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A Quick Look Back On My 2013

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I consider 2013 as being a good year looking back. I have been on two amazing holidays and made many happy memories. The Spain and Canary Island Cruise in May was awesome and it was lovely to spend time with two of my very good friends during this time. We did have a lot of fun and we laughed until we cried a lot of the time. Some people may of even thought we were a little mad but we didn’t have a care in the world. Thinking about it makes me want to book another cruise for next year but as I have some crazy saving to do I don’t think I’ll be booking anything.

Disneyland Paris is never a let down (in my opinion anyway) and I was lucky enough to take my niece Jordan on her first trip there. I’m not sure who exactly was the biggest kid but I’m pretty sure it was me. I love all the rides and meeting as many characters as I can. Despite going at peak season and having to face the crowds of people and the queues, we still had a great time. I would have loved to have returned next year but that also looks very unlikely.

There has been a few events that have stuck in my mind from this year including the annual ‘West End Live’ in Trafalgar Square, conventions such as ‘Collectormania’ in Milton Keynes ‘London Film and Comic Con’ ‘Hyper Japan’ and ‘ToyCon’ were all enjoyable and I hope to return to these events again next year. Another event I enjoyed was the charity football match between ‘Phantom of the Opera’ and ‘Les Miserable’.

This year saw me try my hand at creating things with Polymer clay which goes well when I have the time apart from when I burnt two tea light holders in the oven much to the horror of my mother who had to clean the blackness from her oven the next day, oops! I also joined a amateur operatic society and performed in my first show which was successful. Unfortunately because of the lack of young talent and men, the society will be closing after our next show in March. It has left me wondering what I should do next, if I even feel like doing anything after that.

There has been some events I have been to which I haven’t mentioned in my posts like Seeing various bands live at Wembley Arena and the London o2 such as ‘Paramore’ ’30 Seconds to Mars’ and ‘Boyzone’. I have also been to a couple of WWE events and loved it… more for next year I think, including some more gigs and shows that are already planned. So far I’m rather looking forward to 2014, I hope you are too!

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Disneyland Paris – Day 3

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Another early start on Sunday 1st September but this time we headed straight to the ‘Walt Disney Studios Park’. Where we went on the remaining rides that we didn’t get to go on the day before. First on our list was ‘Crush’s Coaster’ with it’s unimpressive 70 minute wait. Unfortunately they don’t do Fastpass on this ride so it was a matter of perseverance. It’s a great ride though and worth the wait.

As we were hanging around that area afterwards, we noticed Buzz Lightyear was doing a meet and greet so we grabbed our opportunity and joined the queue. Buzz is the most entertaining of characters and is good for a laugh. He also has one of the most impressive costumes which must be such a pain to move around in.

We then continued our mission to complete all rides on our list including ‘Armageddon’ the special effects walk through and the most terrifying ride of all, ‘The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror’ in which we had to obtain a fastpass for. I really didn’t want to do this ride again after last year… once was enough, but Jordan wanted to experience it for herself so I had to accompany her. To my surprise, it wasn’t as terrifying a second time around but I still wouldn’t say I liked it. However, I would recommend that you do try it at least once just to say you’ve been on it.

After we had been on all the rides that we wanted to go on, we walked back to the Disneyland Park to hunt down some more characters. The 20th anniversary train gave us a good opportunity. It would come along every hour for 4 hours so we had an idea of where each character was going to stop when they got off the train. On this occasion we met Donald Duck. It really is like a rugby scrum trying to get to these characters and some people can be quite rude, pushing and shoving. Sometimes I actually think the children are better behaved than their parents.

We then went for a walk around Fantasyland as it’s known that many characters congregate around there. Unfortunately we were always in the wrong place at the wrong time and ended up catching them as they had just finished their meet and greets. Jordan was particularly annoyed that she missed Peter Pan who she had taken a liking to during the main parade the day before. I wish they could be more specific about where characters are going to be and what times. Then again, it’s probably best to keep it quiet to avoid the mad scrum for autographs and photos.

undeterred by the lack of character activity we decided to queue for an appointment card to meet a Disney Princess. We were scheduled to return to the Princess Pavillion at 8pm and we were rather excited. Until then we squeezed in some more ride action. There was one that I had completely missed last year as it was slightly hidden. It was like a little fairytail barge ride that passed miniature houses from Disney films. I’m terrible at explaining things so I’ll let the pictures do the talking.

