Disney World Part 2 | Hollywood Studios & Animal Kingdom

It’s time for part two of our Disney World vacation! In case you missed it, check out part one.

We kicked off Thursday with arriving at Hollywood Studios bright and early. Even though this is one of the older and smaller parks, it always has been my favorite (behind Magic Kingdom) for its focus on all things movies.

When I say bright and early, we were there before the park even officially opened

Replica of Graumann’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood, Calif.

Gotta love those Disney photographers and the poses they insist you do

After grabbing a couple photos and witnessing/listening to the anti-climactic park opening, we headed straight for Aerosmith’s Rock ‘n’ Rollercoaster. I hadn’t been on this ride since I was in high school, and all I can say is that at 9 a.m., it definitely will wake you up. I’m thankful that the ride camera wasn’t on and/or wasn’t working to spare myself the hideous facial expression I’m sure I was making.

Then, it was off to my favorite ride of all time – The Great Movie Ride! I know, I know – this ride is ridiculously old, corny and cheesy, but I absolutely love it. I even got a little teary-eyed watching the movie montage at the end of the ride (thanks, Robin Williams), and I’m so happy that I finally got Ryan on it after telling him about it for years.

Minnie’s hand and footprints in front of the theater
Seeing his kids’ hand prints with his was so sweet

Since the temps had drastically cooled-off due to the previous day’s storms (and, we had the genius idea of still wearing shorts), we made a beeline for Starbucks and then headed over to Pixar Studios to kill time before our FastPass+ for the Toy Story Mania ride. 

I was enjoying the birthday love all week long!

Where there’s a cookie jar, I’m usually there
Ryan loved the army men!

The line wasn’t too long to meet Woody and Buzz, so we figured why not – we hadn’t met too many characters at this point, so we wanted to take advantage when we could. Well, this ended up being my favorite part and memory of the entire trip – this character meeting put all the rest to shame!

I may or may not have been up late the night before doing research on how to interact with Disney characters as adults (#nerdalert), and someone suggested asking Buzz if he was in Spanish mode. I thought I would give it a shot, and oh man, it did not disappoint!

He did the entire Buzz Spanish-mode dance, people – no joke. Woody stared on in disbelief for a few seconds before coming to shield my eyes from the horror.

Ryan then made the horrible mistake of saying we had to hurry before Andy got there, which prompted Woody to put Ryan in a timeout. In the corner. Facing the wall. I was dying, as was everybody else in line.

The pictures really don’t do all of this justice, but the memory of it still puts the biggest smile on my face. They spent a good five minutes, at least, with us, and really went along with our jokes and made it a personalized experience. It’s something neither of us will ever forget!

As we were leaving, Woody made the gesture that he was keeping his eyes on Ryan and Buzz and I high-fived about 40 times. Clearly, we bonded.

By the time we got out of there, it was time to hop onto the Toy Story ride, which was an absolute blast! I understand now why it’s so popular.

Before heading out for Animal Kingdom, I remembered that we needed to walk the back lot to see the Streets of America. Since I’ve now been on the real Hollywood studio lots, it was funny to compare how not realistic these sets are, but it still is fun to see nonetheless. I also found a temporary setup of Mr. Gold’s Pawn Shop from Once Upon a Time! I was more than just a little excited to see this since that is one of my all-time favorite shows.

We decided that we didn’t want to wait in line for Tower of Terror – neither one of us are big on the dropping feeling – so, it was off to Animal Kingdom.

Neither one of us had ever visited this park, so it was fun to experience it for the first time together. After paying our respects to the Tree of Life, we headed to Dinoland to grab some lunch from Restaurantosaurus. Like all the other quick-service places at Disney, you only had a limited menu to choose from, so I opted for a bacon chicken salad. I was pleasantly surprised at how good it was.

After we finished eating, we noticed that the park was seriously crowded, but we did luck out with not having to wait long for the major attractions.

