Hollywood Studios, Vacations, Walt Disney World

Visiting Hollywood Studios (at Disney World)

Ready to visit Hollywood Studios?


The line for Hollywood Studios wasn’t too bad, and there wasn’t a Brazilian girl in sight. (They must have left because we didn’t see very many of them after that first day). Most everyone else was lining up to go to one of the two Disney World water parks.

We’re not big water park people, but it sure sounded good when we were down there. (Actually, it was hot in Florida, but it was even hotter back home in Missouri. In fact, it was about ten degrees hotter in Missouri than it was in Florida OR the Bahamas – but there was more humidity which somehow makes it worse, I think).

As usual, our bus was the last to arrive and we killed some time talking to the young kid who worked for Disney and was marking down the number of busses arriving. He was actually going to military school, but was working at Disney for the summer to get some kind of marketing credit and to of course, make a little spending money. It was really interesting to listen to him talk about his future plans and I was glad Dude was there to hear him. The kid wasn’t much older than Dude, yet he really seemed to have his life in order.

*hint-hint Dude*

The ride over to the park was quiet and uneventful – thank goodness. And the day looked bright and clear. Nonetheless, we went ahead and bought two umbrellas, just in case, because the boys got so wet walking around Epcot the previous day that we thought we’d plan ahead and be prepared this go around.

It didn’t rain a drop the whole time we were there, of course. (Though we left a little early and the clouds were rolling in, so … never mind, I can’t really justify why we bought the umbrellas other than to say HEY! Souvenirs! ha!)

So we get to the park and the first thing we see is the Tower of Terror. Well, not the FIRST thing, the FIRST thing we see is the giant Mickey magic hat in the center of the park, but we didn’t get a picture of that, so, Tower of Terror is where we’ll start. (Actually, we took advantage of Disney’s PhotoPass program and we have a picture of all four of us standing in front of Mickey’s magic hat, only I haven’t worked up the courage to actually buy it yet because as with all things Disney, it’s expensive. Like $15 bucks FOR ONE PICTURE expensive. Oh sure, we’ll end up buying it, but still, stalling a few weeks seems a little rebellious to me and I’m all about the rebellion, don’t ya know).

There was no way, on God’s green earth (actually, it’s not actually that green right now, but rather a lovely shade of dead) that I was going to ride the Tower of Terror.

Yes. Because I’m a big ‘fraidy cat. And I really had no desire to puke my guts up because I assure you, that’s what would have happened. Kevin actually visited Hollywood Studios with a bunch of his work buddies some years back and he rode the Tower of Terror. He said that he nearly lost it so I KNOW I would because Kevin has a stomach of steel.

Still. Kevin tried to talk me into it and I’m sorry to say, I flatly refused.


However, to try and make it up to him, we did end up walking to Aerosmith’s Rock ‘N’ Roller coaster and getting a FastPass right away. (Hey, we may be slow but we DO learn eventually). I’m not the biggest roller coaster fan, I can take them or leave them, but I knew Kevin wanted to ride it so … what’s a spouse to do? 🙂 Our scheduled time was between 1:00 and 2:00, so we had plenty of time to explore the park.

You know, looking at a map of Hollywood Studios I just now realized:

1. Our hotel was practically across the street from the park and

2. I think we missed a lot of stuff.


I think we were all tired from the previous day and we didn’t take the time to fully explore the park like we did Epcot. Plus, it all seemed so … childish, I think. We would pass something and I would ask if the guys wanted to go in and they were all like, “Meh.” So, we didn’t.

Like CRAP! We completely missed Fantasmic! I mean, we didn’t even walk down that way at all. Bummer! It looks pretty cool, too. Oh wait, it was only on select nights, so chances are we wouldn’t have seen the show anyway.

I wanted to see Beauty and the Beast, but the guys looked horrified when I even suggested it, so no, we didn’t see Beauty and the Beast. *sad face*

Looking at the map, I see we missed an entire other section, too. The part with Walt Disney: One Man’s Dream, and the Magic of Disney Animation.

Crap again!

Oh well. We did go see Muppet Vision 3D, which was cute, but got on our nerves about five minutes into it. I like the Muppets, but they’re a little like Jim Carey to me, they are just too much, all at once and they’re exhausting to watch for any length of time because it’s non-stop … something.

But the show was cute and it gave us a chance to cool off.

We went through The Great Movie Ride and that was … okay. It was really cheesy and super loud, but whatever.