We went for an early dinner at Planet Hollywood and was served by a lovely Englishman called Michael. The food was good but because we were so full up and we still wanted desert, we decided to go back a little later so we didn’t miss out. The decor certainly kept us entertained as we played guess the movie prop.

8pm came and it was time for our meet and greet with a princess. We didn’t know who we would have prior to the meet as it was a surprise. I was so pleased that it was Snow White, she was ever so lovely and asked us how we were enjoying our holiday and what rides we had been on in true Snow White style. We both went away very happy with our souvenir photos.

That evening we enjoyed a late night ride session and a spot of shopping and by the time we got back to the hotel we were ready to collapse.

Disneyland Paris – Day 2

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Getting up at 6:30am on Saturday 31st August was a killer but we had to be ready for breakfast at 7:00. I could quite happily eat croissants and Pan au Chocolate every morning. These were accompanied by a choice of serial, fruit cocktail, yoghurt with apple puree, toast with spreads and cheeses. Juice, tea a coffee were available to self-serve. We had everything we needed to start an energetic day, and once we were done, we went back to our room to get ready for the parks. This time I had everything planned out, and the fact that we had a two-hour head start before the regular ticket holders (people not staying at a Disney hotel) arrived made it even better. First stop was Fantasyland where we enjoyed some of the smaller rides such as ‘Dumbo the Flying Elephant’, ‘Mad Hatters Tea Cups’ and the rather amusing ‘Alice’s Curious Labyrinth. Unfortunately ‘Peter Pan’s Flight’ was closed for maintenance. And despite a spot of rain, it didn’t ruin our morning.

Our next stop was Discoveryland and ‘Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast’ which was fun. By the time we had finished those rides and had a walk around, it was 10am and time for all of the rides to open, so we headed to Adventureland where we went on ‘Indiana Jones and the Temple of Peril’ which is a looping roller coaster. We then took a short walk to Frontierland where we obtained a Fastpass ticket (which is free) to come back to ‘Big Thunder Mountain’ (one of the most popular rides and one with the longest wait time) in the afternoon. To pass the time we went to ‘Phantom Manor’ which is pretty self explanatory and then back to Fantasyland where we met our first character.

We waited around 45 minutes for ‘Winnie the Pooh’, the queue was quite long and we had back ache by the time we reached him. It was worth it as he was adorable. I know! your thinking ‘it’s just a guy in a costume’. But the characters have been well trained and their mannerisms are spot on. it’s also great to see the reactions from the children.

It was then time to return to ‘Big Thunder Mountain’ for a short wait with our fast passes. This is like a high-speed mine train with no loops but a fantastic view of the surrounding area as you go around. We had worked up quite a appetite by this time and went ‘Earl of Sandwich’. It’s great value for money but unfortunately I didn’t find the food as enjoyable second time around but it was still good none the less. After that quick stop, I introduced Jordan to the ‘Walt Disney Studios Park’. The queues were all quite long for the rides here but it was nearly time for the action packed stunt show so we went to watch that.

We still had ages left in the parks. That early start meant we could pack a hell of a lot in, so we Witnessed the ‘Stars ‘n’ Cars Parade’ in the studios park and ‘Disney Magic on Parade’ in the Disneyland park, both of which I had seen last year and you can view my photo’s by clicking on the links. We went on my favourite ride, ‘Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster starring Aerosmith’… a high-speed loop-the-loop, indoor ride accompanied by Aerosmith tunes which I always find myself singing along to.  Jordan got to meet Minnie mouse and after a tiring day we decided that it was time for dinner.

One of my most recommended eateries is Annettes Diner. This is a 1950’s American, Rock ‘n’ Roll style diner. The staff are friendly and occasionally burst into song and dance for the customers entertainment. Jordan had a standard cheese burger and fries which isn’t as big as most of their other burgers. I loved their veggie burger and their deserts are delicious. some of the waiters/waitresses may also serve you on roller skates, which must take a lot of skill.

