Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Disney World Fastpass Plans - August 2018

As of today, I have completed all of the FastPass bookings for my August trip! 

If you stay on Disney property you are able to book your FastPasses 60 days out of your arrival date. You are usually able to do the first 10 days of your trip, with the following days being able to be booked in turn. Outside of Disney property, you are able to book 30 days out. 

FastPasses are available in hour time slots and you can't have any clashes. 

FastPass bookings become available at midday UK time. This is much better than the previous time that required an early wake up call! 

So, on with the plan.

August 23rd

Splash Mountain - 09:35
Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin - 11:30
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train - 15:45 

Splash Mountain is my second favourite ride in Magic Kingdom and I am so glad it is open on this trip! I am looking forward to getting drenched! Buzz Lightyear is a great sit down in the air conditioning and we all like to try and beat my dad! Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is a very popular ride, hence the random gap between reservations. We love this ride and have it quite a few times through the trip.

August 24th

The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror - 08:10
For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing Along Celebration - 10:00
Alien Swirling Saucers - 12:10

I rode Tower of Terror for the first time on my last trip and absolutely loved it. I am so looking forward to getting my mum on this ride. We all love the Frozen Sing Along and always hope we get Ben, who is absolutely hilarious. This is a show made for kids, aimed at adults. We have a FastPass for Alien Swirling Saucers! We wanted to get Slinky Dog on this day, but it was completely booked. 

August 25th

Frozen Ever After - 11:50
Spaceship Earth - 13:00
The Seas with Nemo and Friends - 14:25

This will be the first time my family will have ridden the Frozen ride. My dad is a closet Frozen fan and I have no doubt that he will be singing along. Then we have 2 old reliables. Spaceship Earth is one of my favourite attractions; I pretty much live for the smell of Rome. Nemo is another good sit down attraction and a good chance to rest your feet. 

August 26th

Kilimanjaro Safaris - 09:45
Kali River Rapids - 11:05
Flight of Passage - 18:10

Kilimanjaro Safaris is always best to have in the morning - there are more animals out! Kali around lunch is a good chance to cool off with a bit of a splash (or the whole wave!). This will be the first time that my family will have seen Pandora. Flight of Passage completely blew me away before and I am really looking forward to do it again. 

August 27th

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad - 16:30
Splash Mountain - 19:05
Haunted Mansion - 20:05

Thunder Mountain is a good classic with us and you always have to try and follow the goat. Another Splash FastPass, this time in a bit of darkness. Finally, my favourite ride of all time - the Haunted Mansion. This is always great in the dark, especially when the Cast Members really get into character. 

August 28th

Rock n Roller Coaster - 16:50
The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror - 17:55
Slinky Dog Dash - 19:55

A good classic for me and my sister is the Rock n Roller Coaster. None of my other family do this ride so looks like we are going on 3 times in a row! Back on the Tower of Terror, hoping that my family like it... We finally got the FastPass for the Slinky Dog Coaster. I am really looking forward to doing this, especially in the dark. 

August 29th

Peter Pan's Flight - 09:25
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train - 10:55
Pirates of the Caribbean - 12:05

Peter Pan is obviously a must-do for any Disney trip. Always ask for Pixie Dust when you get into your pirate ship! Another Mine Train FastPass; can you tell we like this ride? A trip through Pirates to see the new Red scene. Looking forward to seeing that in person.

August 30th

Na'vi River Journey - 09:45
Dinosaur - 10:55
Expedition Everest - 12:00

Really looking forward to seeing my family's reaction to the River Journey ride, especially the Shaman of Songs at the end. Dinosaur is another must-do for us - we're not gonna make it, we're not gonna make it! Everest is mostly one for me and my sister, but we are hoping that our parents do this one too!

August 31st

Test Track - 09:10
Journey Into Imagination with Figment - 10:25
Spaceship Earth - 11:45

Test Track is always best to do in the morning, just in case it breaks down during the day. Figment is another classic for us. I will forever have that song in my head! Another FastPass for Spaceship Earth for a nice sit down with Judy Dench. 

