Our family spent Valentines Day at Disney's Hollywood Studios. It was a beautiful day with temperatures in the low 70's. The crowds were moderate.
After we arrived at the park, my husband went ahead of us to get a DAS return time for the Tower of Terror and my son and I took our time walking down Hollywood Boulevard.
We met a police officer along our way and had a blast taking photos with him. The character actors in DHS are fantastic to interact with.
I was really looking forward to exploring the recently opened Star Wars Launch Bay located in the former animation building in the Animation Courtyard.
At the entrance to the Launch Bay, guests could either queue for the short film or go directly to the exhibit and meet & greet area. We decided to skip the film this visit.
The exhibits were great, especially if you have an avid Star Wars fan in your family. (see more photos of exhibits in the photo gallery at the end of this posting). As you exit the Launch Bay, the Cargo shop has a variety of items you can purchase ranging from Darth Vader's full costume to t-shirts.
We loved meeting Chewbacca and Kylo Ren. The posted waits for both of these meet and greets were 30-40 minutes. We explained to the CM at the entrance to the meets that our son would not be able to wait this long. The CM at both meets directed us to a shorter queue where we only waited about 5-8 minutes. This was very helpful and we were sincerely appreciative. I understand from some of our followers on Facebook that this alternate queue is not always available but I recommend that you ask the CM when you go. There is a also a Chase Disney Visa members meet and greet in the Launch Bay but that line was also fairly long the day we visited.
After meeting the Star Wars characters, my husband and son used his first DAS return time for his favorite Walt Disney World ride, the Tower of Terror. Always a thrilling experience, this attraction was not a disappointment.
Waiting for our FP+ time for the Great Movie Ride, we decided to walk by Toy Story Midway Mania to obtain a DAS return time. We also wanted to explore the areas of the park that were under construction.
For a limited time, you can see a short preview of Disney's Zootpia movie inside One Man's Dream theater.
Construction walls now block the Phineas & Ferb and Mater & Lightning McQueen closed meet and greets.
Construction walls also can be found in front of the closed Pizza Planet restaurant near Muppet Vision 3D.
We noticed a tribute to the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights on the Streets of America. You can read about our visit to see these amazing lights in my blog from January.
The Great Movie Ride was our next FP+ attraction and we really like the new movie montage at the end of the ride.
We were able to watch the recently added Star Wars: Path of the Jedi short film. This film includes footage from The Force Awakens and can be seen at the ABC Sound Studio.
While waiting for our FP+ time for Star Tours we tried three of the specialty cupcakes ($5.99 each) now available for a limited time. They were delicious!
The new scene featured in Star Tours attraction "inspired by the film Star Wars: The Force Awakens" was good. The FP+ queue to enter Star Tours was long but moved quickly. This attraction is a family favorite and we try to do this each visit to DHS.
We had obtained a DAS return time for Toy Story Midway Mania around noon. Since the posted wait was 130 minutes, our return time was two hours later. We returned soon after our designated time and entered the FP+ queue. It moved very slowly. We were in this queue for approximately 20 minutes, which appears to be typical for this attraction, although I've seen the FP+ return line extend well into the street outside the attraction. Keep this in mind if your family member has difficulty waiting for at least 20 minutes, even with a DAS return time.
The adventurous part of our experience on Toy Story Midway Mania was when it broke down. We were almost finished with the ride but it stopped and the lights came on. An announcement was made that the ride would be closing and to wait in our vehicles until a Cast Member directed us what to do. The evacuation of the ride took about 25 minutes. We were escorted out in a single file line by a CM. Our son did well, except the noise of each vehicle door being manually opened and shut with a loud bang started to get on his nerves. I don't think he will want to ride that attraction again any time soon.
Overall our day spent at Disney's Hollywood Studios was fun. We really enjoyed seeing the new Star Wars exhibits, meeting the new characters while taking advantage of the beautiful Florida weather.
Maureen is married and has a son with autism. She and her family visit an Orlando Theme Park nearly every weekend. Maureen created AutismAtTheParks to help vacationers who have a family member with a developmental disability to better navigate and enjoy the theme parks. She is also a contributor to the Unofficial Universal Orlando Podcast. You can follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Periscope.
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