Tomorrowland

With the recent rumours that Disney may be announcing the replacement of Tomorrowland Speedway in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World with the Tron ride that’s taken Shanghai Disneyland by storm, of course the Disney community has been throwing round a whole bunch of opinions – some people are desperate for some newness, others are already mourning the potential loss of a ‘classic’ Tomorrowland ride. On this particular matter, I stand fairly central; I don’t particularly like change, but I did love the Tron ride at Shanghai, and I think it would be a fabulous addition to WDW. One thing I can be certain of, however, is that Tomorrowland needs SOMETHING.

Walt imagined Tomorrowland to be the ultimate step into technology, and at the time, it definitely was. Look at the Carousel of Progress. It absolutely epitomises Walt’s dreams of the future, but the final scene has now hit the 21st century – virtual reality gaming, voice controlled homes – that’s the life we’re all living now. That doesn’t take anything away from my love of the Carousel, but it does indicate that times are changing, and an update is needed.

At no point had I ever believed Tomorrowland to be dated, or at least that was until my trip to Shanghai Disneyland last year, and as soon as I laid eyes on Tomorrowland the first thought that ran through my head was ‘this is how it’s meant to be’. I appreciate that the park is newer, so of course it would have better technology and a cleaner look, but it had what I can only imagine was Walt’s desired feeling: that you had stepped into the future.

Of course, the focal point of Shanghai’s Tomorrowland is the Tron Lightcycle PowerRun ride, but even the classics like Buzz Lightyear featured better tech and just felt so much cooler. The Tron ride itself was in a league of its own; it’s not dissimilar to Test Track in Epcot, but the look and feel just comes across so much sleeker, and it’s one hell of a ride!

Tomorrowland Speedway, on the other hand, does not get me excited. It’s a ride I have quite happily skipped on my last few trips and I wouldn’t shed any tears over the loss. I saw a tweet that summed up exactly how I feel:
I don’t feel like Walt would be proud of Tomorrowland as it is right now. It’s classic, but classic always implies age; being dated. Sure, if they were gonna replace Space Mountain, or the beloved PeopleMover, I think I’d feel differently, but what’s futuristic about a little car that you can drive around a track? Now give me a lightcycle..

To be honest, I think my main concern about the change happening would be the construction affecting the rest of the park, but I don’t think I’d lose any sleep. Tomorrowland is too much like today.

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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!

My Top 15 Most Instagrammable Disney Park Foods

Is a Disney trip really a Disney trip if you didn’t Instagram at least one snack?

If you’re as Insta obsessed as I am, the combination of adorable food and a pretty castle backdrop is just impossible to resist, and its acceptable to be totally basic and refuse to eat until you’ve got the perfect photo.

Well your friendly neighbourhood Disney tripper is here to guide you in finding what I consider to be the most double-tap-able eats and treats from all six Disney parks! Brace yourself, you’re about to get hungry.

Mochi might be one of the strangest foods I’ve ever tried, but seriously these green aliens from Tokyo Disneyland are the business

Tokyo also takes churros to the next level. Yep, its Mickey shaped.

I’m a sucker for any type of steamed bun, but I cannot get over how adorable these little piggy pork buns from Hong Kong Disneyland are.

I was pretty lucky to get a photo of this raspberry ice lolly before it melted in the mid-July Tokyo DisneySea heat

Head over to the Cozy Cone Motel in Disneyland’s California Adventure park for a cone full of deliciousness in the most perfect Pixar themed land.

Who doesn’t love a Rice Krispie treat? These beauties come in all sorts of amazing flavours and designs and are best eaten on Main Street, although a balcony in Polynesian is a pretty good alternative.

I can never say no to a Mickey shaped pretzel, and I can never eat one without snapping it first!

Disneyland Paris is never complete without a Mickey marshmallow or macaron in front of the castle.

And speaking of macarons, how cute is this little Goofy treat from club level Shanghai Disneyland Hotel?!

If you’re an Alice fan, you’ve gotta head over to Queen of Hearts Banquet Hall if you’re in Tokyo Disneyland for this amazing dessert option!

The best way to cool down in Hong Kong Disneyland is with a Lotso lolly in Adventureland!

Mickey shaped muffins are popping up all over different Disney parks, but this beautiful blueberry one was snapped in Shanghai.

When in Tokyo, if you don’t snap a steamed bun burger, were you even there?

Lemon meringue pie PLUS a Mickey macaron? Yes please Shanghai Disneyland!

And who can resist a Mickey waffle?!

Don’t forget I’m heading to Disneyland in less than 2 weeks, and I’m sure I’ll be Instagramming a tonne of food from there so stay tuned!

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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!

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My Perfect Day in.. Hong Kong Disneyland

I’m super excited to start a new little collab series, and today I’m collaborating with the lovely Hannah from Courage and Kindness, as she shares my absolute adoration of what is possibly Disney’s most underrated park: Hong Kong Disneyland. We both visited the park last year, and I’m so happy to have found someone who I can share my gushing about how much I love this little park, despite it being often overlooked or put down in the Disney community.

The concept is basically what it says on the tin – we’ll both be writing a play by play post on what would be our perfect day in the park, and for me, it doesn’t get any better than this..

A good and bad thing about HKDL is that the park doesn’t normally open til about 10am most days, so there’s no need for a crazy early start. After getting into the park at opening and a gentle stroll down Main Street USA, I’d get a few photos in front of the pretty little pink castle while the park is still quiet, then head right into Tomorrowland and get straight into the Hyperspace Mountain queue early. In most Disney parks I’m very clockwise minded, but HK is an anti-clockwise loop for me!

From Tomorrowland, I’d cut through into Fantasyland and hop on Its a Small World, and then get in line for the first performance of Mickey and the Wondrous Book at 11.15am. After the show, it would be Teacups, then Dumbo, meeting characters in Fantasyland Gardens, and maybe even Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, then I’d head to Royal Banquet Hall for a lunch of piggy pork buns and other delicious offerings, finishing just in time to head through the castle and back to Main Street USA to nab a spot on the route for Flights of Fantasy Parade at 1pm.

After standing in the heat, a sit down in some air-con would be needed, so from Main Street I’d head round into Adventureland for the 2pm performance of Festival of the Lion King, then round to Grizzly Gulch for a wild ride on the Big Grizzly Mountain Runaway Mine Cars and a further cool off in Geyser Gulch. Onwards, I’d take a tour of HKDL’s answer to Haunted Mansion – Mystic Manor – then through the Gardens of Wonder into Toy Story Land!

I love the Toy Story Land rides; it would be Parachute Drop first, followed by RC Racer and Slinky Dog Spin, then back into Fantasyland, stopping off to explore Fairy Tale Forest and meet Tinkerbell, before going back for the 6pm Mickey and the Wondrous Book performance – can you tell I love watching shows?

After another trip into the book, it would be back to Adventureland for a Jungle River Cruise, then back to Main Street USA to sit and wait for Paint the Night parade at 7.30pm. This is definitely my favourite nighttime parade ever, and while it kills me that its left Disneyland CA, it makes me happy knowing that it still lives on in HKDL. After the parade, I’d grab dinner in Starlight Diner in Tomorrowland, then saving the galaxy in Buzz’s Astro Blasters, and back to Main Street for the closing fireworks!

Quite a lot to fit into a day in a little park! Be sure to go and check out Hannah’s perfect day here!

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