September 1st

Tomorrowland Speedway - 15:15
Dumbo the Flying Elephant - 16:30
Jungle Cruise - 20:00

An evening for classic rides! Tomorrowland Speedway is going to be a good way to hopefully get a quick sight of the TRON coaster construction. Dumbo is a Disney classic and no ride is completely without a spin on the flying elephant. Finally, some classic puns on the Jungle Cruise!

September 2nd

Soarin' Around the World - 16:30
Living with the Land - 17:30
The Seas with Nemo and Friends - 20:00

This will be the first time my family have seen the Around the World version of Soarin! I am excited to see their reactions. Then for a nice sit down on Living with the Land and Nemo.

September 3rd

Na'Vi River Journey - 09:05
Kilimanjaro Safaris - 10:20
Dinosaur - 11:20 

Another trip to Animal Kingdom. We chose to do Na'Vi River Journey just because we are going with my grandparents who won't do Flight of Passage. Then back to two classics.

September 4th

Toy Story Mania - 09:00
Rock N Roller Coaster - 10:00
Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular - 11:30

Toy Story Mania, similar to the Buzz Lightyear ride, really evokes the competitive side in all of us. We all quite enjoy this ride. Then (mostly for me and my sister again) we have Rock N Roller Coaster. Then the Indiana Jones shows before lunch for a bit of a sit down. 

September 5th

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train - 16:00
Space Mountain - 17:00
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh - 18:00

The Mine Train in the evening is great fun and you get some great views around New Fantasyland. Space Mountain is mostly for me and my sister again, we will most likely use everyone else's FastPasses for this. Then we have Winnie the Pooh, which I absolutely love. Brings me right back to my childhood!

September 6th

Test Track - 09:05
Living with the Land - 10:25
Spaceship Earth - 11:25

The basic Epcot goodies for a bit more of a chilled day leading to the end of our holiday. As recommended earlier on, Test Track definitely in the morning. 

September 7th

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train - 10:25
Splash Mountain - 11:25
Pirates of the Caribbean - 12:30

The last full day of our holiday will be spent in Magic Kingdom, savouring the magic for another year. Again with the Mine Train, Splash and Pirates. They are great classics for us so the best way to spend our last day.

So, that is our overall FastPass plans for August 2018. 

The next post will be the overall trip summary, including a breakdown of things we are doing on different days like water parks and outside of Disney. 

Monday, June 18, 2018

27 Things I Learned Recently

  1. Life is not a movie. 
  2. No matter how long and how well you think you know someone, they will surprise you. Might be good. Might be bad. 
  3. Don't spend your time trying to please someone who has no intention or desire to please you.
  4. Dogs, Dads and Grampy's are usually the only men who will never do anything to hurt you.
  5. A good sing along at a concert at the top of your lungs to songs you love can make you feel good.
  6. It is OK to get overly excited about things you love. 
  7. You are a lot stronger than you give yourself credit for.
  8. Friends come from all over the place. You might not have spoken to them properly for six years, yet when you need them, they will always be there. 
  9. You should be proud of yourself.  
  10. Do not rely on someone else for your happiness. Once you stop doing things to make you happy and start doing things with the sole purpose of making someone else happy, you are no longer happy.
  11. It is OK to cry. 
  12. Not everyone is going to love you as much as you love them. 
  13. Get dressed, put on some makeup and a smile. It works wonders. 
  14. It is OK to have a down day. It won't always be plain sailing. 
  15. A proposal and a ring doesn't mean someone loves you enough to spend their whole life with you. 
  16. The small things in life count.  
  17. A house is not always a home. 
  18. Sometimes the people you love the most are the ones to hurt you the most. 
  19. It is OK to vent about things that frustrate you. If people are getting sick of it, they aren't worth keeping around. 
  20. You need to let go. 
  21. A relationship is a two-way street, not a one-way road. 
  22. Heartbreak can make you stronger.
  23. Somewhere there is someone out there who will adore you as much as you adore them.
  24. Life goes on.
  25. A cup of tea can fix a myriad of different problems. 
  26. Life is a roller coaster full of ups, downs, loops and drops. But you always know as soon as you get to the bottom of the drop, you are on your way back up.
  27. You deserve better than this. 

