Mission Breakout vs Tower of Terror

Ok guys so here’s a controversial one for you..

On my trip to Disneyland last month, I finally got to experience the new Guardians of the Galaxy, Mission: BREAKOUT ride that has taken over from the Disney park classic ride, Tower of Terror. I have thoughts. LOTS of them.

To set the scene, I’ll tell you about my relationship with Tower of Terror. Obviously, we go way back, and in fact one of the few memories I have from going to Disney as a young child was being on Tower of Terror looking out over Hollywood Studios at night, everything lit up. I don’t remember hating the ride as a child, as many kids do, but as I was reintroduced to it as an adult, things got a little iffy. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not scared of the ride and I will always ride it at least once a trip, but I describe it as a love/hate thing. The drops I love, but the build up to and mystery of the first drop drives me insane. I spend the whole queue time on edge, plus the initial part of the ride where you stop and watch the scenes, because the random sequences of the ride mean I never know when that first fall is going to happen and I do not like that. Once we’ve dropped once, happy days, I’m good from then on, but I always have that initial worry at the back of my mind when I think about the ride.

Fast forward to last month. Now I really love Guardians of the Galaxy, so I was actually really excited, and I was curious to see how the overlay would work on essentially the exact same ride, and more importantly, whether I would still hate it in the same way I hate Tower of Terror. Now if you watched my Instagram stories while I was in the parks, or read this blog post, you’ll already know the outcome: I LOVED IT. I got a slightly nervous feeling in the line waiting to get on, but my excitement took over and I was mainly just super keen to see it all. Even the wait for the first drop was bearable because I was so distracted by what was going on around me.

Now you might think that this was just first-time excitement, but every single time we rode Mission: BREAKOUT I loved it more. I went on it way more than I would ever ride Tower of Terror in one trip and I might even go as far as to say its one of my favourite rides in Disneyland AND I would happily see it rolled out to more Tower of Terrors across other Disney parks.

Why doesn’t it strike fear into me though? While I’ve never considered myself particularly spooked by the spiderwebs and bellhops of Tower of Terror, I guess subconsciously the theme of the ride does put a little bit of tension into me, and that translates into me clinging onto the handlebars on the chair until my knuckles go white, meanwhile the Awesome Mix soundtrack and flashing lights of Mission: BREAKOUT put me right at ease as I’m being thrown up and down so much I can’t actually tell what direction I’m moving in.

Who knows for sure, but I am very interested to see how I fare going back on Tower of Terror while I’m in WDW next week and whether I’ve been cured completely by the Guardians, or whether its the theme that really has me on the edge of my seat, metaphorically of course..

Twitter / Bloglovin / Instagram

Spring Dapper Day at Disneyland

You might judge us for this, but the primary reason for our trip to Disneyland in April for those specific dates was so that Sarah and I could go to our first ever Dapper Day.

If you don’t know what Dapper Day is, it kinda is what it says on the label, its a semi-official event that takes place in the Disney parks, or at least Disneyland, Walt Disney World and, more recently, Disneyland Paris, where the idea is that guests visiting the parks don their best clothes and spend a day looking utterly fabulous in the most magical and happiest places on Earth. They take place twice a year, in spring and fall, and the dates and other info can always be found on the Dapper Day website.

So anyway, we wanted a Disneyland trip, and we knew we wanted to do Dapper Day, so this trip was about a year or so in the planning so we knew the dates, and the Sunday of our trip, which was also our final full day, was Dapper Day, although the Dapper Day Expo (which we didn’t go to) was all weekend.

The hardest part, of course, was deciding what to wear. There’s no official rules on how you should dress, but a lot of people tend to lean towards 20th century style, and I decided to go a little bit traditional with wanting a 40s-50s style dress. After a lot of thought, I settled on Steamboat Willie as my outfit inspiration – mainly because I have a serious attachment to it, but also because I figured in Disney’s original park, I wanted to do an original character. I found the perfect dress pattern to use and whipped up this little velvet and cotton drill number with the biggest skirt EVER, paired it with some black and white brogues (because I don’t really do heels) and added a knotted headband, and voila!

To sum up the whole day in one word, it was magical. Considering it is just essentially a day spent in the parks, just with the added dress-up optional clause, it just felt so much more wonderful, whether that was because we were dressed up or because everyone else was, I don’t know. I was truly amazed at how big an event it really is; I mean, considering such a huge proportion of my Instagram feed are Disney people, of course I see lots of people talking about it, but there was always a chance that that’s just because I follow all of those people, but honestly the people in ‘regular’ clothes were the minority in the parks.

Really, we spent the whole day hanging out with friends, taking photos and just generally taking in the atmosphere, and of course checking out what everyone else was wearing! Walking around the parks was like a fashion show, and everyone is looking at everyone to see how they’re dressed – but in an excited way. Compliments are being thrown around like confetti and total strangers want to take photos with and of you and chat about your outfits and its just such a pure environment.

There’s also a bunch of cute photo opportunities, and even some unofficial meet-ups happen on the day, and its just an entirely great and unique experience, so I would absolutely recommend it to anyone who’s been considering making a trip for one, or who has a trip coinciding with a Dapper Day!

Twitter / Bloglovin / Instagram

8 Amazing Things That Happened on Our First Day in Disneyland

So I know that I usually live blog my Disney trips, but today I didn’t feel like it was right. We took a pretty chilled out approach to the day and I felt like despite it being an incredible day for us, it probably wouldn’t read as well for others, so instead I thought I’d try a slightly different format to tell you some of the AMAZING parts of our first day in the happiest place on earth.

1. We had a whole boat to ourselves on Pirates of the Caribbean

This is my traditional first ride of any trip, and as is fairly normal first thing in the morning, it was a walk-on. But then, to our great surprise, we got into the front row of the boat and realised that no one else had been put into our boat with us, so we got to do the whole ride without other people! I joked that this was a sign of amazing things to come, but little did I know how true this would be..

2. Mickey Celebration Cupcake

Sarah bought a cupcake for the ‘gram, which turned out to be this incredible chocolate chip cookie/cupcake kinda combo which was super yum and quite probably the best Disney cupcake I’ve ever eaten. 11/10 would eat again every day of my life.

3. ‘ Share Your Ears’ Cheeseburger

On the subject of food, we also split the 3-piece Mickey-shaped burger for lunch over at Smokejumpers Grill in DCA and it was so good! Definitely a great option to split between two people.

4. I got to see Pixar Pier for the first time

As it’s been almost 2 years since I was last at Disneyland, there were a lot of changes for me to experience, the main one being Pixar Pier. We only spent a brief amount of time on it today, but I loved everything I saw and I can’t wait to take more of it in over the next few days.

5. Mission Breakout!

I have also never been on the new(ish) Guardians of the Galaxy ride that took over from Tower of Terror in DCA, and so I got to experience that for the first time and I LOVED IT. I have a real love/hate but mainly hate relationship with ToT but Mission Breakout blew my socks off and I thought it was incredible – I can’t wait to do it a few more times this trip!

6. We saw the Disneyland cats

I had no idea this was a thing but apparently the pair of cats that seem to live in DCA are a common sight for guests – who know right? They were really cute though and clearly just wanted some piece and quiet away from screaming guests. Don’t blame them..

7. Tow Maters

I normally skip the smaller ‘kiddy’ rides but we decided to go on the Tow Mater tractor ride and it was actually such a blast!

8. I finally met Mickey as Steamboat Willie

My dream meet for such a long time now has been to meet Mickey as Steamboat Willie, and completely by fluke today it happened and I am still not over it. This meet takes place in Meet Mickey in his house in Toontown, but it’s totally down to chance as to whether he’s on set for Steamboat Willie, or if he’s doing others things that day, and I’ve only ever seen him in his traditional tails and red trousers, but this knocked me for six and I am SO HAPPY.

It’s just been a truly unbelievable first day of what I know will be the most magical trip!

My RunDisney Medal Collection

So I know I have been totally AWOL for the last two weeks, but moving house is insane y’all! I honestly thought I’d only be away from blogging for a few days to maybe a week but I have had NO TIME lately with sorting the house out.

But I’m back! And as today is registration day for the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend in January, I thought I’d take the opportunity to share my existing RunDisney medal collection! I managed to get registered on Tuesday in the DVC early registration window, which I’m so happy about, and I wish everyone registering today the best of luck!

Walt Disney World races

2016 – If you’ve been following me for that long, you’ll know that I started doing RunDisney events in 2016, and every single race has been an amazing experience for me. My dad and I started off in the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend , taking part in the 5K and the half marathon, which was actually our first half marathon. Back then, 5K medals were 2016 rubber ones (you get a proper metal one now), so Pluto here was our first RunDisney medal. The half marathon was one of the hardest races I have ever done because a few days before I developed a chest infection and I honestly felt like I was going to die before we’d even hit mile 4, but we did it and it was so worth it.

2017 – Running solo for the first time, I started off the year with the Princess Half Marathon Weekend in February. By this point I had the bug for challenges, so I did the Glass Slipper Challenge (10K and half marathon). The races were all Beauty and the Beast themed that year, which I was so happy about as I had already planned to run as Chip before the medal designs had been released, although the challenge medal was still glass slipper themed.

Disneyland races

2016 – The week after doing the marathon weekend in 2016, we left Florida and flew across to California to take part in the Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend, and this was where we completed our first race challenge, Rebel Challenge, which was completing the 10K on the Saturday and the half marathon the next morning on the Sunday. By this point my chest infection had cleared up, and I actually set my half marathon PB on this course.

2017 – In May I did the Pixie Dust Challenge at the Tinkerbell Half Marathon weekend. I saw a lot of hate on social media over these races but I had a total blast. The Disneyland 10K course is my all time favourite RunDisney course (RIP California races) and I think my favourite medal was from the 10K, although they are all so stinkin’ cute!

Coast to Coast

Both in 2016 and 2017 I earned a Coast to Coast medal for completing a half marathon* in both Walt Disney World and Disneyland in the same calendar year, but in 2017 I got a bonus of the ‘pink’ Coast to Coast, which was for doing the Princess and Tinkerbell weekend in the same year. The medal was essentially the same as the normal Coast to Coast, just in a pinky colour palette instead! 2017 was also the 10 year anniversary of the Coast to Coast challenge, so the blue medal was extra special!

*to earn a Coast to Coast medal, a minimum distance of half marathon must be done in each park!

Disneyland Paris races

In 2016 I took part in both the inaugural 5K and half marathon in Disneyland Paris (there was no 10K in the first year), and then in 2017 I did the 10K and half marathon, earning the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo Challenge medal! Both years I also got an additional challenge medal, the Castle to Chateau Challenge, for completing races in the US as well as Paris – the medal was the same for both years, just with a different ribbon.

Virtual Running Shorts

I only did the virtual shorts in 2016, which was the first year RunDisney did virtual races, mainly because its quite expensive to do considering you don’t get an actual event, but I loved the medals I got because they were huge!

This year has been totally RunDisney-less for me, which has been really sad, but I’m also quite happy as I’ve had so many injuries to deal with! I’m also still a little heartbroken that the California races have been cancelled until further notice, but I’m just praying they’ll return soon and I’m so excited to get back into training for the marathon next year!

Have you ever done a RunDisney event?

Twitter / Bloglovin / Instagram

Why Disneyland Is So Special To Me

On this exact date last year I arrived home from the most amazing trip to Disneyland, and I’m feeling a little bit sad about that. If I could go anywhere right this second it would be there.

One of the questions I get asked the most when I tell people that I’ve visited every Disney park in the world is ‘what’s your favourite?’, and I always decline an answer as its impossible to single out just one park as being better than all the rest, but Disneyland is the park that has a special place in my heart; the sort of place that has me crying when I enter and when I have to leave.

I was fortunate enough as a child to spend a lot of time in Walt Disney World and Disneyland Paris, even making more than one visit some years, right up until I was about 5 or 6 years old, and then the Disney trips stopped. My sister and I were old enough to appreciate what the rest of the world had to offer, and so that’s exactly what my family did, and I wouldn’t change that for a second, but it meant that I actually had very few Disney memories other than what I’d seen in pictures or could vaguely remember.

In 2008, we went to California for the first time, and part of this visit was to go to Disneyland. I was just coming up 14, and I remember both my sister and I being ridiculously excited when my parents told us. This was where my first ‘adult’ Disney memories were made. We went back again in 2010, and again I remember just feeling so excited and happy, and at home when I stepped through those gates. There was magic.

As I’ve grown older, and my love of Disney has quite clearly grown also, I’ve come to realise other reasons why Disneyland is so special to me. This was Walt’s park, although he would say that Disneyland is our land *stifles a sob*, and you can feel that nostalgia through the whole park. He walked down Main Street USA, he stood in front of that beautiful little pink castle, and you just know that this was exactly what he created, his vision.

