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The Nutcracker – Movie Review

There isn’t a great deal of Disney movies that I don’t want to rush out and watch straight away. This is one of them.

It’s a strange thing to make a movie out of I think, what I knew of the Nutcracker before watching this was just what I had seen growing up and basically all I knew was the dance of the Sugarplum Fairy and I am not a ballet fan.  Plus all the press with Keira Knightley doing her bit of ‘Disney Bashing’ sort of put me off watching it. And she does talk in an annoying voice for the whole film.

I was pleasantly surprised by this I have to say. Its festive from the start and I do love a festive movie, I just didn’t realise exactly HOW festive this would be.

It’s a great little story and reminds me a little of Alice in Wonderland. Clara who is the heroine of the movie ends up in The Realms after receiving a mysterious gift from her mother posthumously.  It does very much have the feel of Alice when she is in Wonderland. It looks very similar. And to be honest I was not a fan of those movies.

Clara needs to find a key to open the mysterious gift from her Mother and its her search for that key that brings her to the realm and reveals the secret world her mother was a part of.

Along the way she meets some interesting characters including the titular character ‘The Nutcracker’, the Sugarplum Fairy and some funny ‘soldiers’ played brilliantly by Jack Whitehall and Omid Djalili.

Clara needs to find the key and stop Mother Ginger taking over the Four Realms. Although there is more to her than meets the eye.

The set, the costumes and the general production of this are incredible. It looks AMAZING. And it’s so Christmassy. It’ll be a great one to watch Christmas Eve and a fab Christmas afternoon movie in years to come. BUT. It’s not amazing. It’s not the best film Disney have done. I really struggled watching Keira Knightley I found her Sugarplum Fairy to be incredibly irritating. Some of the acting in this isn’t the best which is a shame seeing as the cast does boast some incredible actors.

Kids will love it but I left feeling a little underwhelmed by this one. It was better than I was expecting and I did enjoy aspects of it but I won’t be rushing to see it again.

For more ‘non disney’ movie reviews check out my other blog..

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Movie Review – AntMan and The Wasp

Another month another installment in the seemingly never ending Marvel Universe franchise!!

This one takes place after the events of Captain America Civil War and up until the culmination of the last Avengers movie and follows Paul Rudds Antman as he tries to juggle being his alter ego whilst also being on house arrest.

His bail conditions mean he isn’t allowed out of his house and he goes to great lengths to keep his daughter entertained – the opening scene of the movie I want to do in my house. He’s also used his time setting up a security business with Luis.

Meanwhile Hank and Hope are building a tunnel which allows them to access the quantum realm where Hanks wife (Hopes Mum) was lost many years ago. They are missing a vital component and someone who can shrink small enough to get there and retrieve her. I wonder who that may be?

Ant-Man is one of my favourite heroes of the Marvel Universe and Paul Rudd is so likable as him. It’s full of the humour we always expect from the movies and some of the action sequences are so great to watch. I love all the fight scenes where not only do the titular characters shrink and grow constantly but they also use other objects as weapons or barricades. The scene in the kitchen is particularly good. As is the car chase scene which has the added bonus of Luis having his first ‘shrinking’ experience.

They use some cool tried and tested SFX in this – Micheal Douglas and Michelle Pfeiffer as youngsters using the same tech as they did with flashback scenes with Robert Downey Jnr in Iron Man.

There is a villian – The Ghost – who tries to scupper the creation of the tunnel and recovery of Janet and wants to use the technology to rid her of her powers instead. It’s as always predictable in that good trumps evil but the story of getting there is really compelling.

I watched this in 3D.  I always watch the Marvel movies in 3D. It adds so much to the visuals of the film and really puts you inside the movie. I don’t know what it is about Marvel Studios but they seem to do this like no-one else.

All in all its a fun, action packed movie. One of my favourites but then I love Paul Rudd and apart from Mike in Friends this is by far my favourite of all his roles.

After seeing the extra scene at the end I’m even more impatient for the next Avengers movie too can it be May already?

For my other non-Disney movie and day out reviews click here

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Solo – Movie Review

After the first wave of prequels being so shocking I’m always a little scared with these new films in case they end up being just as rubbish.

I was not a fan of Rogue One. I didn’t get it, I couldn’t really follow it and to be honest it was a disappointing movie for me so this being another ‘Origins’ movie and not the next ‘chapter’ in Star Wars filled me with a little bit of dread.  I’d seen a few trailers some making the film look amazing but the last one not so much so going into this today I really wasn’t sure what to expect.

