I’m Going To Disney World, Part 5: Hollywood Studios

Where were we? Last time in Part 4, we ran around with glee at all the Star Wars Nerdery going on at Hollywood Studios. We were like two kids in a candy store! And oh yeah, we had our kids there too. Four kids in a candy store? Cassidy tried to kiss Jyn Erso and I tried to hug Kylo Ren. “You are part of the resistance.” “Yup.” “Unacceptable.” “But should we hug?” “No.”

You can’t blame a girl for trying.

Heading to Orlando? Check out Walt Disney World's Hollywood Studios to love on all things #StarWars, #DisneyJunior, #Pixar, and more! Let's go back! #travel

One thing to remember, is that there were always three kinds of cameras to capture our moments. We had our phone cameras, I had my “real” camera, and the Disney Photographers had their “real” cameras. That doesn’t mean every moment was captured, though. Sometimes, often, you just have to experience it. That said, everything is mish-mashed in my head and in my photos, so I’m just going to tell the stories, and hopefully not be too out of order? We totally rocked Hollywood Studios.

One of the first things we did was Disney Junior Live On Stage.

Heading to Orlando? Check out Walt Disney World's Hollywood Studios to love on all things #StarWars, #DisneyJunior, #Pixar, and more! Let's go back! #travel

We got pretty decent seats, although you sit on the floor, and I know I wasn’t the only parent grinning like such a dork at all the theme songs for the TV shows we have known for the last half dozen years or so. Also, sorry to the people after us who found crushed Rainbow Goldfish in their seats! Scarlet really liked the host of the show. He was rather inspiring for us.

Heading to Orlando? Check out Walt Disney World's Hollywood Studios to love on all things #StarWars, #DisneyJunior, #Pixar, and more! Let's go back! #travel

Heading to Orlando? Check out Walt Disney World's Hollywood Studios to love on all things #StarWars, #DisneyJunior, #Pixar, and more! Let's go back! #travel

Heading to Orlando? Check out Walt Disney World's Hollywood Studios to love on all things #StarWars, #DisneyJunior, #Pixar, and more! Let's go back! #travel

Heading to Orlando? Check out Walt Disney World's Hollywood Studios to love on all things #StarWars, #DisneyJunior, #Pixar, and more! Let's go back! #travel

There was a Doc McStuffins skit, a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse one, a Sofia the First one, and a Jake and the Neverland Pirates one, complete with gold doubloons coming from the ceiling! My kids thought they were REAL gold, but they were paper.

Heading to Orlando? Check out Walt Disney World's Hollywood Studios to love on all things #StarWars, #DisneyJunior, #Pixar, and more! Let's go back! #travel

Sofia can close her eyes!

Heading to Orlando? Check out Walt Disney World's Hollywood Studios to love on all things #StarWars, #DisneyJunior, #Pixar, and more! Let's go back! #travel

After that rousing show, we wandered around to get Scarlet an autograph book, check out Disney Junior souvenirs, and then we saw Sofia the First! She took a five minute break to “tend to Clover” but we were first in line after her break.

Heading to Orlando? Check out Walt Disney World's Hollywood Studios to love on all things #StarWars, #DisneyJunior, #Pixar, and more! Let's go back! #travel

I’m sincerely wondering what Scarlet thought of her! Real? Not real? Costume? What? Not gonna ask!

Heading to Orlando? Check out Walt Disney World's Hollywood Studios to love on all things #StarWars, #DisneyJunior, #Pixar, and more! Let's go back! #travel

She was starstruck, though!

Heading to Orlando? Check out Walt Disney World's Hollywood Studios to love on all things #StarWars, #DisneyJunior, #Pixar, and more! Let's go back! #travel

Des was like, “What on God’s green earth is going on? Where are the doughnuts?

Heading to Orlando? Check out Walt Disney World's Hollywood Studios to love on all things #StarWars, #DisneyJunior, #Pixar, and more! Let's go back! #travel

I think Sofia loved us, though. I think I whispered (creepily) in her ear that she has made our life ever since Scarlet was three. I really remember the exact day we discovered the show. Scarlet has never looked back since, and also loves Elena of Avalor.

