Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (Yes, another one…) Review

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Rogue One is the name of the new Star Wars movie and if you did not know that you may want to stop reading this review. Now, if you remember (or if you don’t click HERE for my last Star Wars movie review), I am not the biggest Star Wars fan in the world or even amongst us Dole Whippie ladies; but, I will put my husband up against anyone to claim he is the biggest fan. With that said, I was up and seeing the movie at 9:30am in the morning. This is not a great movie time because no one is awake, no one wants popcorn, and no one (or really I) want to be there. But, I was there, and I was exhausted from the night before being my birthday “party”. Yes, we went to Star Wars on my birthday weekend. It is not enough to be blessed with a birthday a week before Christmas…nope, Star Wars decided to thwart all plans for my birthday and open that weekend. So, here is what I thought:

It was a great story and had a good cast, decent plot, great music and the end was spine tingling (even for me). I am not going to spoil it but pretty darn cool Disney. If you are not a Star Wars groupie it is hard to follow who everyone is and who they become and what planets are good and bad. But, you can still enjoy the film. The middle gets long (for a non-fan) and you really do not have to watch it to get what happens and can take a 20 minute snooze. I may have. No comment.

The Star Wars music in the film was awesome – you knew it was Star Wars and they teased you a few times that you were going to get the full on version but nope and that was okay because I loved what they did with the new music.

The end was awesome in every way, but there was one part of the end I had issues with…I would tell you but I would get in trouble with the spoiler people.

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OH WELL _ STOP READING IF YOU DON’T WANT A SPOILER:

I did not love that Jyn and Cassian died at the end. This is a Disney movie – they needed to live happily ever after. I mean come on – was the force not strong enough with them?

I loved the little cameos of CP3P0 and R2D2 and man I love me some Princess Leia buns. That was so cool.

Go see this movie. I may watch Episode 4 not to see what happens next…until next time: I am one with the force and the force is strong with me.

Galactic Spectacular Dessert Party

ChewbaccaStein6789994If you’re a Star Wars fan and you’ve been following Disney news, chances are you’ve heard about the Star Wars fireworks show at Hollywood Studios, Symphony in the Stars.   In accompaniment with that show, Disney is also offering a dessert party you can attend.  If you’re looking for a fun and delicious way to celebrate an occasion, like a birthday or anniversary, then this might just be the thing for you!

For $69 for adults (and kids aged 10 – 17) and $39 (kids aged 3 – 9) you get a special viewing location for the fireworks show as well as a fun Star Wars themed dessert buffet with specialty drinks, including alcoholic beverage options.  Check out those Darth Vader cupcakes!

Hollywood Studios park admission is required.  You must check in at Center Stage.  The venue is uncovered, but if the weather acts up, they may move indoors.  This particular dessert party does not have seating, so be ready to stand for the show.  They do accommodate wheelchairs and scooters, however.

And just so you don’t forget this occasion, each guest receives a Chewbacca stein to take with them as a souvenir!

This is a great fireworks show, and while the price might be a little steep for the average park-goer, it seems like a fun way to celebrate with someone who really loves Star Wars.

If you’ve been, let us know what you thought of the dessert party in the comments!

Review from a non-Star Wars person: Star Wars Episode 7:* The Force Awakens

Thanks Star Wars for the photo! You can find it at http://www.starwars.com/databank/leia-organa

This is what I was going for when I was 4 and Halloween came around! Thanks Star Wars for the photo! You can find it at http://www.starwars.com/databank/leia-organa

 

So, yes, growing up my dad did dress me up as Princess Leia for Halloween one year when I was too young to be able to express my voice (or they said Princess and I said yes?) Though I had blond hair, I still was able to do side buns and wear the long white dress and get treats and my brother was dressed as Luke Skywalker. How did our parents even tell us apart that year; as I am sure, every other kid in the neighborhood looked the same? I remember the hair though and it being done and being a huge pain as all tender-headed girls can agree – it just is never as fun as it looks to have an elaborate hairdo.

When I dressed as Princess Leia I am sure I was happy with it; but, I had no idea what I represented. I never saw the movies because, honestly, I was 3 in 1977 when the first Star Wars came out (which is now Episode IV: A New Hope) and that was just not on my agenda.