Dinosaur, our favorite ride at the park – very Jurassic Park

Everest – yeah, we had no idea that this went backward at one point …

Obviously, the whole reason to even visit Animal Kingdom is to go on the safari. Since we hadn’t decided until the day before if we even were going to go to this park, we weren’t able to get a FastPass+ reservation; however, we lucked out that the 55-minute wait time flew by and that we had lots of snacks in my trusty bag.

Both Ryan and I were blown away by this experience – we didn’t know what to expect, and it was such a unique experience to Disney (or anywhere, really). I love how close we were to the animals! The giraffes, of course, were my favorite.

I also find all the work that Disney is doing with the animals to study and protect them and educate the public about animal conservation fascinating – that’s really the whole point of this park. We need to love our planet, people! *cue Circle of Life from Lion King*

On that note, that wraps up part two of our trip! The third and final installment will be live next week, which Ryan so kindly dubbed “The Princess Parade.” Stay tuned!

In case you missed it …
Disney World Part 1 | Travel, Magic Kingdom & Epcot

Leave a Comment


  1. 3.16.16
    Emily Dunham said:

    That is totally something I would google, too! I just love how much fun you guys are having! I love Animal Kingdom and the safari is by far my favorite part!

  2. 3.10.16

    Gahhh, the safaris one of my favorite things ever! So glad the waiting time wasn’t too outrageous! And I love the interaction with Buzz & Woody – I think so many people don’t understand that Disney can truly be for adults, too and this is the perfect example!

    • 3.10.16

      I couldn’t agree with you more – at Disney, you can be a kid no matter what age you are! Plus, I still argue that you have to be a little older to even understand half the humor in Toy Story. πŸ™‚

  3. 3.10.16

    What an amazing trip- and GIRAFFES! I love giraffes!

    Le Stylo Rouge

  4. 3.9.16
    Christina Sotherden said:

    You guys are the cutest – I loved all your pictures! Also love that Starbucks wrote happy birthday to you on your cup! The animal safari is so amazing – I’d LOVE to get right up there and pet one of those giraffes ha! I am seriously loving all the recaps and pictures from the whole trip!

    • 3.10.16

      I know, I was so excited about my Starbucks cup, too! When my actual birthday actually rolled around on the day we flew home, it didn’t even feel like it since I was getting happy birthday’s all week! πŸ™‚ Um, if I could’ve touched one of those giraffes, I totally would have. Just sayin’!

  5. 3.9.16

    That’s seriously so awesome that Buzz and Woody interacted with y’all like that! One of my favorite things about Disney when I went back as an adult was the fact that most of the characters were willing to interact with you, even if you weren’t a kid. It truly helped with the magical experience as an adult! Seeing all the animals at The Animal Kingdom was one of my favorite parts! They’re all so pretty!

    • 3.10.16

      I know! I wasn’t sure what to expect with the characters since I hadn’t been there in so long, but we had SO much fun. It was one of the best parts of our trip, and I was so excited that Buzz and Woody played along with us. The safari was so cool, something that I’ll never forget!

  6. 3.9.16

    love love love this. i find it hilarious that you love that movie ride and not the tower of terror – KC and i hated the movie ride, but tower of terror is literally our favourite ride of all time! it is so much fun, we would ride it all day if we could. i was smiling so big reading about your woody and buzz interaction… honestly, and i know some people hate disney or whatever, but this is why i love them as a company. they seriously go above and beyond, and they do it for adults as well. i mean, other adults might make fun of me for having an amazing time with a princess, but i don’t care. i didn’t get that experience as a kid, and it’s not like i can rewind and go back, so screw them. disney rocks. πŸ™‚ ps. ride photos are the best. we have never been to animal kingdom but that ride that goes backwards looks fun πŸ˜‰

    • 3.10.16

      I know we already had a good laugh about our opposite opinions on the Great Movie Ride and Tower of Terror, but this comment still cracks me up. Plus, you know my good wife secret now behind Tower of Terror. πŸ˜‰ And, I’m with you – I don’t care if people give me weird looks for waiting in line for the characters and princesses – that’s part of the whole experience, and I paid the same amount of money as everyone else to be there and experience it! Luckily, Ryan was a good sport with all of it, too. Our final day (aka the Princess Parade in his words) is coming next week. πŸ™‚

  7. 3.9.16
    Emily B. said:

    What a fun trip! You got a great view of those giraffes. I’ve gotten lucky every time we’ve gone on the safari and seen a ton of animals. Feel free to link up your post in our Wanderlust Wednesday linkup going on today.

