Friday was the day of our only real goof, planning wise. The itinerary I had printed out said that we needed to be at Hollywood Studios for a 9am rope drop. However, Doug decided to verify that the night before, and when he checked on his phone, he said Hollywood Studios had AM EMH and would be open at 8am. So we did our usual routine of getting up at 6:30am, were at the bus stop around 7:10, and were at Hollywood Studios at 7:40. I know that's early, but there should have still been a sizeable crowd - and there was nobody there. So we checked again, only to find that my itinerary was right - the park wouldn't open until 9am. If only Hollywood Studios did a family of the day, we would have been it for sure! The CMs were really nice and friendly, though, including giving us lots of stickers (with characters other than just Mickey, which we didn't see anywhere else). They also scanned us through the RFID 'turnstiles' early - the result of all which was that we were first in line, and first into the parks. We went straight to Toy Story Mania and got to ride standby twice with very little wait. After our second ride, the wait was up to 45 minutes, so we pulled some Fastpasses and headed over to Tower of Terror. Lachlann was brave enough to ride with Doug and then again with me. After Tower of Terror was Star Tours for Doug and the bigs, while I took the littles into Writers Stop. That was a really neat little store tucked into a corner, with a yummy snack bar and a great selection of books.
We had reservations at Sci-Fi Dine-In for lunch, which was right next door. That was definitely a unique experience. We ate in a regular car, with Colwyn and Lachlann 'driving' in the front row, Niall and I in the middle seats, and Fiona and Doug brought up the rear. The sci-fi movie clips were really fun, and the food was decent. We splurged and got the kids souvenir glow drinks as a surprise.
After lunch, we headed back to Toy Story Mania to use our Fastpasses. We me Mike from Monsters Inc, but Sully must have been on break. We noticed that we were near the AFI store so we looked in there, but were sadly disappointed. My family is Icelandic and the word for grandfather is 'Afi'. When I was 16, we went to Disney with my grandparents, and my Afi bought a hat that said AFI on the front. When he passed away, the hat was given to my dad, who was by then an Afi himself. Lachlann wears the hat now, and we were really hoping to find something (anything!) that said AFI on it for my dad. Unfortunately, there wasn't a single thing in the AFI store that had the AFI logo. After that, I took the kids into the Honey I Shrunk the Kids playground while Doug made a phone call. We were having a good time, and I was watching the littles like a hawk since there are so many hiding spots and hard to get to areas in there. Well, when I turned to lift Fiona down off the giant ant, Niall disappeared. Thus ensued the worst five minutes of our vacation as I ran around like a maniac, got the boys to search for him, and finally found him on the other side of the playground. Niall and I were both hysterical (him visibly so, I was holding it in), so we high-tailed it out of there. Colwyn and Lachlann were really disappointed, but took it well enough.
We thought the Cars meet and greet with Lightning McQueen and Mater would cheer us all up, but Niall was overwhelmed at first, and as soon as he was ready to actually check out the cars, our turn was up and we had to move on. That was a little stressful, too. We were back in the Star Tours area by then, so I took Colwyn and Lachlann on with our Baby Swap pass. It was definitely an improvement from the last incarnation, and the boys were thrilled that there are different versions of the ride. Doug had taken the littles back to Writers Stop while we were riding, and Niall zonked out in the stroller. We didn't want to stay too much longer, we just wanted to meet Handy Manny, Jake, and Phineas and Ferb. So we headed back to the Animation Courtyard and woke Niall up, which was probably a bad choice - he was way too groggy to appreciate Handy Manny and Jake. Phineas and Ferb were a lot of fun, though, and the kids (and Doug) had almost as much fun with the Ducky Mo-Mo statue as they did with the 'real' characters.
By then we were all tired and hot, so we called it a day and headed back to our resort. We had a nice dinner in the food court and went swimming, then went to bed, anticipating a nice two-day break from crazy park touring.