Hollywood Studios is my least favourite park at Walt Disney World. There isn’t much to do here especially since half the park is closed for the upcoming Star Wars expansion. Up until this year, there was no point in going to Hollywood Studios (in my opinion) because even Toy Story Land wasn’t open which meant more than half of the park was closed off to guests. It was quite limiting on what you could do at the Studios.
This time around, at least Toy Story Land is open so there will be something new to see on our time there. To Chloe it was all new, so I wasn’t too worried about finding things to do. Having said that, I only planned a half day at the Studios because it is my least favourite park. I wanted her to see Fantasmic but I didn’t want to spend 10+ hours in the park waiting for it. So I planned on getting us there for a FastPass at the Tower of Terror and dinner to follow that at the Prime Time Cafe. Since hitting my 30’s, I find I’m not able to do rides like the Tower of Terror or Flights of Passage (at Animal Kingdom). I get super sick on them and it just ruins the rest of the day. So I planned our FastPasses with my family who would meet us at the park that day.
Chloe loved the Tower of Terror. It is a great ride and I wish I could go on it! I love the theming of it inside and out! I’m just glad Chloe was able experience it! Afterwards, we said goodbye to my family and made our way over to the Prime Time Cafe. If you’re a first timer at the Studios, I would definitely book in at this restaurant. The 50’s era theming is spot on and the cast members can be some of the best you’ll meet. Another good option at the Studios for dining in is the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theatre. Great for kids and adults alike, you’re seated in old cars at a drive-in movie theatre. They play snip-its of old films on the big screen. It’s a great atmosphere!
Our early dinner did not disappoint. The only disappointing part of it was that we were crammed into a corner likely not meant to be a table at all. I was no more than 6-8 inches away from the table next to me. It left little room to even chat with Chloe. Our waiter couldn’t even get in between the tables, that’s how close we were to each other. If you were claustrophobic, this would have definitely been an issue for you.
After dinner, we wandered around the park a bit. I love seeing the Christmas decorations at every park. They’ve got a vintage feel here at Hollywood Studios. It fits in with the vintage Hollywood feel of the park. We eventually made our way to the amphitheatre for Fantasmic. Again, do not go hours before to get good seats here. Honestly, any spot in the theatre is a good viewing spot. If you’re closer to the top, you’re the first to leave! You won’t have to wait for an entire theatre to empty out before you’re able to move. Also, the higher the vantage point, the better off you are at seeing everything going on! Just remember that when you’re planning your time at Hollywood Studios.
We left Fantasmic slightly early because we wanted to catch Jingle Jam Jingle Bam back at the Old Chinese Theatre. Unbeknownst to us, there is a pre-show. We could have missed it to be honest because the characters were a bit annoying. I wasn’t even familiar with them either but later learned they are from a show on ABC called Prep & Landing…? Still don’t know who or what that is, so Chloe and I decided to leave before the show actually started. To this day, I have yet to actually watch Jingle Jam Jingle Bam. Can anyone tell me if it’s any good??
We left the park with what seemed like the crowds from Fantasmic. I told Chloe about the Boardwalk nearby and we could check out some bars over there. Instead of the bus, we walked to the Boardwalk. Since everything was under construction at the time, there was only one way to the boardwalk and it was the long way. *if you’re visiting now, everything is back to normal* We didn’t mind the walk. Chloe could see some of the other resorts on Disney property and how nice they all are.
We got to the Boardwalk and our first stop was AbracadaBar. As you can probably guess, its theming is based on magic. Not just any old magic, but the hey day of magicians and their daring feats. It really is a throwback to the era of Houdini and the likes of him. Old posters and vintage props hang on the walls. The menu is themed nicely as well, and their cocktails are magical. What we didn’t know about this place is how early it closes. No sooner had we gotten our first drink, our waitress was around letting us know it was last call. Checking the clock, it wasn’t even 10pm. So be warned! If you’re heading to AbracadaBar, which I highly recommend, go early!
We finished up our drinks and wandered along the boardwalk back to Jellyrolls. I absolutely loved this place when I worked at WDW, so I knew I wanted to take Chloe here. Things to know before you go: If you’re an out of country visitor, bring your passport as an extra piece of ID. I’m from Canada and more often than not, they will not accept my driver’s license as a valid ID. I know, I know it seems really, really dumb but they prefer Passport ID’s instead. So just have it handy if you’re drinking at the parks, restaurants or bars. Also, Jellyrolls has a cover. I think it’s $15. Don’t let that deter you from going inside!! You will be disappointed that you’ve missed a good night out!
Ok so back to it….Jellyrolls is a duelling piano bar. It is so much fun! You can write down your requests with a small tip and hand it to either one of the pianists on stage. They seamlessly go from one song to another. It’s quite incredible how many songs they know and can play without hesitation. When we were there, they went from Baby Got Back to Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting without missing a beat. You can sing along to rock n’roll’s classic songs and dance along to your favourite modern pop songs. For anyone of age (which is 21 in the US) you’re bound to have a great time at Jellyrolls.
We stayed maybe an hour or two before we got a taxi back to the French Quarter. It was a great way to round off the day at Hollywood Studios. Of course before going to bed we popped in at Sassagoula Floatworks for some beignets. Can’t go to bed without our beignets!
Stay tuned for our jam packed day at Epcot.
Until next time…