I was very quickly put in my place.

This is better than Rogue One from the get-go.

The opening scene sets you up for what this movie is going to be like. Its action from the first second.

With Ron Howard directing you’re always going to get something that isn’t terrible but this well and truly exceeded my expectations.

The story was intriguing, although I think that had a  lot to do with Han being a familiar and well loved character already, it was interesting seeing how he became the person we know him as. My favourite thing about the movie though is the relationship with Chewie throughout it, from the second they meet it’s funny and endearing and full of the banter we have in the Star Wars movies we love.

There’s so many twists and turns, just when you think you know whats coming there’s a curveball thrown at you.

Visually as you would expect from the Star Wars Universe this is stunning. There’s vehicle chases and daredevil stunts in the Millenium Falcon. Just when you think there isn’t anything more they can do with Star Wars you get this. Loads of new, but familiar, characters. The humour we expect (but didn’t get in THOSE movies), good guys, bad guys and good vs evil.

Casting in this is wonderful. Woody Harrelson and Paul Bettany in particular are great in this. Paul Bettany does seem to have a knack for being the creepy English guy.

I’ve actually seen this film twice now and as with most movies I noticed a load more stuff second time round. In fact I think I enjoyed it even more on the second watch.

Alden Ehrenreich is so good as Han. Watching this time I could imagine Harrison Ford saying and doing things the way that he does, it’s almost like he’s channeling him. He was a great choice to play him.

Donald Glover is so great as Lando. Charming and slightly eccentric.

The humour in this is brilliant. I love the comedy in the franchise – which is why I hated the prequels so much it was all a bit wooden acting wise and not enough humour – L3 will have you all laughing. And wanting a droid like her.

SFX in this are so good too. You almost can’t tell what is CGI and what props were actually built.

The shock ending of this film leaves a lot of unanswered questions which does mean I need to sit through those awful ones to refresh my memory of what happens next. But it also leaves this well and truly open for a sequel to bridge the gap between this and A New Hope. It appears that Alden has signed a 3 movie deal with the studio so it is highly likely there is another on the horizon but rumor has it that the much talked about Boba Fett movie could act as the unofficial sequel instead. Only time will tell I guess.

If you haven’t seen this film or are putting it off for fear of being disappointed then go book some tickets.

I’ll be going again this week just to see if there’s any other bits I missed!

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A Spoonful of Sherman and a Handful of Oscar….

 

Disney nights out are the best nights out and this week I got to see a Disney type show that I’d wanted to watch for a while.

The show is A Spoonful of Sherman, a musical journey through the life and work of the wonderful Sherman Brothers who were of course famous for writing all the songs you remember from those classic Disney movies like ‘Mary Poppins’ and ‘Bedknobs and Broomsticks’.

I’d read about this a little while ago so I was so excited to finally see it!

Not only that on searching for the venue postcode online before we left I found that the writer, and son of Robert, Robbie Sherman was doing a little Q&A and a meet and greet before the show.  So obviously we booked it! I just thought it’d  be an interesting chance to find out some Disney history and stories from someone who had the inside track little did I know how good of a decision that was to be!!

I’m not sure if this is something that he does at all of the shows but if you’re going to one and he is there, I urge you to book it. It’s so worth it for a Disney fan!!

It was a really relaxed affair with maybe 20 or so of us in a room while Robbie chatted to us and told us a bit about his family history and the writing of the musical. He was such a lovely man and filled with so much knowledge and talks about his late father and uncle (and Grandfather who also wrote songs you will actually know) with such fondness. It was clear Disney was and still is such a big part of his life.

He told us the story of how ‘It’s a Small World’ came about and honestly my whole opinion of that song has changed so much after hearing it.  Yes its annoying. Yes it gets stuck in your head but the underlying message is one of hope and unity. Even though it sounds like a simple melody the way it was written so you can sing both the verse and the choruses over each other without them overlapping is something I never thought of but realise now how hard it is to write something like that.

We were told stories about Walt and had the opportunity to ask questions which was wonderful. I could have listen to him talk all day and there’s so much I could have asked him about, hopefully I’ll get the opportunity to interview him properly one day.

But the best bit? Robbie bought memorabilia!! And not just your average type either. He bought the Oscars his Dad and Uncle had won for Mary Poppins. THE ACTUAL OSCARS! And we got to hold them! Heavier that you would think! (excuse the face I was a little excited)

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Not only that he had the Grammy they won

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And the ‘Mousker’ or ‘Disney Legend’ award too, the one I was most excited about cos it’s shaped like Mickey…

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He had some cool copies of other stuff like the nominations for some of the awards and a a score signed by the nine old men…

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The musical itself was a lot better than I thought it was going to be.

