A Magical Evening Aboard The Pirates And Pals Fireworks Voyage

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One of my Little Peter Pan’s favourite special events at the Walt Disney World Resort is the Pirates and Pals Fireworks Voyage. It’s hard to believe that the cruise was one of the first special events we ever brought Quinn to back in 2013 and he loves it just as much as he did back when he was two! Today I’m going to talk about our most recent Voyage during our trip in January where Quinn, Kevin and I were lucky enough to be invited along to by a friend.

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The cruise sets sail nightly from the Contemporary Resort and provides a fantastic entertainment including a spectacular view of the Magic Kingdom fireworks from Seven Seas Lagoon and Quinn’s favourite part, the characters! We were staying at Bay Lake Tower, so with a short ten minute walk and we were at the check in desk on the second floor. We were met by a Cast Member who gave us our pirate bandanas and assigned us a row number on Hook’s boat for the evening. Depending on demand Hook and Smee each have a boat, but this evening there was just the one. We went on a little scavenger hunt around the third floor of the Contemporary to which Quinn received some pirate treasure upon completion which was right up his street! We had a little time to spare, so we found the colouring station that had been set up and Quinn happily coloured until the doors to the opened.

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Pirate Patch welcomed us in and announced that some special guests would be joining us, Captain Hook and Smee. Quinn ran over and immediately started interacting with Hook! I love how much he adores meeting with the characters at Walt Disney World and Hook and Smee are certainly two of his favourite characters. A Disney Photopass Photographer was present and took lots of fun shots for us which was wonderful. After Little Peter had battled the pirates, it was time to grab a snack. Available on the evening were chips and salsa, fruit, pretzels, cotton candy, cookies, mini cakes and a selection of ice cream bars. Drinks included water, coffee, lemonade and pirate punch. There was a large treasure chest filled with chocolate coins and Quinn had the time of his life playing along with Captain Hook and Smee as they hid and stole one another’s coins! The atmosphere was very relaxed and the characters went around dancing with the children to the pirate music playing in the background.

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Pirate Patch gave a five minute reminder to anyone that needed to use the restroom before boarding the boat, as important to note there are no bathrooms on board! Quinn was announced as Flag Bearer and First Mate to our surprise! We have been on the Pirates and Pals Voyage many times before and he has never had this opportunity, so to say he was delighted was un understatement! We headed to the boat dock and Quinn walked with Captain Hook bearing his flag, if only Peter Pan could have saw him! Hook and Smee waved us goodbye as we headed out to Seven Seas Lagoon. As we sailed around the resorts, Pirate Patch lead the singing and cracked some funny (or terrible) jokes.

 

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It was then time for the breathtaking view of Happily Ever After fireworks. It truly is a wonderful experience and brings me to tears each time. Walt Disney World means so much to our family and knowing we had to say goodbye the next day made it a very emotional evening. As the boat headed back to the Contemporary, Captain Patch hosted a quiz with a treasure chest filled with prizes which he handed to all the children on board. There was time for just one more treat but I wouldn’t want to ruin the surprise as to what or who it was!

Pirates and Pals Voyage is currently $75 plus tax per adult and $45 plus tax for kids aged 3-9 but prices are subject to change. It really is a night of swashbuckling fun and we cant wait to join the adventure again soon!

Alannah x

Storybook Dining Magic At Artist Point With Snow White

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Our favourite dining experience from our latest Walt Disney World trip was Storybook Dining at Artist Point with Snow White. The new character dining began in December, a few days before we set off on our travels and we managed to get our hands on a much sought after reservation. We were eagerly anticipating the meal as we love character dining and had read wonderful reviews about the restaurant.

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Artist Point is situated in Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort and prior to Storybook Dining it was a signature restaurant. We were staying at Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort and made our way over on the water transportation . My Little Peter Pan, or should I say Snow’s Little Prince, could hardly contain his excitement and had been waiting our whole trip to meet the characters. We had previously met the Seven Dwarfs at past Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas and Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween parties over at the Magic Kingdom. Snow White is a favourite of Quinn’s so we have been lucky enough to meet her several times over the years, but never the Evil Queen and he was very intrigued as to what he would say about his outfit!