We only split up once during the day because I wanted to go on The Great Movie Ride, while the rest did Star Tours. I thought Star Tours would be too much for Des and he should come with me, but luckily he chose wisely with Star Tours. My ride was 20 minutes long, had actors firing real-sounding gunshots, the alien from Alien coming through the ceiling, and the Wicked Witch of the West – as an actor and not animatronic – disappear in a cloud of green smoke. Des would not have liked that!

Another fun thing, that we had a FastPass for, is the FROZEN Sing-a-long. How to explain this one? Well, everyone files in for the immersive experience that includes stage acting, movie clips, singing, of course, and SNOW coming from the ceiling. Our actors were hilarious. I couldn’t find a video that had the exact ones, but if you want to see what it’s like, this video has it!

It’s super important to tell you that this was supposed to be a sing-a-long, but our audience just saw there! How boring! Cassidy sang along louder than anyone else on earth, and his rendition of “Love is an Open Door” should have been filmed. He was so loud that people would turn in their seats to look at us. We weren’t embarrassed, though. We were proud and amused.

After we filed out of there and had lunch, we were scheduled for Jedi Training, and the kids didn’t want to do it! So we headed to the Pixar part of the park for the Toy Story Mania ride, and managed to meet some pretty cool characters there!

Pretty awesome, right?

The wait was about 20 minutes or so, but there are activities along the way. When it was our turn, Buzz wanted a hug, and also to tell me that Woody smelled bad. I wanted to hug Woody too. I bet they get a lot of hugs and kisses all day long.

Heading to Orlando? Check out Walt Disney World's Hollywood Studios to love on all things #StarWars, #DisneyJunior, #Pixar, and more! Let's go back! #travel

After Toy Story Mania, which I didn’t do because I have trouble with either spinning or motion simulation, we decided to make our way out of the park. We wanted to decompress, maybe sit by the pool, grab a snack, and then come back for fireworks!

On our way out, we met MY FAVORITE CHARACTER OF ALL TIME!

Heading to Orlando? Check out Walt Disney World's Hollywood Studios to love on all things #StarWars, #DisneyJunior, #Pixar, and more! Let's go back! #travel

Then later we came back for fireworks and a light show on the Chinese Theater.

Heading to Orlando? Check out Walt Disney World's Hollywood Studios to love on all things #StarWars, #DisneyJunior, #Pixar, and more! Let's go back! #travel

Heading to Orlando? Check out Walt Disney World's Hollywood Studios to love on all things #StarWars, #DisneyJunior, #Pixar, and more! Let's go back! #travel

Heading to Orlando? Check out Walt Disney World's Hollywood Studios to love on all things #StarWars, #DisneyJunior, #Pixar, and more! Let's go back! #travel

Disney Hollywood Studios

It was all Star Wars-themed with red fireworks for evil, and fire so real you could feel it strongly!

Heading to Orlando? Check out Walt Disney World's Hollywood Studios to love on all things #StarWars, #DisneyJunior, #Pixar, and more! Let's go back! #travel

LIGHTSABER BEAMS!

Hollywood Studios Finale!

Then we went back to our hotel and got to fully see and enjoy our room! It had been an exhausting day but the next prize – Magic Kingdom – was going to start early the next day. We got dessert in our room and all promptly fell asleep.

The table turns into a bed like magic!

And..don’t tell her I posted this!

Don’t tell me I posted this. This is me in my happy place. I talk the talk of an exciting life, but this is how my nights end.

The End, For Now.

Next up, MAGIC KINGDOM. And I assure you a lot of magic, and I suppose a lot of kingdom. We do it up RIGHT!

Baby, You Were Born to Run

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When Cassidy and I had been married a few months and had made the decision to move back east to be closer to our families, we plotted out a 2.5 week, spiraling road trip across the United States to eventually wind up in western Massachusetts.

We factored in our dog’s comfort and safety for every minute of that trip.

When Cassidy and I were celebrating our sixth wedding anniversary, we went away for the first time sans kids – leaving them with my mom in our house, but taking our dog with us for fun and moose-filled adventures in the rainy woods of Vermont.

