Monday, April 25, 2022

2022 Disney World Vacation Day 2 - Hollywood Studios

Monday was our first day in the parks, and we were in Hollywood Studios!  Leading up to our trip, the weather forecast looked, well, abysmal for the entire trip – high chances of storms every. single. day. we were there – but we ended up getting lucky, and we had gorgeous weather for the entire trip other than Thursday when we were in Magic Kingdom.  So, despite the fact that we’d gone to bed Sunday evening expecting rain for Hollywood Studios day, we woke up to crystal blue skies and sunshine with a high of 83 degrees… so pretty darn warm in the sun, but not too scorching hot. 

That day, Hollywood Studios opened at 8 AM, but since we were staying at a Disney property, we had access to early entry at 7:30 AM.  Brian had also learned a secret thanks to a Disney blog, that at Hollywood Studios they will actually let people in 30 minutes prior to early entry (and the rides start running then!) so we were able to access the full park at 7 AM sharp.  FYI to all of you who are planning to go there in the near future, make sure you keep that in mind!

As some of you may know, Hollywood Studios has opened many, many new attractions just in the last few years alone, so it is, by far, the hardest park to book rides in through Genie+, and it also has the rides with the longest wait times in all of Disney World right now.  Therefore, we knew it would be beneficial for us to get there at 7 AM right when the park opened so we would have a better chance to do everything on our list.

That, however, mean a super early wake-up call at 5:45 AM.  Sheesh.  Can you tell we’re not morning people?  Haha.

We powered through, though, and were out the door by 6:45 AM to make the three-minute walk from our hotel room to the bus stop.  Fortunately, we only had to wait a few short minutes, and a bus was there to pick us up.  Right in the middle of our ride to the park, we had to book our lightning lanes for our rides as those opened at 7 AM sharp. 

We had heard some not-so-good stories about how tough it was to get Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance and Slinky Dog Dash, so we were fully prepared to fail.  Haha.  B had read that the best way to book lightning lanes every morning is to have both parties in the Disney app trying at the same time.  So, he and I both pulled up our apps a few minutes ‘til 7, we went to the screen that we needed to be on to book the lightning lane, and then Brian used his work phone to pull up the atomic clock website so we could know the exact second that it turned 7 AM.  (Yes, we literally did this.  Brian had read this little trick on another blog prior to our trip and it worked like a charm every single day.)

Right at 6:59:59 (according to the atomic clock), we both pulled down our screens to refresh the Disney app, and then we let go right at 7:00 AM on the dot.  Brian was responsible for booking Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance (I didn’t want the responsibility because I knew it meant so much to B to ride that – haha) and I was responsible for Slinky Dog Dash.  Thankfully, I ended up getting a Slinky Dog Dash pretty easily, and then B was able to get Rise of the Resistance after a few refreshes.  Woooo hoooo!  We were off to a great start!

Since we had our top two choices already booked, that meant we were free to run to our third choice when we arrived at the park, and that was Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway… yet another new ride that had opened since we’d last been there.  We got to the park around 7:15 AM, made our way through entry and security, and then we made a beeline for it.

When we got there, a line had already formed, but we only had to wait about 15 minutes before we were in… and most of the wait time was just the long walk through the queue.  While we waited, I pulled some granola bars out of Brian’s backpack, and that’s what we had for breakfast.  When you have to get to the park that early, there’s just no time to do anything fancier than that.  #IYKYK

We all ended up loving Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway, y’all.  It was so unique and so fun and SO GOOD, and it was one of our favorites of the entire day!  I even teared up while we were riding because a) we were finally at Disney World!!!!, and b) the look of sheer joy on the kids’ faces was just priceless.