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As it turned out our table was directly across from where the Evil Queen met, so Quinn watched her from afar the whole evening and they shared a few stare outs! We were greeted at our table with menus that were set out like a storybook, which I thought fit in fantastically with the whole theme of the experience. Each guest also received a pre signed “poison apple” card, but the characters did also sign Quinn’s autograph book on the evening. We ordered some themed non alcoholic speciality drinks, Transformation Potion, Through The Forest and In The Clouds to accompany our starters. They were fun and mainly very sweet! Our shared appetisers were then delivered to the spinning trees placed on our table and consisted of Winter Squash Bisque which was my favourite, Hunter’s Pie and Wicked Shrimp Cocktail.

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“The Core of the Story” entrees followed as chosen from the menu. Our table went with Royal Prime Rib Roast, A Stroll Through Nature, Brothers Grimm Roasted Chicken and the Prince and Princess Pasta and chicken Tenders from the Children’s entrees. Each dish was adequately portioned, well presented and left us full before it was time for dessert! The shared desserts consisted of Miners Treasure, “Poison Apple”, Fairy Tale Gooseberry Pie and of course The Hunter’s Gift To The Queen which was served to our table in a trinket box.

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Throughout the meal, Snow White, Dopey and Grumpy visited our table and Quinn also joined in some dancing with Snow White and Grumpy. Our server then informed us that The Evil Queen was ready to greet us. Quinn was a little scared to stand too close but did a good job as she is rather intimidating! A Disney Photopass Photogtapher was present and he took a variety of pictures for us and we didn’t feel rushed at all which was fantastic.

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The current price of the character dining is $55 per person plus tax and gratuity and $33 for children plus tax and gratuity or one table service entitlement for those using the Disney Dining Plan. The whole experience was extremely well thought out and I would thoroughly recommend it. We will most definitely return later in the year with our Little Prince for another adventure!

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Alannah x

Christmas Eve Magic At The Disney Vacation Club Holiday Dinner 2018

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On Christmas Eve we were lucky enough to attend the Disney Vacation Club Holiday Dinner in The Fasntasia Ballroom at Disneys Contemporary Resort. We had high expectations for the evening having attended the event the previous year and thoroughly enjoyed all it had to offer.

Aside from the wonderful food, the main reason we attend DVC events is for our love of the unique character offerings available. This event was a little on the pricey side at almost $80 plus tax and gratuity per adult and $40 plus tax and gratuity for children, but it was our little family’s Christmas treat and seeing Quinn’s eyes light up whilst interacting with the characters made it all worthwhile.

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As we entered the ballroom, the Voices of Liberty were performing holiday songs and it felt very festive and magical. Meeting Mickey and Minnie in their festive outfits by the fireplace was our first stop, followed by dinner at our appointed table. The tables were set beautifully with the floral centrepiece designed to take home with you that evening. The food was served buffet style and dedicated servers visited each table taking drink orders. The theming of the food for the event was “Holiday dishes from around the world” with traditional food such as pot roast, chicken and vegetables on offer. There was a separate food section available for children which included chicken nuggets and Mickey-Roni and cheese. The desserts were a highlight for me, particularly the cheesecake which was to die for! After dinner there was a hot chocolate and warm apple cider station you could visit and add whipped cream, marshmallows and even candy canes!

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To our surprise, Pluto and Goofy arrived wearing their adorable holiday outfits from Hong Kong Disneyland. My Little Peter Pan couldn’t wait to fly over and give them both the biggest hug. They played and threw snowballs at each other and it was the cutest thing! As an added surprise, Donald and Daisy then arrived also in their outfits from Hong Kong Disneyland. Donald gave Quinn the biggest hug and they flew together before posing for a picture which was adorable!

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We have two upcoming Disney Vacation Club events to look forward to this year during our trips, Moonlight Magic at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Typhoon Lagoon. I can’t wait  to see what’s in store!

Alannah x

Starting the New Year Off With Magic At Bay Lake Tower

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As sad as we were to leave Animal Kingdom Lodge on January 1st, we were very excited to continue our stay at another of our favourite resorts, Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. Bay Lake Tower isn’t one of our home resorts, but we have made so many magical memories here it will always feel like home to us. With it being a short walk away from the Magic Kingdom we were ready to spend as much time in our favourite park as we possibly could. Of course my Little Peter couldn’t wait to adventure with Peter Pan!

