Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Our 2024 Disney World Vacation, Day 2 - Hollywood Studios

Tuesday was our first day in the parks, and first up was Hollywood Studios!  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.  That meant a 5:45 AM wakeup call for us so we could maximize our time there!  We were out of the hotel by 6:45, and walking into Hollywood Studios right on time! 

We had to reserve our first lighting lanes at 7 AM sharp, and I was able to grab Slinky Dog Dash while Brian got Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance on the bus ride over.  Those are the two hardest rides to get, and the two rides with the longest lines, so it was nice to know that we had those secured.

On the way into Hollywood Studios, Olivia got pulled aside after walking through the metal detector, and we realized later in the trip at another park that it was her glasses case that kept setting the metal detector off.  Pro tip: at Disney World, if you have something metal in your bag, pull it out, hold it in your hands, and walk through the metal detectors with your arms straight out in front of you (zombie style – LOL).  They will then let you skip the extra bag/body search. 

That extra bag and body search set us back a couple of extra minutes, but it wasn’t really a big deal, and we were making our way to the lines to get in the gates just after 7:30 AM.

On the way in, I heard, “Lindsay?!” and when I turned around, my friend, Megan, from grade school/high school was in line behind us with her family!!  I hadn’t seen her in a while since they don’t live in town anymore, but we hang out with her cousin and his wife sometimes as their kids go to school with our kids.  So crazy that she and her family were right behind us in line, though!  What are the odds?! 


Once we were in the park, we ran to Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway since we didn’t have a lightning lane for it.  It always has a pretty long wait, so it was a priority for us.  We ended up waiting less than 20 minutes to get on and ride, so it worked out perfectly.  While we were in line for that, we pulled out our breakfast bars and ate those… we never do big breakfasts at Disney, and we’re all pretty content with eating some kind of bar while we wait in line, so that’s the way we’ve done things since our very first trip!  No need to waste time eating in the room when you can eat in line… gives the kids something to do!

I also took my vitamins and supplements with me every morning in my belt bag and took those with breakfast so I never had to worry about missing them. 

Since I did well on Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway (no vertigo or dizziness – woo hoo!), we headed to our next ride… Toy Story Mania.  There was hardly any wait there either, and we were able to get on quickly and ride that one, too.  After that, we still had some time before the boys’ first lighting lane of the day, so we hopped over to Alien Swirling Saucers since we were already right there in Toy Story Land.  It only had about a 20–25-minute wait, so we were able to have three rides under out belts before 9:30 AM!

I was a little worried about that ride since it has spinning aspects, but the vehicles don’t actually spin individually like the teacups in Magic Kingdom – they kind of scissor back and forth around the track (I don’t know how else to explain it) – and thankfully I did just fine!! 

While we were waiting in line for that, I realized Olivia wasn’t wearing her belt bag, and my heart sank.  I asked her where it was, and she started panicking because she didn’t know.  She said the last time she had it was at Toy Story Mania and that she’d taken it off and put it on the floor of our cart for the ride.  Normally, I wouldn’t be overly concerned about a lost belt bag for a ten-year-old, but unfortunately, her glasses were in there, and her little camera that she loves taking pictures with was in there, too. 

We went ahead and rode Alien Swirling Saucers since we were almost to the front of the line, and then she and I headed back over to Toy Story Mania while the boys headed to ride Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance as their lightning lane window had opened.  Last year, we all rode it, but Olivia doesn’t like one of the parts of it, and she didn’t want to ride again, so I happily sat out with her.

Olivia and I talked to the two Disney Cast Members who were out front at Toy Story Mania, and I told them about our situation.  Naturally, they were fantastic (I mean, Disney can do no wrong), and they got right on it.  Thankfully, I’d taken that picture outside of Hollywood Studios at the beginning of the day, so I was able to show a picture to them of the missing belt bag.  One of the girls got on the phone and called another Cast Member out.  He looked at the picture and said, “Yep, I definitely remember seeing that.  Let me check and see if it’s still here at the ride or if we already moved it to the main lost and found.” 

