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Aug. 19, 2020

Hooray For Hollywood: Season 1, Ep 2

Hooray For Hollywood: Season 1, Ep 2

Marc revisits Hollywood Studios to discuss some of the changes to the park, namely new attractions, shows, and security and social distancing in the park. We also discuss the changes to Boarding Groups for Rise of the Resistance, Ride the Rails with Mickey and Minnie, and drop in for the first time on the Tower of Terror and Rock out with Aerosmith.

Marc Valentine:

Hello, everybody and welcome to the Disney life podcast. This is season one, Episode Two. Hooray for Hollywood. My name is Marc Valentine Disney enthusiast passholder and a DVC member. And I hope that you enjoy your time with us today as I discuss some of our favorite topics from the most magical place on Earth, Walt Disney World. So today's episode, we're going to revisit Hollywood studios and discuss some of the changes to the park. specifically to some of it shows, I want to talk about some of the new attractions that we had a chance to experience in our last trip. And also go over some of the updated security and social distancing procedures that are now being practiced inside of the park. And I'm going to touch the third rail of topics and discuss everyone's favorite aspect of Hollywood Studios. That being the board and groups for the coveted Rise of the resistance. I want to thank all our listeners that tuned into our first episode last week. And just a reminder that Disney life is now on iTunes, Spotify and our hosts site buzzsprout. And for all of you that are interested, you can visit our group page on Facebook by searching Disney life in the search bar. So, you know I'm just gonna I'm just gonna treat this episode, almost like you were walking into Hollywood Studios with me. And we're gonna just like go start to finish and take it in like we rope drop this joint and we go in like it's a normal day. But Hollywood studios, for me has become my brand new favorite Park. So I know I said in the first episode that I had this affinity growing up for Epcot, Epcot for me, was my favorite Park. And I would not have even placed Hollywood Studios in my top two save for really for this year when galaxy's edge opened. And with the completion of Toy Story land, that park went from being half a park to somewhere you would just you would go in you would visit you do what you want to do, and then you would leave, you know midday, I feel like that park has undergone such a transformation in the last year that it really has become my favorite Park. And if I if I had to choose a park to go to and you said mark, you only get one day in Disney. Where are you going? It used to be in Epcot and in the Magic Kingdom. Now it's it's Hollywood. And with our last trip that we took in the beginning of August, we tried very hard to cut, we wound up cutting down on some of our Epcot days after our experience at Epcot, and we wound up adding additional time at the studios because we we enjoyed it that much. The one thing that I do want to talk about is, while you've seen on Facebook, all of the low crowds at all of the parks, that does not exist at Hollywood studios, Hollywood studios, very much. So you still have to have a good plan of action if you're going to attack the park. Because while it's not the capacity that you're used to, if you were going to travel during the summer, the park is still very busy compared to what you would experience at the other parks. weekends, At any of these parks, I feel like week weekends, the rule the rules change because on the weekends, crowd levels and all of the parks go up depending on you know where, It doesn't matter where you go, all of the parks that the attendance goes up, but Hollywood Studios in Monday, all the way through Sunday, the park level, the crowd levels are very high, especially at rope drop. And that is by and large, because of the rise of the resistance the the boarding groups, which we're going to get into later on, which is a super controversial topic in and of itself. So the first the first thing is, and for those of you who visited the park prior to the closure due to the COVID outbreak, the park had fallen into this rhythm where even though you did not need to be there, two hours prior to close, people were still getting in line and standing at the gates very early just to ensure that they were there, call it muscle memory if you will, but individuals were having to get there super early. So this whole park and the attendance of this park revolves around individuals getting in through security and into the park to their area wherever they want to go. It still is very much guided by these boarding groups. And that was the unique experience about this park versus some of the other ones. We never felt the need to rush to Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom or Epcot, we did not have this compelling feeling that we had to rope drop those other parks because of the crowd levels being so low. This was the only park that we felt like we had to get up, we had to get into the park by a certain point, and we had to be ready to get our boarding group. So when you should really, if you're staying on site, you should start to utilize Disney transportation, to play it safe, I would say a quarter of nine. So you know 8 45 have your have your plan in action start to get towards the park. Now if you arrive at the parking gate, prior to 9am, there are individuals with