Once that was done, we still had some time before our first LL (I’ll be shortening the words “lightning lane” to just “LL” for the duration of these posts), so we ran to Toy Story Mania next.  The wait was less than 10 minutes, and again, that was pretty much just the time it took to walk through the long queue.  Toy Story Mania is interactive, and you rack up points throughout the game, so the whole time we were waiting, Olivia was trash-talking the boys telling them we were going to beat them.  Lol.  Sadly, we did not, but I did smoke Olivia.  Lol.  My score is on the left and Olivia's is on the right in the second picture below, and then Jacob's score is on the left and Brian's is on the right in the third picture.

Once we were done with Toy Story Mania, it was time for our LL for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance.  EEK!  We headed over to Star Wars land, and it was the first time that we’d all seen it in person.  It is COOL and I’m not even a Star Wars fan.  You truly feel like you’re in the movie when you’re walking around there.

By the time we got to Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, the wait was already INSANE, but with our LL, we literally walked straight on to the ride.  There was no wait whatsoever, and there wasn’t even anyone in front of us in the LL line.  SO crazy.  The ride was awesome, but it is verrrry realistic and intense because it makes you feel like you’re in one of the movies.  There’s a part that’s very unexpected that scared the mess out of Olivia, and she was not a happy camper by the time we got off the ride.  Haha.  She recovered super-fast, though, and it didn’t sway her from riding any of the other rides for the rest of the trip or anything.  Whew.

After that ride, we stopped in one of the Star Wars shops to browse, we snapped a few pictures of our own...

And then we stopped at a couple of the Disney PhotoPass spots to have our picture taken by a cast member.  I know many people probably don’t like to spend the extra money for the PhotoPass experience, but it’s totally worth the cost to us because you come away with some good pictures of the whole family in some prime spots (without having to ask a stranger to snap the pics), and also because they add some magic to some of the photos, too.  Check out that bird on my arm.  ;o)

Once that was done, we decided to get in line for Alien Swirling Saucers.  The app said that it was a 55-minute wait, but we only waited about 35 minutes, and it was definitely worth it because the kids loved it. 

Since it had been two hours since we'd booked our last LL, B was able to book another LL for Star Tours – The Adventures Continue.  Olivia and I both hated that ride the last time we went (me, because I felt claustrophobic in that tiny chamber, and Olivia, because she was four), so she and I opted out. 

While the boys were doing that, Olivia and I decided to walk up the main street and pop into a few stores, and right as we arrived, a short parade started!  We ended up getting a front row spot, and we were able to see Mr. and Mrs. Incredible, Sully, the toy soldiers, and Buzz Lightyear up close and personal. 

The parade only lasted about five minutes, and then we popped in and out of some shops just to browse.  A few minutes later, the boys were rejoining us and telling us about their Star Tours experience.  They both loved it. 

When they arrived, Jacob surprised me with some Baby Yoda ears because I’d seen them on someone else earlier in the morning and had been swooning over them.  He saw them in a gift shop after their Star Tours LL, and he told Brian that they needed to buy them for me since it was my 40th birthday week.  Melt my heart, y’all.  Melt my heart.

By the time all that was done, we were all hungry for lunch, so we checked the Disney app to see where to order a quick service meal from.  We had planned to eat at Backlot Express, but unfortunately, they didn’t have any slots for immediate pickup, so we opted to grab burgers at Rosie’s All-American Café instead.  B ordered the food right in the app, and we started the walk over there.

On the way, we passed a fun PhotoPass spot that didn’t have a line, so we stopped and had a Disney cast member take our picture there.  

The outdoor eating area by Rosie’s was packed, but fortunately, we were able to grab a table before our food was ready.  It felt soooo good to sit down in the shade because we were tired already and it was hot in the sun. 

By the time we finished lunch, it was almost time for our lightning lane for For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along, so we made our way towards the theater, stopping at a couple of little outdoor shops along the way to let the kids browse. 

The Frozen Sing-Along was amazing as always, and it was nice to be able to sit again for 30 minutes, especially in an air-conditioned room.  That show is one of my favorites because it is genuinely funny for kids and adults alike, and at the very end, it snows in the theater which is pure magic!  It’ll never get old!

