you will go fast (not), put your personal belongings in the hold nothing bin in front and make sure if it's of any value you forget about it when you turn the buggy in, and above all....no piggyback riding! ZOOOOOOMMMM off we went.
I had my premade map that showed me where we
wanted to go and what the people mover access rules
were to each ride. I knew that the ride we needed to
go to first was the Tower of Terror. It's a popular ride
that would get busier as the day went on. I checked
my Mickey app and seen that the lines were forming
and we needed to get there soon. Beep beep! Here I
come. No one could escape the zoom mobile who
wrecked havoc on anyone that got in my way.
I loved all the Christmas decorations everywhere especially the cute little trees on the light posts.
There is was in all it's glory! Standing tall and spooky and ready to accept us hauntophobia humans. We got in line and let the anticipation build!
As we headed down the street, I could see the mansion off in the distance.
The line wasn't too bad. I guess the haunting sounds and screams from within might have scared a few mortals off. We were in line by 9:35am...wow, did it really take my people mover that long to make it there? I need an upgraded turbo on that thing! We made it all the way through the mansion and up to the elevators to take us on a haunting tour by 9:43am. Not too shabby.
History: The plot of The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror follows the tragic night of Oct. 31, 1939, when lightning struck the building. Five people were aboard an elevator as the building was struck, causing the elevator to free-fall.
Disney decided they needed a haunted hotel, 1930's style, to draw in crowds. They didn't just want the attraction to consist of a free-falling elevator, it needed to drop at a rate faster than gravity. The results were the elevator being pulled down at around 30 mph. To add more thrills and spooks, themes of "The Twilight Zone" were added to the design of the hotel and the imagineers actually watched 156 episodes of the series to be as accurate as possible!
This attraction opened on July 22, 1994 and the 199 foot tall attraction, which makes it the tallest attraction at Disney, was instantly popular! Two additional drops were added to the elevator after it opened. Then, after refurbishment in 1999 more drops were added. In 2002, Disney added advanced computer technology, allowing completely random drops controlled by the attraction. You'll always get a different experience each time and it's the only place to offer this.
As we entered through the hotel's front doors, it looked as if the hotel's maids had been on vacation for many years. Everything was covered in dust and cobwebs. I would hate to see the spiders living in this place!
After check-in, we were advised that our rooms were not ready yet and was told to wait in the library. More cobwebs and dust would cover the area and I wondered if I pulled on one of these books would a secret escape door open for me to get out now before it's too late or would it gobble me up and I would never be seen again. I decided not to touch anything since it appeared that someone had already tried it and was never to be seen again (he left behind his cane and hat).
We are then taken to the boiler room to use the service elevators. I assume that the regular elevators were out of service and this was for this VIP service, only I waited for Freddy to jump out at me at any moment now.
As we made it up to our place in line at the elevator...we watched in fear as the previous victims took their place in the elevator and the doors slammed shut. They rose to the 12th floor and then the elevator comes flying down for its next victims. Those victims would be us.
Then our journey began. I'm not sure why they decided to stick us in the front row. Maybe I looked as though I could fight off any ghosts that we would encounter. Our elevator doors slammed shut and up we went. As we moved from floor to floor we experienced a lot of weird things in this "Fifth Dimension".
"One stormy night long ago, five people stepped through the door of the elevator and into a nightmare. That door is opening once again, and this time, it's opening for you." We visited the hotel floors and then we were back in the elevator again and we hear "You are about to discover what lies beyond the firth dimension, beyond the deepest, darkest corner of the imagination, in the Tower of Terror"
The doors to the outside opened and I could see the onlookers outside. They grasp their face with their hands and gasped as they watched us 12 stories up, knowing they would never see us again. And then....
Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuggggggggggggggghhhhhhh, weeeeee, ooooohhhhhh, gassssssppp, belly in throat, no wait throat in belly, oh I was right to begin with and belly was back in my throat within inches of piercing my brain.
Whew! Were we all ok? Were we now a permanent resident of the hotel? I wasn't really sure at this point. I was busy trying to get my body parts aligned back in the right place with my body.
"A warm welcome back to those of you who made it, and a friendly word of warning, something you won't find in any guidebook. The next time you check into a deserted hotel on the dark side of Hollywood, make sure you know just what kind of vacancy you're filling. Or you may find yourself a permanent resident... of the Twilight Zone." I guess that meant we made it. Whew!
Well, my people mover was sitting outside waiting on me, so I guess we are still here on earth.
Right around the corner was Aerosmith's Rock n Roller Coaster. Mickey said it was about a 25 minute wait to ride and I was good with that.
Within 15 minutes we made it inside where you wind in and out of rooms with studio equipment and artists promotions.
Within 15 minutes we made it inside where you adventure in and out of rooms with studio equipment and artists promotions. Then another few minutes and we were in the loading room.
History: Opened in July, 1999. This ride propels riders from 0 to 57 mph in 2.8 seconds. You will experience up to 5 G's and include 3 inversions, which include a sea serpent roll and a corkscrew while you listen to Aerosmith songs. In each car train, there are a total of 120 speakers. There are 5 speakers surrounding each rider.