There’s a different feel to Disneyland than there is to WDW. It feels calmer, more effortless. From the Disneyland park to California Adventure, there’s not a single fault in my eyes, and even though it was 10 years ago now that I saw it all for the first time, I feel like I’m seeing it with fresh eyes every time.

Disneyland, you are perfect.

Twitter / Bloglovin / Instagram

Goodbye RunDisney California

Yesterday it was announced that, for the foreseeable future, RunDisney will no longer be holding races in Disneyland, California, and the Avengers Half Marathon weekend next month will be the last races that grace the streets of Anaheim.

I’m slightly devastated, but not overall surprised, having noticed that no dates for next year’s races were being announced, and the only race that had been announced, the Star Wars weekend in January, had had its registration delayed.

There is, of course, a big difference in the scale of Disneyland races compared to Walt Disney World, which can only be expected given the park sizes and facilities available, but having participated in races both this year and last, it was very apparent this year that numbers of participants were dwindling. In fact, while I was there in May for the Tinkerbell weekend, they were still trying to sell bibs at the expo for the races in the following days!

Disney’s announcement stated that the reason for the cancellations was due to the construction work that is ongoing for the expansion, but personally I don’t think this is flimsy front for the fact that the races have been bleeding money. While the 5K and 10K courses are mainly within the confines of the park, the half marathon only does about 5 miles in the parks before the course leads out onto the streets of Anaheim, which means a lot of roads have to be closed, and unlike other Disney parks, the immediate area surrounding Disneyland is residential, so these road closures do affect a lot of people – there are rumours of quite a lot of complaints – and the permits cost Disney a lot of money, which with the dropping numbers of runners just can’t be afforded.

So yes, I thought this announcement was coming, but that doesn’t make it any better. Despite a lot of RunDisney veterans often slating the Disneyland races, personally they have been some of my favourites – the Disneyland 10K course is the best course out of all the RunDisney courses I’ve ever done. Disneyland is such a special place to me anyway, but racing through the parks is like nothing else. I completed my first weekend challenge (Rebel Challenge 2016) here, and ran my half marathon PB here.

The announcement also means there will be no more Coast to Coast challenge, which celebrated its 10th anniversary this year, and leaves only Castle to Chateau as an option for those runners who will complete a half marathon in both Walt Disney World and Disneyland Paris in the coming years.

All I can say is that I really hope that Disney will restart the races when the construction ends, and I can run through my happy place again soon.

Things I Love About Frozen: Live at the Hyperion

I’m having major Disneyland blues at the moment. Despite having three more Disney trips in the next three months, not knowing when I’m going back to my special place really sucks, so I’m living vicariously through my own memories from my trip back in May.

And while I love everything Disneyland has to offer, I was a little apprehensive about seeing the new Frozen show at the Hyperion Theater in Disney’s California Adventure park, not because I’m anti-Frozen, but due to the fact that I have such amazing memories of watching Aladdin there, and I was pretty upset when the replacement was announced. Of course I knew I had to see the show before I could make any judgements, and I kept an open mind from the offset.

I did enjoy the show; I personally don’t feel like Frozen has as much of a wow-factor as Aladdin did, but that’s primarily down to the story more than anything else! There were, however, a lot of things that I did LOVE about the show, and here are just a handful:

The casting

I’ve seen a few comments slating the casting of the show but I think they’re totally unnecessary. Basically, as this is a stage show adaption of the story, as opposed to featuring face characters, there is actually diversity in the cast – the show we saw featured a Kristoff of colour and honestly it was so refreshing. Mad props to Disney.

The trolls

Forget about Olaf, the trolls are my favourite non-human characters from the Frozen movie, and I got so excited when they actually appeared on stage!

The staging

Its so easy for stage show to go overboard when it comes to backdrops and props, but I thought this was done perfectly. The main feature was the large screen that set the scene, with other features wheeling on and off as needed, from doors to the stairs to Elsa’s ice castle.

The special effects

From costume transformations to flying snow carts, this show is full of theatrical magic!

Its still no Aladdin in my eyes, but its still a fantastic show and one that I’d fully recommend – especially if you need a good ol’ sit down!

Twitter / Bloglovin / Instagram

Best Quick Service in Disneyland (That Don’t Serve Pizza or Burgers)

I love Disney park food. In fact, one of my favourite parts of planning a Disney trip is deciding where I’m going to want to eat in each park, whether its going back to my favourite restaurants or trying somewhere I’ve never been to before, and my trip to Disneyland back in May was definitely about trying out new places.

As there’s no such thing as dining plans in Disneyland, and being trying to do the trip as cheap as possible, this trip was going to be all about the quick service restaurants, and while I’m never one to complain about any kind of Disney food, when it comes to quick service its very easy to fall into the rotation of burger to pizza to chicken nuggets and back again. Sure, I’ll probably end up doing each of these at least once on a trip, but if you fancy something a little different, Disneyland has a bunch of gems serving incredible options when you’re in need of an energy boost.

Disneyland

Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe

The cutest little yellow cafe at the bottom of Main Street USA, options here range from sandwiches and salads, to tomato soup with grilled cheese, and also has a great selection of cute dessert options!

Bengal Barbecue

The ultimate place for jungle-cruisers to refuel, Bengal Barbecue is pretty famous among Disneyland fans for its incredible meat skewers.

Royal Street Veranda

I always forget that this restaurant exists (mainly because I’m rushing to get to Pirates of the Caribbean or staring wistfully up at the Dream Suite), but say hello to the place where you can get New Orleans classic dish, gumbo, served in a sourdough bread bowl!

French Market Restaurant

Just a little way along from Royal Street Veranda, and serving more New Orleans classics is French Market Restaurant; jambalaya, corn chowder, beans and rice and more!

Redd Rockett’s Pizza Port

Yes, I know I said places that don’t serve pizza, but Redd Rockett’s also has a great selection of pasta dishes on the menu if you’re looking to carb up for a long park day!

California Adventure

Flo’s V8 Cafe

Whether you want to skip the traditional Mickey waffle breakfast or cheeseburger lunch, Flo’s is the place to go! Breakfast ranges from brioche french toast to breakfast burritos, and lunch and dinner features ribs, rotisserie chicken and turkey dip sandwiches.

Cozy Cone Motel

For an on-the-go meal, why not grab a convenient bread cone filled with either bacon mac and cheese, beef chilli or chicken verde? Sally really knows how to feed her guests, and you’ll probably meet a famous car on the way in!

Pacific Wharf Cafe

Did you know there’s an actual sourdough bread factory in DCA? Pacific Wharf Cafe is attached to the bakery and serves a bunch of amazing options including sandwiches, and soup or salads served in their famous sourdough bread bowls.

Lucky Fortune Cookery

Just across the way from the bakery, you can grab an asian inspired rice bowl packed with veggies and a choice of either beef, chicken or tofu and your choice sauce. It even comes in a cute takeaway style box so you can carry your leftovers home!

Cocina Cucamonga Mexican Grill

Completing the trio of amazing food options in one place, Cocina shares the same seating area as PWC and LFC and serves flavoursome favourites from tacos and tamales to burritos.

What are your favourite places to eat in Disneyland?

Twitter / Bloglovin / Instagram

10 Things You Need to Know about Cove Bar

If you’re planning a trip to Disneyland and looking for the most Instagrammable places to eat or drink, then Cove Bar should probably be at the top of your list. Located on Paradise Pier in Disney’s California Adventure park, it boasts a menu of stunning cocktails as well as some pretty delicious looking food, and the most amazing views over Paradise Bay.

If I’ve just sold you, or it was already on your to-do list, here are a few things to know before you go!

There can be a really long wait, and someone has to stay in line

Depending on when you go, there can be a longer wait time than for some rides! When you get to the queue, a cast member will take a name and give you an idea on wait time, but at least one person from your party needs to stay in the queue the whole time, because if your group is called and you’re not there, then you’ve missed your chance!

You can choose where to sit

When you join the queue and give your name, the CM will ask you if you have a table preference, so if you want those Instagram worthy photos over the pier, be sure to ask for a waterside table. Other options include the bar and tables closer to the pierside.

The prettiest drinks aren’t on the menu

While you’ll be handed a menu by your server, be sure to check out the secret menuThis is where you’ll find Mickey’s Fun Wheel, Neverland Tea and more!

And the cutest drink isn’t even alcoholic

Don’t be put of visiting if you’re not that into cocktails, the cotton candy lemonade is so delicious and refreshing, plus who doesn’t want a lump of cotton candy in their drink?!

You can take drinks to go

If you want to sample the cocktails but don’t fancy the wait, you can order drinks to go. They come in plastic cups so aren’t quite so cute but I’ll bet they don’t taste any different!

Water is free-flowing

For obvious reasons, the servers are keen to keep all guest hydrated, so you’ll find your water glass topped up constantly.

There’s more than just cocktails on the menu

Although its famous for its cocktails and speciality drinks, there are some great lounge food options, including buffalo wings, sliders, nachos and more! I didn’t actually eat here, but I saw some of the food and it looked amazing and smelled SO GOOD.

Be sure to bring your passport

In the event of being ID’d, a UK driving licence isn’t acceptable in Disney. Your server may let you off, but I’ve had experiences where they have refused to accept anything but a passport, so I wouldn’t chance it.

Don’t be shy about taking photos

Literally everyone in the bar is trying to take those oh-so-Instagrammable photos, so don’t feel shy about holding your drink over the railing to get that perfect shot with the fun wheel in the background. Also if you’re not sat at a waterside table but want those photos, just get up and go over there – no one minds!

Please drink responsibly!

Servers have the right to refuse you at any time, and during my visit I saw a few guests that were probably about to get cut off.. Be sure to drink plenty of water and stay hydrated, especially in the summer months when its super warm!

Twitter / Bloglovin / Instagram

How to do Disneyland on a Budget

Pretty much the only thing that bothers me about Disneyland is that generally its a more expensive to visit than Walt Disney World, especially as it doesn’t have regular package offers like the annual free dining deal, and being on the west coast, flights tend to be pricier. Despite this, I would still 110% recommend any Disney fans visit Walt’s original park; while I don’t do favourites, this park holds a special place in my heart and I’ll never stop loving it.

Over the years, I’ve discovered a few different things you can do to cut down the cost of a trip to this magical place, and I thought I’d share them for anyone who’s thinking about a trip!

Consider non-direct flights

Depending on when you book, sometimes you can get direct flights to LAX for around £350-450, but other times they can be well over the £500 mark, but you can save a lot of money flying indirect. Also, a stopover can break up the 10-11 hour flight!

Buy your tickets at home

Yes, you can get your park tickets when you arrive, but Disneyland tickets from UK sellers like Attraction Tickets Direct generally work out a bit cheaper (plus you can use cashback websites to get something back!) and it means you’ve got your tickets ready to go and don’t have to waste valuable park time queuing at ticket booths!

Stay offsite

Unlike WDW, Disneyland has a tonne of offsite hotels that are all within walking distance of the park – some of them are literally just across the road! The price difference can be pretty amazing; I paid the same amount for a week offsite as a room for a night in the Disneyland Hotel. There’s also so many to choose from, from budget motels to well known chains, so you’re bound to find something you’re happy with.

Bring your own food

If you’re really looking to save the pennies, take a trip to a supermarket and stock up on snacks to take into the parks with you. That being said, on my last trip I spent less than £20 a day on food in the parks!

Consider transport options

If you’re going to be a larger group, and the drivers are over 25, it may be cheaper for you to rent a car to get from the airport to the parks, rather than using the Disneyland Express.

If you do have a car, don’t drive to the parks

Parking is $20 a day, but plenty of hotels have free/cheap shuttle buses that drop you off right by the park entrance.

If you’re ever looking to book a Disneyland trip and need any advice, feel free to ask, or check out all of my Disneyland posts here!

Twitter / Bloglovin / Instagram

Characters on the Course – RunDisney Tinkerbell Weekend


I might be back from Disneyland, but you’ll all know by now that that never means the Disney posts are over! And of course, yet again, the primary purpose of my trip was another RunDisney race weekend, this time, the Tinkerbell Half Marathon Weekend.

Again, I ran the 10K and the half marathon – the Pixie Dust Challenge – so there were 19.3 miles of running magic for me to share with you! Some of you may be aware of the somewhat dramatic twist that during the 5K there were no characters available on the course, and this is something that I have a very different opinion to most, but I won’t get into that now, instead I’m going to share the characters that were out for us at the 10K and half marathon!


