My Disney Cruise Bucket List

I feel like I’ve hardly talked about the fact that next month I’ll be going on my first ever Disney Cruise – crazy right?!

Because it is my first cruise, I genuinely have no idea what to expect, and I’ve not done a whole lot of research, which is very unlike me, so I’m essentially going in blind, but what is a trip without a bucket list?

  • Take a photo by the funnels – yes, I want that cliche Disney cruise photo, and any other classic photo that I can get
  • Visit the ship’s gym – call me strange, but I love visiting gyms at Disney hotels and resorts, so when I discovered that the Disney Magic has a fully equipped gym, I knew I’d be adding that to the list
  • See Tangled: The Musical – apparently there is a Tangled show on board the ship, so you bet your butt I’m gonna be there
  • Eat as much as I can without bursting – when all food is included in the price, you’ve gotta get your money’s worth, right?
  • Do all the waterslides on the boat – no, the waterslides aren’t just for kids.
  • Meet as many characters as I can – because is it really a Disney cruise if you don’t hang out with Mickey and the gang?
  • Explore every little nook and cranny of the ship – I want to see ALL of it
  • Take ALL the outfit photos – as per every other Disney trip, I have planned a whole bunch of outfits specifically for this trip, and you bet you’re gonna be seeing a tonne of them all over here and my social media
  • Party like a pirate – did you know that every Disney cruise has a pirate night? Well I do now, and I can’t wait!
  • Order room service, just ‘cos – all-inclusive perks..
  • Hang out with my best friends – as well as the excitement of my first ever Disney cruise, I’m going with some amazing people and I can’t wait to spend this time with them! Best trip ever!

If you’ve ever been on a Disney Cruise and have any tips or advice, please drop me a comment!

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Photos to Take With your RunDisney Medals

Maintaining your fitness, a sense of achievement, or pushing your limits; anyone might think these are the reasons to participate in a RunDisney event. Sure, there’s an aspect of this in every race, but really its all about the medal at the finish line, and I’m definitely not the only Disney runner who thinks this.

If you’ve never seen a RunDisney medal before, let me tell you they are every bit as awesome as you’d expect them to be and more. For starters, they’re huge, and weigh a fair bit, but as well as they’re they are always so detailed and well themed, and well worth however miles you just sweated for.

For many, the completion of the race might be the end of the event in your eyes, but you’re gonna want to document everything perfectly, and in the hours and days after your race, medal photos suddenly become a priority. With 5 RunDisney weekends under my belt, I have perfected the art of the medal photos, and if anyone’s about to take part in their first event, here’s the definitive list of photos that you’re gonna want to take.

1. A finish line medal selfie

A volunteer has just hung that glorious medal around your neck and you’re stumbling towards the water table but what you really need to do is document that finishing moment with a good ol’ sweaty selfie!

2. A photo with the finishing board

Once you’ve picked up your free bottles of water and Powerade and grabbed your food box, the next stop before reuniting with your friends and family at the end of the race is to get that official RunDisney board photo.

3. A photo of your weekend medal collection

If you’ve run more than one race, or completed a challenge, be sure to get a photo wearing all of those medals at the same time, even if its too heavy for you to wear them all all day!

4. A photo in front of the castle

Sometimes this shot needs a helping hand of someone to hold the medal while you get the position of the photo just right, but its a classic!

5. A photo with the character on the medal

If you’re medal is themed based on a certain character, as so many are, be sure to go and see them to show off! They absolutely love seeing medals!

6. A photo in a themed location

If you’re in a park that has an area theme that matches your medal, grab a photo there too!

7. Your medal display at home

However you hang your medals at home, take a photo after every new medal has been added!

My next RunDisney event will be Paris in September when I’ll be running the 10K and half marathon for the inaugural Bibbidi Bobbidi Challenge and also getting my second Castle to Chateau challenge medal! Who will I be seeing there?

