Excuse me while I squeal a little!! I can now finally say we go next week!! The excitement is getting a bit much now to be honest I may well burst at any moment!

I get asked loads why I love Florida so much and how there are ‘loads of other places in the world’ but you know what? Apart from Italy (and maybe Germany after watching a Vlog about Europa Park) there isn’t really anywhere else I’m that bothered about visiting and I don’t think they’ll live up to my expectations after being to Disney.  I’m not a sit by the pool and drink type so a package holiday being stuck in a resort is my idea of hell I need things to do!!

I get asked why I don’t get bored being that I’ve been before – this will be trip number 6 – I don’t get bored because there’s always something new to see. In the space of 17 years I’ve seen loads of things come and go.  Rides like Snow Whites Scary Adventures and Mr Toads Wild Ride and Toon Town where you could visit the houses of Minnie and Mickey Mouse have gone and are missed and then there are things like Alien which scarred me for life and I’m not sorry to see the back of.

Of course the big new thing is the Wizarding World of Harry Potter which has now stretched over 2 parks instead of just the one that there was on my last trip.

Even in 3 years there has been loads of development and new stuff to check out this time. Aside from the WWOHP extension there’s also the New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom, the new Frozen show and new parades at Disney. As well as the developments at Downtown Disney.   Jurassic Park at Islands of Adventure now has a Raptor encounter and Universal Studios has Transformers and Springfield USA is open.

Seaworld has opened Empire of the Penguin and opened some new shows as well, not to mention the big opening of I-Drive 360 which comprises of the Orlando Eye, Madame Tussauds and Sealife Orlando.

With more changes and new rides/parks opening over the next few years – Avatarland at Animal Kingdom, the Star Wars expansion at Hollywood Studios (or whatever it will be called then…) and Universals Volcano Bay as well as the much talked about Nintendo Partnership at Universal.  And then there’s the King Kong ride that I totally forgot about – I remember the original one!! You can never get bored of Orlando there’s always something new opening!

The other thing I love is how accessible it is and how completely suitable it is for anyone with a disability. Be it a mobility issue like me or more complex needs no matter where you go in Orlando they will do whatever they can to help you and have policies in place for everything you could think of. Nothing is a hassle to them and unlike some other holiday destinations – I’ve been put in upstairs rooms in hotels with no lift and been felt like I’m causing the problem when I’m unable to walk up the stairs!! Here any sort of Disability isn’t seen as a major problem and rather than make a fuss they just figure out how to help you rather than huffing about it!!

The one thing I haven’t done properly in Orlando is a water park – I did Aquatica last time but all I did was bob along in the lazy river – I’m curious to see how they are geared up for someone like me.  There’s quite a few things I’m doing for the first time on this trip, Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon which I’m really looking forward to. Discovery Cove which is something I’ve heard nothing but good things about (and that’s not just because all the food and drink is free), We’re doing a Penguin Encounter at Seaworld where we actually get to meet a real penguin – I’m a BIG fan of anywhere where I can cuddle any sort of animal, not sure the penguin will want me to cuddle it but I will give it a try.  We have an Airboat ride as well which I won’t lie, I’m a little bit scared of. I don’t really like boats at the best of times – unless it’s a cruise ship – so being on something that doesn’t look that steady and surrounded by gators isn’t exactly filling me with excitement. I panic in a kayak so goodness knows what I’m going to be like on this.  Also I’m finally getting to do a character breakfast – the bonus of taking kids – we’re doing both Chef Mickeys and Universals Superstar Breakfast (if the tickets get sorted in time) and also the Pirates Adventure Dinner Show. Last time I went to a dinner show I was ill with sunstroke and it wasn’t a pleasant experience so fingers crossed this one will be better.

The only thing that could make this trip even more perfect is that elusive booking at ‘Be Our Guest’…..

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.  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 😉

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.  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.

boutique 2 boutique

You can also join the 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 🙂

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 🙂