After ending the day at Hollywood Studios the previous night, we were headed back there the next morning. We woke up at 7 and didn’t have any trouble getting boarding passes for Rise of the Resistance. Before going to the park, we were changing hotels from Pop Century to an Art of Animation family suite. We do a good amount of room changing on our Disney World trips, as we like to see our hotels. This one became necessary thanks to high volume spring break crowds coming in. Luckily, our room was ready before 8 AM so we just walked across the Hourglass Lake bridge, dropped off our bags and headed on our way!
A short Skyliner ride later, we were at Hollywood Studios right at opening and went immediately to Tower of Terror. The spread out queue at Tower of Terror is really enjoyable and gives plenty of room to enjoy the beautiful plant life and views of the menacing hotel. This remains one of the best attractions in the world and it starts from the moment you walk in the queue. Here’s a few photos from the ride through.
By the time we were off the ride, our early boarding group had been called so we walked over to Galaxy’s Edge. The queue was extended quite a ways outside of the attraction, almost reaching the edge of Grand Avenue. I believe I heard a Cast Member say they were having issues with checking people into their boarding groups. While it was unfortunate, all of the Cast Members handled it really well. Just a reminder, please be nice to these people! I’ve read so many stories about Cast Members getting burned out because of the pandemic and all of the extra things they have to enforce. They are handling it with grace and doing the very best they can, show them love and kindness when you can.
Our ride on Rise was great, although the attraction does suffer from COVID regulations. The actual ride part and the very last pre-show are pretty normal but the first two pre-shows do suffer. In case you are curious, it is still well worth the hassle of getting a boarding group and riding Rise of the Resistance. Afterwards we grabbed some Blue and Green Milk and drank it by the Falcon. I am generally not a souvenir person but apparently am a total sucker for these special mugs. I have this one and a Country Bears Mug, as well as a few cups from Trader Sam’s and Magellan’s. Do you care about my souvenir kryptonite? Probably not so let’s move on!
We split up for a bit because Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster sometimes makes my mom and I sick. MuppetVision does not make me sick on the other hand so there we go! As much as I love aspects of this old 3D show, it’s time to have an update on it. My fear is that instead of an update it will just go away. Rumor has it that there is a pretty fierce defender of the Muppets franchise in the Imagineering department. Hopefully that’s the case and they will continue to be used in the right way, like Great Moments in History, in the future.
It was time for lunch which we grabbed at BaseLine Tap House. We’ve already reviewed the lounge/restaurant but it was absolutely delicious. Hollywood Studios continues to up their dining scene and it’s been the most pleasant surprise of the park’s makeover.
After the early morning, we decided to head back to the room for a little bit of a rest. We didn’t spend a ton of time in Hollywood Studios on the trip but did get all of the attractions outside of Star Tours and Alien Swirling Saucers done. By midday everything had a long line and we opted to go relax instead of wait it out for those. After a short nap, we went over to Magic Kingdom for the night. Upon arrival, we were met by a float full of princesses and then Mickey and Minnie in their birthday… uhh… suits? No, I mean outfits. I’m looking forward to seeing them in their 50th anniversary clothes soon.
We were into the early evening hours at that point which is the perfect time for a cruise around the river. That makes this the perfect time for me to stop writing and just show you some photos from the river cruise.
After such a pleasant ride what could possibly go wrong? Well, that little problem of Magic Kingdom not having quality food options kept popping up on the trip. I was missing Columbia Harbor House and then found that much of their menu had been transferred to Tomorrowland Terrace. Problem solved! Well it was but then Tomorrowland Terrace actually closed at 4 and we were well past that. These are obviously first world problems in the middle of a pandemic and I’m mostly complaining in jest. What is the reasoning for a restaurant closing at 4 though? We may never find out. I ended up getting a corn dog from Sleepy Hollow while the others had Pecos Bill for the second time in three days. I can’t blame them. If they didn’t feel like a corn dog the other counter-service options were pizza, Cosmic Ray’s and a few other random stands. Add better food Magic Kingdom! Please!
Magic Kingdom was open late that night (10 PM, I believe) and the wait times started to come down a bit around 7. We had a few more marquee attractions to get to before bidding adieu to that park so we were off and running after dinner. Naturally, off and running meant starting at Country Bear Jamboree. Like Eye of the Tiger or Seven Nation Army, Blood on the Saddle really pumps me up! It’s the perfect inspiration to run from attraction to attraction.
The sunset was beautiful that night, making way for a memorable ride on Big Thunder Mountain. This might be the best attraction to ride at sunset as you get different angles of the park. The pink sky washing over the mountain peaks is a gorgeous site. Here’s a couple of photos.
Eventually blue hour set in and we headed to the Splash Mountain queue. The wait was under 30 minutes with the cooler temps and it was a great ride through. I kept my camera out a little more than usual, using some quick poncho work to cover it up from splashes. I may be an average photographer but I’m an expert with a poncho! With the attraction eventually closing, I want to try to document it every chance I get. Here’s some photos!
Next came Pirates with one of our longer waits of the trip at just over 30 minutes. This queue is really divided with a ton of partitions and winding back and forth. It doesn’t really affect the wait time or anything, although Pirates does load a little slower with fewer people in the boats. It’s all worth it to see this very good boy!
We’d knocked off a good amount of the must-do’s at this point and rewarded ourselves with ice cream before going on to more attractions. Winnie the Pooh had next to no wait so we hopped on there before running over to the Tea Cups. Here’s a photo of me on a Tea Cup before getting too dizzy.
With about 15 minutes left before park closing the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train queue had cleared out quite a bit so we hopped in. I’d never rode the attraction at night and actually had never even been in the main queue, always opting for FastPass instead. The line moved very fast and we were on the ride in 20 minutes. The main queue is definitely more interesting than the other, although the interactive portions aren’t currently open. Along with that, the coaster is more fun at night as it feels faster and the dark ride portion is easier to see. Waiting Mine Train out and getting in line right before closing is probably the best option until FastPass is back in the parks.
Once we were off the ride the park had closed. Melissa and I headed to Frontierland so I could take some photos along the river, which is my favorite spot in Magic Kingdom. It wasn’t my best night of photography but there are times when I just like to relax and take in the atmosphere regardless of how the photography is going. That was definitely the case that night.
Eventually we walked back over to Main Street and took some photos in the hub. There weren’t many people out at this point and we were one of the last groups out of the park. It was so nice to be in a theme park late at night, my personal favorite time to be there. It’s serene and a chance to soak in the lighting that Disney theme parks do so well. Magic Kingdom isn’t my favorite park to photograph but just being there once most of the guests had left felt like a return to simpler times. I look forward to many more in the next year and beyond.
We headed back to the hotel and called it a night. We’ll pick up the next day on part 5 of the trip report!
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Categories: Trip Reports