Finally a Proper Countdown thing :)

I’m now at 84 days and I’ve finally got myself a countdown plaque thing. Yesterday my lovely friend Jo finally gave me my awesome handmade Cinderella inspired engagement gift and I have a cool new Dopey countdown plaque πŸ™‚ Not to mention a mountain of maps etc that she picked up on her trip a few weeks ago πŸ™‚

Always good when you get forgotten Disney gifts πŸ™‚

Jo does some really cool Disney crafty stuffs and retro movie stuff too check her out Bambis Things

 

maps

I think little miss has finally realised exactly how big Disney and Universal are, she’s been sat looking at Maps with me today and she’s been commenting on how massive it all is. She doesn’t think we’ll have time to see everything ‘it’ll take all the time’ she said!

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Things I must Eat – Number 1

So if you’ve read my page about places to eat in Orlando you’ve probably figured out that I do like my food. I like to eat at home but when I’m in Orlando I eat so much more. I absolutely love the food there and the choices? Oh my gosh the choices!! I’ve never seen so much. It’s a good place to try new things and I have what is known as a sweet tooth so anything that is guaranteed to put me in a sugar coma is always going to be top of my list of things to eat. I’ve been looking into some of the things that Disney is famous for snack wise and I’ve come up with a few that I must try. There is so much food at Disney there’s loads of sites just about the food, the most informative being DisneyFoodBlog.Β 

There is an INSANE amount of food you can consume at Disney and they even have a food and wine festival at Epcot every year – definitely something I must plan a future trip around.

THE GOURMET CAKE CUP – CHESHIRE CAFE – MK

cakecup

How amazing does that look!! I am obsessed with cake, I love it, all types of cake especially cupcakes and no one does frosting quite like the Americans. It’s not as sickly over there and it just tastes so much better. So imagine my delight when I saw these, half cake and half frosting!! Not only do they look absolutely incredible they’re also really cheap at only $3.99!! And although I won’t be sharing mine I’m sure they are big enough to share!!

They come in 4 flavours all based on characters from Alice in Wonderland, the original Cheshire Cupcake which I believe is vanilla, Mad Hatter Mocha, White Chocolate Rabbit and Queen of Hearts Strawberry Shortcake. I might have to try them all.

Disney Bounding – Dress up for Adults!!

I don’t know how long this has been going on but I only found out about it last week!! Everyone should know that adults can’t dress up as characters in the parks but finally there is a way around this!!

Called ‘Disney Bounding’ it’s a way to dress as a character without actually dressing like them and risking being chucked out of Disney.

Basically the idea is to wear an outfit inspired by a character rather than an exact replica. For example to be Snow White you could wear some yellow shorts, dark blue top and a red cardigan, for Peter Pan you could just wear a green skater dress or playsuit. These are easy ones, I am not very creative.

Bounding does make for some amazing photos though, there’s loads online but being as I’m looking at Snow White ones to do myself this gives you a good idea of what you could do

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There’s some really good sites with bounding info on but this is the best one I’ve found DisneyBound. I absolutely LOVE this idea and I now have less than 90 days to come up with some cool outfits. Snow White is a given I think and pretty easy to do but how do I be Dopey without a hat? I’m so tempted to pick a character a day and make myself some outfits, however being that I’m crap at thinking of these things help would be much appreciated πŸ™‚

Are you A Princess or a Pirate?

I love all the extras they have at Disney and anything that gets the kids – and adults feeling more involved is fine by me.Β  Adults aren’t allowed to dress up as characters in the parks – except for MNSSHP – in case other guests think they’re the real ones and I would imagine in case those guests do anything to tarnish the Disney rep. There are ways around this which I’ll cover in a later blog πŸ˜‰

I’ve a few really cool interactive experiences that are well worth a go if you have the chance.

There is of course the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique which is now open in MK (and Downtown Disney) and is situated inside the Castle. It’s basically a beauty salon where your little princess gets her own ‘Fairy Godmother’ who transforms her into a real princess with some magic and fairy dust. There are a few different packages and it can be really expensive. I’ve been doing a bit of researching into it and a lot of the advice I’m getting is to take your own dresses as they’re an additional charge and are, and I quote, ‘a rip off’. It does look like an incredible experience though so well worth saving for I think. The castle you need to book in advance, if your little one isn’t bothered about it being in the castle then the one at Downtown is less busy. It’s not just for girls either, little boys can be transformed into an heroic Knight if they want.Β  It’s between $60 and $200 depending on the package you go for. Unfortunately for us Disnerds you have to be under 12 to do it 😦

I would imagine that for us Brits being in a princess dress all day in the Florida heat would be a bit much, although it would probably be nice for your little princesses to walk around the park dressed up, I think it would be more comfortable for them to do it later in the day when it’s cooler.