The 10K:

  • Lost Boys – the Lost Boys were hanging out in Toontown as we entered the park just after mile 1
  • Pirates – there were a bunch of face character pirates scattered throughout the course, and they were lots of fun!
  • Captain Hook and Mr Smee – this pair met by the Storybook Canal Boats at about mile 3
  • Pirate Donald – I couldn’t resist stopping for my favourite duck on Main Street
  • Pirate Chip and Dale – the chipmunks were up to trouble in California Adventure
  • Peter and Wendy – this was really just a photo op as they stood a few steps above the pavement, but it was nice to see them out!
  • And pirate Minnie was at the finish line!




The Half Marathon:

  • Iridessa, Silvermist and Rosetta – I can never resist the fairies, and having never met Silvermist before this was one for the character list
  • Pirate chipmunks – Chip and Dale made another mischievous appearance, this time on Main Street
  • Peter and Wendy – during the half, Peter and Wendy were on the railway bridge, so not even a photo op
  • Lost Boys – the most boys were having a ball on King Triton’s Carousel on Paradise Pier
  • Pirates – the pirates were out in force again!
  • Pirate Pluto – this lovable pup was also kitted out for pillaging and plundering on Paradise Pier
  • Tinkerbell and Fawn – well it would be rude if Tink missed her own race, right?
  • Captain Hook and Mr Smee – this dynamic duo made a second appearance, this time in California Adventure

If you caught the Princess Weekend edition of Characters on the Course, you may be noticing there’s considerably less this weekend. This is primarily due to the fact that in WDW, Disney own all the land between the parks, so even when you’re not in the park, they can still put the characters out on the roadsides along the course. However in Disneyland, the majority of the half marathon course is on the streets of Anaheim, so there can’t be any characters along those 8 miles of the course. There were, however, some bands, DJs, and also a whole tonne of super supportive locals making that length of the course magical for us!

Twitter / Bloglovin / Instagram

Disneyland Day 5 and Tinkerbell Half Marathon

And another challenge weekend is over! The Tinkerbell half this morning was probably one of the most comfortable ones I’ve run, which is incredible considering how much my feet ached yesterday!I stopped for a few photos with various fairies, and also pirate Pluto, but aside from those few stops I kept a really consistent pace and completed the race in just over 3 hours, with about 25 mins being waiting for characters. I also walked away with not one but FOUR medals: one for the half, the Pixie Dust Challenge medal for doing the 10K yesterday as well, a regular blue 10th anniversary Coast to Coast medal, and also a pink Coast to Coast for having run the Princess and Tinkerbell races in the same calendar year!

After dragging myself back to the hotel, I soaked my legs in the pool then showered and had a nap, while Sarah headed into the parks, and I met up with her at about 1:45 at Fantasyland Theater for another Mickey and the Magical Map performance, before I got my long awaited burger from Galactic Grill. We then swung by the castle for me to take some medal photos, then went across to Frontierland and met Dr Facilier on the Mark Twain Riverboat.

On the hunt for more characters, we headed back to Town Square to no avail, so instead went to take some photos by the Small World wall (Disney basic) and went into Toontown for a bit. Being passed 4pm, Tinkerbell’s meeting spot in Pixie Hollow was now empty, meaning I could go in and take some more medal photos, then we hid out at my favourite sneaky parade watching spot for Soundsational.

After the parade, we went into one of the stores on Main Street so I could buy a jumper, having forgotten to bring my jacket in with me, and knowing it would cool down before the fireworks tonight, then took a few final photos by the castle before going into Fantasyland and doing the Storybook Canal Boats, only to realise while we were in the line that the last Mickey and the Magical Map show was due to start soon, so we ended up cutting out early to go see that one more time instead!

After drying our eyes and practically being forcibly removed from the theatre, the strangest thing happened: Sarah actually wanted to go to the Enchanted Tiki Room! I took her for her first time in WDW back in February and now she clearly loves it.. From there, we wandered around New Orleans Square for a little while, then decided to go to Troubadour Tavern for dinner, only to find it had already closed, so instead ended up at Refreshment Corner, although I ended up getting my food from Jolly Holiday, and we sat on the tables outside while Main Street Electrical went by. 

Once the parade was over, we headed into the centre of Main Street USA to watch the fireworks for my first and last time of the trip. They actually started with the same music as Wishes from WDW, but the majority of the show was a cute little dedication to each of the iconic Disneyland attractions – Enchanted Tiki Room, Haunted Mansion, Splash Mountain etc – which I thought was different and actually really cool! Once they were done, it was then time to say goodbye to Disneyland and drag ourselves back to the hotel. Once again this has been the most magical and I’m so sad to be leaving my happy place, but I guess it’s not goodbye, it’s see ya real soon..

Disneyland Day 4 and Tinkerbell 10K

The wondrous thing about races in California is that I only have to wake up at 4am, not 3:30 like in Florida, yay!

This morning I ran the Tinkerbell 10K, and I was pretty excited because having run a 10K here before, I know it’s a great course to run. After the drama yesterday about no characters at the 5K, I’m pleased to say there were quite a few out this morning, including Peter, Wendy, Hook and Smee, and also some Disney favourites dressed in their finest pirate wear. I ran it in a comfortable time of an hour and a half, which included a fair few photo stops so I was pretty happy.

After a quick shower and rest break, we headed back into the parks, and straight to Fantasy Faire to meet Rapunzel and Flynn, then dashed over to Tomorrowland to grab fastpasses for Hyperspace Mountain, which in itself was a bit of a queue, and then went across to the first showing of Mickey and the Magical Map.

Another trip with Mickey done, we walked over to Frontierland to grab some chicken nuggets from Stage Door Cafe, then battled our way through the crazy Saturday crowds to meet the Winnie the Pooh characters over in Critter Country: Pooh, Tigger and Eeyore. With the sun beating down on us, the only logical next step was so get ice-cream, and then take shelter in the Royal Theater for the Tangled show. From there, we decided to go into Fantasyland to do a few of the smaller rides we hadn’t done yet, starting with Casey Jr, but it broke down while we were in the line so that went out the window.. Instead, we opted for the cool air-con of Star Wars Launch Bay, where we met Darth Vader, before using our Hyperspace Mountain fastpasses.

As the Disneyland park was so packed, and I had planned another carb-load dinner in California Adventure, we hopped parks just after Soundsational, and explored Animation Academy for a bit before grabbing a spot for the Pixar Play parade. I’d felt pretty smug saying that we were at the start of the parade route so we wouldn’t have to wait too long, but it turns out I was wrong and we ended up sitting for a little longer than we’d bargained for, but hey!

After the parade we ended up back in Animation Academy, and learned how to draw Chip from Beauty and the Beast, before going to Pacific Wharf Cafe for me to carb load on bread and soup. Sarah and I then parted ways as I headed back to the hotel for another pre-race early night, and she stayed in the park a little while longer – or until at least it became too cold to be out without a jacket on!

Tomorrow I’ll be up at 4am again, this time taking on the Tinkerbell half marathon, completing the Pixie Dust Challenge and also earning my second Coast to Coast challenge medal, eek!

Disneyland Day 3

Another day in the California sun! Today we were up and into California Adventure for opening at 9am, and after joining the crash of people getting fastpasses for Radiator Springs Racers, stopped at Flo’s V8 Cafe for the sweetest breakfast of brioche French toast and a milkshake, then went back to get in line for Soarin’, which we only waited about 25 mins for.

Once we’d landed, our fastpass time had already come round, so we had another race around Ornament Valley, then went on a bit of a character hunt and met Nick Wilde before leaving the park to hit the RunDisney expo, via Sephora at Downtown Disney.

After all the classic expo moments – bib pickup, tshirt pickup, expo browsing – we went back to the hotel to dump my bits before going back into Disneyland, where we were greeted by Belle in the entrance area. We then headed towards Fantasyland, via Snow White’s wishing well and the teacups to take some photos, then grabbed some snacks and sat in front of the castle for a bit to eat and enjoy the sunshine.

Next up, we headed to Fantasy Faire, where we met Aladdin and then waited for Rapunzel, before picking a spot to watch Soundsational, but as the start seemed delayed, and because we wanted good seats for Mickey and the Magical Map, we abandoned the parade and instead hung out at Fantasyland Theater until they let us in, which was worth it for the seats we got. If you know me well, you’ll know this is my all time favourite Disney park show, and I’ve missed it so much so of course I cried through the whole thing. It was also Sarah’s first ever time seeing it and she did the same..

After recovering from the show, we had fastpasses for the Matterhorn, then went into Tomorrowland and did Star Tours then grabbed dinner at Red Rocket’s Pizza Port – hello pasta load – and then called it a night as I’ll be up at 4am tomorrow for the Tinkerbell 10K! Stay tuned folks!

Disneyland Day 2

You’d think after how tired we were last night, we’d have slept right through til 8am this morning. Nope..

We were up about 6:30-7am ish, and got into the Disneyland park just after 9am, and headed straight for Toontown, where we waited for it to open at 10am. You might think this is crazy, but the empty Toontown photos we took were 100% worth it! After our little photoshoot, we met Minnie in her house, then Mickey in his, before heading back out of the park and hopping over to California Adventure.

First on the agenda was food, having not had any breakfast and given it was passed 11am. We ate at Pacific Wharf Cafe, which involved amazing freshly baked sourdough bread, then wandered over to the Hyperion Theater for the 12:30 showing of Frozen.

The staging of the show was really impressive, and the cast was great, but while the performance overall was pretty good, I did miss Aladdin.. It was, however, nice to sit down in some air con for an hour! From there we headed to Paradise Pier and kicked ourselves back into gear with a ride on California Screamin’, then queued about 15 mins to get into the famous Cove Bar for those all-too-Instagrammable cocktails.

We actually only ordered one actual cocktail between the two of us, and a non-alcoholic lemonade mocktail (which we actually preferred due to the candy floss!), but we had an amazing table on the waterside looking out over the pier and Mickey’s fun wheel and it was perfect. Drinks finished, we went back to the pier for a few photos, then walked back to Buena Vista Street where we met Mickey and Donald, Sarah grabbed an ice cream and I picked up a cookie sandwich on our way back to Paradise Pier for our fastpasses for Toy Story Midway Mania.

After the ride, we hopped onto the Little Mermaid ride to kill 15 mins before heading to Cars Land for the other fastpass we’d picked up earlier in the day – Radiator Springs Racers. This ride blows me away every time with how amazing and impressive it is, and I’ve only ever done it as a single rider before so it was nice to actually get to sit with someone I know!

After Racers, we went to Animation Academy and both drew very questionable attempts at Olaf, then went back for another round of California Screamin’ before grabbing dinner at Lucky Fortune Cookery, which is a great place for when you’re not in the mood for burgers and pizza! Then to kill time before World of Color, as it was a little too cool for us to sit and wait for 40 mins without jackets, we went on Voyage of the Little Mermaid again, which was so quiet that the cast members were happy (and very entertained) to let us ride it three times in a row without actually getting off. We didn’t have the best view for World of Color, but it wasn’t that important for Sarah and I just wanted to see it at some point, and knew I wouldn’t any other evening with the early nights I’ll be needing for the races!

Show over, we cut through the Grand Californian as a shortcut back to the hotel, and are calling it a night as we’ll be back in the parks early tomorrow!

Disneyland Day 1

Well after a whole lotta California dreamin’, I am back in my happy place! Despite expecting jet lag to be a killer, we slept through til 6am which was pretty good, although we were up, showered, dressed and ready by 7:30am..

We started by grabbing breakfast in La Brea Bakery in Downtown Disney while we waited for the parks to open, then headed straight into the Disneyland park, where we were greeted by a load of character appearances. We just did Mickey and Minnie, then headed down Main Street for those all important castle photos, a quick meet with Aurora and then my classic first ride: Pirates of the Caribbean, and no, Johnny Depp wasn’t there..
After Pirates, we did Haunted Mansion then Big Thunder, both of which were basically walk ons, then headed into Fantasyland where of course we stopped for teacup photos and photos with the Small World wall. As we walked towards Tomorrowland, however, we came across the Mad Hatter just standing by himself near the Matterhorn, so we went to keep him company for a bit, then as the line for Hyperspace was a bit lengthy, we opted for fastpasses and decided to hop over to California Adventure, stopping to watch the band perform in front of the castle with Beast and Belle.

As we got into DCA, we saw Oswald at the park entrance, then headed round to queue for Soarin’, which is a ride I’ve never actually done in Disneyland! After flying all over the world, we headed to Cars Land and got bread cones from the Cozy Cone Motel, then explored Hollywoodland for bit before going back to the Disneyland park for our Hyperspace Mountain fastpass.

