Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach, exploring the Disneyworld Waterparks…

My first taster of a Disney water park came when I was a child and had been whisked away during the holidays to ‘do Disney’. I was so excited because visiting Disneyworld is a dream come true at any age, but especially as a child when Belle is your heroine and Scar is your mortal enemy. From the moment I was told we were going I could not wait. Although, I’m certain that I wasn’t entirely sure what ‘Disneyworld’ was exactly. Was it a castle? Was it where all of the characters from my childhood existed? Was it the flying Dumbos and a parade? I wasn’t quite sure, but one thing I was sure of was that I needed to experience it. 

Once we had arrived and visited a couple of the parks, it was quite clear that it really was a world of Disney. So much to explore, so many famous faces to meet and two incredible water parks. I absolutely adored all of the parks, but the water parks were firmly cemented in my memory. Right up there with the castle and the giant Epcot golf ball was the shipwreck of Typhoon Lagoon saved in my memory of childhood highlights for eternity. I think it’s because we don’t have anything like it here in London that made me love the water parks so much. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t prefer them over Magic Kingdom, but I loved my days there all the same. That’s why I wanted to make sure we visited both Disney water parks when we visited Disneyworld last April. That and I wanted to get my money’s worth after paying almost £1000 in tickets alone!

The first of the water parks we snuck in a few days into our trip. For some unknown reason we opted to hit up Blizzard Beach first and I couldn’t wait to park myself in a doughnut and roll around the lazy river whilst devouring that gorgeous Floridian sunshine, so as soon as we arrived we whipped off our clothes and got straight in (well, we actually waited for our pals to arrive and messed around in the wave pool for a bit first, but you get the picture). I had forgotten just how much fun water parks are and we had an absolute blast racing down water slides and floating around in various inflatable objects. I think in every adult there is a little bit of fun and Disney sure know how to encourage you to unleash it.

The second water park that we visited was Typhoon Lagoon, the one that made it into my childhood memory favourites list. I’ve got to admit I was a bit worried about a couple of things. Firstly that my memory had let me down and it would actually be a bit pants and secondly that because we had such a blast at Blizzard Beach, our expectations were high and we ran the risk of being disappointed. Let me assure you that was not the case and we had an even better time at Typhoon Lagoon! Who knew?!

There are so many good things about Typhoon Lagoon, from its epic wave pool with the sound of the water crashing echoing across the park like a roar from an angry T-Rex, down to the water Rollercoaster where you choose between the route of ‘Coconut Crusher’ or ‘Pineapple Plunger’ (the banana one was closed). They also have a huge drop slide (which apparently includes some sort of colonic irrigation which nobody tells you about, but gave our husbands quite a treat when they took on the slide) and a snorkelling pool where you can swim amongst a variety of fish. Typhoon Lagoon has it all. 

Both parks are great for a bit of fun and relaxation in the sunshine. We loved them so much and will definitely hit them up the next time we are in Florida.

Have you visited the Disney Water parks?

L x

Disney’s Animal Kingdom…

I was super excited to be hitting up Animal Kingdom during our trip to Florida. The most recent addition to the phenomenal Disneyworld parks, Animal Kingdom combines Disney, rides and er, animals.

Being such a fan of both Disney and animals, I couldn’t wait to see how the two would be combined to make a theme park. Let’s just say I wasn’t disappointed and had such a magical day at Animal Kingdom.

When we arrived at the park we were greeted with your usual Disney vibes and enveloped in a sumptuous haven that felt as if we had been transported to far away lands. It is such a tranquil park and we loved all of the greenery around.

We had a walk, watching gorgeous creatures in their immaculate enclosures. I much prefer seeing animals wild and free, but I know that Disney do a lot of conservation work and actually have quite a few rescue animals that wouldn’t otherwise have survived in their natural habitat.

It was such a beautiful day in the Floridian sunshine. If I could bottle up weather and keep it with me for eternity, I would choose the sunshine that blankets Florida. It is totally gorgeous.

It wouldn’t be a trip to a Disney park without sampling some of the main attractions. A huge attraction both figuratively and literally to Animal Kingdom is the coaster Everest. Now I have been known to be quite a wimp when it comes to fast rides. Hey, I’ve even ditched people right after we’ve been strapped in. I think these days I’ve desensitised myself a little and I’m getting much braver. So I decided that I would conquer my coaster fear and hit up Everest. Don’t get me wrong it’s not a completely terrifying ride, but it’s a bit fast and goes backwards in the dark, which is something I haven’t exactly been welcoming to in the past. We met up with some of our friends in Florida and decided to co-ordinate our fast passes so that we could ride Everest together. I was a bit apprehensive during the climb at the start, but I absolutely loved it and I think that it is now up there with my favourite rides of all time (number one being the Cars ride at Disneyland California – it’s off the hook!). I love this photo of the six of us on Everest. I find it especially entertaining that I’m reaching out to my poor friend Kate for support!

I actually went on all of the rides at the Animal Kingdom and had such a fun day. Although I wasn’t too thrilled with this Dinosaur ride – my face is completely mortified!