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You can also join theΒ Pirates League which we will be doing on this trip so expect a full review when we get back. This is a fraction of the cost of the Boutique and transfers kids (and Adults, yay!) into Pirates, you get christened with your very own pirates name, get a piece of pirates gold and you get to take part in a parade around Adventureland. You even get ‘sworn in’ as a pirate and take the Pirates oath. This is a lot more appealing to me than the princesses and I’m looking forward to doing it πŸ™‚

pirates pirates2

I’ve literally just found out about the Pirates and Pals Firework Party as well which is a cruise with Captain Hook and Smee, food and an amazing view of Wishes. This I must look into a bit more, if anyone has done it let me know if it’s any good πŸ™‚

 

Disney Dining Plan and a TALKING MICKEY MOUSE!!!

The Disney Dining Plan or DDP seems to be one of the only things about Disney I can’t find a definitive answer on and splits peoples opinions equally. In short what it is is a pre paid plan that you can opt for if you wish that can give you free dining at Disney Parks and Resorts. Whether or not it’s worth the money is one of the most talked about subjects amongst disnerds. I’ve done quite a bit of research – and some actual maths!! – I knew the extra tuition would come in handy one day, just wasn’t expecting it to be 20 years later…. and this is what I’ve discovered.

DDP is well worth the money if you are planning on spending your whole holiday on Disney property. It gives you the chance to book into all the pricey restaurants for your table service meals, including Be Our Guest, Cinderellas Royal Table and some of the character dining. There are differing levels of dining plan but for the sake of this post I’m going with the one that gives you 1 table service, 1 quick service and 1 snack a day.Β  It works by giving you a certain number of credits a day, they do roll over as far as I’m aware and some dining experiences require 2 table service credits.Β  Snack credits can be used on things like Dole Whip which is good and drinks.

If I was planning on staying solely on resort I would do it. It would give me a good opportunity to eat at all the really nice places I wouldn’t normally eat in, instead of having to just pick one or 2 to do each trip. Believe me if I was not planning on leaving Disney I would make the most of it and eat ALL the food.

It’s around $60 for the dining plan per person per day (over 10- $25 under 10) I did a bit of maths today based on some of the places I would choose to eat and to spend a day at Hollywood Studios, lunch at Pizza Planet and Dinner at 50s Prime Time, along with 3 snacks during the day (shared between the 3 of us) I worked out we would save $40 by being on the dining plan. However, if we weren’t on the plan we would have chosen less expensive places to eat and not even spent $60 between us. I think that having it encourages you to eat in the ‘nicer’ places because you do save money if that’s where your eating.Β  However if you’re not a big eater then its a waste of money.

It’s also a bit pricey I think for kids, most kids are fussy and won’t eat enough food for it to be worth it. One option is to just pay for the kids as they go along and just have the plan for the adults.

I looked at a few of the nicer restaurants and thought it would be nice to have DDP for a few days during my stay and if you did that then really it’s probably worth it, but you can’t do that. You have to have it for the whole duration of your stay and it is only available to those staying on site. There are so many amazing, and inexpensive, places to eat in Orlando that it’s a shame to miss out on them because you have the plan and feel like you have to use it. (I’ve done a whole page about eating out in Orlando, have a look at the top, there’s some money saving tips as well)

Disney do offer the plan free at certain points of the year which is great, however it’s only valid at certain resorts. Our trip for example we wouldn’t be eligible because we’re in a value resort, all of those are exempt from the offer. You also need to look at the prices of the rooms because generally you’ll find if you’re getting the plan free your room might be a bit more expensive.

Honestly, I still can’t make my mind up about it!! There’s good points and bad points with it and it’s totally dependent on personal preference.Β  I think having more options for it – like being able to purchase for a few days rather than it having to be for the entire stay – would make it more appealing. We all know the majority of people will spend at least 4 days out of Disney during their holiday for Universal, Islands of Adventure, SeaWorld, Busch Gardens and shopping or the beach. Why pay over $200 for food for 4 days when you won’t use it…

On another note….

IΒ  might have mentioned on here a few times that there will be tears when I get to Disney, seeing the castle from the boat gets me, walking into MK gets me, the parade does it as well and I’m pretty sure when the hotel says ‘Welcome Home’ I’ll be a mess but I think I found the thing that’s really going to get me this time…. MICKEY TALKS!!! Why I never knew about this I don’t know but it’s so real!! I know the characters in Orlando are actually the real ones anyway but my goodness this takes it to another level it’s insane!!

93 Days To Go…

3 days until I can book Fastpasses for the rides I won’t be able to go on with everyone therefore meaning they can’t use my DAS card πŸ™‚ There isn’t many to be honest which is a good thing.

I updated a bit more of my MK page today so there’s more info on rides and attractions on that, just have Adventureland left now and that’s park one finished! It’s been interesting doing it and investigating a little bit finding things that I haven’t seen or didn’t know about. I’m thinking I will DEFINITELY need another few trips after this to make sure I’ve seen it all. There’s a few new things on my list of things to do and places to eat, there’s some cool looking restaurants including this place…

It used to be used for shows according to YouTube and I’m not entirely sure why it isn’t anymore. The food looks good and what a cool little atmosphere to take in.

