Walt Disney World: Old Key West & Hollywood Studios (Day 1)

Mom took the whole family to Disney! Family = my brother and his girlfriend, Abby; my sister and her husband, James, and 5 year old, Zoe; my mom (and sometimes her boyfriend, Bobby, who is a cast member); and the two of us.

After pricing out every option under the sun, mom landed on renting points for Old Key West. Old Key West is a Disney Vacation Club property that boasts some of the largest units on site. We had two 2-bedroom villas (around 1400 sq ft each). While we were hoping for side-by-side units, they ended up being in side-by-side buildings so still not a big deal.

I neglected to get pics before we unpacked but you can check some out here.

Overall, the resort was lovely. We used the quiet pool a couple of times and it was clean and not crowded. Great size pool towels, too! The rooms show a bit of age; our bed, especially, was incredibly uncomfortable as were the living room sofas. It’s very quiet and peaceful there and our rooms were on the golf course so we could watch people play from our porch or living room. I wish we had had more time to spend there!

The main area housed the quick service and table service restaurant, gift shop, main pool, and boat launch. We ate at Olivia’s several times (always delicious!) and the quick service (could use some attention).

Jason and I drove down – stopping first in Hilton Head – and the rest of the family flew in around the same time and utilized Magical Express. We happened to arrive at the resort at the same time!

While they grabbed lunch, we unloaded our car into my sister’s villa where I promptly lost her Magic Band. She’d had it literally 10 minutes.

At this point, I’d like to point out that the weather was hotter than the surface of the sun. All week.

So after unloading 5342 things from the car in the heat and humidity, I realized her band was gone. I trekked back to the main house, got another band (which I nearly lost, too), and finished unloading.

Evidently, I dropped the band in the parking lot and it was returned before we left for the park. Whew.

Once bags were dropped off, we loaded into our car and headed for Hollywood Studios!


Hollywood Studios was busy – it was the last Halloween Party at Magic Kingdom + Extra Magic Hours + now fewer attractions to disperse the crowds. We had a fast pass for Toy Story Mania, Tower of Terror, and For the First Time in Forever (Frozen sing-along). We also tried to catch characterpalooza and failed 😦

Tower of Terror – one of my favorite WDW rides!


Zoe is a Beauty and the Beast fan – she was Belle for Halloween the night before – so we had to see the show.


Boy, we were wishing that theater was air conditioned.


Dinner was on the fly – counter service spots are severely lacking but we went for anything air conditioned and stopped into ABC Commissary. For what it was, it was fine.

The Frozen fast pass was the most disappointing of the week (and one of the hardest to snag!); they funneled us around past the stand-by line to enter but then we ended up right back behind the stand-by guests. We could have saved 50 steps and been 50 people ahead if we had just used stand-by. By the time we got into the theater, we were stuck down towards the end but it ended up being okay. Oh, well. Lesson learned!


We actually loved this show! It’s fun to sing along and the hosts are very funny.


The Frozen fan in our group was smitten.


We ended the night with Fantasmic, which I really, really dislike. We haven’t bothered to see it in years and I was wishing I had gone to see the Osborne Lights instead. I still don’t get why people like it…

The park was open late for extra magic hours but after a day of travel, most in our group were ready to call it a night so we headed back to the hotel to unpack and hang out.

Next up: Animal Kingdom, Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, and Morimoto Asia!


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