I honestly wasn’t sure what to expect other than the fact that there would be Disney music in it.

The musical told the story not just of the Sherman Brothers that we know but also the rest of the Sherman family, grandparents and great grandparents who were also composers right up to Robbie who himself is one.

The cast of this were wonderful.

It’s not like your average musical, there’s no major set changes, no acting as such. The whole show is centered around a piano. No orchestra. Just the piano and 5 vocals. Exactly the way the songs were written.

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The cast were fabulous and even that held some nostalgia for me as Mark Read from A1 stars in this – as well as Disney, boybands were another big part of my teenage years – having interviewed him in the past I know how much of a Disney fan he is so for him being in a show such as this is a dream come true.

We managed to have him in on the Voice FM Drive time show talking about it all you can listen to that here:

https://www.voicefmradio.co.uk/drive-time-on-voice-fm-12-apr-2018/

All your favourite Sherman songs are in this show highlights for me though were definitely Marks rendition of ‘The Ugly Bug Ball’ a song which Walt was not convinced with as he didn’t want a song with the word ‘ugly’ in it. I love this song anyway but the way Mark did it was so fun, with different voices and things.

Sophie Louise Dann’s version of ‘Feed The Birds’ was captivating, and I loved all the Mary Poppins songs Jenna Innes sang, with just a hint of Mary in her with her shoes and the way she stood.

The chemistry between her and Glen Facey was brilliant and I really enjoyed all the songs that they sang together.

‘Over Somebody Else’s Shoulder’ wasn’t a song I’d ever heard before but I really liked the way that was executed. It’s such a sweet love song and so clever with the lyrics.

My favourite thing about this show though? Ben Stock! He was amazing! An absolute joy to watch on the stage and his performance of ‘Crunchy Crackers’ from Robbies musical ‘Love Birds’ was the absolute hands down showstopper of the show! I need to see that musical now!

All in all this is a great show, fab music intertwined with anecdotes and stories reminding us – as if we could forget – just how talented the Sherman family are.

You can find more about the show and book tickets here:

http://aspoonfulofsherman.com/#tourdates

 

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Food Review – Jungle Navigation Skipper Canteen

Skipper Canteen was my absolute favourite place to eat on this trip and I recommend it to anyone who is asking for places to eat on upcoming visits.

Skipper Canteen is in Magic Kingdom,  it’s in Adventureland and right opposite the Swiss Family Treehouse.

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I booked here after seeing it on an Adam Hattan Vlog – You can watch that here

It was (aside from Be Our Guest) my most anticipated meal of the trip.

Food wise the menu wasn’t something I would normally choose, its African/Asian/South American inspired and not the type of menu you find anywhere else really.

Its meant to be the headquarters of the famous Jungle Cruise Skippers and you will be seated in one of 3 rooms, The Mess Hall, The Jungle Room or the S.E.A Room.

We were seated in the SEA room which is a secret dining room. And the one I’d seen on the Vlog so yay!! (Pic from WDWMAGIC.COM as I didn’t take any) We were on the table in the top left.

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This place is a hidden gem, it was so quiet and especially so being in the room we were in so that was lovely 🙂

Food wise the menu is really varied and pretty healthy!

Paul went for Pork with broccoli and rice $24

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Amelia had ‘Smilys Little Croc’ which was Chicken Noodle Soup $11

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And I went for the lamb chops $28 that couscous it came with was amazing!

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Honestly, I still dream about this meal.

It was incredible. Looking at those pictures I can still taste it! I have to eat here again!

Puddings were just as good.

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I had the coconut bar, it was so nice, again not something I would normally eat but I wanted something a little lighter. It was like a cheesecake texture and not too overbearing with the coconut (see much more detail than other reviews, I can literally still taste it) $8

Paul went for Kungaloosh which was a Chocolate cake with bananas $8

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It was small but quite heavy so that was plenty for him.

Amelia had the kids Volcano cake (I don’t have a picture sorry) which had caramel inside and popping candy.

Price wise it was the same as most of the other places we ate in $15-$35 per adult. All the menus can be viewed on My Disney Experience so you can see exact prices and what other food there is.

Dining Plans are accepted and this will cost you 1 table service credit.

All in all this was the nicest meal we had. It was quiet. Atmosphere was lovely in there and being in the small room almost made it feel like we were doing private dining. Cast members were lovely and it was just a really nice experience.