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How to Create a Disney Inspired Desk Space

In reality, my desk is a very fluid space. It goes from my creative space, complete with sewing machine, a million pins and strewn with fabric off-cuts, to my blog photo studio, to the place I pile up rubbish I need to get off the floor, all in the space of a few hours at times.

Every now and then, however, I can bring order to my little desk, and last weekend was one of those occasions. With the help of my recent Disney Store purchases, I was inspired to create a magical little work space, perfect for any dreamer and doer.

Want to create your own? Here’s what you’ll need!

The desk lamp

Proper lighting is super important when it comes to an area that you’ll be working in – eye strain is not cool. My desk is a subtle nod to the classic Pixar lamp, but there are a tonne of cool Disney themed lights out there to match the look you want.

Adorable stationery

Can anyone honestly say that they don’t have a weakness for cute stationery? Notepads, pens, sticky notes, you name it, I’m all about it. Right now, Disney Store are absolutely killing it with some of their stationery, but there are so many places you can buy Disney inspired products on the high street and online.

My Mickey Mouse highlighters were from John Lewis a few months back, but there are similar ones now available on the Disney Store website!

All the mugs

I’m all about any excuse to buy a new Disney mug, but they’re so multi-functional! Sure, you’re gonna need a lot of mugs for drinking from while you’re busy at work, but they also make for excellent pen pots, or storage for push pins, paperclips.

Practical decorations

I’m obsessed with my new Mickey and Minnie washi tape dispenser and Mickey glove business card holder from the Disney Store, they make for great desk centrepieces but are also actually useful. You can also find practical uses for some of your favourite Disney items; how about using a Funko Pop as a paperweight?

Magical artwork

Now your desk is kitted out, bring a little magic to your walls! My desk is surrounded by Polaroid style prints of my favourite Disney trip photos from Sticky9 (who also do cute little magnets!), but there are also so many amazing Disney artists out there – try Etsy and Redbubble!

How do you bring magic to your workspace?

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Kids Grown Up by Sophie Jo

I haven’t written a poem in a long time, so be gentle with me.

Poetry books always remind me
of childhood, my grandparents, sweet memories
I’d write my own (they’d always rhyme)
Recite them proudly, time after time, and then
I studied poems at school, I learned the art,
that every poem can have its own rules and rhythm and style.
Things changed. Now seven years have passed.

I have grown up, but not really.
I still ache for the opportunity
to be a child, to be care free,
to hang out with a pal, a mouse.
For castle dreams, tulle skirts and furry hugs,
pretzels and pirates and parades.
Happiness.

When I’m away from this place I search,
search for anything that makes me feel
as wonderful and careless as
I am in that place. Those places.
There are six and I have seen them all.
Each place is just as magical.

This book, these words, they bring a tear,
there’s beauty in the print and I,
I feel a sense of pride each time I turn the page and see
there’s still another page to read.
Words of magic, tales of friends,
told by a friend.

The magic I dream of is found in this book
I cannot make you buy it but I cannot recommend enough,
just take a look.
For no more than a morning brew or two,
you, yes you, can own a piece of magic.

Words are magic,
magic means you never have to grow up.

While this might have been a sorry excuse for a poem, I can absolutely guarantee that Sophie’s writing is the real deal. I am forever in awe of her blog posts, and her recent venture into poetry has really showcased her incredible talent with words. Kids Grown Up is a book of Disney inspired poems, and as soon as I discovered she had started printing them I knew I had to get my hands on a copy and I cannot rave about it enough.

This would make the perfect present for a Disney fan, great bedtime reading for little ones or just as a treat from you to you. It won’t break the bank, and you’ll be supporting a fabulous writer. Shop here.

PS. Sophie if you’re reading this I’m in full support of a sequel.

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My Disney Sequel Challenge

I’m gonna go and admit something controversial: I haven’t seen every Disney movie.

