If you’ve been to Disney’s Hollywood studios lately then you know the importance of getting there when the park opens. If you want to ride Slinky Dog Dash without an hour wait, then you need to be on the first bus or Skyliner gondola over to the park. However, what I am talking about is not a ride or an attraction. The second most important “rope drop” at Hollywood Studios happens at 10:30am. That is when Baseline Tap House opens for business each day. It has become a regular part of our Hollywood Studios routine! We feel that making this “rope drop” is just as important as securing that Rise of the Resistance boarding group or making it to the park in time to get onto Slinky Dog with a short wait.
Our Hollywood Studios Strategy…
Here’s how the last several trips to Hollywood Studios has gone for us. We get up before 7am so that we can grab that Rise of the Resistance boarding group. We get to the park at or around the time it opens and we head to Slinky Dog Dash. Sometimes we may choose to go to Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway instead. After the initial ride, we may hit up Toy Story Mania or Smuggler’s Run. By the time we are done with those it is usually around 10:15am which means it is time to hightail it over to Baseline Tap House to be one of the first in line when it opens!
We regularly get the charcuterie plate, ($10.00) Bavarian pretzel, ($9.00) and the Beef Puff ($11.00). As far as the drinks go, Jason and I prefer the beers on tap while our wives tend to prefer the cocktails. I usually go the for North Coast Scrimshaw Pilsner ($10.50 for the 22oz) My wife prefers the California Sunset cocktail ($14.00). Yes, I know it is 10:30 in the morning but we are on vacation! Besides, what better way to Prepare yourself for joining the resistance than by settling the nerves with a little refreshment from Baseline Tap House? You can hear more about Baseline Tap House from our recent trip report episode here!
Timing that boarding group…
I believe the sweet spot for a Rise of the Resistance boarding group is between groups thirty and forty. What that typically means is that your boarding group should be called somewhere between 10:30 and 11:30 am. This gives you plenty of time for a mid-morning drink and bite to eat at Baseline before joining the Resistance! Throughout the day this place gets and stays pretty busy so finding a table can be tricky. It is also important to find a spot in the shade. Next time you find yourself at Hollywood Studios, stop by Baseline Tap House for a nice refreshment…Tell them Traveling with the Mouse sent you!
Maybe this is common knowledge but it wasn’t to me. We even went on a VIP tour a few months ago and our VIP tour guide didn’t believe that there were any hidden Mickey’s in Galaxy’s Edge. We very quickly showed him pictures of the one from Millennium Falcon Smuggler’s Run. You know, the one on the side of the TV screen right before you enter the cockpit. He wasn’t aware of that one, a VIP tour guide at Disney. So naturally I was curious, if there is one on Smuggler’s Run then there must be one on Rise of the Resistance too, right? Long story short, I scoured the interwebs to see what I could find on the subject. I located one reddit post where someone had a blurry picture from the ride and pointed out what they believed to be a hidden mickey. It just so happened that I found that picture just minutes before we received an incoming transmission from Rey. Below is the second picture that I was able to get that finally came in clear…See it?
This hidden Mickey is located in the room with the flailing Kylo Ren animatronic. As soon as you exit the gun room where only one turret gun seems to work any more…you enter this room and quickly pass by two control panels. The hidden Mickey is located on the second control panel. You can see it right before Kylo uses the force on your ride vehicle. If you are sitting in the back row it might be a little harder to see it because of the current plexiglass dividers but from the front row it is easy to spot. So now I know of at least two hidden Mickey’s in Galaxy’s edge, one in each attraction. Does anyone know of another in a different part of the land? Let us know in the comments if you spotted another hidden Mickey. We also talk about this during our Trip report episode. You can find it here!
