What to Know Before You Visit Disney World's Galaxy's Edge

Ignite the Spark!

So, you’re planning on heading to Galaxy’s Edge. And it probably seems pretty daunting what with it being one of the biggest additions to Walt Disney World in the past few years. Trust me, I totally get it. When I went in for the very first time, I was completely overwhelmed. So much to see, so little time. It’s a different planet over there - literally! Today, I thought I’d do a little rundown on all things Galaxy’s Edge to get you ready for your own trip to Batuu.

You’re “On-Stage” In Batuu

You may not think much of the idea of Galaxy’s Edge being themed like a planet billions of lightyears away, especially if you aren’t much of a Star Wars fan. But it’s probably something you ought to keep in mind. When you’re in Galaxy’s Edge, you’re always “on-stage.” The Cast Members are in character as the residents of Batuu all the time. It’s really as if you’ve walked out of Disney World and into a completely different world. For starters, anything outside of Galaxy’s Edge does not exist when you’re in it. Want to locate a meet and greet with your favourite mouse? The residents of Batuu won’t know what you’re talking about. The residents really want you to feel like you’re somewhere far from home.

There’s A Special Lingo

Speaking of a whole new world, let’s talk lingo. Batuu is full of phrases that you’ve probably never heard before but that you’ll know by heart once you leave at the end of the day. When you enter the land or come across residents in the morning, you might be greeted with a “Bright Suns!” or in the evening, you might hear “Rising Moons!” When someone is wishing you a good day, they’ll say: “Til the spire!” In a place like Batuu, which is crawling with Stormtroopers, it’s definitely important for everyone to know who’s who. You gotta watch out for danger! So to let someone know that you’re with the First Order, you’d say: “For the Order,” or if you’re with the Resistance, you’d say: “Ignite the spark!” And you might wonder why a resident wishes you, “Safe travels” - well that’s because if you’re in Batuu, then you’re from a different planet and you’re travelling there! So, they’re wishing you safe travels home or wherever your journey make take you. It’s a lot to remember but the lingo really helps give the land a more immersive feel.

Advanced Reservations

Something about Galaxy’s Edge that’s super important to take note of is the option to make advanced reservations. Since the park opened to the public on August 29, guests have been able to make Advanced Reservations for Oga’s Catina, Savi’s Workshop, and Droid Depot. This is pretty huge because typically, advanced reservations are only available for dining venues. To have the option to make a reservation for popular experiences like lightsaber and droid building is huge as it’ll help you ensure that you get to experience all that Galaxy’s Edge has to offer! You can make reservations 180 days in advance so make sure to make your reservations as soon as possible! At this time, there is no option of Advanced Reservations or Fastpass+ for Smuggler’s Run, the Millennium Falcon ride. So, the bonus of making reservations for the other experiences is more time to queue up for Smuggler’s Run!

Alcoholic Beverages

One thing that is significantly different between Walt Disney World’s Galaxy’s Edge and Disneyland’s Galaxy’s Edge is the availability of alcoholic beverages. In Disneyland, the land is kept relatively dry except for the few cocktails you can purchase from Oga’s Cantina. But at Hollywood Studios, you’ll have no trouble finding booze - and that’s the same for Galaxy’s Edge! You can find alcoholic drinks at Ronto Roasters and Oga’s Cantina, as well as alcoholic blue and green milk. My parents actually tried the green milk (I was sadly one day from being legal, sad) and they really enjoyed it. The green milk is paired with tequila, while the blue milk is with rum. PRO TIP: If you’re not from the US and you plan to purchase a drink in Galaxy’s Edge, you’ll have to bring a passport (or photo of your passport) to present alongside your driver’s license as I.D.!!

