Another Day, Another Construction Update…

Toy Story Midway Mania - Disney's Hollywood Studios

Another quick PSA today.

With all of the construction going on at Hollywood Studios to make way for the new Pixar and Star Wars areas, Disney has closed down half of the capacity at Toy Story Midway Mania.

I mentioned this on Twitter a couple of days ago, but just in case you missed it, we’ve made some major adjustments to our standby estimates for TSMM at Hollywood Studios. If prior to Tuesday, January 16th you created RideMax plans for Hollywood Studios which included riding TSMM in the standby line, I’d strongly encourage you to make new plans instead.

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Disney’s Hollywood Studios – Kids’ Shows, Star Wars Merchandise, Backlot Express Galactic Chicken Salad

I decided it was time to check out a few of the “kids’ shows” at Disney’s Hollywood Studios last Thursday, since it’s been a while since I’d seen some of them and wanted to see if any of the related “tips” in RideMax needed a refresh.

Something folks sometimes overlook with RideMax is how handy it can be for visiting the various shows at Hollywood Studios. If you’re trying to visit five or six shows, it can be a real pain to figure out your schedule by hand, even if you know the show schedule in advance. On the other hand, RideMax can crank out a schedule in seconds — literally — for visiting the shows of your choice, given the date of your visit and your planned arrival and finishing time.

I needed to leave the park right after lunch, so I didn’t have a lot of time for this visit. With RideMax I was able to schedule three of the shows, plus visits to Toy Story Mania and Tower of Terror, along with some time afterward for lunch at Backlot Express.

Here is the specific schedule I used:

Disney's Hollywood Studios - RideMax Plan

Continue reading Disney’s Hollywood Studios –…

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RideMax Fan Mail

Walt Disney World - Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

Just a quick update today. It’s always fun hearing from RideMax customers who found the software helpful. Knowing that we’ve helped folks more fully enjoy their experience in Disney’s theme parks is one of the things that keeps me going.

In that spirit, I appreciated this recent note from Jason, from Salem, Ohio, who used RideMax to plan a trip to Walt Disney World trip with his young daughter.

The software was worth double the cost, easy. I planned a spur-of-the-moment trip to Disney World for my daughter’s sixth birthday. We are a spontaneous family like that, but I’d been there twice before and in order to make sure my daughter got to ride everything I thought she’d like, I knew I needed a plan. RideMax to the rescue.


We went to Hollywood Studios, Magic Kingdom, and Epcot, each for a day. I crammed as much as I could into those days, including being at Magic Kingdom early (we got up at 6, at park by 8:30) and stayed until 11pm. Out of 3 days we missed only 2 rides on our list, but it was mainly due to my poor planning – I didn’t expect the line for Anna and Elsa to be 2 hours.


Even though Epcot was on a Sunday, I picked the Friday before because the hours and extended hours closely matched. It was pretty darn accurate.


We had a blast all three days and I know we got double the rides in with RideMax.


Thanks for those kind words, Jason. I’m glad you had such a nice trip, and that RideMax could help!


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“Frozen Summer Fun” Added to RideMax

Frozen Sing-Along Celebration

Walt Disney World’s Hollywood Studios has added a set of “extras” this summer, all under the banner of Frozen Summer Fun. I stopped by earlier this week with Liesle and my daughter to check it out, and we found that we enjoyed it more than I had expected to. Although it’s nowhere close to a Star Wars Land, it adds to the experience of a park that’s long overdue for some sort of update.

(Note: Click on any image in this post for a larger version.)

Get tickets before the show for the Frozen Sing-Along Celebration

Our first stop of the day was to get tickets for the lengthily-titled show, For the First Time in Forever: A “Frozen” Sing-Along Celebration. At 10:45 there were still plenty of tickets available for the first show of the day at 12:30.

A short line to get tickets for the Frozen Sing-Along Celebration

The line to get tickets for the show is in the Streets of America. Look for the green umbrellas set up on the “side street” off the main thoroughfare. Based on the queue set-up, it looked like they were expecting much larger lines for this than actually existed.

Anna and Elsa's Royal Welcome at Disney's Hollywood Studios

We planted ourselves off to the side of the Sorcerer’s Hat for the 11:00am Anna and Elsa’s Royal Welcome, which turned out to be sort of lame, actually, and was our least-favorite activity of the day. It consisted of Anna and Elsa in a carriage, along with Kristoff and a handful of dancers, all making their way down Hollywood Boulevard to the Sorcerer’s Hat. Granted, we didn’t have a great vantage point from where we stood, but I’m not sure being up-close would have helped that much.

