Studios in Transition

After a day off my itinerary and the goofs at the end of the day I figured it was best to get back to what I had planned. So it was off to MGM Studios! I contemplated the whole “naming” thing with the recent
change to Disney Hollywood Studios, but if they don’t have the time to change the signs or any of the merchandise, then I’m gonna keep referring to it as MGM.

We did not make rope drop, but were still there by 10am 😀 It was another beautiful day with a high expected around 78 degrees an no rain – whoohoo! I didn’t bother taking a picture of the sign at the parking lot entrance because it was pretty lame as entrances go. So we went through the turnstiles and I hung back to catch the fam rolling in

A PhotoPass photographer was nice enough to snap a pic of our group on the main drag with my camera

Right after that the High School Musical show came rolling by – Kyra was really jazzed about that

But it was Bean who really wanted to get up there and see the show

When it ended we were off towards that beacon of fun – The Tower of Terror!

Everyone was cruising along ready for a fun-filled day!

But before we took on the thrill rides I steered us to Beauty and the Beast, which was getting ready to start. Now I took a LOT of pics at the shows we caught, so I’m just going to start rolling with it. Ladies and Gentlemen, may I present …your picture trip through Beauty and the Beast!

Belle in the village with Gaston getting pushy

The castle comes to life

“Be Out Guest” starts up

Beast shuts down the celebration

The rose is discovered

Beast needs to play nice

A bond starts to form

Gaston stirs up the villagers after Belle’s father makes it back to town

The grand battle

Beast wins but also falls


The prince emerges

A grand reception

New love is celebrated

Cue the applause!

Take a bow

It was a great show that everyone enjoyed thoroughly. I am continually impressed with the amount of time and energy Disney puts into their productions.  We headed out and on to our next stop – Tower of Terror!

We were at the top of the stadium when it ended so we were able to head straight out and the fam went up the stand by line for ToT while I took our tickets and got FastPasses for all of us to ride it again. I caught back up with the group and the moms waited through the line but decided to not ride the ride.

Riding it once was enough for me at that point …not because of the ride itself, but because I was getting HUUUNNNGGGRRRYYY! The moms and I decided to head down to the Sunset Ranch Market for lunch and gave the FastPasses to Roxy, who rode it 2 more times with the girls. They called in between their second and 3rd ride and I told them what was on the menus and I picked up their food so they could eat as soon as they got there.

While they were eating I picked up FastPasses for Rock “N” Roller Coaster and we were able to ride by the time everyone was done eating. Sorry, no pics from that. The moms sat it out also, but the girls, Roxy, and I had fun on it.

After that we headed up the street and across the central plaza. We had missed Indiana Jones so we kept on past it to Star Tours. Now I’m a BIG Star Wars fan, but skipped this one because I did it at Disneyland and when it comes down to it, it’s just another motion sim ride and I’m not
much for the way those things bounce me around, especially on a full stomach. So again Roxy was on ride duty with the girls, which she was fine with.

There was a 20 minute wait at stand by so I took the moms down to MuppetVision and it was about to start. So we went on in and it was a pretty cute show. I especially liked Statler and Waldorf up in their traditional box heckling the show 😀

Afterwards we looked around a bit and Roxy and the girls had their turn in MuppetVision. We all met up at the exit and headed around the back towards Lights, Motor, Action! Extreme Stunt Show, which was going to start within the hour (you have to get to that one early or you won’t get
a seat).

So Roxy and the moms headed for the line while I waited for the girls to do a bathroom break. When we caught up we saw that they were near the front, which didn’t turn out to really mean anything since they just open the gate and let everyone flood in anyways.

We went around back to the elevator and we all got situated at the top of the stands towards the left-hand side. I got a little miffed because there was a section towards the middle of that area that would have fit both mom’s chairs and all of us, but the CMs wanted to fill in the end first. I did my little internal mantra to not let things get to me and we settled in to wait for the show. I did pretty good at the trivia and got my camera set up with my monopod and my fastest lens to catch the

So without further ado …my pictorial rendering of the….

 ….Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show!!

The show started out with burnouts and a chase between the red car and the baddies in black


This included backwards driving and even a backwards jump away from the bad guys. Turns out that the car was actually designed with the driver facing backwards!

