For a little bit of a change of pace, we’ll head out to Hollywood Studios. The good news is that you don’t need any fingers to count the number of things going on over there these days, which is why this post is going to be carried by a review of a pickle.
It’s 4:45pm on a highly recommended Wednesday and wait times look pretty reasonable. FEELS CROWDED THOUGH.
Characterpalooza is back in the Animation Building after temporarily moving out to Echo Lake and the Streets of America prior to the Tower of Terror 10-Miler. Here, we have Minnie and Pluto greeting together. Remember that Minnie in her classic polka dot dress is only available at Character Spot now, but she usually greets during Characterpalooza in the same outfit.
Pinocchio and Geppetto were also in attendance in their usual location.
And Evil Queen.
Haters gonna hate.
And Rafiki greeted in the room closest to where the Art of Animation tour exits. Per usual, you want to check all the rooms in the Animation Building because characters can “literally” turn up anywhere.
A Palooza reminder:
Characterpalooza is an unadvertised character meet and greet session that usually features six to ten characters inside the Animation Building. The timing and number of characters depend on when Fantasmic begins.
If Fantasmic isn’t scheduled, characters will appear from 4:50pm to 6:50pm (or Park close).
- If the first Fantasmic begins before 7:30pm, then Characterpalooza will not occur because the characters will be getting ready for Fantasmic.
- If the first Fantasmic begins at 7:30pm, characters will appear from 4:50pm to 5:10pm.
- If the first Fantasmic begins at 8:00pm, characters will appear from 4:50pm to 5:50pm.
- If the first Fantasmic begins at 8:30pm, characters will appear from 4:50pm to 5:50pm.
- If the first Fantasmic begins at 9:00pm, characters will appear from 4:50pm to 6:30pm.
The first Fantasmic was scheduled at 8pm, so we’ll see two sets of characters between 4:50pm and 5:50pm. You don’t need to ask if characters will appear if the first Fantasmic begins before 7:30pm. The answer is they don’t.
For the second set, Chip and Dale greeted together.
Along with Mary Poppins and two Penguins.
And Pocahontas heading back along with Mary Poppins and her Penguins. Not pictured are Mr. Smee and Captain Hook, who greeted in the same spot as Pinocchio and Geppetto.
If Characterpalooza is happening during your visit, you definitely want to head over. Waits for most characters are under five minutes and it’s a great opportunity to grab pictures/signatures of many characters in a short amount of time. You should be able to meet most/all of the characters during their sets if you arrive at 4:50pm. Mr. Smee/Hook and Geppetto/Pinocchio tend to have the longest lines, so head to them first if you can. They usually greet against the wall on the upper floor above Sorcerer Mickey.
Wreck-It Ralph and Vanellope von Schweetz should begin greeting in place of Winnie the Pooh come late October or early November.
Mrs. Incredible no longer greets with Mr. Incredible. It’s just him and Frozone. For the latest character greet updates, visit KennyThePirate.com.
Calm down, there’s enough Vinylmation to go around.
To get pumped up for Journey of the Little Mermaid, I popped into Voyage of the Little Mermaid.
The cargo has arrived.
I took a video of the show, which I may upload one of these days. It’s a fun show and one that’s certainly worth seeing, particularly when crowds are lower and you can walk right in. I ended up waiting about two minutes and the theater was 3/4 full, if that.
Now that everything but the Mine Train is open in New Fantasyland, it’s fun to look at the model and compare it how things ended up looking.
Here it is labeled. Larger: http://www.easywdw.com/reports5/labeledbig.jpg.
The model, along with others, still sits in the back room of One Man’s Dream.
Everyone should plan to spend (at least) 30 minutes looking around One Man’s Dream and taking in the film that plays about Walt Disney’s life. It’s nicely air-conditioned and rarely busy. Visit in the afternoon or evening whenever it’s convenient or you need to cool off.
Per usual, the line for Toy Story is longer than we’d like to wait. I took a quick glance at the line and it looked to be closer to 30 minutes.