With that said and for full disclosure of the claim of being a non-Star Wars fan, I do not remember seeing any Star Wars movies ever. My husband (a HUGE Star Wars fan) swears I saw one of the more recently released episodes with him. What I think really happened is he was with a bunch of friends and so enthralled with the movies he did not notice that I was not there and instead at home enjoying my quiet time. Moving on to how much of a good wife I am (one of my favorite topics) because I did plan a trip to Disney, for a Star Wars weekend, a few years back. I had very low expectations for this trip and my enjoyment of the Star Wars “stuff” going on at Hollywood Studios. I ended up really loving the “stuff” and if you want to see a few highlights you can read my review or just google Hyperspace Hoopla (seeing Darth Vader do the Whip and Nae Nae is life changing). If you want to learn more about that trip you can read my review by clicking HERE.

One of my favorite pictures of my husband!

One of my favorite pictures of my husband!

Is there a point to this article? Yes, and that is a non-Star Wars fan (me) watching Episode 7 last week and sharing her experiences with you.

Scenario: Under a bit of force, my friend (another Star Wars nut) twisted my arm to watch it. He had bought the download and while I was visiting him and his family we sat down to watch it.

 

Here are the 5 major points I have noted:

1. I did like it. I liked it a lot in fact. I know when I really like a movie by asking to pause the movie when I need to refill my drink or check email (instead of just doing those things and not worrying about missing a minute or two). My enjoyment was not expected, as I thought within a few minutes I would find it redundant with fighting, and just not my cup of tea. How wrong I was…

2. I thought the acting was great, for the most part, and immediately fell in love with BB-8. I definitely want a full-size one in my future and it did make me love and appreciate our BB-8 app enabled droid (or pet) we have in our home. If you have not heard of these check them out because they are awesome and the newest update has where if you watch the movie with your BB-8 he interacts with you about the movie. Prior to watching the movie I called it the most expensive cat toy on the market because that is what I used it for to play with the cats.

My BB-8 that is now more than a cat toy.

My BB-8 that is now more than a cat toy.

http://store.sphero.com/products/bb-8-by-sphero

3. I am intrigued by Rey, the theories on who her parents are, and enjoyed the character. I even read a few articles about who her parents might be and was found discussing it with some Star Wars peeps. This means I am invested and now am looking forward to the next Star Wars movie (Episode 8) which has a release date of December 15, 2017. Not to plan ahead, but this is two days before my birthday – did I love it enough to make this part of my birthday week? Hmm maybe! But shhhh! I do not want to tell my husband, yet, as I am not sure. I would then be locked in and he would talk of nothing else but that. It would make him so proud though. So, rest easy (because I can tell you are rooting for me to tell him soon) and know that closer to the time (I mean we have more than a year) I will tell him so he can tell all his buddies how awesome his wife is and make me the cool, nerdy Star Wars wife. Currently, I am just the cool, nerdy Disney wife so it might be nice for a change (upgrade?).

4.  The jokes were funny. Even though I had not seen any other Star Wars (or do not remember them) I still was able to know enough about it to laugh and enjoy the Princess Leia and Hans Solo relationship. I also cheered when Chewie and R2D2 and the gold one came on screen. I loved the personality they gave Chewie (maybe he always was like that?) Also, after this movie came out I read and saw some commentary on Carrie Fisher that was not positive (I am not even giving it credence by giving details). My response to that is “ARE YOU KIDDING ME?” She looks awesome and is almost 60. People need to back that train up because she is still a hot Princess and NOW is a General and kicking some Dark Side parts. Please don’t make me go all Kylo Ren on you.

5. I am NOT a fan of killing off Hans Solo and I know things need to move to the future people; but, just as I was getting to know him as a character better he is gone. I guess I can watch Episodes 1-6 and get to know him better. Sigh. He is a cute one though still right?

So, yes there is a ton more to say but these points are enough to make a non fan question (I hope?) and take two hours to watch and see. I know that, after watching Episode 7, I am definitely invested in watching 1-6. Now just to figure out what order to watch them in (the order of release with 4-6 being first and then 1-3 or in straight order 1-6?) All Star Wars fans seem to say the release order? What do you think?

