We're continuing our series of blog posts that celebrate the Disney Moms Panel and its class of 2011 by getting to know select members of the panel and what they think of Disney's Hollywood Studios.
Last week we interviewed Suzannah DiMarzio and Marc Lorenzo about their involvement with the Disney Mom's Panel amd to get their take on their favorite aspects of Disney's Hollywood Studios.Today, we're talking with Erin Foster, who has been a member of Disney Mom's Panel for a few years and a terrific source of information about Walt Disney World.
When was your first visit to Disney's Hollywood Studios/Disney-MGM Studios?
My first visit to MGM was in early 1994. I remember fondly the Residential Street in the old Backlot Tour. But what I remember most vividly was my third or fourth visit to the Studios, in 2001. My husband had scored tickets to see the NY Giants play in the Super Bowl in Tampa and arranged to take me with him. This was our first weekend away alone after becoming parents and I was incredibly nervous about being away. We ended up flying in and out of Orlando and had an afternoon to kill before our flight and decided to spend it in a theme park. Since the game has been his event, I got to choose the park - and of course I chose the Studios. We rode Rock 'n Roller Coaster for the first time that day. When it was over, I realized it was the only time I had stopped worrying about the kids all weekend. Thank you Rock 'n Roller!
Favorite attraction at Disney's Hollywood Studios?
The answer varies depending on what kind of mood I'm in. Toy Story Midway Mania is obviously incredible. I have a competitive streak and I love trying to outplay the other guests. Will even admit to looking for pointers online on how to boost my score. I also have a soft spot in my heart for the Voyage of the Little Mermaid. It rains in the theater - how cool is that! And I must give a shout out to the gone-but-not-forgotten Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. I may be the only person in the world who misses it, but I truly do. I planned a trip to WDW with the express goal of sitting in that theater for as long as it took to get in the hot seat, but they closed the attraction right before my trip.
Favorite counter service and full service restaurant at Disney's Hollywood Studios?
I always end up eating too many carbs and not enough protein when I do counter service at DHS. I know that there are healthy choices there, but I gravitate to Writer's Stop pastry and Starring Rolls cupcakes. That's what I eat and you can't stop me.
I've had really good luck with the food at the Brown Derby. I'm a big citrus fan, and the signature grapefruit cake is a one of my favorite foods at Walt Disney World. But overall I love the 50s Prime Time. The decor looks exactly like my actual grandmother's kitchen, so I get a huge kick out of that. That, plus the perfect comfort food menu and the wacky servers make for a good time. My kids also enjoy it when "Mom" scolds my husband for putting his elbows on the table. Once he had to stand in the corner while my girls stole spoonfuls of his dessert - a classic family moment.
Attraction you think is most overlooked (but worth checking out) at Disney's Hollywood Studios
Is it sad that I really like Sounds Dangerous? I do, but I'm not sure I'd make it a big recommendation for others because it is in need of a little refreshing. I would recommend the Magic of Disney Animation. I think lots of people never make their way back there. The drawing classes are terrific. Sometimes we've sat through two or three sessions to learn how to draw multiple characters. I love watching little kids being proud of their artwork. I'm sure that many drawings from there have places of honor in family scrapbooks.
Best advice to someone visiting Disney's Hollywood Studios for the first time
Not really earth shattering: You have to be there first thing to get a FastPass for Toy Story. As soon as you have the FastPass, get into the standby line to ride the attraction. This way you'll be sure to experience it at least twice. Also, you have to take a good look at the Times Guide early in the morning and map out the order of shows you want to see because some of them don't have many performances.