With the map nearing completion at the upcoming Pirates of the Caribbean exhibit/attraction, I’d be looking for an opening date to be announced soon, if not this week.
It sounds like there’s a real possibility Cars Land will be coming to the east coast, though there are still those opposed to the duplication of a project on that scale. The fact is that there’s nothing that prints money for Disney more than Cars merchandise. If they did want to bring Cars Land to the east coast, it would be neat if they called it Radiator Springs and built different attractions. I don’t have a problem with Cars Land in the least, but I don’t think duplicate lands should exist on both coasts. Bring us something from Shanghai, DisneySea, or at least unique attractions.
Most of the Osborne Lights are up on the Streets of America.
Luckily the spider-angels haven’t arrived. They are the things nightmares are made of.
Backlot Tour is expected to be closed through Friday November 16th. Hula hooping may be more entertaining. Especially once bubbles are added. Disney spares no expense.
Pretty, but a waste of space in a theme park with the fewest number of rides in the United States.
Osborne Lights run from November 9th through January 6th.
Droid Factory popularity in Tatooine Traders continues to dissipate. Visit after 5pm and you shouldn’t run into much of a wait outside of Star Wars Weekends.
Jedi Training Academy merchandise:
As usual, I recommend heading to the old Sounds Dangerous building to sign up for Jedi Training first thing in the morning. The attractions aren’t going anywhere, but once Training fills up, that’s it. You could sign up after Toy Story Mania 99.9% of the time, but you never know how many people are going to be headed over to Jedi. Luckily, the tour groups haven’t caught on.
Scary that the Star Tours queue can fill up.
But waits are often 20 minutes or less when the Studios is recommended and overall crowds are a “5″ or less. You could walk right on today.
Some villains and Frankenweenie merchandise:
They made enough of these $395 giclees for everyone that actually saw the movie. Or 295. Luckily, this one didn’t cost 250 million dollars.
We’ll pop over to Anaheim Produce on Sunset Boulevard to try the Golden Margarita.
Luckily, this is another drink that comes with the alcohol mixed in. You have to watch out for those frozen alcoholic beverages where the cast member pours a half ounce of alcohol underneath the non-alcoholic version like we saw at Dino Diner at Animal Kingdom and the Moroccan stand over at Epcot.
I got a kick out of the fact that they asked if I wanted the rim salted and included a lime wedge. This was good. It had a faint taste of tequila so you could tell there was some in there (or artificial tequila flavoring as the case may be), but it was nice and sweet too. We’re certainly not talking about an overpowering tequila taste. I’ll go ahead and recommend this one if you’re in the area, though High Octane Refreshments in the Backlot next to Studio Catering Company has more options. I enjoyed it quite a bit and it was nice and refreshing on a warm afternoon. The weather has been beautiful the last few days. We’re actually looking at highs under 80 degrees next week with the occasional 0% chance of rain. The next month is Florida at its best.
Since I knew why you clicked into this post, I left the Pickle review for the very end. I only care about pageviews.
HDR picture of the inside of a pickle. Believe it. This was strangely refreshing and actually available at the ice cream cart at the beginning of Sunset Boulevard near Starring Rolls along with Anaheim Produce and the Cool Set across from Backlot Tour. For $1.39, it’s quite large (four ounces) and served freezing cold. While it’s full of sodium, this is probably healthier than one of those Mickey Ice Cream Bars or Chocolate Bananas. If you like pickles, this seems like a good use of a dollar fifty.
Looks like the scrims are moving to Hollywood Boulevard. This one is so well done it almost looks like it’s the real facade.
What’s in the box?
Not a whole lot going on at Hollywood Studios these days, which is why we haven’t spent a ton of time over there. I think the magnifying glass will continue to be at New Fantasyland for some time along with the Food and Wine Festival over at Epcot, though the next post is titled “Not New Fantasyland Stuff Happening at Magic Kingdom.” Osborne Lights come online early next month and we’ll probably visit again before then.