To round off the evening, we purchased some Minnie mouse ears in one of the stores and went back to the Disneyland Park to wait for the ‘Disney Dreams’ event, made up of lights, lasers and fireworks. Images are projected onto Sleeping Beauty’s Castle to make up a little story. It really is amazing. People tend to begin their wait up to an hour before the event to ensure a good spot and it can get pretty packed. It started at 11pm and lasted around 20 minutes. Because of the crowds, we had to then endure a very slow walk out of the park and by then we just wanted to go to bed and rest our poor feet.

Hotel Cheyenne – Disneyland Paris

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I chose Hotel Cheyenne purely because of its quirky Western theme and we couldn’t wait to check it out after such a long day of travelling and fun in the Disneyland park. Check in was easy and we were met by a lovely smiley lady at the desk who was also very informative. After we collected our luggage, we found our room in the Wyatt Earp block. The room was cosy and well themed with basic facilities. Jordan had already bagsied the double bed and insisted that I sleep on the bunk bed, but to my surprise it was quite comfortable.

The only faults I could find was the broken bath plug and rubbish shower which soaked the bathroom floor when used. But considering that it’s a two star hotel, I really couldn’t ask for more. last year I stayed in Hotel Santa Fe and out of the two, I definitely prefer this one. When you think about it, you are spending very little time in your hotel room anyway but a comfy bed is certainly essential.

 

 

 

Disneyland Paris – Day one

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Myself and my niece Jordan arrived in Marne La Vallee around 2pm on Friday 30th August after a comfortable ride in Eurostar’s Premier class. First of all we headed to Disney Village to make a booking for the evenings meal at King Ludwigs Castle. Then we went straight to the Disneyland park where I introduced Jordan to the magic. Her reaction to Sleeping Beauty’s castle was basically ‘WOW’ which was pretty much my reaction when I first saw it over a year ago. Thanks to 365DaysAtDisney’s Blog post  I managed to see the dragon that resides beneath the castle this time (something I missed on my last visit).

After a little stroll around we began queueing for rides which isn’t the best thing to do in peak season. My last visit back in May 2012 was much quieter so queue times were obviously much shorter. From what I can remember, we started off going from land to land randomly aiming for rides with shorter waiting times. Any plan that I had went out of the window at that point.

A day goes incredibly quick in Disneyland and before we knew it, It was time for dinner. We made our way to ‘King Ludwigs Castle’ at 7pm only to find there was barely anyone in there so needn’t have booked. Despite not being very busy at this time we still waited a good 20 minutes to be served. Fortunately the wait was worth it as the Pizza’s we ordered were delicious. The deserts didn’t disappoint either and we went back to the hotel happy bunny’s with full tummy’s for an early night to prepare for day 2’s shenanigans.

Back to Pinterest

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I haven’t pinned at all over the last few months, mainly because I’d forgotten my password and retrieving it seemed such an effort (it wasn’t though). So I’ve been pinning like crazy over the past couple of days, and once I started I couldn’t stop. It’s kept me up late; to the point where insomnia has set in and made me unsociable around my family. Damn you Pinterest! You can check out my new boards HERE. Now I never really hit it off with tumblr but I’ve decided to start again but using it mainly in conjunction with this blog so we’ll see how that goes.

I’ve been checking out lots of Polymer clay pictures and tutorials and now have an array of amazing idea’s swimming around my head. I’ve taken a particular interest in decorative journals which look like a lot of fun to do. I just need a few more resources before I can attempt to make one of my own.

I can now announce my next trip to Disneyland Paris which I had kept hush-hush for a while as it was a surprise for my niece, Jordan. We leave in a few days time and even though I have already been before, I am more excited than ever…. probably even more than my niece. Expect lots of photos.

Disneyland Paris Parade

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The Parade was one of the main things I was looking forward to at Disneyland Paris. The floats were put together so well but it was a shame it didn’t go on for a little longer with a few more floats. Here’s the pics, sorry about the dark ones, we didn’t have the best weather on our first day but there’s loads to look at… enjoy!