Monday, 30 April 2012

Merchandise must haves - Star Wars Weekend!

May is almost upon us and that means it can only be time for one thing at Walt Disney World…Star Wars Weekends! My Dad was a major fan of the saga growing up, so it was only natural that he would sit me down when I was young and pop in the ‘Ultimate VHS Collection’!

Release your inner Jedi and master the force on dedicated weekends running from May 18th – June 10th. Shows, panels, special guests, celebrity signings, and presentations, and of course…merchandise! Disney Parks Blog released some great images of the upcoming merchandise for the events this year.

Even though I won't make it in person to the parks to get my little Greedo hands on them, some are going to have to find their way into my posession. I'm in love with the Goofy-Vadar vinylmation and who doesn't want to own a piece of the Death Star? (Ok, so it's a tiny chunk of white plastic in a bubble but  I'm sold!). Not so sold on the lanyards and my interest in trading pins has dwindled somewhat over the last few trips.

The iPhone cover is all kinds of awesome, Darth Donald has always been my favourite Disney/Star Wars crossover creation. Using a Jedi knights lap as a beach towel...thats a different topic for a different kind of blog haha! Now if that was a Han Solo lap beach towel...!

The ewok tee is a must buy for my geek-drobe! I'm really hoping some of these find their way onto the DisneyStore online or ebay...!

I'll admit it, I'm a sucker for a special event and and even bigger one when it comes to even specific merchandise, especially when it's dated and only available during the event. A little voice in my head tells me it'll be a collectors item someday, but mostly, I know I'm just a fool for my fandoms and you can't put a price on that!

Will you be attending Star Wars Weekend? What will buy your instant must buys from the event?

Until next time,

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Top 5 Magic Kingdom Traditions!

source: ryaninc

 I think it’s safe to say I have a thing about ‘traditions’! So here’s a few of my Magic Kingdom ones.

  1. Emporium
Starting from the bottom of Main Street, I love how you can meander through several shops without even having to officially ‘exit’ another. Much like World of Disney in Downtown Disney, it’s a Disney shopping paradise! And once your done with one row, you can cross the street and do the same down the other side of Main Street!

  1. The Plaza
Come on, you knew food would crop up on this list didn’t you? The most recent tradition added to the list, I cannot, for the foreseeable forever imagine a Walt Disney World holiday without at least one stop at The Plaza! Cheese steakwich followed by the brownies and ice cream…I think I need to run off now and book a reservation!

  1. Haunted Mansion
As far as ‘first ride’ traditions go (can’t you tell there will be a post on that too!?) Haunted Mansion is top of the list. I love the story, official and guest created. I took the Keys to the Kingdom tour a few trips back and we got to go backstage on Haunted Mansion – even the attention to detail and themeing in areas few guests step foot was incredible! It’s also my mums favourite ride (and she doesn’t do many!) so of course we ride it one too many times!

  1. The People Mover
A day at Magic Kingdom is not complete without a complete circuit on the Tommorwland Transit Authoritys people mover! It’s such a great way to relax and you get an amazing view of the inside of Space Mountain. My parents once rode it and the Space Mountain ride was closed off, all the lights on inside, they say it looked incredible – I wish they’d took a picture! It’s amazing how many people over look this little gem!

  1. Carousel of Progress
This probably has to be the one place in the park where the presence of Walt Disney is truly felt. Created for the 1964 World Fair. It’s claimed that this was Walt Disney’s favourite attraction and I can believe that, it’s the only attraction in Walt Disney World that Walt was directly, hands on involved in! I love this attraction and wish more people would take the time to not just experience it, but understand what it’s all about too. (I sense a blog post in the making!)

Of course, there are other ‘must do, my trip is not complete without’ traditions at Magic Kingdom, like watching Wishes as close to the rose gardens as possible, and buying buckets of popcorn just so we can use the bucket for packaging up Christmas ornaments to get them safely home. I might just have to give this list an extended version.2!