Anna and Elsa's Royal Welcome at Disney's Hollywood Studios

The festivities included Anna and Elsa being handed flowers by someone dressed up like a Disney manager. Not sure what more to say about this.

Anna and Elsa's Royal Welcome at Disney's Hollywood Studios - Sing Along

On the bright side, we did get to sing-along with Let It Go. (This is sarcastic or not, depending on your own level of Frozen fatigue.)

Anna and Elsa's Royal Welcome at Disney's Hollywood Studios - Finale

And the guy in the suit helps wrap the whole thing up.

Anna and Elsa's Royal Welcome at Disney's Hollywood Studios - Kristoff

With the brief festivities at the hat concluded, the processional continued down toward Star Tours, where I could see the characters a bit better. If you don’t care about the stage show, this location offers a better view and is less crowded. To give you an idea of the overall brevity of the show, this picture was taken at 11:12am.

Anna and Elsa's Royal Welcome at Disney's Hollywood Studios - Say Goodbye

“Say goodbye, to the…” well, you know the rest.

Disney's Hollywood Studios - Frozen T-Shirt Red

I thought these Olaf t-shirts were pretty cool (sorry). $21.95.

Disney's Hollywood Studios - Frozen Olaf T-Shirt Blue

Disney's Hollywood Studios - Frozen Olaf T-Shirt White

Disney's Hollywood Studios - Frozen Summer Fun - Wandering Oaken's Frozen Funland

We next made our way over to Wandering Oaken’s Frozen Funland. This is located in one of the old “sound stage” buildings between Toy Story Midway Mania and the Backlot Tour. We didn’t have to wait at all to go inside, but the individual activities inside did include some waiting.

Disney's Hollywood Studios - Frozen Summer Fun - Wandering Oaken's Frozen Funland

The longest wait by far was for the “snow ground” playground area, which included real snow. This was a real treat in Florida in July.

Disney's Hollywood Studios - Frozen Summer Fun - Wandering Oaken's Frozen Funland

Disney's Hollywood Studios - Frozen Summer Fun - Wandering Oaken's Frozen Funland Ice Skating

Folks also seemed to be enjoying the small ice-skating rink in this area, which is available for an extra $10.

Disney's Hollywood Studios - Frozen Summer Fun - Wandering Oaken's Frozen Funland

Frozen-themed treats are also available here.

Disney's Hollywood Studios - Frozen Summer Fun Treats

Disney's Hollywood Studios - Frozen Summer Fun - Cupcakes

A close-up of the cupcakes.

Disney's Hollywood Studios - For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration

By now, it was time to use our tickets for the 12:30 show of For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration.

As someone who downloaded the soundtrack for this show before I was even home from the movie theater — two days after the film was released — (and before every 9-year-old girl in the country had the lyrics memorized), these songs are near and dear to my heart. We really enjoyed this sing-along. It was fast-paced and fun, despite the fact that they left out one of our favorite tunes, Fixer Upper.

For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration

The show included segments of live acting…

For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration

…as well as a bouncing snowflake for the lyrically-impaired. (Not us!)

For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration - Anna

Sounds good, Anna!

For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration

The grand finale…

For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration - Finale

As I said, all in all, we really enjoyed the sing-a-long. (And hopefully we didn’t annoy anyone around us too much with our boisterous rendition of the lyrics.) I’ve given this one a fairly high rating in RideMax, and would definitely recommend adding it to your RideMax plan.

Note that the actual showtime came in at around 30 minutes, and this is how we’ve listed it in RideMax, despite Disney’s Times Guide indicating a 20-minute show length.

As a bonus, both the sing-along and Wandering Oaken’s Frozen Funland are a great way to get out of the heat and enjoy some *very* cold air-conditioning. In fact, both Liesle and my daughter were downright cold by the end of this show.

Frozen living up to it’s name, I guess.

We didn’t stay for the evening Frozen version of the fireworks, but I hope to see that in the near future.

For RideMax customers, you’ll find four of the “Frozen Summer Fun” activities listed in RideMax now through September 1st, so feel free to add these to your RideMax plans:

  • Anna and Elsa’s Royal Welcome
  • Frozen Sing-Along Celebration
  • Wandering Oaken’s Frozen Funland
  • Frozen Fireworks Spectacular

What about you? Have you seen or do you plan to see the new “Frozen Summer Fun” activities yet? Do people really smell better than reindeer? Leave me your thoughts in the comments below!

 

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