It was a real game of follow the leader

More squirrelling around and then they all went back stage


Half a Herbie after a little ‘mishap’!

Then our hero was back with the baddies in hot pursuit

A bigger jump to get away!

Found out that this one was being driven from the outside!

Then we transitioned to the good guy spy transferring to a motorcycle

Meanwhile a baddie takes a fall

Uh oh!

The cars come back out and join the chase

Up on two wheels!

Things are getting dicey out there!

The baddie on the motorcycles make some jumps to head him off at the pass

They’re closing in!

Our protagonist makes a last-second leap from his motorcycle to some cargo hanging at the waterfront

A quick pivot

He jumps on a jet ski just as a baddie comes in on his own and a new chase ensues

They’re about to cut him off again!

Off he runs!

All of this action causes fuel to ignite right as a baddie comes sliding thru on his motorcycle!

Sliding right thru the fire!

The protagonist sees the bad guy burning …almost looks like the fire on him is going out

Nope! He’s going up big time!

Now that’s a fire!

He struggles in the flames (I’ve always loved this shot)

The pyro safety guy is at the ready with the fire extinguisher – the signal from the stuntman is for him to fall to his knees

He keeps walking, making the director nervous

…then finally he goest to his knees and the extinguishers move in

After the area is clear the protagonist comes racing back out, getting ready for one last stunt

Here he comes!


Our hero escapes unscathed

Applause, applause

Whew! Great show, loved it. So much carefully choreographed mayhem! For the stats nerds out there, I posted 62 pictures of that show …out of the 600 that I took ;D

We headed out and my mom got a call from my pop. He did not go on this day but had somehow assumed that we’d be leaving the park before dark. Soooo, he had been sitting in the parking lot for almost 2hrs waiting for my mom to show up …oops. I learned a lesson in keeping him in the loop on our plans. We had dining reservations for the ‘Fantasmic!’ dining experience so wouldn’t be leaving for a while.

My mom decided she was done so we rolled back to the front of the park and said good bye to her and then the rest of us headed to Hollywood and Vine for dinner. We were there a few minutes early but were still seated very quickly. The selection was good and everything we had we enjoyed. However we were running a bit late and were running out of time to be able to use our special passes to Fantasmic!

Nana was already done and decided to head down to the back entrance with our vouchers and the rest of us finished up and did the obligatory bathroom breaks before catching up to her. We got through the gate in time and they closed it right behind us – whew!  The only downside was that we had taken so long that the tram that we were expecting to take us to the show was nowhere to be found, so we had quite the walk up a winding path to get to the stadium.

We sat at the top of the reserved section and got ready for the show. Watching the general seating fill up I was amazed how many people the CMs were able to shoe-horn in there! It was marathon weekend and there were some big teams from Brazil, Argentina, and Peru. They al had banners and flags and stuff and were very competitive with their country’s anthems and such.

After a while we got a pretty good human wave going

Then the show began! It is always so magical to hear the announcer come over the PA system and say “Ladies and Gentlemen, we proudly present…”

Mickey starts thing off with a bang!

What is with these weird monkey things in Fantasmic shows?

Dumbo hallucinations

And a flotilla of dancing princes and princesses

The ne’er-do-well leader claims Indian land for England

Things don’t go well, leading to a big ka-boom!

A melee ensues and the hero assists Pocahontas in fighting off the baddies!

Mirror mirror

A witches brew

a dragon is conjured

Mickey comes out to fight the good fight

Maleficent takes full dragon form to fight him

Fire erupts around Mickey

Disney magic extinguishes the flames

Mickey calls in some extra magic

And Maleficent falls

In comes Tink to spread a little fairy dust

Unfortunately I did not catch anything past this point …again ye ole battery was dead from all those speed/action shots. So no fireworks shots this night either. I swear, the world was plotting against
me being able to catch any good pyrotechnics on this trip – lol.

So we headed out of the park with the teaming masses and made it as far as the gift shops as usual. By the time we left the place was pretty empty, which was good as far as traffic went. Back to the resort and showers and off to bed!

The next day was Saturday and our exodus from the world of the mouse to escape the marathon crowds and road blocks. Yes, that’s right …its off to Sea World!