We went through The Studio Back Lot tour and I think the boys really enjoyed that one.


They did a special effects demonstration when we first arrived and we all really enjoyed watching them blow stuff up.


The canyon disaster was really fun, too.


There really wasn’t much else to the tour, I’m not sure what we were expecting, but it was more than what we got. However, it was fun and interesting and that’s all we could ask for, I suppose.

We ate lunch at the ABC Commissary – again, we ended up buying two plates and all of us shared it. (I mentioned the food was insanely expensive, right? Just checking).

By this time, Kevin was feeling the effects of not eating very much and he was starting to get snappy. (He will deny it, but I’ve known the man for 24 years and trust me when I say, he was snappy and on edge). This is the biggest reason vacations stress me out – the food situation. We should have just broke down and bought another $9.00 plate of something, but Kevin wouldn’t hear of it. Needless to say, by the time lunch was over, I was about over Disney World entirely. I know it’s kind of stupid to base so much of my opinion on their food prices, but good grief, people, I just really felt like we were being ripped off, big time.

After lunch, we checked out the Extreme Stunt Show. I knew Kevin really wanted to watch it, but they only ran two shows and we had missed the first one. The second one was at 4:30 and we all agreed that we would leave the park after the show was over.

We were tired, the park was smaller than Epcot, therefore more condensed and claustrophobic feeling and we were all just exhausted, quite frankly. We had had enough of all things Disney, I’m afraid.


We cashed in our FastPasses (well, we cashed in one, the other one we had had been stamped “invalid” for some reason, but the guy was kind enough to let us both go in anyway), and rode the Rock ‘N’ Roller coaster.


I had no idea it was an inside roller coaster and completely in the dark. One of the reasons I can even ride a roller coaster in the first place is because I can see where I’m going so I can anticipate which direction we’re going to turn or go upside down. Since it was pitch black, I had no idea what was happening. Taking off was pretty spectacular – going from zero to 60 in a few seconds was pretty thrilling. Kevin said he knew, though, the moment I started feeling sick because I suddenly stopped screaming.

I was afraid if I opened my mouth something other than a scream would come out. HA!

It was fun though and I’m glad we got to ride it. The boys didn’t ride, of course, (wimps), and waited for us outside. Kevin wanted to ride it again, but I just didn’t think I could stomach another round. I wish I didn’t get so sick like that, but … I do so … there you go.

After getting off that ride, we headed to the Indiana Jones show.


We REALLY enjoyed that show. It started out with the ball rolling after Indiana Jones scene before the “director” yelled CUT. The entire stage then parted to make way for another scene from the movie, the city scene where the bad guys do all sorts of kung-fu moves and Harrison Ford pulls out his gun and simply shoots the guy.

HAHA! I love that scene.

After the “director” yells CUT for that scene, that too rolls away to reveal a desert scene complete with an airplane.


This would be the scene where Indiana Jones fights that big huge dude and knocks him into the airplane propeller before everything explodes.


The heat off the fires were so intense we could feel them in the stands – it was that hot.

That show was a lot fun. By the time we got out of that show, it was time to go watch the Extreme Stunt Show.

The car stunts were truly impressive. After they ran a few chase scenes, the “director” would then explain a few tricks of the trade.

For example, there was one scene where our hero, being chased by several black, bad-guy, cars, drove backward the entire time. We were very impressed, until we saw that the stunt driver was in a car MADE to look like it was driving backwards – the windshield was actually the back window. Still though, it was impressive to watch them narrowly miss each other.

They did a few scenes with motorcycles, too. And jet skies. It was a great show.

After that was over, they then did a cute little skit with Lightening McQueen from the movie “Cars”.


He too had to chase the bad guy, identified by the big bomb strapped to its roof. HA!


It was a great show and we were really glad we stuck around to watch it.

But after it was over, we were done. All we wanted to do was head back to the hotel, have A LITTLE *ahem* bite to eat and turn in early.

I’m embarrassed to say, we never took advantage of the pools. We had gone back to the hotel with the intention of going swimming, but by the time we finished eating, none of us had the energy to attempt it. (In fact, we all took swim suits but none of us ever put them on. I know, we’re so boring).

But we needed our energy, because the FIRST part of our vacation was over – we still had the SECOND part to look forward to: the cruise.


Compromise That’s Not a Solution is a Waste of Time

I challenge you to watch this video and LISTEN to what the man says. Rubio perfectly sums up what we’re all thinking.