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This was our third stay at the resort and our first time staying in a room in the inner circle. Im not going to lie, it was a little disappointing at first after previously staying in rooms with the most incredible views over the resort, the Monorail and Magic Kingdom. But after waking up on our first morning and watching the incredible sunrise over Bay Lake, I realised how lucky we were to be experiencing another part of this wonderful resort. The room layout in Bay Lake Tower is probably one of my favourites, particularly with the kitchen in the studios. It provides lots of storage and the perfect little area to do your hair and make up in the morning!

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Quinn couldn’t wait to channel his inner Prince Charming and visit the Cinderella Gingerbread Display on its last day of the season. I much prefer the Cinderella theme with the Castle in comparison to last years Frozen theme and it smelt incredible! The Cast Member who came over to talk with Quinn told us that none of the gingerbread goes to waste. I love the minimalistic approach to the holiday decorations at The Contemporary Resort. The oversized wreaths are gorgeous and of course as is the impressive outdoor tree.

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One of our favourite things to do at Bay Lake Tower is to visit Top of The World Lounge for dinner, drinks and to view the Fireworks from the rooftop. Its the perfect place to relax, unwind and chat about the days adventures. The light menu includes flatbreads, nachos, pulled pork sliders and the most impressive seven layer cake. I Love a glass of wine or Prosecco, while Kevin likes to sample the specialty cocktails and Quinn the non-alcoholic cocktails. The view of Happily Ever After is incredible and is always a tear jerker for me! The best part is then being able to carry a usually sleeping Quinn from the lift back down to our room.

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We have two more Walt Disney World stays to look forward to this year and I cant wait to see whats adventures are in store at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, Animal Kingdom Lodge and Polynesian Village.

Alannah x

Our Magical Christmas at Disneys Animal Kingdom Lodge

Disney depression has hit hard since our return from the Walt Disney World Resort two weeks ago, so I thought I would share the first part of our wonderful three week stay. We arrived December 23rd and stayed during Christmas, New Year and into January. It truly felt like we were there a lifetime during most magical holiday season but never wanted it to end!

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As we arrived at Animal Kingdom Lodge to check in, I cried with happiness at returning to the resort so close to our little family’s heart. The tree looked even prettier than I had remembered from last year and with a choir performing, the Jambo House Lobby fell still and was pure magical. Quinn turned to me with the biggest smile and suddenly all that mattered was that he was back in his happy place and I couldn’t wait to see what adventures lay in store for both him and us.

 

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Much to my Little Peter Pan’s delight, our room was in the perfect location overlooking the Uzima Springs Pool in the Giraffe Trail. The weather was beyond lovely during our stay, so luckily for Quinn he got to explore the pool quite a few times. Watching the sunrise and set is one of my favourite things to see at each Disney resort and the view from this room did not disappoint. I love the layout of the DVC rooms at Animal Kingdom Villas and as I’ve said before, the only thing missing for me is the pull down bed that provides just that little bit of extra space.

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We weren’t on any Disney Dining Plan this trip, but we couldn’t resist getting our hands on the Christmas themed resort refillable mugs which we use quite frequently during our Walt Disney World stays. As we were out at the parks for the most part of the day, we enjoyed ordering dinner from The Mara and bringing it back up to our room most evenings. We ate breakfast at Boma – Flavors of Africa which all three of us love for the great selection of foods available. As its such a large restaurant, last minute breakfast reservations can often be picked up at Boma from the My Disney Experience app.

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Santa paid a visit during our stay of course and left some gifts for Quinn. The smile on his face says it all! On New Years Eve we arrived back to the lobby just in time for the countdown to midnight. It was such a wonderful experience for us to ring in the New Year at a different home resort, as last year we spent it over at Disney’s Polynesian Villas and Bungalows. We said our heartfelt goodbyes the next morning as we continued our wonderful travels on to Bay Lake Tower at Disneys Contemporary Resort , but we will soon return in October for another magical stay.

Alannah x

 

Body Shop Enchanted Forest Blogger Christmas Event

On Tuesday I spent the evening at The Body Shop at their latest Blogger event. You may remember my post from the last Body Shop Event back in September. I was very excited in the lead up to the after hours Enchanted Forest event, as I adore Christmas and couldn’t wait to sample the new festive range.