How does your Magic Kingdom traditions list look?
Until next time,

Monday, 23 April 2012

25 things to do at Walt Disney World beyond the theme parks!

source: digitizedchaos

What do you do at Walt Disney World besides just going to the theme parks?

If I had £1 for every-time somebody asked me that question, I could probably fund a trip aboard The Disney Dream, including a week or two at Walt Disney World itself – every year! So, here are 25 answers, just in case you’re asked and/or looking for an answer!

1.      La Nouba is the spectacular acrobatic show housed in the really big white tent at Downtown Disney (Westside) – you can’t miss the building or this show!

2.      Shopping at Downtown Disney is a treat, and not just for Disney merchandise. Several branded stores, including Harley Davidson and Lego have set up shop here!

3.      Dining was of course making it onto my list! There are an unbelievable amount of bars, restaurants and counter services spread across Disney property, including Downtown Disney and the Disney resorts, there is something for every palette.

4.      Golfers will be impressed with the 4 award winning championship courses that host some of the most infamous tournaments in the sport annually.

5.      The Boardwalk, turn of the century Atlantic City inspired is the ‘village on the lake’, 90,000sq ft of dining, entertainment and shopping.

6.      Spas housed at several luxury Disney resorts offer pampering of a world class level. From massages to hydrotherapy, as well as professional skin, hair and nail care – you will feel like a grand Princess!

7.      Wide World of Sports offers true sports fans a truly amazing experience. From watching the likes of the Atlanta Brave training, to hosting major cheer competitions and more. There are sports camps, training academies, showcase days and of course, where are the Super Bowl winners off to after the game? Walt Disney World!

8.      Richard Petty driving experience offers NASCAR race enthusiasts the chance to take on 8, 18 or 30 lap programs as the passenger or driver in an official NASCAR race car around a full sized, fully operational track!

9.      Animal Kingdom Lodge has beautiful lush savannahs, home to Wilderbeast, Zebra, Thompsons Gazelle, Giraffes and more. Stop by of an evening for a special night watch across the savannah!

10.  Jambo House has a rich array of authentic African artefacts, as well as cultural representatives offering to share their history with you.

11.  DisneyQuest is a haven for the gaming enthusiast, several floors of gaming, from live action 3D to arcade favourites and more, it’s considered to be the ‘interactive’ theme park!

12.  Characters in Flight takes guests 400ft up in a tethered balloon to get the ultimate 360-degree view of Walt Disney World property!

13.  Blizzard Beach (water parks count as being beyond the theme parks!) features one of the world’s tallest free fall slides, coming it at an astounding 120ft!

14. Tri Circle D over at the Fort Wilderness Resort is a working ranch, home to all the horses from the parades and shows. Guests can enjoy guided horse back rides through the resort trails, carriage rides, and stable tours.

15. Wishes, it is possible to watch it without being in Magic Kingdom! The beautiful sandy beach at Grand Floridian is a perfect spot to kick off those trainers and curl up in a hammock. You’ll see the water pageant first across the Seven Seas Lagoon, then Wishes will start above Magic Kingdom!

16. Miniature Golf is a great way to spend the afternoon/early evening! There are 4 courses in WDW. WinterSummerland is over at Blizzard beach, and behind The Swan resort there is Fantasia Gardens and Fantasia Fairways.

17. Fishing enthusiasts can choose between a 2 and 4 hour fishing excursion aboard a pontoon boat. Rod, reel, bait and tackle as well as beverages are included. This catch and release large mouth Bass fishing excursion departs from almost any resort located on or near a large body of water.

18. Watercraft rentals are available at all resorts with a marina. They have a great selection to choose from depending on the thrill your seeking. From steady pedal boats to sea racers.

19. Exploring the Walt Disney World resorts, especially when you can hop on and off the monorail is a great way to get a sense of the Disney attention to detail, the unique theme of each resort and the immense effort that has gone into their creation. It also gives you a chance to explore the beaches, savannahs, art, history and more that each resort offers.

20. Parasailing and water skiing are available over at Disney’s Contemporary resort! Wake boarding and tubing are also available, perfect for those thrill seeking water babies in your party!