disease security that are going to reroute you. So we rented a car, we tried to get into the parking lot using our annual pass to just get parking. And the one time we came super early, we came in about 845. And then we got rerouted. And what wound up we wound up doing was we just did like donuts around the surrounding area. And then we wound up pulling in at nine and then at nine o'clock they allow you to queue to get into parking. For those of you who are staying along, the sky liner, if you are on the you know looking to catch the sky liner, there are individuals who have said it, it's opened prior to 9am. But for the most part from the reports that we've heard, we'd not take this skyliner, we've heard that it opens at 9am. So start to make your way to the park, you know very, very close to 9am. But make sure that you get into the queue, it just makes your life a lot easier. For us personally, we would have rather been at the beginning of the of the push of that crowd rather than walking behind everybody. So on the three days that we did studios in our last visit, every single time, we made sure that we were at the front of the line rather than the back. And that helped us maintain our sanity as far as social distancing was concerned. And we didn't have to feel like we got caught in a crowd of people where we felt compromised. And in a situation where we felt like we were in any, any harm. So this park, much like the other parks, there are COVID screening. And there's new procedures to enter into the park. So the new scanning procedures are very similar to all of the other parks on property right now you have to go through First, if you're walking up, you'll see a new temperature screening tent. And the first thing that they will do before you can even get through security is there will be individuals from a third party that will check your temperature. And if you do not pass your temperature scan, then you will be pulled to the side, we had the opportunity on three occasions. Once with Hollywood, and then twice with other parks, we saw individuals that failed that temperature check. And what they wound up doing with those individuals, they pulled them out of line and put them into a cooling tent into a cooling station. And if they obviously I mean we didn't follow up with them, we didn't hang out to see what happened. But if you can't get your temperature under control, you and your party are denied entry to to the park itself. But it is um that's obviously complicated. Because it's hot, you're wearing the masks. So you know that it could you know, it could very well be an anxiety causing moment for a lot of people. But the scanner is at the gate. So once you get through the temperature scan, you will make your way through security and Hollywood Studios is now employing the use of those new evolve scanners. There are there so there's no need for baggage checks anymore. So this aspect of the park entry was super streamlined. It wasn't just aided by the fact that there was lower attendance and the capacity of the park has been lowered. But the fact is you just walk right through, you don't have to take out any batteries. They will give you a list of items that if you have them in your bag that you should remove them. But you can keep your backpack on your person. You can walk right through with your cell phones, it is a no touch scan, if you set off the scanner, so if they see something when they're doing the scan, if they see something that is a cause for concern, they'll pull you to the side, you will open your bag they'll have security with there with you know just they'll have eyes on the bag. They're not rifling through your bag. They try to keep it as no touch as possible. But you will essentially walk right through so these evolve scanners are really cool. And I'm hoping that this is something that will grow to the other parks and will stay because I I thought that this process was again, much like the you know that the dining that we talked about last week and the mobile ordering app, here was another aspect of life. You know, post COVID that I thought you know, let's hope that this sticks around with with Disney. When you get to, when you get through like Part A and Part B, so you pass your temperature, temperature scan you get through security, then you will, you will go in and you know, you'll go touch point to touch point with your Mickey. There are no finger scans. So it's all again, no touch, you don't have to do a fingerprint scan. And it's very important, I want to, you know, really highlight this aspect of it. Make sure that when you go Mickey to Mickey and you scan your magic band in for Park entry, or if you have a card that your Mickey icon, changes from blue. If it does not change from Blue, then you will have a problem when you try to go and book your Rise of the resistance boarding group. If you're not scanned into the park, if there's one party member that is not scanned into the park, and they cannot get a boarding group. So you need to make sure that everyone is in the park prior to 10am. That everyone is checked in the park. There's a lot of questions going around still on social media that people want to know, Hey, can I get my boarding group? If I'm in the parking lot? Can I get my boarding group, if I'm still at my hotel? Nope, you have to be checked into the park and you have to be physically present in the park as they are tracking you. Okay. So once you get into the park, the