Tess Disney Bday: Toy Story Land and Hollywood and Vine

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We finished out Tess’s birthday celebration at Disney with an early morning at Hollywood Studios. We had to head home that morning and had someone checking in our Disney Rental House that afternoon so getting out of there early made it easier for the cleaners to get in and get it ready for the guests ๐Ÿ™‚

I think it’s super funny when the older kids get onto Spear. You can totally see Tess’s future “mean mom” face haha

Best Disney toy – an empty water bottle!

 

In June Toy Story Land opened at Hollywood Studios. I may be in a minority but I haven’t really cared about it. Very “meh” to me as I feel like it’s just Disney’s attempt to spread out crowds when Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge opens next year. From the photos I’d seen it didn’t look all that amazing and neither of the new attractions were of interest to me since I get motion sickness and don’t like roller coasters.

It seemed silly to me to open an entire new land where the main ride was a ride that’s been at the park for a long time. I felt Disney missed an opportunity here by not opening a more traditional dark style ride or at least something that the entire family can enjoy together. Walt created the parks for that purpose: a place where the whole family can make memories together. When both new rides have hight limits? It just doesn’t make sense to me especially when a big goal of the area is to distract from Star Wars.

I also was shocked they didn’t do a Pizza Planet. Sure, there was one at Magic Kingdom for a bit but why not redo it here and do it right?

I tend to be team “wait out the crowds” when it comes to new things at Disney. I mean Pandora has been open for awhile now and we just did Flight of Passage for the first time earlier this year. We go often enough where I’d rather let the crowds die down a bit on newer attractions and take advantage of empty parks and lines on other things while everyone else is racing to the hot ticket new stuff.

I made sure the kids understood that we were going to head to Toy Story Land at park opening but that we probably wouldn’t get to ride anything. With it being so new I hadย no clue what the wait times would be like so I figured it was an opportunity to check it all out and know what was worth racing to in the future.

I LOVE how this pic turned out! TESS IS SMILING!!!

My first impression of Toy Story Land is that it’s MUCH better IN PERSON. Yes, I think Disney phoned it in and went the obvious route with all the oversized toys and such to make us feel small. But it’s still impressive when standing in front of it.

I was shocked at the lack of shade. Yall Orlando is HOT majority of the year. I can only fathom how hot this area is in the middle of the day because we were pretty dang sweaty at 8 am!

It’s also much smaller of an area than I was anticipating. Everything is very close together and easy to navigate from one thing to the next. I imagine on a very crowded day it will feel extremely tight but on an early morning it was nice that we could walk around so quickly and see it all with ease.

As Star Wars fans the peak into Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge was exciting!

We were very surprised at the wait times. MUCH lower than we’d anticipated. Slinky Dog seems to be the most high demand of the two new rides and Alien Saucer’s only had a 30 min wait. Since we hadn’t anticipated riding anything I didn’t really look up much info on either ride ahead of time and I wish I had! I TOTALLY could handle the saucers ride and they do rider swap so we could have passed Spear off and all gotten to experience it. I will def ride it in the future but was content just checking out the land with Spear while everyone else rode it!

There are LOTS of photo pass photographers roaming the area (honestly it feels more like anย area than aย land)!

They all loved the saucers!!!

The quick service restaurant: Woody’s Lunch Box. I was shocked at the number of people eating at 8 am!

Found a B block for Britt!

The upside of the popularity of the new Toy Story experiences is that it’s SUPER easy to get a Toy Story Mania fastpass. Toy Story Mania is one of our FAVORITE rides out of ALL the parks but it’s often a tricky one to snag so it was awesome to have the fastpass first thing that morning, be able to take our time checking out Toy Story Land then hop on the ride!

Love my little partner ๐Ÿ™‚

We saw a little girl during our trip with her hair similar to this and I LOVED IT and just KNEW it’d be super cute on Tessie! Totally a new favorite way for her to wear it now ๐Ÿ™‚

The Toy Story Land stuff was for everyone, but it was super important to me that as part of Tess’s birthday morning for us all to experience Disney Jr Live on Stage one last time. It’s being changed to a new experience (which I believe we got a taste of in Disneyland and it’s AWESOME if that’s the route DHS is going!). While I’m always a big believer in “Walt was all about change” I’m also a lover of traditions and get a little misty when things we love do change over time.

Disney Jr Live on Stage has been a FAVORITE for Tess for as long as she’s been going to Disney and one that our entire family has enjoyed for years prior to that. I was glad we had a chance to experience it one last time! So often Disney announces closures where there isn’t a chance for us to get back to the parks so it worked out in our favor this time around!

Sometimes Tess is super into the show and sometimes she’s kinda like “whatever” about it and just soaks it in rather than participating. Yall it made my mama heart so happy to see what an awesome mood she was in for it this morning! She was ALL about the dancing and was grinning from ear to ear! It was the perfect last time ๐Ÿ™‚

Such a sister moment ๐Ÿ˜‰

Kye may act too old for it but I’ve caught him dancing plenty of times and still see a look of joy and excitement on his face when it “snows” and when “dabloons” fall from the sky ๐Ÿ˜‰ Kye is also at an age where he LOVES being “in the know” on stuff. He asked often throughout the trip about what the next surprise would be. I did have to talk to him about it though, because I don’t mind telling him but he needs to still let his sisters be surprised. He never gives away the secret but when we’d tell them the plans he kept saying things like “oh yeah I already knew” which does take away from that excitement for them! I let him in on our breakfast plans and handed him a map to figure out how to get there since we’d never eaten there before.