Friday, June 08, 2018

Disney World Dining Plans - August 2018

Happy Friday!

As you may know if you follow my Twitter or Instagram, I am heading back to Disney World in August for my 11th trip! This time, it is for a whopping 17 nights at Disney's Port Orleans Riverside Resort. 

We upgraded to the Disney Dining Plan so I am going to share with you my reservations for this trip. I will do a general trip overview after we have booked our FastPasses next Saturday (eek!). 

August 22nd 

We don't have any reservations booked for our first night. Usually, we head into Magic Kingdom but we are so tired that we don't tend to eat anything. Thought best to save it for a night we will enjoy it!

August 23rd

We have Tony's Town Square Restaurant booked for 18:35 in the Magic Kingdom. This was one of my favourite restaurants on my last trip. I am really looking forward to chowing down on the Chicken Parmigana again, it was so good! I love the atmosphere in here and the Lady and the Tramp fountain always makes a good photo. Be sure to go and spot the paw prints out the front of the restaurant. 

August 24th

We have 50s Prime Time Cafe at 13:40 in Hollywood Studios. This was another favourite of mine last year. As with Tony's, the atmosphere is fantastic. The food equally is great and I especially love the friend chicken. I also, hands down, recommend a milkshake. You can have this as a drink or dessert (get it as a drink!) and it is massive! Whatever you don't drink there and then you can have in a take out cup.

August 25th 

We have a breakfast reservation at Be Our Guest at 08:30 in the Magic Kingdom. I especially love getting a "before the park opens" reservation. Now that you get to head to the castle before the park opens, it has lost its charm a little, but it is a great time to take those less crowded castle pics. You then get let through to Fantasyland and New Fantasyland without anyone else around. It again makes for great photos. I am hoping to have the Feast a la Gaston. This was a new one for me on the last trip as I believe they changed their menu and I loved it!

We then have a dinner at the Rose and Crown Dining Room at 16:15 in Epcot. This was another great one for me last time. I had the tikka chicken which was fantastic and the jaffa tarts which, if you know me, are completely ideal. If you go here, try and get a later evening slot and sit outside for the fireworks. We are hoping to change our reservation to a little later so we can watch IllumiNations. 

August 26th

We have a lunch reservation at The Rainforest Cafe in Animal Kingdom at 13:30. I much prefer the Animal Kingdom site than the one in Disney Springs. It usually seems slightly less crowded. Wherever you sit in here, you will have a great time. Last year I had the chicken parmigana for my meal followed by the cheesecake. I might try something a bit different this time. 

August 27th

We have a dinner reservation at Skipper Canteen in Magic Kingdom at 17:10. This is a completely new restaurant for me and I am really excited to see what it is like. I have seen so many videos that show the restaurant itself and how the servers are very similar to the Skippers on the Jungle Cruise. I think this is going to be right up my street!

August 28th

We have a breakfast reservation at 1900 Park Fare at the Grand Floridian for 09:25. This is a great buffet restaurant with some equally great character interactions. I will not lie, I am mostly excited for unlimited tater tots. I so wish we had them in the UK.

August 29th

We have lunch reservations for Be Our Guest in the Magic Kingdom at 12:50 and 13:20. We have two separate ones due to not being able to get a table of 6, but hopefully we should be OK to go in together. Lunch is a great way to use a quick service credit and you get more food then a usual quick service meal. 

We then have a dinner reservation for Chef Art Smith's Homecomin' at Disney Springs for 18:30. This is a new one for me entirely, so I am excited to see what it is like. The menu seems interesting and the combination of fried chicken and donuts seems like a different choice!

August 30th

We have a lunch reservation at Sanaa at the Animal Kingdom Villas for 13:00. I am super excited about this one. The food is my favourite style of cuisine and I am really hoping we will get to sit near the window with a great view. I am excited to try the butter chicken! 