By the time that was over, the kids were begging for snacks, so we stopped by a little kiosk and grabbed a vanilla and chocolate swirl ice cream cup for each of the kids.  B and I were still too full from lunch so we didn’t partake, but looking back, whyyyy?  Give me all the Disney snacks!  Haha.

While the kids were eating, I got B to snap a few pictures of me in my Baby Yoda ears… they’re pretty much the cutest things ever!

Once we were done with our snacks, we headed over to Beauty and the Beast – Live on Stage with the hope that we could just walk in to the 2:30 show without a lightning lane.  Sure enough, we lucked out and we got right in, and we didn’t even have to wait that long.  We didn’t see that show the last time we were there, so we were all excited for something new to see.

We were seated right behind the soundboard, and it was really cool to watch them work during the show.  The show ended up being really good – even better than I expected – and we all loved it… especially me, though, because Beauty and the Beast has always been my favorite Disney movie.  I was just nine years old when it came out, and Belle has been my favorite Disney princess since then.  They played the Celine Dion and Peabo Bryson version of Beauty and the Beast at the end, and dang it, I teared up again.  That song will never not make me cry.  It’s just so good, y’all, and it makes me so nostalgic.

At some point during the day, Brian was able to snag someone else’s canceled reservation for Oga’s Cantina in Star Wars at 3:20 PM.  That place is soooo hard to get into, y’all.  So hard!  By the time Beauty and the Beast was over, it was time to head that way, but we did have a few extra minutes to spare, so we stopped by the PhotoPass spot in front of Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway. 

It was sunny in that spot so we have some closed eyes!  Haha.

Once the photos were done, we headed over to the Star Wars area again, and we took a few more PhotoPass pictures in a different spot before checking in to Oga’s Cantina.  For all of the restaurants that require reservations, you don’t even have to see the hostess when you arrive… you just check in on your app and they text you when your table is ready.

We had to wait a good 15 minutes before we got the notification that our table was ready, and by the time we went in, we were all relieved because it was HOT outside. 

If you’ve never been inside Oga’s Cantina, it’s basically a bar, but kids are allowed inside.  They have loud music pumping from the “DJ” (a droid that’s the cutest) and it’s pretty crowded and dark in there, too.  There are tables around the perimeter, but the tables were for large parties only, and then they had two rows of hightop tables, one in the middle, and one up against the bar for everyone else, standing room only. 

We were a little bummed that there were no chairs or bar stools because we were all dying to rest our feet, but we were just grateful to be in there.  As I said before, the atmosphere was awesome, and our kiddos LOVED it.  They both danced around the whole time, and I told B I was worried that they were loving the bar life a little too much.  Haha.

When we walked in, our server came over right away, and she told us that due to the insane demand, everyone has a 45-minute time limit inside so they can get as many people in and out as possible.  Since we were there at 3:20 in the afternoon, we were obviously only there for drinks/snacks, so that wasn’t a problem at all, and we never felt rushed. 

B had been dying to try the “Blue Bantha” AKA blue milk, since he read about it when the place opened, so of course, he got one of those.  It also came with a fancy vanilla-butter sugar cookie on top.  We all tried a sip, and it was surprisingly good!  We decided that it tastes like pixie stix!  Remember those from when you were a kid?

I opted for the “Jedi Mind Trick” which is Ketel One botanical grapefruit and rose vodka, John D. Taylor’s velvet falernum (whatever that is!  LOL), Bols Blue curacao, white grape juice, lime juice, and grapefruit bitters.  It was soooo good but it was gone way too quickly.

