Posts Tagged ‘disney jr’

Our First Disney Trip: Hollywood Studios

Friday, June 23rd, 2017

Previously: Disney Non-Park Day, Magic Kingdom

Right now (Summer 2017), Hollywood Studios is majorly under construction. They’re adding Toy Story Land and Star Wars Land (rumor says those will open in 2018 and 2019, respectively) so the park feels a little…messy. But some of my all-time favorite stuff is at Hollywood Studios, so we planned a full day at the park – and still ended up missing a bunch of things! Honestly, I used to think people who spent 10 days at Disney World were crazy, but after this trip I totally get it. If (when) we go again, it will be for a full week at minimum.

We got to Hollywood Studios before rope drop because we needed to get to the Rock’n’Rollercoaster as soon as they opened. I used my Tier 1 FastPass for the Buzz Lightyear ride and since we had our special Star Wars tour starting at 2:45 we couldn’t afford to stand in line for too long. Just like at Magic Kingdom, they let us part of the way into the park before officially opening and then held us at the end of the street until the real rope drop. We ended up stopped right in from of Starbucks, so I popped in and got two enormous mint frappuccinos (enormous frappuccinos are still only worth 1 snack credit each on the dining plan) and we got our morning buzz while we waited. It was perfect. Once 9 am hit, we scurried over to Rock’n’Rollercoaster where E and Evan basically walked right on. Caroline, Linc, Finn and I watched the line go from nothing to SUPER long, back to reasonable length, so my advice would be if you’re running 5-10 minutes late and aren’t there right at open, give it a few minutes before getting in line.

I rider switched with E, rode Rock’n’Rollercoaster with Evan (who loved it), and then we ran – almost literally – around the park to get all our other non-Star Wars stuff done as fast as possible.

We had a Fastpass for Disney Jr Live On Stage. We didn’t actually need the FP but I super recommend the show if you have little kids (or even medium sized kids) who like Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Jake and the Neverland Pirates, Sofia the First or Doc McStuffins. Linc lost his mind and even the big kids had a great time.

PhotoPass pictures from meeting Pluto:

We had another character meal planned for lunch at Hollywood & Vine. Sometimes it’s a Minnie Mouse and Friends lunch, but this month it was Disney Jr characters again. It worked out perfectly for us because we didn’t have time to do the character spots outside the show but all those same characters were at lunch. Once again the food was good, they let the babies eat as much as they wanted, and the characters were great with the kids. It wasn’t crowded and it took the right amount of time – long enough for us to take a rest in the air conditioning, but not so much time we got off schedule for the day.

We also stood in line to meet Buzz and Woody. 10000% worth it. 1000000000%. No matter how long that line is, we will always stand in it.

PhotoPass Photos:

Look at this photo. I can’t even handle this photo:

Right outside Buzz and Woody we ran into Green Army Man who was also an amazing meet. The kids played with him for a long time.

In the afternoon we had a Tower of Terror FastPass. E was kind enough to let me go with the kids first, but then we ran out of time for his turn before our Star Wars tour. (Don’t worry, he gets to ride it eventually.)

Caroline and I loved it. Evan, not so much.

And then it was time for our Star Wars Tour!

Here’s our two sentence review of the tour: It was fine, but not the best to do with small kids. It was ABSOLUTELY worth the money.

And here’s the long version: They took good care of us. We got ponchos and water and a chance to preorder whatever food we wanted for everyone (including babies). There were electronic earpieces so we could hear the tour. Our guides, Freddy and Harry knew a TON of stuff about Star Wars, the history of Stars Wars as it related to Disney, trivia about the rides and shows and other Stars Wars stuff. We got a tour of the concept art gallery, front row seats to the two Star Wars films, a ride on Star Tours, and a delicious dinner at the Backlot Express where we were stopped and questioned by Storm Troopers (which was super cool). Unfortunately, the weather was bad so the afternoon First Order parade was canceled, which was, like, the #2 reason I signed up for the tour. Even worse news, the Jedi Training also got canceled because of the rain, and that was definitely the #1 reason we paid for the tour. I started to worry we were going to miss everything I had really cared about and I was pretty bummed. We were not the only people on the tour missing those things – half the people didn’t care because they were grown-ups, but everyone with kids had signed up basically just so they could get guaranteed spots in Jedi Training. (Freddy and Harry told us that was a surprise to Disney. They thought the tour would be mostly adults super into Star Wars who wouldn’t care at all about missing Jedi Training, so having to come up with a way to fix it for people like us was hard.) But during dinner when they warned us things might not work out they also said: “Don’t worry, we’ll take care of you.” And they absolutely did.

