Monday, October 3, 2011

May 2011 Walt Disney World Trip Report - Day 6

Day 6 - 5/26 – Hollywood Studios and a Birthday Luau

She had been wearing her birthday pin religiously throughoutthe trip thus far, but today was DD’s actual birthday. When we had startedlooking at weeks in May for a trip, our initial priority was to pick a weekbefore it got ridiculously hot (we have frequently gone in August) orridiculously busy. Since most schools would still be in session in May, wethought that would be a great time to go. It dawned upon us that we couldcombine the trip with DD’s birthday – what better party could you hope for?

We packed some of DD’s birthday presents (books, Star Warsaction figures) but left her largest present (a Littlest Pet Shop set) at home.We printed a picture of it and included it with her card and a note explainingthat it would be waiting for her when we returned. Here she is pointing to thepicture we printed.

After presents and a hurried breakfast, we hustled over toHollywood Studios, arriving a little later than we usually do. We were a littlenervous when we saw how long the lines at the turnstiles were.

We implemented the DHS Rope Drop Plan. After we went throughthe turnstiles, I collected the tickets and quickly (but without running)worked my way as close to the rope as I could. DW and DD, meanwhile, made theirway up at a little more leisurely pace.

When the rope drops and we’re led over to Toy Story Mania, Istay as close to the front as possible, nimbly dodging four-year-olds beingdragged by their parents, bags falling off strollers, etc. I get right into theFastPass lane and get FastPasses for the three of us. Meanwhile DW and DD headover to the standby line.

We usually arrive at the standby line at about the sametime, and we ride together, with FastPasses in hand, and without subjecting DWand DD to most of the mayhem.

Once in the standby queue at park opening, it moves prettyfast. There’s always a holdup by the Mr. Potato Head while people takepictures.

After Toy Story we headed over to MuppetVision. Normallypeople would be heading over to Rock n’Roller Coaster, or Tower of Terror.But DD is frightened of Tower of Terror, and not tallenough for Rock n’Roller Coaster (which is one of DW’s favorites). We’re allfans of the Muppets, though.

On the way over we spotted these Star Wars shackles. Theyleave them up all week, even though they’re only used for Star Wars Weekends.Given some stuff that’s been going on at our house lately, I could have reallyused a set of these.

I like how everything at MuppetVision has a joke worked in.

After Muppets, the plan was to take DD to “The BugPlayground” while DW rides RnRC a couple of times in the Single Rider line. Wehad to stop for some more photo opportunities, though. Looking at this snowmanpicture gave me the idea of taking some Christmas Card photos at WDW during ourOctober trip. Maybe bringing Santa hats or something.

 Unlike the crazy lines over the weekend, there was no waitto get onto the Speeder Bike.

We parted ways with DW, grabbed a quick trip on Star Toursriding standby, and then headed over to the Bug Playground. DD loves toorganize the kids to pretend they’re ants and whenever the sound of thegrasshopper plays, they all have to run and hide.

When she was younger I used to keep a closer eye on her, butnow I camp out in a shady spot near the exit and ask her to come by every fiveminutes or so to check in. That way, I get to watch all of the parents on handsand knees crawling through tunnels after their kids, and I reminisce, which inmy head sounds a lot like laughing.

After a couple of rides in Aerosmith’s super-stretch limo,we joined up with DW and had lunch at Pizza Planet. We had a really badexperience. The line took about 20 minutes to get through. This was at 11:30with literally four people in front of us. None of the lines were moving. Therewere about 10 CMs on the other side of the counter looking alternately at us,and then back into the kitchen. But none of them were actually serving food.

Once we were served we went upstairs to find a table. Theywere all pretty messy (again, even though this was well before the lunch rush)but at this point we weren’t being picky. We wiped it down and ate.

This was a short day at DHS, because we had a birthdaysurprise for DD. We had reservations at the early Luau at the Poly. So we wentback to the hotel for some swimming, and then got ready for dinner. DW foundthis tropical-themed dress for DD.

One of the things DD talked about a lot was how she wantedto drink out of a coconut. Since we read that they offered a tropical alcoholicpunch in a coconut, we asked if they could bring milk or just water in the samething. The waiter was more than happy to (charging us $10 for the souvenircoconut), and DD was excited.

The food was pretty good, but I thought the Spirit of Alohashow was really not very good. It was super campy. There’s a story line about acousin leaving her family to go off to college. There were some fun parts,though. At one point they invited everyone celebrating a birthday to come up todo a Birthday Hula.

They also had a fire dancer who was really great. I’m notsure if he’s the same guy who juggles fire at the Festival of the Lion Kingshow, but it was kind of like that, but a lot more intense.

After the show we made our way back through the Poly, withDD stopping for some photo opportunities. She broke into an impromptu huladance by this palm tree.

We drove back to the hotel and went to sleep, with DDproclaiming it was the best birthday ever. It was no Chuck E. Cheese, I’ll tellyou that much.

Tomorrow – Gramma in the hizzouse.

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