21. Photopass is available outside of the parks! You can pre-book a photo for your group at any of the Walt Disney Resorts, perfect for some crowd free shots of your holiday! I’ve seen some amazing family shoots on the Grand Floridian beaches and some really fun ones around All Stars. Most sessions are 30mins – 1 hour

And a few ‘little kiddie’ specific park free options…

 22. Pirate Adventures are two hour long excursions exclusively for the kids! Setting sail from The Grand Floridian, Port Orleans Riverside and The Yacht Club, young pirates are taken on a guided treasure hunt aboard a themed pirate ship.

23. Tea Party’s for the little ones are a great way for them to get some one – on – one time with Alice and The Mad Hatter. Snacks, games, cake decorating and more are on the menu.

24. Bibbiti Bobbiti Boutique also has a location at Downtown Disney, so your little Princess can still receive the royal treatment outside of the Magic Kingdom. I have also heard they will do a Princes’ make over too!

And my personal, number 1 thing to do away from the parks?

 25. Relax! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, there is nothing better than chilling out around the resort pool, refillable mug in one hand filled with Sprite, and a Nestle ice cream cookie sandwich in the other. Soaking up the sun and atmosphere that is inescapable no matter where you go on Disney property. Not a care or worry in the world, you can’t ask for much more than that!


How do you answer the question?


Until next time,


Sunday, 22 April 2012

Sharing on a Sunday!


So whats new in the Dis-ommunity this week?

Zannaland has some great shots of the new brown leather Dooney and Bourke bags that have popped up in Walt Disney World and California this week. I think I might be adding one to my must buy list for next trip! They definatly have an older, more subdued feel to them which I quite like!

I'm in love with black and white photography and Canadisney has a fantastic set of B&W shots of Hollywood Studios that have given me some great ideas! And in keeping with Hollywood Studios post, I loved their brief history of Hollywood Studios too!

We might only be in April, but if you're thinking about, or have already booked a Walt Disney World christmas holiday, check out the photo-filled-awesome seasonal trip report Joanna has put together. Most of her images are from the iPhone and she's got some beautiful (do I see a hint of instagram there?) shots that make me really want to keep my iPhone!

Until next time,

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Feeling hot! hot! hot!

A friend recently got back from a first time visit to Walt Disney World – he ended up loosing almost an entire week of his trip because of heat stroke!

I’ve suffered from it once before and was lucky that it only last one day. Unfortunately it cost me my reservation at Mickey’s Backyard BBQ! (I did however gain a sympathy reservation for Hoop De Doo Review!) And now that Florida is making it’s way into the extremely warmer months, it’s going to become more a problem for the ill-prepared guest.

May to early September averages from 88°F to over 92+°F! Storm season June – Sept increases the humidity too, making it just a tad uncomfortable for the ‘Brit’ who gets around 2 weeks of ‘summer’ a year!

Personally, I love the heat, that’s one of the things I go to Florida for. I love stepping out in the early dusk and feeling those first tendrils of heat wash over me, that warm smell in the air. Evenings where I can comfortably be in the pool well past with ice in my drink. I love it! Most people expect it to be hot when they pick Florida as their destination, but many underestimate just how hot it can get! That sticky, clammy, under your shirt and covering your skin kind of hot – it’s not exactly magical!

Just because you feel fine to begin with does not mean your body is not suffering. The miles you walk, the time you spend in queues, or sitting with Dole Whips and people watching, all under those beaming rays of Florida sunshine, if your not careful it will strike you down! The last thing any of us want is to be stuck in the hotel room recuperating when we could be escaping the Yeti on Expedition Everest!

Here are just a few quick and easy tips to help avoid heat stroke!  

  1. Electrolyte boost!
Add a little more salt to your holiday diet and drink something like Vitamin Water, Smart Water or Gatorade (all available in Walt Disney World and can be purchased with DDP snack credits). This will help replenish the salt stores in your body. Consider packing some electrolyte sachets, like the ones you add to water when suffering from diarrhea, and use these in your bottled water during the trip for a quick boost.