You Can Make Use of Discounts

If you’re travelling to Batuu with a Walt Disney World Annual Pass, you’re in luck! Your pass can be used for discounts on merchandise inside the land. And you’re going to need that discount because there is a lot of fantastic merch available in Galaxy’s Edge that you are going to want to get your hands on and we ain’t made of money. Using your AP or “yellow card” (the official Batuu lingo for your pass) will save you a few bucks here and there while you're shopping and that’s really going to add up in the end! However, at this time, Annual Pass discounts are not available on the Savi’s Workshop or Droid Depot experiences* (*as of Sept 17, 2019). Just make sure you have your “credentials” (I.D.) on you at all times to confirm your pass!

I hope this guide helps you guys plan your trip to Galaxy’s Edge!

Felicia x


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Review: Droid Depot at Galaxy’s Edge

Hello everybody!

A little while back, I wrote up a lengthy post about my experience at the Annual Passholder Preview of Walt Disney World’s Galaxy’s Edge - that can be found here if you fancy giving it a read. Ever since I visited Galaxy’s Edge in August, my mind, body, and soul have been dying to go back. So I guess I’ll just have to live vicariously through my own experiences by writing up a ton of blog posts! Today, I thought I’d write up a post specifically about my experience at the Droid Depot.

First, let’s get the details out of the way. The Droid Depot is a store/experience located on the planet of Batuu, aka Galaxy’s Edge at Hollywood Studios. This is where you can build your very own droid pal to take home with you! The whole process costs $99.99 USD - this includes both the experience of building the droid, the actual droid itself, and a cardboard take-home box. You can also purchase a backpack to carry your droid in around the land, as it will interact with different features inside Galaxy’s Edge (more on that in a sec), but unfortunately, I didn’t notice them in the store so I’m not sure on the pricing of those. Lastly, you can pick up personality chips for $12.99 a piece. These will alter the sounds and behaviours of your droid, and are purchased after building the droid.

At the time that I built my droid, since it was during the AP Preview, they weren’t taking reservations at Droid Depot. Since then, guests of Batuu have been able to make reservations for this experience at My Disney Experience 180 days in advance. I would suggest trying to get a reservation as there is very limited space inside the depot, and it’s just safer that way!

The very first thing we did upon our arrival to Galaxy’s Edge, aside from getting Batuu Coke, was get in line for the Droid Depot. We waited about 30-35 minutes to get into the depot and the wait was all outside with only a couple scattered umbrellas for shade - take this another case for booking an advanced reservation for this experience! It was a very hot wait. Once we got inside, we were filed into another, much shorter line to pay. The very first thing you do is pay and then you get to build your droid. I think it just makes it easier for them to make sure everyone leaving with a droid has paid for that droid. Keep in mind, only 2 people are able to build 1 droid. So, my family of 4 had to split into 2 groups to make 2 separate droids. This is due to the tight building stations.

We got up to the counter, paid our $99.99, and then had to make a decision of which droid we wanted to build. You have two options: R2-series (which is similar to the real O.G. R2D2) or BB-series (the newer, BB-8 style). Steven and I already discussed this beforehand, which I recommend you and your building partner also do, so we were prepared for this question - and we chose BB-series! Of course, this doesn’t narrow you down to one uniform style of droid. In other words, the series doesn’t determine the colour or style of your droid, it only determines which parts you’ll need to pick up to start building. The depot workers handed us a tray with a guide to the parts we needed on the bottom and we headed over to the conveyor belt.

At the conveyor belt, you get to choose all the parts that will make up the final product of your droid. Several parts (Both R2-series and BB-series) roll by, and it’s up to you to find the parts you’re looking for in the styling and colour that you want. While the picture above is of the parts for an R2-series unit, which my parents built, you can get an idea of what the conveyor process looks like. They have an area you can set your tray down so that you can reach out for all the parts. There’s also Cast Members everywhere that are able to help you. Steven and I found our parts quite quickly because, again, we knew ahead of time what we wanted for our droid. I suggest doing the same. Look through blog posts, pictures, YouTube videos, and get an idea of what they offer in terms of droids parts, so you can decide ahead of time what you’re looking for. It’ll help make the process quicker and easier for you.

