Today in one final ParkSpotting for 2014, I’m back at Disney’s Hollywood Studios to take a last look at their Christmas festivities and see what other fun stuff is happening in the park.
My visit fell right smack into the busiest time of year for the parks, Christmas week. To my surprise, Hollywood Studios wasn’t horribly crowded at all. I dare say it was actually quite enjoyable.
Hug-able Baymax can be seen waving to you on your way into the park. The posters out on the parking lot are always showcasing some new interesting Disney movies and TV shows.
The beautiful Christmas tree was up as always outside the entrance with Photopass cast members out and ready to snap pictures of guests. This area usually looks pretty bare during non-holiday times so maybe we could move something else into this location.
Disney makes sure to promote both Osborne Lights and their current campaign “Disney Side” before you walk into the park. Not really sure what happened with the Disney Side campaign but hopefully we will get something more exciting in the year 2015.
Walking down Hollywood Blvd I quickly spotted that the walls had come down around the future new Starbucks location, The Trolley Car Cafe. The rumor is it will open early 2015 and it definitely looks ready for that.
With a nice outdoor patio, lots of shade and a real central location I’m betting this will be a popular spot as soon as it opens.
Another thing that may soon have walls going up around it is the Sorcerer Hat, which is planned for removal next year. There is lots of discussion going back and forth if this is a good thing or not but at least it’s a first step to a different kind of park, a change Disney’s Hollywood Studios definitely needs.
Streetmosphere characters are a popular thing at Hollywood Studios but I don’t think I have ever spotted these two dapper fortunetellers before. Their inebriated act was quite hilarious to watch.
The stage in front of the hat was all set up for the New Year’s Eve celebration and now also feature some informative schedules up on the screen.
The main reason for my visit today was to check out the Comedy Warehouse Holiday Special. This is an improv comedy show that Hollywood Studios only put on during the holiday season and it is fantastic and not to be missed. Previously housed where the Frozen sing along is now taking place, it now got a nicer, bigger home at the American Idol building.
Had booked FP+ for the show, which queue takes you past these Hollywood famous busts, some more notorious than others right now.
Can’t really say that FP+ was needed for this show as the theater is huge and easily swallows up a big crowd. Next time I would just take the regular entrance and save my FP+ for another attraction.
Every show takes a lot of suggestions from the audience, which means each show is completely different and you can never predict what hilariousness will ensue. It can also make some shows funnier than others as the talented comedians try their best to turn the audiences words into something funny. But I would definitely say this is a show you need to see more than once. But hurry up because the last performance is on January 4th, 2014.
Hollywood Studios continues to be a great park to spot some characters out and roaming that you don’t have to book a FP+ to see. Today I saw Max and Chip and Dale next to the Great Movie Ride.
Even though the park didn’t feel very crowded, lines were long at some attractions. Like here, at the Great Movie Ride, they had put up this long extended queue outside.
At almost every visit to Hollywood Studios I find myself visiting One Man’s Dream, usually because it is never crowded and I love looking at all the wonderful models.
Of course, being Christmas week, this is the busiest I have ever seen One Man’s Dream. Lots of people enjoying the exhibit and viewing the movie at the end, which feels very nice that people take an interest in the founder of Disney.
Some new artifacts had shown up in the exhibit for my visit, showcasing everything from the Mouseketeers to Zorro. It’s always fun when they bring something new out from the archives and it makes it even more important to always stop by as things continue to change in here.
Walking into Pixar Place I saw that Toy Story Midway Mania had a 105 minutes stand-by wait, which isn’t horrible for being in the middle of the day and Christmas week.
New posters in Hollywood Studios always highlight upcoming Disney/Pixar movies like this one showcasing Inside Out.
Now during the holidays you can meet and greet with Santa Goofy next to Lights Motors Action. Going by the line of people waiting for him tells me that he is really popular!
I hadn’t checked out Lights, Motors, Action stunt show in a really long time so I booked a FP+ for it. With all the change going on at Hollywood Studios, who knows how long this will stay? Though the show is quite long I know car enthusiast really enjoy the show.
Car jumps, explosions, motorcycles but the thing that still get most applause is Lightning McQueen. Disney characters always win.
Right outside Lights, Motors, Action Hollywood Studios is now offering a Frozen dessert party. Haven’t personally checked this out but the decor looks really nice.
Spotted some new Made with Magic Sorcerer wands that you can now purchase with your Made with Magic headbands and ears. These have multiple light up functions and can change the light patterns of your other Made with Magic items.
I also spotted a Bolt plush, which is probably not new but it’s really nice seeing some more rare characters getting the merchandise treatment too.
So, not to long ago Backlot Tour closed its doors for forever and Frozen moved into the building instead. I got multiple visits in to the old Oaken’s Trading Post but hadn’t checked out the newer one yet. This is definitely less grand but still worth a visit, especially if you want to “build a snowman”. Which apparently a lot of guests want to do as the line for that was very long.
Oaken’s Trading Post also has a really nice, large Frozen gift shop with tons of merchandise. If you are looking for a Frozen anything, this is the place to go!
After my visit to Oaken’s I headed back to the Animation Courtyard to see what was new in my favorite Animation building. The 1o1 Dalmatians had taken over the courtyard out front with lots of banners promoting the Diamond DVD release.
The best place for some unique merchandise is definitely the store inside The Magic of Disney Animation building. Art, collectibles and books fill every corner of this store.
Finding Dory and The Good Dinosaur posters have recently showed up inside to showcase feature movie releases.
The main stars inside the Animation building right now are Baymax and Hiro from Big Hero 6. Their new meet and greet is wonderfully themed and you can’t help but smile when Baymax makes his big entrance. You can’t help but want to give him a hug too.
If you fall in love with Baymax you can always bring a little piece of him with you home with this Baymax sippy cup being exclusively sold at Hollywood Studios.
As the sun was setting over the park the DJ dance party was just getting started in front of the stage. The loud music may not be to everyone’s taste but it is always fun seeing the Disney characters coming out to take a spin on the dance floor.
On my way out I just had to stop and take a picture of this lovely Christmas display of dancing Minnie ornaments.
That’s all from the parks this time. Come back again soon for another trip to the parks in ParkSpotting!