crowd levels were raised compared to the other the other parks that we saw specially with rope drop. But we still felt that despite the increase in crowd size, we still felt that you very much could socially distance and keep six feet from the parties that were around you. Everyone is being super mindful of that as well. We never really felt like any of the individuals that were in the park were kind of encroaching in our space, everyone was being very well behaved when it came to social distancing measures at all of the parks. But once you're checked in, then your goal should be like almost everyone in the park because everyone's on their phone. And constantly checking the closer that you get to 10am is get your boarding group for the rise of the resistance ride, which is over in galaxy's edge, there is only a boarding group available, despite all of the changes that have come about, the only way you can get onto that ride is to still utilize the very controversial boarding group system. And I don't know why I'm going to go there with this. Because every almost every Facebook group that I'm a part of whether it's a DVC group, whether it's an annual pass holder group, whenever boarding groups come up in general, and that virtual queue is discussed, people launch into a whole host of it's either you love it or you hate it there. There's no one that is in between when it comes to those boarding groups. people that love it are the individuals that like the ability to go and get their boarding group and walk around and go and experience other things and then just come back when they're when they're called. I know I'm making generalizations with this one. But I find those individuals that tend to love the boarding groups, most of them are locals. So their mentality on the ride is completely different from someone who's traveling out of state. And they only have maybe one or two shots on their park days to get it. We traveled. So we traveled in February, just let you know of what side I before I get into my story. The side that I fall on is I do not like these boarding groups. I actually I cannot stand them. I hate them for a variety of reasons. One, I feel like I would feel like I would feel more comfortable having a leisurely pace to get into Hollywood would then have to rush to get there at 10am. I don't like the feeling of having to get to the park at 10. I know people will tell me to it's like Mark, you can also get there two. They have two times now it's not like it was Yeah, but the two o'clock window. From what we have seen and heard the two o'clock window there are not as many slots open and available as there are at 10. So your chances of procuring a boarding group or even slimmer at two than they were at 10. And when the boarding groups go in about 20 to 30 seconds every single day. It does it doesn't bode well. So I don't like these boarding groups. But my opinion, which is uniquely my opinion, you know, you could listen to this and be like Mark's wrong, you know, he doesn't know what he's talking about. My opinion is colored by the fact that again, if you listen to the first podcast, I live in Pennsylvania, so I make maybe two or three trips to Walt Disney World per year. Out of those, you know, we may have four or five, possibly six days which with with which we spend in Hollywood Studios. So I have essentially per year I have six opportunities to get this this ride. And if I don't get it, it's not like I can go the following week or the week after. I don't know if that's changed. The mentality for some AP holders because Hollywood Studios is a hard get now. But if you can't get on a ride, and you're restricted to get on the ride to me like it, just it bums me out. So we went in February now to the story, we went in February, we made the trip. And we had our hearts set on getting on this ride. I had experienced it, maybe a few days after it opened, my wife gave me the blessing to fly down. She's amazing, gave me the blessing to fly down. So I had experienced it. But I was one of those nutjobs that was there at the park at like 430 in the morning waiting in line to get on this ride. I got on it that day. So then we went as a family, my daughter was all psyched to get on it, Linda was all psyched to get on it. We actually got a boarding group. But the ride is still very much unreliable. And it depends on what kind of day The ride is having. We were not able to get on the ride that day, it broke down so many times we I don't even think they got above boarding group 60. on that particular day, we were on a standby group. And we did not get in. So we missed it. And when I say we missed it, we missed it by like four groups, we were devastated. And that was our only studios day, we did not have a ton of time to go. So we were just heartbroken that we did not get a chance to experience this. So this last trip in August was my wife and daughter's first time that they were able to actually get on the on the ride itself. So boarding groups are very controversial. And like I said, people either love these things, or they hate them. And if you get to go to Hollywood Studios frequently, of course, you're going to love it, because it kind of gives you a shot to get on the ride all the time. But if you live far away, and you miss out and you strike out on those small opportunities, you know, you're kind of shut out there is no, there's no disability pass, there is no Fast Pass option for it. If you do get a DAS pass for