Friday, 16 May 2014

Disneyland: August 2013














This is ridiculously late going up for some reason. Yeah, i suck! But anyway, here is a little peek at what I got up to in Disneyland last August. I visited Anaheim after my ICP program with Jen, Becky and Rachael, although I spent my time in Disneyland with Jen while the other two did their own thing. We had an amazing time, probably one of the best moments of my whole life. Walking down the original main street in the footsteps of Walt himself was a surreal experience. Never did I think I would get to visit the place where it all started. Disney World may be the most magical place on earth, but Disneyland is without a doubt the happiest place on earth. I’ve never felt so relaxed. The crowds weren't too bad and the whole atmosphere was less touristy, more homely in a way.

We had three days there so spent our first day exploring, going on rides and meeting a few characters before heading over to California Adventures to explore and watch World of Color. One thing I do want to mention, is how different character experiences are in Disneyland. They just walk around unattended! You can find Cruella strutting her stuff, Peter Pan sitting by the wishing well and Mary Poppins taking a stroll down Main Street. Additionally the shows are perfection. World of Color is just something else and we loved Soundsational parade so much, we watched it 5 times haha!

On day two we spent most of the day in California Adventures before heading over to watch Magical and Fantasmic. Again, these were such amazing experiences. For the fireworks, everyone was sat down! There was no pushing and shoving to find a good spot, just everyone sat down in front of the castle, chatting and relaxing. This was the same for the parades too. Everyone was just sitting down having a jolly old time.

Our third and final day was a little special, as it was long lost friends week. You should have seen my excitement when I found out that Jane and Tarzan were going to be there. They’re my favourite Disney characters but also very rare to meet in the parks, so I feel so lucky to have been here for this event. We also got to meet Meg, Hercules and Hades. Meg was so freaking amazing! Exactly how I would imagine film Meg to act. Additionally we met the Pocahontas gang (Meeko, John Smith, Governor Ratcliffe and Pocahontas herself) and Merlin, who was such a cutie! I 100% prefer interactions at Disneyland. They feel so much more involving and personal. Another magical moment was when I was skyping my mum at the top of main street near the entrance, I had the camera on and was showing her Pluto who was doing a meet close by. Next minute Pluto pops up behind my and starts waving at mum, grabs my arm and walks with me to the area where they go backstage, giving me a big hug before I leave and getting down on one knee haha. All the while my mum was still on the other end. At this point Mickey Mouse pops out, all the while still on skype, so I give my phone to a nearby cast member so Jen could snap a picture of me and Mickey. The cast member then starts talking to my mum haha! Best cast members/characters ever!



I would love to go back to Disneyland again and would really recommend that any Walt Disney World fan go to Disneyland at some point. I did vlog my time in Disneyland so you can check those videos out on my channel!


Bloglovin | Twitter | Instagram | Youtube | Beauty Blog

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Upcoming Trip to Disney World & First Impressions of Fastpass+ and My Disney Experience!


I’m going to Florida! If you follow me on Twitter you have probably already seen me tweet about my upcoming trip to Florida. It was a last minute thing, booked between me finishing university and heading off to work on the cruise ship. We got a pretty good deal, staying on international drive for 10 nights, 3rd June – 13th June! It just so happens that I’m going on exactly the same day and on exactly the same flight that I was on when heading out for my ICP last year *tear*.

my disney experience fastpassplus walt disney world2

Alot of things have changed since I was last there. For one, the paper fastpasses have been retired in favour of a new electronic system. This new system enables guests to select their fastpasses in advance, from 60 days in advance for on site guests and 30 days in advance for off site guests/annual pass holders. These can be booked via the My Disney Experience website or the mobile app. This system also enables a user to book dining reservations and add event reminders (such as a parade time) to make up a sort of itinerary. I’m still really on the fence about this system, as planning times for things is something I would rather do on the day. Of course you can book things on the day via the fastpass booths placed around the parks, but then you have a smaller chance of getting a time you want (and there could be queues depending on how busy the park is). Another disadvantage is that the standby line times could considerably increase as I believe its an 80% fastpass priority for letting onto a ride, and if all the slots for that hour have been booked its going to have a ripple effect. A recent change has seen the introduction of guests being able to book extra fastpasses via the booths, once their initial ones have been used. This is definitely a welcome change, although it will hinder those who have firework/show viewings. Oh well, one step at a time!