 

 

New Disney Movies for 2016 and Beyond!

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Disney has always a great movie line-up on the horizon and 2016 and 2017 are already shaping up to be perhaps the best two year’s ever. Some people are going to disagree because Star Wars: The Force Awakens was released in 2015 but let’s put that aside, for now, and look to the future (as only Star Wars would want you too!) In addition, there is more Star Wars to come so that helps all your Star Wars fans to look forward in anticipation.

  • The Finest Hours (Walt Disney Pictures) – Jan. 29, 2016
  • Zootopia (Walt Disney Animation Studios) – March 4, 2016
  • The Jungle Book (Walt Disney Pictures) – April 15, 2016
  • Captain America: Civil War (Marvel) – May 6, 2016
  • Alice: Through the Looking Glass (Walt Disney Pictures) – May 27, 2016
  • Finding Dory (Pixar) – June 17, 2016
  • The BFG (Walt Disney Pictures) – July 1, 2016
  • Pete’s Dragon (Walt Disney Pictures) – Aug. 12, 2016
  • Doctor Strange (Marvel) – Nov. 4, 2016
  • Moana (Walt Disney Animation Studios) – Nov. 23, 2016
  • Star Wars Anthology: Rogue One (Lucasfilm) – Dec. 16, 2016
  • Beauty and the Beast (Walt Disney Pictures) – March 17, 2017
  • Ghost in the Shell (DreamWorks) – April 14, 2017
  • Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (Marvel) – May 5, 2017
  • Star Wars: Episode VIII (Lucasfilm) – May 26, 2017
  • Toy Story 4 (Pixar) – June 16, 2017
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (Walt Disney Pictures) – July 17, 2017

Here is my top 5 list of Disney films I personally am looking forward to in 2016 and 2017:

1. Finding Dory I have been waiting and waiting and waiting for this movie and I am so

©2013 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

©2013 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

happy they have finally made it happen. I am ready to laugh and be happy with Nemo and Dory again. Want to check out the trailer? Click Here.

2. Beauty and the Beast – This is a live action fantasy, musical film that stars Emma Watson (who does not love Hermione) as Belle and Ewan McGregor as Lumiere. This is done in a similar manner as Cinderella which was released in 2015.

3. Moana – Another princess movie! There can never be enough Disney princesses and Moana is joining the ranks. Want to see the voice of Moana being told she got the part? Cute youtube video Click here!

4. The Jungle Book – Another live action coming out in Spring of 2016 and has quite _1439777280the cast list including Scarlett Johansson, Lupita Nyong’o, Bill Murray, Christopher Walken and Ben Kingsley to name a few. Neel Sethi who plays Mowgli and is a cutey! Want to see more info and a teaser then Click Here.

5. Alice: Through the Looking Glass – The sequel to Tim Burton’s Alice in
Wonderland is coming soon. My favorite Mad Hatter is back and Johnny Depp I know will do the part justice. This is another live action movie and if anything the cinematography will be amazing.

 

So this is my Top 5 list and I would love to hear your thoughts and what you are looking forward to seeing?

 

D23 News and Exciting Announcements

Oh my! If you are a Disney fan you know how much news came out this past weekend at D23 in Anaheim. If you are NOT a Disney fan you probably still heard some of it because it is crazy and wild all the cool stuff that is coming. If you are like me then you do not want to wait but want it all now! But go ahead and go to Disney and enjoy what is there now because with change you may lose some of your old favorites! But, do not worry because all the new stuff will make you quickly forget!

 

Thanks Disney Travel Professionals Page for the use of the photo.

Star Wars Land – Thanks Disney Travel Professionals Page for the use of the photo.

First, let’s talk about the BIGGEST news from D23 and I think we can all agree it is the new alcohol policy for Disney Cruise Line. Right??? Okay no that was not the biggest news at all (but I will address this news later but for now let’s start positive) and the biggest news…drum roll please… Star Wars Land. Yes, finally for all you Star Wars lovers (which clearly from the crowds at Star Wars Weekends is a ton) there is going to be an answer to your needs. Star Wars Land is going to be located at Disney Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World (so thankfully something will be there to entertain us people) and at the Disney Land Resort.

