Lottie and Matthew Do Disney: Day 8

Today was another Animal Kingdom day! We didn’t get into the park until about 11.30, and we headed straight to Pandora for our Flights of Passage fastpass. Wow.

First up, while I’ve heard amazing things about some of the features of the standby line, I did not mind missing out on this to save the amount of queue time we did by courtesy of our fastpasses. The ride itself was like no other, and I’m not gonna spoil it for anyone but it was insane. After the ride, we had lunch at the new quick service restaurant, Satu’li Canteen, which in a single meal has become my favourite QS place in Animal Kingdom – SO GOOD.

From there, we went to do Expedition Everest, then Dinosaur, and back to Kali River Rapids, which was welcome in the heat of the day! We did dry within no time of coming off the ride, and decided to cool off some more with a sit down and some air-con at Finding Nemo: The Musical.

After the show, we stopped off in DinoLand USA for a quick Primeval Whirl, and then walked back to Discovery Island and did a little bit of merch shopping before having dinner at Yak and Yeti. I’ve done Yak and Yeti once before but tonight’s dinner blew the last time out of the water!

Tummies full of food, we did our last fastpass of the day, Kilimanjaro Safaris, which I love doing in the dark; we got to see the lions up and about, a black rhino closer than I ever have done and the elephants were pretty active too!

We finished up the night back in Pandora, not to do any of the rides but to experience the land lit up in  bioluminescent wonder. If you think this place is amazing during the day, it’s even more awesome at night! 

Lottie and Matthew Do Disney: Day 2

Jambo friends! Our early night actually led to us being up stupidly early today, but oh well! 

We grabbed breakfast at the hotel, then hopped on a bus to Animal Kingdom, arriving just before opening time. Now Pandora is here, everyone is headed straight there in the morning, but as we had Fastpasses booked for later and on other days, so we weren’t among that mad rush. Instead, we went to Expedition Everest, and rode that twice with absolutely no wait, then went over to Africa for Kilimanjaro Safaris. We were really lucky to see all the safari animals, including all three of the resident lions moving around, which is a rare occurrence from my experience!

After the safari, we finally headed across into Pandora. First of all, just wow. The place is STUNNING, and the detail is incredible – I was blown away. Today we only had a fastpass for Navi River Journey, which got us onto the ride in under 5 mins, unlike the crowds that were queueing for 75. Again, the ride was visually amazing, but I would have been a little disappointed had a queued for over an hour as the actual ride itself left a little to be desired, if you ask me.

After a short wander around the area, we headed back into Africa and went to see the Festival of the Lion King, and followed that up with Kali River Rapids. You know there’s always that one person who seems to get more soaked than anyone else? Well today that was me.

Having soaked myself through, we got lunch at Rainforest Cafe, and then headed back to the resort for a quick nap – our early morning was catching up – and then got ready to head into the Magic Kingdom for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party.

First up, we grabbed our candy bags and headed into Tomorrowland, where we met Lotso, then Sully and Boo at the monster dance party, and after that had a ride on Space Mountain. Then we headed to Storybook Circus where we queued to meet the Seven Dwarfs (an hour wait, for anyone wondering), which put me just over my goal of meeting 100 characters this year, yay!

After some more trick or treating, we got ourselves a spot for the Happy Hallowishes fireworks, and after that grabbed ourselves a parade spot. We watched the headless horseman make his way down Main Street USA, and then the final Boo To You Parade of the year, before making our way back to the hotel for a good nights sleep!

February Disney Trip Day 9

So this morning we had the intention of getting up and going to Magic Kingdom for a bit before heading across to Animal Kingdom, but the reality of this morning led to us spending more time in the room trying to clear up some of our mess in preparation for leaving Riverside tomorrow, so instead we just left a little bit later and went straight to AK.