If you’re a Walt Disney World guest, fill your resort mug with ice before you leave for the day. Once the ice is gone, use your mug to fill up and drink from the numerous water fountains located around the parks – some are colder than others so it’s worth experimenting!

      2. Take cover!
Between the sun is at its highest point! Take cover as often as possible, taking in more of the indoor (and air conditioned) attractions, such as Innovations at Epcot. Heading for indoor attractions such as Small World, SpaceShip Earth, The Great Movie Ride and Toy Story Mania give you a great break from the sun!
Having a later lunch also means by time you are done with your meal, it’s finally starting to cool down outside!

      3. Water, water everywhere and every drop you shall drink!
The average person needs around 8 glasses of water a day – but during activity and being in the sun, you need much more. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to have a drink, keep yourself topped up, sipping constantly throughout the day. If you’re planning on taking on the ‘drink around the world’ Epcot challenge, do so on a cooler day or in the evening. Alcohol + sunshine, even in Disney, do not mix well! If you don’t enjoy plain water, take a few flavoring sachets along with you – it’s cheaper than buying the flavored drinks!

Drink serving locations will give you a free cup of ice if you ask. Perfect for quenching any thirst or letting the kids play with the ice to cool down.

      4. Dress cool!
Leave your dark clothes in the suitcase during the day and opt for white and light colored clothing. World of Disney and Tren D at Downtown Disney have a great, varied selection of Disney tops in all imaginable colours for all guests! You could even have a go at creating your own over at Design-a-Tee!

A great trick is to soak a flannel and store it in the in room fridge. Before you head out to the parks, pop it in a zip lock bag. It keeps cold for a good while and is perfect to cool off with. Place on the forehead or across the back of the neck for best results.

  1. Medic!
Know where your first aid stations are located in each park;

Magic Kingdom – Next to the Crystal Palace.

Animal Kingdom – Behind Creature Comforts.

Epcot – Odyssey Centre on the bridge between Future World and World showcase.

Hollywood Studios – Guest services.

All are located on your park map, and if you can’t get to a first aid station, notify the first Cast Member you see and they will bring the help to you!

Do you have any tips and tricks for surviving the sunshine?

Until next time,

Monday, 16 April 2012

Base ticket - One park per day survival guide!

Collection of WDW Tickets

Since my first visit to Walt Disney World, I have always had a park hopping 14 day ultimate ticket. As a UK visitor, those are our default tickets, and when staying as a Walt Disney World guest, we spend at least 11 out of the 14 days in the Disney parks, so it makes sense to have as much access ticket wise as possible.

In November 2012 however, I got to experience the parks through a 4 day base ticket, which gives you access to one park per day. I didn’t think this would matter at all, I’d be in the parks, soaking up the sunshine and magic, so I was surprised at how much of a difference it made! On our first Walt Disney World holiday we took on the parks with such force and regiment, I don’t actually remember sleeping much for the entire stay. Don’t get me wrong, it was still an amazing trip, but we were under the impression it really would be a once in a lifetime kind of thing, we had no idea what it would lead to. So we hit the parks from opening to close, every ride, show, firework, nook and cranny was explored and enjoyed. If one park closed and another was still open then we headed there, it was all go! go! go! We park hopped but not to the extent we have done on subsequent trips!

Our trips since have been very different, taking things in at a more leisurely pace, literally stopping to smell the roses (or churros!). We park hop almost daily, taking in a park early in the day, heading back to the resort for a snack or a swim, then venturing back out of an evening, be it for shows, fireworks or extra magic hours. The introduction of the Disney Dining Plan means that we probably hop from park to park even more now, making reservations here and there. I didn’t realise until this past November just how little time we must spend in each park on a daily basis! I don’t mean that in a bad way of course, but I actually found myself struggling to stay in just the one park.