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Upon arrival I was greeted with a glass of Bucks Fizz and a goody bag containing samples of The Body Shops best selling products which included, Mango Body Yoghurt, Peppermint Intensive Cooling Foot Rescue and their Tea Tree 3 in 1 Wash Scrub Mask. The lovely staff members introduced themselves and gave us a run down of the event, which included hand massages and skincare and make up consultations. The store was filled with festive gift sets and set to the theme of Re-Wild the World , which is their current campaign. The Body Shop will help to protect and re-wild over ten million square metres of forest England and Armenia, as part of the World Bio Bridges Mission. A contribution from very purchase made during November and December will be donated to their partners, Woodland Trust and World Land Trust. So far The Body Shop customers have helped re-wild 714,371 square metres of forest so far this Christmas.

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I headed straight to the skincare section and picked myself up some Vanilla Marshmallow, Peppermint Candy Cane and Berry Bon Bon Hand Creams. I live for the Body Shops hand creams and each scent is wonderful and so festive. I chose out a Strawberry Delights Bag that included a bath gel, body butter and hand cream as the scent is just marvelous! I chose out a Peppermint Candy Cane shower gel and Reindeer Bath Bomb for Quinn as its his favourite scent. I also picked up a Tea Tree 3 in 1 Wash Scrub Mask which he loves.

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The Personalised Body Butters are back and at the end of the evening we each received one of our choice. I chose the Vanilla Marshmallow as it was so sweet and my favourite scent by far.

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Thanks for another great night Body Shop. I am already looking forward to the next event, but will be enjoying all these new products in the meantime.

Alannah x

A Magical Weekend In London

Although our main reason for our visit to London was for Quinn to attend a special event at the Bafta Picadilly, we also had time to take in some of the sights. Today I’m going talk about our favourite places we like to visit as a family in London, and all it has to offer.

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Saturday

If you follow my Little Peter Pan account on Instagram, you will know how much Quinn adores Peter Pan. The Hyde Park area of London shares so much of author J.M Barrie’s heritage, from the Princess Diana Memorial Playground, to the Peter Pan Statue in Kensington Gardens and his old home across the street in Bayswater where Peter Pan was written. Quinn feels right at home here and could spend hours exploring the playwark with its Mermaid Lagoon area, Hangman’s tree and its magnificent Jolly Roger pirate ship. It truly is a magical place to us and no trip to London would be complete without a visit here.

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Quinn had been saving some money to buy Lego, so a visit to the Lego Store in Leicester Square was planned. This was our second visit and its such a fun experience. I love the models you can take a picture with, particularly the Tube. As we await the arrival of new Disney sets (hint hint Lego!), Quinn decided to add some Lego Ninjago to his ever growing collection.

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Bubba Gump Shrimp Co is where we chose to eat dinner on the Saturday night. I don’t like fish of any kind, but I do love their burgers and the theme of the restaurant. Quinn loves it too, I think the reason being the “Jenny” boat the kids meals are served in! To end our evening, we decided to take a walk around and admire the beautiful Christmas decorations on display. Piccadilly Circus and Regent Street were as busy as I had ever seen them, but it felt so Christmasy. A quick trip to Hamley’s was followed by a tube trip back to the hotel to catch some much needed rest for the day ahead.

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Sunday

We decided to head back to Piccadilly Circus early morning, to show Quinn that it isn’t always as chaotic as it was the night before! We had time for a little walk around the Theatreland and as you may know, my little Peter Pan is obsessed with musicals. He was delighted to see where Thriller, Les Miserables, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Matilda and School of Rock were housed.

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It was Mickey Mouses 90th birthday and it would have been rude not to visit the Oxford Street Disney Store to celebrate right? Quinn was chosen to open the store during their opening ceremony and got the best surprise when Mickey and Minnie appeared to help him. He was gifted one of the Mickey Mouses 90th birthday keys, and I swear the magic follows him wherever he goes! We had a lovely time viewing and taking home some new merchandise and also meeting some friendly faces including Danielle Nicole who creates the most magical handbags and purses.