it, you still need to have a boarding group. So there there is no way to get on on that ride unless you secure boarding group. And the fact is, and it's just the fact is the boarding groups go within under a minute's time. We were there again, we were there three times. In one instance, the boarding groups were gone in 30 seconds when they were gone in 20. And then one day that we were not able to get a boarding group, they were gone within five seconds of 10am. So we had just I mean, I logged into the I logged in like three seconds after 10 got the boarding group checked off everyone's name, tried to get through the queue. And it already gave me the error message of I'm sorry, but the queue has been filled. Try again it too. So it is still a very coveted opportunity in Hollywood Studios. I'm hopeful as our I'm sure almost everyone is that they're going to be able to work out the kinks with the ride, to ensure that they can get it running at a higher capacity so that we can get more people on the ride. And you know, people aren't sitting there with the ride, you know, broken down. But right now the reality of it is the ride isn't running well enough to be able to accommodate a standby line, it's just not. And I'm sure that there's also an element of them worrying about having a standby line. And if you've experienced the ride itself, I'm sure that they're they're worried about having a standby line where you're just going to have people, you know, cramming into this in this one spot. But I don't I don't know how true that is. Because right now the making of minis runaway railway has a pretty long queue. I mean, the queue for that was was lengthy given, given the lines for the other stuff. So to get this ride, you know, almost everybody has put these steps out there. If you have not gotten this information, the way the best way to get that boarding group within the 20second window that you have is when you get to the parks, make a one, make sure that you're checked in the park, make sure that everyone is present in the park. Everyone that wants to ride has to be in the park by 10am at 10am. And we'll make an announcement. The app will have a ATAT Walker and it will say join a rise of the resistance boarding group and then you have to click the Join button in the app. Make sure very important make sure make sure make sure that your Wi Fi is turned off. Do not be connected to the Disney Wi Fi network. It will make this process very difficult and very cumbersome. So make sure you turn off your Wi Fi completely. Make sure that you're on your cell phone If you have a party of people and there are more individuals with a phone, try to have the individual who has the best, you know the the best connection and you're getting the best speed test done on their phone, and they have the faster phone, you want to have one person in your party try in February, I got on Linda tried, but I got on and she didn't she did not. So you know, if you have multiple people trying to get on, it might also block you. So try to have one person, attempt this per party. So be off the Wi Fi be on your cellular, have one person try this. And then find a location in the party where you're not grouped up or standing by a bunch of people so that you can hit off that cell tower quickly. At 10am. It's good luck, fastest fingers, click the Join button, click everyone in your party. And then you may be rewarded with a boarding group. Now if you don't get that boarding group, it's not the end of the world, you do have an opportunity at 2pm to try again. But like I said, it's complicated by the fact that there is a limited supply, they can only get to so many individuals depending on the day and how well the ride is running. So you may not be able to get in at 2pm. But you do have another shot, you do have another shot. And as they say may the force be with you. If you can get on and you get your boarding group. Then they'll call your boarding group, as long as the ride is running well that day, and then you have an hour to get back. We did that one day where we had a higher boarding group, we left and went home and swam for a little bit. We kept an eye on the app by the pool. And then as we got within, I think it was five groups. We started to get ourselves collected, we collected ourselves, we got back to the park and then we went on Rise of the resistance. It is a It's amazing. It's an incredible ride. If you have not had a chance to rise with the resistance, it is a definite game changer. I hope that they can get the experience to run with with more regularity for those of you know to and also got struck by lightning a week and a half ago. And that wound up shutting it down for the day. That was the day that we did not get on it, by the way, was the lightning strike day. That was the one day we were not able to get on. No one got on that day. So we didn't feel terrible. We just didn't understand why the boarding groups were so low that day, that we didn't understand it and wound up Never, they never got the ride online. It just didn't happen. But if you have a chance to ride it, it really is a game changer. And I will say that, you know, that and Pandora are like apples and oranges, Pandora and the flight of passage is a very different type of experience, from Rise of the resistance, but Rise of the resistance is such a unique and phenomenal experience like you. You cannot do it once and then say like I'm good. And if you did it once and said I'm