In November we stayed on International Drive, another new one for me with regards to Walt Disney World – I’ve never visited whilst staying off Disney property! In 10 years, I have never spent so much time at the Transportation and Ticket Centre!  But that’s a story for another post! With our one park – one day tickets in hand we ventured through the turnstiles and that’s when it hit, there was no getting out!

For anyone who knows me, or any other Disney enthusiast, the thought of being ‘locked’ in a park is a dream come true, and don’t get me wrong, if you locked me in Magic Kingdom and threw away the key I’d be smiling as you did so. But there was something very final about swiping that card through the machine, pressing my finger down and waiting for the green light. Suddenly my 4-park ticket became a 3 park ticket, and if plans were to suddenly change or we had to leave the park earlier than planned, that’s it. We either risk loosing another ‘day’ on the ticket for a few hours elsewhere, or we count that park as a loss and come back another day.

I felt a pressure to see and do everything, it was like going back in time 10 years and finding myself on that first ever visit again. Could it all be done in a day? What if we had it all done by lunch time? I’ve never had to use a park map so often, mentally ticking things off, circling things to go back to and of course, abusing the Fast Pass machines on a regular basis! I hadn’t realised just what a luxury it was to be able to come and go as we please, knowing that for 14 days we had unrestricted access to all the parks, never having to worry about missing out on something because we could always, ‘come back later’, or, ‘we can do that another day’. With those options off the table I was perplexed, my usual ‘touring’ plan sent into turmoil!

Out of the four parks, I found Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios the hardest to spend an entire day in. Blasphemy some might say but it’s true! Those parks (savannah not included!) are the smallest out of the four. Once you have took in the shows and got on the rides, you have two choices; circuit the park on a continuous basis until it closes or leave. Leaving (to me) wasn’t an option, I was there with someone who hasn’t been since he was in single digits, and I was determined to get my moneys worth out of that ticket! But at the same time, I was worried about burning out and over kill! Magic Kingdom and Epcot did give me more to work with, especially World Showcase. It was easy enough for hours to get lost amongst the pavilions! Both parks have more rides too, which meant more time spent in lines and racing from fast-pass to fast-pass!

Going from the freedom of park hopping to the constraints of just one park per day really taught me a few touring lessons. With these in mind, I'll be better prepared for the next time!

  1. Be prepared!
If you leave the sun lotion back at the hotel there is no going back for it, so you’re left frazzling or having to pay park prices for a new one. I found the best plan of action was to take too much stuff with you to the parks, extra snacks, first aid, clothes (mostly if you're travelling with little ones), batteries etc, over pack your park bag and rent a locker for the day. Those few dollars are nothing compared to the price of things you might have to re-purchase!

  1. Arrive fashionably late!
If you’re a seasoned veteran of Walt Disney World, or are travelling out of peak season, you can afford to arrive at the parks an hour or 2 after opening, especially those that are open later into the evening (most likely Magic Kingdom and Epcot). You don’t want to find yourself having to leave earlier than planned because you’ve been bouncing around the place since rope drop over 11 hours ago! Just bare in mind that by arriving later in the day you could have to queue longer for certain rides, (Toy Story Mania, Soarin ), or find their fast passes have been distributed for the day.

  1. Take in the sidelines!
Take some time out to experience a few of the sideline attractions, such as Kim Possible World Showcase Adventure in Epcot, or the new, Kingdom Keepers in Magic Kingdom. Stop to watch the street shows around World Showcase – the acrobats in China, and the chair ladder in France are some of my favourites. Make a point of catching the streetmosphere shows in Hollywood Studios and the authentic tribal music and dance shows around Animal Kingdom. It’s surprising how many seasoned travellers miss out on these!

  1. Know when you’re done!
This was my biggest mistake! Just because the park is open 9am – 9pm does not mean you have to be there from start to finish! I foolishly thought I had to get every minute out of my one day ticket and desperately tried to fill each second with something, anything! Which in the end, resulted in lots of aimless wandering and eventually, burning out. After spending almost 2 of our days like this, I decided to take a more laid back approach, like I usually would if I had hopping tickets. We went into the park a little later; we did what we wanted to do, and then left. We felt more satisfied with out time in the park, a lot more chilled out and overall, it gave a better impression of the parks to my other half (who is not a huge Disney fan to begin with!)

