February Disney Trip Day 8

Happy Tuesday guys! Our day kicked off in Hollywood Studios, and with quite the bang – a fastpass for Rock’n’Roller Coaster, and of course we were pretty hyped to be in the back car of the limo. Sensibly, we saved breakfast for afterwards, grabbing a drink and a snack from Trolley Car Cafe and sitting to watch the First Order March through the park.From there, we had to make a quick detour to guest relations before heading back to Tower of Terror for our second fastpass of the day. Sarah dared me that I couldn’t do it without holding on – which I always do because I’m awful on this ride – and for the first time ever, I had my hands in the air for almost the whole ride! Yay me! I got myself a celebration button as a reward.

Out of the blue, we discovered Bolt meeting in front of the Chinese Theater, so of course we stopped for a quick photo with him, then got in line for Voyage of the Little Mermaid, but as we got to the front of the line to enter the theatre, the cast member announced it was at capacity and we would have to wait an extra 25 minutes for the next show, which we couldn’t really be bothered to do in the heat, so instead we went and did Muppet Vision 3D, then grabbed lunch at Backlot Express.

Bellies full of bacon cheeseburgers, we headed back to the Chinese Theater for the Great Movie Ride (cowboy, if you were wondering), then as we went to leave the park, Sarah remembered that it was coming up time for character palooza again, so we decided to swing by before we left and boy was it worth it?! Unlike the 4 character we met the other day, they brought out 11 characters, and I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw Pocahontas appeared followed by Meeko, and the two of them met together which made my little heart so happy! Also out were Robin Hood, Pluto, Donald, Rafiki, Evil Queen, Snow White, and Smee and Prince Ali – we were so lucky to see that many! On a side note, I’m super sunburnt today, and had to buy sun cream, and I also managed to drop and smash my phone screen, so I fully believe in karma today.

Riding the palooza high, we left the park and got on the boat to Epcot, and as we got into International Gateway, we decided to hang out in the UK pavilion for a bit in order to meet Alice, then wandered round to Mexico for a bit of air con inside the temple and a ride on the Gran Fiesta Tour. From there, we headed back to Future World and met Baymax again, before doing Living with the Land and the Circle of Life, and a quick Seas with Nemo and Friends, before going back to the UK pavilion for dinner.

As we waited for our Rose and Crown Dining Room reservation, we stuck our heads into the pub to see how authentically British it was, but the floor wasn’t sticky and it didn’t smell quite like a proper pub, so we definitely didn’t feel like we were in the UK! Our table for dinner was right on the lake edge, giving us a beautiful view of the now lit World Showcase as we dined on fish and chips and chicken tikka masala, cos y’know, UK tradition, and we were lucky enough to be served by our friend Milly who’s out here on the CRP, so between ordering we could discuss important matters like Character Palooza and a certain Wilderness Explorer.. We also got to watch Illuminations from our table, and while it’s probably my least favourite nighttime show, it was a pretty view for it.

After dinner, we hustled our way back up to Test Track as extra magic hours meant the park was open til 11pm, so we dived in the queue while it said it was a 40 minute wait, we were in and out within that time, before heading out of the park for the night, again opting to get on the bus to French Quarter rather than Riverside because the queue were that much shorter!

Goodnight y’all!

February Disney Trip Day 7

Another day in Disney paradise! We kicked off the morning with breakfast at the Grand Floridian Cafe, although the crazy number of people trying to get into the parks meant we were half an hour late for our reservation, but the cast members were really understanding and it wasn’t a problem at all.

After a quick explore of the hotel grounds, we caught the bus into Disney Springs for a few indulgent hours of shopping which involved a lot of Sephora (haul post to come!) and of course some World of Disney and the other shops available. Disney Springs has been developed so much even in the year since I was last there, and it’s so beautiful now with new water features and pretty new shopping areas. We refuelled with an Earl of Sandwich, then got the boat from marketplace back to the hotel to ditch our shopping bags before heading out to Hollywood Studios for the remainder of the day.

With a little bit of time from entering the park til we could use our Fantasmic fastpass, we decided to abuse our Memory Maker and get a bunch of photopass photos in various places, then grabbed some popcorn before we made our way into the amphitheater, getting almost front row seats for the magic! Now, as we discovered, that does come with a little bit of spray if the wind isn’t on your side.. Of course the show was its usual amazing self, encapsulating some of my favourite Mickey moments and even Meeko made an appearance on the boat!

After Fantasmic, we joined the crowds in front of The Chinese Theater to watch the Star Wars fireworks, which I’d really hyped up to Sarah – the non-Star Wars fan – after I was wowed by them last year, but since the last time I saw them the display has changed a little and while it was still impressive, I wasn’t as completely blown away as I was last year. Then, to avoid the crush of people leaving the park, we stepped into the entrance area of Trolley Car Cafe for a little while and let the park clear a bit before we made our way out. This proved to be somewhat of a mistake, as when we arrived at our resort bus stop, the queue was CRAZY LONG. I’m talking maybe 3-5 buses worth of people, and that didn’t sound fun to us, so instead we queued for the French Quarter bus, and walked the path down to Riverside from there, tiring us out nicely enough for bed! Zzzzzzzz

February Disney Trip Day 5 and Enchanted 10K

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


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


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

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


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


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


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

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

Best Rest Rides at Walt Disney World

Speaking as a person who has not only had to do WDW parks on major jet lag, but also after being up since 3am and running a half marathon (hello RunDisney life), I know that there are always those days where you need to chill out, but also don’t want to miss out on any valuable park time, so I’ve got you covered!

Tomorrowland TTA People Mover

Magic Kingdom

TTA People Mover

Has anyone ever actually had to queue for PeopleMover? I don’t think I’ve ever been on it and not been allowed to ride around and around for ages because there’s no one else waiting. Its the perfect way to still experience MK while keeping your feet up.