The quality of the food was incredible and it was nice to have something that was a little healthier than steak and chips!

I think this place is one of those hidden gems. When you visit for the first time you just tend to go for the character dining and the more well known/popular eateries in the parks. This tends to be one for regular visitors, which is a shame cos it is THAT good.

If you have a trip planned and want somewhere to have a nice sit down meal in Magic Kingdom I urge you to book here. You won’t be disappointed.

If you go after reading this then let me know what you think 🙂 I’d be interested to hear other opinions on it as well 🙂

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The Big Disney Quiz

So on Facebook yesterday I was tagged in something Disney related, you know just for a change,  and obviously there I am intrigued as to what excitement could possibly await me.

I wasn’t prepared for what it was.

A DISNEY PUB QUIZ.

A QUIZ. IN A PUB. ALL ABOUT DISNEY!

Now I love a quiz. Quiz shows, pub quiz, anything really that can prove that my ability to soak up useless information is actually pretty useful.

But the type of quiz I love the most is a Disney one. Being a grown up things like that don’t happen very often.

Apparently there’s a company who specialise in genre based quizzes and do these up and down the UK.

Yellow Elephant they’re called. You can find them on Facebook.

There’s a whole host of these Disney Quiz Nights going on up and down the country and I for one cannot wait!!

I am booked for the Portsmouth one so I’ll be swotting up on the stuff I’m a little rusty on and hoping that me and my team win.

We’re even thinking of Disney Bounding!

All the Upcoming Dates/places for the quizzes are below. Tickets can be purchased on FIXR here. But hurry, as you can see some of them are already sold out.

I’d love to hear what you think and how you do!

DATES BELOW

April 30th – Yates York

April 30th – Pig and Fiddle Bath (SOLD OUT)

May 1st – Walkabout Lincoln

May 1st – Walkabout Sheffield (SOLD OUT)

May 1st – Rosies Chester (SOLD OUT)

May 1st – Walkabout Chelmsford (second date)

May 2nd – Bierkeller Manchester (SOLD OUT)

May 3rd – Yates Preston

May 3rd – Walkabout Watford (SOLD OUT)

May 3rd – Walkabout Colchester (SOLD OUT)

May 3rd – Off The Wall Luton (SOLD OUT)

May 7th – Bierkeller Nottingham

May 7th – Walkabout Cardiff

May 7th – Walkabout Leicester

May 8th – Walkabout Reading

May 8th – Birkett Tap Bristol

May 9th – Walkabout Newbury

May 9th – Bierkeller Manchester (second date)

May 10th – Market Dundee

May 10th – Weavers Tap Sudbury

May 10th – Walkabout Carlisle

May 11th – Walkabout Swansea

May 13th – Bierkeller Leeds

May 14th – Yates Newcastle

May 14th – Walkabout Derby

May 14th – Yates Southampton

May 14th – Walkabout Brighton

May 14th – Ma Boyles Alehouse Liverpool

May 15th – Yates Portsmouth

May 15th – Walkabout Lichfield

May 15th – Yates Sunderland

May 16th – Walkabout Solihull

May 16th – Yates Harlepool

May 17th – Walkabout Birmingham

May 17th – 39 Gordon Street Belfast

May 17th – Yates Doncaster

May 17th – Walkabout Bournemouth

May 18th – Walkabout Plymouth

May 18th – Walkabout Blackpool

May 22nd – Walkabout Colchester

 

 

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Food Review – Rainforest Cafe

I’ve eaten here a bunch of times both in the UK and in Orlando and it wasn’t one on our list of places to go but with Irma some of our reservations got cancelled and to be honest it was the nearest place to the boat dock when we got off at Disney Springs and that was why we went in!

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I do find these type of places really loud so if you’re looking for a quiet dining experience then this is not for you. You have a tropical storm I think every hour and the place goes dark, you have thunder and all the animatronic animals make noise so it can be quite intense for younger ones.

There is a lot to look at though so the ambience of the place is pretty cool. You’re able to walk around and see all the different animals that are there which Amelia loved.

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Food wise the menu isn’t that inspired, burgers and steaks and just basic food but it wasn’t bad. All the names of the stuff are ‘Rainforest’ themed.

I went for the Flat Iron Steak, Paul had the Rainforest Burger and Amelia had the Jurassic Chicken Tidbits from the kids menu (basically nuggets)

Paul didn’t really like his burger but my steak was pretty good as all steak generally is in Orlando.

We had to have puddings obviously!

