February Disney Trip Day 6 and Princess Half Marathon

Hey gang! Well I dunno about you but I’ve had quite a day..

Up again at 3.30am and on a bus in under 20 minutes, but thanks to a crazy amount of traffic, it took us over an hour to get to Epcot for this mornings race! I finally got into my corral at 5:30am, which is when the race was due to start, but luckily thanks to the bad traffic, the start was delayed 10 minutes so I didn’t miss out on anything.
The race itself was a classic combination of hard work and a lot of fun; I probably spent about 30-40 minutes waiting for various character stops along the way, but also being my first half without my dad, I struggled a little bit to work with a proper pace and ended up winging it just a bit! I did come in quicker than the time I had set as a sort of goal, so no complaints here, and I was back to the hotel in no time for a bath and, today, a nice long nap, while Sarah went on a solo excursion.

Once I was back on my feet (just barely) I headed into the Magic Kingdom ready for a day of twirling around the place in my beautiful Chip skirt. First stop of the day was meeting Stitch in Town Square, and he loved my outfit and knew exactly who I was, pointing to the picture of Chip on Sarah’s tshirt! Then we had fastpasses for Space Mountain, but not until after I re-carbed with a Mickey pretzel, and we got put on the Alpha track – BOO. With some time to kill before Merida was back meeting (due to her being on parade) we went over to Be Our Guest and luckily there was a photopass photographer outside to take some photos of us in front of Beast’s castle.

Meeting Merida was big for us, as she was the last of all the princesses for us to meet. That’s right, it’s day 6 and we’ve done all of the princesses, eek! And speaking of princesses, next we had fastpasses for Enchanted Tales with Belle, where I was chosen to play Mrs Potts (because an adorable kid was cast as Chip) and Sarah played the operatic wardrobe! It was my first time being part of the show, and Sarah’s first time altogether, so it was amazing that we both got to be in it and meet Belle for photos too as well as get an Enchanted Tales bookmark!

We then wandered through Fantasyland to the Tangled toilets for some photos *cough* new range coming to The Happiest Fitness Co *cough* and met Peter Pan by the Neverland map. Afterwards, we ticked something off our Disney bucket lists by going to Starbucks and giving cute Disney names – Chip and Belle to be precise! A quick hub grass chill and a little bit of Move It Shake It, and we headed back to Be Our Guest for dinner!

It was my first time doing table service there, having only eaten once before during quick service lunch, and it did not dissapoint! We had steak which was delicious, and super filling, so fitting in the lemon meringue cupcake for dessert was a little bit of a struggle. After we ate, we had a photo with Beast, then headed back into the now cold and dark park, and to Ariel’s grotto for a quick mermaid meet.

As we headed to Main Street USA, the new projection show Once Upon A Time was starting, so we stopped midway down the street to watch it. Now I loved the old show, Celebrate the Magic, so I was a little unsure how to take this change, and as much as I hate being negative, I was so disappointed. Compared to Celebrate it just didn’t match up, and I didn’t even have to fight back a single tear – and I cry at everything. I’m glad I’ve seen it, but I probably wouldn’t bother again.

Finally, we finished up with a late fastpass to Big Thunder, because the wildest ride in the wilderness is ten times wilder at night!

And with that, it’s time for me to go to bed..

February Disney Trip Day 5 and Enchanted 10K

Well that was an early morning, but I’ve done the 10K!


The race was a lot of fun. I took it pretty easy and stopped for quite a few characters along the way, including Tinkerbell who was with Terrence, Rosetta and Iridessa (AMAZING) and also Dopey, Marie and the Genie! Stopping for characters did bring my time up, but I had so much fun I didn’t really care and I still did pretty well considering!


After getting back to the hotel and recovering with a bath and a quite lay down, we hopped on a bus to Hollywood Studios, then got a boat over to Beach Club for breakfast at Cape May Cafe. It was a classic breakfast buffet, with Minnie, Goofy and Donald meeting in their adorable beach outfits!

