Walt Disney World Day 3

So I’m now running a day behind, but hey ho!

Thursday morning we headed into Magic Kingdom around about opening time, and as we walked into the park Chip and Dale were just heading out to meet, so as they had no queue yet, we were basically the first people to meet them, then we walked towards Frontierland and rode Big Thunder Mountain, then picked up some breakfast and hit up Its A Small World.

From there, we went back to Main Street so Chelsea could get a Starbucks and Sarah could get a balloon, and then visited the purple wall for some quick pics for the ‘gram. Chelsea and Sammy had fastpasses for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, so they went off to do that and Sarah and I just hung out at the castle which is where they met us and we went over to Space Mountain for another fastpass.

A quick snack and some shops later, Sarah left to nip back to the hotel for a jacket and the rest of us had a quick wander through Fantasyland and then rode Big Thunder one more time, this time with a fastpass, and then left the park, meeting Sarah on the way out, and got the bus to Art of Animation.

The bus to AoA broke down, so we ended up having to be transferred onto a new bus, but it didn’t take too long for that to be sorted! We had some food at the resort and an explore, and then we got an Uber to ESPN Wide World of Sports for the RunDisney expo where we picked up our race bibs and shopped the merch for the race weekend, then grabbed another Uber to Hollywood Studios, which is where we finished up the night watching Fantasmic before going back to get a good nights sleep in before the 10k!

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party

One of the things I was most excited to do on our recent WDW trip was attend Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. The party is a special ticketed event at Magic Kingdom that runs on select days from the end of August through to the start of November, and we actually attended the very last party of this year’s season on November 1st.

Being a special ticketed event, one of the biggest selling points of the party is that it offers exclusive access to Magic Kingdom for the evening, while all other guests are booted out early, and runs up until midnight each night, so you’ve got a good amount of time to play in the park with a restricted number of guests. Other big factors for most guests are the rare character opportunities, and the fact that guests, including adults, are allowed to dress in costume for the party. Oh, and did I mention trick or treating?!

The party runs from 7pm until midnight, but guests can enter the park from 4pm, and rather than heading down Main Street USA, you’re directed down a backstage route into the park, and along this path you’ve got a bunch of photo opportunities, but this is also where you’ll be given your trick or treating bag and your first handful of candy. Trick or treat spots are located throughout the parks, and each visit will gain you a huge helping of sweets and chocolate! The standard issue bags are fairly small and aren’t anything special in terms of decoration (ours was a plastic bag with adverts for upcoming films, nothing Halloweeny at all!), so if you want something a little more fancy, you can bring in your own bag or bucket to use. I would also definitely recommend that you don’t put anything valuable in your candy bag as its really easy to get them mixed up with someone else’s, or leave on a ride as Matthew did.. But don’t worry if you do lose your bag, just head to a trick or treat station and they’ll give you a new one!

If candy isn’t your main priority, there’s a tonne of other entertainment for you, from the Tomorrowland Dance Party where I met Sully and Boo, to the Hocus Pocus Castle Show, Hallowishes fireworks and Boo to You Parade. As I’m not a fan of Hocus Pocus, we didn’t bother to see the castle show, but we did make sure we saw the fireworks and the parade. The night we did the party, the fireworks were only on once during the evening, which meant that it was very busy in front of the castle, but we still managed to get a decent spot on Main Street near the hub grass and despite not always being that impressed by firework shows, I really enjoyed them!

Boo to You Parade is generally on twice each night, so we did the later one, which was a proven good idea as after the fireworks a lot of people started heading out of the park, and we decided to get in a spot straight away to ensure a good view and about 5-1o mins before the actual parade began, the Headless Horseman graced us with his presence as he rode down the parade route! I’m a sucker for a parade, so of course I loved it, with my favourite floats being the Haunted Mansion and villain floats.

And what characters can you expect to meet? Well there’s all your favourites dressed up in their very own Halloween costumes, and then some rarer appearances such as the Seven Dwarfs, Lotso and Jack and Sally, but be warned, these lines can be killer! We waited about 30 mins for Lotso, and just under an hour for the Seven Dwarfs, although I know people who have queued for a lot longer than that!

Ticket prices vary from night to night, with October 31st being the most expensive at over $100 per person, but if you hit an early September weeknight, you can pay as little as $40-50 per person (prices based on 2017 tickets) so its definitely worth being flexible with dates if you can! Dates get released late April/early May and tickets go on sale mid-May normally.