Enter the Radisson RED #BAXTERTRAVELS #CONTEST for a chance to win one of 2 red nylon Fatboy beds! Radisson RED's pet-friendly policy https://ooh.li/00a944a

We have always been dog people, and we always will be, and I can’t imagine not raising my kids right alongside our dog and our cat. And who knows? Maybe there will be another puppy or dog in our future. Furry friends are part of our family. I was happy to learn recently that at Radisson RED, furry friends are part of the family too! With their pet-friendly policy, you don’t ever have to sacrifice style and comfort in order to have your dog go on your hotel adventures right with you.

Enter the Radisson RED #BAXTERTRAVELS #CONTEST for a chance to win one of 2 red nylon Fatboy beds! Radisson RED's pet-friendly policy https://ooh.li/00a944a

When I was a kid, we would go to Myrtle Beach, SC or Ocean City, MD for two weeks at a time every July! Oh, how I missed my dog, Chelsea during our trips. As an adult, we have our dog, Athena, stay with Cassidy’s parents when we’re flying anywhere. When it’s a road trip? Our girl comes with us! From NJ to NYC, to Boston and Cape Cod, to the cold and moose-filled woods of Vermont, I love looking behind the passenger seat and seeing two cute kids and a cute pup looking back at me.

Enter the Radisson RED #BAXTERTRAVELS #CONTEST for a chance to win one of 2 red nylon Fatboy beds! Radisson RED's pet-friendly policy https://ooh.li/00a944a

For most dogs, like Athena and our old husky – Stormy – there’s nothing like the feel of the wind and the open road.

Enter the Radisson RED #BAXTERTRAVELS #CONTEST for a chance to win one of 2 red nylon Fatboy beds! Radisson RED's pet-friendly policy https://ooh.li/00a944a

I know that feeling well, and I LOVE Radisson RED’s pet policy. Not only that, they’re having a contest right now and all it takes is posting a dog travel photo on Instagram, using the hashtags #BAXTERTRAVELS and #CONTEST. I took a look at some of the submissions here and I was in awe of the cuteness and splendor. This contest will run from February 10th to February 24th, so enter while you can! You can win one of two red, nylon Fatboy dog beds! Who doesn’t need a good dog bed?

Enter the Radisson RED #BAXTERTRAVELS #CONTEST for a chance to win one of 2 red nylon Fatboy beds! Radisson RED's pet-friendly policy https://ooh.li/00a944a

Here are five awesome tips for traveling to hotels with pets:

Enter the Radisson RED #BAXTERTRAVELS #CONTEST for a chance to win one of 2 red nylon Fatboy beds! Radisson RED's pet-friendly policy https://ooh.li/00a944a

1 – Preemptive research is key. That’s why I research hotel pet policies, and look into parks, hikes, and other dog-friendly activities near the hotel. Talk to the staff and get a better feel of just how welcome they make dogs feel.

2 – Go for a long walk once you reach your destination. A well-exercised dog is a happier dog, and it gives the dog (and you) the chance to get a real feel for the hotel and/or town, city, state, etc.

3 – Enter the hotel room first, and have your dog do a sit stay. Don’t give your dog control of the new situation. Unpack a bit, go to the bathroom, look around, and leave your scent in the room. When you are ready, have your dog settle in.

4 – Explore! Be extra vigilant with what’s around, especially concerning items your dog could ingest. While your home is probably dog-proof for your particular dog(s), it may not be that way in even the most pet-friendly of places!

5 – Choose the right room, and make a comfortable space for your dog. Generally, I request a room on the ground floor – in terms of carrying extra luggage for my dog, and avoiding stairs. It’s also convenient to take the dog out. In addition, Elevators can cause stress. Request a room with a fridge, especially if you use fresh food for your dog. Consider crating your dog for when you leave her behind in the room. Dogs generally feel comfortable and LESS stressed in their crates. If you don’t normally use one, maybe do some practice runs before your stay!

Read more about Radisson RED’s pet policy, and enter the contest HERE.