Lights, Camera, Hollywood Studios!

So, I’m feeling a lot better… mainly because Wes is now sick, and if I don’t start feeling better, I’m not sure what the girls will do when left to themselves. If that’s not motivation to heal, I don’t know what is. And now, for part two of the WDW recap…

We set out early on the second day for what would be our only day at Hollywood Studios. If you have no kids or older kids, then this park is probably loads of fun. But for those of us who hang with the preschool crowd? There isn’t a whole lot for us. That’s why it wasn’t surprising that the day began with Gram and me sitting with the kiddos while Chris, Kerry, Wes, and Gramps went to ride Rock N Roller Coaster and Tower of Terror. Hey, I couldn’t let my mom be stuck all by herself with four kids, could I? So, I unselfishly told the others to go on and that I would just have to miss out on the thrill rides. (Okay, so the reality is that I would NEVER go on either of those rides, great chicken that I am. Maybe when the girls are teenagers and need a fourth rider… no, not even then.)

Fortunately, the lines for both thrill rides were quick and easy, thanks to the Extra Magic Hours. That extra hour of a nearly-empty park seriously makes it worth staying at one of the Disney resorts because we were done with the long wait rides before the crowds even arrived. Woo-hoo!

From there, we all went to Toy Story Midway Mania. Can I just tell you that I LOVE this ride? Even the line you’re waiting in is fun, with all of the oversized toys and the very funny Mr. Potato Head. (And on that same note, Winnie the Pooh’s ride at the Magic Kingdom has undergone some changes. The waiting line for that ride now has all of these hands-on activities for children, and wow — what a difference it makes for that long wait! Our kids kept busy and entertained the whole time!) I beat Wes by at least 100,000 points on the Toy Story ride, even though he claims his poor showing was because he had to help Ana. Yeah, right.

Backlot Tours was just a few steps from there, and during that ride we learned that Kendall doesn’t like fire, Ana doesn’t appreciate loud noises, and Connor can merrily and obliviously enjoy a granola bar while the world seems to be crumbling down all around us. And Emma is just okay with anything. Except when she’s not, which is what happened right before we went into the Muppet Vision show and she started screeching inexplicably. Not sure what was going on, but she got over it just in time for the start of the show.

At some point in all of this, the kids played on the Honey I Shrunk the Kids playground, we ate at Pizza Planet, and Emma fell off a wall onto her face. Or was it Ana who fell off the wall? See, this is why I didn’t want to wait too long to write this — I’m already forgetting everything!*

*Just confirmed with Emma that it was Emma who fell off the wall. Apparently I can forget because it wasn’t my face that smacked the concrete.

After some speculation on whether or not the kids were brave enough for The Great Movie Ride, where Wes said there was a terrifying alien that falls from the ceiling, we decided that we’d give it a shot. This was one of the few rides that Gram and Gramps had seemed really interested in, but they were still back at Pizza Planet, enjoying a leisurely lunch (and getting a break from us, I think). We went on the ride and covered everyone’s eyes as the alien scene began… and we couldn’t find the alien! We had to look really hard to see him up in the ceiling, prompting Wes to say, after it was all over, “That was a lot more terrifying when I was a kid.” It must have been! (Ana, after the tour guide was forced off the car by a gangster, told me, “He was not very nice to her.” When the tour guide came back and assisted in the incineration of the same gangster, Ana said, “YAY!!! SHE KILLED HIM!” Awesome.)

At some point after the Great Movie Ride and before we met back up with Gram and Gramps, Ana began falling asleep. And an Ana halfway between sleep and wide awake is a very grumpy Ana indeed.

Fun times.

Emma still wanted to meet Handy Manny and watch Voyage of the Little Mermaid, but Ana insisted that all she wanted to do was go back to the hotel and sleep. So, I parked Ana in some shade, waved goodbye to Emma as she went with the rest of the group, and bought myself some ice cream to eat while Ana napped.

Worth the trip to Florida, that ice cream is. Mmmmm…

By the time Emma got back, the Faulks were ready to take Miss Grouchy Pants back for a nap. On our way out of the park, we walked through One Man’s Dream, an attraction that I had never gotten to see but had put on my must-do list for this trip. It was well worth the visit, and a lot of the exhibits made better sense to me, thanks to this book. Per Em’s request, we made just one more stop on our way out of the park to pick up this…

We went back to the hotel… where no one napped. And thus we concluded that in the future, we would just stay in the parks and push through the exhaustion!

Right before dinner, we met up with Gram, Gramps, Kendall, and Connor. Kerry and Chris were going to Epcot for dinner, and we were taking the rest of the crew to the Contemporary Resort for dinner at Chef Mickey’s. We were VERY impressed with the Contemporary. When we’re rich and famous, we’ll stay there. (See? I told you!) Chef Mickey’s, for those who are interested, is the loudest restaurant on WDW property. Or at least it seemed that way to us. The kids were so excited to see Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, Donald, and Goofy, and Ana and Kendall were even brave enough to meet them. (Emma opted not to, and Connor slept through it all.)

At some point during all of this, I noticed that fireworks were going off over the Magic Kingdom (couldn’t hear them with all the noise, but I could see them!), and our table was just in the right spot to see them. So nice!

Up next, Day Three with a couple of mermaids and a fairy! (Or an Amazonian warrior princess. I’ll let you decide when you see the pictures…)

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