To be fair, the kid at the front wasn’t feeling it either!

I would definitely recommend the rapids too. It’s similar to the Rapids at Disney in California, but only has one drop and isn’t quite as aesthetically pleasing.

We all throughly enjoyed walking around the park, admiring the various creatures that call Animal Kingdom home and trying to dry off after being drenched on the rapid ride.

Another highlight was the safari. It was amazing and really well done. The attention to detail is fabulous and we really did feel like we were on an African adventure.

Overall, we had a great day at Animal Kingdom. I think it’s definitely worth a visit. Make sure you take advantage of the fast pass system and factor in time to just enjoy the park. It’s super relaxing and absolutely gorge!

Have you visited Animal Kingdom?

L x

Me Before You…

Aah… Jojo Moyes. What a complete legend. Her writing style is brilliant, telling a story so well that you aren’t even aware it’s a story. Her writing flows and is something you can read anywhere from the train home to the poolside in an exotic location. 

I read Me Before You at a time when I hadn’t read anything that had excited me for a while. I wanted something to wrap me up in a story so gripping that I couldn’t put it down and thankfully, this is just what it did. I love how I was unsure of the ending right up until the end, how believable the story is, how wonderful the characters are (even Will Traynor), and just how beautifully written it is. That is why it remains one of my favourite books of all time. I love that it’s gritty and not your average chick lit. I love that it’s absolutely hilarious and heartbreaking all at the same time. I love how it tackles a massive issue that is a bit of a taboo. Anyway, in case you haven’t guessed, I’m a huge fan. That is why I was super excited when I heard that Me Before You was being turned into a movie. It’s always a bit of a gamble when a book that you love is turned into a motion picture, but I was excited all the same. Even if I did have to wait a couple of years! 

A couple of months ago the trailer was released, and it was everything that I was hoping for. A great cast and beautifully shot. It made me even more excited for the movie, so I was super glad when it finally came out last week and I could drag my husband along on Saturday. I wasn’t sure if he would like it as he is such an action movie boy, but he rocked up with me anyway and I was pleasantly surprised when he said that he enjoyed it much more than he thought he would. Hurrah! 

Starring Emilia Clarke of Game of Thrones fame, the screenplay was written by Jojo Moyes and I think that’s why it has retained so much accuracy and remained true to the book. The cast are fabulous and have really succeeded in embracing the characters. The funny parts were absolutely hilarious on screen, it was like the scenes had leapt out of the book with added detail. Patrick’s facial expressions were the best. The sad parts were terribly moving, literally all I could hear around me were tissues ruffling and noses snorting. Overall I was very impressed with how the movie has turned out, such accuracy and detail with a wonderful cast. I would highly recommend a watch, even if you haven’t already read the book.

Now I just need to read After You, to see how the story continues!

Have you read the book or seen the movie?

L x

Visiting Disneyworld’s Hollywood Studios…

I absolutely adore visiting the Disney Parks. They are always so beautifully presented, with attention to detail being key. When you visit a Disney Park, they envelope you and take you away from everyday life and into a place riddled with positivity and fun. I think it’s impossible to have a bad day at Disney, even if it’s raining. Once when we were in Paris, I only went on one ride the whole day and still had an awesome time. Speaking of Paris, I love their Walt Disney Studio Park, and was really intrigued to see how it compared to Disneyworld’s Hollywood Studios in Orlando. I hadn’t visited Disneyworld for a few years and my memory of the park was quite hazy, so I was super excited to head back as an adult and see if it exceeded my childhood memories. Sadly, it did not and I was actually quite disappointed by this park. Sure, there’s a cool Star Wars show and the Hollywood Tower of Terror, but there isn’t much beyond that and I did feel quite disappointed. Let’s not get too bogged down because it is still an incredible park that superceeds your average theme park – it is Disney after all. I just felt that in terms of what the other parks have to offer, it is a bit of a let down. I must point out though that it is currently undergoing a massive overhaul and I’m pretty sure that a piece of Star Wars heaven will be born there within the next couple of years. 

I felt that an afternoon spent there was certainly appropriate and there wasn’t really a need to visit over a couple of days. My husband adores the Rock ‘N’ Rollercoaster, which resides at this park and it is also home to the iconic Star Tours which is also in the Paris park. Toy Story Mania is also based here and that ride is super fun and worth a go. There is also a ride called ‘The Great Movie Ride’, which is honestly one of the most bizarre rides that I have ever been on. It’s super odd and I think I spent a lot of the time with my nose scrunched up and generally a bit confused. 

I think I was so disappointed by this park because the one in Paris is tonnes better, with more rides and thrilling shows. I was expecting it to be so much greater as it is Disneyworld, which is supposed to be the Creme de la Creme of Disney and well, it just didn’t excite me much.

I think that you should definitely go and it’s going to be amazing once all of the construction work is done, but don’t plan on spending too much time there as I’m pretty sure you’ll run out of things to do once you’ve done the big rides.

Have you visited Hollywood Studios? Did it live up to your expectations?
L x