Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Hollywood Studios

The next day was reserved for Hollywood Studios.  It was going to be a big one.  Animal Kingdom closes earlier than any of the parks, so we had plenty of rest the night before.  We were set to close this place down.

It was another beautiful day.  It might have been the warmest day we had.  The first thing we did was buy a small stroller near the entrance.  (Jesse spent a little too much time on my love's shoulders the day before.  I am the unprepared mother of the year.)

I have never been to this park either.  I remember walking in and not knowing which way to go.


I didn't read the Disney book on this one...or any of them really.  Who really has time for that anyway? I do not have a picture of the kids here.  I must have been walking with a large map in front of my face right at this point.  I knew I needed to find the big rides.  The place felt pretty crowded, and that wasn't expected on this Monday.

We found the Rock 'N' Roller Coaster after another pit stop for hats at Planet Hollywood.  (At least they were buy one get one half price.)

We took turns riding with Jonah.  This ride is just so cool and if you are an Aerosmith fan, then it is icing on the cake.


While I was waiting my turn to ride with Jonah, Jesse and I entertained ourselves in different ways.


She made silly faces in her new ride and new hat.


Oh my.


And she was super patient when Jonah just HAD to go ahead and ride the Tower of Terror next.  There was some pouting.  She thinks she should be able to do everything.


Ok, so we shopped some too.  This is Marie from the Disney movie Aristocats.  She loves her.  Gosh, I have a lot of pictures of her during this time.

I was just excited thinking about Jonah and my love and listening to the screams coming from the Tower, and looking forward to riding with him myself.

I had a special moment with Jonah on his second free fall in the Tower.  There was a nice couple in front of us in line.  We learned that they were on vacation without their little ones.  I remember the man's facial expression when Jonah told him his name.  I remember the man asking Jonah if he knew the story about Jonah and the Whale.  I remember Jonah's grin when he said yes.

Jonah proceeded to tell them all about the ride ahead.  He was talking so mature as if to prepare them not to be scared.  They played along (as if they had not ridden it before) and listened to all of his advice accordingly.  By the time we were at the top and strapping down in our seats, the "guys" were yelling at each other making jokes.  I can't remember the exact conversations, but watching him interact with this couple was enlightening.  I remember the way he held his hand out and asked the lady to go in the elevator first.  I remember how confident and brave he sounded.  He was a young man.  He was a young man riding the Tower of Terror with his hands in the air.  It was a great, proud moment.

There were special moments with Jesse as finding the perfect lollipop and remembering to grab one for her brother too.

It was her turn for some adventure though, and she chose the Beauty and the Beast show.

It was really neat and she enjoyed it so much.  The boys...well, that's a different story.  Jonah went from mature, young man to pouty toddler in like two seconds.  "But why do we have to watch this?"  He had just hit the biggest, best rides of the park, and he was just too high to sit through this, but he did.

I'm so glad.  I do believe Jesse was glad he and her Dad were there.

The music and the story was really great.

Somehow I can lose myself in these shows and really feel it like I have no idea how it is going to end. know how it ends.

The Beast is actually this guy with the strange looking wig that I am now noticing but didn't so much during the show.

I wish I had a photo of Jesse's face lighting up as she saw Belle in her signature dress.  It was impossible with her in my lap, but I can still see it in my mind.

I believe we left the show and went straight to Toy Story which was just so dang fun.  It is a 3D interactive experience that's a must do.  Then, we walked around a little.


Water was blasting from this truck, and of course that drew the kids to it.


Who needs live shows and roller coasters?

There was some sort of Muppet Show experience or show here we missed out on.  I thought we would make it back, and we didn't.  Hope to see it one day.


Look!  It's a Jonah statue standing in front of a fake San Francisco.  This picture makes me laugh.  It's the awkward smile and stiff pose I guess.  So sweet of him to stop for me though.


And we were pretty dang excited about Star Wars.  I knew we all could ride, and I knew it was going to be great.


It was also a 3D experience.  This was a highlight and one of our favorite rides.  I mean who wouldn't love a trip through the galaxy with their family?  It rocked.


It was a dream come true.

I did not expect this though.  The Indiana Jones show blew me away.

Ms. Kelly had made the kids a list of things they must do and this was on it.

It was a live stunt show.

They included the audience and showed us how it all happens, but sitting back and watching the action was the best part.

The flames from the fire warmed our faces.

Backdrops would move and collapse and suddenly there were airplanes and more fire.  It was out of this world and a must see.  (This was M's favorite.  I think I'm going to start calling him M...even though he will always be my love...maybe a little of both.)

You know, we were pretty much a thrill seeking family on this trip, but slowing down for the shows from time to time was a treat.  There was only one show where our little family split up, and that was this one.  Jonah was aching to ride the coasters again, and Jesse was aching to see Ariel.

The Little Mermaid...what is it about a Princess singing that always makes me cry?

Ursula the mean.  "We do not like her!" Jesse said.

We were near the stage and were sometimes splashed with soft sprays of water.  These Disney people really know what they are doing.

Oh, the happy endings.  More tears.  I loved sharing this with Jesse.  It will always be high up there on the mother-daughter experiences.

We ended our night all back together at Fantasmic.  I took mostly video of the night show.  If I was good at editing video, I would show you some of it, but honestly, it wouldn't do it justice.  You just have to see that one.  It will knock your socks off.  You will walk out in pure amazement and joy.

Wow, I even narrowed that down.  That was it!

We headed to the hotel way after dark and rested up for the Magic Kingdom the next day.

To be continued...

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