Walt Disney World Railroad

One of my favourite things to do sometimes is just get on the train and ride a loop or two around the park!

Epcot

Ellen’s Energy Adventure

Hello 45 minute sit down! I will admit to drifting off while riding this one time..

Living with the Land

This educational little boat trip is one of my Epcot favourites; I love looking at all the plants and trying to spot hidden Mickeys, plus I normally follow it up with a trip to Sunshine Seasons for Mongolian beef and a red velvet whoopie pie!

Spaceship Earth

Its iconic Epcot, plus a nice relaxing trip through history and into the future!

Hollywood Studios

The Great Movie Ride

I don’t care if people think its a little cheesy, but its a nice gentle ride and I always like waiting to find out if I’m in a gangster or bandit car!

Animal Kingdom

Kilimanjaro Safaris

So I always try to make this a morning ride, but its the perfect way to ease into a day in the park, plus you never get the same experience twice!

What do you do on your down days in the parks?

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My Top 5 Most Underrated Places in Walt Disney World

It feels like forever since I’ve written a post about WDW, all the amazing other parks in the world have been busy getting in the way! But as it currently stands, my next Disney countdown is ticking towards my trip with Sarah in February, and I’m getting super excited to start properly planning again.

I know everyone has their special places in WDW, the places that they love over anywhere else, and we can’t possibly understand why not everyone shares our immense love for them, and here are mine:

1. The Boardwalk

Walt Disney World Boardwalk

It genuinely upsets me that there are a tonne of Disney World goers who have never discovered that little area of beauty that branches off of the World Showcase at Epcot. I love resorts, I love the peace and its just so damn pretty!

2. Japan

Epcot World Showcase Japan

Japan is definitely my favourite country on the World Showcase. The architecture is amazing and I love the huge shop of Japanese goodies; its so true to the country itself and it always gets me really excited.

3. Sleepy Hollow

Walt Disney World Sleepy Hollow

For starters, there are amazing waffles. For mains, the view of the castle is just stunning and its an awesome photo spot, plus its always been really quiet when I’ve eaten there. And for desserts, the waffles again..

4. Africa

WDW Animal Kingdom Africa

So often people overlook the incredible detail in Animal Kingdom, but I think this is truest in Africa. Disney Imagineers blow my mind.

5. Hollywood Boulevard

WDW Hollywood Studios

I know Hollywood Studios is considered a bit of a dunce park right now, what with all the development, but there’s just something beautiful about looking down the street and seeing the Chinese Theater at the end. It just feels like being transported to the era of classic movies and Hollywood glam!

Where are your favourite areas in WDW?

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WDW Transportation Links

Walt Disney World spans a crazy 40 square miles, did you know that?

With that in mind, your holiday can double as a logistical operation as you maneuver getting from park to park and back again, especially if, like us, you don’t have a car to get about. Fortunately though, Disney have thought all of this through, creating a bunch of different ways to get about, and on our January trip, Dad and I did a lot of exploring via some of the lesser known transportation options, and today I’m going to share all these wonderful links with you!

Magic King

Credit: itslizi.etsy.com

Bus

If you’re staying at a Disney resort, you can get to and from the Magic Kingdom by buses that run direct from your resort to the park entrance

Monorail

The monorail services the Contemporary, Grand Floridian and Polynesian resorts, and also runs from the Transportation and Ticket Center if you do drive to the park.

Boat

Boats to and from the Magic Kingdom run from the Ticket and Transportation Center and Disney’s Contemporary, Grand Floridian, Polynesian resorts, as well as Wilderness Lodge and Fort Wilderness Campground.

Epcot

Credit: itslizi.etsy.com

Bus

Buses run regularly from all Disney resorts

Monorail

If you’re at the Magic Kingdom or monorail loop resorts, you can get the monorail to the Transportation and Ticket Center and transfer to a monorail that travels direct to Epcot’s park entrance

Boat

If you’re at Disney’s Boardwalk Inn, Yacht and Beach Club resorts or Swan and Dolphin hotels, you can travel by boat to Epcot’s International Gateway, where you can enter the park via the World Showcase

On foot

You can also walk to the International Gateway from any of the above resorts, and also from Hollywood Studios – a path runs between the two via The Boardwalk

Hollywood Studios

Credit: itslizi.etsy.com

Bus

Resort buses regularly travel to Hollywood Studios and back again.

Boat

You can travel to the park by boats from The Boardwalk Inn, Yacht and Beach Club resorts and Swan and Dolphin hotels. You can use these boats as a way of transferring to Epcot too!

On foot

You can walk to Hollywood Studios from Epcot via The Boardwalk – during peak seasons, this walk is quicker than any other transportation!

Animal King

Credit: itslizi.etsy.com

Bus

Because its so far out from the other parks, the only way to get to the Animal Kingdom via Disney transportation is resort bus, and sometimes these routes travel to Blizzard Beach too.

Disney Springs

Credit: itslizi.etsy.com

Bus

All Disney resorts have buses that run to and from Disney Springs. If you want to travel from the parks, I recommend getting a resort bus to Saratoga Springs which is right next door, then you can either walk from there or catch a bus

Boat

A fun way to get to Disney Springs if you’re staying at Port Orleans Riverside or French Quarter, Old Key West or Saratoga Springs (including the Treehouse Villas) is by boats that run every 20 minutes or so to and from the Marketplace jetty. You can also get boats from The Landing to West Side.

Love these Disney inspired underground logos? They were made by the lovely Lizi and you can buy prints here!

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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

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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

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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?!

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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

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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

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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!

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

Merchandise

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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?