Since our lunch reservation wasn’t until 2:45, we had a quick snack at hotel food court to tide us over until then, then we had to wait for the bus for a while so didn’t get to Hollywood Studios until 1:30pm. The Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster Fast Pass time was already 4pm so we just got in line, hoping we’d get out in time for our lunch reservation. Great indoor coaster and I like the “scenery” every so often, but the latter half kind of fizzled out. The pacing of Space Mountain is better.
We made it right in time to the Sci Fi Dine In Theater and only had to wait a couple minutes until our “parking spot” was ready. Very cute! We sat in the back seat of a vintage convertible and there was a 45-minute reel of classic trailers, news reels, cartoons and snack bar ads, including Amazing Colossal Man, Horror at Party Beach, and of course Ed Wood’s masterpiece Plan 9 From Outer Space! Jules had told me about the glowing cocktails, and they were tasty mango passion fruit coconut rum concoctions that were just opaque enough for the LED ice cube lights to light the whole glass. We kept our souvenir ice cubes of course. I’ve seen them online before and considered purchasing for Halloween, but the cubes look to big to fit into my skeleton goblets. Perhaps I’ll be able to find more sizes this year? It was a whole hour before we left after tasty burgers and sweet potato fries, then since Star Tours had no line (how’d that happen?!?) we rode it again with a completely new plot. Supposedly there are 56 possible combinations now. We had Hoth, Leia and the Death Star last time, then this time was the Tattooine landspeeder races, Admiral Ackbar, winding through a swarm of Star Destroyers, then landing in Coruscant. I still don’t think the 3D does that much since the movement timed with the screen is way more impressive.
Next we headed to Animal Kingdom for their one coaster, Expedition Everest, where we stood in line over 30 minutes then the ride broke right as we were next in line! They gave us a free fast pass to come back, so we will try again, since it sounds like the Matterhorn on steroids, even with its own yeti. Unfortunately we missed the last safari of the day too, so Animal Kingdom will be first on our catchup day. Since we knew we were coming back, we made our way out to the front, past the Dinorama carnival area and the Dinosaur motion track ride. Super lucky that the Dinosaur had no line, and all the warnings about Dark Places and Scary Dinosaurs cracked me up. Valid for the little kids of course but the phrasing was funny, like maybe it could be friendly dinos like Barney? Fun ride in the style of Indy in Anaheim, but Indy still takes the cake.
Thankfully we didn’t have to wait long for a bus this time so we were at Epcot in 20 minutes just as the sun was setting. We visited Imagination Labs just before it closed at 7pm, then saw the O Canada Circlevision movie with Martin Short. By then it was already 8 with closing at 9, so we accelerated our pace. We got Magner’s pear cider at the stand instead of waiting inside the pub, checked a couple of shops in the UK area, with it’s mini Hampton Court look-alike and teacup flowerpots, took a bridge photo of France since I’d seen it the other night, then we headed back to Future World in hopes of shorter lines during the fireworks.
Test Track still had an hour line showing so since we knew if we were in line before official closing time they’d let us ride, we headed for Mission: Space nearby. Excellent gamble since there was no line there! I had heard horror stories about the barf bags in the ride and how they toned down the ride after it first opened, but I wanted to test myself, so I chose the more intense ride. Extra bonus was that the astronaut flight suits on display had aqua trim. We sustained heavy G forces enough for compression headaches and it was really awesome. I knew I could handle roller coasters and drops but it’s the more subtle motion that makes me sick, like big ocean waves or reading in cars or on planes, so I doubt I would do well in zero gravity even if I was fine for all the G forces during launch and re-entry…but maybe if my eyes weren’t so bad I could be a fighter pilot after all?
We did make it in the line for Test Track just in the nick of time, stood in line for a bit, then when we zoomed outside we even saw some of the last fireworks! It was already the mass exodus for closing time when we got off, so it was standing room only on the monorail to the Magic Kingdom for one more hour.
Jules hadn’t done any Haunted Mansion shopping yet so we headed straight for Leota’s cart where we chatted with a couple Haunted Mansion cast members while Jules bought 4 shirts and a CD of the original ride record. I bought a purple, black and metallic aqua Haunted Mansion Liberty Square tee myself since I couldn’t resist! We took advantage of the lack of people to use my travel tripod to get a good photo of us outside the mansion, then we enjoyed playing with the interactive crypts again before we rode. As we were getting off the Doombuggies I was asking Jules if we should just get back in line, when a cast member popped out of the dark, opened a secret door and said “Would you like to ride again?” We walked through the secret passage right to the Doombuggy loading line, bypassing the stretching elevator completely. We were already giddy enough that time through the ride, then as we got off again I said to the other cast member, “Too bad we can’t just stay in and ride again!” He replied, “You can if you want to,” so we jumped back in, rode the Doombuggy line around the bend and into the ride for a third time in a row! I’m sure both of us wearing Haunted Mansion shirts might have helped a bit. That was last ride of the day since the park officially closed while we were riding the last time, but that was awesome!
Keep reading for all the photos!