It turns out Freddy had the power to give us pretty much anything. He looked at our schedule for the next day, booked us spots in the 10:10 am Jedi Training, changed our scheduled Epcot Fastpasses to magical, open-ended Fastpasses that worked on any ride at any time in Epcot, and then set up meets with Darth Vader not once but TWICE during the tour. He said if we hadn’t had park tickets for Thursday he could have gotten those for us too. And when we got to our rescheduled Jedi Training, one of our new tour friends told us his request had been both Darth Vader and Kylo Ren in the show, so that happened too (those photos are in tomorrow’s recap). Freddy even showed up on Thursday to make sure we were 100% happy. The level of customer service was everything you would expect from the most magical place on Earth.

But I’m getting ahead of myself!


In the evening, we went to the dessert party in the Launch Bay. You can buy tickets to JUST the dessert party, and I would absolutely recommend it. We might even do it again, because it was so fun.

I had read on some blogs that if you bring things to trade with the Jawas who hang out in this area they will give you droid parts or other small things. There isn’t a lot of advice on the internet about what, exactly, they will trade for, so I brought a baggie full of various things: dress up beads, marbles, Happy Meal toys, and a sparkly hair tie. The Jawa was super aloof and uninterested in us, refused to trade and kept walking away, so went to the dessert party. A while later we came back and Caroline tried trading her hair tie. The Jawa was much nicer that time, checking out her trade and admiring it because it was very sparkly. He (she?) ended up trading Caroline the tie for a glowing bouncy ball. Then the Jawa started “talking” to Lincoln, and a romance was born. They LOVED each other. It was honestly the cutest thing I have ever seen. E took some video of them, but there was another 10 or 15 minutes where they played together. The Jawa pretended he was going to keep Linc and I am pretty sure Linc was totally ok with that. Then I offered to take the Jawa home to Connecticut, but he didn’t know where that was. I told him “a galaxy far, far away” and we had a moment where he was very excited about my answer. At the end of the video you can see the Jawa tell us to wait there, which we did. He went and found another glowing ball to give Lincoln, even without anything in return.

Seriously, it was one of the absolute highlights of our trip and maybe the best character interaction the whole week. There were other kids and grown-ups around who took pictures with the Jawa or tried to trade – including one adult man who tried to boss the Jawa around – but none of them had much luck. I would recommend being as nice and gentle as possible. DON’T be pushy. The Jawa did not like pushy people. And bring the sparkliest things you can think of to trade.

Part of the dessert party was getting to meet BB8, Chewbacca and Kylo Ren. Because we were tour guests we didn’t have to wait at all, but even for just dessert party guests there was almost no line. That meant Chewy could spend a ton of time with the kids and again Disney showed off why their character interactions are SO amazing.

After dessert and drinks (alcohol for the grown-ups, all included) we were collected by the Storm Troopers and marched out to the special center-of-the-park viewing area for the Star Wars Gallactic Specactular. I am pretty sure there are regular Hollywood Studios fireworks earlier in the evening, but we didn’t see them. The Star Wars ones were very cool.

hollywood studios star wars day


hollywood studios star wars day

hollywood studios star wars day

And here are our PhotoPass pictures from all the Star Wars stuff:

And then we were done with Hollywood Studios day! Although we weren’t quite done with Hollywood Studios, because we came back for Jedi Training in the morning. Up next: our crazy Thursday where we went to THREE parks.

p.s. We did see Indiana Jones in there…somewhere. But we missed The Muppets and The Great Movie Ride. Next time!

p.p.s. I would REALLY love if they added Rey and Jyn Erso character meets. I realize they don’t currently have any Star Wars face characters (like the princesses in other parks) but maybe once they open Star Wars Land. I’ll go back pretty much just for those photos.

Vote for the Worst Kids Show On Television! SEMI-FINALS!

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

worst kids shows on television

Amy and I split the last two rounds so I’m hosting semi-finals today and she’s hosting the FINAL ROUND on Monday. This is it! You’re last chance to vote on which show is the WORST kids show on television.

In a little bit of a surprise upset this week, Barney was voted WORSE than Caillou. I agree, but the internet mostly doesn’t – try Googling “Caillou sucks” sometime. But before you get mad, think about it. IT’S BARNEY. Barney, who’s been torturing parents for 18 years. Barney, a giant purple  T-Rex whose mouth doesn’t move when he talks and steals your children to go on “adventures”. Barney, who sings the absolute most mind-numbingly terrible theme song on the plant. Here: “I love you, you love me, we’re a happy family! With a great big hug and a kiss from me to you, won’t you say you love me too!” CO-DEPENDENT MUCH, BARNEY?