“I am thrilled to announce the next chapter in the long and exciting history between Disney Parks and Star Wars,” said Iger. “We are creating a jaw-dropping new world that represents our largest single themed land expansion ever. These new lands at Disneyland and Walt Disney World will transport guests to a whole new Star Wars planet, including an epic Star Wars adventure that puts you in the middle of a climactic battle between the First Order and the Resistance.”

 

There is more to come on this and stay with us here at Dolewhipped.com because we are bringing it to you!

Thanks to Disney Parks Blog for the photo.

Thanks to Disney Parks Blog for the photo.

Second, more lands! Yes, there are more lands coming our way including Toy Story Land coming to Disney Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World (again actual things to do there!) and at Animal Kingdom they are going with Pandora – The World of Avatar. I am sure Disney will do a great job with this as they do with everything. Another cool thing coming to Animal Kingdom that really gets me ready to go is After Dark at Animal Kingdom. They will have a show called “Rivers of Light” that sounds spectacular and is coming this Spring and also the Kilimanjaro Safari is going to have a night-time safari that will be a special type of safari and sounds awesome. I am a huge fan of Animal Kingdom and love seeing it grow.

Rivers of Light - Thanks Disney Parks Blog for the use of the photo.

Rivers of Light – Thanks Disney Parks Blog for the use of the photo.

Two more quick but excellent things to mention is a new restaurant at Magic Kingdom and a change to Soarin’. The table service restaurant named “Jungle Skipper Canteen” and will be themed after the Jungle Cruise. I am loving another table service option inside Magic Kingdom so this is good news. Soarin’ will no longer be Soarin’ Over California but instead we will be Soarin’ Around the World. This change will be put in place both in Epcot’s Soarin’ attraction in Walt Disney World and in Disney’s California Adventure’s Soarin’ attraction in Disneyland.

Last, is the bad news. Disney Cruise Line has changed the alcohol policy and the change goes into effect for any cruises commencing on or after September 30, 2015. I am just going to bullet point the new rules as I cry:

  • Each Guest 21 years and older may bring two bottles of unopened wine or champagne (no larger than 750ml) or six beers (no larger than 12oz) onboard in carry-on luggage at the beginning of the voyage and at each port-of-call.
  • All alcoholic beverages packed in checked luggage will be removed and stored until the completion of the cruise.
  • Wine or champagne in excess of the two allowable bottles or beer in excess of the six beers will be stored and Guests may retrieve them at the end of the voyage.
  • All liquors and spirits (including powdered alcohol) are prohibited and will be stored until the completion of the cruise.
  • Guests must retrieve any stored alcohol at the end of the cruise. Uncollected alcohol will be destroyed and no compensation will be offered.
  • Alcohol brought on board may not be consumed in any lounge or public area.
  • Effective Sept. 30, 2015, the corkage fee charged to Guests who bring their own wine or champagne into one of our restaurants will be $25 per bottle.

So, that is it. I know it hurts because it hurts us all but I am just the bearer of the news. Disney Cruise Line is still the best hands down and now you just need to save a few more dollars to pay for drinks on board. Also, remember at each port you can get 2 bottles and alcohol is usually very cheap at most ports of call – hey looking at the bright side! But overall, the news was amazing and I can not wait for these new things! If you have any questions let me know.

 

Imagineer for the Day- Hollywood Studios

Hollywood Studios is in a transition period and I am sure the attractions that are in progress will be wonderful but if I were in charge here is what I would do, if I was an Imagineer for the day with no budget in mind.

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Pixarland- A land filled with the characters and scenes from some of the best films. I personally love Monsters Inc and Monsters University and would love to see a dedicated area with over the top theming straight out of Monstropolis. Wall-E and the scene where he and Eva and whirling around space with a fire extinguisher. And a new addition, a dark ride based on Inside Out.

Carsland- Of course this could have been added to my Pixarland but I would love to see what they have in California in Florida. I think it could be a huge draw for more crowds.