Paul had Amelias kids dessert, Lava Mud, chocolate pudding with Oreos and gummy worms. But Amelia, well she went for the giant Sparkling Volcano dessert! It was huge and they make a big deal of it when it comes out. It’s a giant brownie with ice cream and cream on it. It was delicious but far too much food for us!

Best thing for me here was the cocktails, we had a few… They come in the Souvenir glasses which are always great to take home. You don’t have the ones your drinks are served in you pick up boxed new ones at the store on your way out.

Amelias kids drink came in a cool cup too, she chose the elephant one 🙂

Our server was great but its not somewhere I was say is a must do. Kids will love it but I think there are much better places you can spend your money on that you can’t do in the UK.

Price wise I think it’s pretty expensive for what it is and honestly I don’t think I’d eat here again. It wasn’t bad but it wasn’t good either. Prices are $15-$35.

The Volcano was $16.99 and all the cocktails were around $15.

Dining plans are accepted here, it will cost you 1 of your table service credits. The Volcano and the Cocktails were not included as part of the plan.

Food Review – 1950s Prime Time Cafe

The first of my non character dining experiences at Disney and one of our favourites from our last trip.

This is in Hollywood Studios right next to Echo Lake.

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Hollywood Studios doesn’t actually have a great deal of choice when it comes to sit down places to eat. I find its mostly quick service. Hopefully with the opening of the new lands we’ll get some more eateries 🙂

We ate here on our last trip and it was Pauls favourite so it was one we booked as soon as we were able to.

This place is fab. It’s set up to look like a 1950’s kitchen and the idea is that you’re visiting the family for a meal. Your servers are cousins and you WILL get told off if you leave your greens or put your elbows on the table.

I’ve heard some great stories of experiences here with interaction from people like Uncle Fred but sadly we’ve not had any of those yet, but the food is sooooo good!! Closest we got was Paul getting into a drinking competition with a guy on another table after being told by the server he had to drink all the refills she bought him. 6 Rootbeers in and I think he felt a bit sick!

 

The TVS on your table play old 50’s classics on a loop which adds to the experience of it all, it really does feel like you’re going back in time.

Foodwise everything here is classic American comfort food.  And lots of it.

I went for the meatloaf, which is what I had last time and I loved it. It’s an american classic and it was so tasty. It comes with green beans, carrots and creamed potatoes. Never enough gravy for my liking though.

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Paul went for the stuffed pork chops. I’ve never seen him eat something so quickly. It comes with veg and was stuffed inside with a creamy cheese, apple and herb sauce.

 

Amelia went for a kids meal and she had Goofys Salmon, one of the few meals she actually finished entirely! It came with rice and seasonal veg and she absolutely loved it.

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I love the fact that everything here comes with veg, making it a more healthy option. Portions are big as well and I always feel full after eating here. It’s like the ultimate comfort food!

We obviously had dessert here. I went for the Cheesecake and Paul had Moms Brownie. Amelia went for the sundae but she ate it too quick!!

 

One other thing I always have here is a root beer float. I feel like I’m in Back to the Future when I eat here.

Amelia had a lot of the specialty kids drinks, sadly not usually included in the dining plan. All she remembered here was that she could have a drink that glowed. Mickeys Bee Bop drink it is, it’s only cherry sprite but it came in a souvenir cup with a glowing ice cube, both of which she still uses now we’re home.

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Dining Plan is accepted here and it will take up 1 of your table service credits.

Its moderately priced here with main meals between $17-$25 so its not too bad. We really love it here. It feels really homely, the food is always good (I even asked for the recipe for the meatloaf, I have made it, it didn’t taste as good) and it’s just a different dining experience and somewhere we will no doubt be visiting again!

Food Review – Cinderellas Royal Table

Cinderellas Royal Table is one of the hardest places to get a reservation for at WDW.

Knowing this it was one of the first places I booked when we got to our 180 day booking time and it was the place Amelia was most looking forward to eating in.

What little princess wouldn’t relish the chance to eat with the Princesses INSIDE the castle?

I think it’s location has a lot to do with the fact its so hard to get so we were really excited when we got one and it was somewhere I was very much looking forward to trying out.

For those that don’t know Cinderellas Royal Table is inside the castle in the middle of Magic Kingdom. When it was originally designed it was to be part of Walts quarters and was earmarked to be a conference room. Being told that made the whole place seem even more special.

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You check in at the podium by the entrance to the restaurant which is at the back of castle. There is ample ‘parking’ for pushchairs/wheelchairs.

