Hollywood Studios & Grand Floridian October 4, 2012

Thursday, October 4, 2012 was our first full day in Walt Disney World for this particular trip and we decided to spend the day at Disney's Hollywood Studios. As is the case with any day we start at Hollywood Studios, we went directly to "Toy Story Midway Mania" and got fast passes. The time on the fast passes was 12:00 PM which was perfect.

After getting the fast passes, we continued down the street and went on the "Studio Backlot Tour" which was nice as always. I utilized the rapid fire feature on my camera to take pictures of this attraction starting with the water scene and then the back lot tour. Therefore we were able to capture many pictures of this attraction which has made the gallery below quite large.

Next we went on the amazing Star Tours attraction which I still can't say enough about. It is hands down one of my favorite attractions (for obvious reasons) but with the reboot they did making Star Tours 2.0, they hit it out of the park. The line up we saw today was the Millennium Falcon opening followed by Hoth then the transmission from Princess Leia, Geonosis where Jango Fett attacks followed by the Death Star and ending with the Star Tours ship landing on the rebel frigate.

"Muppet Vision 3D" was our next stop which is a must see attraction and can even be labeled 4D in many ways with the bubbles, cast member dressed as Sweetum coming out, etc. After Muppets we had lunch at the "ABC Commissary". I had a Chicken Blue sandwich which was pretty good. We then did some window shopping before heading to Toy Story with our fast passes. I did fairly well scoring 146k points which is mild for some but I got "best in car" title which was cool.

"The Great Movie Ride" was our next stop and we, once again, got great photos of this attraction thanks to our new camera. This attraction is often difficult to take photographs in due to the darkness (and of course no flash!) along with the moving tram but with this camera we got some great shots.

It was then on to "Lights, Motor, Action Extreme Stunt Spectacular" and this is where our new camera really shone through. The pictures we were able to get thanks to the telescoping lens and the rapid fire feature were nothing short of phenomenal. If you click through the pictures you can actually see the cars move during the stunts, which is another reason the gallery tonight is huge.

At 3:00 PM we watched the parade at Hollywood Studios. The parade, which features characters from Pixar movies such as "Monsters Inc.", "Up", and culminating with "Toy Story" is fairly short. We didn't have the greatest of views for the parade but thanks to the long lense I got for my camera, we were able to grab some great shots from the parade.

With 5:40 dinner reservations at the Grand Flordian, there weren't any more attractions we were able to stay for without running the risk of being late for our reservation so we decided to leave Hollywood Studios. I first wanted to pick up some pins at the Sorcerer's Hat. Well this turned out to be a disaster. I found several pins I was looking for so I had a decent size order. I also have a Disney gift card I wanted to use so the girl rung up my order and I specifically told her (and showed her) my premium annual pass for which she said she gave me the discount. She gave me the total and I almost fell over. I knew pins were expensive but still I didn't get how it could be so much after a 20% discount. Well the discount didn't take so I pointed it out to her. She tried to do a refund and it wouldn't work so she asked another woman there to try it. That woman said because I used a gift card she couldn't do the refund the easy way she would have to refund each pin individually. I think she expected me to say, never mind, but I said go for it. Well she screwed it up! She refunded all but one of the pins so when the original girl came back to ring the pins up again it didn't work. So they had to refund it again and ring me up once again. This time the discount took and it was a $46 discount! I'm sure glad I caught their initial error and I'm glad I made them redo this because that's an extra $46 of gift card money I can spend. And, by the way, that premium pass has now more than paid for itself twice over.

We finally left Hollywood Studios after the pin frustration and headed to the Grand Floridian. I found two more pins I've been looking for in their gift shop and then we went to dinner at Narcoosee's. We got surf and turf with green beans and mashedpotatoes. It was delicious. For dessert I had chocolate mousse which was almost like a brownie. It tasted so good but I was quite full after this meal. While we were eating it began to rain and storm. This was probably the worst storm I've seen during any of my trips here. The lightning was so severe the entire area would light up for a few seconds at a time. We donned our rain gear and made our way to the Grand Floridian lobby where we took the monorail to the Magic Kingdom. Once we got off the monorail at the Magic Kingdom it was absolutely pouring rain and the puddles were quite deep. There was a "Mickey's No So Scary Halloween Party" starting so the bus area was crowded with people who were trying to go to the park but who didn't want to leave the shelter of the bus stops right away so the bus stop are was absolutely mobbed. After waiting a few minutes the bus to Saratoga Springs came but we were drenched. By the time we got back to the room the water had drenched our shoes, through our socks and our feet were soaking wet. So it is making for a quiet evening in the hotel room which is how I am getting all of these pictures uploaded!