Galaxy saved, we wandered back through Fantasyland, then caught a little bit of Fantasy Faire from just outside The Royal Theatre, then decided to do the castle walkthrough before going to Adventureland to do Jungle Cruise. We then walked back to Royal Princess Hall where we met Cinderella, Ariel and Snow White, and headed into Toontown for a little while, before grabbing a spot on Main Street USA for Soundsational.

After the parade, we did a quick browse of the shops on Main Street, then as it was getting a little colder, decided to head back to the hotel via Downtown Disney so we could grab our jackets and have a quick chill out and wifi hog before going back for the evening.

Refreshed and ready to take on the evening, we walked back to the parks and grabbed dinner at the Red Rose Taverne, then hit a few of the rides with shorter queues – the carousel, Big Thunder in the dark, Snow Whites Adventures and Its a Small World – then as we were starting to feel the tiredness set it, let our competitive nature wake us up with a go on Buzz’s Astro Blasters (Ps I won), before heading back to Main Street to sit and wait for the last Main Street Electrical Parade performance.

Lovely as it was to see the parade again, we were both really struggling to truly appreciate it while battling to keep our eyelids open. We’d intended to hold out and get empty Main Street photos but as soon as the parade had passed us we knew we couldn’t stay any longer, so plodded slowly back to the hotel for a well deserved night sleep. Catch you guys tomorrow!

Adventures with Pooh

So I’ve been struggling a little bit putting together outfits for my upcoming Disneyland trip (TWO WEEKS TODAY I LEAVE OMG), mainly due to the fact that I told myself I wouldn’t buy anything new to wear on this trip. I didn’t, however, say I couldn’t make myself anything..

If you follow me on Twitter, you may have seen that I’ve been sewing cute Disney pockets to sell on my Etsy store, and my most recent design is this cute honeycomb Pooh print, which made me think that its been ages since I wore my Black Milk shorties in the parks, and voila!

The pocket is available in an iron-on format, kinda like an embroidered patch, so you can attach it to any top you fancy, or pre-attached to a t-shirt or tank top, and due to the California sun I think it’ll be a tank top for me! I might even have to make myself a new pair of ears to match..

Twitter / Bloglovin / Instagram

My Disneyland Trip Bucket List

It still hasn’t quite hit home that in a few short weeks I’ll be stepping back into what is, in my opinion, the most special of all the Disney parks. There’s just something extra magical about Disneyland, and for a lot of reasons it holds a very special place in my heart, and I’m super excited to be going back with my Disney twin, Sarah, who I know loves the park just as much as I do.

Here are a few things I’ll be looking to do this trip:

  • Sob over Mickey and the Magical Map – I’ll probably attempt to set a new record for the number of times I watch this in a single trip, and I will definitely cry every time. Plus Sarah has never seen it so its an excuse to drag her along, right?
  • Haunted Mansion – being closed on my last trip, I definitely want to take a doom-buggy to visit the 999 happy haunts after almost 7 years.
  • Frozen at Hyperion Theatre – I loved Aladdin, and was gutted to have missed the last showing by just 3 days, but I’m curious to see the show that’s replaced it.
  • Photoshoots in Toontown – we both love a good outfit shoot, and we both love Toontown, so hello new favourite place to hang out..
  • Red Rose Taverne – gotta find out if the new Beauty and the Beast themed restaurant is worth the hype, right?
  • Jungle Crusin’ – another ride that was closed on my last trip, I need to get some skipper time!
  • Main Street Electrical Parade – as much as I hate not having Paint the Night in Disneyland anymore, I really missed MSEP when I was in Florida.
  • Soarin’ Around the World – would you believe I’ve never done Soarin’ in California?
  • Meet Oswald – I’m on a mission to meet 100 different characters this year, and I’ve never met the lucky bunny before
  • Animation Academy – while I can’t draw to save my life, I still always love going to Animation Academy to attempt it!

Hopefully I’ll be able to squeeze all this in as well as everything else PLUS running the Pixie Dust Challenge in the Tinkerbell Half Marathon Weekend, wish me luck!

Twitter / Bloglovin / Instagram

Pastel Mickey Bar

Primark are constantly releasing new Disney t-shirts, but its very rare that I see a shirt on Instagram or Twitter and thing ‘OMG I NEED THAT’. Well, I had half of Twitter hunting for this t-shirt for me, because I just fell in love.

Firstly, its adorable. I mean, Mickey shaped ice-creams in pretty pastel shades are cute enough, but I knew it would go perfectly with my new pastel shorts, which you may have seen in my pastel mermaid haul last week, and with my local Primark rarely stocking anything I’m actually looking for, and just generally being a total minefield, I knew I’d stand no chance finding it, and turned to the wonderful Twitter community who took on the challenge, yay!

And what is ice-cream without toppings? I’ll be topping this look off with my favourite pastel design ears from Elephant and Mouse, and how cute is my party ring handbag?

Only 3 weeks to go!

Twitter / Bloglovin / Instagram

Mickey’s Toontown

THAT’S RIGGHHHHTTTT. Your girl’s heading off on another Disney adventure very soon, which means its time yet again for a weekly countdown outfit!

Now I know I haven’t really shouted all that much about my upcoming trip to Disneyland, mainly due to personal reasons, so it comes as as much of a shock to me as it does to you that its only 6 weeks away now. Despite having aspects of the trip booked for a year, the majority of the planning has happened in the last week or so, but y’all know outfit planning is my speciality and I’m pretty proud of the looks I’ve thrown together.

This outfit has been inspired by an area of Disneyland that is only featured here and in Tokyo Disneyland: Toontown. Its one of my favourite spots for taking photos because with the backdrop of a clear California blue sky, it really feels like you’ve stepped into a cartoon.

It features my favourite t-shirt from The Happiest Fitness Co‘s Oh Boy collection, paired with my Mickey splatter skater skirt from Poprageous, and my slightly wacky pom-pom ears, which I think I got from Asos ages ago!

Now I can’t help but wonder how quickly I’ll manage to spill something down this almost entirely white outfit, but maybe with that skirt design no one will notice..

Twitter / Bloglovin / Instagram

The Ultimate Six Park Comparison

I’m not gonna lie, the fact that I visited all six of the world’s Disney parks within a 13 month period is probably one of my greatest life achievements, and I’m fully aware of how lucky I am to be able to have visited them at all! That said, there is a question that comes with this achievement which I hate: ‘what’s your favourite park?’.

I hate picking favourites, end of, but this is one I will never ever be able to answer, because every park is different and there’s no way they can be judged on the same level, so instead I’m gonna break down the park pros and cons, and hopefully give a proper and fair analysis!

Disneyland, California

Disneyland California

  • Number of parks: 2
  • Park yays:
    • Compact area – its only about 100m between the two parks, with Downtown Disney right outside
    • Lots of nearby offsite hotels, and easily accessible on foot
    • Plenty of random character interaction opportunities
    • Large Downtown Disney area including branded stores like Sephora and Lego Store
    • While temperatures can vary, rain is very rare!
    • Current shows and parades include: Mickey and the Magical Map, Frozen the musical and Fantasy Faire, Soundsational Parade
    • Parades and nighttime shows in both parks
  • Park nays:
    • Not many direct transportation options from LAX
    • No dining plan
    • During off-peak times, some performances and parades get cut-back to weekends only
  • Why this park is special to me:
    • Disneyland was the first park I visited as an adult, so with the exception of vague early childhood images, all my first proper Disney memories were made in Disneyland. It also makes me so happy knowing that this was Walt’s park, and this is where he walked and where the whole Disney park legacy began.

Walt Disney World, Florida

Walt Disney World

  • Number of parks: 4 plus 2 water parks
  • Park yays:
    • The most advanced Disney parks, with features like Magic Bands, Fastpass+ and My Disney Experience
    • So many entertainment options – something for everyone!
    • Amazing transportation links, including Magical Express to airport
    • Dining plan is great value for money
    • Current shows and parades include: Festival of the Lion King, Finding Nemo the Musical, Beauty and the Beast, Fantasmic, Festival of Fantasy
    • So many resort options!
  • Park nays:
    • Parks can get really packed during busy periods
    • So many strollers..
  • Why this park is special to me:
    • WDW is the ultimate Disney experience. If you stay onsite, you are completely encased in the magic, and reality and problems disappear!

Tokyo Disneyland, Japan

Tokyo Disneyland

  • Number of parks: 2
  • Park yays:
    • Local guests are so polite and considerate
    • Hardly any strollers or scooters
    • So many unique areas (basically the whole of DisneySea!)
    • Best merchandise of any Disney park!
    • Designated train station for transportation into Tokyo
    • Everything is clean and well kept
    • Current shows and parades include: Happiness is Here, Electrical Parade Dreamlights, Fantasmic
    • No Downtown area, but has Ikspiari, a large shopping centre with restaurants and Disney Store
    • Monorail link between the two parks
    • Lots of rare character meeting opportunities
  • Park nays:
    • Not many cast members speak English, and most shows are done in Japanese
    • Rather than Extra Magic Hours, guests staying in Disney hotels only get to enter the parks 15 minutes before other guests
  • Why this park is special to me:
    • Tokyo was my first Eastern Disney park, and I was just blown away with how much I loved it. DisneySea is just such a unique park, definitely one of  my favourite parks of all time, and I live for the merchandise!

Disneyland Paris, France

Disneyland Paris Spring 2016

  • Number of parks: 2
  • Park yays:
    • Designated train station for links to airport and Eurostar
    • Good range of hotel options, both on and offsite
    • Current shows and parades include: Mickey and the Magician, Frozen Singalong, Disney Magic on Parade
    • Lots of seasonal events eg. Swing into Spring and Halloween
  • Park nays:
    • Guests don’t stick to designated smoking areas
    • Walt Disney Studios park doesn’t have as much going on as Disneyland
  • Why this park is special to me:
    • DLP is my local park, I’m an annual pass holder, and I’ve made so many recent memories here, including my 21st birthday and my first Disney trip without my family back in April. I think the park has come such a long way in recent years and I can’t wait to celebrate the 25th anniversary next year!

Hong Kong Disneyland

Hong Kong Disneyland

  • Number of parks: 1 (for now!)
  • Park yays:
    • Designated train station for easy access from the city
    • While still being fairly close to the city centre, the area feels very secluded
    • Most cast members speak English really well
    • Current shows and parades include: Paint the Night parade, Festival of the Lion King, Mickey and the Wondrous Book, Flights of Fantasy
    • Fun twists on classic rides
    • Depending on the time of year and day of the week, the park can be really empty!
  • Park nays:
    • No offsite hotels nearby
    • Local guests use umbrellas for shade, so it can be hard to watch parades
    • No Downtown Disney area
    • Fastpasses only available for a few rides
    • Merchandise was quite expensive compared to other Asian parks
  • Why this park is special to me:
    • Hong Kong was the last Disney park I visit on my six park adventure, and I fell in love with it. I love how similar the park is to Disneyland California; its so pretty and classic!

Shanghai Disneyland, China

Shanghai Disneyland castle

  • Number of parks: 1
  • Park yays:
    • So many incredible new rides
    • Located really close to Pudong Airport, and also has a designated station on the city’s underground tube system
    • Disneytown is ride next to the park, and you can use the second entrance at the end to re-enter the park by Tomorrowland
    • Current shows and parades include: Tarzan the musical, Mickey’s Storybook Express, Captain Jack Stunt Show Spectacular
    • Just the most beautiful castle!
  • Park nays:
    • Local guests aren’t very into queuing, and lots will push past
    • Quite a bit of rubbish around the parks
    • Queues for Fastpasses can be longer than queues for some rides at times!
    • Currently still very much in a trial stage, with some technical problems still occuring
  • Why this park is special for me:
    • Being able to visit a brand new park within a month of opening was so special for me, and the experience was totally magical.

Wow, I really struggled writing this; I hate finding negatives in things! I’ll probably come back to this a million times and change and add things when they spring to mind!

What do you love about the parks you’ve visited?

Twitter / Bloglovin / Instagram

Disney Style: Paint the Night

Paint the Night

Pinwheel BAE shirt from Redbubble, Paint the Night button from MyParkFlair, Pom Pom ears from Disney Darling, Flo’s V8 pencil skirt from Redbubble

So obviously I am crazy excited that my 2017 plans are bringing me back to my true love, Disneyland, and we all know how much I love planning outfits!

Besides the parade itself, I took my inspiration for this outfit from two things: the Flo’s V8 skirt, which is actually a design from my Redbubble portfolio that I’ve sorta fallen in love with, and one of my favourite Disneyland Instagrammers and CM Francis Dominic (@frncissdominc on Twitter and Instagram) who is the BAE of the Pinwheel Baes! I just think Spellerific nailed it with the shirt design!