good, like What's wrong with you? Sorry, you have something wrong with you. Because there's so much going on. That I felt like my head was on a swivel. And I felt like every time I wrote it, I've been on the ride three times. I'm looking at different things like I don't know where to I don't know where to focus. And then the end when you go into that Star Toursy the simulated part of the ride and you do the drop from the escape pod. Like I just I love it. Like I laugh hysterically I just to me, like I let out I let out a big like whoa, every single time we drop. And then you know I think I just smile but I'm I'm a giant. So the other thing is to like I'm a giant star wars nerd. So for me like that's like living my my childhood fantasy between that and piloting the Falcon. I mean, like I'm in heaven. When my wife when we had a passholder preview for galaxy's edge Rise of the resistance Rise of the resistance wasn't even open yet. So all there was was smugglers run. And we went riding like smugglers run like five or six times during the preview that day but like we dressed up and did some cosplay I dressed like Han Solo she threw on like a Leia inspired white outfit. And like when I threw I told all my friends like when I threw the the Falcon into hyper hyperdrive for the first time. Like I think I geeked out so hard. I think I I almost broke the ride. Like I was just in. Like in another world, throwing that thing into its hyperspace. The only thing that would have made it better in that situation was if I had a real live Wookie as my co pilot, like it's so galaxy's edge for me, is a very big part as to why I think the park has gone from being like my third favorite park to my first, if I could just live in galaxy's edge for the rest of my life. Like I'd be fine. I'd be fine with that. I have a ronto wrap. I have all of those beautiful details. I have Kylo Ren harassing me and haranguing me with the stormtroopers. The Cantina is wonderful. I wish we had a chance to go in the cantina on our last trip, but it was just too crowded, in terms of it was booked solid, so we didn't have a chance to go in. But I love, I love galaxy's edge. So since the opening of galaxy's edge, this park has just become, it's become my favorite. So while I complained about boarding groups, while I complained about having to get to the park so early and not being able to go to it at a leisurely pace, will I continue to do so? Absolutely. Absolutely. I mean, if that's the price of admission, then so be it. And it's like I say to individuals, even if you don't get a boarding group, even if you wind up being disappointed, a bad day at Disney is better than a good day anywhere else. So, you know, it's all perspective people is what I'm trying to say I always see so many people on social media just complaining, I didn't get a boarding group and they get very worked up and then they let it ruin their whole day. I get it. I've been there in February, we were heartbroken. But you also have to you have to compartmentalize it and say it's not going anywhere the ride will be there. And you know, for there's hope there is hope for you. I mean, I remember individuals talking about flight a passage that way, and saying I'm never going to get to ride flight a passage, I'm never gonna wait three hours to get on that ride. And now it's a walk on, you know, there's not enough people there. I'm sure it's going to go back to two hours or three hours. But, you know, there have been some individuals that have said, I've never had a chance to ride on flight a passage, and I rode it six times in a row because of the crowd levels. So you're going to get on the ride. It's going to happen. But with those tips that I gave you now you have a nice plan of attack of how to do that specifically. So last episode, I'm not going to go over food again, and discuss some of the food options and what's open. Check out our first podcast episode and last week's episode where we did life after the Disney dining plan, where I talked about primetime cafe I talked about mama Melrose and we also ate over in galaxy's edge and experienced some of the food options over there. Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway that this was so this was our first opportunity to get on. It is a brand new ride. So most people have not had a chance to experience it. I was I don't know if I've ever been as nervous about an attraction as I was this one. As far as will I like it. And the reason I was so nervous about liking this ride in particular was I am one of those curmudgeons that loved the great movie ride so much that I was devastated when I had heard that it was going away. I remember, you know, my childhood and growing on great movie ride. I remember when it was essentially the only ride at Hollywood Studios. And I loved that ride with every fiber of my being. As much as I am a Star Wars nerd. I am a film buff. I love movies. Growing up. You know, I was like, Jim Carrey is the Cable Guy with TV. That was kind of like my obsession with film. So that ride to me just encapsulated so much of my youth. And it was something that I love so much. So when I heard that the great movie ride was slated to close and a new attraction was going to replace it. I held my breath. I had faith in Disney, but I held my breath. And I was hopeful that I would enjoy the new experience in that space. And this was our first ride. So we went in, we got our boarding group, and we stayed right by the Chinese