Once you’ve checked in you’re taken into the lobby area and this is where you meet Cinderella. The whole place is actually beautiful, high ceilings, stained glass windows and it really IS a castle.

There is a photopass photographer here and Cinderella was wonderful. I’ve said before I do struggle with meeting the Princesses I always find it hard to talk to them. I prefer the characters who don’t talk, however Cinderella was brilliant. She was so good with Amelia and she loved it.

You’re then taken upstairs to the dining area. There is a lift for those less mobile among us!

The actual dining area is STUNNING! However it is a LOT smaller than I imagined which explains why it is such a hard place to get a reservation at. We were sat on a table in the middle of the room I would have loved to have a window seat and look out across the park but maybe next time.

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It was quite loud and seemed busy inside, there were no empty tables for long and they do feel quite close together. This isn’t by any means a relaxing meal I don’t think. But that may have been due to where our table was, I think in a window would have felt less busy.

When you sit down each ‘princess’ is given a wand and a ‘wishing star’ and for the boys? A sword, Paul was very happy with his as you can see in the photos below. They’re great keepsakes to have. There was some kind of announcement with what you do with your wishing star but it was loud as I said and we couldn’t really hear what was being said over the general hustle and bustle which was a shame.

Our servers were brilliant which you would expect from a signature restaurant. The princesses all come out to an announcement and a shortened version of their story and work their way around the tables. We met Jasmine, Snow White, Ariel and Aurora.

This is the first of my reviews that hasn’t been a buffet so this time I get to show some proper food pictures and no doubt make myself hungry in the process!

We had 3 courses here. I’ve had a look at the current menu and some of the stuff we had isn’t on it anymore so I think the menu can be seasonal.

For our starters or ‘Appetisers of the Court’, Paul went for the soup which he thinks was french onion and he said it was delicious. I had an asparagus salad which was actually raw asparagus which I wasn’t a fan of. I did like the rest of the salad though and the dressing was so nice.  Amelia had cheese and grapes.

For our entrees (mains as we call them here) both me and Paul went for the beef and Amelia had the chicken from the kids menu.

The beef came with seasonal veg and garlic mash and was so tender. It was lovely. It looks small but it was a perfect sized portion for us.

Amelias chicken however was not good. It was really dry and she really didn’t enjoy it. The server was great though and did offer her something else but she ended up having Pauls and he ate some of the chicken. I would say avoid the chicken if you can.

The best part of the meal was without a doubt the dessert – was there ever any doubt coming from a pudding family.

The desserts we had off the menu was ‘The Clock Strikes Twelve’ a chocolate mousse with choc ganache and it was sooooo good!! I loved how it came out with the chocolate clock face pointing to 12, this is the little Disney touches that I love. Amelia went for the build your own cupcake dessert from the kids menu, complete with mickey shaped sprinkles and a little carriage in cocoa.

We also ordered the Cinderella Slipper dessert. This isn’t on the regular menu. It costs an extra $15 and isn’t included in the dining plan. You have to book this no less than 48 hours before your reservation via email wdw.crt.special.events@disney.com. I would recommend doing this as soon as you have confirmed your reservation.

This was the highlight of the meal for Amelia and it was really tasty, I’m not normally a fan of American chocolate but the shoe was really nice, the mousse cake is the same as what you have with the other dessert we had.

This is not a cheap meal, it’s a premium restaurant and you obviously pay more for the location.  Had we not been on the plan this would have cost us over $200!! For 3 people!!

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This is included in the Disney Dining Plan and it takes up 2 of your table service credits.

Although I did really enjoy this and I’m glad I did it, its one off the bucket list, I’m not sure as I would have had we not been on the Dining Plan.

I wouldn’t say I’d rush to eat dinner here again, I’m curious to try the breakfast, getting an early reservation before park opening and a window seat looking over a deserted Magic Kingdom would be idyllic.

Its definitely a must if you have little princesses but for me once was enough 🙂

Disney Parks Tag – Something different for me!

I’m used to just giving travel tips and reviews so after seeing a post from one of my fellow #disneybloggers the other day I thought I’d give this a go, a bit of fun before my next restaurant review (which is Cinderellas Royal Table)

Lovely Beth did this on her blog the other day, you can check hers out here and check out the rest of her blog too, it’s very good.

We both saw this for the first time when one of our favourite Disney Vloggers Adam Hattan did it on his channel, you can see his here

So here we go, 10 questions about the Disney Parks and my experiences in them 🙂 Well the ones I’ve been to anyway, I’m yet to visit LA, Tokyo, Shanghai or Hong Kong so just Paris and Orlando for me at the moment.