Within a few minutes, he came walking out with her bag!  Whew!  Thankfully, everything was still inside, too.  Thank goodness for honest humans in the world.

Once we were done there, we walked over to the Star Wars area to browse for a bit while the boys finished up with their ride.  Belt bag secured.  :o)

Once they were done, we stopped by a PhotoPass spot to take some pictures, and they added a little bit of magic into some of the pictures.  ;o)

Then, we headed to Woody’s Lunch Box to grab some snacks and refill our water bottles.  Pro tip: you can ask for cups of water anywhere in Disney and they will give them to you for free!  The water is filtered and tastes excellent, and it’s nice and cold, too.  We did this numerous times to refill our thermoses and we never had to spend money on water the entire trip.  :o)

Brian had heard that Woody’s Lunch Box has excellent poptart-like pastries, and sure enough, they had two flavors.  The seasonal flavor was Blueberry Lemon, so B and I got one of those to share, and Jacob got one of his own.  Olivia wanted ice cream, so we got her a vanilla soft serve, and then we found a spot in the shade to hang out and eat.  The poptarts were soooo delicious.

After we were done eating snacks, the lighting lane window for Star Tours had opened for the boys, so they headed off to do that.  Olivia and I both hate Star Tours.  We rode it on our first trip back in 2018, and it made me so claustrophobic I almost had a panic attack.  Olivia was terrified of it, too, so both of us were happy to sit it out.  :o)

Instead, we walked over to Slinky Dog Dash to watch all of the riders for a bit.  Olivia wanted to take a picture of it with her camera, and she also wanted to check out the little Toy Story merch kiosk nearby.

After that, we saw a little mini parade with Woody and Jessie from Toy Story walking through, and I realized that there were people lined up to meet them!  We decided to get in line, but oh my, was it long already!  It was so long that by the time we reached the end, they only let a couple more people get in after us and then they closed it.

Unfortunately, we had to wait in the sun for part of the line, and it was sloooow-going, so Olivia got a little cranky, but I couldn’t blame her because it was hot.  Hollywood Studios day was, by far, the hottest day, and there’s not much shade in that park. 

The boys met up with us a few minutes later, and Brian and Jacob held the line for a bit, so Olivia and I could walk around and stretch, and by the time we came back, we were getting fairly close. 

Unfortunately, our lunch reservation at Woody’s Roundup Rodeo BBQ was getting close, too, and we were sweating it out wondering if we were going to make it on time.  At that point, we’d been waiting in line for almost an hour so we couldn’t bear giving up on meeting Woody and Jessie, but the restaurants only give you a 15-20 minute grace period to get there for your reservation before they cancel it.  We were counting down the minutes and constantly trying to figure out how many more families were in front of us to calculate if we were going to make it or not.  EEKS!

Finally, it was our turn.  At that point, we were already 10 minutes late for our lunch reservation, but thankfully, the restaurant, was literally a 30-second walk from where we were, so we were glad we had stayed.  We ended up waiting 68 minutes to meet Woody and Jessie which was the longest we waited for anything on the entire trip, and we ended up being 14 minutes late for our lunch reservation, but look at these sweet pictures… SOOOO worth it!!!! 


If we had met them on a previous trip, we wouldn’t have spent that long in line, but we had never met them, and it was on our list.  It was a first for all of us, and the kids were able to get their autographs which was really special, too.  On our last trip in 2022, Disney still wasn’t allowing autographs because of Covid, so the kids weren’t able to get any autographs from all of the new characters we met on that trip.  Makes me so sad!  They were excited to add to their collection that they’d started in 2018!

After that, we half walked, half ran to the restaurant, and they seated us immediately.  It felt great to be out of the heat and rest our feet for a bit. 

We had never been to Woody’s Roundup Rodeo BBQ, so that was another first for us, and it was really cute inside.  They gave the kids little horses to gallop on to the table, and then they served all of the food family-style to share. 

