Today was our first really early start of the trip in order to be back at Hollywood Studios for opening time. We were all up early and greeted by some glorious weather. It would prove to be the hottest day of the trip so far and felt like summer, with temperatures hitting 31c but the feel like factor nearer 37c.
We were on the road for the short journey by 7.50am. As we parked up and were walking to the entrance, Barry & Ellie also arrived in their car.
We waited for them so that we could all head to Star Wars Land together. Getting into the park was very easy and then we were held waiting for what is called the rope drop. At a given time which is never published but is before the official opening time, Disney staff drop ’the rope’ and try to walk/herd everyone to the most popular rides. This is an attempt to prevent running or any pushing or shoving. It is mostly successful but doesn’t prevent some idiots trying to do so, pointy elbows are needed to keep them back.
In a rather orderly fashion we made it to Smugglers Run and joined what already looked like an enormous queue. Very pleasingly it wasn’t though and we just kept slowly walking all the way onto the ride itself.
As there were 5 of us we were given our own spacecraft to ride ourselves. This made the ride so much better and really fun. The boys took on the roles of the Pilot, Karen & Ellie were the gunners and I was the sole engineer. We did really well on the mission amidst lots of shouting and laughter. It was a really good start to the day.
Then we wandered around a bit before trying our luck to get into Oga’s Cantina. This is a themed bar that we hadn’t been able to make reservations for before we left. The boys had been so keen on trying to get into it that before we left home that I had even tried to use the Amex Concierge service to get us a reservation. They spoke directly to Disney for us but were unable to pull any strings to make it happen for us.
As we walked up to it, the standby queue didn’t look too bad. We were amazed when they took our names for a reservation and said we would be allowed to enter in a few minutes. We waited less than 5 minutes before we were escorted in and sat at a table. Neil was really happy and even showed it.
The disappointment for me was that we had left Barry & Ellie wandering before we had decided to seek out the queue for this and so I felt really guilty they were not with us. I sent them a message and they scurried on over. Using some good gumption Barry told the people managing the queue outside that they were part of a group that had been separated and that the rest of us were already inside. They gave them priority and they were allowed in as well. Whist they couldn’t sit with us they were allowed a slot to stand at the bar near to us.
Even I enjoyed the theming and atmosphere in the bar. We all had different non alcoholic drinks. They were not cheap but worth it for the experience. We were only allowed 45 minutes in the bar which was long enough before we out in the bright sunshine and crowded pathways.
It never fails to surprise me the number of visitors to Disney Parks riding Disability vehicles. I don’t wish to offend anyone but I am not convinced that all of them actual need them. Many of them seem to be able to hop out of them and walk or run when they need to. What with them, along with the large number of Americans being the obese side of obese it can be quite difficult trying to pass them all in crowds.
I also want to introduce a new rule that any child who screams in a theme park is then ejected for the day (along with the rest of their family). That would teach the parents to bring them up properly. Rant over.
At this point Karen & Neil wanted to try out Star Tours especially as it only showed a 35 minute wait. I went and found a seat in the sun to wait for them. The sun was flipping hot by this point and I found myself almost falling asleep before having to move into the shade. It was actually nearer 90 minutes by the time they actually completed the ride. It was yet another time when Disney had issued far too many fast passes for the capacity of the ride, meaning that anyone in the standby queue weren’t getting a look in. I feel another complaint coming on.
It was now time for us to switch parks to Animal Kingdom. The drive was nice and short and we were soon heading on our way to The Tree of Life. This is a show we haven’t watched for several visits and so it was fun to watch again. Neil was most amused by the number of small children who were all taken out screaming during the show traumatised by the bugs in one way or another.
To pass the time waiting for our first fast pass we wandered to see to the Tiger Trail which was good as usual. We then met Barry & Ellie who quite sensibly gone back to the Villa for a chill between the parks, outside of the Expedition Everest ride. We then all rode it together and occupied the front three carriages. The ride was great again.
It twas then time to use our next fast pass to Kilimanjaro Safaris. The mystery on the ride was whatever happened to the Elephants as they had all disappeared.
The consensus then was to walkthrough the Gorilla Enclosures. The Gorillas included a 6 month old baby who was very playful with her mum, it was so sweet to watch.
Our final ride of the day was over in Pandora where we rode the Navi River Boat ride. I have absolutely no idea what this was about other than it was supposedly deep, serene and meaningful about something or other. Drinks were then sought of the Pandora kind which seem to consist of various multi coloured concoctions some with flavoured Boba balls.
For our meal this evening, we all went out together to take Ellie for her first ever Outback experience. It was as good as ever although Barry felt his steak was cooked slightly more than the Rare he asked for.
Back at the Villa we decided to open a bottle of Pink Champagne which was disappointingly rather sweet for all of us. Despite this we sat around having a lovely chat and drink before the pace we have been going for the past few days finally caught up with us all and we all headed off to our various rooms reasonably early.