For a BB-series droid, we had 4 parts to locate - a dome, a dome connection plate, a body sphere, and a motivator. We also had the choice of 3 types of bodies - Resistance, BB8, or Imperial. We knew that we wanted ours to look just like BB-8, but with purple colouring, so we looked for those specific parts. It honestly took less than 2 minutes to find all the parts we needed. A Cast Member found us as we were picking the last part up and sent us over to an empty station where we got to work on making our new friend.

I can’t even describe how easy it was to put together this droid. I think that the Imagineers made this a simple process so that kids would be able to do all the constructing if they wanted to. There is an instruction placemat on the building station which you can easily reference while you put the pieces together. While there were some tricky spots, like connecting the dome and dome connection plate with a drill (harder than it sounds!), it was pretty straightforward and again, there are Cast Members everywhere to help. Once we got all our parts put together, we pressed a button on the station that called over a CM - and that’s where the magic happens! The CM puts your droid inside a little cubby with a remote control and has you press a button on the station that activates your droid. There’s a whole sequence where buttons light-up and it makes noises, I think kids will love that. And then your droid powers up and starts moving/making noises!

Lastly, the CM gave us the droid and remote to test out the functions. Be warned - the BB-series units are super touchy with the remote. The slightest touch of a button will send your droid hurtling across the room. Many a times has the head popped right off ours (don’t worry, it’s an easy fix, you just pop it right back on lol). We stuck mostly to testing out the head movement and noise functions. Then, the CM puts your droid and remote into a cardboard box with a little cut-out in the side, sort of like what you’d get when you made a Build A Bear. And that’s it! You get to take your little bud out of the depot and home with you.

Or, why not take your droid exploring around Batuu? As I mentioned earlier, the droids interact with different features and areas around the land. For example, since ours was a BB-8 droid, when we brought it into the First Order area, it started making uncertain nosies and physically shaking. Like, the whole box was quivering - because he was scared of getting caught by the First Order, of course! At one point, Chewie or Rey (can’t remember which) walked by, and our droid started getting excited. At this time, you aren’t able to take your droids out to roll around on the ground in Batuu. You can take them out to hold and get a picture of, as long as you put them right back into the box. This is because of the safety concerns of having a droid rolling around the feet of many, many visitors walking around the land. It’s also a case for buying the backpack, which you can open up so your droid can “see” the land. Or just put it in your own backpack and leave it unzipped to be honest.

All in all, I think the Droid Depot experience is definitely worth the price. Although the Savi’s Workshop lightsaber building experience is way cool, it is a lot more expensive. So if you’re worried about spending $200 on a toy your kid might break in a week (it happens!), or you don’t want to spend that kind of money on yourself, but you really want a cool experience and keepsake from Batuu, I would absolutely recommend getting a droid. I went in thinking it would be cute to get a droid, but never expected I’d be so impressed. The droids are really good quality and the function on them is excellent. And the interactivity with the land is worth the price alone!!

Would you build a droid, if you had the opportunity?

Felicia x


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Galaxy's Edge Annual Passholder Preview | August 19, 2019

Bright suns, my loves!

Last month, I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to travel to Galaxy’s Edge at Walt Disney World before the land officially opened to the public. With no hint of exaggeration, I’m here to tell you that it was one of the most incredible, immersive experiences that I have ever had at Disney World. My first thought after leaving the land was, Oh my gosh, I need to blog about that… So here I am, ready to share my thoughts and opinions with y’all, even though nobody asked for ‘em! Grab yourself a cup of coffee, hot cocoa, or Blue Milk, as this one’s going to be a long one today!