Overall, there are some benefits and there are some downsides to the system. I have made a video, which you can see below, that discusses some of my first impressions and goes into more detail about it. I will be making part 2 after I have experienced it in the parks, about how well it worked and how it effected standby wait times.

Of course, another trip to Disney means I will also have vlogs! I will be vlogging my trip so expect to see them start to go up around mid-june.
What do you think of the new Fastpass+ system?


Bloglovin | Twitter | Instagram | Youtube | Beauty Blog

Friday, 9 May 2014

Post- Disney ICP Travel Advice


I’ve had a few questions about travelling in America after the Disney International College Program so thought I would make a post to address some of these. On the J-1 Visa you will have 30 days after you’re finish date to travel around America. This gives plenty of time to hit lots of different places! I’m not going to lie, it can be expensive so have some money set aside for it. Of course you will be getting paid while working for Disney to make sure to save some spending money. I will talk about costs in abit though!

Firstly I want to talk about travel buddies and deciding where to visit. Some people decide who to travel with very early on. I already had my travel group sorted by the end of November (we found out we got onto the program on the 2nd). I was lucky that two of the girls I met at interviews, Becky and Jennifer were interested in travelling to the same places as me, so we made a separate conversation/chat on facebook for it. I believe we also asked on the general facebook group for another person to travel with, to which Rachel then joined our little party. We discussed places we wanted to visit and had a look on the internet for good deals on flights and accommodation. Rachel organized a lot of the itinerary around the number of days we all agreed to stay in each place. One thing I would recommend is travel in a four. Alot of hotel rooms in America charge per room, and most rooms have 2 double beds, so it will work out cheaper. Don’t worry if you haven't found anybody yet though or still haven't decided what to do. Booking a flexible flight back from the US is the best plan of action as you can change it then if your plans change. Ask around in the Facebook group, but I would suggest having a plan beforehand. When in Florida you will still have a group of British friends, but everyone disperses to hang out with room-mates, work colleagues etc so it will be more difficult to find a travel buddy. I don’t think i ever actually hung out with Becky in Disney, and only really went out with Rachel twice! As we did already have everything booked and planned though, we didn't have to worry about it.


Next is the actual booking. We all agreed on flight times and days, booking the domestic through the Vrigin America website. Our homeward flight was booked as a return when choosing the initial flight to America, travelling home from JFK in New York. We also booked accommodation before going out there, staying at two hotels and one apartment. For the hotels, we booked through and made sure to read reviews, find a great price and make sure we were in a good location. Now New York was different. Hotels in Manhattan are very expensive, so we took another route and booked an apartment through Air B&B. We spent alot less than we would have staying in a hotel and got to experience a different side of New York. I could almost imagine that I lived there… almost haha!


Finally, I’m going to talk about costs. My two Virgin America flights cost $337.80 while the Vrigin Atlantic flight was £583.37 return, I’m counting that as separate though as that was needed anyway. For LA, staying at Quality Inn Near Hollywood Walk of Fame for 5 nights, it was $655 (tax not included) split between the four of us. Our hotel in Anaheim was a Travelodge at $267 (tax not included) for 3 nights, split between the four of us. The costs were paid upon arrival, so it would be easy enough to save some wages up for them. The apartment on the other hand, we had to pay upfront. It worked out at £186.50 each for 6 nights. All together It worked out at just over £500 each for the trip (aka accommodation and flights), not including food, Disneyland park tickets, the New York pass and the 3 nights we spent at a Disney resort before starting our adventure. I personally took £700 with me for spend on a FairFX card plus whatever was left from my Disney wages. I did end up adding another £100 - £200 to the FairFX card (cant remember exactly how much) while I was travelling and did get paid a final Disney pay check of $200 also. It is expensive, but completely worth it as I probably wont get another chance to visit these places for a long long time. I got a job in my third year purely to save for Disney and travelling. I worked hard and worked lots of hours at Disney to be able to afford what i spend on merchandise and travel. It was the best experience of my life and worth every penny. Besides, how much does a 2 week trip to Disney World normally cost?

I hope this gave you a little insight to travelling after your Disney ICP and if you have any more questions please feel free to comment or tweet me (@hippymeow)! I also realised I didnt actually post about my time in LA, Disneyland and NY, so expect to see some photo diaries coming up!


Bloglovin | Twitter | Instagram | Youtube | Beauty Blog