As someone who really isn’t a Halloween person, I had so much fun being not-so-spooky with Mickey!

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Lottie and Matthew Do Disney: Days 14 and 15

As it was our last full day here, we were up bright and early for a breakfast reservation at Crystal Palace and as the park seemed to be pretty quiet, we went straight from there to Big Thunder Mountain – which was practically a walk-on – before going to our first fastpass of the day, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.

On somewhat of a rollercoaster trail, after that we decided to go standby for Space Mountain, which claimed to be a 55 minute wait, but I definitely don’t think we waited that long, although I may have been too distracted by playing the video games that they have in the queue to notice the time go by! For some unknown reason, some of the lights were on, which meant we could see some of the crazy track, but not all of it – I’d love to ride it with all the lights on just one time, but I’ll settle for that for now! To kill a bit of time before our next fastpass, we hopped on the TTA Peoplemover for a quick spin around Tomorrowland, and then made our way back across to Liberty Square for Haunted Mansion.

Once we’d said farewell to the grim grinning ghosts, we walked round to Frontierland station and rode the train back round to Main Street USA. Lunch was on the cards now so we went to Pinocchio’s Village Haus, and then also grabbed ice cream from Plaza Ice Cream Parlour where I got a cookie sandwich the size of my face, but as it was so hot it was all melting too quickly for me to take a photo!

Due to the heat, and whatever my stupid cold/flu thing is, I was starting to feel pretty rotten again, so we headed back to the hotel so I could have a nap, and then went for a final swim in the resort. We also made an impromptu dinner reservation at Grand Floridian Cafe, which meant we decided to get a bus to Animal Kingdom so that we could then get a bus straight to the resort, but due to some confusion and a hideously long bus line, once at Animal Kingdom we decided to just get an Uber!

Dinner was great; I’ve had breakfasts as GFC before and loved it and dinner was no different. As it was our last night, we decided to splash out and get cocktails too – I had a Florida Sunshine which was so yum! From the restaurant, we could even see the fireworks from Happily Ever After while having our dessert!

After dinner we had more transportation nightmares as the monorail was temporarily closed, so we piled on a bus to Magic Kingdom, which then actually dropped us at Contemporary, and there was some sort of accident at the bus stops at MK and an ambulance present so all sorts of delays meant we didn’t get back to our hotel til really late..

Our final morning was a lot more laid back. We got up, packed up the last of our things and checked out of the room, then grabbed some breakfast at Pepper Market before catching the bus to Disney Springs, as our park tickets were no longer valid. Instead, we went bowling at Splitsville, which was a lot of fun – instead of charging by the game as I’m used to, we were given an hour to play as many games as we could fit into that time, which was just over 3 for us!

After bowling, we had lunch at Planet Hollywood, and then had a last browse of the shops before undertaking the slightly embarrassing task of using up all of our remaining food credits in buying snacks and candy. We split our remaining credits between Goofy’s Candy Co and Ghirardelli’s, walking away with over $200 of goods for absolutely nothing – we had a lot of snack and QS credits left..

With that, we were on our way back to the hotel, and on the sad Magical Express to the airport. As with our flight out, we have a stopover in Dublin so it’s going to be a long journey! See ya real soon, Walt Disney World!

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!

Lottie and Matthew Do Disney: Day 1

Well here we are folks, another Disney trip has begun!

Courtesy of the time difference, we were awake well before our alarm, and on the bus to the Magic Kingdom just before 7am. We got to MK at about 7:25, and waited in the area reserved for those with breakfast reservations, getting let in at about 7:50. Our breakfast was at Be Our Guest, and wasn’t actually until 8:50, so we took our time getting castle photos, and even had a ride on the carousel before going to the restaurant. Despite being about 30 mins early, they let us straight in, and we were actually finished with our food before our actual reservation time.

After breakfast – which was so good by the way – we had planned on Pirates of the Caribbean, but it was closed, so instead we headed to Big Thunder Mountain and got on the first train out, plus I asked the cast member if we could be in the last row and she let us! From there we did Jungle Cruise, then Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin, and our first fastpass of the day, Space Mountain.