1) WHEN WAS THE FIRST TIME YOU VISITED A DISNEY PARK?

The first park I visited was Disneyland Paris when it was called EuroDisney and that was the year it opened in 1992! I was 13 and in all honesty I don’t remember a lot about it.

I wasn’t actually into Disney then – I know it’s hard to believe – I don’t recall meeting any characters at all either, which is odd being as it’s the main thing I do now!

My Dad was a coach driver back then and he was doing a trip over so I got to go.

What I do remember is it was REALLY busy, I remember going on Star Tours (me and my Dad loved Star Wars) and buying a Star Tours baseball cap that I loved (and subsequently lost) and going on Phantom Manor (which for years I’d talk about but had NO idea where it was) and also Captain EO, the Michael Jackson ‘ride’ other than that it’s all a bit of a blur!

It’s a shame that I don’t have pictures at all but I was never that much of a camera person back then and lets not forget no such thing as a phone that took photos!

2) WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE DISNEY PARK?

EPCOT!!

No hesitation there. I just love it.

On my first visit to WDW I wasn’t that much of a fan but I think the older I’ve got the more I appreciate how wonderful it is and its the place I always look forward to going back to the most.

I love that I can travel all over the world pretty much, trying different food and looking in all the different shops. I love all the little hidden places for photos, doing the Passports and meeting all the characters as you walk through the showcase.

 

Plus you can have so much fun trying on all the native hats as you go round…

 

I really like the different elements you can explore in Future World and how it constantly changes. The Sea pavilion is just amazing and all the interactive stuff when you exit the rides is great.

Club Cool is another place I like and the shopping in Epcot is the best on site in my opinion.

And who can forget Spaceship Earth, my favourite of the Disney Park ‘Icons’ and I never tire of looking at it.

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3) WHAT IS YOUR HAPPIEST SINGLE MOMENT IN A DISNEY PARK?

ALL my moments in the park are happy but one that really stands out for me is from my 2015 trip.

Dopey is my favourite character and up until my last 3 trips he was always about meeting in the parks. Now he’s rare and you can only see him with the other dwarves at the Halloween and Christmas parties. Which is gutting 😦

For one reason or another I wasn’t really feeling the magic on that trip and we were spending the day in Magic Kingdom. Literally JUST as I walked in, who should walk past me but Dopey! He was doing a random meet with Snow White, I just managed to get in the queue and I was the last one in it.

I was so happy to meet him I actually cried!

There’s me a grown woman, actually looking like a mental with my Snow White skirt and my big Dopey autograph book crying like a baby!

He had to wipe my tears away! The shame!

But from that moment on the magic was back!

 

4) WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE DISNEY PARKS PURCHASE?

OOH thats a tough one!

Probably these guys!! I love them. Cogsworth is the most expensive thing I’ve ever bought in a Disney Park and he was so worth it! All I need now is a Mrs Potts to complete the collection. (Chip was in the Dishwasher!)

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5) WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE DISNEY ATTRACTION?

I can’t actually narrow this down to 1! It’s impossible!

However for Disneyland Paris it’s easy. Crush’s Coaster is the best ride there without a doubt. It’s completely deceiving when you see it cos it doesn’t look fantastically fast but it is. As much as I love seeing kids enjoying themselves at Disney it never fails to make me chuckle when you see kids crying on it as it’s not the kids ride they expected it to be! It’s a must do on every DLRP trip.

WDW is much much harder! I have a few.

Without a doubt the most visually incredible and immersive ride experience currently at WDW is of course Flight of Passage in Animal Kingdoms Pandora. I literally cannot put into words how incredible this ride is. Every little detail is just incredible and you really do feel like you’re flying over Pandora. I’ve talked about it in my blogs about my trips but when you’re on a VR ride and you have to cover your eyes to avoid one of the things that scares you the most, even though you KNOW it’s not real, shows you how real it does look! If this is the technology of a few years ago I cannot wait to see what they do with the Star Wars stuff which will be so much more advanced!

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Space Mountain is ALWAYS the first ride I go on on a day at Magic Kingdom. It’s actually the first roller coaster I ever went on and I still love it now. I think it’s a nostalgia thing it reminds me of one of my favourite ever trips with my best mate in 2002. We always do it multiple times on our trips and it’s now one of Amelias favourites as well 🙂

The last one and another one I’ve lost count on the amount of times I do every trip is Expedition Everest. Another of Amelias favourites as well. It’s just a great ride with amazing views of the park and I swear it gets faster every time I go on it!