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Star Wars Land-  I would love to see more Star Wars in the park! Permanent meet and greets with popular characters would be pretty amazing. Of course I would love to see some new attractions based on the classic episodes for the greatest appeal.

Updated stage shows- So many of these shows can use some fresh meat. I think the Little Mermaid show can leave forever, since there is an attraction in Magic Kingdom. Same with Beauty and the Beast. And I wouldn’t be sad to see Lights, Motor, Action! go be replaced by a Carsland attraction. Changing one of these shows to a Disney Junior show starring Sofia the First or Jake and the Neverland Pirates with full sized characters, similar to the traveling productions.

There is my take on Imagineer for the day in Hollywood Studios. If you missed the first for Animal Kingdom you can find it here.  Leave a comment and tell me what you would do if you were in charge of Hollywood Studios!

Our Favorite Character Meets

Recently we had Dustin, the Character Queen, on our podcast, you can listen here!  We wanted to share our favorite character meets!

Here is Jamie’s:
My favorite character meet was in March 2011. We had waited in line for my 3 year old nieces to meet the princesses and a few other characters and it didn’t go well. Everyone was too shy, so we figured we’d wait it out and not push the character thing this visit so the girls weren’t traumatized. Well, we took a ride on Dumbo and as soon as we got off spotted Pinocchio. My niece Maia took a deep breath and ran as fast as her little legs could carry her… Right into poor Pinocchio! She didn’t let go for a good minute or two. It was so sweet, and the start of no more shyness when it came to meeting characters!

Jamie M&G

Shannon’s:
My youngest daughter Allie tends to be very shy, especially with face characters but she loves the soft characters like Stitch. She and Stitch have a lot in common so here they are sharing a moment and a hug.
Shannon m&G

Tara’s:
One of my favorite character interactions was during Star Wars Weekend with Darth Vader and my husband, Scott. He is a huge Star Wars fan so we waited in quite the line to meet Darth Vader. We watched others go before him and just smile while DV was giving them the force choke. So, everyone in line was a little stunned and then laughing when Scott went into full choking mode. I personally would not go near Darth Vader as I was a bit afraid of him!

Tara M&G

And finally, Jillian’s:
My favorite meet was also involving Stitch.  It was my first visit with my own family to Walt Disney World.  We had breakfast at ‘Ohana and had recently discovered Lilo and Stitch so this was a must do for our family.  Stitch and Pluto were in full force and acting so silly.  Lilo grabbed my daughter’s hand and lead her on the parade around the restaurant.  There is no doubt that this is my favorite Disney moment of all time.

P Stitch2

Do you have a favorite character meet moment?  If so, share it with us!

What’s New At The Disney Store?

I don’t know about where you live, but there’s no Disney store local to me. We went on a road trip last week and I made my family stop off to check out the Disney outlet on our way. Here’s some of the cool stuff they had!
If you have a Sofia The First fan, they had plenty of things to choose from!

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Looking for Frozen gear? They had Olaf pajamas for boys! They also had lots of cute plasticware!

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Doc McStuffins fangirls can get this adorable dress!

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Headed to the beach or pool this summer? They have swimsuits and beach towels on sale in various prints for boys and girls!

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Most of this is available via their website, but it’s fun to see things in person! Definitely gets you in the mood to plan a Disney trip!

Hollywood Studios Tips

Arrive early, at least 30 minutes. As with Epcot sometimes the park will open early so if you are there early you will be one of the first ones in the gates! Of course you can always make a reservation for Hollywood and Vine for a pre-park opening breakfast.

HS Water Tower

Go right! If you want to check out the headliners most of them are to the right side of the park.

In Disney Jr Live on Stage don’t sit in the front. The view is not going to be great but if you sit towards the middle/back then you will have a much better view of the show.

If you plan to sign your child or children up for Jedi Training Academy this will be one of the first stops you want to make. You will get a show time and make sure to show up with plenty of time to spare.

Get the Fantasmic! Dinner Package. This costs nothing extra. You can use your dining plan credits and get reserved seating and save your FastPass+ for something else. Plus the seating for Fantasmic! is in a really great spot!

Check out The Magic of Disney Animation, you can meet characters, take an animation class and see some really neat Disney memorabilia.