Our kids are so picky and aren’t very open-minded about trying new things, and Olivia literally only drinks water all the time.  Like, literally.  100% water.  All. The. Time.  So, neither of them liked any of the fancy drinks on the menu.  Olivia ended up ordering a water – LOL – and then we asked the server if Jacob could just have some of the blue Powerade.  We knew they had it on hand because it was used as a mixer in several of the cocktails.  The kids also wanted some of the popping pearls that come as a garnish on the fancy drinks, so we asked the server if we could just have some of those on the side, and of course, she brought out an entire shot glass of them.  It is Disney after all… I swear, they will bend over backwards to grant any request! 

After we were done there, we snagged a picture with a Storm Trooper, and then we headed over to the Toy Story area again because B had grabbed an Alien Swirling Saucers LL for us.  We walked right on, and the kids loved it just as much the second time as they did the first.

After that, we had some time to kill before our Slinky Dog Dash LL, and we were all hot and tired and our feet hurt.  Everyone was still in good spirits, though!  We had walked by “Walt Disney Presents” several times throughout the day, and it never looked busy, so we thought it might be a good place to get out of the sun and rest, and sure enough, it was perfect. 

There was hardly anyone in there, it was air-conditioned, and there were various benches sprinkled throughout the halls.  We looked at some of the memorabilia, sat on one of the benches for a while, and then we watched the short film about Walt Disney and how Disney World came to be.  We hung out in there until our LL was available for Slinky Dog, and it was the perfect way to get out of the sun and cool off.  And it’s never busy in there!!  Just an FYI if you’re ever looking to take a load off and enjoy some air-conditioning... :o)

After the film was done, we made the short walk to Slinky Dog Dash, and we only had to wait about 5-10 minutes since we had a lightning lane.  Slinky Dog Dash is faster than any of the other roller coasters at Disney World, so we were a little nervous about the kids going on it.  They were both excited and not too nervous, and they both ended up LOVING it despite the look on their faces in the picture that was snapped of us on the ride.  Lol. 

When we got off, Olivia said, “We were going so fast I thought I was going to fly off the earth!!”  Classic. 

By the time we were done there, it was almost time for our dinner reservation, but we’d promised Jacob he could grab a souvenir from one of the Toy Story kiosks… a little “Woody” from Toy Story with the magnet so it sits on his shoulder.  So fun!

After that, we walked to Mama Melrose’s for our dinner reservation, and it was a loooong walk because it was on the complete opposite side of the park.  Our reservation was at 5:55 PM and we arrived right on time, so we only had to wait about five minutes for our table to be available. 

Mama Melrose’s was a cute little Italian place with twinkle lights hanging from every inch of the ceiling, so I knew it was going to be good.  Brian, Olivia, and I opted for pizzas while Jacob opted for spaghetti and meatballs.  He is such a sucker for a meatball.  Haha.  The server brought out some fresh bread with oil and spices (bless her, we were so hungry!), and B and I ordered a couple of beers to go with our pizza.

Everything was delicious, and we were all refreshed and ready to head back outside when we were done.  We had nothing left on the agenda as a group, but Brian was still considering riding Millennium Falcon.  We hadn’t been able to get a lightning lane for it all day, but the line was getting slightly shorter as the day was coming to a close. 

He decided he’d go get in line for that, and Jacob decided he didn’t want to wait in the potentially 60-minute line.  Olivia and I weren’t interested in riding it at all, so I took Jacob and Olivia back to the stores to buy the souvenir that Olivia had seen earlier in the day while B headed to Millennium Falcon.  We were done shopping within ten minutes, and at that point, B still had a pretty long wait, so the kids and I decided to leave the park and take the buses back to the hotel. 

On the way out, the entrance was a ghost town, so I took the opportunity to get a good picture of the kids in front of the sign and it turned out so cute!

We got to the bus terminal just in time because the bus for our hotel was just about to leave, and we were back at our hotel in no time.  The kids got showered, and by the time they were done, B was back.  The kids played with Legos for a bit while I prepped for Tuesday at Animal Kingdom – replenishing snacks in our bags, laying out outfits, etc. – and then we got the kids to bed at 9 which wasn’t too bad. 