And when it comes to accessorizing Disney outfit, buttons and Mickey ears are absolutely foolproof. Let’s just talk about this beauty of a button from MyParkFlair; I mean, it actually sparkles and I bet it would look so magical with all the parade lights flashing around you. Pom pom ears are also always perfection in my eyes, and the back of this pair is black and sparkly like the night sky, ahh!

Who votes I make this outfit happen for real when I visit next year?

Twitter / Bloglovin / Instagram

More Disney Plans!

I very much doubt that me announcing more Disney trips is much of a shock to my regular readers anymore, but I just love sharing my plans with everyone!

image

Now I’ve already shared my big plans for this year, including Shanghai, Hong Kong and Disneyland Paris, and with this year already packed with magic, I’m now starting to sort my 2017 adventures!

Brace yourselves.

I have already booked Walt Disney World for February with the lovely Sarah from Belle’s Moments, eek! We’re going to be staying at Port Orleans Riverside for 10 days to coincide with the Princess Half Marathon weekend, where I’m hoping to be doing the Glass Slipper Challenge – 10K Saturday and half marathon Sunday! I say hoping because race registration doesn’t actually open until next month, which is actually when I’ll be in China so fingers crossed I can get it sorted ok! So that’s one trip down..

Keeping on the race theme, in May I’m hoping to be able to go out to Disneyland for the Tinkerbell Half weekend, so that I can run the Pixie Dust challenge, and also qualify for my Pink Coast to Coast medal – fingers crossed that stays on into 2017! Right now nothing for this trip is planned; my parents might join me but it all depends on their plans for the year, but I’d love to go out for a week and maybe do Universal Studios out in LA too!

That’s it, right? NOPE

Hello September, hello Disney Cruise Line booking! Once again I’ve booked with Sarah for the 7 night Mediterranean trip, and what’s even more exciting than going with her is that another one of my absolute favourite people is booked on the same cruise with her family, so its going to be the most fun! I have done a cruise before, but not a Disney cruise and I think there’s gonna be a stark comparison between my previous cruise memories and this one! Sarah is a Disney cruise pro, so I’m hoping she’s going to show me the ropes, and I’m really interested in all of the stops we’ll be making on the way!

Three big trips, yay!

I also have my Disneyland Paris annual pass now, so I’m hoping to visit there a few more times this year and next, including the Halloween Soiree this year!

EEEEEKKK °o°

Twitter / Bloglovin / Instagram

Disneyland’s Paradise Pier Hotel

Looking for some Californian Adventure?

Paradise Pier Hotel

Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel is the smallest hotel in the Disneyland area, but that doesn’t meant to say its any less special! The hotel is situated a little further out from the parks than the other two Disney hotels, but as the name suggests, one side of the hotel looks towards Paradise Pier in Disney’s California Adventure park, and as a shortcut, guests can cut through Disney’s Grand Californian hotel and use the private entrance to get straight into the park.

Its really easy to get to the park entrances on foot; just a few minutes walk to Downtown Disney, then through DD to the main entrance. Being so close to Downtown gives guests a huge range of dining options, on top of the restaurants at the hotel which include character dining at PCH Grill and chilled out drinks and snacks at Surfside Lounge.

The whole hotel is beach themed, with a statue of Goofy and his surfboards greeting guests as they enter the reception area. This theme continues into the guest rooms, with cute accents like beach ball cushions and classic cartoon artwork, plus this adorable lamp!

Dad and I actually rated the beds here more comfortable than in Walt Disney World, in case you were wondering!

Now the hotel boasts a rooftop pool, and this is true.. But its the third floor roof. We only used it in the middle of the day, and it was January so not exactly California heat, but it was a nice pool and you’d probably be able to watch the Disneyland park fireworks from it in the evening!

As well as the pool, the hotel has a gift shop and arcade, as well as a cute little tv room playing classic cartoons with mini deckchairs; they’re adorable!

Pros

  • Close proximity to the parks and Downtown Disney, and preferred rooms can see California Adventure!
  • Character meals available
  • Super comfy beds
  • Use of the Grand Californian’s private entrance to California Adventure park
  • Cheapest of the Disneyland hotels
  • Pool with slides
  • Extra Magic Hours in the parks – usually one hour early in the mornings

Cons

  • Quite pricey compared to offsite hotels, some of which are just as close
  • $18 per day for self parking, and $28 a day for valet – just seems kinda steep!

Have you stayed onsite at Disneyland?

Twitter / Bloglovin / Instagram

Favourite Photos from.. Mickey and the Magical Map

I don’t really like taking photos during shows, mainly because when there’s a lot going on, things get a little blurry, but also because I love to just watch and absorb the magic.

Back in January, I finally got to see a show that I was so excited to see, and hoped like crazy that it lived up to my expectations, and given that I watched it 3-4 times in as many days, I think that shows that it did! That show was Mickey and the Magical Map at Fantasyland Theatre in Disneyland..

DSC09946

DSC09947

DSC09953

DSC09959

DSC09963

DSC00013

Tiana peeking through in that last photo makes it, plus Mickey looks so handsome in his Map Maker outfit!

Do you love this show as much as I do?

Twitter / Bloglovin / Instagram

Baking Magic – Mac and Cheese Bread Cones

THIS IS THE MOST EXCITING BAKING MAGIC POST FOR ME

Bacon Mac and Cheese Cone

If you’re not lucky enough to have tasted the glory that is a bacon mac and cheese bread cone from Disneyland’s Cozy Cone Motel, then you’re in for a real treat today. If you have, then I bring you the amazing news that you can make them at home!

Ready?

SONY DSC

Ok, for the cones you’re gonna need the ready-roll croissant dough that you can get from most supermarkets (one roll will make 4-5 cones), and a load of tin foil. Roll out the dough onto greaseproof paper, and using a knife or pizza cutter, cut it into strips. Pre-heat your oven to 180C

Scrunch up your foil into a cone shape, then wrap it in another layer of foil to give a smooth outer finish, then spray it with cooking oil. Take your first strip of dough, and working from the bottom of the cone, start to wrap it round and round, with a slight overlap with each layer, and keep adding strips until you’re happy with the size.

Grease a baking tray, and pop the cones on their side on the tray. Bake for 5 minutes, then turn the cone and bake for another five. Once nice and golden brown, place the cones onto a cooling rack and let them cool before removing the foil support from the middle.

Croissant cones

Ta-dah! You can make these a day in advance and keep them in a sealed container.

If you have a favourite mac and cheese recipe, whip up a batch, load your cone and sprinkle with some bacon chunks, and you’re all done! If not, here’s my favourite:

  • Cook 400g macaroni normally and drain.
  • Melt 50g butter in a saucepan, and gradually add in 50g flour until a thick paste forms.
  • Whisk in 250ml milk and be sure to beat out any lumps, then add 250g grated cheddar/mozzarella – if you’re gonna use mozzarella, mix it with cheddar otherwise its gonna be crazy stringy – and let it melt in.
  • Stir in 50g cream cheese and a pinch of salt and pepper, then add your drained pasta to your cheesy concoction.

Let your mac and cheese cool a little before loading up your cone, then top with bacon bits and devour in the sunshine!

Bacon Mac and Cheese cone

Have you visited the Cozy Cone?

Twitter / Bloglovin / Instagram

Favourite Photos from.. Disneyland’s Soundsational Parade!

I’ve actually shocked myself. I had this sudden realisation the other day that despite being back home for 2 months now (WHAT?!), I hadn’t actually sat down and looked through all the photos I took from my January trip to Walt Disney World and Disneyland.

Now I basically live through my camera, and since my October road trip around Europe, I’ve been making a big effort to spend less time looking through the lens and more time experiencing my adventures, so I really didn’t take as many photos as I could have done, although I still took probably more than the average person would! But in any case, now I’ve sat down and looked at them all, I figured I should really share them with you guys, right?

So here’s a new little mini-series that I’m gonna do throughout this year, sharing my favourite photos from a range of Disney’s shows and parades, starting with the fabulous Soundsational from Disneyland California!

DSC09795

DSC09802

DSC09817

DSC09822

DSC09823

DSC09837

DSC09841

DSC09855

Come on, come on, Soundsational!

Twitter / Bloglovin / Instagram

Ariel’s Grotto – World of Color Dining Package

Its no secret that Paradise Pier in Disneyland’s California Adventure park is one of my favourite areas of any Disney park, and its especially beautiful at night with Mickey’s Fun Wheel lit to perfection. Its also home to one of my favourite nighttime spectaculars, World of Color, a beautiful show of light and water with the pier as its backdrop, so the World of Color dining package was hugely appealing to me.

DSC00015

The package can be used at three different restaurants, for three different prices, and I chose Ariel’s Grotto, which is situated on the boardwalk of the pier itself. I had no idea that the restaurant was actually on the lower level underneath the boardwalk, and when we were seated outside (there is indoor seating), we were literally on the water’s edge which gave us the most stunning view!

DSC00021

For the dining package, it’s a set menu of three courses. Our waitress took our drinks order and starters – soup or salad – at the same time, and only minutes after she left a huge basket of freshly baked sourdough bread was delivered to the table, still warm! The soup of the day was butternut squash, which is one of my favourites, and it was delicious! It was thick and creamy, went perfectly with the sourdough, and it was a nice manageable portion, although if I didn’t have my main course coming soon I could have happily eaten that all day.

DSC00022

I chose the pork chop for my main, which came with mashed potato and ‘seasonal vegetables’, although this turned out to be a small handful of leaves when I was kind of hoping for some real veggies. It also had an apple sauce which I mostly scraped off – only because I don’t like apple sauce, I’m sure it would have been lovely if I did! The pork itself was absolutely perfect, soft and easy to cut away from the bone, and it was a real sizable chunk of meat. This had me feeling pretty stuffed (although half a loaf of sourdough may also be responsible), so I was pretty upset when the dessert arrived..

DSC00023

The dessert was a set trio of a mini creme brulee, a smores tartlet and chocolate covered strawberry – hello heaven on a plate! I ate the whole creme brulee, and most of the amazing smores tart before admitting defeat; the strawberry was huge, I think I would have exploded.

DSC00017

After the meal we sat and fed what was left of our bread to the ducks floating about on the water next to us, causing a few ducky squabbles, and once the bill was paid, our waitress brought us the World of Color preferred seating tickets that were included in our package. These put us right at the front of the crowds for the show later that evening, we couldn’t have got better places if we’d waited all day. The waterfront viewing area was split into a few tiers of viewing areas: those with dining packages at the front, then those with regular Fastpasses etc, which don’t open until an hour before the show. One thing I will say though – if you’re right at the front of the show, you will get wet! (psst, its only mist)

It was about $50pp; Ariel’s is the cheapest of the three options, but you can only book the package for dinner because its a character meal during lunchtimes. For the food you get and the ease of viewing the show, I would definitely say its value for money, especially if you have small children who may not get a good view of the show otherwise.

And if a dining package isn’t for you, go and see the show anyway, its truly spectacular!

Why Disneyland’s Cars Land is Perfect

I remember going to see Cars in the cinema. Sure, I was 11 at the time so its not an amazing feat that I can remember it, but I still think it counts for something that I remember it so well.

A lot of people really don’t seem to like Cars, and I don’t really get it. I mean, I guess it was aimed a lot more at boys, and maybe the storyline isn’t Pixar’s finest, but what still amazes me to this day is how, now almost 10 years old, the animation is flawless; the reflection of light off the cars, the feel of the speed and the depth of the surroundings, to me its all just seamless.

DSC09898

Disneyland opened Cars Land in its California Adventure park in 2012, and when I discovered its beauty through various Instagram accounts, I became more and more amazed by it, and so it was probably my most anticipated part of our visit in January. I was not disappointed..

It is 100% accurate

DSC09910

The road is set out exactly how it is in the film. In fact, Disney are so confident in this that if you visit Sarge’s, there is actually a model Radiator Springs, and I bet you can’t spot any discrepancies!

The Cozy Cone Motel

DSC00029

The film really doesn’t go into too much detail about the Cozy Cone other than its exterior, which Imagineers got down to the cone water feature on the front lawn and the car bulb flowers, but they even went above and beyond on the interiors! Well, each surrounding cone is a food kiosk, but the reception building is laid out just as you’d expect at any motel, complete with postcards and cone-y (get it, corny, cone-y.. Please laugh) souvenirs.

The cars really drive and really talk

DSC09993

Not only can you meet the stars of the films, but they actually drive through the streets and interact – with guests as well as each other! You can meet Lightning McQueen, Mater, and more on rotation outside the Cozy Cone Motel.

