It’s been about two months since our last documented rope drop at Hollywood Studios, so I thought it would be prudent to drop by on the Friday of Memorial Day Weekend to see what we can accomplish.
It’s 8:10am and things are pretty chill. I had originally gotten in the Annual Passholder line on the far right…because how else will people know that I’m an Annual Passholder? But after some amount of confusion with the ladies in front of me, and whether or not the line should go diagonally, I decided to head to my favorite line on the far left.
Edit: On Sunday, day two, Disney allowed guests to head to Pandora at 6:45am, even though there was not a morning Extra Magic Hour and regular open was 8am. If you are visiting Animal Kingdom in the next couple of days, you may want to be prepared to arrive at the parking lot by 6am. We’ll see how normal this is moving forward.
If there’s one thing this website is probably not known for, it’s rosy predictions. Pandora: World of Avatar had all of the ingredients for what might optimistically be called a “rough start.” You’re not exactly setting yourself up for success when you try to open your new theme park land, with a total of five hours of public soft openings, during one of the busier holiday weekends of the year. Add in Pandora’s lousy overall attraction capacity and the relatively small public areas inside the Valley of Mo’ara and you have what should be a predictable outcome: Pandemonium.
People began arriving at the parking lot before 5am, and Pandora filled to capacity before regular open at 8am, since there was a morning Extra Magic Hour from 7am-8am. From there, waits to enter the land bounced around for most of the day, with the most common wait around an hour. Shortly after 10am, the My Disney Experience app warned guests that the wait to get in could exceed two hours. At that time, the wait for Flight of Passage was over four hours, with Na’vi River Journey pulling up the rear with a wait of “just” 3 hours 20 minutes. Animal Kingdom closed to varying levels of capacity throughout the day, including a Phase 3, when no new guests were admitted.
If you have a FastPass+ for one of the two Pandora attractions, there is a separate line to enter the land that shouldn’t take more than ten minutes. So if you have a FastPass+ for Flight of Passage for 2pm-3pm, you don’t need to take the standby wait to enter into consideration. I’d still be outside the entrance to Pandora no later than 1:45pm.
Here’s a look at wait times over the course of the day:
Back in late March, Disney announced that a new show would debut at Hollywood Studios to kick off the summer. Dubbed, “The Music of Pixar LIVE!” the show takes over for “Beauty and the Beast – Live on Stage” in the evenings.
Current showtimes are 5pm, 6:45pm, and 8:15pm through August 19th. For August 20th through August 27th, the showtimes are 5pm, 6:30pm, and 7:15pm. The show is not currently scheduled for dates after that, but there is always the potential for an extension, however unlikely that may be.
This review is sponsored by DVC Magic Resales at www.dvcmagicresales.com (they used their DVC points to book the room and in exchange will also be posting this review and reviews of the other properties). If you’re looking to buy into the Disney Vacation Club or purchase more points for less than you’d pay Disney directly, they’re a great choice. They also take excellent care of those looking to sell their contracts independently.
- Saratoga Springs review is available here
- Old Key West is available here
- Wilderness Lodge is available here
- Beach Club is available here
- Animal Kingdom Lodge Jambo House 1-Bedroom is available here
- Animal Kingdom Lodge Kidani Village Studio is available here
- Vero Beach is available here
- The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa Review
Each of these reviews is a wide-ranging look at the resort and includes unique dining reviews, a look around the resorts, and a lot more.
The Polynesian Village Resort is perhaps the most immersive on property, transporting guests to the lushness of the South Sea Islands so long as Dole Whips are still just a step outside the lobby. As one of the first two on-site hotels, the Polynesian is even richer in history than it is in its plentiful array of amenities.
On paper, the Polynesian sports what may be the best lineup of restaurants, lounges, pools, and recreational activities of any resort on property. There’s an incredible number iof opportunities to sit back and relax on the beach or at one of the pools, in addition to options spanning from parasailing and bass fishing to all-you-care-to-enjoy buffets, luaus, and Hawaiian culture presentations. With a half-dozen stays and at least 50 visits over the years, I could still name a hundred things that I’ve yet to do here.
It’s been a while since we’ve taken a look at Crystal Palace, the popular character meal hosted by Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore, and Piglet.
Breakfast is served with seating from 8am through 10:45am. Lunch and Dinner are offered from 11:30am through close, which varies given the time of year. The same menu is now served during afternoon and evening meals, which means there’s no lunch discount.