It was a four-course meal, and first up, was a basket of cheddar biscuits with sweet pepper jelly.  The second course was a tomato salad and a watermelon salad.  The third course was a giant platter of smoked meats – ribs, beef brisket, sausage, and chicken – and a boatload of sides – baked beans, tater tots, mac & cheese, grilled street corn, and coleslaw.

After we’d eaten all we could possibly eat, we were each able to choose one mini dessert.  The kids opted for the Cupcake a la Forky which was chocolate cake, a graham cracker, buttercream frosting, and a little Forky sugar cookie.  Each Forky had a different expression and the kids loved that.  Brian opted for the lemon and blueberry cheesecake, and I opted for the chocolate silk pie. 

While we thought the atmosphere was so fun, we thought the food was just okay.  It was definitely worth it to eat there once, but we probably wouldn’t do it again because of the cost.  They bring out so much food there was no way that the four of us could have eaten it all.  We barely put a dent in it. 

Speaking of the atmosphere, it was interactive.  When you walk into the restaurant, the servers explain to you that while you’re in there, you’re in Andy’s room and you’re one of his toys.  So, when you hear Andy coming, you have to freeze since that’s what the toys always do in the Toy Story movies. 

Sure enough, Andy came into the room twice while we were there (they make an announcement when he’s on the way) and everyone froze.  The servers stopped with their trays in midair, people froze with their forks held to their lips, people who were on their way in and out stopped mid-walk.  And it was so funny because everyone participated.  I thought for sure we’d see someone who thought they were too cool for it, but nope.  Everyone froze both times.  Haha.  It was the cutest thing.

On the way out, we stopped for bathroom breaks, and thank goodness we did, because Brian had unknowingly lost his Magic Band… we think it came off when he put his backpack on to leave our table.  He was able to check with the front desk on the way out, and thankfully, somebody had already turned it in.  Whew.  Again, thank goodness for honest people in the world!!

After that, we were wide open for a couple of hours, so we decided to meet some characters we’d never had the chance to meet, but first, a few more PhotoPass pictures... we had to get our money's worth!  Haha.  

First up for characters was Frozone from The Incredibles.  He was so cool, and he was able to autograph the kids’ books. 

Next up, was Edna Mode from The Incredibles.  She was super sweet, and she autographed the kids’ books as well. 


After that, we got to meet… SULLY FROM MONSTER’S INC!!!!  That is one of my favorite Disney movies of all-time and Sully is one of my favorite characters, so I was the most excited ever.  I gave the kids their chance to hug him and take pictures with him, and then we took some family pictures. 


After the family pictures, I asked Sully if I could take a picture alone.  Obviously, I meant alone with him, but he was such a jokester that he started walking away so I could take a picture literally alone.  Hahahaha.  He then came back and gave me a big hug, and this might be my favorite picture at Disney ever.

After that was done, we went in search of Live Action Ariel because we knew she was somewhere in Hollywood Studios.  It turned out that she was just right down from where we were, and she was inside, so we were able to cool off for a bit while we waited. 

I think we had to wait about 20 minutes, but she was worth the wait!  She was so beautiful and so sweet, and the kids got her autograph, too.  They’d already gotten Ariel’s autograph in 2018, but that was OG Ariel, so now they have both.  ;o)

On the way out of the building, the kids had to stop and take a picture with this... they recently watched this show and LOVED it!  These two!!

We had a lightning lane for the Indiana Jones show at 3:15, so we headed there next, and we were seated about 25 minutes before it was supposed to start.  It felt fantastic to sit down at that point.  And get out of the heat.  We’d never done that before either, so that was yet another new thing to do… we had lots of firsts on this trip!!  It was nice to be able to see and do some new things!

While we were sitting in there waiting for the show to start, all I could think about was that episode of Full House where they go to Disney World and DJ keeps seeing Steve everywhere, including in that very Indiana Jones show.  Hahahaha.  Anybody else remember that?!