Theater. So that we could get we could get on Great... So we could get on the great movie ride No, so that we could get on Mickey Minnie's runaway railway. And that was our first ride. And the queue the queue was really cool and familiar. And then you enter into a screen it shows like a cartoon with a blown out screen you walk into the cartoon, and then you load these railway cars and Goofy is your conductor, cool projections and cool animation. They have a really neat 3d projection for Mickey and Minnie who then pull up alongside of the train. And of course with goofy at the helm, everything is going to go crazy what the switch track gets knocked down and instead of going on this nice calm railroad ride, you wind up going on a series of misadventures Miss adventures. So don't spoil don't spoil This ride by going on YouTube. And if you see people putting on their own experiences on it, try to avoid it. Because I did. And I try to like as a practice, I try to do that I don't like to see ride footage of something, if it's brand new, because I want it, I want to have that sense of wonder. And to me, that's always the best thing about a new attraction at any Disney park is when there's a new attraction that opens up is that feeling you get in your stomach and your heart beating out of your chest as you're sitting in the ride vehicle for the very first time. And then you just experience it with a fresh set of eyes and you get assaulted with you know, every like all of all of the senses. And that's the great thing about this ride as well is it draws upon so many senses that it's not just what you're seeing. It's what you're feeling. It's what you're going through. So I had avoided all of that stuff. And let me tell you, without any spoilers, the visuals, the ride mechanic, this ride did not disappoint. And I loved it so much, that while I will always lament the loss of the great movie ride. I'm no longer sad about the fact that Disney has really installed something new for all ages in that space. And I'll be the first one to admit like, my eight year old daughter while she she didn't complain about the great movie ride. She also didn't revel in in the experience like it did not hold for her The same magic that the great movie ride held for me. So for her, like once we got off this ride like that was that became And that's where as a parent, you smile, because that became her great movie ride. And I I'm smiling as I'm saying this to you like, that's the great thing about Disney is when you see your child so affected by a ride that they love it so much that it becomes a part of like their Disney experience. So for her, this ride was so wonderful. And it's just such a great ride for that target demographic of kid that when we got off the ride, like I looked at her, and we wound up in our three days, I think we I think we rode the rail like eight or nine times when all of a sudden done. She loved it that much. And it really is that good that you can ride it eight, 9,10 times and keep riding in and you still laugh. Because the visuals again are that good. And the ride movement is that good. And it's just it's just a wonderful, wonderful experience. And then as a family to when you expect what what comes next, then you start to do the fun things. And it was cool to be in the room with Daisy. And those of you who know what happens with Daisy, you can see the families that had experienced before because then they kind of play along with with that with that scene. And then after a while, we started to do that as well. So it was it was a really great ride. And you know of all of the rides that I wanted to talk about. And just kind of mentioned it would be the runaway railway is a new one. Everyone knows the other stuff, that's there Toy Story land is fabulous, I wish they would put a little bit more shade into Toy story land if I'm being all things being honest, and I love Disney, but I'll also be constructive with my criticism. With the masks Toy Story land was a bit hard. It's hard on a normal August day. And it's hard when you know the temperatures are up in that part of the park because there's not a lot of shade. And there's other than the queue or the bathroom. There's not a lot of air conditioning as well. So there's really no way to get out of the oppressive heat. And with the mask on it was pretty tough. It was pretty tough. But I'm Toy story land land was really good. The crowds and Toy Story land for those of you who have been in Toy Story land. You just you your mouth hits the floor when you're like I can't believe that there's you say there's no one here. There's people there but compared to what it normally is. There's nobody there. And I mean, that's one of our favorite parts of the of the park to kind of hang out with. But I had a I had a blast doing Toy Story land, we hung out in galaxy's edge for a while. And then I did two rides that I had never experienced before. And when I say this, you're going to be completely shocked because they're the two rides that are essential Hollywood Studios rides. So I had a chance to for the first time ever and I'm 41 years old ride the Tower of Terror and the rockin' roller coaster. And you're probably gonna say like, how is that possible that you love Hollywood Studios. It's like one of your favorite parks if not your favorite Park and you've never done those two rides before So I am fun fact about me also, I'm a huge chicken. So I did not like riding any kind of roller coaster