I’m also starting to collate some information from memory for those with disabilities – and those who just like to know – on each of the rides, how you transfer to the ride cart and also what the ride experience entails. Whether it goes upside down, how much you get thrown about and particularly what type of movements you can expect in places like the 4D theatres. Some of them have things poke you so it’s worthwhile having some of that information before you go. Keep an eye out and I’ll let you know when it’s updated.

Disney Movie and Games Day :)

Today we’re at 94 days, now we’re in double digits it seems to be flying past and with weddings, christenings and all manner of other things planned for most of the weekends up to our trip I think it’s going to creep up on me before I know it!!

I’m constantly buying stuff ready for the trip at the mo, suitcase is out and stuff is being put straight in it ready to pack and today – after weeks and weeks of looking for one I bought this snazzy little number

dressThere’s a few different ones and they’re not badly priced and perfect cool, light material for the Florida heat πŸ™‚ Sports Direct have them if anyone wants to have a look… Disney Dresses I’m after the Beauty and The Beast one and the Cinderella one as well πŸ™‚

Talking of Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast they seem to be my movies of choice this week, I think I’ve watched both of them most days this week – I always have movies on when I’m working. I’m still upset that Gus doesn’t meet at Disney 😦

This afternoon I will mostly be getting VERY competitive and playing the DVD game of Disney Trivial Pursuit with the family last time I was thrashed by a 7 year old this time I will not be beaten.

I also read a really awesome article today about some of the little details at Disney that sometimes go unnoticed, it’s the attention to detail and the ability to immerse you in a theme that makes Disney so absolutely magical and this highlights some of it, it’s a fab article well worth a read. I read loads of these and its usually stuff I’ve seen or know already this had quite a few things I didn’t know!

101 Disney Details

 

99 Days – Double Digits!! Exciting

This is me today…. double digit dance

I’m now looking at what rides I need to book FastPass for being that they can be used alongside the DAS card and deciding what days to do what parks. I’m determined to do MK at night some of the extra magic hours during our stay stop at 2am so I’m looking forward to being there in the dark and experiencing it at night πŸ™‚

Updates

I am on a much needed half day today so thought I’d do a bit more updating on here. I’ve added a link to some really good info on the DAS card on the Disability page and more info on rides on the MK page – I didn’t realise there was so much there until I started doing this blog!! And how much I hadn’t seen!! If my Fiance is expecting a nice chilled out relaxing holiday this year he’s going to be sorely mistaken!!

100 days to go now, double digit dance tomorrow πŸ™‚ Fast pass bookings in 10 days and I’ll be starting my get fit regime as well in the next few weeks so I’ll be blogging about that as well.

When you have a disability like mine – I have Spina Bifida – there can be limited exercise you can do, especially on your own. I’ve recently discovered that you do actually forget how to ride a bike – the popular saying being a big fat lie!! I have now sort of remembered but I am a bit wobbly and have a tendancy to fall off. A Lot. I have the wounds to prove it so I’m not allowed out on my own on my bike now in case I damage myself!! Shocking at the age of 36 but there you go…

For me the only thing really that I can do is swim. I wanted to be a paralympic swimmer as a kid actually although that never happened 😦 I love swimming and I think anyone with the same sort of condition as me will say the same, the water makes moving a lot easier. However I am short and I have muscle spasms in my legs so I panic if I can’t touch the bottom or have nothing to grab if it starts. Leisure centres for me are my worst nightmare, roped off lanes both sides of the pool either for old ladies to pootle in or others to speed swim in, when you’re somewhere in the middle you’re kinda stuck!! I don’t want to be swimming in the middle of a pool when I’m far too small to touch the bottom. Plus you always have those kids who just want to jump in and really it’s more stressful and you never really get to swim.

I’m in the process now of chatting to a few hotels who have gyms and spas and seeing if they can do anything for me. Hotel memberships can be so expensive when you’re only going to be using the pool. I don’t want to pay out Β£70 a month when I’m only using 10% of the things I’m paying for. Be different I think if it was by choice but when you don’t have the choice its a bit grating to be honest!!

Joining a gym is quite daunting I think as well for people like me so I shall keep you updated as to who I find and how good they are and if I manage to lose the stone I want to lose before we go. I think I’m being a bit ambitious, I’m not giving myself much time!!!

Disneys Magical Express…

So today I decided to find out a little bit more about Disneys Magical Express and find out if it is actually magical or just a regular ol’ bus.

For those of you who don’t know what on earth I’m talking about. Disney’s Magical Express is what you’ll be travelling in from the airport if you’re staying on resort from Disney and have booked transfers.

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The buses pick you up from the airport and take you to your hotel. Apparently I hear your luggage ‘magically’ turns up in your room as well (although I have been advised this can take a little while so it’s best to keep it with you if you can)

The million dollar question is, is it magical? Well yes and no…. I was disappointed to find that there is no characters on it with you (so that picture above is a bit misleading) BUT you are treated to Disney cartoons and videos about the resort so in a way it does start your holiday off in a magical way. I’m hoping for Disney music as well with a whole bus of people singing along but we shall see….