If you haven’t been keeping up with the Star Wars-related news, the new themed land, Galaxy’s Edge, opened to the public at Disney’s Hollywood Studios on August 29. The land took up the space that was once occupied by Streets of America and the Studio Backlot Tour. This land has been a long-time coming, and any and every Star Wars fan has been dying for their chance to step into this new, highly imaginative land. The area is devoted entirely to the world of Star Wars, and while it is based on the film franchise, the land actually represents Batuu, a planet on the Outer Rim Territories - which is not featured in the films. That means that the land isn’t just a carbon copy of anything you’ve ever seen before. It’s entirely original and has it’s own (new!) story to share, while integrating stories and characters that fans know and love.

Awhile back, my family heard the news that Disney would be giving Walt Disney World Platinum Annual Passholders the opportunity to preview Galaxy’s Edge sometime in August. Luckily, we were spending the whole month in Orlando. So we spent the summer frantically checking our emails until we finally heard on Facebook that the emails had been sent out - but we hadn’t received ours. However, we got super lucky as someone posted the registration link and I managed to get the four of us an appointment to preview on August 19 at 1pm. Yay!! Our preview appointment was from 1pm to 5pm, so we were permitted to be in the land for 4 glorious hours.

On August 19, we arrived at Hollywood Studios around 12pm so that we were there well in advance. There was no way we were missing our appointment! One of the first things we did was head through the shops down Hollywood Boulevard and then Sunset Boulevard. There were a few Galaxy’s Edge items for sale in the shops on Hollywood Blvd, but there were a ton down at Once Upon a Time, which is the last shop on the right before Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage and Fantasmic. They had Magicbands, t-shirts, pins and more. Some of the items for purchase were passholder exclusives, which made sense as it was the passholder preview day… But a few items were available to the general public. We ended buying a bunch of pins and each of us bought a t-shirt with the date on it.

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Around 12:30pm, we made our way over to Grand Avenue which is where the largest entrance to Galaxy’s Edge is located. Despite being 30 minutes early for our appointment, they actually allowed us in anyway which was amazing. The more time in the land, the better! The check-in process for the preview was so efficient. I couldn’t believe how quickly and smoothly it went. It was so fast that I could barely process it was happening. At the first Cast Member checkpoint, we presented our confirmation email and our passports for identification. Then, at the next checkpoint, the CM scanned our MagicBands. There were so many CMs at the checkpoints, about a dozen at each, so there was no line whatsoever. And that was it! We could go inside! We went through this large archway which looked like a subway entrance. As you passed through, the tiles on the wall started to look deteriorated and eventually, by the end, it looked like a tunnel that was falling apart which perfectly suited the general aesthetic of the land.

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Upon entering the land, I was completely and utterly awestruck. Everyone I know who had already been to Galaxy’s Edge, either in Disneyland or Disney World, had gone on about how large everything is. But until you actually stand among the rocks and the buildings, you don’t realize just how massive everything is. If you’re wondering about sightlines and the likelihood of seeing other park attractions from inside Galaxy’s Edge, you can’t. I was worried that you might be able to see things from other areas of Hollywood Studios, which might ruin the feel of the land, but I didn’t see anything while I was in there. You are wholly immersed in Batuu from the moment you enter the land to the moment you leave.

One of the very first things we did upon our arrival into Batuu was hop into a line at a beverage kiosk to grab ourselves some special galactic Coke products. In Batuu, there is no such thing as Coke - although, you can still get these fizzy products. Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite, and Dasani are all available inside the land in these ‘scrap metal’ containers that resemble detonators. The only difference with these products to regular Coke products is the label. Gone is the logo we know and love, replaced with an Aurebesh logo… Aurebesh being the written language used in Batuu, of course. Honestly, this is just overpriced Coke in cute plastic bottles. But while there is no such thing as Coke here in Batuu, there is such thing as heat. It is hot in this land y’all, especially in the dead of summer. These are the only drink products they sell in the land (at least when I was there), so if you’re not up to paying an exorbitant fee for pop, then definitely bring your own drinks. The good news is, there are water bottle filling stations inside the park - and they’re themed, too!

Regardless, these bottles were a fun one-time experience and we kept them as souvenirs.