Quinn had been longing to see School of Rock for such a long time and we finally made it happen for him. The show was simply amazing and he rocked the whole evening in his seat! We stopped by to visit Little Ben seen as Big Ben was being refurbished and to end our weekend we chose to eat at our favourite spot in London, Hard Rock Cafe. The food was outstanding as always and we couldn’t leave London without a slice of Oreo Cheesecake!

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All good things have to come to an end unfortunately and we are now counting the days until our next adventure, Christmas at Walt Disney World! We created our first family Vlog during our weekend and you can find it over on my Youtube channel.

Alannah x

 

 

Horrid Henry Event At Bafta Piccadilly

Last weekend our little family made the 500 mile trip to London for something very exciting indeed. My Little Peter Pan received an invitation from Rubies UK to attend a Horrid Henry event held at The Bafta 195 Piccadilly. The event was arranged by Novel Entertainment, and today I’m going to talk about the event and our experience at the iconic venue.

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Quinn was of course beyond excited and chose to wear his Horrid Henry outfit that Rubies UK had sent him previously. The event showcased three brand new Horrid Henry episodes that Quinn giggled his way through! Henry really is Horrid and leaves everyone gasping in delight at the trouble he manages to get himself in to! Two preview episodes were screened, followed by a Q and A with series writer and producer Lucinda Whiteley, and voice actors Lizzie Waterworth-Santo and Aiden Cook. Quinn couldn’t believe it when he discovered that Lizzie is the voice behind Horrid Henry himself, Aiden being the voice behind his favourite character Miss Battle-Axe.

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The Q and A itself gave an insight into what it takes to make a Horrid Henry episode and how much work goes into each one. The voice actors were each given an opportunity to share why they chose their career and how they landed their roles. Lizzie Waterworth-Santo gave an exceptionally relatable talk about staying true to yourself and never to let anyones negative opinions hold you back. She encouraged the audience to always belief in yourself and your abilities, and set a fantastic example for the children present. A few upcoming secrets were revealed, so stay tuned to Horrid Henry to find out what they may be!

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The third preview episode was shown, then the presenters of the event Dick and Dom asked everyone to put on their Horrid Henry masks that were kindly given to us by Mask-arade and took a selfie with the audience. I saw the captured shot later and it looked brilliant, such a fun memory! We were given the opportunity to meet Dick and Dom on stage after the event and Quinn got all giddy!

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The whole event was such a wonderful experience, and I can’t thank Rubies UK enough for allowing my seven year old to travel to London and represent his favourite brand at the Bafta Piccadilly. 

Alannah x

Five Reasons Why I love Disney’s Polynesian Resort

Having already written my top five reasons why I love Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, I couldn’t leave out our third Disney Vacation Club home resort, Disneys Polynesian Villas and Bungalows. Polynesian is my Little Peter Pan’s favourite Walt Disney World Resort to stay at, and he has loved it ever since our first ever stay there. Its very family orientated, with so many things to see and lots of activities to take part in.

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1 Location

Located right in the heart of the Monorail Loop, Polynesian Village certainly has the best location in the whole of Walt Disney World if you ask me. Overlooking the Magic Kingdom, it boasts the most spectacular views across Seven Seas Lagoon and the front of the park, as well as Cinderella Castle and Space Mountain. Disney transportation is at its very best at the Polynesian, with the Monorail taking you directly to the Magic Kingdom or Epcot. The Transportation and Ticket Center is just a few minutes walk from the Disney Vacation Club side of the resort, enabling you to access the Monorail directly to Epcot or the Ferry over to the Magic Kingdom. Water Taxis run throughout the day and night across the Lagoon and a bus service to the parks is also available.

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2 The Beach

The Polynesian beach is just wonderful! A quiet, little haven by day where you can sit on a swing and watch the (Disney) world go by, and come night the perfect viewing area to watch the Magic Kingdom fireworks light up the sky. Quinn loves spending time playing in the sand, building sandcastles and even making friends with the resident ducks! Roasting marshmallows on the campfire is a family favourite of ours and its a great opportunity to meet other guests and their families, and to talk with Cast Members.