Back to Hollywood Studios, and our first stop of the day was meeting Moana, which is at the back of One Man’s Dream. The staging of her meet is amazing; you queue through the cave from the film, with a waterfall backdrop, and you meet Moana on an island beach by the sea – it’s all super pretty! After her, we ticked Pluto off the list by Disney Junior’s, him being the final of the classic six characters for us to meet, then headed down Sunset Boulevard and caught a showing of Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage.


Next up, it was our fastpass for Tower of Terror. If you know me, you’ll know I have a love/hate thing with this ride, but it actually seemed to be over a lot quicker than it normally is so win win! From there, we went to hang out and wait for the elusive Character Palooza, where we eventually met Tiana, Bert, Pinocchio and Pocahontas, then back to Pixar Place for Toy Story Mania. I, of course, destroyed Sarah, but she was a first timer so I’ll let her off..
Another character to tick off the ever growing list, we went to meet Olaf at Echo Lake because Mickey and Minnie had a crazy 50 minute queue. He really liked my medal and wanted one of his own, so he decided to run with me tomorrow, although I warned him there’d be a danger of melting!


The next character we went to see was Chewbacca, although Sarah was pretty surprised as she was expecting Yoda – these non Star Wars fans eh? Continuing her Star Wars education, we marched back across the park to Star Tours, which I was really happy with because it was a scenario I’ve never had before and I basically always see the same ones! Now the queue for Mickey and Minnie was a bit shorter, so we jumped in. I was a little upset that Mickey had been moved from his old spot, but when I saw the new area all was forgiven because that area is really nice and both Mickey and Minnie were really fun and Minnie’s dress was so pretty!


Starting to really feel the 5 hours of sleep I’ve had, we grabbed some dinner at Catalina Eddie’s, then left Hollywood Studios for Animal Kingdom so we could catch Rivers of Light. Well it turned out everyone else had the same idea. We got to the stands with 15 minutes to spare, only to find that they were already rammed, and were queueing people up for the later showing over an hour later. We did a full loop of the lake area, then I had a brainwave to follow the seating for Flame Tree Barbecue all the way down to the waters edge – it maybe wasn’t as great a view as you might get from the stands, but there was seating and hardly anyone there so it makes the perfect secret spot. The show itself was not mind blowing; sure it was pretty and the floats were beautiful, but I definitely wouldn’t be queueing over an hour like some poor unfortunate souls, and I won’t hurry back either.

I’m now exhausted and my feet are really feeling the events of the day, so we’re heading back to the hotel for a good nights sleep, and I’ve got another 3.30am alarm for tomorrow’s half!

February Disney Trip Day 4

Jambo friends! Today we’ve been exploring the Animal Kingdom, and I’ve become a Wilderness Explorer!


We got into the park just as it opened, and headed in the direction of Kilimanjaro Safaris as we had an early fastpass, but on the way over we managed to randomly meet Flik from Bugs Life and also Tarzan, where we were basically rendered to awkward teenage girls but he was really nice. We then hopped on Simba-1 for a safari, and were lucky enough to see a baby elephant and a young giraffe as well as the other amazing wildlife on the ride.
One quick breakfast later, we hopped on a train up to Rafiki’s Planet watch as Sarah had never been before, and met the main mandril himself, and also caught the It All Started With A Mouse show which was really cute and something I’ve never seen before, or even knew was a thing! A quick train ride back, and we walked over to Asia for our Expedition Everest fastpasses, and we got to ride right at the back which made the whole ride seem more extreme and awesome!

A few Wilderness Explorer stops later, and we headed to Yak and Yeti for lunch. I’d not eaten there before, and I know I’ve probably said this about every restaurant so far but the food was so good and the service was amazing! I had a chicken tikka masala and cheesecake for dessert and I was super happy the whole time.

After lunch we went to meet Pocahontas, which had a fair bit of a queue, then walked across into Dinoland for our Dinosaur fastpass, via a few more WE stops, then after the ride went to meet Russel so I could show him how great I am at exploring the wilderness. Then, with time closing in on me to complete all 31 stops for my badge, the pressure was on, and we spent the next half an hour or so rushing round so I could get my Senior Wilderness Explorer badge before the cut off of 5.15pm – AND I DID IT!


