I spoke to my spouse in the morning and I said, lets try to spend 3 hours at Hollywood Studios and then shoot over to Epcot. After all it is a quick boat ride away. Well, 11 hours later, we left Hollywood Studios completely exhausted and absolutely thrilled, we had the most amazing day!
- “The American Idol Experience” captures the energy and excitement of the “American Idol” TV series, with some guests auditioning to take the spotlight onstage at Disney’s Hollywood Studioswhile fellow guests cheer them on from the audience and vote for their favorite singer with instant results. The day’s top vote-getter receives “The American Idol Experience” Dream Ticket, which allows an eligible holder to schedule a front-of-the-line audition to a future regional audition for the “American Idol” television show.
I suppose every obnoxious parent in America who has a child who can sing, even a little bit, would love to audition this quick and easy way. And, it is a shortcut and legitimate. One of the finalists from the real American Idol started out here. Well, my son can sing. And he really wanted to audition. And this obnoxious parent is sharing every picture from the experience below!
He sang Billionaire. I am just amazed at his courage in standing in front of a stranger and belting out a tune. She gave him some great pointers to use going forward, and I suspect we might be back!
And this is why I will forever sing the praises of Disney the rest of my life. The wonderful, positive effect my son’s self esteem experiences when he accomplishes things such as this occur all the time at Walt Disney World. The last time it was having the courage to ride Expedition Everest and Splash Mountain. This trip it was the courage to go on Space Mountain, multiple times and the opportunity to participate on the American Idol Experience: he will forever be able to say he made it to the auditions at American Idol. The sheer joy in his face is all I need to see.
- Toy Story Mania!: Celebrating Disney•Pixar classics “Toy Story” and “Toy Story 2,” this new ride-game experience combined delightful film characters with personality-matching games guests can play. Donning 3-D glasses, guests shrink to the size of a toy and hop fanciful ride vehicles following a midway-themed route. At each game booth, they aim for animated targets using their own special on-board spring-action shooter.
Say what you will, I fell in love with this ride-game in April, and my only disappointment this trip is that we were only able to make it back 1 time. This is my absolute favorite, this remains my number one in Walt Disney World!!!
- “Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show,” presented by Brawny/Georgia-Pacific: This action extravaganza spotlights the high-octane best of the movie industry’s stunt masters. Cars, motorcycles and watercraft are .and watercraft are sent careening and jumping across an enormous Mediterranean village set.
While sitting in a huge stadium, you are able to watch car chases, movie scenes, and even Lightning McQueen participate in what feels like a real movie shoot!
- Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith, presented by Hanesbrands Inc.: A “super-stretch limo” catapults guests through a series of unexpected twists and turns. Specially recorded Aerosmith soundtracks echo throughout this indoor roller coaster.
This is not for me, and my son changed his mind at the lat minute. But, that is not the story! Tech Savvy Mama facebooked that her hubby say Steven Tyler there the day we were in the park. I told my spouse who said, don’t be silly, it’s just a really good hologram. Well, guess what? Steven Tyler was there with his guests getting the VIP treatment and he rode this! You know I am still kicking myself for missing the celeb shot! Or maybe he heard about my son’s singing!
- The Twilight Zone™ Tower of Terror: A thrilling journey through the eerie corridors of the Hollywood Tower Hotel, culminating as guests plummet 13 stories again and again — faster than free-fall — in a breathtaking finale.
My spouse went with Linda’s daughter last trip. My son is still not ready. But I have faith, he is doing a great job in working up to it!
- The Great Movie Ride: 22-minute journey into the movies aboard 70-passenger vehicles; stars a cast of Audio-Animatronics characters re-creating memorable movie moments, including “Wizard of Oz,” “Indiana Jones,” “Alien,” and “Casablanca.”
Many rides just require you to sit and watch, there is always a chance to rest while walking miles and miles all day long. Great scenes from great movies, even an Alien pokes his head out!
- “Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular!”: 30-minute live show in a 2,000-seat amphitheater; daring stunt artists and thrilling special effects, re-creating spine-tingling motion picture stunts.
Airplanes, bombs, fires, great stunts, we came back twice and never had to wait on line!
- Studios Backlot Tour: Tour aboard 200-passenger shuttles through studio backlot including costuming, scenic shop and Catastrophe Canyon.
Nice ride, there is one water action part that is phenomenal!
- “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids” Movie Set Adventure: Based on the hit film “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids,” the movie set adventure playground features an ant the size of a pony, grass blades 30 feet tall and mushroom caps three stories tall
The co-dependent parents stayed at the Studio Catering Company, relaxing after lunch, while our son went by himself to play in this giant movie set. We had been there in April and had to trust that our 9 1/2 year old was fine. It is our time to start practicing to let him go off short distances by himself, and what safer place to practice that then in Disney.
- Star Tours: “Space journey” in a 40-seat advanced flight simulator from the creative forces of Disney and George Lucas, the ultimate “Star Wars” adventure.
We rode this twice, and as they say there are 50 scenarios, we have yet to hit the same one. Considering my fear of heights and speeds on rides, even I did great knowing that I would be racing through space and other otherworldy terrain at fast speeds! This and Soarin in Epcot were the challenges that I am proud I faced!
- “Beauty and the Beast-Live on Stage“: A delightful musical stage show based on the hit Disney movie, “Beauty and the Beast,” performed multiple times daily in Theater of the Stars.
It’s like small Broadway shows performed all around you, all day long, all included in the price of admission. My tough guy son totally enjoyed this as well!
- “Voyage of the Little Mermaid“: Based on the hit animated film “The Little Mermaid,” the show features dazzling special effects that combine with puppets, Audio-Animatronics figures, live performers and favorite animated clips.
My son must have really heard me when I told him before we left on the trip that I wanted to do everything, even what he might consider “girly” rides. He didn’t blink an eye going into Ariel’s show, and in fact we all thought it was terrific!
- “Fantasmic!”: Another dream comes true at Walt Disney World Resort, only this time it’s Mickey Mouse’s dream that comes to life in a brilliant display of lights, lasers, fireworks and water animation.
Other than the fact that we felt like we were walking home to our hotel, this show was absolutely spectacular. We were blown away. And we had no intention of being at the park this late. We are all so glad we did. At the far end of the park, because it is on the water, this fireworks extravaganza, with animation, character lined boats, and just spectacular scenery, was the perfect end to a beautiful day. I would not miss this, I will plan my next day at this park around this “event.” Disney does not do anything small, they go all the way, they put on the greatest shows!
One note regarding an adventure that did not blow us away was The Legend of Jack Sparrow. Perhaps the hype was too strong, but you basically just watched a hologram for 10 minutes with a little background scenery change. The hologram was amazing, we thought Johnny Depp was in the theatre with us, but we were expecting more.
Overall, this was the best day, we created some fantastic memories, and I will be forever grateful for this opportunity!
Disclosure: This was the second half of our Disney trip. The park tickets were complimentary. All opinions are 100% our own and honest.