Our crazy day with an epic ending at Walt Disney World Hollywood Studios
Our third Disney Park day at Hollywood Studios took more twists and turns than Rocking Rollercoaster and Slink Dog Dash combined. We made a last-minute pivot to stop for coffee at Starbucks. Y’all know I love a schedule so this one threw me for a momentary loop. It didn’t put us too far behind schedule but it did cause a last-minute shuffle that took a while to rebound from.
It was downhill from there
The goal was to grab breakfast on the way to the park. In order to rope drop, which I highly advise. Read this post to learn why, 6 Reasons to Rope Drop Disney Parks – Career Mom Community, We needed to run out the door within approx. 45- minutes of fully waking up. This accounted for 20 minutes with a buffer to get food.
Did we make it? Nope! We left in a hurry which sent one child into a tantrum and another started pouting about their shoes. Once we got to Starbucks another child didn’t want to eat and the other two ate the inside of their sandwiches only.
Personally, I love Starbucks coffee but wont eat their meal foods if I was starving. Sorry Starbucks, you still get a ton of my money on beverages.
We pulled up to the main gate, to pay for parking around 8:32 a.m. To truly rope drop we needed to have been at the guest entry gate at 8:30 a.m. When I say there was a flood of park goers, I mean it. We were in the number…
Hollywood Studios is bigger than Magic Kingdom but feels much smaller for some reason. Maybe it’s the layout but it was interesting to navigate.
Navigating Genie+, the new Fast Pass System
I booked our first experience, Smugglers Run but it was for the later part of the morning. The thing with the new Genie+ system that no one really talks about is that the system will adjust the time upon confirmation if needed. What this means is the app may say one time when you click on the Lighting Lane but the confirmation screen can have a completely different boarding time.
What does this mean? You have to be quick with booking AND you have to be flexible.
For us this meant that we needed to adjust our lunch reservation. I intended to cancel it but forgot. Thankfully, I was able to move to back our reservation to avoid the $10 per person fee. For us, that would have been a whopping $50 plus any taxes that they may have assessed.
Riding the Rides and Lightning Lanes
We started with Mickey’s Runaway Railroad which was a hit with the kids. Still not better than Remy’s at Epcot but great nonetheless. Due to the early morning crowds, the wait times were already long. After Runaway Railroad we rode our Lightning Lane for Smugglers Run which was amazing. We took a quick pause for food (which I will talk about in another blog post) and got on Star Tours.
Followed by a break for my little guy while the girls and I braved a 60-minute wait for Slinky Dog Dash. If your kids like coasters they will enjoy this one.
What contributed to the stress…
As I reflect on the park days, I firmly believe we should have factored in more breaks instead of pushing through to ride as much as possible. The rush to get out the door, the girl’s disappointment that there were not many coasters, and my little guy’s meltdown made the day frustrating. Also, I think there may have been a glitch in the My Disney Experience app because the navigation feature was not working and the times keep changing during confirmation.
My disappointment started to set in because I started to question my planning for the trip. Did I overdo it? Was three park days a mistake? What did I miss? All of these thoughts and doubts passed through my mind. I had to shake them off to avoid adding more frustration to an already rocky day.
We powered through it with shows to get out of the heat and snack breaks. We started to turn the corner around 4 p.m. as we approached our Droid build reservation and our dinner reservation.
The ending of the day was much better than it started and I will share the details in the next blog post…
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