Our latest adventure took you to Disney’s Hollywood Studios on May 9, 2010… ParkSpotting
The goal of this trip to Disney’s Hollywood Studios was to see the
introduction of Lots-o’-Huggin’ Bear (Lotso) from the upcoming Toy Story 3 film. His meet-and-greets with Guests debuted on Sunday and also appeared in the Block Party Bash parade. But amidst all the Lotso fun, I spotted plenty of other interesting and amusing sights around the park:
Approaching the entrance turnstiles, it occurred to me that Disney’s Hollywood Studios rarely has a line to get into the park. I almost always have to wait at Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom, but very rarely at this park.
Cast Members handed out free red and white carnations to moms who entered the park for Mother’s Day. I brought one home to my wife, who is the proud mother of our cat. (No, we don’t have kids.)
This trip to Hollywood Studios gave me many more reasons why I need to invest in a new digital camera soon. Here’s Reason #1: I tried to take a lovely photo with the red flower in the foreground and the Sorcerer Mickey hat out of focus in the background. Instead, I got an out-of-focus flower and a poor shot of the hat. Keep scrolling to find a few more photos-gone-bad.
Over at The Magic of Disney Animation, I met Lotso. I previously posted the Disney PhotoPass shot of us, so here’s the same picture that was taken from another angle. (Thanks to Jeff Lange for taking this picture!)
Mickey Mouse’s meet-and-greet is across from Lotso’s, but Mickey’s line was much larger. He is Mickey Mouse, after all. This photo is also reason #2 for why I need a new camera: It took me several minutes to fire off this single, poor shot due to my slow-to-respond flash.
The queue to meet Lotso is made to look like Sunnyside Daycare, a prominent Toy Story 3. The walls are lined with daycare-style imagery, like this board filled with group “photos” of children. Nice work, Pixar! (Oh, and this is needing new-camera Reason #3: blurry, low-light photos.)
Disney and the GRAMMY Foundation will soon be auctioning a few stringed basses to benefit music education, including this one with a design inspired by The Princess and the Frog.
Around 10 minutes before Block Party Bash parade time (3 p.m.), I grabbed a spot near the Sorcerer Mickey hat. Note all the other Guests waiting. I was there only to see Lotso’s first appearance in the parade, as I don’t care for Block Party Bash at all. But clearly, it’s popular judging from all the other Guests waiting too.
The 10-minute wait for the parade felt like an eternity due to the hot, overhead sun. I couldn’t believe these girls (and many other Guests) were sitting directly on the hot pavement – Ouch!
Next to me, these Guests had the right idea. Waiting for the parade seated on the shaded bench is definitely the way to go. Unfortunately, there are only so many benches to go around.
Finally, after baking in the sun for a while, the parade began, and Lotso made his dancing debut. Unfortunately, my spot was around 100 feet away from his position, so I battled the crowd to get this clear view. (Watch the video of him dancing here.)
As Block Party Bash wrapped up, I took a trip into the Twilight Zone on the Tower of Terror. On the way out, I noticed that the Vinylmation craze has taken over this corner of the Tower gift shop (along with the buy-us-because-we’re-cute Pook-a-Looz on the endcap).
MuppetVision 3D is currently closed for refurbishment. I always feel sorry for the Cast Members who have to stand at a closed attraction’s entrance turning away Guests all day. It’s definitely a thankless job.
While circling behind MuppetVision 3D, I spotted this amusing sign posted at the attraction’s exit. I normally don’t try to enter via the exit, so I had never noticed it before. Beaker and Dr. Bunsen Honeydew are always good for a laugh!
In my previous ParkSpotting adventure to Magic Kingdom, I included a photo of a Cast Member blowing bubbles at Guests entering that park. At Hollywood Studios, this Cast Member was adding bubbles to the area outside of MuppetVision 3D.
While I didn’t see Lots-o’-Huggin’ Bear giving too many hugs, I did spot this man happy to embrace Jessie the Cowgirl from Toy Story 2. Also, note the look of happiness on the boy’s face in the foreground after getting Jessie’s autograph. I didn’t mean to capture him in this shot, but the juxtaposition of the character hug and smiling child really show what Disney magic is all about.
Here’s the same guy proudly posing with Jessie.
Here’s a test of your sensory memory. Look at this photo. Do you smell anything? Yep, that’s the recognizable smell of Disney pizza from Pizza Planet. It’s not the greatest pizza in the world, but it does hit the spot.
Some parts of Disney’s Hollywood Studios are still trapped in the late-’80s / early-’90s. While the Honey, I ____ the ____ movie series is still fun to watch, I don’t even remember being a Honey; I Shrunk the Kids television show. And that’s probably a good thing.
As I mentioned above, it was another hot Orlando day, but this guy found a great way to cool off. If you get too close to this truck parked outside the Backlot Tour, it spouts mist at you (and makes some beeping noises).
Getting ice cream is always a great way to cool off, though finding somewhere to eat it in the parks comfortably can be challenging…
…but this family did find their own shady seating area to enjoy their treats in peace. I had never thought to sit and eat dessert among the busts of media legends, but I’ll have to remember this spot for the future.
While MuppetVision 3D is closed for refurbishment, Sounds Dangerous with Drew Carey has reopened…
…and it’s in 3-D! But don’t think this is like Avatar. Sounds Dangerous features 3-D binaural sound in a nearly pitch-black room occasionally accompanied by a 2-D movie starring Drew Carey. You probably don’t want to see Drew Carey in 3-D anyway.
Star Tours Cast Member costumes are unique and recognizable, but this Cast Member has gone the extra mile by adding a lightsaber to her belt.
After walking around a theme park for hours, the last thing most Guests want to do is stand on their aching feet and listen to a sales pitch about Disney’s Vacation Club timeshares…
…which is why Disney cleverly adds extra-cushy ground (disguised to match the hard pavement nearby) to their Vacation Club information areas. One step onto this squishy material makes you want to stand there for a few minutes – which gives the Cast Member a chance to tell you a bit about Disney’s timeshares. They don’t hard sell you, but they will give you all the information you didn’t know you needed.
That wraps up another edition of . So far, we’ve visited ParkSpotting Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Disneyland, and Disney’s California Adventure, so I bet you can guess which theme park we’ll hit next!