The third flash is longer

DSC09991

If you’ve seen the film, you’ll know that as a solitary town, the traffic light is on a constant amber warning flash, and hippy van Fillmore has a theory that the third flash is always longer. Well, I can vouch for that!

Radiator Springs Racers is flawless

DSC09916

The big-ticket ride of the land, Racers is very similar to WDW’s Test Track. Board a car through the beautiful canyons before you visit the town itself, complete with the most perfect audio-animatronic characters – their words and actions are just as if you stepped into the film! After you’ve driven through the town and cow-tipped with Mater, you might get your tyres done at Luigi’s or a paint spray at Ramone’s before lining up with another car of guests and racing back through the Springs to a photo-finish. I’m not sure I’m doing it justice, but its just wow.

There’s some AMAZING food on offer

DSC09972

This is a Bacon Mac’n’Cheese Bread Cone. I’m just gonna leave this here..

The lights are just magical

DSC00037

You know how Sally feels about the return of the neons in the film? YOU FEEL IT. The lights turn on at dusk every day, and the darker the sky gets, the more beautiful the street does. It really just brings the road to life, just as it does in the film. Also, just as there are a few minor imperfections in the film’s neons, you’ll find them in Cars Land.

Ok, I could go on and on and share photo after photo (which I probably will on Instagram), but whether you’re a Cars fan or not I’d happily bet you’d still be amazed by it!

What do you think?

What is there for Star Wars fans in the Disney parks?

We’ve all heard the news: Disney is going to be taking us to a galaxy far, far away with the announcement of two Star Wars lands, one in WDW and one in Disneyland. Now all we’ve got to do is wait another who knows how long for them to be completed. Ugh.

The problem is, with the recent release of Episode VII, Disney has just created a whole new generation of Star Wars fans eagerly awaiting the next installment, and of course these spectacular new areas of the parks, and, clever little people that they are, they have made sure that these fans are not disappointed! So what have they got going?

Star Tours

SONY DSC

Star Tours is a travel company offering destination holidays to everyone in the galaxy, but unfortunately due to some issues on Flight 1401, your trip turns into a bit of a mission, uh-oh! Its a 3D simulator, and the rides have been in the parks for a few years now, but those wonderful Imagineers have given them a little tweak!

Now including scenes from Jakku, and a message from Finn and BB-8, the ride actually has 50 different variations; there are slight differences in the opening scene, ending scene, and a few differences in the middle, and there’s no telling which one you’re going to get! In January, we had about 4 different experiences, I wonder how many times you’d have to ride before you saw them all!

You can ride Star Tours in Hollywood Studios in WDW or Tomorrowland in Disneyland.

Star Wars Launch Bay

SONY DSC

The Launch Bay is one of the newest Star Wars additions to the Disney parks. Inside you can see memorabilia from the movies, such as Rey’s speeder, collections of lightsabers and models of your favourite spacecraft, as well as being able to meet some of your favourite characters.. Was that a wookiee I heard?!

STUDIO_LBLGHTSDECHAR1_7577365246small

As well as Chewbacca and Darth Vader, you might also run into a bounty hunter or have an encounter with a trading Jawa, and you never know, Kylo Ren might make an appearance!

The Launch Bays can be found in both Hollywood Studios and Tomorrowland in Disneyland

Jedi Training Academy

SONY DSC

If your little ones dream of joining the lightside, you can sign them up to take part in the Jedi Training Academy shows which happen throughout the day at both Hollywood Studios and Disneyland’s Tomorrowland. Its adorable; first each little Jedi gets given a robe and a lightsaber and are walked out to the stage area in a big procession. Once on stage, they’re taught a fight routine which they’ll suddenly have to use against Darth Vader or The Seventh Sister, and the moral of the story is to stand up to your fears.

Each show has limited spaces, so sign up early in the day to avoid disappointment. Your child must be present when you sign them up, and its open to all between the ages of 4-12.

Path of the Jedi

Path of the Jedi is a short film essentially telling an abridged version of the initial six Star Wars films, and a series of non-spoiler clips from Episode VII, summing up the history of the Jedi, and what the future may hold!

Hyperspace Mountain – Disneyland

Disneyland’s Space Mountain has been influenced by the force with a little revamp, and a lot more adventure! Its the same ride as before, but the addition of lights and projections within the ride have transformed this in-the-dark rollercoaster into a rebel mission against the galactic empire, and watch out for those tie-fighters!

Don’t forget to grab a Fastpass early in the day to shorten your wait time!

Force-filled Food

DSC09788

Disneyland is ahead of the game with their Star Wars inspired food, dedicating a whole restaurant, Galactic Grill, to it. The menu includes First Order burgers and Darth by Chocolate dessert, and you can even have your meal served in a Han Solo in Carbonite bucket!

SONY DSC

Hollywood Studios has a good range of Star Wars cupcakes, but that’s about it for the moment!

Merchandise

SONY DSC

As expected, Star Wars merchandise is everywhere throughout all the parks, everything from clothing and accessories to comic books and annuals, you can even buy a 4ft tall Stormtrooper! As well as being in most shops, there are dedicated stores such as Watto’s Grotto and Tatooine Traders in Hollywood Studios and Mickey’s Star Traders in Disneyland.

Are excited for the new Star Wars lands?

Breakfast with Minnie and Friends at Plaza Inn

Don’t ask me why, but I’ve always felt that the best meal for meeting characters is breakfast. Maybe its the start of the day excitement, maybe it gears me up for a day in the parks.. Its probably the fact its usually a buffet..

With no character breakfast on the cards for while we were in WDW, I definitely wanted to book one for our stay in Disneyland, and Plaza Inn seemed like the perfect place – right at the end of Main Street USA, looking out at the castle. Yep, perfect.

DSC09863

Firstly we were given a button each, and we were asked if we didn’t mind sitting outside on the veranda instead of in the main restaurant, but given that it was California weather, that wasn’t a problem for us. It meant we had a quieter meal away from the bustle of kids dying for autographs, and we could watch the world go by a little as we ate. It was also only a few minutes after we sat down that we were greeted by the first character of the day, Max.

image

As the meal is advertised as ‘Minnie and friends’, we assumed that there would be a handful of classic characters, Pooh and friends for example, as well as Minnie herself, so it was a really nice surprise to not only have a great mixture of characters, but also to see as many as there were; we were only there for 30-40 minutes altogether and we saw 8 characters: Minnie, Max, Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore, Rafiki, Fairy Godmother and Suzie the mouse, and for all we know, there may have been more hanging around that we missed! They also came around regularly and spread out, so there was time to eat between each meet, but we didn’t feel like we were hanging around waiting for the next.

DSC09876

As for the food, I can never really fault a Disney breakfast buffet. There were the usual hot breakfast items as well as omelette stations, and also breakfast pastries, cereals, yogurt and fruit etc. Oh and mini muffins, gotta have a mini muffin.

DSC09866

It was $33.99 each, which for a buffet and the number of characters we saw seemed totally reasonable. I also really liked the fact the place didn’t seem overcrowded like some character meals can; this could be because it was an off-peak time and we were sat outside, but there weren’t queues for the food either and the staff were really friendly and efficient, always a plus!

Who doesn’t love a breakfast buffet?

My Disney Trip Haul!

I’m home, I’m jet-lagged, and something I always hate about coming home from holidays is the dreaded unpacking of the suitcase, am I right?

What made it a little more bearable for me today though was knowing that my case was full of Disney goodies, and who doesn’t love a good haul post?!

SONY DSC

Now a fair amount of this is RunDisney stuff, so that’s where I’ll begin!

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

To start off, our medals and race shirts were all included in the entry fee; for the 5k it was just a regular cotton t-shirt, and the 10k, 2 halfs and Rebel Challenge shirts were all long sleeved performance tops. The medals are all 100% awesome, and pretty chunky – weighing just under a kilo for all six!

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

As well as our free shirts, we picked up a few extra goodies at the RunDisney expos. To surprise Dad, I had pre-ordered the limited edition WDW race weekend jackets for both of us, and we both ended up wearing them for the majority of the rest of our trip because they were so nice and warm! We also got a Coast to Coast shirt each, because you only get a medal for completing it, and also the Rebel Challenge ‘I did it!’ t-shirts, which also had a map of the courses we ran on the back, then I got a couple of headbands – two WDW half marathon ones and a Rebel Challenge.

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll know that I was pretty desperate for a pair of the limited release New Balance trainers, so of course I was super psyched to get my hands on a pair of the Red Carpet Minnie Mouse ones, which also came with a pair of gold shoelaces and clip on bows.

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

I was pretty restrained in only buying two mugs, (I had my eye on quite a few!) but Chip was top on my list, and I fell in love with the pastel Disneyland beauty. Obviously I bought the first Cogsworth I found because I had to bring him home with me, although I discovered mine is missing his pendulum yesterday when I unwrapped him, so fingers crossed the lovely Disney team with magic up a new one for me!

SONY DSC

I’m a huge collector of Vinylmations, and somehow came home with 9, oops! I did get two of them at Disney’s Character Warehouse, the outlet store, for only $3 each so that was a bonus.

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

Isn’t my new BB-8 dress amazing?! Its by Her Universe, but was sold all over the parks and Disney Springs, and I’m obsessed. I actually wore it to Hollywood Studios one day, and bumped into some Stormtroopers, totally panicked and said ‘this isn’t the droid you’re looking for’..

And lastly, I was really lucky to finally meet the lovely Maggie from Elephant and Mouse, who was staying in the same resort as us and was kind enough to meet me with an order of ears so I didn’t have to pay international shipping! I got two different fluffy Donald Duck pairs, and a pretty purple galaxy pair. She makes incredible ears, so go and visit her Etsy shop here!

Oh, and not forgetting this cutie!

SONY DSC

We came home with a family set!

Are you heading to Disney anytime soon?

°o°

Disneyland Day 4 – Star Wars Half!

Wow..

All of our races are over; a year of training and it all came down to today. Last race, last half marathon, completion of Rebel Challenge and Coast to Coast.

How did it go? Unbelievable. No longer subject to that nasty chest infection that held me back last week, we smashed it out of the park, starting and maintaining an astonishing pace – about 6:40/km. The course started very similarly to yesterday’s 10k through the parks, then after after about 4.5 miles we took to the streets of Anaheim, which was a lot of nice and flat, straight roads lined with high school cheerleaders, marching bands and some major Star Wars fans and cosplayers. It was electric! As for our time, would you believe we set a PB?! We crossed in about 2:39 (still waiting on chip time though), beating our previous PB by about a minute, insane!

image

We also got the fun of not only collecting our half medals, but our Rebel Challenge and Coast to Coast, both of which are awesome, so we now have a total of 6 medals from this trip! Pooped, it was back to the hotel to eat, bath and generally recover.

After a solid amount of rest time, we headed into Disneyland via the Downtown Disney monorail, which drops off in Tomorrowland, and in serious need of energy, grabbed Cheese-3PO burgers from Galacitc Grill, and yes, Cheese-3PO. All the burgers were Star Wars inspired and it was cool.

image

Next up, I dragged Dad over to Fantasyland and we stood in line for probably too long, but I finally had the character meet of my dreams: Rapunzel and Flynn together. The girls in front of us in the line were totally crazy, screaming and throwing themselves at Flynn, and Punzie was having none of it which was pretty funny, but when it came to my turn we had a good talk about running and my medals so that was basically magical. Next? Well if I told you we went to see a show you can probably guess it was Mickey and the Magical Map, right? I’m kinda obsessed, and was pretty upset I couldn’t video it because I don’t have the right memory card for Dad’s camera, but oh well.

The park was super busy today; I’m pretty sure everything except the Winnie the Pooh ride had a 40+ minute wait. We passed Big Thunder, Pirates of the Caribbean and got all the way to Splash Mountain before realising this though, so we grabbed a Fastpass for Splash because the time slot wasn’t too far away so we just chilled out on a bench nearby for a bit, thinking of our poor achey legs.