Barney is terrible. But against Choo Choo Soul? Dude, I’m not even voting this round. I CAN’T CHOOSE.


barney vs choo choo soul

Which is WORSE?

  • Barney (73%, 24 Votes)
  • Choo Choo Soul (27%, 9 Votes)

Total Voters: 33

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The second match up is The WotWots vs. Dora. Let’s be honest here – I have no idea what a WotWot is. I’m sure they’re really, really annoying if your kid makes you watch them all the time. BUT. Dora. DORA THE EXPLORER. Come to my house, put my children in the car, and listen to Caroline shout “WHERE ARE WE GOING??? WHERE ARE WE GOING!!!!” for 20 minutes straight and try telling me Dora isn’t THE WORST.

the wotwots vs dora the explorer

Which is WORSE?

  • Dora the Explorer (72%, 23 Votes)
  • The WotWots (28%, 9 Votes)

Total Voters: 32

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VOTE NOW! A MEANINGLESS INTERNET CONTEST DEPENDS ON IT! Check out the whole bracket here and on Monday don’t forget to go vote in the Final Showdown on Amy’s blog!

Vote for the Worst Kids Show On Television! Round 4

Monday, March 25th, 2013

worst kids shows on television


ARE YOU READY TO RUMBLE????? We’re almost at the end of the Worst Kids Show On Television now and the last couple rounds will be fast, so be sure to vote and share. There’s a real posibility we could have an upset here – going into the competition Amy and I thought the inevitable final round would be Caillou vs Dora, but with that bald little Canadian taking on the worst singing dinosaur in the history of singing dinosaurs it’s anyone’s game.

First match up: Caillou vs Barney

caillou vs barney

Caillou Fun Fact: Caillou is bald because in the original book series he is a much younger child, not because he has a terrible medical condition. The books were also in French, although that still doesn’t explain the incessant whining.

Barney Fun Fact: The song “I Love You” from Barney & Friends has been used to “coerce’ detainees at Guantanamo, which comes as a surprise to no one who as ever listened to it. Critics have complained Barney’s world is too happy and smiley and might in fact damage children’s ability to deal with negative emotions.

Which is WORSE?

  • Barney (53%, 24 Votes)
  • Caillou (47%, 21 Votes)

Total Voters: 45

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Second match up: Choo Choo Soul vs. 3rd and Bird

choo choo soul vs 3rd and bird

Choo Choo Soul Fun Fact: DC the beatboxing conductor’s real name is Constantine and Genevieve also sings all the Disney Jr theme music. Bonus fact: if you tweet about how terrible Choo Choo Soul is, Genevieve might tweet you back and then you’ll feel bad about it for ages. True story.

3rd and Bird Fun Fact: Made by the same people as the WonderPets (which explains why there’s a character with a terrible speech impediment), 3rd and Bird uses a technique called “photo-puppetry” to achieve their super weird and slightly creepy animation style. The little girl who voices Muffin was once on an episode of 30 Rock.

Which is WORSE?

  • Choo Choo Soul (54%, 22 Votes)
  • 3rd and Bird (46%, 19 Votes)

Total Voters: 41

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Now go check out some trivia and the round 4 match ups on Amy’s blog.

Vote for the Worst Kids Show On Television! Round 3

Monday, March 18th, 2013

worst kids shows on television


This is the last round where shows are competing only against shows on their own network, so we’re getting close to deciding the Worst Preschool Show on Television. You can see the bracket here.

To make these match-ups easier, I’m going to provide you with actual (terrible) clips so you can truly experience how bad these shows are. If you’re one of my loyal but childfree readers, you’ve probably felt left out since no one in your house forces you to watch ANY of these terrible shows. Dismay no more! Now you can see just why everyone hate Caillou (and Bob and Barney and Choo Choo Soul) SO VERY MUCH.

Game on! (Apologies if all the videos don’t show up, I fought with them for a long time and they’re not very reliable.)

Our first match up is the whiniest Canadian ever to invade America vs. some sketchy guy named Bob who might be working under the table.


Which is WORSE?

  • Caillou (88%, 44 Votes)
  • Bob the Builder (12%, 6 Votes)

Total Voters: 50

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Next is Barney (ugh) versus The Wiggles. I like this match up, since both involve real live humans, who I imagine spend a ton of time getting incredibly drunk and wondering how much longer before they hit rock bottom.

Link to the Barney Theme Song


Link to The Wiggles Intro Video

Which is WORSE?