6) WHAT CHARACTER DO YOU HAVE TO MEET?

ALL OF THEM!! For me Disney is all about the characters so I have to meet all of them. If I had to make a choice though and could only meet one and seeing as Dopey isnt an option it’s gotta be DONALD DUCK! He’s just brilliant. I always come away smiling when I’ve seen him!

Having said that I do love meeting Winnie the Pooh, mostly cos he’s so cuddly and it’s like you’re having a cuddle with a real teddy 🙂

7) IF YOU COULD BUILD AN ATTRACTION BASED ON YOUR FAVOURITE MOVIE WHAT WOULD IT BE?

These questions are so much harder than I thought! My favourite movie already has quite a lot in the parks. (It’s Beauty and the Beast if you were wondering) but I do have a few ideas of movies that are completely under represented and would be great to see.

Tangled is one. Yes we have the Tangled toilets but there’s so much you could do with that movie. some kind of kids coaster zooming on Rapunzels hair down the tower or a boat ride with the lanterns. Even a restaurant based on the Snuggly Duckling.

I would love to see some more attractions around the world showcase and a Mary Poppins ride in the UK pavilion would be amazing.

I’m hoping that there will be some sort of Coco ride put in the Mexico Pavilion although I can imagine them re imagining the current Three Caballeros one and taking you on a colourful journey to the land of the dead.

8) WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE DISNEY PARKS RESTURANT?

This is the easiest one for me to answer. SKIPPER CANTEEN!! I absolutely loved this place and it was because of a Vlog I saw Adam Hattan do that I booked it. You can see that here.

It seems to be one of those places that first timers by pass. It’s so underrated.

It was the best meal of our entire trip. It’s themed like the Jungle Cruise and your servers are skippers and the food was just unbelievable and healthy too. I still dream about that meal and it’s top of my list of places to eat in when we go back again.

In Disneyland Paris the best place to eat is by far the Agrabah Cafe. I discovered it a few years ago when I went with my friend who is Vegan and all the reviews said that was the place with the most choice for that. It’s another one I dream about and I’ve been 3 times now. It’s so so good. The themeing is wonderful, it really is like you’re in a Moroccon market and the buffet is HUGE. It’s all Moroccon things like Moussaka and lots of salad but the Tabbouleh is why I keep going back. Highly recommend it. Honestly book a late lunch and don’t eat breakfast!

9) DESCRIBE A SITUATION WHEN A CAST MEMBER WENT ABOVE AND BEYOND FOR YOU?

I’ve never come across a bad cast member at WDW. Everyone I’ve had the pleasure of meeting has been exceptional so it’s so hard to pick a moment.

However when we first took Amelia a few years ago she was really tired (we’d been out all day but she insisted she wanted to stay and watch fireworks) she was hungry as well and we had a few tears. We left her sat at a table while we went to get some food in Pinocchio’s resturant and when I came back there she was BIG smile on her face blue frozen slushy with a Mickey Straw in her hand. A lovely cast member called Ariel (wonder how I remember that name 3 years on) had seen she was upset and thought she would cheer her up 🙂

I love chatting to the cast members when I get the chance to, while you’re waiting for rides and stuff. I’m one of those annoying guests who like to quiz them all about their jobs! :p

10) PLAN YOUR DREAM DISNEY HOLIDAY. INCLUDE YOUR PERFECT RESORT, RESTAURANT, PARK AND SHOW.

It has to be WDW although I do REALLY want to stay in the Disneyland Hotel in Paris. (I’m 40 next year and hopefully if all goes to plan that’s a good enough excuse to splash out and stay there)

Resort wise at WDW, I’d love to stay in the Polynesian. It’s just gorgeous and I could get to Epcot on the monorail pretty quick from there 🙂

Restaurant I’d pick Skipper Canteen obviously but for somewhere I haven’t eaten that I want to maybe Coral Reef in Epcot.

The park is obviously going to be Epcot, it’s my favourite and I could quite happily spend every day of my holiday there.

Show. Fantasmic. It’s wonderful. It’s my favourite of the evening shows in the Disney parks and just combines everything that I love about the shows of Disney. Music, fireworks, awesome effects and of course CHARACTERS!! I cry every time I watch it!

So there you have it, my Disney Parks Tag, I hope you enjoyed a different sort of blog from me and gives you a little insight into my Disney favourites and why I love it so much.

I’d love to hear some of your answers 🙂