A Day At Disney Hollywood Studios

Our Disney trip was last summer and I still haven’t covered it all yet! Slacking off here!

Above is the planned itinerary for our day at Disney Hollywood. Of course it is just a plan, so things change, but the plan sure helped us get the most out of it!

The day started off early for Arthur and I. We got up and caught the bus from the campground to Disney Hollywood to be there before the park opened. I wanted to be sure Arthur was able to attend Jedi training! Once the doors opened, we quickly made our way over to Indiana Jones stunt show area and got Arthur signed up. Then we had a little time to kill before everyone else arrived.

I’m in the process of raising geeks, so Arthur made our way to the Star Wars side of Disney Hollywood. We had a lot of fun meeting some characters and checking out the amazing displays they had set up.

It was really nice to get in early. We were in and out of character meet and greets in no time. 

We made our way back to the park entrance to meet the rest of our party. Then it was a little bit of wandering in and out if buildings to avoid the sprinkling rain. The rain was a little nerve racking because it could cancel out Arthur’s Jedi training, so we were constantly checking the weather reports. Thankfully we were good to go!

Jedi training is amazing! During signups, they give you a time to come back, when you arrive, they give the kids a Jedi cloak and have them march to the stage. Once there, the kids are given lightsabers and taken through a series of moves as a group. It is a bit of a show too, with the teachers interacting initially with Darth Vader, the Seventh Sister Inquisiter, and Kylo Ren briefly. Then the kids are given the opportunity to face either Darth Vader or the Inquisitor individually. Big tip for this one: make sure your kid goes to the bathroom prior to this show as they hydrate them before going on stage!

We used our fast pass for this park to see the Indiana Jones Stunt Show. This was amazing! It was stuntmen and women reenacting scenes from Raiders of the Lost Ark. Rolling boulders, flaming airplanes, whip work and people flying through the air! The kids and adults in our party were awed through the whole show. There is also some audience interaction when they pull some of the audience members on stage to be bystanders during some of the stunts. Definitely a show worth seeing!

Chiara had another fun princess interaction, just like at Epcot, when she got to walk away with Sophia the First. She was the last one in line before the princess’ break, so Sophia took her hand and walked away.

Our lunch was at Mama Melrose’s Ristorante. Delicious option for a meal, but truthfully this was probably a little too heavy for lunch. Especially if you will be walking around more in the summer heat of Florida. Large portions, friendly staff, delicious food! There is the added benefit of getting to reserve your seats for Fantasmic, the amazing Disney Hollywood show. We ended up missing the show because everyone was wiped, but mom and I had seen it on another visit, and the show is amazing!


Other highlights from the day included the kids, and my almost 30 year old brother, making their own lightsabers. Arthur made his to look like Kylo Ren’s, Chiara made herself a purple one to match my Mace Windu one. Josh, my brother, made himself a green one. 

We also rode Star Tours several times! This is an amazing ride that starts off as a tour through the galaxy, but you go astray, end up in a battle, facing Kylo Ren, and finally making it safely back to the start. Arthur, my sweet little Star Wars geek, loved this ride a lot!

We may not have followed our itinerary very closely, but we still had a blast. That is the most important part of vacation after all!

Bowling for Stormtroopers

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This was an easy to set up game and lots of fun for the kids. In the weeks leading up to the party, we started buying our soda in 2 liters instead of 12 – packs. Once we had 10 of them, we were all set.
I found the pictures of stormtroopers on Bing images. I printed them on whole sheets and then taped them to the bottles.
After setting them up in the bowling formation, we let the kids go nuts with your standard ball from Walmart.
The game got a little crazy with the 2 liters being completely empty. I think, playing this game in the future, we’ll weight them down with a little water in the bottom. They were just bouncing all over the place!
Bowl on, party people!

Hit the AT – AT

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This one didn’t come out as well as I had hoped it would, but the kids sure enjoyed it! I can’t reference the original site as the link was broken, but it was a really cute idea. The original picture had a picture of an AT – AT that was split between the boxes, but I was having some issues with printers.
I started out easy by bringing home four identical boxes from work. I tried to pick some out that weren’t too thick, as I wanted the kids to be able to knock them over. Once I picked out my boxes, I dug into my scrapbook paper and used packing tape to attach the solid white paper. Originally I wanted to use my white spray paint to coat the boxes, but Tony rolled his eyes a little at that one, so I adjusted.
The morning of the party, I was debating if I still wanted to play this game without the pretty picture of the AT – AT. I ended up just pulling out the duct ape again.

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It didn’t come out too pretty as you can see, but the kids sure enjoyed hitting it with the bean bags I made. (A story for another day).
I guess the moral of this one is that anything can be fun. Kindergarteners just want to keep moving!
Play on everyone!

Pool Noodle Lightsabers

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This little gem of an idea came from http://joyfuljoyful.com/isaiah-samuels-star-wars-birthday-party/ and I loved it!
I started by buying six regular pool noodles, silver duct tape and electrical tape. As you’re going to cut them in half, you need to buy half as many noodles as you need lightsabers.

