Monday, November 04, 2013

Walt Disney World 2013, Day 2--Shrine and Hollywood Studios

Our vacation plan initially only included four days at the Disney parks.  Steven really only wanted to spend three days at the parks, but I convinced him to add just one more when we paid for our trip.  And then the week before we watched their promotional video, which made me start to think about adding just one more day to make five.  We were going to skip Hollywood Studios, but realizing that it would be a small cost and might have some attractions we'd really enjoy, I thought it would be worth it.  But we didn't tell the kids or decide anything until Sunday morning.  Sunday had been scheduled as our "rest" day, but we still took it slow with a very early mass, some time resting and swimming at the hotel, and then arriving around 3pm at Hollywood Studios.  Here are some photos!

The Basilica of the National Shrine of Our Lady Queen of the Universe.
It was a huge and gorgeous church!  
The 7:30am wasn't crowded, and a few of our kids even fell asleep.

There were beautiful statues and stained glass windows throughout.

I believe this is a replica of the St. Peter statue in St. Peter's Basilica in Rome.  The one in Rome has been touched so many times that the foot is worn down, but this one, not so much!

You can't see the perspective so well, but this Madonna and Child was huge!

Outside was a lovely rosary garden and a beautiful statue of Blessed Pope John Paul II.

The kids refused to pose, but here is the entrance to the basilica.

And this was their huge gift shop!  I could have spent all day in there!

We took a taxi back to our hotel and had some breakfast.  Here is the crazy food court area!

There was a seating area with movies and coloring for the kids.

Then, another long walk back to the room for some rest time.

Later, we suited up for some time at the pool!
Daddy did the laundry while we were swimming :)

Thomas played for nearly an hour with a leaf there on the steps of the pool.  He was pretending it was a surfboard.

After cleaning up, we were ready for the bus ride over to Hollywood Studios!
We arrived around 3pm and had a nice afternoon and evening there.

We'd skipped lunch, so we found a little spot to eat.  With the meal plan, we got a dessert with every meal.  Here's MC eating a giant cupcake!

It was starting to rain a bit, and the girls went on the Rockin' Roller Coaster with Daddy.  The boys and I stayed in the gift shop area, which was Aerosmith/Rock 'n Roll themed.  It was apparently a very scary coaster, and Ellie kept her eyes closed the whole time!  Steven really liked it though.  Here's SJ in a crazy hat...

We headed over to the Disney Junior Show next.  Tommy loved this!

They had things falling from the ceiling, this was paper coins, but they also had bubbles and later confetti.

What a Daddy!  Singing along!

Then it was time for the Beauty and the Beast show.  I loved it!

The Toy Story Mania ride was a favorite with all the kids, especially Thomas.

We went on the Great Movie Ride (okay), and walked around a bit.  We were looking forward to the Honey, I Shrunk the Kids playground, but it was closed.  The big kids went on the Star Tours simulator ride, and then we decided to cancel our dinner reservations at the 50s Prime Time Cafe since we weren't very hungry.  We walked to the back of the park to grab some pizza for a couple hungry kids, but it had just closed!  Bummer!  So we found another place (Backlot Express) and then headed over towards the night show.

The night show at Hollywood Studios is called Fantasmic.  We got Fast Passes and sat in the middle front reserved section, but it probably wasn't necessary.  But during busy times, this show apparently fills up.  It started with some cast members getting the audience riled up.

We had brought some glow swords and glow sticks from the Dollar Tree.  I'm glad I bought a bunch of those, because the glowing items sold at Disney are pricey!

Fantasmic is a laser, light, water, and firework production including music and the Disney characters.  It was impressive, but a little scary for the littlest ones.

In the end, I was glad we paid the little bit extra (I think it was $50 for our whole family) to add another day of park tickets and spend the afternoon and evening at Hollywood Studios.  I really enjoyed the Beauty and the Beast and Fantasmic shows, Tommy loved Disney Jr, and the other kids and Steven had fun on Star Tours and the Rockin' Roller Coaster.  I'm also glad we took it slow with an early mass, time at the pool, and then arriving in the afternoon at the park.  It was another great day at Disney!  Next up: Animal Kingdom!

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