If you don’t wish to spend 15 minutes watching this video, then read the transcript.

And if you don’t want to do either, then I’m assuming you like being told what to think instead of taking the initiative to think on your own.

That’s right – meow. I’m tired of people not getting involved in our messed-up politics.

I really LOVE how he keeps on task. I love how he doesn’t rise to Senator Kerry’s bait and allow himself to be put on the defensive. For you see, that is the Democrats’ biggest strategy – to put the Republicans on defense. For if they’re put on defense, then they spend most of their time defending their position instead of debating the REAL issues. Democrats are masters of delay tactics because if they can delay talking about the tough issues, then they don’t have to vote on the tough issues and tick off their voter base.

Because that voter base keeps them in office and we must not bite the hand that feeds us, now must we. That might mess up their political CAREER. Forget doing what’s best for the country, let’s focus on getting re-elected and furthering one’s CAREER.

It’s not a CAREER, it’s a SERVICE. It’s an honor to SERVE the American people and to be their spokesperson. But too many career politicians either have forgotten they’re there on behalf of the people, or they simply don’t care – it’s all about kissing the right asses so they can stay in Washington.

The whole thing makes me sick.

We need more people like Rubio in Congress who WILL NOT allow themselves to be distracted from the real issues. Then they can get back to the crux of the matter and hold the feet of these Democrats to the fire who refuse to deal with the real issues at hand.

I mean seriously, just HOW deeply can one party bury their heads in the sand?? It’s time to face reality and make the tough decisions. Someone, and I’m addressing both parties here because the Republicans have been spineless wimps in this whole debt ceiling issue, needs to grow a pair of balls and DEAL with these problems.

Did you catch the part where the Senate hasn’t produced a budget, not even a proposed budget, since Obama has taken office?!? And did you catch the last part where he said, “I would say it’s impossible to negotiate with someone who doesn’t offer a plan. How do you negotiate with someone who will not offer a plan and will not put it on the table?”

I mean, COME ON, Duh people.

And I’ve heard lot of talk today about delaying tactics and delaying votes. I would argue to you that this issue has been delayed at least for the last two and a half years.

In the two years before I even came here, this chamber neither proposed nor passed a budget. It is a startling figure that for the last two years this government has operated without a budget. So think about that. Two years have gone by without a budget. The first two years that the President was the president, no budgets.

Some people would say, well, that’s because of partisanship in Washington. Well, that’s not true. In the two years before I got here, both the House and Senate were controlled by members of the Democratic Party, which are the President’s party. In fact, in this chamber for at least one of those two years, 60 votes, 60 out of the 100 members here caucused with the Democrats. And as you recall, on Christmas Eve of the year 2009, they were able to pass a health care bill that was very controversial because they had the 60 votes in the President’s party.

Over two years, no budget. In fact you know how long it has been since this chamber proposed a budget? Forget passed a budget, proposed a budget? 822 days. That’s a long time. A lot of things have happened in the last 822 days, but proposing a budget is not one of them out of this chamber.

So then I got here – and we got here in January, seven months have passed, still no budget. Again, not budget passed, proposed, offered. Here’s our budget. Still no budget. 822 Days and every single day that I’ve been here.

Now, in the last seven days on this debt debate, we have finally seen a proposal from the esteemed senator from Nevada, the majority leader. You would think, has he brought it to the floor to vote? Not until last night. So, again, offered a proposal over the weekend and still for six days we sat around and what did we do around here? Nothing. It was never brought to a vote.

You would think these issues would have been worked on in January, February, March — nothing. This chamber has done nothing. You talk about delay tactics? They’ve been delaying for two and a half years.

And the Democrats have the AUDACITY to accuse the Republicans of delay tactics?!? The left side is truly delusional.

Marco Rubio seriously needs to run for president and if, nay, WHEN he does, he has my vote.


Abundant Life

Audio Teaching: Hezekiah—A Man of Action

by John Schoenheit
One way God teaches us is by setting forth in His Word the lives of men and women from whom we can learn both what to do and what not to do in life. Hezekiah is one such man. There are seven chapters in the books of Kings and Chronicles about his life, more than almost any other king. Hezekiah had some magnificent and godly qualities, and also made some serious mistakes.

This teaching focuses on Hezekiah’s godly character and highlights principles he exemplified that made him one of the greatest kings Judah ever had. We too can learn and practice those principles in our lives.

Click the arrow to listen.

Transcription | Related Article

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