Episode 317: We are back after a week off and we discuss our recent Trip to Disney’s Old Key West resort! First, we cover some of the news that has happened like the mixed feelings people have about Ohana re-opening at the Polynesian resort. It’s great that is is coming back but people are very upset about the noodles being taken away from the dinner menu. Because of the hoopla surround noodle gate, people didn’t seem to notice that Sabastian’s Bistro is also re-opening soon. We have been saying it for years…you should make time to go there and eat dinner, you won’t be disappointed. (order the rum flight and you definitely won’t be). The skyliner crashed again but nobody seems to care any more. Rope-drop procedures are returning to normal and Indiana Jones 5 has begun filming in the UK. Alright, now with the news out of the way we shift to discussing our memorial day weekend trip to Walt Disney World. We discuss things like, what it is like to walk around Disney without a mask, Finding a hidden Mickey on Rise of the Resistance, and how important it is to be on the rope for Baseline Tap House!
Episode 316: In this episode we talk some Disney news and then preview an upcoming trip to Walt Disney World this weekend! We start with some Disneyland news…Soon out of state guests will be welcomed back. Also, Disneyland’s newly reimagined Jungle Cruise will be opening in July. The big news of the week out of Disneyland however, is that the Spiderman Adventure attraction will require a boarding group once it opens. This means that guests will have to choose between Spidey and Rise of the resistance at the start of the day. In Disney World news, we continue to see restrictions lifted and talks of capacity expanded. It looks like Minnie Vans could be returning and the monorail had a Badger problem. After the news, Jason and I discuss our upcoming trip this very weekend to Walt Disney World. We are trying out a DVC resort and are staying together in a 2 bedroom villa. Look out for us on social media this weekend!
Episode 315: We take a deep dive into the Haunted Mansion! We explore the history and details of this attraction. Plus did you know that Walt had a favorite stretching room portrait? We do start with the news and cover several of the developing stories this week. Covid-19 guidelines continue to loosen on both coasts. The three caballeros are back at the gran fiesta tour! The Grand Floridian is getting new DVC studios added soon. The dark saber made its way to Galaxy’s Edge. Disney Cruise line released the pricing on the Wish’s inaugural sailing…my wish was for lower pricing! The later sailings in 2022 look better as far as price though.
Episode 314: Today we have 2 special guests join us! TheBrothersWDW as they are known in the challenge community, Ryan and Reagan. We chat with them about the challenge and go through some of their most exciting challenge completions. They have a lot of records and several completions during their many different challenge runs. We also ask them about the future of the challenge and if it will still be possible in the years ahead. They also give us their challenge advice. After the interview we dig into some of the news of the week. We recorded before some of the details came out around the increase in crowds and rumors of when the masks mandate will be lifted but we discuss our thoughts on when we thought that might happen. We also poke fun at the Harmonious fountain testing…we hope the show will look better than the tests.
Episode 313: This week we have a lot of Disney news to cover…From Disneyland to Cruise line and Star Wars! We begin with the re-opening of Disneyland and talk about some of the things that have changed like having to shorten Rise of the Resistance, The secret entrance to Haunted Mansion and the new Snow White attraction. It’s good to see Disneyland open again. We move on to the Disney Cruise Line news and cover the new info on the Disney Wish and Jon talks about whether or not he want to book this ship for his next cruise. Next we discuss some of the updates at Walt Disney World like the upcoming removal of the temperature screenings and the return of some more character meals. Lastly, we cover the Star wars news of the week. The new lightsaber that everyone want but probably isn’t anywhere near ready to sell made its debut this week in a short video. The Star Wars cruiser looks to be delayed until next year but we got to see some new concept art. Is anyone going to book this as soon as it is available?
Episode: 312. Yeah, we waited 7 hours to ride the PeopleMover this week, but it was totally worth it! We were among the very first park guests to ride after being down for over a year. Jason and I recently returned from a trip to Walt Disney World where we got upgraded to the Grand Floridan. We enjoyed several trips to our favorite bars and lounges on property. We watched the Electric Water Pageant from our hotel room. We had one fantastic table service meals and one not so fantastic meal. We explored Tom Sawyer island and compared the experience to that of Rise of the Resistance….You’ll see what we mean. In the news we discuss the newest update to the Jungle Cruise and Disneyland is open once again! We talk about the latest Ride Every points challenge and the recent controversy surrounding it.