Sure, when it comes to the animated classics, I’m all over those films, but would you believe that I’ve hardly watched any of the sequels? If its not counted in the official list of classics, then I’ve never really been interested. I’ve never seen the princesses with their children, or anyone returning to Neverland; in fact I think its only the Lion King and Lilo and Stitch sequels that I have watched!

So I’ve decided to set myself a little challenge and make a little blog series out of it: Lottie Watches Sequels. Every week I’m going to try and watch 4 sequels to classic Disney movies – in order of when the original film was released – and each month I’ll be sharing my thoughts and feelings on them! If you’ve wondered about them yourself, this is the list I’ve compiled:

  • Bambi II
  • Cinderella II: Dreams Come True
  • Cinderella III: A Twist in Time
  • Peter Pan: Return to Neverland
  • Lady and the Tramp II: Scamps Adventures
  • 101 Dalmatians II: Patch’s London Adventure
  • The Jungle Book 2
  • The Fox and the Hound 2
  • The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea
  • Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas
  • Beauty and the Beast: Belle’s Magical World
  • Aladdin and the King of Thieves
  • Aladdin: Return of Jafar
  • Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame II
  • Mulan II
  • Tarzan II
  • Kronk’s New Groove
  • Atlantis: Milo’s Return
  • Brother Bear 2

I’m pretty excited to get started on these! While I’ve never really been interested in them before, I’m excited to meet some new characters and see some of my favourite stories continue, plus I’d love to see if the whole ‘sequels are never as good as the original’ rule also applies to Disney films. Stay tuned, folks!

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My Disney Park Pet Peeves

Its no secret that I love a trip to Disney. Every trip, to any park gets me so excited to be back in the magic, but occasionally there some things that other guests do that grind on me a tad and today I’m gonna have a little vent.

Guest who give CMs complicated cameras

There’s nothing wrong with having a fancy camera, but if you’re going to give it to a cast member to take your photo, at least have it turned on and set up how you want it. One time I saw a girl give a CM her Instax mini, still in some weird complicated case, and the poor woman had to try and work out how to get into the thing, and then work out how to actually use it.

People who sit down in queues

My sister is the biggest culprit for this. Now I totally get sitting down if there’s been an announcement of some kind of delay, but if you’re in a line that’s moving steadily (albeit slowly), I don’t see any point – all that happens is that you have to stand up again every few minutes to move forward, or do an awkward butt-shuffle along the floor.

Smoking outside of designated areas

Yes, I’m looking at you Disneyland Paris.. Disney are nice enough to let you smoke in the parks, the least you could do is stick to the set areas, rather than doing it in every line or public area.

Ruining the magic

Just because you know that there’s someone beneath the fur, doesn’t mean you have to make sure everyone else knows. Hearing guests say things like ‘that’s a different Cinderella than the one we saw yesterday’ loud enough for every kid in the vicinity to hear is not cool.

Being rude to CMs

There’s nothing cool about rude to staff in any situation, and Disney is no exception. Cast members will always do whatever they can to help you, but they aren’t responsible for a long wait time, closed rides, or whatever it is that has annoyed you. I hate seeing guests who think that they can throw a tantrum over any little thing and get their own way, and hurling abuse at CMs is just disgusting.

Line jumping/saving

I have absolutely no issue with people needing to duck out of queues for a quick toilet trip, and I also don’t mind if you bring your kid into the line a little bit later because they’re not good at long waits, but nothing is worse than 5-6 people pushing through saying that they’re family are further down, when it was just one person saving a spot for the rest of the group.

Walking around in chains of 4+

There’s nothing wrong with being a big group, but if you’re all walking side by side and no one can get around you, just be a little bit considerate of those who might want to get passed.

Holding up your iPad

It crushes my soul a little bit when you’re trying to watch a show or fireworks, and you can’t see because everyone’s just holding up their phone and filming something that the majority of them won’t even watch back. This feeling is tenfold when there’s that one person who holds up an iPad..

Apologies if this has come across as a minor rant, but I’m sure we all have those little things that bug us! What are yours?

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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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