They were both out like lights in no time, and then B and I went to sleep shortly after that.  When you’re staying in a tiny hotel room with two kiddos who go to bed at 9 there’s not much else to do than just go to sleep.  We definitely couldn’t watch TV!

It was seriously the best day, and we were able to do every single thing on our list other than Tower of Terror for B.  Since the rest of the family didn’t want to ride it, we prioritized other rides over it for our lightning lane picks, and the wait time for standby was pretty much always over 100 minutes.  He could have opted to stay even later by himself and ride, but he decided it wasn’t worth the wait.

Our next day in the parks was Tuesday at Animal Kingdom – MY 40TH BIRTHDAY!!!! – and I’ll be back on Wednesday with the recap!

And just in case you want to see our entire day summarized, here it is…



Hours spent in park – 12.5 (7:15 AM – 7:45 PM)

Rides/Attractions – 10

Characters met – 0

Disney Photo Pass pictures and videos taken – 47

15,615 – Steps taken

6.9 – Miles walked



Arrive 7:15 AM

Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway (everyone)

Toy Story Mania (everyone)

LL – Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance (everyone)

Shopping (everyone)

PhotoPass pictures in Star Wars (everyone)

Alien Swirling Saucers (everyone)

LL – Star Tours – The Adventures Continue (Brian and Jacob)

Parade (Lindsay and Olivia)

Shopping (Lindsay and Olivia)

PhotoPass pictures in front of Tower of Terror (everyone)

Quick Service Lunch – Rosie’s All-American Café (everyone)

LL – For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along (everyone)

Snacks (Jacob and Olivia)

Beauty and the Beast – Live on Stage (everyone)

PhotoPass pictures in front of Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway (everyone)

PhotoPass pictures in Star Wars (everyone)

Reservation – Oga’s Cantina 3:20 PM for drinks (everyone)

LL – Alien Swirling Saucers (everyone)

Walt Disney Presents (everyone)

LL – Slinky Dog Dash (everyone)

Reservation – Mama Melrose’s for dinner (everyone)

Millennium Falcon (Brian)

Shopping (Lindsay, Jacob, Olivia)

Left park at 7:45 PM (Lindsay, Jacob, Olivia)

Left park at 8:15 PM (Brian)

Happy Monday, y’all! 


  1. So LL is like Fast Pass? But you pay extra for it? I haven't been to HS since most of the new things opened.

  2. Hollywood studios was one of my favorites growing up!! Crazy to see how much they pack into the park!

  3. I would love to go there! This looks like it was one of your favorite days!

  4. This sounds like our California Adventure. We have the Toy Story rides and others you mentioned, but Star Wars is in Disneyland. Looks like a great time!

  5. Oh my gosh! How amazing you were able to get into Oga's! I loved this post so much - you guys absolutely killed it at HS! As for Tower of Terror, you didn't miss much, especially considering there are sooo many new rides at HS now! I was almost relieved when I didn't go with Jane, it's not what I would have ever chosen to go on...or to wait in line for... But seriously, you guys rocked it!

    1. Yeah, the kids and I weren't disappointed at all about missing Tower of Terror... you couldn't pay me to go on that ride! Haha. But I did hate that B didn't get to go... it's one of his very favorites ever.

  6. So much fun! Yay for great weather and snagging the LL rides you wanted. And I hear ya... we are so NOT morning people either. Just reading that early wakeup time made me cringe ha!

  7. So much FUN!! I can't wait to go back in December! I need to start planning!

  8. I need to pin this post to come back to it later when I have time to read it really good before our trip. We are still trying to get reservations to Oga's. Your husband's drink looks delicious, I may have to order that. I am not sure how we're going to do this Genie+ thing since we are also driving in that morning. ahhh!! The atomic clock idea sounds like a good one. Thanks for sharing all of this, it is so helpful!



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