First up, we grabbed a traditional park breakfast of a Joffrey’s doughnut and drink, then our first fastpass of the day was Kali River Rapids, which we welcomed with open arms in the 28 degree heat – we were dry within an hour – then went to meet King Louie and Baloo, which we’d missed on our last day in the park.

Despite having fastpasses for later in the day, the queue time for Expedition Everest was quite short so we did that, then headed across the water to see Finding Nemo the Musical – Sarah’s first time! The show actually had a little interval due to technical problems, but it was only a few minutes before it was back up and keeping on swimming! We then headed into Dinoland for another first for Sarah: Primeval Whirl, and I’d forgotten just how much that ride throws you around!

Just outside the exit for PW, there’s a little photo booth which I’ve seen before and have always been curious to try out, so we investigated and amazingly it works with photopass and memory makers, so we gave it a go, although I did also pay the $5 for the printed photo strips too – it was too cute not to.. We also met Goofy and Pluto in Dinoland, and also Donald, then had a quick go on Dinosaur because the wait was only 10 minutes, before also meeting Donald.

From there, we left Dinoland and grabbed a late lunch at Flame Tree Barbecue. I’d just like to point out how great this restaurant is as a quick service, because our meals would have come to over $44 if we weren’t on the dining plan, and I got the biggest plate of ribs! Also, there’s so much seating available; we sat right down by the river looking across to Everest and it was beautiful.

After dragging ourselves back onto our feet, we went to Expedition Everest for our fastpass, then wandered back down to Africa where we walked onto a safari – yes, the park is that quiet today – then into Festival of the Lion King. Once the show ended, it was time for the Kilimanjaro Safari fastpass we had booked, but again it was so quiet we didn’t even bother tapping our bands and just did the standby queue. Night safaris are actually the best as well, we saw more lions, got super close to some zebras and we actually saw a mini stampede of the wilderbeast, which even the cast member said he’d never seen before!

We wrapped up the night with a walk on Expedition Everest, followed by a dark Primeval whirl, and closed the park with two rides on Triceratop Spin! We’ve now said goodbye to 3 out of the 4 parks, with tomorrow being our last full day here, and we’ll be in the Magic Kingdom for our last day and a half. Tomorrow morning we’ll check out of Riverside and into the Polynesian for a final night of magic!

February Disney Trip Day 4

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


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

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

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


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


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

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

WDW Day 7!

Well that’s Four Park Challenge off my bucket list!

We started this morning with Extra Magic Hours in Animal Kingdom, and first stop was obviously Expedition Everest – did you catch it on Periscope? Rollercoaster out of the way, we stopped off at Creature Comforts (the AK Starbucks) for hot drinks – yes it was that cold – and breakfast pastries, then onward to Kilimanjaro Safaris where we got to see two baby white rhinos playing, eek! We decided that for our challenge, we would get photos with Mickey at each of the parks, so we stopped off at Adventurers Outpost to see him and Minnie before catching a bus to Animal Kingdom Lodge to park-hop.

From AKL we transferred onto a bus to Hollywood Studios, where we first stopped off to see Mickey, this time in his classic Sorcerers Apprentice costume. On a character meet roll, we also got a selfie with a green army man, and went to see Mike and Sully, but as we’re headed back to Studios tomorrow, we decided not to queue for any rides.

Now midday, we caught another bus onto Wilderness Lodge, for a quick look around but also so we could transfer to the Magic Kingdom by the boat that runs direct from the resort, handy right? Again, first things first, we went to see Mickey in Town Hall Theater, then grabbed lunch at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe. Would you believe we’ve never done Astro Orbiter before? Well we have now! With that experience under our belts, we got a spot near the castle for Festival of Fantasy, which was just as magical as it always is, and finished up out MK time with an obligatory Its a Small World.