The park has been so nice and quiet this morning, and after Space Mountain we managed to do Dumbo, The Barnstormer and The Little Mermaid ride in quick succession, and then made our way round to do Haunted Mansion. Next on the agenda was sorting out a few bits and pieces; Matthew needed to reset his MagicBand pin and my memory maker wasn’t working properly, so we went to Guest Services, via shopping on Main Street USA. We went to City Hall but as there was a queue, the cast member directed us to Liberty Square Ticket Office, a lesser known guest services spot, and thanks to the wonderful Javier, we got everything fixed and he even gave us 3 free Fastpasses by way of apology for the issues I had with my memory maker.

To use them up, we did Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, then Tomorrowland Speedway and Space Mountain, and then we did a lap of TTA Peoplemover and had a sit down in Carousel of Progress, which took us nicely up to our early dinner reservation at The Plaza Restaurant. The food was nice, but I wouldn’t rush to eat there again, and had we not been on the dining plan I don’t think I would have liked to actually pay what we should have done.

After dinner the lack of sleep from the night before was really kicking in, so we finished up with our last fastpass of the day, Pirates of the Caribbean, and headed out from Magic Kingdom for the night – we would have been kicked out later due to the Halloween party anyway! 
Back to the resort, and we picked up our refillable resort mugs, and as we started to walk back to the room I noticed a furry friend was just outside the reception area, and in the cutest outfit too so I just had to have a cuddle! So we just spent the evening at the resort and ended up falling asleep nice and early, which was definitely needed!

Tomorrow is going to be a long day!

MK and Chill

Considering that this outfit is quite different to what I normally tend to wear in the parks, I’m so excited to wear this look!

Rather than a traditional Disneybound, I’m opting for a comfy t-shirt and shorts look for my first day in the Magic Kingdom, sporting this INCREDIBLE t-shirt from Great Adventure Supply Co. I knew from the moment I saw this t-shirt on Instagram that I had to have it, and I was not disappointed when it arrived – in fact, I wear it all the time!

Keeping on the relaxed look, I’m pairing it with my pastel candy stripe shorts, which I’ve Disneyfied with my iron-on teacup patch (which you can buy here!), and rather than my usual Mickey ears, I’ll instead be sporting this adorable embroidered baseball cap from Just Peachy.

Hub grass, here I come!

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Breakfast at Cinderella’s Royal Table

If you’re looking for somewhere totally magical to eat in the Magic Kingdom, does it really get any better than eating in Cinderella Castle itself? No. The answer is no.

Cinderella’s Royal Table is one of the few restaurants in MK that offers reservations prior to park opening, meaning early access to Main Street USA before the crowds descend, and for me that’s always worth the stress of those 180 day advanced dining reservations! Its a bit of a first-day tradition for me, and both Sarah and I were dying to eat breakfast with the princesses.

With the new welcome show, you’re not able to walk through the castle from Main Street, so its a little detour past Sleepy Hollow and round to the back of the castle from there. Once you’ve checked in for your meal, you enter the castle to be greeted by Cinderella herself in a grand entrance hall – psst, look out for Gus Gus and Jaq! Once you’ve had your photo and your party has been announced, you climb a spiral staircase up into the dining room and are escorted to your table.

I really loved the size of the dining room. I expected it to be much bigger, but its a perfect size to not feel enormous, but also not crowded, and it means that you’re never too far from the gorgeous stained glass window that looks out over Fantasyland. We were brought out a plate of beautiful pastries while we decided on what to choose from the menu, and the juice was constantly flowing so our glasses were never empty.

Over the course of the first 10-15 minutes of our meal, each princess was announced as they entered the restaurant, and we seemed to have a prime seat as we were the first table visited by almost every princess. We met Aurora, Snow White, Ariel and Jasmine, all of whom were so lovely and friendly, and didn’t rush our interactions at all. At points throughout the meal, there was also a wishing ceremony, for which we were each given a plastic wand to wave – I don’t know if they normally give wands to adults but our server David brought us one each anyway!

As well as the pastries, we each ordered the traditional breakfast, which was delicious but after a Mickey shaped blueberry muffin, I struggled to finish the whole plate. Being on the Disney Dining Plan, the meal was 2 table service credits, which was totally worth it for the food, the characters and the experience of dining in the castle – plus our wands of course! The cast members were also so sweet, which for me always makes any meal feel even better, and it was the perfect start to our trip.

We also just had to stop to use the restrooms on the way out just so we could say we’ve been to the loo in the castle, ha!

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