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3 Recreation and Amenities 

Polynesian Village has two large pools on property, the Oasis and Lava Pools, and the most wonderful Tiki themed kids water play area. It’s no surprise as to why this is Quinn’s favourite resort for the amount of fun on offer here for families. As well as the play area, the Lava Pool also boasts a volcano with a waterslide and waterfall and Quinn has enjoyed many afternoons participating in the poolside activities. Kevin and Quinn love to hire a Pontoon boat and sail the Seven Seas Lagoon looking for Captain Hook! I prefer to keep my feet on land, but it’s very relaxing watching them from the beach.

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4 Dining

Our favourite restaurant is Ohana and we could eat dinner here literally every evening! The family style food is to die for, the cousins (Cast Members) make us feel so welcome and if you are lucky, you may even get to experience the Magic Kingdom fireworks or the  Electrical Water Pageant from your table. Whats even more wonderful is that you can have the feast sent to your room as private dining! Capt. Cooks, or Hook’s as Quinn calls it, is the perfect quick service location and Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto and Tiki Terrace is right next door serving unique drinks and snacks. We also love Kona Cafe for the best breakfast pancakes and Tonga Toast of course!

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5 Theming

I love the beautiful Polynesian theming of the Resort and its amazing smell! The Tiki Statue in the Great Ceremonial House is well known, and the theming continues through to the villas and bungalows decor. The studios are beautiful and roomy, I love the extra bathroom and Quinn loves the pull down bed featuring his good friend Stitch. Kevin loves the views from the balcony, which can be anything from a Theme Park View, to a standard view featuring views of the gardens, pool and the Monorail. On two of our stays we have been lucky enough to have a view of the fireworks from our balcony!

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The worst part about having three separate home resorts, is choosing which ones to visit each trip! We will have to wait until October for our next Polynesian stay, but it is well worth the wait!

Alannah x

Practically Perfect Scents – A Magical Filled Review

If you follow me on Instagram you will know how much I love to support small shops, particularly ones from the UK. Prior to its opening last week, I was lucky enough to be sent some inspired wax melts to sample from Practically Perfect Scents. Today I am going to talk a little about what I recieved and what this lovely little store has to offer.

Practically Perfect scents store just opened this week and I am already in love with what they have to offer. Filled with bespoke Disney inspired wax melts and candles, the store has many of your favourite parks and resorts scents on offer from Mouse Waffles to Savannah View. Hand poured in the UK, your prefered scent can also be made to order in a reed diffuser or even a car fragrance.

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Being Little Peter Pan’s Mum, of course it was only fitting that the lovely Natalie sent some Peter Pan inspired wax melts for Quinn and I to sample. Having no idea what was inside, the excitement was real for Quinn as he opened our package! He recognised right away from the beautiful smell of chocolate and mint, that the shapes inside of the bubble wrap were indeed wax melts.

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First unwrapped were the Neverland and Hook wax melts. I must admit that I was very impressed with the simple attention to detail on each package and the lovely bow caught my eye straightaway. You all know that I’m a sucker for a bow! The smell that came from the Hook pack was just amazing, not like his usual Codfish scent! Black Cherry and Liquorice is the scent and we both loved it so much, we chose to burn this one first. Quite ironic that a Never Land loving family chooses Hook first right? I cant even describe how lovely our house smelt as the the wax was melting, I could compare it only to the smell of a cherry Airhead only much sweeter and pleasant. The Neverland inspired wax melt comes in a scent of dreamy lavender and vanilla and it smells just that, dreamy for sure.

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The next two clam shell wax melts Quinn unwrapped were Pan, Lost Boys and also a small Wax Mouse Waffle Brittle Bag. Pan’s scent is Fresh Forest Pine, an absolutely perfect fragrance for Peters sense of adventure! Quinn thought that the Lost Boys melt smelt like chocolate ice-cream and he was very close, Chocolate Mint is the fragrance and it is just lovely. The Mouse Waffles scent of Hot Waffles with Syrup from the small brittle bag is absolutely incredible, just wow! As soon as it started to melt, I felt as if I wasn’t in my living room but standing in line at the Plaza ice-cream Parlour on Main Street! Whats also amazing is how it looked as it melted, so cute and sparkly I could have watched it all evening!

If you are missing the scents of the Walt Disney World Resort, head on over to Practically Perfect Scents and look for your favourite. I for one cant wait for the Christmas scents, I can smell the Grand Floridians Gingerbread House already!

Alannah x