DISNEY’S HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS
Ahh, Hollywood Studios. The very last Disney theme park in the world for me to check off my bucket list! We went here late in the afternoon on the second day of our 2-day Disney World adventure, so really, this was more of a 3-hour adventure as opposed to a half day. For the general overview of our time at Disney World resort, click here. For Hollywood Studios, keep reading!
I will confess that this theme park was probably our least favorite of the four. We still had a blast, but a few hours sufficed for us to spend there. Especially if you have access or have been to California Adventure in Anaheim, I would recommend either skipping or spending very little time in this theme park. It’s a bit smaller, tackier and more overtly Hollywood-themed, which we were feeling a little “meh” about coming from Los Angeles.
The first thing we did was hop on Tower of Terror (Fast Pass), which was definitely worthwhile to do.
The attraction is a lot of fun, and if you ever rode the (former) Anaheim attraction at California Adventure, it’s a little bit different. It also maintains more of a “Twilight Zone” feel to it than its international counterparts do. I would highly recommend it! After that, we wandered the Star Wars launch bay a bit, but decided not to go for Star Tours or Toy Story Mania, as both were the same in the Anaheim theme parks. Instead, we watched the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular!
After that, we wandered a little bit more before leaving the park, changing and hopping onto a bus to make our 7:15pm California Grill dinner reservation (which we were 20-minutes late for, but they still took us!).
When we got to California Grill (atop the Disney Contemporary Resort), we were immediately met with great customer service. They knew we were there to watch the 9:00pm firework show, and encouraged us to take our time and gave tips for going out on the observation deck to watch. They were also well aware of their allergy-friendly options (I highly recommend asking, because sometimes you can modify things on the menu that aren’t noted on the allergy listings).
We ordered our food and some wine, and slipped outside to watch the sunset over the Magic Kingdom while waiting for our cheese plate and entrees.
We popped back inside the restaurant to eat a little bit before slipping back onto the observation deck five minutes before the fireworks started. Honestly, the food here was decent, but a little forgettable. The main reason you’d want to eat here is to watch the fireworks, so plan your dinner accordingly!
Then the fireworks. The fireworks from the rooftop were magical. The music was pumped throughout the observation deck as we watched the show over Sleeping Beauty Castle and Space Mountain. Although much of the show involved lights on the castle that may have been better viewed from inside the park, it was a hot and busy weekend, and we enjoyed being able to sit in our comfortably air-conditioned restaurant instead of staking out a spot in front of the castle hours in advance of the show.
After dinner and fireworks, we walked from the Contemporary Resort to the Magic Kingdom, where we caught a bus that got us back to our hotel around 11:30pm.