Still excited for “snoap” ๐Ÿ˜‰

Goodbye Disney Jr Live on Stage! We LOVE you!!!

 

Can’t have a visit to Disney without a hand holding pic ๐Ÿ˜‰

I follow a lot of Disney rumors and such and when I heard a NEW guest is now at Hollywood and Vine breakfast I jumped on getting a reservation as one last birthday surprise! We’ve never eaten at Hollywood & Vine and honestly I’ve also never really heard a whole lot about it. We love a good buffet so I knew our whole crew would be happy about it and it’d leave our bellies nice and full for the drive home!

None of the kids knew about any of the characters we’d be meeting so the girls immediately peeked through the window!

The moment she saw Doc McStuffins!

Now it made sense why Mommy had her wear a purple dress and bring her Doc McStuffins friend ๐Ÿ˜‰

Btw this dress was a gamble and I ended up LOVING it! And so did Britt! VERY comfortable and super cute…it’s Amazon!

Buffet time! The kids LOVE when we just let them do their thing and choose their own items to eat, and I’m always proud that they make sure to get fruit! I’m trying to teach them young to recognize how their bodies feel when they are loaded up on junk vs when they make healthy choices with a few treats mixed in ๐Ÿ™‚

As yall know we aren’t big tv people. We pretty much stick solely to dvds (Want to know why? Here’s my post!). Therefore my kids knowย of the Disney Jr characters but haven’t really seen many of their shows. Hence why we’ve never done this character meal until now ha!

Even without a lot of knowledge about the characters we met, they still were all excited about each of them!

I will also go ahead and give my review of the restaurant. We were SO IMPRESSED. Our reservation was at 10 and the place was DEAD. Not crowdedย at allย and the staff and characters were all AWESOME. It was a very, very relaxed vibe. Even more so than our experiences atย Cape Mayย Which is tough to beat!!!

The food was the typical buffet breakfast feast, which we all always enjoy. The staff was always there to refills drinks and they went above and beyond making sure Tess felt super special on her day! We literally saw each character FOUR TIMES and we weren’t even lingering (I mean we had to hit the road…if anything all their visits held us up haha!). It was SUCH a wonderful experience and something I can’t recommend highly enough!

Jake!

I will say…if you dine there avoid the HUGE WINDOWS. So many glares in my pics from them! And I hate it because Spear was SO enthralled with Jake!

THE reason I made the reservation. Tess LOVES Mickey and the Roadster Racers. Like obsession level LOVES it. When I heard that Racer Goofy joined the morning meal? I was IN and she was SO EXCITED to see him!!!

The characters this trip had so much fun with Tess’s age…she may only be FOUR but for Mickey and the gang she’s a whole hand ๐Ÿ˜‰

The cast members heard about her love for Goofy so he presented her with her birthday card ๐Ÿ™‚

I ADORE this! He was SO great with her!!!

Yes, Britt is close to 7 years old but she still really, really loves Doc McStuffins! We actually just got into her a couple years ago when the show had an adoption episode so I bought the dvd for the kids during our adoption process. Now she’s a family favorite!

We’ve never seen Sofia but she was super sweet and adorable and thought Britt wore purple to match her haha oops!

Princess Protector

Goofy was all about Kye going back for seconds at the buffet ๐Ÿ˜‰

Watching their interactions was THE BEST!

I made my own invention: a mickey waffle sundae and Britt had to copy!

Princess Poses!

 

Teaching Jake how to Floss haha

I feel ya Jake. There is no hope of flossing for me either!

The last birthday cupcake, I love how Tess is in boss mode about it ๐Ÿ˜‰ย 

WE LOVE Disney Jr Play ‘N Dine at Hollywood & Vine!

Each of their favs!

It couldn’t have been a better way to end our wonderful trip as a family! Tess had SO MUCH FUN and felt so special and loved celebrating her birthday at Disney. Zach and I had separate vehicles as he had to do some stuff related to our Disney House so Mrs Charlotte and I drove back with the kids and it was THE LONGEST DRIVE EVER. Something was going on on 75 and we were rerouted to take backroads and what is usually a 3-3.5 hour drive took us 5 hours. WAH.

Thankfully we made it and the kids did SO great (even Spear!).

So thankful for all our opportunities to make memories as a family as Disney and we’d love to help make it possible for more families as well. Visit our Disney Rental Home Page here for info about how you can save money on your next Disney trip by renting our house!

 

 

 

 

 

journeyofphood

Hey Guys, I’m Emily! I’m a stay at home mom and consider parenting to be my passion. Disney is my happy place and I love making memories as a family together. I’m a big believer in transparency and share all of my real-life moments as a mother of four.

My work has been featured on Today Parenting and Chronicles of a Babywise Mom. I’m also honored to be a member of the Babywise Friendly Blog Network.

You can read more about our family on my About Me page. Also be sure to follow along with me on Instagram, Facebookย and Pinterest!

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