Up to our limo we went....RIGHT IN FRONT!! Sakari was so excited. We pull up to the highway tunnel and messages come across the traffic signs saying "Traffic bug you? Then STEP on it!" We sat and built up anticipation while we waited for the limo to launch and then Steven Tyler counts down from five...and then our limo launches....ZOOOOM!!!! Whoa! That was mind blowing and thrilling at the same time. I looked at Sakari and she was screaming with excitement. Then out of no where we did a roll over as neon signs flashed by us, no clue which way we would turn at any given moment. A few more loops, turns and lights flash by us and another inversion, a corkscrew and ending with a humpback. WHEW! What a ride! I'm pretty sure I heard more screams out of Sakari.
Our limo pulled up to the VIP backstage area and rolled out the red carpet. Now that was a rush!
Sakari and I both agreed this was a winner and a must ride twice type of ride!
We circled around to the right and toward the back. We were headed toward Toy Story. I had seen some really cute pictures of this area and I couldn't remember if it was there last time we were here or not.
The crowds were somewhat thick in this area. I had been watching my Mickey app for several weeks prior to getting here and it seemed like the longest line at Hollywood was always the Slinky Dog Dash. I wasn't quite sure why. When I looked it up online, it looked like a kiddie roller coaster and I wasn't really sure if Sakari would want to go on it. As a matter of fact, I didn't even mark it on "my" map.
However, when Sakari seen it, she said she wanted to ride it so we quickly got in line for it....which was a mile long of course.
Standing in line felt like we were small toys in this area. They really did this area up and went all out. It was quite AMAZING! So many small (well big in this case) details. I was simply amazed at everything. It definitely gave us a lot to look at as we stood in line.
I'm pretty sure every time my husband spoke, it sounded like Tom Hanks at this point. Bigger than life toys really brought back child hood memories...especially from back when my oldest kids were little. They had so many of these.
The green men were hard at work building more on to this place while Jessie was decorating the area. Rex...well he was just being Rex and hanging out watching everyone on the Jenga blocks.
At this point, we had been in line for 20 minutes and we were slowly making our way to the staging area entrance beside the attraction. You know, the lines that weave in and out that's the actual "lines" on a regular day of say....only 10% capacity instead of 35%. #rollseyes Although the lines are long, it is so beautifully themed that it kept you busy exploring everything.
This area was no let down either...the DETAILS...oh my goodness! So many games to play. As our line moved 6' by 6' I reflected back on days gone by and playing these games with my kids and coloring and crafts. It brought a tear to my eye thinking back how long ago that was but yet it seemed like yesterday. There are some older toys that would have come way before Andy's time as well.
Items in the queue include: Lincoln Logs, A Peter Pan Viewmaster Reel, Dominoes, Candyland, chutes and Ladders, Crayon, Playing cards, and a barrel of Monkeys (who escaped).
A few fun facts: First opened June 30, 2018
*More than 400 toy blocks fill Andy's backyard
*Andy's footprint is about 25 feet long (equivalent of a size 240 shoe)
*It would take a Green Army Man roughly 12 steps just to travel the length of one of Andy's shoe prints
*You would need a backpack the size of a school bus to carry the Buzz and Woody figures that tower over Toy Story Land
*The Rex and Jenga tower are as tall as 7 1/2 Green Army Men standing on top of one another.
*The seats in the area is made to look like used Popsicle sticks, dominoes and huge wooden train tracks crafted from Lincoln Logs.
*Mechandise carts are oversized Fisher-Price toys
*The height requirement figure is a replica of a game piece from Candyland
We approached our line for the ride and in came Slinky.
It took a total of 32 minutes and we were on the ride. I guess that's not too bad after all. When I would check Mickey's app, it would usually give times around 75 minutes! We were getting lucky!
We took our place on the
coaster and off we went!
Oh my gosh weeeee. It was so much fun and Sakari was enjoying herself. Up and down, up and down with Slinky's little tail wagging the entire time. So cute.
Pulling back in to the loading area, we have Wheezy singing "You got a friend in me". Awww, I love Toy Story. Always have. I'm so glad we decided to ride this ride.
Now one of the things I did have on my map was Toy Story Mania. It is a 3D ride and you shoot items and score points. Once again, I'm very competitive and this would be my chance to redeem myself from bowling the other night.
Fun Facts: Opened May 31, 2008
*The artists that painted the artwork wore 3D galsses while they painted. They wanted to make sure they got the same perspective as the guests
*It cost Disney $80 million to build this pretty impressive attraction.
*You get more points if you can locate the hidden Easter eggs
*The ride is about 4.5 minutes long with each game lasting about 30 seconds.
*There are more than 150 computers that communicate with each other to keep all of the games and ride components functioning.
So we headed over to the ride and it was just as cute as the Slinky Dog Dash ride. We morphed into miniature sized toys and admired all the games we wanted to play while standing in line. Little Bo Peep, giant Crayola chalk, tinker toys, games pieces, view finder reals, etch a sketch, cards, Uno and so much more. Someone had a wild imagination when building this area.