    • 3.10.16

      We were pretty lucky on the safari, too! I think the only animal that wasn’t out was the lion. Thanks for letting me know about the linkup, I’ll be prepared next time!

  8. 3.9.16
    Jessica said:

    You look like you ahd so much fun!! I can’t wait to read all about your fun in the next post! Way to save the princesses last!!
    xo, Jessica || The Petite Diaries

  9. 3.9.16
    Ashley Sorrick said:

    How much fun!! The Great Movie Ride is one of my favorites there and that montage is the best – I tear up too! lol That’s hysterical Buzz will do the Spanish stuff if you say that! The Dinosaur ride at Animal Kingdom is the best!

    • 3.10.16

      Haha, I’m glad I’m not the only one! I’m not sure why I teared up this time – I think I might have been a tad overtired. πŸ™‚ And yes, our time with Woody and Buzz was SO much fun.

  10. 3.9.16

    I am loving these recaps! I wondered how you guys got so many pictures of the two of you. I had no idea they had park people take pictures! And I love the Buzz and Woody story! So fun!

    • 3.10.16

      Yes, they are all over the park now! We purchased the MemoryMaker package that allowed us to download all the photos that we got (instead of purchasing them individually). I’m going to do a whole separate post on that after my last recap because I think it’s SO worth it, especially for families!

  11. 3.9.16

    Love love love Animal Kingdom! So glad you guys got to go on Everest and experience the safari. And your interactions with Buzz and Woody are too cute! Such an amazing trip <3
    Green Fashionista

    • 3.10.16

      Everest was terrifying, lol – and, I don’t usually get freaked out by rides! I think standing there looking at the ascent to the top was bothering me while we were waiting in line. πŸ™‚

  12. 3.9.16

    Great photos! Looks like you had an amazing time!

  13. 3.9.16
    Debra Stachelski said:

    Another fun recap of your trip, so many happy memories for both of you! Wish I could have been there to see Woody put Ryan in “time-out”!

  14. 3.9.16

    These pictures are so great. That whole story about Buzz and Woody.. so funny!! That safari looks pretty cool too. I’m glad that you had a fun day and I’m looking forward to hearing about the Princess Parade!! πŸ™‚

    • 3.10.16

      Oh, the Princess Parade is pretty hilarious – in all honesty, we didn’t see THAT many princesses, but Ryan was such a good sport with me so he came up with that name. Thank goodness I married someone that embraces my love of Disney princesses. πŸ™‚

  15. 3.9.16
    Chesson Parker said:

    Looks like y’all had another great day at Disney! Love the pictures of y’all on the rides πŸ™‚

  16. 3.9.16

    Oh my gosh, your interactions with buzz and woody sound hilarious! What a seriously fun trip!

  17. 3.9.16
    Pinky said:

    What fun pictures. I’ve never done Animal Kingdom, it looks like such a great time.

  18. 3.9.16
    Pamela said:

    I love Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom… ok who am I kidding, I love all the parks! I love going with first timers on Everest since they don’t know about the fun little switch up! And that’s hilarious about Ryan saying Andy’s coming! They don’t drop to the ground any more like they used to πŸ˜‰

    • 3.10.16

      We saw the sign when we were waiting in line for Everest that there was a point when it went backward – we just weren’t expecting it to be that intense, lol! Ryan getting put in timeout by Woody is something I’ll never forget, everybody in line was dying!