One of the best parts about staying at Disney’s Boardwalk Resort is its proximity to the parks. There was something really cool about taking a boat to Hollywood Studios, especially since said boat was a few steps from our hotel room door. Not to mention, the ride was quick, enjoyable, and scenic. We passed by the Swan & Dolphin hotels, and sailed alongside the entire Boardwalk Resort on our way to touring Disney’s Hollywood Studios!
The boat drop off is right next to the entrance, which is super convenient!
We pre-purchased our tickets via Undercover Tourist and linked them to our magic bands prior to leaving New York. Not gonna lie – I held my breath as I waited for the Mickey head to light up green. Not because I thought our park tickets wouldn’t work, but because I know what a hot mess the magic band is! Nevertheless, I let out a huge sigh of relief when I saw the green glow.
We arrived mid-afternoon, and the crowds were non-existant.
Our first Fastpass+ was for Star Tours, which ended up being totally unnecessary, as there was no wait. Star Tours changed so much since we were last on! For one, it’s now in 3D, which made me so dizzy!
Later that evening, while watching the channel at the hotel that takes you around the parks, we learned that Star Tours has about 50 different scenarios, so it’s rare to have the same experience twice. Guess we should have researched this beforehand! We were a little disappointed in the ride itself, but would have gone on again had we known it would been different! Alas, Josh was looking forward to shopping in the gift shop. He was bummed they only have newer Star Wars items, as he was looking to snag some older stuff. Nevertheless, he still couldn’t resist a Darth Vadar Mickey hat.
After Star Tours, it was off to The Great Movie Ride.
I love the random shows on the “streets of Hollywood!” We stopped to watch one on our way to the Backlot Tour. Sadly, when we arrived at the Backlot Tour, we found it closed for refurbishment. However, all was not lost! While near Backlot, we saw there was still one more Lights, Motors, Action stunt show in just over an hour. We’ve NEVER seen this show, and have always wanted to, so we went to Mama Melrose, hoping they could take us a little early.
We booked the Fantasmic package, so with our meal we received preferred seating to Hollywood Studios’ Fantasmic show. I haven’t seen Fantasmic since I was little (and remember being totally scared!), and Josh has never seen it, so it was something we made sure to do. In fact, we based our park days around it.
Our late lunch/early dinner was great! Mama Melrose even surprised us with a glass of champagne in celebration of our wedding anniversary!
We finished our meal just in time for the stunt show.
We had a great view of the Tower of Terror as we waited for the show to begin.
All day, as well as the weeks leading up to our trip, Josh has been trying to persuade me to go on this ride.
So a little backstory… because what’s a good blog post without a long, boring backstory? Growing up, my parents took my brother’s and I to Disney almost every year. I remember the hype when Tower of Terror first opened in 1994. I was 9 and couldn’t wait to go on! It was literally all I talked about. My dad doesn’t do thrill rides, and waited with my one brother, while my mom took my other brother and I on. I don’t think I realized exactly what this ride was. I love Splash Mountain and thought it was similar, I guess? As anyone who has been knows, it’s not.
We waited in line for 90 minutes! 90 MINUTES! Still, I was excited, until we got to the boiler room. I watched as people got on the ride, saw the creepy bellmen, and well, I FREAKED.
My mom, whom waited in line – for 90 minutes – just so my brother and I could go on, basically told me hell no. She waited this long, we were going. Needless to say, I was forced to go, and was still crying post ride, all the way to 50’s Prime Time Cafe, where we ate dinner that night. The ride traumatized me that much, and nineteen years later, I still haven’t been back on. I’m still scared. to. death. of it.
So Josh has been begging me to give this ride another try, and I’ve been thinking about it. At this moment, waiting to watch the stunt show, I still have yet to finalize my decision.
Meanwhile, the stunt show was spectacular. We really enjoyed it! I told Josh maybe we could work our way up to Tower Of Terror, so it was off to Aerosmith next. I don’t particularly like this ride, but I go, because I know Josh likes it. That moment, right before the car “shoots out” terrifies me. However, I’m always glad I went on after the ride’s over. I constantly tell myself, this will be the time I open my eyes, but I never do. I couldn’t tell you the first thing about what this ride looks like.
So when we were done with Aerosmith, it was dark out. It was also time for me to make my decision about tower of terror. I decided to give it a go, for Josh. Nineteen years can change a person – if I survived it when I was 9, surely I can now too. We used Fastpass+, and pretty much skipped most of the “lobby” line.
At this point, I was doing really well. I was scared, but fully believed I could do this. Josh was telling me how proud he was, life was good.
Then, we entered the boiler room.
I started shaking. I tried to play it off, but when my eyes started tearing, Josh caught on. He told me I didn’t have to go if I didn’t want to, and although terrified, I was still so sure I could do it.
We were about to get into the next elevator, when the little girl in front of us starts to bawl. She couldn’t have been more than 9. Her mom made her get on anyway, and I heard the girl screaming as the doors closed. I kid you not.
What. The. Hell.
I was FREAKING OUT. To the point where I had a visible sweat going on. It was our turn to tell the creepy bellhop that we are two people, only instead, I shouted, “NO!”
Yes, I was that person.
I pleaded with Josh to still go on without me. I really wanted him to ride, as it was all he talked about. He agreed, while a cast member took me aside and down a secret elevator to the waiting room below. The cast member was super nice and told me this happens all the time. It’s why the elevator is there – for people like me who “chicken out” – except, he put it nicer and didn’t acknowledge the wimp that is me.
So I sat and waited for Josh. I felt horrible – about myself for not going on, for making Josh go alone, you name it, I was crap. About ten minutes later, Josh came around the corner. We totally had one of those “movie moments.” I stood up as he ran to me and I him. I apologized, as he told me not to worry, and asked if I was okay. Turns out, he was happy I didn’t ride. He said we probably would’ve had to leave the park. Me not going on was definitely for the best.
See, tower of terror is programmed to be different every time, and apparently the scenario Josh had was BAD – complete with a ton of drops in total darkness.
So, yeah… TOT – 2, Lauren – 0.
I don’t think that score will change anytime soon, or ever for that matter. But, yay for Josh for going on!
After that, we grabbed dessert before heading to the amphitheater for Fantasmic. Our preferred seats had the most perfect view, and the show was amazingly wonderful!
Post Fantasmic, we ventured to our last Fastpass+ of the day, Toy Story Midway Mania.
Toy Story Midway Mania is one of our most favorite rides, and as much as I hated Fastpass+ in general, it worked out really well here.
We barely had a wait, and it was great not having to worry about this popular ride throughout the day, because we knew we had a Fastpass+ for later. It should also be noted that this was the only ride Fastpass+ worked really well for.
Guess who was Player 2? ME! Woohoo!
We stayed for a little bit extra, for the Extra Magic Hours, and had fun walking around.
However, ultimately, our tiredness got the best of us.
Taking the boat back to Disney’s Boardwalk sure beat a bus or car! What a lovely, relaxing ride – seriously! Plus, we got to watch Epcot’s Illuminations on our way back – not too shabby!