Disney Hollywood Studios

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Yesterday Cindy left for England to visit her dad. She had to fly out of Orlando, so the boys and I took a couple of extra days to cap-off our summer vacation and are staying at Hilton’s Parc Soleil Resort…

Hilton Parc Soleil

The rooms are AWESOME!

Hilton Parc Soleil

and the pool? Well, this just about says it all…

Thumb-up

Anyway, we started our day at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. They’ll be closing the TCM Great Movie Ride soon, so I wanted to take a ride on it one more time. It’s not the boys favorite ride by any means, but they tolerate it for me. 😉

So, we enjoyed the Indiana Jones show and snapped some pictures of the tank outside…

Tank

and the Frozen Sing-a-Long show is always fun (and extremely funny), but Adam says he’s not going to sing…

Frozen Show

We had Fast Passes for most of the rides we went on, so we were pretty much done by early afternoon. So, we headed back to the Parc for some fun-in-the-sun!

Alex on the Slide

Boys in the Pool

The bar stocked Gosling’s Black Seal Rum, so while the boys enjoyed the pool slide, Dad enjoyed a “dark” Mojito. Mmmmm.

Dark Mojito

Tomorrow, we’re heading home. School starts next week!

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Today, we slept-in a little later because we didn’t get home from Disney until after midnight. And the boys wanted to go to the pool for a bit, so we waited until late afternoon to head-out to Disney Hollywood Studios. My favorite Disney park. Here we go!

Sven

On our way into the park, Cindy was the lucky random winner of a special ride through the metal detector…

Security

Although there were still a lot of people in the park, it wasn’t near as crowded as the Magic Kingdom was yesterday. Which made it much easier to get to our first destination: Front row seats for Star Tours! And look! Everything is 3-D!!

Star Tours

The last time we were hear, the boys didn’t get a chance to visit Chewbacca. We tried, but he was called away for some reason…maybe something broke on the Millennium Falcon or maybe he was sick…anyway, he was “home” this time around and the boys, especially Alex, were thrilled…

Chewy Hug Chewy and the Boys

Our favorite Wookie…

Chewy and the Family

And I guess you just can’t get enough Star Wars…

Stormtrooper

Before long it was time for the Christmas show at the center stage, “Jingle Bell, Jungle BAM!” featuring the “Prep and Landing” elves, Wayne and Lanny…

Jingle Bam!

The light and firework was presented against the park’s full-scale replica of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, home of The Great Movie Ride. The show was a lot of fun and we had a great spot right at the front of the stage.

Jingle Bam!

What an AWESOME night!

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The school year is over for the boys and to kick-off the summer, we heading down to Disney Hollywood Studios–which happens to be my favorite of the Disney theme parks!

DHS Entrance

So much to do! First things first: The Rockin’ Rollercoaster…

Rockin Rollercoaster Entrance

LOVE THIS RIDE!

Rockin Rollercoaster

What else? There are 3D specs and Jawas…

3D Specs Jawa Boys

and a couple Storm Troopers harass an old lady on her scooter…

Stormtrooper

which turned-out to be a prelude to a little storm trooper recruiting by Captain Phasma of the First Order…

Anyway, it wasn’t all about Star Wars. There was “Pigs in Space”…

Pigs in Space

and the live Frozen show, which was absolutely hilarious!!

Frozen

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It’s the last day of our Disney Weekend, and what better place to be than Hollywood Studios?

Disney Hollywood Studios

Naturally, we have a Fast-Pass to Star Tours, which is the number one ride for a couple of Star Wars geeks like Alex and Adam…

Star Tours

After the boys build a light saber in the Star Wars store, we still have about an hour before our Fast-Pass to the Rock-n-Roller Coaster, so we jump in line for one of my favorite rides: The Great Movie Ride…

The Great Movie Ride

This ride is sponsored by Turner Classic Movies, which happens to be my favorite cable channel. And movie host, Robert Osborne, introduces the crowd to a ride through some of Hollywood’s classic movies, like Casablanca…

Casablanca

There was enough action to keep the boys attention (although Adam commented that it moved too slowly), and plenty of nostalgia for me! And with that, we’re ready for Aerosmith and the Rock-n-Roller Coaster! Upon entering, we’re greeted by Steve, Joe and the rest of the band…

Aerosmith

This is a great roller caoster…and F-A-S-T! It goes from 0 to 60 in about 2-1/2-seconds as it thrusts you through a series of “loop-the-loops” (as Adam likes to call them) and corkscrews…and all the while you’re listening to Aerosmith: “Love in an Elevator,” “Walk this Way,” and “Lick and a Promise”. After we finished, we saw that it was raining outside, so decided to get back in line and ride AGAIN! AWESOME!

RocknRoller Coaster

Next, we grab a bite to eat, and head over to the “Lights, Motor, Action! Extreme Stunt Show”. Lots of tires screeching, fire, and car jumps to keep you riveted to the set. It’s a great glimpse into how movie studios film all those fancy car chase scenes! And who doesn’t liked the smell of burnt rubber?