or thrill ride ever. Like it just the concept scared me I was terrified of heights and the sensation of falling like completely freaked me out. And the amazing thing about having children is that, you know, for people who tell you that your children don't make you a better person. I don't know, what am I saying? Nobody says that everyone thinks that they're your child makes you a better person, period, fact, sto My daughter, since her birth, my growth in my anxieties and all . that has gotten, like, I've gotten better. Like I always tell individuals that, you know, anxiety is all in your head. And for me, you know, my head was able to like really look in on all of my stuff going on with my daughter, because she was this adorable little three year old kid who took to Disney for the first time. No fear, not a single fear. And she went on all of these roller coasters. And the only thing that would restrict her at the point with all the other ones were her height. And so I would look at my daughter who is three years old, and like I just made a commitment to myself at when she was that age that now I'm gonna like if my three year old can do it like Mark, what do you what are you doing? So I developed a plan of action of I'm going to start from the beginning and then work my way up to the big boys at Disney. So I started with the Barnstormer and seven dwarfs Mine Train. And the first few times I wrote it, I got used to the sensations of the you know, the force on your body, and the back and forth and the acceleration. And then once I became comfortable with those, I graduated a Big Thunder Mountain. Then I graduated, and the first time I went on Slinky Dog, that was an experience for me, because it's a more true coaster, then some of the other the minecart, and the train. And Slinky Dog took me about three or four times before I felt comfortable. But even though it scared me, I never gave up on it. And like I conditioned myself to get used to the ride vehicle and to the point of where then I loved it and I embraced the sensation. And I actually came to enjoy the sensation. So it's been a few years, it's been like four years. But with every passing trip to Disney, my courage level would increase so that then I said, Okay, let's now let's do one in the dark. Let's go on Space Mountain. And then by that point, I was so conditioned to be used to the sensations of rollercoasters in generals, in general, that Space Mountain did not scare me at all. Like, I went on Space Mountain laughed and instantly like then that became my new favorite. And then we went on Everest. And I laughed as that I was like, Wow, this is amazing. So it just happened that this trip coincided with my bravery reaching that level where I was like, I'm ready to go, like, let's do this. And I'm ready to go. And then the irony of all of it is I go and get in line for the rockin roller coaster. And my courage, my strength the person with with whom I associate all of this. My daughter is not she won't come on, she won't come on with me. She looks at me, he's like, no, you're going on that that goes upside down. It's dark. And she was crying and was so worried for me, my..., my wife wound up sitting out and I'm standing there waiting in line. I'm looking at her like she's waving at me like I'm going to like my demise as I'm going. And in my head. I'm like, Don't lose your courage. Don't lose your courage like you, you got this. So I find myself sitting on Rockin' roller coaster prepping to go down the tunnel. I know it's coming because with those I've seen enough pictures and I kind of know the ride experience. Like I know I'm about to be launched. And then I know I'm going into an inversion people have told me and I launch and when I tell you I just it was pure joy. I laughed the whole time. And I'm sure for so many of you who have done Rockin' roller coaster and you love Rockin' roller coaster. It's that same experience. But for me again, this is why I love to I love to experience something new for the first time just like runaway railway. I love to just be there and experience it for the first time on my own. So going down that that track at that speed. I laughed at I just I yelled like I yelled, yeah, the entire ride. It was amazing. And then after we got off that I was like, if I can do this, I can do tower of terror. And I went on Tower of Terror. And again, I just I laughed hysterically. I think I I think I yelped on the first drop ever. And then you went up and down like maybe four or five times, and you know, each each drop is different. But I those two rides by the end of this trip. With every opportunity, I had to get over on those rides, I took it. And we rode the heck out of those. And so I posted in one of the Facebook groups, it was like I was today years old when I discovered that rockin' roller coaster is the best ride at Walt Disney World. And I wish My only regret is wishing that I had built up that courage years ago, in my life to be able to get on those rides and conquer that fear. And boy am I am I glad that I did it. But those those rides and the cool that the reason I bring up that story in those rides is for fans of those. I mean, normally you wait so long, they'll have like a half hour 45 minutes posted wait time. But you're waiting, like maybe 10 or 15 minutes, there's no single rider. Somebody asked me if the single rider is still available on the rockin' roller coaster, it's not. And so, you know, you go so quickly. And you're