BBLS

Make a plan, this is important for Hollywood Studios if you want to see more than two shows. In a park that is show heavy you have to make sure you are in the correct place at the time the shows start or you will be waiting a while for the next one.

Meet characters! This is a great park for hard to find characters like the Disney Junior gang or Phineas and Ferb. It is usually home to the newest characters, previous to Hiro and Baymax from Big Hero 6 there was Wreck it Ralph and Vanellope so always check for new character meets!

A and S with Vanellope

Try a cupcake! Hollywood Studios always seems to have always changing cupcakes with some great standbys too. Well worth a snack credit!

See fireworks. If there are fireworks going on at Hollywood Studios do not miss them! They are by far the best of all the parks. Plus it will be less crowded than the Magic Kingdom.

Have a missed a great tip? Share it here I would love to add it to my list!

Part 3: If I was an Imagineer for the Day at Disney…Disney’s Hollywood Studios Version

HS Water Tower

If you are keeping up with my Imagineer for a Day Series you will know we have covered Magic Kingdom and Epcot so far. I am getting some great feedback from you guys and welcome all your suggested changes (and as soon as I get to be an Imagineer I will pass on the good word!) So, next on the list is Disney’s Hollywood Studios…and if you keep up with rumors will be getting a name change soon. Though I am not sure it is a rumor anymore since Bob Iger himself let it slip during the shareholders meeting.

DHS has a lot of good and some bad and it is already going through many changes so it will be interesting to see if any of my “Imagineer for the Day” changes or if any of yours will be ones that Disney makes to see if my thinking is on par with the genius minds over at corporate.

Sorcerers HatAs a side bar one of the biggest changes that has happened recently is the Sorcerer’s hat is gone. I was on the fence with this change but I will say the street looks better and more authentic…like a real street. But, I hope they make something as the “anchor” like the other parks have. It just makes sense that each park has an anchor or mascot to represent it…if the sorcerer’s hat is not the answer then I think there should be something. But this is not one of my changes…it just was an obvious observation.

So my first change as “Imagineer for the Day” is I would add more restaurants. DHS only has a few counter service options and honestly none are anything to write home about. I need a few more options than burgers and corn dogs, etc. and they just do not have 50s Prime Timeenough places and enough good choices for my preference. When it comes to table service options there are a few that are great options like 50s Prime Time and perhaps you can make an argument for Sci-Fi Diner but the rest are just meh (compared to other WDW restaurants). The “flagship” signature restaurant is The Hollywood Brown Derby and I may be on a remote island with my opinion on this but it is my least favorite restaurant in all of Walt Disney World. It honestly has no redeeming qualities for me other than the grapefruit cake. The last few visits to Brown Derby (see I have given it more than just a chance or two) it has been not only disappointing in food, but also has taken a ridiculous amount of time. But moving on since this is not the topic J So, let’s bring some new fun restaurants to Hollywood Studios, both table service and counter service.

Second change is to bring back the backlot tour. I may be the ONLY person interested in this but I loved that attraction. Yes, it was dated but seeing Walt’s plane and the Golden Girls home was a good time for me. If you are not going to bring back the backlot tour then bring something new that has to with props, movies, Hollywood, etc. This would definitely help themeing and make sense.

Last, and I think we can all agree on this – but please update the Great Movie Ride. The movie Alien is not even a classic and is so old no one really wants to see that giant bug alien coming from the ceiling. Some of the “rooms” are classics and can stay like Wizard of Oz but it is time to update others. The main updates needed are the scripts that the cast members “act” out and I use the term act loosely and the movie reel at the end. The end when you see the collage of movies could use about 20 years of updates. I remember years ago when the storyline and cast members were fun and made it even better than it was written but that has definitely gone. Now that this ride is the first attraction you see since the removal of the Sorcerer’s hat and is part of the Hollywood Blvd anchor it needs to live up to its location.

So, this is a start and I know Star Wars Land is coming and some other changes and these have me very excited but there are a few remaining issues that if updated or changed or added to would make Hollywood Studios so much better and more appealing to the masses.

What do you think? What would you change and what do you love and not love the most about Hollywood Studios? Lastly, tell me what you would like to see the name changed too?