The show ended up being great… much better than I expected since I’m not an Indiana Jones fan.  We were in the second row so we could feel the fire every time they blew something up and it was just so entertaining!  The kids loved every second. 


Once we were done there, we took a bathroom break, and then we headed over to the Frozen theater for our lightning lane for For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along.  That’s always a favorite, especially when it snows at the end.  Pure magic.  ;o)

By the time we were done there, our lightning lane window had opened for Slinky Dog Dash, so we headed that way.  We had booked all four of us for it, but I decided that I didn’t want to risk it with my vertigo and dizziness, so instead, I parked myself on the rail right by the track and let Brian take each kid one-by-one. 

Olivia wanted to go first because she was so nervous about it.  She had ridden it the last time we went and loved it, but she was apprehensive about it, so she wanted to get it over with.  I got B to text me right when they were boarding so I knew which ride they’d be on, and I was able to get a video and pictures of them riding by.


They came back to the rail to find us when it was over, and Olivia was raving about how much fun it was.  She had loved it just as much as she had the last time we went.

After that, Olivia stayed with me while Brian took Jacob to ride.  Since I wasn’t riding, Brian took my Magic Band in to use my lightning lane since he’d already used his and everything worked out perfectly.  And he got to ride twice, so I’m sure he loved that.  ;o)

Again, I got him to text me as they were boarding, so I was able to get a video and pictures of them going by, and check out that shot I got as they were whizzing by at 40 mph… NAILED IT!


Once they were done with their ride, our window for Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway had opened, so we headed there next.  We were able to walk right on, only waiting about two minutes even though the lines were crazy long by that point.  That ride is so good that it’s worth riding twice!  We all loved it just as much the second time as we did the first!

After that, we took another bathroom break because I had been drinking all the water to stay hydrated in the heat.  I couldn’t risk getting dehydrated because that definitely affects my vertigo and dizziness.

Then, it was time to walk to Sci-Fi Dine-In Theatre for our dinner reservation.  We had eaten there in 2018 on our first trip and it was one of Jacob’s favorite things we did on the trip.  We tried so hard to get reservations again in 2022 but it was just impossible. 

This year, when the time came to make reservations, we couldn’t get a reservation for four yet again – sigh – but Brian was able to cheat the system and book two reservations for two that were just a few minutes apart.

When we got there, we told them our situation and how we had had to split our reservations, and we asked if there was any way we could all sit together.  Sure enough, Disney worked their magic and seated us all together within five minutes.  I LOVE Disney.  They truly bend over backwards to grant any and every request, and we were so grateful.

Once we were seated, B and I ordered a couple of cocktails – a Long Island Lunar Tea for me and an Indigo Hibiscus for B.  Both were delicious.  For dinner, Brian ordered the burger and I opted for the chicken salad on a croissant, and it was just fabulous.  Disney does food so well!!!!

If you haven’t been there, we highly recommend it (if you can get in).  The atmosphere is so unique.  You sit in old cars, and all of them point to a massive screen so it’s like you’re at an old drive-in theater.  It’s also dark in there with little stars all over the ceiling so you really feel like you’re outside at nighttime.  So cool!  And the food and drinks are delicious.

After dinner, we made a stop in front of the theater for more PhotoPass pictures...

And then I headed to Guest Services to see if someone could help me with a glitch we were having with our PhotoPass pictures.  For some reason, all of them were showing up with the watermark, and they weren’t supposed to be since we had already paid for the PhotoPass package prior to the trip.  The guy there was super helpful, and he had our pictures corrected with just a couple of clicks.

While I did that, B and the kids looked around in some of the shops, and then when I was done, we headed over to the huge amphitheater to get seats for Fantasmic, their nighttime show in Hollywood Studios.  We’d never done that before either, but we’d heard it was fantastic, so we didn’t want to miss it. 

The show started at 8:30, and even though we arrived at 7:45, the amphitheater was nearly full!!  The show ended up being delayed for a few minutes, but once it got started, it was wonderful!!  So different than any of the other evening shows!