  1. Beyond the parks
Just because your ticket has expired or you’re done for the day in a particular park does not mean you have to be done with Disney. Spending time in Downtown Disney is always a popular choice, with Disney Quest, Characters in Flight and World of Disney to explore, you could spend a Disney filled day here alone! Why not take in some of the Walt Disney World resorts too? Do a circuit on the monorail, checking out the Contemporary or The Grand Floridian. Take the Friendship Boat from Hollywood Studios or Epcot and explore The Boardwalk or The Swan and Dolphin. Head over to Animal Kingdom Lodge and explore Jambo House and the savannahs. Watch Wishes from the beach at The Polynesian. There are so many ‘ticket-less’ adventures to be had!

Would I use a one day – one park ticket again? Yes. Having experienced it once before, and feeling a much more prepared now, I think I would! I’d do it differently though, taking my usual laid back approach to touring the parks and still reap bucketfuls of enjoyment from the experience. Florida residents and those who only do a few days at Disney are probably wondering just what my problem was in the end, and looking back on it, I’m wondering that too! We still had a great time, but knowing what I know now, next time will be even better!

Until next time,

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Food-views - The Plaza @ Magic Kingdom

The Plaza is one of my most recent favourite dining locations at Walt Disney World, so to kick off 'Food-views' I thought it was the best place to start! Enjoy, and please, try to refrain from licking, drooling and mauling the blog screen!

image source

  • Location
Located towards the heart and hub of Magic Kingdom, at the very bottom of Main Street USA, just around the corner to your right next to The Plaza Ice Cream parlour.  Its location is quite discreet with only a small hanging sign above the check-in station; if you were not looking for it you might just miss it. Look out for the bright yellow umbrella tables out front!

  • Atmosphere
Much like Main Street USA, once inside you are transported back to the turn of the century era small American town of Marceline, Missouri. The Victorian themed décor, with its high chandeliers, accented mirrors and art nouveau styling, its classic! I will admit, it feels a bit cramped, The Plaza itself is probably one of the smallest sit down restaurants on property and they have definatly packed in as many seats as possible. During busier seatings, you could almost forget which table you are sat at! Off the main room is a small conservatory which holds about 4 – 5 parties. The conservatory is my favourite section, windowed walls letting in an abundance of light and the perfect view of the Castle.

Top Tip: If you dine later in the evening, try getting a table specifically in the conservatory so you can watch Wishes as you dine!

  • Menu
If you fancy a break from burgers, hot dogs and chicken tenders, The Plaza offer a great selection of fresh deli sandwiches, served with salads and fries. If you really need a burger, though they have at least one on offer! The most popular menu items are the; grilled Reuben, Plaza club, grilled chicken with strawberries and the cheese steak sandwich. All are served on a variety of breads and rolls, including a croissant! They also offer two vegetarian options. As with all other Walt Disney World dining locations, they are very accommodating to those with allergies. Speak your server about your specific issues and usually the chef will come out to discuss what options are available to you.
The kids menu is much more simple, with traditional peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and fun Mickey shaped turkey sandwiches amongst the offerings.

They also do a small, yet mouth watering range of desserts, including scoops from the parlour next door!  Banana split, New York cheesecake and brownie sundae are amongst the offerings.

Drinks are your usual fare, with unlimited refills on soft drinks, iced teas, coffee and hot tea, and waters (still and sparkling). They also offer a kids favourite; Tinker Bell and Buzz Lightyear punch, served with clip on light character!

Full menu can be found here!

  • Taste
I always order the cheese steakwich, a fluffy hoagie roll filled to the brim with shaved beef, grilled with onions, mushrooms, red peppers and white American cheese. To my surprise (and delight), the cheese was not over the top, but just the right amount to bring out the flavour and melt into the beef. There was filling coming out of every angle so you definatly get a very substantial (and filling!) portion. It is served with a side of thick cut fries – the only place I have seen them on Walt Disney World property! They are delicious but I have learnt to go for the sandwich first so I do not fill up on thick fries!