From Critter Country we walked back through the park to Tomorrowland, and to the Star Wars Launch Bay, but didn’t really fancy the 45 minute wait for a Chewbacca meet, so we sat and watched a bit of a film about the making of the new and upcoming movies, then made our way back to Fantasyland, this time the Royal Theatre, for the Tangled show at Fantasy Faire, which was just as funny, if not better than the Frozen version.

image

Saying goodbye to the Disneyland Park, we moved over to California Adventure. I’d made plans to meet up with my friend Nancy from Le Ears before we had dinner at Ariel’s Grotto. The food was great, and we were sat right on the water’s edge at Paradise Pier, soaking up all the atmosphere while we ate. The reservation was actually part of the World of Color dining package, which meant we were given preferred seating for the showing later that night. After dinner we went back to Cars Land (yes again, I can’t get over it) to see it all lit up, then cut through Bugs Land to Turtle Talk with Crush at the Animation Academy building – we love that guy!

image

Exhausted, but still on our feet, we took a slow walk around the shops on our way back to Paradise Pier for World of Color; our preferred seating area opened at 8.45, and we got there about 9pm, which meant sitting down for a bit, and getting pretty photos of Mickey’s Fun Wheel.

image

Now when we were last in Disneyland, which was in 2010, we saw World of Color which was relatively new then, and I remembered it to be crazy impressive. The current performance running, World of Color Celebrate was created for the 60th anniversary and is presented by Neil Patrick Harris, and did not fail to impress me just as much as the original! If you’ve never seen WoC before, go YouTube it right now, and thank me later.

The show took us past park closing, and we’ve officially been awake for over 18 hours now (and throw in a half marathon) so all that’s left is for me to say goodnight before I wipe out!

Today was our last day in the parks, and the last full day of our trip, and what a trip it’s been! Our flight is tomorrow (Monday) at about 5pm west coast time, and arriving back in the UK at midday Tuesday – please tell me it will be nice and warm? Coming home means normal blogging will be resuming, and I’ve got lots more about this trip to write about so be sure to stay tuned!

Disney, I’ll see ya real soon!

Disneyland Day 3 – Star Wars 10K!

Well what a day!

Being a race day, I was up just before 4am; because Disneyland is so compact, we could just walk to the start line from our hotel, no need to wait for buses etc, which meant we could afford that extra half an hours sleep. Today was the 10k, and we were in corral B, but it was very noticeable how fewer people were taking part in this race compared to last weeks.

image

We got off about 7 minutes after the first group, and it was a really good race! The first mile and a half was done on the perimeter of the Disneyland park, before we weaved in and out of backstage, then across to California Adventure after about 3 miles. Everything was still lit up as it was just before sunrise – which was when we hit about 4-5 miles – and the characters were awesome: BB-8, Stormtroopers and Jango Fett to name a few! We finished in 1:15, which isn’t our fastest (1:03) but considering stopping for photos etc it’s pretty damn close!

image

Medals and snack boxes acquired, we walked back to the hotel for a quick recover, then into California Adventure via the Grand Californian Hotel to beat the crowds, and straight to Toy Story Midway Mania. The park had only just opened so we only waited about 15 minutes, and afterwards we did Mickey’s Fun Wheel and Ariel’s Undersea Adventure, both of which had less than a 5 minute wait. In need of energy, we took another walk down Radiator Springs, and grabbed food at the Cozy Cone Motel; I had a bacon mac’n’cheese bread cone (YES) and Dad had a pretzel twist, then we sat at Flo’s V8 Cafe and watched the world – and the cars! – go by for a little while. We were taking things easy today after all!

image

Onwards, and we slowly walked around the park we had been running through a few hours earlier, before deciding to head back to the RunDisney expo for a last look around, then caught the monorail from Downtown Disney into the Disneyland park. First up was another performance of Mickey and the Magical Map, then back across to Royal Theatre to catch the Tangled show, but the times had been changed and the showing we had hoped to see wasn’t on, so once again we postponed seeing it, and feeling a little drained, decided to go back to the hotel for a swim and chill session. The Paradise Pier Hotel has a rooftop pool and hot tub – ok it’s only on the roof of the third floor but that still counts right? – and it was just what we needed for our achey legs.

image

After suitable recovery time, we once again set off for California Adventure, first of all hoping to get another ride on Radiator Springs Racers, but it was having some technical issues, so it was California Screamin’ instead! Finally hoping to catch the Pixar Play Parade, we set up camp on the parade route across from Paradise Pier nice and early so that we could sit and rest our legs for a while. I know I’ve said this about basically every show and parade we’ve watched this trip, but once again I was blown away! There were bugs, toys, cars, bubbles.. It was so much fun!

After the parade it was carb-loading time, so spaghetti and meatballs at Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta hit the spot just right. Now dark out, we were really excited to go back over to Cars Land to see it all properly lit up in all its neon glory before heading back to the hotel for an early night of good solid rest.

Tomorrow is our last race, eeek!

Disneyland Day 2 – featuring celebrity guest!

Another day of magic in Disneyland!

image

It started with our breakfast reservations at Plaza Inn in the Disneyland park, a character buffet meal, and while most character meals often have 4-5 characters tops, we saw 8! Advertised as Minnie and friends, they included Winnie the Pooh, Rafiki, Max and the Fairy Godmother, who came to our table as we ate for hugs and photos. From there we dashed across to the Royal Theatre for the first showing of Fantasy Faire. In the show, they tell a classic Disney story – this was Frozen – with two male narrators, and featuring Anna and Elsa, but it was hilariously funny, and most of the humour was for the sake of the adults more than the kids! Afterwards, we crossed into Adventureland to ride Indiana Jones as we’d missed out yesterday, then the plan was to see the first performance of Mickey and the Magical Map. However when we arrived at Fantasyland Theatre, due to technical issues the first show had been cancelled, so we decided to hop across into California Adventure.

image

I say hop, because you basically can; much like Disneyland Paris, the two parks are on each other’s doorsteps, with maybe 100 metres between the two gates. The biggest change since we were last here in CA was the introduction of Cars Land, so that was definitely first on the agenda, and man did Disneyland get it right! I pretty much could have just stumbled through a screen into Radiator Springs, it was all so on point! The main ride, Radiator Springs Racers had over an hour wait, so for the first time this trip we decided to do single rider, cutting our wait down to maybe only 15 minutes. The ride is a lot like WDW’s Test Track; you travel through Radiator Springs, meeting familiar characters, then line up with another car of guests for a high speed race through the desert to the finish line!

image

From there, we went to Paradise Pier, which is one of my favourite places in any Disney park. The main rides all had super long wait times or were broken down, so we just walked around for a bit before continuing round the park, getting a little damp on Grizzly River Run and heading down to Hollywood Land for a trip to Monsters Inc. We grabbed ice-cream floats at Clarabelle’s, then went to hang out in the Animation building until the Animation Academy class we wanted: Baymax!

With the sun shining, we headed back to Paradise Pier to find that California Screamin’, the big roller coaster previously broken down, was now open and had a fairly short wait, so that was next, then we headed back to the hotel quickly to drop off our drawings, then we went back into the Disneyland park for Mickey and the Magical Map.

image

It was everything I’d expected it to be, unbelievable! There was live singing, dancing, Flynn Rider.. Yup, pretty happy. To avoid the long queues, we decided to do single rider on the Matterhorn bobsleds after coming out of the theatre, so we only had to wait about 15 minutes, then we wandered through Tomorrowland for another ride on Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters.

Now today in the park, there have been a bunch of signs informing guests of a filming taking place this evening for a TV feature, and the castle has been closed off to set up a stage with instruments for a concert, including a red piano.. Anyone know where this is going? Cast members weren’t allowed to disclose the name of the star, but a few hints confirmed our suspicions: Elton John was playing tonight! Excited by this news, we found a fairly secluded spot for Paint the Night, which was to be followed with the fireworks before the concert started. As you can imagine, Main Street was packed, and the area in front of the castle had been cordoned off, so we stood in Pixie Hollow, away from the main crowds. Paint the Night was obviously just as magical as the night before, although one of the pixie dancers had a little fall right near us, oops! We couldn’t see the fireworks quite as well, but hey ho.

And then we waited. For over an hour. And then he appeared.

image

(We were maybe only 100 metres away but this was the best shot I could get!)

Gospel choir and all, he opened with Circle of Life, and the crowd went crazy! He actually performed it twice so that the cameras could get all the right shots, and then another song which we could barely hear over the fireworks, before we decided to make a break for the exit, not because we’re boring but because tomorrow brings a very early morning! And in any case it would seem that was it for Elton too as he quickly disappeared from the stage..

Now how’s that for Disney Magic? Well with our first Star Wars race tomorrow, we’re calling it an early on, so I’ll catch up with you tomorrow!

Disneyland Day 1!

I’m just gonna prefix today’s post with a little bit of background on me and Disneyland, because I know I’ve been talking a lot more about coming back here than I was about WDW. I was really lucky as a little kid to spend a lot of time at WDW and Disneyland Paris, going basically every year til I was about 5/6, and while I have a pretty good memory, there’s not a whole lot of those trips that I can clearly recall, so my first clear ‘adult’ memories of Disney parks are from Disneyland, which we visited in both 2008 and 2010. Basically, my Disney park love is cemented here, and after over 5 years, it’s pretty amazing to be back.

You know what’s great? Jet lag. We were awake at 6.30am.. After mooching about for a bit, we walked into Downtown Disney and grabbed breakfast at La Brea Bakery. The RunDisney expo didnt start til 10am, and we had to pick up our park tickets from there, but as it was only about 8.30 and we were stuck for things to do, we decided to head over to the Disneyland Hotel anyway, only to discover there was already a huge wait line for the event merchandise! So of course we got in it.. Well all that queueing, plus our actual packet pickup took us all the way to half 11, crazy right?!

image

Finally it was park time! Coming straight from WDW, it’s pretty strange walking into Disneyland; everything seems a lot smaller, more classic, like you can picture Walt popping out of one of the stores. I affectionately refer to the castle as Little Pink; she’d look so tiny next to any other parks castle, but decked out in the diamond celebration decorations she really is stunning right now.

First up we headed into Tomorrowland, which is where most of the Star Wars stuff is, so it was pretty busy. We grabbed a Fastpass (old school paper kind) for Hyperspace Mountain, and went to check out Super Hero HQ, the Avengers area, and Star Wars Launch Bay, which are just separate floors in the same building, before heading out of Tomorrowland and towards our first ride for the day: It’s a Small World! I love the Californian one because you actually board the boat from outside the ride, which is great in the Anaheim sunshine.

image

Next up we headed into Toon Town, a land not found in WDW or DLP, but home to classic attractions like Mickey and Minnie’s houses, and lots of kiddy friendly play things, it’s pretty sweet. Onwards, we walked through Fantasyland, including the castle walk through, and cut across into Frontierland to do Pirates of the Caribbean, and into Critter Country for Splash Mountain and the Winnie the Pooh ride, then back to Frontierland for Big Thunder Mountain.

With the queue for Matterhorn bobsleds being kinda crazy, we filled the time before our Fastpass for Hyperspace Mountain by going on the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage, a real submarine ride through Australian reefs with familiar characters. As the name suggests, Hyperspace Mountain is Space Mountain reimagined with a Star Wars theme. Now I was a little dubious, but it was AMAZING. Exactly the same track, same ride, just with a space battle taking place around you; tie-fighters blasting, ships exploding, all just totally cool!

image

Food finally on the brain, we headed back towards Main Street, only to find that the Soundsational Parade was just about to start, so we found a spot and watched that through before continuing on to get food in Frontierland at Stage Door Cafe. Refuelled, next on the agenda was the Indiana Jones ride, but after about 20 minutes of queueing, the dreaded ‘unforeseen circumstances’ announcement went out, so that was a bust. We turned to retail therapy, returning to Main Street USA. A mug, a Vinylmation and a shopping bag later, we were back in Tomorrowland, having a blast with Buzz and exploring the galaxy with Star Tours, before finding a spot for Paint the Night.

I’m not entirely sure I can put Paint the Night and the Disneyland Forever fireworks into words. Disneyland, you have blown me away. Paint the Night was like a combination of Main Street Electrical, Festival of Fantasy, and basically all the best Disney parades mixed together, totally phenomenal, and Disneyland Forever was just as awesome; as well as fireworks and castle projections, there were also projections on the Matterhorn, down Main Street and there was more than just Tinkerbell flying around up there!

It’s been a long, but magical day and now I’m pretty pooped, so goodnight California, look forward to doing it all again tomorrow!

WDW Day 9 – and onto Disneyland!

Today we said goodbye to the Magic Kingdom *sobs*

image

After a quick run, and fighting with our suitcases before checking out of French Quarter, we headed into the Magic Kingdom; overnight all the Christmas decorations had disappeared, so Main Street USA was looking a little bare. First up was Pirates of the Caribbean, followed by breakfast at Liberty Square Market, then Peter Pan’s Flight, Space Mountain and the TTA People Mover before our Haunted Mansion Fastpass time.

image

With some time before our next Fastpass, we wandered back into Fantasyland and caught the railroad, doing a full loop of the kingdom, before getting on an entirely different train: Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. High speed rides out of the way, we stopped off at Pinocchio Village Haus for lunch.

image

A final ride on the carousel, and it was back to French Quarter to catch the Magical Express to the airport, and a 5 hour plane journey and a drive to Anaheim, and we’ve just checked into our hotel! We’re now 3 hours behind Florida time, so 8 hours behind UK, and off to bed for us!