  • Barney (78%, 35 Votes)
  • The Wiggles (22%, 10 Votes)

Total Voters: 45

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Our third match up is an easy one for me, but you be the judge. Choo Choo Soul versus Higglytown Heroes (which doesn’t seem to exist online, so all I can find is the theme song over a still photo. But trust me, it’s not that bad.)

Link to Choo Choo Soul


Link to the Higglytown Heroes Song

Which is WORSE?

  • Choo Choo Soul (73%, 32 Votes)
  • Higglytown Heroes (27%, 12 Votes)

Total Voters: 44

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And our last match up today is 3rd & Bird against Sam Sandwich. Caroline HATES Sam Sandwich, but Evan hates 3rd and Bird, so it’s a toss up in our house. Wait, that’s not really true. I’ll take a sandwich teaching my kids to eat their vegetables over a parakeet with a speech impediment any day. Also, the 3rd & Bird clips online are all from the British version, so their accents are cuter than the version Disney plays. DON’T LET THAT FOOL YOU.

Link to 3rd & Bird


Link to Sam Sandwich

Which is WORSE?

  • 3rd and Bird (66%, 25 Votes)
  • Sam Sandwich (34%, 13 Votes)

Total Voters: 38

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Now go and vote on Amy’s round 3 brackets! I think she has theme songs too, so you can vote on the shows you might not have seen yet too.

Vote for the Worst Kids Show On Television! Round 2

Tuesday, March 12th, 2013

worst kids shows on television

Ok, before we get to round 2 I need to talk to some of you about what “WORST KIDS SHOWS ON TELEVISION” means. Things that are THE WORST are things you hate. Shows full of shouting and whining and terrible songs and characters that drive you crazy. I know some things are subjective but you guys, really, CAILLOU IS WAY WORSE than Daniel Tiger. Daniel Tiger is adorable. Daniel Tiger is an official spin off of Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood. Who hates Mr. Rogers?! What kind of monsters are reading my blog??

Luckily, Caillou still won (lost?) so he’s in this week’s Round 2 match-ups. The closest match-up on my blog from last week was Sid The Science Kid vs Thomas The Tank Engine, with Sid beating Thomas by just ONE VOTE. I’m happy to report that all the least-offensive shows (Mickey Mouse, Sesame Street, Sofia the First) are safe. Although apparently I’m one of the only people who willingly watches Octonauts (Creature Report! Creature Report! CREATURE REPORT!) even if the kids aren’t really paying attention. And I think Amy might be a little upset about Word World making it to this round, since she seems to like that creepy-ass show.

By the way, be sure to go over to Amy’s blog and vote for Wow Wow Wubzy since we all know The Fresh Beat Band is actually awesome. If you hate The Fresh Beat Band, please go do something else on the interwebs. May I suggest laughing until tears stream down your face while you watch this video of animals judging you?


Ding ding! Here we go for Round 2!

Caillou vs The Cat in The Hat

Which is WORSE?

  • Caillou (79%, 58 Votes)
  • The Cat in the Hat (21%, 15 Votes)

Total Voters: 73

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Sid the Science Kid vs Bob The Builder

Which is WORSE?

  • Bob the Builder (60%, 42 Votes)
  • Sid the Science Kid (40%, 28 Votes)

Total Voters: 70

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Barney vs Martha Speaks

Which is WORSE?

  • Barney (91%, 68 Votes)
  • Martha Speaks (9%, 7 Votes)

Total Voters: 75

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The Wiggles vs Word World

Which is WORSE?

  • The Wiggles (76%, 51 Votes)
  • Word World (24%, 16 Votes)

Total Voters: 67

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Choo Choo Soul vs Handy Manny

Which is WORSE?

  • Choo Choo Soul (75%, 48 Votes)
  • Handy Manny (25%, 16 Votes)

Total Voters: 64

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Higglytown Heroes vs Octonauts

Which is WORSE?

  • Higglytown Heroes (86%, 50 Votes)
  • Octonauts (14%, 8 Votes)

Total Voters: 58

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3rd and Bird vs Small Potatoes

Which is WORSE?

  • 3rd and Bird (61%, 30 Votes)
  • Small Potatoes (39%, 19 Votes)

Total Voters: 49

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Immagination Movers vs Sam Sandwich

Which is WORSE?

  • Sam Sandwich (64%, 34 Votes)
  • Imagination Movers (36%, 19 Votes)

Total Voters: 53

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Now go over to Amy’s and vote on her brackets for Nick Jr and Hub. We’ll have round 3 up later this week!