Where do I start with dessert? I can confidently say they have some of the best desserts around. Period. My first choice is always the brownie sundae. Two inch thick triangle slices of moist chocolate brownie, served on a bed of vanilla ice cream, smothered in whipped cream ad topped with a cherry or two! You have no choice but to ooh and ahh with every spoonful!

  • Service
I’ve always found our servers to be attentive, talkative and full of menu recommendations if you’re too overwhelmed with the mouth-watering options. I’ve never felt rushed, even when the place is packed out but I do feel you may wait a little longer for your food compared with other locations. Desserts however always seem to come out pretty fast – try asking them to hold it back for 10 minutes or so whilst you let your meal settle somewhat!

  • Pricing 
$12 to $15 for an entrée, $5 - $8 for a dessert. You might think that’s an over priced sandwich, but trust me, this isn’t just a sandwich! These things are more like party platters, easily sharable between at least two! As a sit down table service location, it comes in at the lower end of the price scale.
The kids menu is a set price of $8.59, for which your kids will get 1 appetizer, 1 entrée, 1 dessert and 1 beverage. I think that could be considered a bargain for a table service location! 

  • DDP accepted?
Yes! The Plaza requires 1 table service location from each party member. Be sure to make an ADR (advance dining reservation) as walk up tables are hard to get, even in the quiet season. We once waited over an hour as a walk up! 

  • Final thoughts...
This was the first time a Cast Member recommended a dining location to us and although we have a very fussy eater in our party, we went ahead with it and have not looked back since. It's so high up on our list of 'must-eats' that it's become our traditional last night Disney meal! I enjoy the change from burgers and pizza and when we get a seat in the airy conservatory it's the perfect spot to unwind and enjoy some delicious Disney dining. 

Until next time,

Note: more images hopefully coming tomorrow, I'm having issues uploading right now!

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Back...with good news!

I’m back!

Ok, so I didn’t exactly go far but I feel awful for neglecting my little blog for over two weeks! I’ve been ill and unable to do much of anything for a while! But all is well now and to celebrate I have a trip announcement!

I’ve been looking for a quick getaway for a few weeks now and nothing was appealing to me, everything just looked like a beach holiday. Short notice on dates and a tighter budget meant options where pretty limited so one thing lead to another (doesn’t it always?) and last night I hit ‘confirm’ for two weeks to Florida in June 2012!

*insert happy dance here!*

I’ll be honest, I hadn’t even thought of pricing it up originally because I was only there November 2011 and already have a family Walt Disney World trip booked for September 2012! The price was too good, and cheaper than many of the European beach style holidays we had been looking at!

Only the FlexTicket Plus includes Busch Gardens

We will not be visiting Walt Disney World, I’ll be spending two weeks on Disney in September so I’ll still be getting my fix! We’ll be doing all the other parks on offer, i.e Universal, Sea World, Busch etc. The weather is going to be hot, hot, hot which I’m happy about as we can spend more time at the water parks!

Pool @ International Palms Resort

Our hotel is on
International Drive
, the International Palms Resort. It’s in an ideal location for us and I’ve heard good things through Trip Advisor.

I’ll be flying Monarch which is a first, their lack of seat back TVs worries me, as we were so spoilt on our last Virgin Atlantic flight in November! I’ll be needing to pack a super flight entertainment survival kit into my hand luggage! (So you can expect a post on that!)

I have already started making plans, noting down things we missed last trip, or things we enjoyed so much we have to do again. With only 68 days to go, there is much planning and packing to be done! I’ve pretty much already bought everything in preparation for the September trip, and already have new clothes that were bought for the previous November trip so that’s all helping to keep the cost down.

Tickets are next on the ‘to-do’ list, as well as renewing my ESTA, travel insurance and getting my hands on some $$$!

I love a surprise trip!

Until next time,