going to everyone gets on their own car and the social distance all of those those rides in Tower of Terror, they put people in various corners of the elevator. So you'll ride the elevator with like two two parties, Max, and obviously depends on party size as well. But all of those rides are socially distanced, if you're going to pick a ride of those two, to try to get to first go to Tower of Terror, because there's only so many people that can get on in each elevator. And that queue will run a little bit slower than some of the other rides and it's just a capacity issue. But super fun. And I'm so glad that I had an opportunity to do those two rides and to share those rides for the first time. shows at Hollywood Studios. If you have not been following the negotiations between the actors equity union and Walt Disney World, there are currently there's no shows. And there's no there's no live stuff going on at Disney's Hollywood Studios. So currently Voyage of The Little Mermaid fantasmic for the first time in forever frozen sing along Jedi training. And the beauty and the beast live stage show, along with live stage show along with Indiana Jones have all been suspended where the beauty and the beast live stage show was playing. There was an orchestra that will play throughout the course of the day. And they do have some characters from the beauty and the beast show that will appear. But that show itself is not there. So if you are a huge fan of the shows at Hollywood studios, you'll be a little bit disappointed that they are, nothing is nothing is running in terms of the the live shows right now. With the, I think there's a pending agreement in place between the actors equity union and Walt Disney World. There's been no announcement as to when they're going to return. But it you know, everyone is obviously hopeful that those shows will come back. But for us, you know, we we we've been to the studio so many times that you know, we love I love the Indiana Jones spectacular, but I've seen it so many times that I don't need to go. Same with Voyage of The Little Mermaid. We almost always go to the frozen sing along to see to see Ben, who is I don't care if it's the same joke. I could watch him. He's hilarious. He's hysterical. But we we that's one that we do try to catch but we don't need to Fast Pass it or you know, we don't complain if we if we wind up missing it. So for us the shows being gone, did not change the vibe of the park. There's some cooling stations like in the old launch Bay. There's a cooling station over in that area. There's some some rest stations throughout the park, which were really nice to take breaks in. And the park itself. The reason that I wanted to start with Hollywood Studios on this podcast was the park still very much has a has a regular vibe to it. It was the one park that we were in that we really did not feel other than the masks that COVID had really taken a huge chunk out of the park. Again, that's how we experienced the park. For those of you that go primarily for the shows you'll notice a marked change in the park itself. And then there's no nighttime spectaculars, which sometimes we skip all together, and we'll head back and swim. So with that park in particular, again, we don't notice it but if you put a lot of your time and your love and your energy into those types of activities, you'll notice the park is obviously different. But there is a rumor circulating I don't I don't I have yet to see a confirmation that Voyage of the Little Mermaid show will not be returning. Not a huge Surprise to me that that show would be retired. Um, it's starting to feel a little bit dated, you know, hopefully if it doesn't return they can get something else in that space or, you know, maybe they can get another little mermaid live experience in that space and just really update the the visuals and they can update, you know, the show itself. Would I be heartbroken if we did the Little Mermaid is gone? No. And I mean, I'm a huge Little Mermaid fan. Um, but I wouldn't I really, I don't think I would be heartbroken if it were to go away. I mean, it's just that's, and that is part of Disney, is it not? We cry for malstrom being gone, we cry. And, you know, we pined for the great movie ride. You know, we think back to 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, we will always remember our, you know, Mr. Toad's wild ride. But one of the great things about Disney is that it's constantly evolving. It's constantly changing. And I have utter faith, if they can replace the great movie ride for me. They can, they can do anything, they can do anything. So thank you so much, you know, I think that's it. I think that's about it. We are chugging along. I hope you've enjoyed our first two podcasts. And I want to thank you again for joining us. Next week, my wife asked if we could visit the Magic Kingdom together, and maybe go over the Magic Kingdom and some of the stuff that's been going on over in that park as well. If we have any news or you know, big updates for Disney, we'll hit those as well when we podcast next week. But this thus far, has been a pretty slow news week of sorts. So I'm kind of happy that we don't have any negatives to report this week or any real big changes. It's just it is what it is. So have a wonderful week. Thanks again for joining us. We hope that you've enjoyed Disney life podcast. Have a great week, and we'll see you next week with episode three and the Magic Kingdom. Take care