Looking Forward Through the Year

I thought I’d take this opportunity to share some of the things I am looking forward to this year as it is almost time to spring forward.

This year I am hoping to participate in at least one race per month, and doing more local races too. This weekend I will be walking the 5K for the Princess Half Marathon at Walt Disney World. Next weekend I will probably also walk the Best Damn Race 5K in downtown Orlando near Lake Eola. April I think will be the 5K that goes through Legoland and the rest of the year is up in the air.

Cinderella Royal Family 5K medal

Spring Training is about to shift into high gear. Teams are practicing and I’ve got tickets to see my Braves play the Cardinals at home next month. I hope to catch at least one other spring training game and to make it to Atlanta once this year.

The Epcot Flower and Garden Festival is starting in a couple of weeks and this is always a fun special event. Last year I got to meet one of my HGTV personalities, David Bromstad. I look forward to trying to see him again this year and to try out some of the new food offerings.

I would love to get to Busch Gardens as it has been almost a year since I last visited, despite this being the closer theme park to where I live. I need my coaster fix and to feed some kangaroos too.

A first for me this year will be to visit Universal Studios Mardi Gras. I haven’t been to Universal since 1992 other than a few trips to City Walk over the past decade. I am long overdue and hope to finally get to taste butterbeer and maybe one of those giant donuts from the Simpsons.

Summer will bring the return of Summer Nightastic at Busch Gardens and SeaWorld, both of which are a lot of fun. I would like to get back to SeaWorld to see their Viva La Musica celebration.

Coming soon, hopefully, will be the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at the Magic Kingdom. This new coaster will be something between the thrill level of the Barnstormer and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, but with some dark ride elements I’m hoping similar to Radiator Springs Racers in Cars Land at Disney California Adventure.

Late spring into summer brings the return of the beloved Star Wars Weekends at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Last year I missed out on Hyperspace Hoopla in its entirety and I won’t let that happen again this year.

At Disney’s Animal Kingdom I am looking forward to the new nighttime spectacular that should be arriving sometime this summer. I also really want Festival of the Lion King to come back soon, but I know it is still a few months off.

July will bring the WWE Raw live in Orlando from the Amway Center. I hope to see this and compare it to my recent experience for WWE Live.

Also in July will be the Destination D event at Walt Disney World for D23. I hope this is as fun if not more so than the event in 2011.

Of course the fall will bring back the International Food and Wine Festival at Epcot that this year is extended to even more of September. Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party starts up again in September into October. November and December will see Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party in the Magic Kingdom as well.

One of the things that is on the back burner, but I’m still trying to work into my schedule is a trip back to Disneyland sometime in the next few months or so. Also, a cruise, or two, will be happening this year!

 

What events are you looking forward to this year? Did I miss any of your favorites?

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Wordless Wednesday: Star Wars Weekends Coming Soon

Wordless Wednesday – May 15, 2013

Wordless Wednesday
Wordless Wednesday takes to a Galaxy far, far away…or Disney’s Hollywood Studios for Star Wars Weekends which start this Friday!
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Our Thoughts on Disney’s Hollywood Studios For #DHSAwareness

Hi everyone!

In celebration of Studios Central Disney’s Hollywood Awareness week, we thought we would end it with a round-table discussion on our thoughts on Disney’s Hollywood Studios!

We hope that you enjoy some of thoughts and pictures of Studios!

1. What is your favorite attraction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and how long would you wait to ride?

Shalon – I am a fan of Tower of Terror, and I would wait 30 minutes.

Cheryl – Toy Story Mania with a wait of 30 minutes.

Aurora – I adore Toy Story but, I am a fast pass only girl when it comes to that ride. I will wait about 60 minutes tops for it. ONLY because the   queue line is so interesting that it seems to make the time go by faster!!!

Betsy – I love the Great Movie Ride! Classic films are right up my alley and my favorite film of all time (Casablanca) is featured in the ride. I’d say the longest I’ve waited is probably 20 – 30 minutes. There is an attraction I have waited longer for and that is Toy Story Midway Mania with my goddaughter and that was an hour wait, but I’d still say GMR is my fave.

Megan – I love Aerosmith’s Rock ‘n Rollercoaster.  I think the longest I’ve waited to ride it is 30 minutes.  I have run over to it before a breakfast reservation to make sure that I have a fastpass for after breakfast.

Shelley – I have to say that my favorite attraction at DHS is The Great Movie Ride. I know it sounds cheesy, but I have had the best time on this ride with my friends! It’s always a great way to end our day at DHS! I would wait 45 minutes since I like to imitate the clips in the main holding area.

 

2. If you could be any character in any show at Disney’s Hollywood Studios who would you be?

Cheryl – I am a big Star Wars fan, so I would like to be R2D2 in Hyperspace Hoopla!

Aurora – Indiana Jones of course! You get a hat and a whip and you get to shoot a gun and be the hero!!!!!

Betsy – Hmm, this one is tough. I love The Little Mermaid and used to actually spend my recess singing Part of Your World, so Ariel is a possibility. I think I’d have to go with Marion from Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular. What can I say? I have a thing for Indy. 😉

Megan – Definitely Belle.  I always sing along to movie and I think that the stage show in the studios is definitely well done.  And if I can’t be Belle, I would love to be one of the dancers in the show.

