Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Florida 2013: Part 2: Disney Studios

They getcha’ almost before you’re in the gate, don’t they? We had barely paid our entrance fee before happening upon a kiosk selling hats. And, not your typical baseball caps, although there were probably a couple of those tucked into a corner somewhere. Here we have the Peanut wearing a Rapunzel hat, Meatball wearing the Sorcerer’s hat, and Bub wearing a Goofy hat. All very apropos, right?

Disney Studios is less about the rides and more about the movie attractions. Did I mention that it was muggy? This is not just a "healthy glow" that everyone is sporting, nor did we just spritz ourselves with a misting device. Nope. These desert rats are dripping with good 'ol sweat.

One of the first things we saw was the Indiana Jones exhibit. We got there in time to get a good seat. Mostly, Bub and I were trying to get on the same page, and it seemed like a good idea to let the boys sit while we hashed it out. The boys had never seen any of the Indiana Jones movies (but that changed after we got home when they watched the first movie with Bub and grandpa). We all look like we had just gotten off of a water ride, but it is sweat. That’s what happens to desert people in Florida humidity. This attraction was a lot of fun. The guy from Wisconsin (really an actor) was funny, the real tourists had a good time, the planned actors really did a good job with the Indiana Jones story, and the explosions were awesome. To a little boy, the explosions were worth the 2am plane trip.

Upon entering the park, we got a schedule of character appearances. Our lives had been consumed for about six months by Wreck It Ralph and Vanillape Von Schweets. Praise the lord that they were going to be at the park on the same day as us. We waited in line for quite a while, but it was worth it to see these smiles.

Here’s a random picture with Handy Manny. I like him. Nice guy. Speaks proper English even though it seems to be his second language. Good with tools. The boys weren’t very excited about this picture, but let’s be honest here, nobody was giving Manny the time of day. It was all about Ralph and Vanillope, Ralph and Vanillope. I forced them to get their picture with Manny so that his feelings wouldn’t be hurt. What can I say? I’m a mom.

Later in the day, we hit the Tower of Terror (which you can see in the background). Bub didn’t go on it with us which was good because it dropped like a broken elevator, and nobody likes to be barfed on by some screaming 50 year old lesbian. Peanut – the brave – actually got pretty scared. There we are in the corner. I’m trying to comfort a scared Peanut while Meatball, eyes wide, is having the time of his life. A year later, Peanut is still talking about how horrific it was! Meatball and I had a blast.

Bub and I were super excited about the Star Wars attraction. Of course, we hadn’t let the boys see the movies because they were too young, but that didn’t stop them from being completely fascinated, enthralled, and THRILLED. This ride was friggin’ awesome. The line to the ride takes forever, so they have created a whole experience while you wait. There were robots, R2D2, cool space stuff, and loads of outer space sounds (like laser guns, blowing up asteroids, etc).
Then, you get in the simulator, and oh my holy hell. It’s a 3-D thing with the seats moving around, too. You do actually feel like you’re flying in the space ship. Meatball went nuts. Absolutely nuts. C3P0 narrates/acts/talks the entire time, and each time you go, it’s a different experience. We went once, got off the ride, and got right back in line to go again. After the ride, there was a Darth Vader/Storm Trooper performing group outside.
We were too late for the boys to be the Jedi Warriors (but we’ll be sure to time this correctly on our next Disney trip). We ended up riding this space adventure three more times before the end of the night. Every time, upon exiting, the boys were going on and on about how stinking cool it was. One of the ride operators noticed and made a very big deal about how we deserved another ride without getting in line again. Not only that, but we were the only ones on the ride. It was for us and us only. I really like that about the Disney parks. Apparently, they give the ride operators the permission to make these kinds of judgment calls, and it makes the patron’s day very, very special, for sure. Here’s Meatball with Katie-the-Ride-Operator. Upon giving us the special treatment, Meatball decided that he loved her and someday he will go back and marry her. He was wooing her, big time, for as much as a six year old can flirt.

We rode a completely movie themed ride. Bub and I thought that we would really like it, but it was only OK. It went through the movie classics, and there was a pretty bad actress on board our car. It had potential, but it was only meh. However, Peanut was picked to be the honorary tour guide. Disney blazer and everything! Meatball got to wear the blazer for a moment, but Peanut got to stand next to our actual guide and point to a few things here and there. Pretty fun!

We left Disney Studios to have a late lunch/early dinner at Rainforest Café. This was at Downtown Disney which was very fun. Getting inside a building – any building – was awesome because the air conditioners negated some of the effects of the humidity. It didn’t bother me as much as it did Bub. Something about hot flashes and pre-menopause. Must be fun. Can’t wait…. Anyway, the boys were not overjoyed with Rainforest Café. We were seated in front of the elephants, and the trumpeting and movement kind of freaked the boys out a bit. Plus, they were tired from being in airports for 20 hours the day before. (Ok – not 20 in the actual airports, but we were UP for 20 hours….)

The Lego displays around Downtown Disney were super cool. And, I was determined to take pictures of lots of birds and identify them later. Yeah, the first part happened.

Back at Disney Studios after dinner, and we managed to find Woody and Buzz! We stood in line for what seemed like hours. Directly in front of us was a family from Peru. No little kids, but one very chatty guy in his early 20s. Turns out, he had been studying English for years. He wants to be a doctor. His dad said that if his English was passable, and the Americans could totally understand him, then he would be allowed to go to med school in the US. That’s why he was so chatty with me – he was proving to his dad that he could do it. I’ll tell you what: his English is better than some of the folks I went to high school with. By the time we got to Buzz and Woody, his dad was convinced.

We did have fun getting to the characters, but the characters themselves were awesome. Without saying a word, Woody convinced Meatball to push one of Buzz’s buttons. This, effectively, turned Buzz off. Then, we all made a big deal about how Meatball had broken Buzz. When Buzz was turned back on, he tickled and hugged both boys. It was a fun experience.

1 comment:

Jolene said...

I still check in on here every once-in-a-while and seeing the entries today really brightened my day. I know the trip seems like a distant memory for you, but I'm having fun reading about it. (And the tower of terror section made me laugh out loud.) The magic certainly doesn't last forever, so I think it's awesome that you gathered those memories while you could.