Travelogue: Florida, Part 4

February 2021
Where We Stayed: Margaritaville Resort Orlando Cottages

Tuesday, February 22, Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Up and at ‘em for one of the most anticipated experiences: Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge! The kids (particularly S) were buzzing with excitement. We ate our bagel sandwiches in the car and arrived to DHS early but were still envious of those Disney resort guests who got those early extra magic hours! 

We finally made our way through the gates and power walked to Galaxy’s Edge. We saw that Rise of the Resistance was down and we were so, so bummed. But we also heard rumors that it would be fixed soon. So we decided to get in line and stay in line… just in case. 

Well oh my god, it turned into basically a WALK ON ride! Once the ride was fixed, we had to wait maybe 10 minutes. WOAH! As always, Rise is one of the most phenomenal, immersive “rides” I’ve ever been on. Yes, it’s a ride. But it’s more of an experience. So, so well done! And the actors playing the First Order members gave A a hard time about slaying an Ewok to make his backpack. So precious! 

After Rise, we did some shopping, took a hydration break, walked around Galaxy’s Edge so the kids could soak it all in, and then stopped for some blue and green milk and ronto wraps for lunch. Tasty! 

Mike and the kids did Star Tours after lunch, which I skipped because it’s an old school magic motion ride – mmmnothanks. I walked around Toy Story land (which I think is the most precious thing in the world), did some souvenir shopping, balloon photo-taking, and got my fav Starbucks drink. 

I reunited with Mike and the kids and we all decided to do some shopping. Then the kids needed a break, so we stopped for hydration and rest. Soon after we had to head back to Galaxy’s Edge for Smuggler’s Run. Smuggler’s Run is delightful (you get to fly the Millennium Falcon) but at the end of the day, it’s a magic motion ride. And Mike and I both struggled with it this time. I’m not sure why. Last time I was fine with it but this time, ooooooof. We were both happy for a break after exiting the ride.

Our appointment at the Droid Depot was next.  My parents gifted the kids (and Mike!) their trip to the Droid Depot – where they each got to build and customize a droid (an R2 or BB). They all chose R2s! They all had an absolute blast and were GEEKING out.  This is like Build-a-Bear for nerds, guys. 

After the droid experience, we made our way over to Toy Story land for dinner: grilled cheeses from Woody’s Lunchbox! So tasty! After dinner I volunteered to talk all the shopping bags and droids back to the car so Mike and the kids could get in line for Slinky Dog Dash.

I felt like a pack mule and by the time I got out to the parking lot, my arms and hands were hurtin’. But then… but then… I couldn’t find the damn car. Now, I know what you’re thinking, I’m a blonde woman who probably lacks a sense of direction. But no! I have an amazing sense of direction and I could. not. find. the. car. And I couldn’t walk up and down all the aisles because of all the merch I had to schlep. Mike tried pin-dropping me where he thought the car was (he was off base, too). But it got so frustrating that I started to cry – right there in the Hollywood Studios parking lot. Not my finest moment but hey, I am now laughing about it. 

I FINALLY found the car. It was getting dark. I was wandering all over. But I FINALLY found it. I put all the merch in the back and sat in the car and cried some more. Can you tell I was maybe also tired and a little hungry at this point? LOL 

Mike and the kids finished up on Slinky Dog, which they loved and raved about.  I’ll ride it next time!  I’m happy they had a good experience. 

The final activity of the evening was for Mike and the littles to go on The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. S said a big “heck no”, so she and I sat and enjoyed beverages (which took far too long to order and receive – but that’s a story better told in person), chatted, and played a Star Wars memory game that she bought earlier in the day. These couple hours with her were a highlight of the trip for me. She’s 12 years old and a total tween – so connecting with her is becoming a bit more challenging. But for those two hours we talked and laughed and played games and she was just delightful. I hope I can always remember that version of her and know that that is her – even though the tween and teen angst will dominate in the years to come.

Mike and the littles got off of TOT and they were laughing.  Apparently E had the quote of the day on the ride: “MY SOUL LEFT MY BODY!” 

We all ended the day in good moods, in good spirits, and full of Disney magic. 

Side note: we purchased Genie+ for our day at DHS and found it to be mostly useless. It got us a Lightning Lane for Smuggler’s Run but that’s it. Every other attraction was “unavailable.” Such a bummer! 

Rides: Rise of the Resistance, Star Tours, Smuggler’s Run, Slinky Dog Dash, Tower of Terror

S: Rise of the Resistance
E: Tower of Terror
A: Droid Depot
Mike: Rise of the Resistance
Annie: Rise of the Resistance

On-theme t-shirt and ready for the day!
Rise of the Resistance
Blue milk is better.
Minnie Mouse Loungefly!
Isn’t this land just the CUTEST?
I wore a hat every day on this trip. I hate wearing hats but a) I think they really helped me handle the heat and b) goddaaaaamn, they’re so cute!!
Few things make my heart happier than Mickey balloons.
Smuggler’s Run
Time to build some droids!
These aren’t the droids you’re looking for.
Nighttime in “Hollywood”