Picking up from the Hollywood Studios photo report, I plan on concluding our final park day from our Christmas trip with this post. Checks watch, yup, just over 2 months later, haha.
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For those that have followed along, thanks for reading or at least viewing the pictures. I hope you’ve enjoyed the 360 degree pictures, they’re the main reason for this blog after all! I plan to purchase a new 360 camera soon with video capabilities, so that should make for even better pictures, videos, etc. Stay tuned for more!
On to our Hollywood Studios evening. At 4pm, we had a dinner reservation for a restaurant we’ve gone to every trip so far, Hollywood and Vine! Our first trip we had the buffet, but were impressed with the character interactions. The last 2 times we’ve had the Prix fixe menu, which has been really great. I’ve seen so many say they’ve enjoyed the Prix fixe menu over the old buffet, so if you haven’t been back, definitely check it out if you get a chance!
At Hollywood and Vine, they have themed dining based on the season. During November and December, it’s Minnie’s Holiday Dine. All the characters are dressed in their favorite Christmas formal wear. Other themes include Silver Screen Dine which is in January and February, Springtime Dine from March through May, Summertime Dine June through August, and Halloween Dine in September and October. They may switch to Halloween Dine in August based on when the Halloween party begins in the Magic Kingdom.
We had started our trip planning within 60 days, so all reservations were initially full, but I was able to use the Touring Plans free reservation finder to get notified when one opened up and 4pm was the only time I was able to book.
Our first trip, we had Goofy welcome us inside the restaurant. In January, they weren’t allowing any pictures at the front entrance. And in December, the Cast Members were offering to take our picture there with no characters, so a little bit of progress for us there. We also found out here and didn’t realize it at our other character dinner that the picture policy changed to allow kids to stand up in front of the characters, so my daughter had fun showing off with each of them.
Minnie is looking gorgeous in her beautiful red dress while Mickey dazzles in his Christmas suit. Goofy is ready to deliver presents! We were watching a Goofy out the window by Echo Lake fishing and laughing with the guests and wondered what would happen if he stayed while the restaurant version was walking around, but that didn’t happen. I’m sure that happens a lot and the different character handlers communicate to ensure the one outside disappears before the restaurant one comes out.
I guess I didn’t get a picture of my plate, my apologies. If I recall correctly, I had a prime rib or steak dinner here. They offer a family style salad and rolls for appetizers, which just means they bring those items to the table in a large bowl and you serve yourself. The rest of the items were served per order, so you choose your own main course and dessert.
After dinner, the sun was beginning to disappear, just like the time left on our vacation! So, we tried to do as much as possible before the end. We first headed back to Mickey and Minnie Runaway Railway to use our previously converted any time pass.
We love this ride, it’s so cute and so much fun to follow the crew as they try to get to their picnic. Prior to this trip, I had heard that Pluto has his own story, so I watched him in each of the scenes this time around.
After that, we watched a Mickey and Friends character cavalcade. If you’ll recall from my previous post, I messed up filming the Pixar Cavalcade, so this time I made sure to have my phone on video mode. Except… I didn’t make sure my phone had converted to Landscape mode prior to filming. So, my video is sideways. Uggh! 0 for 2 on Hollywood Studios cavalcades!
Up next, we decided to go check out the Cars show. We hadn’t done that before and we had some time, plus I wanted to see the Hollywood Tower Hotel projections! The spot outside the Cars show is a pretty good viewing spot for the projections and not as crowded as Sunset Boulevard.
The Cars show is kind of fun. I didn’t think it’d be as good as it was. They have projections all around different things going on for Lightning McQueen’s training. Then they have a life size McQueen on stage as he connects to the simulator to race Chick Hicks.
Sunset Boulevard and Hollywood Boulevard look fantastic lit up at night for the holidays and it was such a beautiful night for a slow stroll.
We decided at this point that we had exhausted our energy and couldn’t even stick around to find a spot to watch the fireworks show. I believe it was 7:00 at this time and our flight home changed from a 6pm to 9am flight, I’ll post one more blog about that, so we headed for the exit. We hadn’t had a chance to ride the skyliner on the trip, so we did end up taking a flight to the Caribbean Beach Resort station and back. Doing that at night gives you an opportunity to see EPCOT’s Spaceship Earth light show.
After we got back to Hollywood Studios, we headed to the car and drove back to the hotel where we used what energy we had left to pack the suitcases to be ready to head to the airport in the morning. Thanks again for reading along!
If you’re ready to start exploring a Walt Disney World or Disneyland family vacation, I recommend checking out Undercover Tourist for your ticket options. I’ve already used them twice, once at Disneyland and once at Disney World and will plan to continue comparing their prices with other sites, however I usually come back to UT because they have the best deals and their instructions make it easy to add your tickets to the Disney apps.