While I went to collect it, Sarah got in the queue to meet Mickey and Minnie at Adventurers Outpost, and I joined her, sticker badge proudly on my chest! From there, we dashed back to Africa for the last Festival of the Lion King show of the day. We got there with only a few minutes to spare, so we were sat really high up, but I still thought the view was pretty good and the show was it’s usual standard – monkeys tumbled, fire baton man batonned..


With the park now fairly quiet, we took the opportunity of a 10 minute wait time on Everest, although we probably only waited 5, and riding that in the dark was pretty awesome, then all the way back to Africa again for another safari – this time in the dark. OH MY GOSH THATS WORTH DOING. I’ve always sworn by early morning safaris, but we saw 3 lions in the evening – and I’m talking up moving around lions, not just the standard one lying on a rock that I’m used to. We were also so close to a white rhino it was incredible!

I’m so happy Animal Kingdom is being kept open later cos it just seemed to make the whole day more enjoyable. I feel like a total cliche because I feel like every day I’m telling you all that it’s been an awesome day but they all really have been! We’re back to the hotel now for a pre-race dinner and an early night as I’m up at 3:30 in the morning (which is actually before this post will even go live) to run the Princess 10K, so keep an eye on my Twitter and Instagram for updates!

February Disney Trip Day 3

So after our crazy early night last night, we ended up awake super early this morning. Typical.Our plans for the morning were to hit the RunDisney expo so I could get my bib and tshirts, so we had a fairly chilled morning at the hotel, grabbed some breakfast there and jumped on a transportation bus to the ESPN centre. Because Sarah had never been to an expo before, I was pretty excited for her to see what they were really like.


We got my bib and race shirts, and collected the pre-ordered pin I got for Sarah and my event jacket, then got stuck into the official merchandise, before getting into the 40 minute queue to pay. Yes, 40 minutes.. We also had a quick look around the main expo hall, but with fastpass commitments looming, jumped on a bus back to the hotel so I could dump my stuff, then hopped on another to Epcot.

Our only fastpass of the day was for Soarin’, a ride I haven’t done here since 2014 as it was being refurbished last year, and the new update is incredible! Honestly if you do no other ride in Epcot, do this.

 

Having seen that she meets in the French Pavilion on the World Showcase, I decided to bring my Aurora themed outfit forward, so we dashed from Soarin’ to the 2:30 meet, and while we were in the queue we overheard rumours that Belle would also be out in her blue dress, so after Aurora we got in the mystery line to meet Belle. She was super lovely, and it was my first time meeting her in her blue village dress, and another princess off the list!

Onwards, we grabbed a Starbucks and jumped onto a monorail across to the Magic Kingdom, then a bus across to Fort Wilderness for Mickey’s Backyard BBQ..


You guys, I cannot put into words how much fun Backyard BBQ was. There will be a full review in the coming weeks, but OH MY GOSH. There was amazing food, incredible entertainment and we just had the best time dancing with Mickey and the gang! 100/10 would recommend, and yes, that is 100 and not a typo.

From Fort Wilderness, we got the bus back to the Magic Kingdom, rejoiced at the park being much quieter than Tuesday, and took a good spot to watch Once Upon a Time and Wishes. The whole area between the partners statue and castle was sat down which was amazing. That was, until about 5 minutes before it was due to start, when the whole front of the audience decided to stand up. Ugh. We actually ended up leaving midway through in order to make our fastpass for Buzz, but having already watched it this trip and knowing we’ll see it again, it wasn’t really a problem.

After Buzz, we had our last fastpass of the day at Haunted Mansion, then as we still had 10 minutes til park close, we decided to run over and get on Big Thunder Mountain because the queue was pretty short, plus I love riding Big Thunder in the dark – it just seems to make it more fun!


Now past park close, we walked through a fairly empty Liberty Square back to the castle, and decided to hang out until Main Street emptied out a bit to get some photos in front of a clear castle, and we managed to sneak a photo shoot with one of the remaining Photopass photographers on Main Street. We eventually left the park about 11pm – an hour after park close – and got back to the hotel about 11.40, now pretty wiped and ready for a good nights sleep!