Episode 311: Today we cover the recent news and preview our Disney trip this weekend! That’s right, Jason and I will be at Walt Disney World this weekend for a rare kid-free Disney experience. Disneyland could soon allow out of state guests and the reservations don’t seem to be filling up as quickly as expected. The famous uh, photo opp in the Morocco pavilion at Epcot has been modified. There been a price increase for custom light sabers at Savi’s Workshop. I also follow up on part of last week’s episode where I talked about the part of the Disney World property that Walt Disney himself actually set foot on. I actually found out more to this story. I discovered that the house is still on Disney property but it has just been moved to another location. Here is the link to the article. Jason and I will be in the parks this weekend most likely hitting up the bars and lounges. If you are in the parks this weekend let us know!
Episode 310: We take a look back 50 years ago and discuss a few things at Walt Disney World that haven’t changed. (much) It was another slow news week, aside from the construction updates. We noticed updates to the Contemporary, Several things in Magic Kingdom are continuing to see a refresh, and Epcot has new things opening this summer. That’s right, club cool is returning as well as the new shop with a new name. Cast members can now show visible tattoos and wear visible jewelry and other accessories. Finally we get into our main topic…With the 50th anniversary looming we want to start peppering in some episodes dedicated to the occasion. We are starting by talking about a few things that were there over 50 years ago that are still around today. Some things have changed a little and others haven’t changed at all. Let us know if there’s anything you think we should talk about that we didn’t include on our list.
Episode 309: Today Jon and I discuss some of the top headlines of the week and then we go through Jon’s trip report to Legoland and a park-less trip to Disney at Art of Animation. You can now go mask less for outdoor photos at Walt Disney World. There’s some more delays on Disney Cruise line. Josh D’Amaro teased some new technology coming to the Disney parks as well as a working retractable light saber?!?!? I can’t wait to find out more about that! We get into Jon’s trip report and he walks us through is experience at Legoland. It was a mixed bag of long waits but good service and food that was included with his stay. Next he stayed a few days at the Art of Animation resort to check out the newly refurbished Little Mermaid rooms. He got to have a day at the big blue pool the day that it re-opened. He also had a good meal at Art Smith’s Homecomin’ and an unforgettable dinner at the California Grill. (Recently voted by us as the best thing at Walt Disney World) He capped it all of with Dole whips at the Polynesian and some great Disney cast interaction that reminds us why Disney is still a step above when it comes to service!
Episode 308: Today we finalize our 2021 March madness bracket and crown the champion of what believe is currently the best thing at Walt Disney World. Last week we started with 64 things in 8 different categories and we narrowed that down to 32. Today Jon joined us live from Walt Disney World from the business center of Art of Animation resort as we work to narrow down the top 32 all the way to the champion! Was Jon swayed by some of the things he experience on his trip this week? You be the judge! Oh, and look for his Orlando trip report next week. Let us know if you agree or disagree with our pick for this year’s champion as the best thing at Walt Disney World. I think we even surprised ourselves this year!
Episode 307: It’s time for our annual Disney march Madness bracket! This year we are going to determine the best thing about Walt Disney World! We have categories ranging from Park Icon’s to Signature Restaurants and everything in-between. Before we get to that we do discuss the big new story of the week. The Disneyland concept art that everyone went crazy over this week. While it looks cool we have to take it for what it is….a concept. We hope that some day an expansion to Disneyland can happen but we know in reality that it will be a challenge to get anything built any time soon…for a number of reasons. Ok, back to our Disney World bracket. We have 8 categories of items that we believe make Walt Disney World great. We are going to narrow this list down to one championship winner that will be crowned “The best thing about Walt Disney World! Tune in next week for the exciting conclusion but also tune in this week to hear the exciting round one matchups!
