Disney Disney World Hollywood Studios Uncategorized

Going to Join the Resistance: Pandemic Disney Trip Day 2

I started off day 2 of our Pandemic Disney Trip like so many of my other trips. WAY TOO EARLY. I woke up a little before 6 am. Normally a good time for me but the day before I was up at 3 am, flew to Orlando, went to Magic Kingdom, and Disney Springs.

I was tired and needed some coffee to get me day started. Only thing….. The Everything POP Food Court doesn’t open until 7 am. Before the Coronavirus Pandemic they would be open from 6 am till midnight. Now they are open from 7 am till 10 pm. Really stinks when you want to grab a drink early in the morning or late at night.

So I started off with the coffee in the room. Let me tell you it is no good. Now I don’t always need a coffee to get me going in the morning but I knew I would need one today. Today we were heading to Batuu and Galaxy’s Edge to join the Resistance. At least I hoped we would be able to get a boarding pass.

After that horrible coffee I just relaxed and waited till my daughter woke up. I was in no rush to wake her since Hollywood Studios doesn’t open until 10 am and we couldn’t get on the Skyliner till 9 am. Till she got up I just watched the local news and waited for the weather to come on.

I wanted to know how fast I would be sweating today and when they would be expecting rain. Florida in the summer time always rains. Usually it’s a quick afternoon shower or thunderstorm but you can always expect a little rain.

Today was gonna be a hot one in the mid 90s and those famous afternoon storms. However, the weekend looked like it might be a little rainier than usually. Well that was a future Koz problem and I was more focused on the task at hand today.

This was going to be my first time to see Galaxy’s Edge. I was at Disney last August only a week before both the Skyliner and Galaxy’s Edge opened. Needless to say I couldn’t be more excited to see both. I am a huge Star Wars fan ever since I was a kid. I grew up on the original trilogy.

I just hope seeing it in person was better than seeing all of the pictures from friends and family that have gone before.

My little monster finally woke up and we got ready for our day. We had breakfast that I packed in the suitcase since I wasn’t on the dining plan this time since they currently are not offering it. I couldn’t bring myself to pay that amount for breakfast at the resort. Once breakfast was done it was off to the Skyliner to head to Caribbean Beach Resort than off to Hollywood Studios.

I must say I wasn’t expecting the line to be so long. I really can’t tell you why I wasn’t but I wasn’t. Plus I don’t think the Skyliner was suppose to open till 09:30. It was only 9 and the line wrapped close to the 50’s era buildings. Only a few minutes after we arrived it did make it over that way.

Line of people waiting for the Skyliner at POP Century Resort

Now I think it was around 09:10 when the line started moving. I must say it moved pretty quickly too.

Disney Skyliner approximate wait time sign at POP Century Resort

Before we knew it we saw a sign that said 15 minutes from this point. To be honest I think it took us less than 5 to get to the loading area of the Skyliner.

The Skyliners are build to hold 10 people but due to the current environment it was only being loaded with one group. It didn’t matter if it was one person or nine in a group. Just one group per gondola.

View from POP Century Gondola at POP Century Resort over Hourglass Lake.

The ride to the Caribbean Beach unloading area is really fast. Less than 5 minutes. Might have even been less than 3 but I couldn’t really tell you. I forgot to time it. Another thing to note is it is a pretty boring ride with not much to see after you clear hourglass lake.

Once we arrived at the Caribbean Beach station we unloaded and head to another line for the Hollywood Studios gondolas. Now it was only 09:25 at this point and the gondolas don’t start heading to Hollywood Studios till 09:30. However, before we knew it the lines started moving.

Since this station was getting guest from both POP and Caribbean Beach their needed to be a cast member directing everyone. She did a great job of keeping both lines moving and interacting with guest.

Caribbean Beach Gondola Station at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando Florida

The line zigzagged around the station in order to keep with social distancing requirements. Most guest followed the markers on the ground and everyone had their mask on the correct way. If someone didn’t a cast member would nicely ask them to fix it.

Just like before, before we knew it we were loaded up in our gondola and off towards Hollywood Studios.

Hollywood Studios

Hollywood Studios Entrance

We exited the gondola and headed right for the front gate. Since it was close to 09:45 I knew we would be entering the park just wasn’t too sure how close to the front we would be. Not that it mattered for getting a boarding pass for Rise of the Resistance but for which ever land we would head too once they opened the park.

Now before Hollywood Studios would let you in about a half hour before park opening but you would be crowded in the front and wouldn’t be able to get off Hollywood Boulevard. Because of the current Coronavirus Pandemic, you are no longer huddled along the boulevard. Now you can head to whichever land or ride you want to do.

Since Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway is one of the newest rides at Walt Disney World we headed straight for it. However, ten minutes before the park even opened it was showing a 45 minute wait with the line looping around outside. Now the past week I keep going on the My Disney Experience app and checking wait times. In the morning this ride would have 30 minute or longer waits but come afternoon it was closer to 15 minutes so we decided to wait.

