Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Christmas at Disney: Hollywood Studios

The main Disney website lists all the different parks around the world and any other information one might possibly need before visiting.  I had read all about the different Disney World parks previously and knew that there was only one ride at Disney's Hollywood Studios that Daxton could ride at his age.  So instead of spending an entire day there, we spent the day at Magic Kingdom again and headed over to Hollywood Studios around 5pm.  I had heard amazing things about the Festival of Dancing Lights, which only take place during the holiday season.  As we entered the park, it reminded me a lot of the older version of California Adventures at Disneyland.  The entire park is themed as a behind the scenes tour of movie making, so there were several backstage tours, history of cinema, stunt shows, etc.  Once Daxton gets a few years older I could see us all having a good time there, but I was glad we only chose to spend a few hours this time.

Outside the entrance to the park...

Looking down their main street...

Just a few of the pretty Christmas decorations...

I loved looking for hidden Mickey's throughout all the parks we visited.  Can you see one in the red tree below?

We were very excited to find that both Lightening McQueen and Mator were both there to visit (although it didn't hold a candle to Carsland at Disneyland!)  Both Dallas and I felt so bad for what happened though.  Daxton is becoming more and more aware of everything and I think really LOVES these characters he's watched and played with for so many months.  So when it was our turn to meet Lightening McQueen and Mator, he ran around so very excited.  He kept touching their mouths and giggling loudly.  He was doing his excited toe tapping dance and kept running from one car to the other.  He literally was so happy to see them!
The sad part came when the photographer started pressuring us to take the family photo.  I totally understood, there was a line of waiting kids behind us, but Daxton did not want anything to do with us.  He was so content playing with his life-size buddies.  He wouldn't listen to either of us, so we ended up having to run around, catch him, and take the picture (all with a screaming toddler.)  I didn't mind that all our family pictures are ridiculous, as he wrestled away from us.  I just felt bad that we had to leave Lightening McQueen and Mator so quickly.  He was literally unconsolable as we drug him away from the cars.
Saddest thing ever!

After our traumatic experience with Cars, Daddy ended up saving the day.  He had heard from a coworker the the Sci-Fi Dine In was a really cool place, so we decided to check it out for dinner.  We had no clue that, once again, reservations are made several weeks in advance, but we decided to try our luck with cancellations.  We were able to sneak in after only waiting 20 minutes.  All three of us were absolutely amazed when we walked in!

 The Sci-Fi Diner was themed after a drive-in movie theater.  Each of the tables were built into 50s styled cars.  All the cars were facing a large movie screen playing classic black and white Sci-Fi films.  The detailing was incredible with wooden high fence lining the walls and the ceiling lit with twinkling stars.
 Since we didn't have a reservation, we weren't allowed to sit in the cars (it would have been over an hour wait for one of them and we weren't about to do that to little Daxton!)  Luckily, there were a few circular tables with umbrellas set up in the back where we sat.  It turned out great though, because we had a bit more room to maneuver a crazy toddler and yet we still got to partake of the cool ambiance.  The food was your basic diner food, but the atmosphere was totally worth the cost.
I couldn't help but think how much my friend Jason would have loved it, with a giant cheeseburger in hand watching old Sci-Fi movies on the big screen.

Daxton loved dinner, especially since he was surrounded by cars.  After we finished eating we headed to the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights.  I really need to post the videos from our adventures here, because it was amazing!  Several blocks of buildings were intricately wrapped in millions of multicolored bulbs that literally twinkled along in synchronized dance with the music.  And if that wasn't enough...fluffy snow fell from the sky during the songs.  I wish I could put into words the look of absolute joy on Daxton's face.  At one point we put him on the ground and he ran laps around several strangers, dancing, and squealing loudly.  That little boy was in heaven!

My pictures don't do it justice!

We could have stayed there all night with our crazy little man!  He was so very happy and loved to catch the snow on his tongue.  It was such a sweet and memorable experience.
We were all pretty exhausted by the time we got back to our hotel, but looked forward to our next day at Epcot.  Sadly, the next morning, Dallas woke very sick.  After he threw up several times, I had to admit the fact that we were going to have to cut our trip short.  We had reservations for lunch and tickets to the Candlelight Processional at Epcot that day, but Disney was great and refunded our money due to illness.  Selfishly, I was super sad we were leaving early and not able to see Epcot decorated for Christmas, but I knew Dallas would be so much more comfortable at home than in a hotel room.  I drove the three hour drive back to south Florida, while Daxton slept and Dallas tried not to throw up in the car!
Even though our trip ended on a sour note, we had such a great time as a little family.  We are loving all the adventures we've been blessed with and are enjoying our new home.  Visiting Disney World was the perfect way to kick off the holiday season!
(And I will try to post all the fun videos later...)

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