Also, we bought the new MagicBand+ for this trip, and they have light and vibration functionality.  During the show, our MagicBands kept changing colors and vibrating to match what was going on during the show.  It was similar to those bands that Taylor Swift gives out at her concerts.  <3

By the time the show was over, we were all exhausted, so the kids and I headed back to the bus stop to go back to the hotel.  B still wanted to ride Tower of Terror, so he got a lightning lane for that, said his goodbyes, and headed that way.

The kids and I left the park at 9:30, and they got started on showers and getting ready for bed when we got back to our room.  Then, once B was back at the hotel, we all fell into bed, exhausted, but oh so happy!

Our next day was spent at Epcot… stay tuned and I’ll be back with that recap on Monday.  In the meantime, I’ll have regular content tomorrow and Friday!

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



Hours spent in park – 14 (7:30 AM – 9:30 PM)

Rides/Attractions – 11

Shows watched – 1

Characters met – 6

Autographs obtained – 6

Disney Photo Pass pictures and videos taken – 87

15,086 – Steps taken

6.40 – Miles walked

Weather – Mostly Sunny, high of 87 degrees, low of 67 degrees



Wake at 5:45 AM

Walk to bus stop at 6:45 AM

Bus at 7:15 AM

Arrive 7:30 AM

Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway (everyone)

Toy Story Mania (everyone)

Alien Swirling Saucers (everyone)

Retrieved Olivia’s belt bag she had left on Toy Story Mania (Lindsay and Olivia)

Walked around Star Wars area (Lindsay and Olivia)

LL – Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance (Brian and Jacob, Olivia didn’t want to ride)

PhotoPass Pictures in Star Wars area (everyone)

Snacks at Woody’s Lunch Box (everyone)

LL – Star Tours – The Adventures Continue (Brian and Jacob, Olivia didn’t want to ride)

Met Woody & Jessie from Toy Story (everyone – Olivia and I got in line while boys rode)

Reservation – Woody’s Roundup Rodeo BBQ for lunch (everyone)

PhotoPass Pictures in Toy Story area (everyone)

Met Frozone from The Incredibles (everyone)

Met Edna Mode from The Incredibles (everyone)

Met Sully from Monster’s Inc. (everyone)

Met Live Action Ariel from The Little Mermaid (everyone)

LL – Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular (everyone)

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

LL – Slinky Dog Dash (Brian and Olivia)

LL – Slinky Dog Dash (Brian and Jacob)

LL – Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway (everyone)

Reservation – Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater for dinner (everyone)

PhotoPass Pictures in front of The Chinese Theatre (everyone)

Guest Services to deactivate watermarks on PhotoPass photos (Lindsay)

Shopping (Brian, Jacob, Olivia)

Show – Fantasmic (everyone)

LL – Tower of Terror (Brian)

Left park at 9:30 PM (Lindsay, Jacob, Olivia)

Left park at 10:00 PM (Brian)

Happy Wednesday, y'all!


  1. Love this recap, you are really good at remembering when you did certain things - do you take notes? There are some fun characters to meet at Hollywood Studios!

    1. Yes, I do keep notes in my List Master app on my phone! Otherwise I'd never remember any of it... it's all a blur! Haha.

  2. Yes, I'm wondering if you take notes too! You really captured all the details!

  3. So fun! You are making me want to plan a Disney Trip.

  4. That sounds like such a wonderful day! We've never gotten to eat at the Sci-Fi; I've always wanted to but since we're always a party of 6 I've never quite worked out how to do that... Our favorite is O'hana (I think; though it is hard to pick just one!). I love all these character shots!

    1. Surprisingly, most of the cars in Sci-Fi are for six so it's actually harder to get a reservation for four. Y'all should try again the next time you go. Otherwise just do what we did and make 2 separate reservations, one for 4 and one for 2, or whatever combo, and then ask them to seat you together when you get there! It's worth it to go! It's such a cool place!


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