Yesterday my good friend and fellow TouringPlans.com researcher Shane was celebrating his birthday at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and I headed out to join him. It was a gorgeous sunny day, not too hot, and was perfect for being outside.
We arrived just after noon and before we even got into the park we noticed all the Star Wars Weekends signs are starting to go up. At first I was surprised to see them up so early and then realized that time has gotten away from me and the event begins this Friday! I love Star Wars Weekends and will for sure be back on Friday to enjoy the first day.
It was lunch time and our first stop was to get something to eat. I had heard many people say their favorite counter service dish in Hollywood Studios was the Buffalo Chicken Nuggets at Backlot Express and wanted to try them for myself. Even though it was lunch time the lines weren’t bad at all and we got our food quickly. The chicken is the regular Chicken Breast Nuggets they have all over property coated in Buffalo Sauce. I was pleasantly surprised by the Chicken. I expected the sauce to be very mild considering the meal came from a Disney Counter Service restaurant, but it was actually quite spicy. I can see why so many people enjoy this dish and I will definitely have it again.
While at Backlot Express I also saw they have a Lightning McQueen Souvenir Bucket. This is the same one sold in Cars Land at Disney’s California Adventure at Disneyland Resort. At this location it is sold with the Kid’s Power Pack, but we also saw it at other locations around the park with popcorn. It seems it is being used interchangeably with the R2-D2 souvenir bucket. This is just the latest example of California Advenure merchandise making its way to Florida. We also have Cone Cups, Cars Land antennae balls and tshirts, and The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Undersea Adventure mugs and cups.
After lunch we headed for a ride on Toy Story Mania. In the queue there is a large area with construction walls up. No one I talked to really seems to know what it is for and I’ve heard several theories ranging from new floor to interactive queue. The area blocked off seems a bit small for an interactive element to be added so the new floor ideas seem more likely, however I think a line that gets as long as this one does needs all the help it can get in the interactive department. I hope we see something new and entertaining in this spot, but I’m not holding my breath.
When our ride was over we decided to stop by the Hey Howdy Hey! Takeaway for some Wheezy’s Freezy Breezes. Wheezy’s Freezy Breeze is just a fancy name for the Frozen Beverages that can be found throughout the resort. At this location they have Coca-Cola and Cherry flavors. I know that these types of products are common and can be found at any local gas station, but something about a Frozen Coke in Disney World just feels more special to me…it’s one of my favorite treats on a hot day. This cart can often get really crowded since this is such a high-traffic area, but I really enjoy it because it is the only location where I can get both popcorn and a Frozen Coke. They also serve hot dogs, chips, and other drinks.
After a couple more rides we strolled through the shops on Sunset Boulevard. Legends of Hollywood recently got a complete makeover and is now all pink and has all girl’s and women’s merchandise. They had the Beautifully Disney makeup collection, girly D-Tech items, Disney and other brand t-shirts…it’s similar to TrenD at Downtown Disney.
We also saw several new Haunted Mansion and Nightmare Before Christmas items across the street in Villains in Vogue. They had shirts and a Haunted Mansion pillow. They also had some new Star Wars Merchandise out including a t-shirt with Darth Maul getting a rainbow painted on his face…yes, seriously…it was kind of weird.
It was now just about time for the Citizens of Hollywood daily Funniest Citizen of Hollywood show. We headed to their usual location and waited, but they never came. After a few minutes we noticed their truck cruising down Hollywood Boulevard so we went to take a look. The truck had been taken by the modern day Citizens of Hollywood and they were setting up in front of the hat. They told the crowd they would be teaching them a simple dance and then some “special guest stars” would be coming out and we would have a big flash mob and video tape everyone doing the dance. The crowd learned the short dance and when everyone was ready the “special guests” came out. The guests were Goofy, Chip, Dale, Stitch, and Pluto. Several guests were picked out of the crowd to dance with the special celebrities while everyone else danced behind them. As soon as the dancing was over Character Attendants worked hard to get the characters out of the mob trying to get photos with them and they headed backstage and that was the end of that.
We spoke to 2 different Cast Members who said that this was a new event that had just started the day before and that the Funniest Citizen Competition had been cancelled. As big fans of the Citizens of Hollywood our entire party was really upset by this! Since we were headed out we stopped by Guest Relations to confirm the change. The Cast Member there also said at first that the change was permanent and Funniest Citizen was cancelled but said she would call the stage manager to double check. The stage manager told her that the Funniest Citizen Competition would still happen but the time was moved up from 3:30 to 3:00pm since there is no longer a parade.