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Inside of Galaxy’s Edge, there are two major experiences that you can partake in that are not rides. The first and perhaps most popular is Savi’s Workshop where you can build your own “piece of scrap metal”… or at least, that’s what the residents of Batuu call it! What you’re really doing is building your own lightsaber in an intimate encounter with a fantastic storyline. While my family chose not to build lightsabers, we did choose to make our own customizable droids at the Droid Depot. Both experiences are quite pricey, but comparatively, Savi’s is much more expensive. A lightsaber will set you back about $200 USD, whereas a droid only costs around $100. Before heading to the land, Steven and I already knew we wanted to build a droid, so we budgeted for that. When we got there, my parents also decided they wanted their own because hello, these things are so cute! I’ll put together a detailed review of the Droid Depot experience and link that here so you can read about that full process, if you’re interested.

As for the final product…

Ta-da! I present you BB-13, our little baby. Isn’t she cute?

One of the things I had heard the most buzz about before our trip to Batuu was the Milk Stand. If you’ve ever seen A New Hope, then you may remember Luke Skywalker pouring himself a seemingly disgusting glass of blue-coloured milk. Um, gross, right? Well, you can get some of that Blue Milk - or even some Green Milk - at Galaxy’s Edge! There’s a huge debate going on right now about which is better. I insisted on trying these two milks because when in Rome, right? Or, rather, when in Batuu. Anyway, after trying both, I’m ready to weigh in on the debate… I’m going to have to side with Team Blue Milk! After sipping both, I couldn’t accurately describe the taste of either. Others say that the green is more of a plant-y, tropical taste, whereas the blue is more fruity. I agree with that.

Unlike Luke’s disgusting milk though, these aren’t actual milk products. They’re instead frosty drinks made of coconut and rice milks. The Blue Milk is a subtle combination of dragon fruit, pineapple, lime, and watermelon flavours. The Green Milk is instead made up of mandarin orange, passion fruit, grapefruit, and orange blossom. Neither were very strong in taste, but were both very refreshing. I wasn’t so sure about the consistency when I first heard about it, but I actually really enjoyed it. Both reminded me of smoothies.

Also, at Walt Disney World’s Galaxy’s Edge, you can get both of these milks as alcoholic options! The Blue Milk comes with rum, while Green Milk comes with tequila. I’d love to try the Blue Alcoholic Milk the next time I go.

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And then, the moment we’ve all been waiting for… We came across the most incredible and majestic of all… The fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy! THE MILLENNIUM FREAKING FALCON. I gotta tell you, there is nothing that could have prepared me for seeing the Millennium Falcon in person. It is MASSIVE. I don’t even know if I can put into words how magical it was to stand in front of it. I couldn’t believe - and still cannot believe - how authentic it looked. I think that even non-fans will be impressed by the sheer size and detail of the Millennium Falcon replica in Galaxy’s Edge. The imagineering that went into this land is simply inspiring and I applaud absolutely everyone who took part in the creation of this marvellous place!

As some, if not most, of you may know, the Millennium Falcon structure is home to Smuggler’s Run, the land’s only attraction currently open. It will be accompanied by a second ride, Rise of the Resistance, later this year in December. Smuggler’s Run is a simulation-based thrill ride in which you take on a role to function the very spaceship that stands before you. That’s right, you get to operate and ride the Millennium Falcon! Unfortunately, I didn’t go on this ride as I don’t do well with simulation rides. But Steven and my dad went on and loved it!! I’m so excited to see what the new ride has in store for us! Hopefully, I’ll be able to ride that one.

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Something I really liked about the set-up of Galaxy’s Edge is the area surrounding the Millennium Falcon. First, they have a raised platform with PhotoPass photographers available to take your photo with the Falcon in the background. Then, down a few steps, you’re right in front of the ship. This is where the entrance to the ride is located. The area is fully blocked off, as you can see by the fencing behind me in the picture, so the front of the Falcon is really just a photo op area. Whether because of the AP Preview being so quiet or because of this set-up, we managed to get really good photos in front of the Falcon with no one in the background. If you go to Disney World often, you’ll know how much of a treat this is! I was so happy with the photos we got and I’ll be framing them all, I’m sure.