It was time to check out Batuu.

Once we entered Galaxy’s Edge you could see the level of detail they took to create this land. It was amazing. Just a visit here almost justified my Pandemic Disney Trip. Almost.

No where you look did you feel like you were NOT in the Star Wars Universe. If you didn’t have to walk into Galaxy’s Edge, you might actually think you’ve been transported to another place. It was incredible.

We just keep stopping and checking everything out as I kept a close eye on the time and my phone. Once 10 am hit I would be trying to get those hard to get Rise of the Resistance boarding passes.

Klyo Ren and Stormtroopers in Batuu at Hollywood Studios

We made our way over to Smuggler’s Run since there was no way I was going to miss that ride either. However, I didn’t want to get in line until I got a boarding pass for Rise. Sprint’s cell service in Orlando sucks. At least for me it does so I wanted to give myself the best possible chance of getting a boarding pass.

09:59 I was just staring at my phone with the app up. I would keep hitting refresh, refresh, refresh. You could see the people around me doing the same. Everyone in the park must have been doing the same thing at the same time since you HAVE to be in the park in order to get a boarding pass.

10:00 rolls around and BOOM….. I secure a boarding pass with no issues. I was so thrilled. I could care less if I did anything else today or not. I got a chance to ride the one ride I came here to do. Best of all we got group 30. I figured before noon we would be on the ride.

Now it was off to fly the Millennium Falcon. Listed wait time was 5 minutes right at 10 am. It may have taken us 10 but not because the line stopped because the ride was full. The line stopped so people could take pictures. I know I took a ton of photos in the queue.

There’s just so much in there to see. It truly is amazing. Just the level of detail is unbelievable. No wonder everything took so long to make and open.

Millennium Falcon Smugglers Run

Now for the ride….. well I enjoyed the ride but it was only my daughter and I. Just the two of us it wasn’t too much fun. We were both pilots and she couldn’t seem to figure out how to control the ship or hit buttons. I feel like it would have been a much more enjoyable ride had we had other people in the cockpit with us.

But since we are in a Pandemic we couldn’t have that. Now it didn’t stop us from riding again and again. We still had fun and she got better each time. If you are even a group of 3 or 4 it would probably be a better experience than just a group of 2.

After we rode on Galaxy’s Edge I checked to see what boarding group they were on (5) and wanted to grab some coffee. I am not a fan of the coffee at Disney but it does the job. As long as it’s not Starbucks. I am not a fan of their stuff.

We sat down to enjoy a coffee and some water and to get out of the morning sun. As I was checking the app for my boarding time it showed no groups boarding. It might have been 10:30 at this point and Rise of the Resistance was already broken down. To make things worse Runaway Railroad was also down.

The two biggest rides in Hollywood Studios were broken down. Runaway Railway wouldn’t come up till close to 12:30 I believe and Rise of the Resistance was down till close to 3 pm.

Not knowing when the rides would open back up we decided to do a couple of rides. We rode Star Tours twice. Both times it was just a walk on and we did Toy Story Mania. The wait for Toy Story Mania was listed at 15 minutes but it was closer to 5. Now Tower of Terror, Slinky Dog Dash and Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster had waits of 30 to 60 minutes throughout the morning.

Now this was a Friday so I expected to wait times to increase a little bit. For the last week or two I was looking at the wait times at all the parks. The low wait times is what made me decide to go. The wait times still weren’t bad. Just for some rides that mess with my stomach I don’t want to wait too long to get on them.

After we rode Toy Story Mania and Alien Swirling Saucers we explored Toy Story Land a little more than it was back off to Black Spire Outpost. We checked out all the shops. Rode Smugglers Run for a second time. We just took in the scenic views. It really does seem otherworldly.

A look at Tower of Terror at Hollywood Studios down Sunset Blvd.

We explored around Hollywood Studios for a little bit longer. Checking out the shops that were open. Being sad that Epic Eats was closed currently. But now it was time to figure out lunch. It was a little after noon so we had to make a choice. Do we eat at Hollywood Studios or go back to the resort?

We decided to go back to the resort for a little break and to grab lunch. Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway was just starting to post a wait time again and it was 90 minutes. It also seemed like most of the line was outside and it was already above 90.

Hollywood Studios Skyliner Station

We hopped back onto the Skyliner for the ride back to Caribbean Beach Station than off to POP. There were no lines at all for the Skyliner. One couple was about 20 feet in front of us but they were loaded and on their way before we even got to the loading area.

Once back at POP we did a mobile order from the food court and took our lunch back to the room. Now I was trying to be as good as I could while on vacation. I just recently lost about 30 lbs and want to keep on going down. I have pretty much maintained my weight since I stopped focusing on my diet and exercise but I didn’t want to go too far back.