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Once you have them cut in half, your creativeness moves to the forefront. You start by putting on your silver handle. Two strips of duct tape around the bottom is usually good. If they had had any red pool noodles, I probably would have done a handle in the middle to create Darth Maul’s super cool double – lightsaber, but I only had good guy colors.

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My husband actually made these while I was working on other games. He took great pride in the fact that no two were alike. Once you have the basic duct tape handle on, just go crazy.

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As you can see, there are a lot of ways to go with this. They can be as simple or as complex as you like.

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The best part of pool noodle lightsabers is that kindergarteners can beat on each other with no ill effects.

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Adults can even beat themselves on the head and it doesn’t hurt. These are definitely a great idea for a kid party!
Have fun, and may the force be with you!

Pin the Lightsaber on Yoda

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So I was perusing Pinterest in the month or two before Arthur’s birthday, in the hopes of finding some fun games for the kids to play. His first birthday party and I wanted it to be a fun one!
From the site http://www.doodlecraftblog.com/2012/09/star-wars-birthday-party.html?m=1 I found a ‘Pin the Lightsaber on Yoda’ game idea. The original pinner used a coloring book page, enlarged a bit, for hers, which was pretty cute! I scoured the Internet to find a Yoda picture I liked and printed it to fill the page.
After printing it out, I glued it to some scrapbooking paper for additional sturdiness. As I don’t usually have laminating paper around the house, my husband suggested some ‘redneck laminating’. Translation of that means I used packing tape.
After Yoda was ready, and adhered to the basement door at kid height, I went back to my scrapbooking supplies. I cut out 10 thick ‘lightsabers’, big enough for kid hands, and just used tape on the back of them.

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Arthur came the closest, but was very upset that he got Yoda’s eyes.

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Chiara was a little off, but had a lot of fun wearing the blindfold and spinning around.
I loved this game, and I also love how many ways you can adapt it for whatever theme your party is. Don’t be afraid to make your own games at home!
Party on people!

Lightsaber Cupcakes and Pretzels

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I usually do cakes for the kids birthdays. I have 80+ Wilton cake pans in the basement from my mom’s years of collecting. This year though, while perusing Pinterest, I stumbled upon http://www.buzzfeed.com/orator/how-to-throw-the-best-star-wars-birthday-party-i-badx?sub=2473708_1432322&s=mobile.
I don’t currently have any Star Wars cake pans, so I thought I’d give this a try. I picked up three boxes of cupcake mix and stayed up until 1 am the night before baking. I safely stored them in the oven as our dog, Juliet, can not be trusted.
The next morning was decorating and cleaning time, so I sat down to play with the cupcakes about two hours before the party.

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I settled on the layout that I liked and got started with my super awesome, homemade icing. The kids love watching me decorate. Mainly because when I set the colors aside, I’m done with them, so it becomes a sugar inducing free for all!
While I was decorating the cupcakes, I had Tony start on making our pretzel lightsabers. This just involved a bag of our favorite pretzels and the Wilton chocolate melts in red and green. You simply melt the chocolates according to the directions and dip your pretzel into the chocolate, leaving only the ‘handle’ uncoated.

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This is what we ended up with. They were delicious! The pretzel idea was just a picture, with no link, so I can’t share credit on that one.
Party on people, party on!

Star Wars Party

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The next few posts will be about Arthur’s super awesome birthday party! It’s hard to believe my sweet boy is already seven years old! This year, largely due to Pinterest, I decided to throw both of my kids a birthday party. We have had small gatherings in the past, but never parties for them.
Settling on themes was easy enough. My son loves the Star Wars movies. We watched all six of the movies two weeks prior to his birthday and he was ready to watch them all again!

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The idea for the invitations came from http://www.herecomesthesunblog.net/2013/10/star-wars-birthday-party.html
This woman also threw a Star Wars themed birthday for her son, so she had a lot of great ideas. Making the invites was an adventure in itself, as my printer went to the dark side, right after I bought new ink cartridges of course!
I downloaded the Star Wars font for free off the net. There are a ton of free websites to do this. My mom instructed me to save the document as a PDF so my dad wouldn’t have to download the font as well. Luckily we worked all that out over Spring Break!
I knew I was on the right track when Arthur lit up just looking at the invitations!
One of the fantastic decor ideas I borrowed from her was also the backdrop.

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I didn’t print out the Star Wars lettering to go on here, but I was really happy with the way this turned out. She used a vinyl tablecloth, which probably would’ve made Tony happier. I bought a king size black sheet (which I have plans to reuse, hence not going vinyl) and had Tony fling some white paint at for a ‘galaxy’ backdrop. Arthur and Chiara were most impressed!
I have so much more to talk about with the party, which will come gradually over the next few days. I hope you enjoy it all!