We decided to wrap-up the day with the Indiana Jones Stunt Show, but was distracted by the face painting…

Alex wanted to be a Tribal Warrior…

Alex Face Paint Alex Face Paint

Adam, chose a Lion Prince…

Adam Face Paint Adam Face Paint

By the time we finished with the face painting, the Indiana Jones show was about half over, so we decided to call it a day. We made our way to the park entrance and picked-up the packages we had transferred there earlier, climbed aboard the tram and made our way back to the car. It’s been a whirlwind few days, and I’m looking forward to getting back to work tomorrow, so I can relax a bit! 😉

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wherein I’m running some errands with the boys and Aerosmith’s Walk this Way comes on the radio…

Adam: Hey, I know this song!

Me: You do?

Adam: Yeah, it’s the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Song at Disney World

Me: It sure is.

Adam: I love that song.

Me: I did, too. Before Run DMC ruined it!

Aerosmith Rock n Roller Coaster

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Big surprise! We went to Disney World. Again! 😉 This is the last week of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, and the last remnant of the boys’ sixth birthday celebration!

Happy Holidays

First order of business: Disney Hollywood Studios, where we found the day had a decidedly Star Wars focus. Why are the boys smiling? They just finished the Star Tours ride and are sitting atop a “speeder bike”.

Alex Speeder Adam Speeder

Anyway, the highlight of the day was an epic battle with Darth Maul.

Darth Maul Darth Maul

Adam was ecstatic, and grinning from ear-to-ear the entire time!

Adam Trains Adam Fights

As for Alex, he was worried, yet determined…

Alex is worried Alex is determined

Alex is ready Alex is ready

and in the end, his courage shines through…

Alex Courageous

Adam, on the other hand, was seduced by the Dark Side of the Force…

Adam and Alex

Oh, and then we went to the Christmas Party, which was a lot of waiting and crowding, lights and fireworks,

Fireworks

Sitting on the curb and waving…

Waving

and Santa!

Santa

Seriously, though, it was a great night, and I didn’t have to ride on “It’s a Small World”!

SCORE!

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Day 2 of our latest Disney adventure started off with a visit to the Shades of Green for breakfast and to pick up our 4-day park-hoppers (not that we plan on spending 4 days park-hopping, but the passes are good for a year, and we’ll be back). Anyway, today is the boys “birthday celebration” at Hollywood Studio. As we prepared to go, the boys were very excited to see that “Chippy”, our Elf on the Shelf, had made himself a little bed out of Alex’s hat, and was chillin’ in the back of the van! They were surprised and amazed that he was able to find them at Disney World! I guess that Christmas magic gives him a certain amount of clairvoyance, so they better be good 😉

Chippy

Upon our arrival at the park, we immediately visited the Jedi Training Academy to sign the boys up for a course of instruction that would ultimately earn them the title of “Padawan” or “Jedi in training”. In my day, they’d simply be known as “grasshopper” (and yesterday’s pebbles have been replaced by lightsabers!).

Jedi Training Academy

Having successfully enrolled the boys in the 7:00 p.m. class, we raced to “Star Tours”. Adam was so excited, we could hardly keep-up with him!

Star Tours Adam at Star Tours Adam at Star Tours

Everywhere we went, the park staff were wishing A2 “HAPPY BIRTHDAY” (due to the little pins they wore informing everyone that it was their birthday). They even got some free ice cream from one of the vendors…

Free Ice Cream

As is always the case, we can’t walk down the street without stopping for photo-ops with popular Disney characters, like Wreck It Ralph and Penelope von Sweets

Wreck It Ralph

The kids really get a kick out of meeting the characters, although dad really fails to see the point in and gets very impatient having to wait in line for a photo that we rarely enjoy both boys smiling at the same time and the the park is going to charge a bizillion dollars for via Photopass. I’m telling you, “IT’S A SCAM!” Cindy just says, “Quit your bitchin'” ( sigh )

We had a late lunch-early supper at Hollywood and Vine where the boys got to meet some of their favorite Disney Jr. characters, like Jake of the “Neverland Pirates” fame. No Photopass cameraman in sight, so I’m okay with it. Of course, the meal cost a bizillion dollars, so who needs the Photopass, right? The food WAS very good, though!

The boys and Jake

In recognition of their special day, the boys enjoy a big, fat birthday cupcake!

Alex birthday cupcake Adam birthday cupcake

After an afternoon of walking and riding and walking and standing in line to meet Disney characters and walking, the moment of truth had arrived! It’s was 7:00 p.m. and time for the boys to attend the Jedi academy! They presented their credentials (i.e. the ticket they had received earlier) and were each given their Padawan robe…

Jedi Jedi

The younglings lined up with other apprentices and went through a grueling series of Star Wars trivia questions to which Adam or Alex responded to every one. Next, they lined-up and exited to the Jedi training area where they were going to receive instruction and be tested. Somewhere along the route, Alex decided this wasn’t for him and like Luke Skywalker’s Uncle Owen, said “phooey” to this Jedi training stuff. Adam, on the other hand, much like Luke himself, endured the training and got the opportunity to fight Darth Vader…

Padawan Adam meets Darth Vader

And much like Uncle Owen, who if you’ll remember from Star Wars Episode IV, ultimately came to regret his lack of interest in learning Jedi, Alex had a change of heart and wanted to do the Padawan thing! Alas, he’ll have to wait until our next visit…or maybe, Christmas! 😉

We finished the evening enjoying the beautiful light show ala the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights on the Streets of America

Christmas Lights

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