Shelley – I am going to bend the rules of ‘show’ a little…I think I should be able to since I wrote the questions! LOL! I would love to be Mimi Kaboom! She is my favorite Citizen of Hollywood…just don’t tell Paige Turner.

Shalon – Belle in the Beauty and the Beast stage show!

 

3. What is your favorite spot in Disney’s Hollywood Studios?

Aurora – My Husband and I tend to spend the most time at the Animation Building. We love to do the drawing classes but we like the quiet and air conditioning!

Betsy – Possibly Animation Academy since I so enjoy drawing some of my favorite characters. If you are talking about a place to hang out, then maybe Studio Catering Company for people watching or the Writer’s Stop for somewhere cooler. For strictly aesthetic purposes, I’d say the queue of the Tower of Terror due to the crazy details, especially in the lobby.

Megan – The Writer’s Stop.  It is my favorite place to sit back and relax.  I usually grab a snack and one (or two) of the cookbooks that I can “ooh” and “ahh” over the recipes.

Shelley – I really enjoy taking my time to wander through One Man’s Dream to try to find a little something that I have never seen before, and I always watch the movie…even though it makes me cry every time!!!

Shalon – I like to relax inside the Tune In lounge.

Cheryl – The area between One Man’s Dream and Voyage of the Little Mermaid, because it is a great area that always seems to be cool.

 

4. Where is your favorite place to eat at Disney’s Hollywood Studios?

Betsy – My go to table service restaurant is Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano. I love the flatbreads and the penne alla vodka. For counter service I tend to end up at Studio Catering Company for the veggie sandwich.

Shalon – I am a fan of the Brown Derby for the Cobb salad!

Megan – I love 50’s Prime Time Cafe.  The theming of the restaurant is superb. It reminds me of my grandparent’s house.  The food is the most delicious I’ve had in a theme park restaurant.  I always plan on trying something different when I visit but I always end up having the pot roast.  I highly recommend it! I wish I could duplicate the dish at home!

Shelley – I adore eating at the Sci Fi Dine in Theater! I am obsessed with their red velvet cheesecake, and where else can you see clips from bad movies, the kitchen of the future, and watch GARCO & Walt while you eat??

Cheryl – The ABC Commisary, because they have a great salad!

Aurora – I am a HUGE FAN of the Buffalo Chicken Sandwich at Studios Catering Company! It is a massive portion and the perfect amount of Spicy!! Plus they have the GOOD honey mustard that you can get as much as you want to dip your fries into!!

 

5. If you could add something to Disney’s Hollywood Studios what would it be?

Megan – I would love to have it be a working studio again. One of my favorite things about the studios of the past was when you would be able to see some of the animators at work.  It’s been years since they had any animators working there and I think it would give the guests a fun sneak peek at the upcoming films. In addition, it would give the younger guests an opportunity to see what an animator does.

Shelley – I agree with Scarlett Litton…Shade!!! No, in all seriousness I would really love to see something…well anything done with the Backlot Tour area! It is definitely time for a change!

Shalon – I would love to have the long rumored Monsters, Inc. Rollercoaster in the Park!

Cheryl – I wish there were more vegan options and more special diet options, like items from Babycakes! I can never seem to find snacks that are friendly for those with allergies.

Aurora – I would love if they re did the Backlot Tour…. It used to be something SO MUCH BETTER! Now it is just lame. The Pre recorded spiel is just stupid. I miss the interaction. I love walking through the prop warehouse and would rather do that then the tram ride. I would also love a new Parade…. the one we have right now is seven minutes of BAD!

Betsy – I would love if they would incorporate something into some of the currently unused spaces like the theater where the Hunchback of Notre Dame show used to be, or the space between Toy Story and Backlot Tour. It seems these areas only get used occasionally during Star Wars Weekends or not at all. Another E ticket ride of some sort next to TSMM would be great. I would also love to see another Broadway style musical show for one of the newer musicals like the Princess and the Frog or Tangled.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Let the Parade Debate Begin

With Block Party Bash coming to a close in January 2011, I thought that I would swing by and check it out since I absolutely love this parade!

Now while I totally understand the point of view of those that wish that they could see the whole parade, I absolutely love the energy of the show and the life that it pumps into the Studios.

A look down the Hollywood Boulevard.

There is just something about seeing the Hollywood Boulevard area lined with people who are tapping their feet, clapping, and movin’ it with the performers.

Now I am not knocking the parade before I see it, but I feel like a more traditional parade would absolutely juxtapose the whole vibe of Hollywood Studios. I know that the whole “working studio” thing has been long abandoned and cut away over the years, but the Citizens of Hollywood that populate that area make it a real and tangible place.

I always love that at the beginning of the parade there are always older dudes with their arms crossed, leaning on the trashcans that are shaking what their Mama gave them by the end of the parade!

All of that lovefest aside, I feel like the weakest link of the parade is the “Bug’s Life” float. The performers definitely do their thing, but most kids don’t know or recognize those characters…or at least all of the ones that I am always around.

What makes me the most excited? Having the characters from “Ratatouille” and “Up” returning to the parade!

While I will be excited to see what the new Hollywood Studio’s parade has to offer, I can only hope that it captures the same sense of movement and life that Block Party Bash brings to the Boulevard!

Zoe the Dancing Queen
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