Episode 306: We interviewed our kids about what they love about Disney! Before we get to that we start by covering the big news of the week. The big story of the week is that Disneyland in California finally has a re-opening date! April 30, 2021 Disneyland will be open after an entire year of being closed. There will be some new things to see and do once the park re-opens. Snow White’s Enchanted Wish will debut and Disney is reporting that the Haunted Mansion has also gotten some upgrades. Meanwhile, over at Walt Disney World, Spaceship Earth is receiving some new nighttime lighting effects. Annual Passholders will be getting two (2) magnets in the mail this time. Alright, lets get to the main event…We interviewed our kids (and one best friend) for this episode, 6 in total! We start with the youngest and work our way up to the oldest. Our kids range in age from 2 years to 7 years old. We get a wide variety of responses and rabbit trails but we did manage to get some answers to a very pressing question…Are the Rafts a ride? You know how we feel about it but what do our kids think? We also asked the about the monorail, the skyliner and what their favorite rides are…All in all we had a great time laughing and enjoying what our kids had to say. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did!
Episode: 305. After our week off we catch back up on the news. There’s actually some major stories to cover this week. Ratatouille has an opening date. Many weren’t expecting it but once you stop and think, the date that the chose does make sense…from a certain point of view. Disneyland finally has the green light to re-open with some major limitations. The new Moana themed rooms at the Polynesian look really nice and shiny! The question remains though, how much are they going to charge for these rooms? Epcot has some new entrance features including some new music. Be sure to tune in next week where we will have 6 special guests…Our Kids (and one best friend) will be joining us. You’ll get to hear straight from our kids what they love about Disney!
Episode 304: Today we play a game of Would you rather? Disney Edition! We came up with several scenarios with varying levels of weirdness they we have to choose between. We had fun coming up with difficult choices to try and stump each other with. So look for choices that include rafts, skyliner, monorail and fastpass! Before we get into all of the fun we do go over some news stories for the week. There isn’t a whole lot to report but there’s always construction updates to give from Walt Disney World and even Disneyland has some to report. Let’s hope that they Taste of Disney event out there will help give the Californians a much needed Disney fix! It also looks like Disney is looking for a hotel manager for the new Star Wars Galactic Star Cruiser. Speaking of Cruises, the Disney Cruise line is cancelling more sailings through most of the summer.
Episode 303: This week Jason and I returned from Walt Disney World and we give our trip report of what it was like during President’s Day weekend. Also, let us know if you like the new format for the trip reports! First we cover some of the news of the week like some financial reports for the Walt Disney company and the subscriber count for Disney plus is nearing 100 million. Disney Dining plan will remain unavailable for the foreseeable future and the Park Pass system is here to stay for now. The park hours remain all over the place but seem to be getting extended each week. More construction is continuing in preparation for Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary later this year. In the trip report section, Jason and I talk about our experience at Pop Century resort, the Skyliner Bar crawl that we attempted and getting a boarding group for Rise of the resistance for 2 days in a row and showing up late to see what would happen. We talk about the different dinning experiences that we had this time including Olivia’s, Ale & Compass, and my birthday dinner at California Grill.
Episode 302: Today we revisit our strategy for our first challenge run and we discuss how much we learned from that experience! Looking back on it is pretty funny to hear, knowing what we know today. The inexperience shows in the clips that we play from that episode (episode 192). We have learned so much since then, but it takes knowledge and experience to be a good challenge runner. We also discuss some of the latest Disney news but there wasn’t that much this week. The contemporary is getting new rooms, The Key to the World cards look a lot like the luggage tags we used to get and a super bowl champ made a visit to Walt Disney World. Jason and I will be at Disney World this week so look for a trip report next week.
Episode 301: In this episode this we discuss the latest Disney news and give a construction update on the various construction project going on at Walt Disney World. Jason, points out that his favorite attraction, The Tom Sawyer Island Rafts. The Soul of Jazz exhibit is now open at Epcot and Annual Passholders will get a 30% discount on merch again for the next month. The park hours have been extended for the President’s Day holiday week. There has been a new record for the Points challenge this past week. Can someone beat the new record next week with the longer hours? We wrap the show by giving a collection of the different tips that we have learned over the past several months traveling to Walt Disney world during Covid-19.