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Although I’m steadfastly with the Resistance (Ignite the Spark!), I was very much looking forward to making my way over to the First Order area of the land. Sorry, guys. Ya girl loves her Kylo Ren. Sadly though, I never came across Kylo!! We saw a ton of other characters roaming the land… Chewie, Rey, Vi Moradi, and about a dozen Stormtroopers. But we never did see our luscious-locked baddie. I’m not really sure why that was. We were inside the land for 4 hours and walked around the entire thing a few times, but just never saw him! Hopefully, the next time we travel intergalactically, we stumble upon our favourite First Order leader.

And there ya go, that was our day in Galaxy’s Edge! Overall, our experience was perfection. Everything from the details of the architecture to the extent to which Cast Members stayed in character was so impressive. When we finally, and begrudgingly, left the land at the end of our preview, we felt so strange walking back into Hollywood Studios. Being inside Galaxy’s Edge truly felt like being in a different world - or at least in a different park! Of course, we shopped until we dropped inside the land, and hopefully soon I’ll be able to post a Galaxy’s Edge haul for you guys.

I hope you enjoyed my extra long post about my time in Galaxy’s Edge! Talk soon, my lovelies.

Felicia x

Disney Parks Halloween Merchandise Wishlist | 2019

~*~ It’s spooky season! ~*~

I gotta tell ya, I love Halloween. I can’t even explain why. I’m not really a ‘horror’ person - I couldn’t watch a scary movie to save my life, jump-scares give me panic attacks, and I cringe at the sight of blood. But I just love the cozy autumnal feeling of Halloween, especially of the not-so-scary persuasion. Disney checks off every box on my list for giving off the perfect Halloween vibes. Every August, when Disney’s Magic Kingdom park is transformed into a Halloween town (no, not that Halloweentown sadly), I’m enamoured. I want nothing less than to live in that little fictional town, on Main Street U.S.A., among the scarecrows and jack-o’-lanterns.

One of the best parts of Disney’s Halloween is also one of the best parts of Disney in general: merch. As you can imagine, Disney goes full-out with their Halloween goods. It usually goes out for sale around the same time as the first Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party of the season which just so happened to be a lot earlier than usual this year, haunting Magic Kingdom on August 16 this year. So, of course, I ran to see what sorts of goodies they had in store for this season. And I compiled a bit of a list (okay, so it’s a rather sizeable list) of all the bits and pieces I love this season - and today, I want to share it with you guys!

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Mickey & Minnie Mouse Cauldron Mug ($19.99)

Available on ShopDisney [x]

This cauldron mug is simply adorable! I’m absolutely loving Mickey and Minnie in their vampire and witchy costumes. I think that the fact that this mug is shaped as a cauldron is positively delightful. If I didn’t already have way more mugs than any human would ever need, I would have already added this to my collection! What’s so cute is that there’s a little spider decal on the bottom of the inside of the mug with a teeny Mickey head in it, and the back of the mug says “Brewing Up A Terror-ific Time!” I feel that size-wise, this mug is really great, and the details just make it so much better.

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Minnie Mouse Witch Sequined Ear Headband ($27.99)

Available on ShopDisney [x]

These Minnie ears are so FUN!! Like c’mon, who can deny that these are adorable? While I’m usually not into over-the-top ears, these are too cute to pass up on. Last Halloween, whilst handing out candy to kids at home, I wore a headband with a mini witch’s hat on top - and now this year, I think I’ll just have to wear these ears instead!! Considering these ears are going for the same price as most other Minnie ears, I think these are arguably more worth the $27.99. They’ve got the addition of the witch’s hat plus a large, sequined bow. Also, on the actual headband piece, there’s stitching that reads “Let’s get wicked!” - so sweet. Personally, I think these are a better set of ears than the new Candy Corn ears, which I’m not huge on. I think it definitely helps that I love the colour purple though!