RunDisney 2016: The Final Checks

We leave tomorrow. WE LEAVE TOMORROW.

SONY DSC

In 4 days time we’ll have finished our first race, 6 until our second. This time next week we’ll be celebrating the end of the first week at the Cool Down Party. ISN’T IT CRAZY?!

I wrote my first RunDisney post on January 28th 2015, and since then I’ve written 38 training updates, and it all comes down to the next two weeks. This is insane. Can you tell I’m excited?

This week was for tapering, the word that most runners simultaneously love and hate; the cutting down of training run distances to prepare your body for an upcoming race. As per usual, we ran three times this week: a 5k, a 7k, and another 5k, which we did today. The next time we run will be in Florida!

So we’re all packed, or at least I am at this stage in the day. Four running costumes, plus spares, and one pair of running shoes, because I only trust one pair of my shoes at the moment! I’ve got a roll of Dynamic Tape and spray for my knee, Dad’s stocked us up with painkiller gels galore, and of course I’ve packed probably too many pairs of Mickey ears, which means I must be ready!

Tomorrow is going to be crazy long, starting at 5am UK time with a 4 hour coach journey, a 9 hour flight and finishing in EST, so we will be categorically pooped by the end of it all, but I’ll be in Disney World and it will be 100% worth it.

If you didn’t catch it yesterday, you can read our itinerary here to see what we’ll be getting up to, and I’ll be live blogging every day! You can also keep up via Twitter, Instagram and I’ll be streaming some of our trip on Periscope, so be sure to follow me @lottiedoesdisney!

Are you ready for the fun to start? I AM

°o°

My Disney Trip Itinerary!

You know who I love? Disney lovers.

My Disney friends just get me; instead of the classic ‘you’re going to Disney again!?’ that I get from my colleagues and non-Disney friends, whenever I’m getting ready for a trip, I know I’ve got a team of people that are just as excited for what I’m going to get up to as I am, and that always makes me so happy.

If you’re one of these people, you’re awesome.

bands

So given that I leave on Monday, I just thought I’d share our rough plan for our trip:

Monday 4th – arrive in Orlando, check into Port Orleans French Quarter. It’ll be quite late and we’ll be exhausted, so probably dinner and bed, maybe a quick trip to Disney Springs!

Tuesday 5th – Magic Kingdom day, starting with the Keys to the Kingdom tour, and ending with dinner at California Grill.

Wednesday 6th – Animal Kingdom, then over to ESPN Wide World of Sports for the Run Disney Expo where we’ll be picking up all our race packs, eek!

Thursday 7th – RunDisney WDW 5K at 6am, followed by a day in Epcot with lunch at Teppan Edo

Friday 8th – Hollywood Studios, and an early night..

Saturday 9th – RunDisney WDW half marathon at 5.30am, yikes! We’ll be recovering with lunch at Beaches and Cream, then heading into the Magic Kingdom to celebrate our first week of races being over!

Sunday 10th – start the day with a recovery swim, then spend some time in Disney Springs for the Run Disney Cool Down Party. We’re gonna need some down time!

Monday 11th – after a day of rest, Monday we’ll be attempting the Four Park Challenge, wrapping up with a Fastpass for Illuminations at Epcot!

Tuesday 12th – a bit of Epcot in the morning, and over to Hollywood Studios for the afternoon, finishing with Fantasmic!

Wednesday 13th – we’ll be saying goodbye to WDW in the Magic Kingdom, before we head to the airport for our flight to LAX. We’ll be arriving pretty late again, and checking into the Paradise Pier hotel in Disneyland.

Thursday 14th – we’ve got to go to the RunDisney expo to pick up our race packs and park tickets before we go into Disneyland!

Friday 15th – breakfast on Main Street USA, then we might hop across to California Adventure.

Saturday 16th – RunDisney Star Wars 10k first thing, then more park time!

Sunday 17th – RunDisney Star Wars half marathon, and we’re done with all our running, YAY! The rest of the day will probably be spent in California Adventure, and I’m hoping we can meet up with my lovely friend Nancy in the park! To end our trip, we’ve got a dinner booking at Ariel’s Grotto and preferential seating for the World of Color show!

Monday 18th – as we’ve only got a 4 day park ticket, today will be for outlet shopping and hitting up Walmart before our flight home in the evening, then Tuesday we’ll be back on British soil..

  I’M SO EXCITED!!!

I’ll be live posting the whole trip, hopefully everyday, and don’t forget to keep up with me on Twitter (@lottiedoesblog) and Instagram (@lottiedoesdisney)! I’ll also be trying my hand at Periscope (@lottiedoesdisney), so give me a follow for our live streams!

°o°

My Disney Trip Shopping List

No big deal or anything, but this time next week I’LL BE IN DISNEY WORLD!!!!!

I am 100% too excited to think about anything other than Disney at this stage, and we all know how much I love planning right(?) so I’ve been thinking a lot about how I’m gonna blow my spending money, and today I’m going to share some of the pieces I’m hoping to pick up on my trip!

Cogsworth clock and Chip mug

When we were in Disney World back in 2014, I was desperate for one of the newly released Chip mugs, but they were sold out everywhere waa! Now they’re not as new and Disney have picked up production, hopefully I won’t have any problems picking one up! The problem might be with Cogsworth, who was only released a few months ago, but I’m determined to bring him home with me to go with Lumiere, who I bought in Disneyland Paris.

I have a few Alex and Ani bracelets already, all bought on eBay; I have a Rapunzel one, as well as 3 of the 4 WDW park ones, so I need Epcot to complete my collection, and I might see if I can pick up the Disneyland ones in California too!

Disney parks are the only places where I actually like Starbucks, and I’ve been kinda lusting over the park ‘you are here’ mugs, but at $15 a pop, I may rethink that once I get there!

Back in 2014 I bought the Thomas Kinkade Tangled box canvas; it was beautiful and although a little pricey, but it meant something for me to be able to buy it. I’d love to get another one, but I don’t know how I could choose!

I’m also going to be keeping some money aside for the RunDisney Fitness Expos. They partner with New Balance to release limited edition trainers for the events, as well as having a bunch of exhibitors selling cool stuff, so its an excuse for me to do some more shopping!

And honestly, I think that’s it for me! Well, in terms of planned purchases anyway, no one with a credit card can resist Disney merch really!

Do you plan what you want to buy on your Disney trips?

°o°

January Disney Trip – What’s done, and what’s left!

Would you believe that yesterday marks exactly 8 weeks until Dad and I leave for Florida, kick-starting our awesome RunDisney tour of Walt Disney World and Disneyland California? Well I can’t! I’m beyond excited; its so close I can practically taste the Mickey waffles!

to do

Being in the last stages of preparing, there’s been lots to do these last few weeks, so this is where we are:

• Our WDW stay has been 100% paid off

• We’ve checked into our hotel online, and personalised our Magic Bands

• We did our ADRs at the 180 day mark, so they’ve been long sorted, but last week I had the nasty early morning alarm to book our Fastpasses!

• We’ve booked our spot on the Magical Express

• Our coaches both to and from the airport are sorted

• I’ve got two out of four running costumes ready

We do, however, still have a few things left to do:

• Pay the final balance of our California booking

• Get our American visas – kinda super important!

• Dining reservations for California, as they can’t be made until 60 days prior

• Sort out car hire in California

• Get packing!

We’ve only got 55 days to wait! Do you have any Disney trip preparation rituals?

°o°

What I’m wearing – Mermaid Girl

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

Coral Urban Mermaid crop top from Adorkable Apparel (now unavailable)

Mermaid skater dress from Soft Kitty Clothing

Boots from Missguided (now unavailable)

Who doesn’t love going mermaid-style?! A while back I actually featured both of these items on my Mermaid Wardrobe Wishlist!

I’ll be wearing this outfit in Disneyland California, for our dinner reservations at Ariel’s Grotto before World of Colour!

°o°

What I’m wearing – Vintage Minnie

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

Minnie Mouse is a total style icon, but so often her original looks are overlooked! This is an attempt to Disneybound a vintage look of hers, where she wears a blue skirt and a red pillbox-style hat with a daisy on top (which I’ll be attempting to make as well before my trip).

The skirt is one I made myself, yellow espadrilles were from New Look and the ears were from ASOS. I’ll be wearing this outfit to Disneyland in California, and I can’t wait to skip down Main Street USA and meet my favourite girl!

°o°

Friday Favourite Five – Instagrammers of Disneyland

I recently shared my favourite Disney World Instagrammers with you, and to be fair, today I’m doing my favourites from Disneyland California.

While Disney World will always be the most magical place on Earth for me, Disneyland holds a special place in my heart, mainly due to the fact that it was the first Disney park I’d visited in about 7-8 years. As a toddler/young child, we visited Disney World and Disneyland Paris quite often, but I have very few memories from those trips, so my trips to Disneyland, aged 13 and 15, were really my first ‘grown up’ memories of park life.

1. @jreitz1

This man is a legend in my eyes! Why? Well he’s visited Disneyland every day since 2011, and is currently on day 1364, how mad is that?!

2. @disneyfor2

View this post on Instagram

HAPPY BIRTHDAY OSWALD! #DisneySide

A post shared by AJ and VJ Escote (@escoteadventures) on

I actually started off following Alyssa’s solo account, before she met VJ, and since they started their joint account I’m even more obsessed – they’re adorable!

3. @lotso_at_disneyland

Probably one of the most famous Disneyland accounts (in my eyes anyway!), Lotso hangs out in the parks and you can find and meet him and take lots of selfies!

4. @diningindisney

I talk a lot about how much I love DisneyFoodBlog, right? Well this is the Instagram account of the Disneyland contributor, and her and her family are hilarious to keep up with! Plus, they’ve got dachshunds, nuff said.

5. @nanjer_0121

I’m somewhat bias here because this is the joint account of my lovely Instagram friend Nancy and her partner Jeremy. I met Nancy after featuring a pair of her ears in a wishlist, and to say thank you she actually sent them to me! Since then she’s been an absolute doll doing a few favours for me, and I really hope I can repay the favour when I’m in the parks in January!

I’m SO excited to be returning to Disneyland in January, and I really hope I might be able to catch a couple of these amazing people in the parks, even if its just to fangirl from a distance!

Do you follow @lottiedoesdisney on Instagram?

°o°

Guess who’s planning again?!

This week I’m starting to get my Disney buzz back as our Tokyo trip is less than 3 months away, so we’re starting to get into details like itineraries and booking hotels, and also because with sign up a week away, Dad and I are starting to make our arrangements for our Run Disney trip in January.

Buzz buzz!

So as far as Tokyo Disneyland goes, its totally un-chartered territory for us. Planning-wise, my expertise are in Disney World, so I really am a fish out of water, which is exciting and a little scary for me as I’m terrified of not being able to fit everything into the 3 days we’ve got set aside for the parks. Now I’m very much a DIY person, and have never been one to turn to guidebooks for advice, but in this instance I decided to, so I bought two – Top Tips for Visiting Tokyo Disney Resort, and Elijah’s Ultimate Guide to Tokyo Disney Resort 2015 – just to be on the safe side!

Quite honestly, I chose them because they were the first options that came up on my Amazon search, but I’m pretty happy with my choices having them read through them; they both cover different things which is ideal. Top Tips is very much a planning guide, which covers everything from picking a hotel to useful Japanese phrases. Its full of great information on the important park stuff like Fastpasses, dining, transport and shopping; for a little book its packed to bursting!

Elijah’s Guide is more of a breakdown of the parks: rides, restaurants etc. It covers a little about choosing when to visit the parks and other planning basics, and then launches into a blow by blow review of each attraction. It splits everything into its area (Disneyland>Area>Attractions/Restaurants/Shops>individual reviews) and Elijah gives every attraction a rating, a bit of information (when it opened, who its aimed for etc) and a short description.

Our main issue at the moment however is the language barrier. While you may not think it, speaking English isn’t a priority for the Japanese, so we’re struggling to book hotels as not all the staff at the other end of the phone are capable of understanding my dad.. We’ll work it out though!

BUT..

Dad and I booked our flights for January today! Eeeek!

I am so excited. Now we’ve booked flights, we know how long we’ve got in each place, which means planning can begin! We’ve yet to pick and book our Florida resort to stay at as we’re waiting to see if we’re booking through the Run Disney travel company, or just directly through Disney, but by the end of the week we’ll have a plan and right now we’re in no rush to worry about the California leg of the trip just yet, but I am BUZZED.

This is happening, stay tuned for more!

°o°