I ordered a salad and I must say it was very good. I wasn’t too sure what to expect but I was very happy with it. Only thing that didn’t make me too happy was the price but all the food at Disney is a little overpriced. I ended up getting my daughter the chicken fingers since I knew she would eat them.

Salad from POP Century Food Court

The chicken fingers our her favorite thing at Walt Disney World. But hey, I get it. They are pretty tasty.

After lunch we just relaxed for a little bit enjoying the cool air from the room. There was also a quick shower but it moved out as fast as it moved in. Finally around 2 we started making our way back to Hollywood Studios to see what else we could do.

Back on the Skyliner we went and again had a great flight with no delays or stoppage. I checked my boarding group to see if it was loading or if the ride was even up yet and it still wasn’t.

Guess we would just try to ride Slinky Dog Dash and do Toy Story Mania again. Of course, we were also going to Galaxy’s Edge. We made our way back into the park and headed towards Toy Story Land once again.

This time when I checked my boarding group they were finally loading again. I couldn’t believe it. Will I finally get a chance to ride this ride. Will it be as amazing as I have heard. Time will tell. My fingers were crossed that it didn’t break down again.

We jumped in line for Toy Story Mania again and like in the morning it was pretty much a walk through. There was a slight pause but they said on the load speaker that they were cleaning the cars. Before you knew it we were loaded up and on our way shooting targets.

toy story mania high scores

Toy Story Mania is such a fun interactive ride. Everyone in my family loves it and I am sure the same will be true with yours. Once I beat my daughter but not by much I checked my boarding group again.

It was listed as only a 30 minute wait. So we headed over to Batuu to get ready. Once my boarding group could board we were getting in line.

If it was a half hour it didn’t feel like that long. Our group was called and we were right in line. We were probably the first two to get in line from our boarding group.

Now I found the queue for Smugglers Run to be more interesting but this one was still pretty cool. I couldn’t tell you how long we were in line for but it went by pretty quick. Another thing I started noticing more was people dressed up. Not cast members but guest.

It wasn’t anything major just little things. There was a group of girls in front of us that dressed themselves up to fit the part. I did remember seeing some stuff sold in the shops but I also didn’t pay too much attention.

Now for the whole ride and everything…… IT IS AWESOME!!!!! I don’t know who to describe it. I am not even sure how some of it was even possible. From when you load the transport ship and it takes you somewhere.

My mind is still blown by this ride. It almost makes me wish I scheduled two days at Hollywood Studios so we could ride it again.

waiting in line for rise of the resistance

Needless to say this ride was worth all the hype. Everything was so amazing. It really made you feel like you were there. For a moment I didn’t feel like I was in Orlando, Florida. I felt like I was a part of the Star Wars Story.

This is one ride you shouldn’t skip. It did have a slight drop but it goes perfectly with the rest of the story that is going on all around you.

After rise we headed back to Toy Story Land to take our chances with Slinky Dog Dash. It was showing a 30 minute wait but it looked like the line was moving fast. So we got in line. Now my daughter wasn’t really feeling like standing in line. Neither one of us really like lines. Kind of funny when you think about it since WDW is nothing but one big line.

It might have been 30 minutes or longer till we got on Slinky Dog but it felt quick. The line was always moving and we were never stuck in one place for more than 30 seconds.

view from Slinky Dog Dash at Hollywood Studios

After Slinky Dog Dash we jumped in line for one more ride at Toy Story Mania. I just love trying to out do my last score. Plus it is a very fun and entertaining ride. Now it was time for dinner. I really wanted to get something at Woody’s Lunchbox but they are currently closed. We also didn’t want to get anything at the hotel food court nor did we want to grab a bus to Disney Springs.

It was off to find something to eat at Hollywood Studios. I kept trying all day to get a table at Sci-Fi dine in but with no luck. That’s what happens when you book a Disney Vacation with only a week to spare. Many restaurants had no tables available.

We ended up going to Rosie’s All-American Cafe. All we ended up getting was the chicken tenders and fries and a chocolate pudding type dessert. Everything was good but we should have just taken the trip to Disney Springs. I have never been a big fan of the quick-service locations offered at Hollywood Studios. I have always found them to be a little lacking compared to the other theme parks.

Nothing special really happened after dinner. We looked at some of the shops on our way out of the park and got back onto the Skyliner with no problems. We had a smooth ride back to POP and we spent the rest of the night relaxing and watching the evening storms.

With the stormy weather in the evening it did give us a beautiful sunset tonight. The sky was so colorful over the empty Art of Animation Resort.

sunset over Art of Animation resort in Orlando Florida

It was really peaceful. Such a pretty sky. But also so sad and lonely with the empty resort across Hourglass Lake. Hopefully the evening showers will help keep us dry as we spend the day tomorrow at Animal Kingdom. Who knows what we will encounter tomorrow.

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