I’ve got a couple of boring Walkabouts for you. We’ll take a quick peek inside Hollywood Studios this past Tuesday, August 16.
Here we are arriving at 4:45pm. Not too busy outside, but a lot of people on their way out and a lot of people still in the Park. Hollywood Studios has seen 35,000+ people pretty much every day since the end of June, thanks to a high overall crowd level, long operating hours, and Fantasmic scheduled every night.
Not a terrible standby wait for Tower of Terror for this time of day and FASTPASS return times are still just 40 minutes in the future. FASTPASSes for Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster have a return time of 9pm and the standby wait is 50 minutes. That’s why I almost always recommend going to Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster after Toy Story Mania in the morning and why it’s our second FASTPASS priority.
On our way over to Star Tours. The wait time is 20 minutes, but I guess you’ll have to take my word for it. I don’t know if there’s a trick to it, but I’ve never been able to photograph wait times on these digital boards and have the actual number of minutes display properly. That’s why you rarely see me post a picture of the wait time for Buzz Lightyear, Space Mountain, Star Tours, etc.
Wowzers!! Never seen so many people on the Streets of America before (well I have, but I don’t think I’ve photographed it for the site)!! It’s because Lights, Motors, Action! just let out.
Mulch, Sweat, Shears rock band on their way over to play on Streets of America.
Even the Cars Meet and Greet, which is on the way back to Echo Lake/Sunset Boulevard/Hollywood Boulevard/etc. from Lights, Motors is busier than we’ve ever seen it.
Certainly a decent number of people in line for Phineas and Ferb, but it could be worse. I think I’ve mentioned in the past that you want to get over there about 10 minutes before they arrive in the morning or in the last hour they’re out in the evening. This is around 5:05pm and they’re currently out until 7pm, so we’re a bit early for one of the recommended times. Phineas and Ferb actually move through people quickly because they don’t talk, which cuts down on interaction time, and they’re out consistently. A lot of the characters are out “intermittently,” which means they take breaks throughout the day. The line only builds during these breaks and it increases wait times substantially because you may have to stand there while the character is in the back cooling off.
Here we are headed over to Animation Courtyard. Voyage of the Little Mermaid is down for refurbishment through September 3rd. It will reopen Sunday September 4th.
A peek inside the drawing tutorial inside the Animation Building.
Here are some very poor quality images of “Characterpalooza.” 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 depends on when Fantasmic begins. If Fantasmic isn’t scheduled, characters will appear from 4:50pm to 6:50pm. 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.
You can’t guarantee which characters will appear for Characterpalooza, which is partially where the “palooza” monicker comes from. The most common characters are Stitch, Hook, Mr. Smee, Snow White, Pinocchio, Gepetto, and Queen of Hearts.
It’s a great opportunity to meet characters that are relatively rare. While some of the lines are decently long, wait times are generally under 15 minutes and the area is nicely air conditioned.
We’re headed to the Tune-In Lounge for a beer. The Tune-In Lounge is the bar attached to the 50’s Prime Time Cafe. The arrow above is pointing to the entrance. The door is usually closed during peak meal times, but you’re obviously welcome to open it and enter.
It’s about 5:30pm, which isn’t the best time to visit the Tune-In Lounge. Because of its proximity to 50’s Prime Time, it’s popular during meal times because people dining at 50’s Prime Time will naturally head over while they wait for their table to become available. It’s less crowded from 2pm to 4:30pm and after 8pm where applicable. Like most places in Disney World, it’s kid-friendly, with a couple of play areas for the kids.
This actually is a 90 minute wait at Toy Story Mania. Pretty ugly.
The Triple Blast Ice Pop replaces the Itzakadoozie. I don’t know if this is heartbreaking or not. It may or may not be the exact same thing.
Busy around Sunset Boulevard for Fantasmic, but FASTPASS return times are still just 40 minutes out for Tower of Terror. People are lined up before 7pm for a 9pm Fantasmic.
With the new ticket policy (where you can’t add days after your ticket entitlements run out), you may need to visit a ticket window before leaving the Studios. If this is the case, head over to Guest Relations, which is located inside of security to the far left of the turnstiles. All of the ticket windows were closed at 7pm, so you’ll need to head over to Guest Relations. Guest Relations is more than happy to answer your questions about tickets or anything else. You’ll also find Guest Relations inside the Park, also on the far left immediately after you enter through the turnstiles.
Overall, Hollywood Studios was indeed busy, as it has been every day this summer. There’s really no way around that when the overall crowd level is above average and the Studios hosts Fantasmic every night. It will be interesting to see what Disney decides to do with the Fantasmic schedule come October. I am expecting them to go back to the limited schedule, but we’ll see what they ultimately plan to do next month when Disney updates the October operating schedule.