Today:

– Characters met: 7

– Total steps: 20,226

– Total distance: 8.46 miles

Tomorrow we’ll be in Animal Kingdom!

February Disney Trip Day 2

Still can’t really believe we’re actually here, and still can’t get over yesterday, but today is an Epcot day!


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We got into the park just as it opened, and after a quick chat with guest relations regarding my failing Memory Maker, we headed to meet Baymax – and waited probably all of about 30 seconds – and then jumped into the shortish queue for Sadness and Joy! Three characters under our belt, we made our way to The Land so Sarah could do Living with the Land, which she’s never done before, and then grabbed some breakfast in Sunshine Seasons. Then a wild Milly appeared!

It was so lovely to see Milly after so long, and we sat in Sunshine Seasons for ages having a catch up before she left to go to work, but we’ll see her later in the trip! After buying ponchos, courtesy of the now pouring rain, we headed out and to the World Showcase – first stop Donald, I mean Mexico..


If you didn’t know my love of Donald, I planned my whole outfit for today around him, and he was so sweet! I’m so happy I got to take photos with him inside the temple because it was too wet for him to go outside! After that, we did the Gran Fiesta Tour, then headed round to Norway and met Anna and Elsa in the Royal Sommerhaus with only a 15 minute wait! Then it was time for our fastpasses for Frozen Ever After, which was cute, but I definitely wouldn’t queue as long as some people were in standby!

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With the rain dying off a little, we headed round the World Showcase towards Japan, where after a wander around the big Japanese shop, we stopped for our lunch at Teppan Edo. Despite having already eaten here before, I was still blown away by the meal. Our chef was super funny and really talented and the food was, of course, incredible!


Tummies full of food, we headed back towards Future World via the rest of the World Showcase, and had our fastpasses for Character Spot, meeting Mickey, Minnie and Goofy, then courtesy of the awful rain, Snow White was also meeting by the exit to Character Spot, rather than her usual place in Germany, so we saw her, then dashed to China to meet Mulan inside the Great Temple.

After meeting Mulan, we practically waded back to Spaceship Earth. NB: drainage in Epcot sucks after bad rain! We had Spaceship Earth fastpasses, then headed over to The Seas with Nemo and Friends, then did Turtle Talk with Crush, which was hilarious as usual cos some kids say the stupidest things..


I always have to say hi to the manatees of The Seas when I visit Epcot, so we did that, then wandered across to Journey into the Imagination with Figment, which we walked straight onto, then dashed quickly into the Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival to avoid the rain which had started yet again, and that got us both feeling pretty sleepy, so we decided to call it a day and head back to the hotel for the rest of the evening!

Today:

– Total characters: 12

– Total steps: 12,574

– Total distance: 5.25 miles

Tomorrow we’re gonna hit the RunDisney expo first thing so I can collect all my race gear, then we’ve got another busy day so stay tuned!

February Disney Trip Day 1

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I AM BACCCKKKKK

Today has been magical. Because we forced ourselves to stay up so late on Monday night, we slept right through til 6am with no troubles, and hopped on the resort bus into the Magic Kingdom for pre-opening entry, courtesy of our breakfast reservation at Cinderella’s Royal Table. We did empty(ish) Main Street and castle photos, before heading round to the back of the castle to the restaurant. Oh my gosh, it was the most magical breakfast! Full review to come, but 5 princesses, amazing food, and well, WE WERE INSIDE THE CASTLE. Our server was also really lovely too!

We left the restaurant just after 9, yet the park was still pretty empty to we wandered to the Tangled toilets and then through to Liberty Square, where we stumbled across a pair of mischievous cowboy chipmunks, and we had such a fun play with them, before we headed over to my traditional first ride of Pirates of the Caribbean! On our way back through to Fantasyland, we spotted Mary Poppins at the gazebo, and had a chat and a few photos with her!

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From there, we had our Fastpass at Princess Fairytale Hall with Rapunzel and Tiana, then bumped into the Fairy Godmother just outside – 11 characters before 10.30! Next was a ride on Dumbo, and then Starbucks on Main Street #disneybasic.

