This is part of a series on our days at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. I've recapped each day, the park we visited, where and what we ate and drank, the very best parts of each, and what we'd do differently or skip altogether for next time.
Here's What's Been Covered:
Now, the last one!
Day 5 at Hollywood Studios and the new Toy Story Land
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Our fifth and final day brought us, happy yet tired, to Hollywood Studios. You may remember this park, from your childhood, as MGM!
You also may remember the amazing Honey I Shrunk the Kids area where you could slide down blades of grass and climb up a GIANT oatmeal cream pie. That area is now gone and turned into the brand new Toy Story Land.
Hollywood Studios Overall
Hollywood Studios feels very different from Magic Kingdom and Epcot to me. It's not quite magical, but more nostalgic. The old Hollywood vibe is similar to that at Disney's California Adventure (at Disneyland) and it transports you to the theatres of yesteryear.
I'd been to the park just a few years ago, but that was before Toy Story Land! I was excited to dive into the world of Buzz and Woody and to ride the Slinky Dog Dash, most of all. I was excited yet skeptical to see the new stuff.
Outside of Toy Story Land there are not many rides. There are tons of shows to watch and characters to meet. Bryce and I both LOVE Frozen, and Olaf specifically, and we had no shame in asking for an adults only photo with him… IN SUMMER!
Lunch at the 50's Prime Time Cafe
I have always wanted to eat at and explore the 50's Prime Time Cafe. This was my lucky day! The decor was perfection and truly created a time machine into the past. Both the restaurant and service exceeded my expectations.
We made a reservation (which you must do) and were one of the first tables seated in the restaurant when it opened. Our waiter was SO in character, reminding us often to keep our elbows off of the table, and he was so funny. He really made the experience cohesive with his "I won't tell Mamma if you mess up" attitude matching the the decor and old fashioned food.
Our gang enjoyed a little side room to ourselves and all of the old fashioned kitsch. The menu's got Mom's favorites, like stuffed pork chops, a blue plate special, meatloaf, pot pies, and so on. Plus there are handmade milk shakes!
I'm always afraid that the meat-less options will be a sad meal of two starter salads but Disney hasn't let me down yet. Cousin Harold's Vegetable Lasagna was amazing! Layers of zucchini, roasted mushroom, soy proteins, ricotta and mozzarella cheeses, and marinara sauce were topped with a charred basil leaf. I could eat a hearty veggie meal like that every single day.
We all loved our food and the overall experience at the 50's Prime Time Cafe.
Star Wars and PhotoPass
Don't be mad but Star Wars is totally lost on me. I've seen just one of the movies and I remember nothing about it. Someone had to explain the Star Wars/Disney connection to me. That being said, my sister-in-law is a MEGA Star Wars fan. Her husband proposed to her with a diamond ring stuck in a Death Star cake. Her daughter is born on May 4th, May the Fourth ("force") be with them.
Just this week Disney announced the opening of the NEW Star Wars Land, called Galaxy's Edge, for August of this year. It is coming to Hollywood Studios!
All of that being said, what I can appreciate are the amazing PhotoPass pictures capturing the little moments of childhood JOY while my niece and nephew meet Mom's pals from Star Wars. Just look at little brother's face while big sister gets a hug from Chewbacca. Yes, I had to look up how to spell that. We never meet characters, as a rule, but all rules were OFF for Star Wars day.
Dinner at the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant
The next meal brought us to the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant. It's the one where you sit and eat from your car while watching sci-fi movies, just like an old school drive in. It's dark inside, the movies are old school and hardly "scary," and the experience is unique. You must make a reservation for this very popular spot.
My Mom and I ate here together when I was a kid and I was so excited to come back! Don't miss the "vintage" picture from my first visit, circa 1992, below.
The food is American and the restaurant is dark so you'll have to take my word for it, I didn't snap any food pictures. I loved the ambiance, the fried dill pickles, and the falafel. The menu is extensive and has all sorts of things: over the top burgers, loaded salads, pasta dishes, and many desserts.
Depending on your reservation and party size, your car's configuration may vary. We sat in a car that had three rows and I was in the front. I don't know what everyone else ate, I was "fat and happy" in the front row watching movie clips and enjoying the air conditioning!
Toy Story Land
Now for the main event, Toy Story Land! We had FastPasses for two of the three rides and did it all in one fell swoop.
Let's start with the Alien Swirling Saucers. This is the ride we didn't have a FastPass for and it was our longest wait of the whole trip, clocking in somewhere around 45 minutes. (That's not bad at all compared to other times of year, but was indeed the longest wait for our mid-January trip.) It's a really cute line experience and a fun and silly ride. It was our least favorite of the three Toy Story rides, since you sit and spin/swerve around in an alien themed car. It's not super specific to Toy Story and is identical to Mater's Backyard Jamboree at Disney's California Adventure (at Disneyland).
Slinky Dog Dash was the ride I was most excited for and it exceeded my expectations. Once I saw how big of a roller coaster it is, I was nervous! You load yourselves into Slinky Dog's body and race through the other toys you know and love from the movies. It was fast, fun, and SO specifically Toy Story. It's nearly perfect and I'd ride it again and again if wait times and my stomach would allow it. Bonus points since our (very tall) two year old was big enough to ride and we could all do it together!
Toy Story Mania! wasn't on my radar before we arrived but I loved it just as much as Slinky Dog. This ride combines a typical shooting ride with 4D glasses, then takes it all to the next level. It's fun and silly and competitive and surprising! There aren't any other rides like this one. While my aim has much room for improvement, I giggled often and thoroughly enjoyed this ride just as much as the sharp shooters!
For Next Time
We were all glad we made Hollywood Studios the park for our last and shortest park day. We loved the stuff we did, but with so few rides the park it can be done in a few hours if you plan your FastPasses just right.
Next time we'd spend a half day in Hollywood Studios and park hop to spend the rest of the day in another park.
Although, this will all change once Star Wars takes over!
If you've made it this far, THANK YOU. I hope you enjoyed reliving our Disney trip with me and that these recaps are helpful to you in planning your next magical trip!
Hello, I'm Angela.
Figs and Flights is all about traveling near and far & eating great food both at home and away.