August 31st

We have a dinner reservation at Tusker House in Animal Kingdom for 18:00. I went here on my last trip for breakfast and loved it so it will be nice to try it out for dinner. There is also some great photo opportunities for safari pics! Although I am excited to try a few different bits and bobs, I can see that the kids section has corn dog nuggets and mac and cheese... 

September 1st

We have a dinner reservation at The Crystal Palace in Magic Kingdom for 17:55. This is an oldie but goodie for my family. Before we had the dining plan, we would pay for a meal here. I love the character interaction with the Winnie The Pooh characters. I had my 18th birthday here and Tigger made me walk round the room for the friendship song. I love the variety of different dishes and the fact I can drink chocolate milk to my heart's content. 

September 2nd

We have a dinner reservation at Via Napoli in Epcot for 18:45. This is another great return from my previous trip. I really enjoyed Via Napoli, especially for the fact that the pizza was nice and traditional. I love the ovens at the back and definitely recommend you go and check them out. 

September 3rd

We have a lunch reservation at Yak and Yeti in Animal Kingdom for 13:15. This was my ultimate restaurant on my last trip and I already know what I will be eating. Chicken tikka masala! It was probably one of the nicest ones I have eaten in a long time, and I have eaten a lot of them! I love the authentic decor in the restaurant too - it definitely doesn't feel like you are in Disney!

September 4th

We have a lunch reservation for Mama Melrose's Ristorante Italiano at Hollywood Studios for 13:05. This was one the "maybe" list for my last trip so I am excited to be heading there this time. I love a classic Italian meal and the decor in here seems really great. 

September 5th

We have a dinner reservation for California Grill at the Contemporary Resort for 19:35. This is probably the one I am most looking forward to. I am never one for "posh nosh" but I am really excited to watch Happily Ever After from the roof terrace and eat some great food. I have no idea what I am going to eat, but if in doubt get the chicken!

September 6th

We have a lunch reservation for Garden Grill in Epcot for 13:20. This was another favourite of mine from my last trip. I love the fact that the restaurant rotates into the Living with the Land ride (super underrated ride!). I had great character interactions and I adore the fact that there is goldfish in the mac and cheese.

September 7th

Our last day! We have breakfast reservation for Be Our Guest in the Magic Kingdom at 09:35. It is pretty much traditional to do the Magic Kingdom on your last day so why not do it in style at the Beast's castle?

We have our last lunch reservation at Liberty Tree Tavern at 13:40. We went here for our Christmas dinner back in 1999 so I am really excited to visit it again. The food looks great and will be a nice relaxing end to our trip. 

So, that is the overview of my dining reservations.  Stay tuned next week for FastPasses! 

Sunday, June 03, 2018

Friends In All The Right Places

Happy Sunday to you.

I spent the weekend in the Forest of Dean on my oldest friend's hen do. After the last month, I definitely needed this girly weekend. I had such a great time! We did Go Ape on Saturday, something I have wanted to do for a really long time and I am super proud that I did it without falling off!

It was also great to unplug from my phone and social media for a few hours whilst we were dangling on ropes 15 feet in the air. There are some fabulous pictures and I can't wait to share them with the rest of the group! Although, I am really looking forward to spending some time working on myself, pictures really make you see what you actually look like (post to follow!).

The one thing I realised this weekend was that no matter how long you go without seeing someone, no matter how close or not close you might have been before, when you need the support friends will always be there. 

This weekend I got to reconnect with old friends along with making a few new ones. 

It was great to be able to disconnect from real life and spend a weekend forgetting about what I have to deal with when I come home. But it was equally great to be able to openly talk about what had happened and to get the support from people who care about you. 

I got to laugh about all sorts of things, have a couple of drinks, play some games and genuinely have some proper fun.

It has really opened my eyes to the fact that friends come in a variety of forms, but ultimately when you need them to step up, they will go above and beyond to make you feel included, supported and loved. 

So, to all the girls who were the reason behind the most true smile I have had in such a long time - thank you. 

There is always someone out there to love you. It might just be that at this present moment, that is your friends.