 To throw another form of transportation into the works, we obviously had to take the monorail across to our final park, Epcot, and actually it wasn’t Mickey we went to first, it was Baymax. Yes again, no we don’t care. Mickey was next, at the Epcot Character Spot, then we went across to Journey into the Imagination. We had a Fastpass, but there wasn’t much of a line to bypass! Not quite hungry yet, we stopped off to watch Circle of Life in The Land, before dinner at Sunshine Seasons, probably my favourite quick service in the whole of Walt Disney World. From there we went to Spaceship Earth for our Fastpass, but again there was no line so we didn’t even bother scanning them. With time before the fireworks, we figured a 40 minute wait at Test Track (which we discovered a love for the other day) would keep us warm and indoors, but we actually waited less than 10 before we got to the design stage, then another 10 before the ride itself. In fact, we ended up doing it twice! That took us right up to our last Fastpass for the day, for Illuminations: Reflections of Earth, which was beautiful as always. It was pretty chilly, so as soon as the display was over, we joined the brisk hoard of people leaving the parks and jumped on our last bus: back to the resort!

How’s that for a busy day?

WDW Day 2!

Good morning!

I say good morning because while it’s still the evening here, the time difference means it’s about 2am back home!

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Today was our Animal Kingdom day; we got up about 7ish, had a leisurely breakfast and got a fairly quiet bus to the park. Despite being earlier than opening time, we were let in to head down to the tree of life and wait for the remaining areas to open at 9am, before we joined the crowd making a beeline for Expedition Everest. Quite honestly, today was a really lucky day for wait times, and we hit all the big ticket attractions – Kilimanjaro Safaris, Festival of the Lion King, It’s Tough to be a Bug – with minimal waits, and pretty much walked into Flights of Wonder and Finding Nemo the Musical! In fact, despite having three Fastpasses booked, we only used one of them, for Dinosaur. We also went to hang out with Rafiki at Planet Watch for a little while.

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After feeling we were done for the day, and with the prospect of the races looming, we grabbed a cab to the ESPN complex for the RunDisney expo. Having no idea what to expect, I expected the worst: huge crowds, long waits, lots of pushing and shoving.. Nope. I honestly don’t think it could have been any easier. After picking up our bibs, then our race shirts and the commemorative jackets I had pre-ordered, all of which took maybe 15 minutes tops, we hit the main expo area. There were tonnes of great exhibitors with cool products, including the official RunDisney merchandise area, and the oh-so- popular New Balance, and we even got to meet Jeff Galloway, former Olympian and official ‘coach’ for RunDisney; it was cool, there was a selfie. Apart from a few little RunDisney bits, we didn’t really buy anything, although I’ve got my eye on a pair of the limited release New Balance shoes..

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From the expo we went back to French Quarter to drop our race stuff and hang out for a bit before we caught the boat to Disney Springs for a bit of light shopping and dinner at Wolfgang Puck Express, before calling it a day and boating back to the resort to get ourselves together and properly rested for the race.

So tomorrow is the 5k, which is really a no-pressure run, and it kicks off at 6am – 11am for my UK supporters. I’ll try and Periscope a bit of it, all depends on our wifi signal, but in any case, wish us luck!

What I’m wearing – Hakuna Matata

New mini series, yayay!

Every week until I leave, I’m going to be sharing one of the many Disney inspired outfits that I’ve planned for my trip in January! The outfits may be styled a little differently, given that I had the opportunity to shoot on a lovely sunny and quite warm day, and January in Florida and California will be a little different, weather-wise.

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SONY DSC

SONY DSC

Hakuna Matata crop top from Look Human (now unavailable)

Bandeau from Republic (now unavailable)

Skirt from Black Milk Clothing

Necklace from Accessorize

Grey cardigan from H&M (old and probably unavailable now)

Boots from Missguided (old and probably unavailble now)

Its fairly well known that The Lion King is a very special film to me; it came out the same year I was born, lions are one of my favourite animals, and well quite frankly, its just a great film!

I’ll be wearing this outfit to the Animal Kingdom, although probably with some more sensible shoes! (I live in chelsea boots in the winter, but most likely I’ll be in Converses the entirety of my trip)

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