We sat on the hub grass being classic WDW girls with our Starbucks and listened to the music from Move it, Shake it, and watched as the floats headed back up Main Street, and then Royal Friendship Faire began on the castle stage. I was super excited to watch it having last been here when it was Dream Along with Mickey, and safe to say I fell in love with it – Princess and the Frog, Tangled, Donald.. It brought a tear or two (I mean, I know everything at Disney does, but still) and I’m definitely looking forward to watching it again and hopefully getting some better photos with my telescopic lens! After the show, we had our Fastpasses for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, then walked through the now super busy park, and ended up in the Enchanted Tiki Room.

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Now in Adventureland, we came across Aladdin and Jasmine meeting in the bazaar, so we waited to meet them, and then headed to Tomorrowland and hit Carousel of Progress before our Space Mountain fastpass. It was then about 2.30 so we rushed back to Main Street for Festival of Fantasy, only to find it was packed and only got a mediocre view, but hey ho.. The park was HEAVING and queue times were ridiculous for everything, so we decided to beat the odds and get some food – also cos we hadn’t eaten since breakfast – at Cosmic Ray’s, since the busy park meant eating at a normal meal time would probably be absolute chaos.

One chicken club and fries later, we decided to do Philharmagic and then head to Tom Sawyers Island, only to find it was shut.. To console ourselves, we headed down Main Street and I dutifully watched Sarah buy her annual pass cos I’m a good friend like that. A quick walk through some shops, and 3 Vinylmations later (oops sorry not sorry) and we made our way back to Its a Small World for our final fastpass of the day.

Feet aching and tiredness setting in, we headed to the Tangled toilets to sit down for a little bit in the hope of a magical moment.. AND IT HAPPENED.


The legendary (or not quite) lantern that’s been the hit of Disney Instagram for the last week, that we were praying might still be a thing this week was!! All of a sudden the end of the day became even more magical than it already had been – and then we topped it off with Wishes!
I’m gonna round the day off with some stats cos y’all know I love numbers:

Total characters met: 12

Total steps: 22078

Total distance: 9.21 miles, and no, I’ve not even done any running yet..

I Am NOT Blogging for the Wrong Reasons

Blog Birthday

I’ve seen a few tweets going round recently regarding bloggers being obsessed with numbers, and its true. Very rarely do I ever manage to scroll through my Twitter without seeing someone who’s just hit a follower milestone, or wishing to hit the next.

I have no issues with these posts, because when push comes to shove, readers and page views are all really important to blogging. What I do have an issue is other bloggers complaining that people who care about numbers are ‘blogging for the wrong reasons’. Nah.

I have always been fascinated by numbers. At work, I always love to know figures and targets and statistics; they appeal to my competitive self because there’s nothing I love more than being in competition with myself. Yes, I’m basically Monica from Friends.

You see, that’s how I see my blog stats – a way of beating and bettering myself. If my followers are going up, and my daily views are rocketing, that means I’ve done something right. Its nothing to do with beating others, its all me vs me. I get such a sense of pride seeing improvement in my little blog, and its the same with compliments – I don’t mind if I’m not getting them, but whenever I do its such a lovely part of what I’m doing.

Does this mean I’m blogging for the wrong reasons? Well I sure as hell don’t think so. Whether my stats are up or down, I still love blogging, and I still write because its what I love to do. But here’s the thing: NUMBERS CAN MATTER. I don’t make any form of steady income off my blog, but I know a number of full-time bloggers and freelance writers, and as far as they’re concerned, that’s what companies care about. Are they blogging for the wrong reasons? No, they’re trying to make a living.

Apologies if this has been a little bit ranty, but I can’t help but get a little bit offended when people get all ‘holier than thou’ telling other bloggers that they shouldn’t be thinking about the figures. Sure, I totally believe that numbers aren’t everything, and I always make an effort to not stress or obsess over them, but if I’m a few followers from a milestone, yes I’m gonna tweet about it, because d’you know what? Most other bloggers are lovely and I know they’re gonna hook me up.

So whether you look at numbers or not, just go out and smash it, because you’re awesome regardless.

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