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Minnie Mouse Sequin Mini Backpack by Loungefly - Candy Corn ($90.00)

Available on ShopDisney [x]

Ahhh this Loungefly is so pricey but so darn cute!!! Honestly, the quality on Loungefly backpacks looks so good, I wish I had the money to spend on one :( But someday maybe! (NOTE: while I was working on this post, my parents gave me an early birthday gift and it was the Star Wars Baby Character mini backpack! What are the odds?!) I love the candy corn details on this bag. Not only did they include the candy corn bow on this bag, which is similar to the one on the ears, but they also put the design on the zippers and the slider on the front! I love these sparkly bags and think they’re super fun and festive. This would be a great bag to take with you to MNSSHP.

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Walt Disney World Candy Corn Spirit Jersey ($64.99)

Available on ShopDisney [x]

Oh my gosh, this spirit jersey was SO hard to find. I ended up actually purchasing this bad boy as my dad hunted it down in Disney Springs for me a couple days after it was released. But it was hard to find! I went to Magic Kingdom the day after the Halloween merch was released and it was sold out at Big Top Souvenirs… Went to Epcot the next day and it was sold out at MouseGears… I was really losing out hope until my dad texted me that he located it at World of Disney - and it was the second last size small available! I LOVE this spirit jersey. I mean, I love most of the spirit jerseys, but this one was super special to me. Check out those sparkles! That’s right friends. All those white specks on the jersey are SPARKLES. How heavenly is that? It’s just really pretty and the pumpkin decals are so cute.

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Poisoned Apple Votive Candle Holder ($19.99)

Available on ShopDisney [x]

I LOVE THIS. Y’all, I love candles. Just so much. There’s nothing that gives me that cozy, spooky feel more than candles. A candle holder shaped like a poisoned apple is basically the best thing that could possibly happen. This would be so lovely to put on my mantlepiece, with a little tealight glowing through whilst I watch Hocus Pocus on repeat for the month of October lol. Also, have you guys heard that Freeform will be playing Hocus Pocus like, 30 times throughout the month of October as part of their 31 Nights of Halloween series? And they’ll be playing it on repeat on the 31st! Anyway, I just love this little candle holder, it’s small and adorable, and I think it’d be a fair-priced addition to my Halloween decor!

Have you guys seen the Disney Halloween merch? What’re you guys wishing for?

Felicia x

Review: Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival | 2019

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Springtime is here y’all! The sun is out, the weather is warming up, flowers are a-bloomin’…

Well, at least, that’s true for Florida. Ontario hasn’t gotten the memo yet apparently.

I haven’t visited Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival in 3 years. For me, that’s a long time! Considering I’m at the parks several times a year. It just so happened that I didn’t really have an opportunity to go. In the past, I would visit the Festival during March Break in high school or I would visit during the Cheerleading Worlds, like I did once when my boyfriend’s brother competed. But once I got to uni, I no longer had a March Break and school went to May. In first year, we visited New York City as our spring trip and then last year, we just stayed home until our summer trip to Orlando in June. But this year, we specifically planned a trip around the Festival because truth be told, we all missed it a lot! If you’ve never been, I would highly recommend it. It’s absolutely the loveliest.

While at the Festival this year, we tried quite a few treats. If you’ve ever been to an Epcot festival before, you’ll know how they set up numerous booths around the World Showcase which feature delectable treats from different countries around the globe. It’s a really great way to try some new food and experience the cultures of other nations. I’ve done multiple posts on the International Food and Wine Festival which I visit every year, including last year. So I thought I would review what I tried for the Flower and Garden Festival as well!

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Frozen Desert Violet Lemonade

I feel like it’s absolutely necessary that I start off this post with perhaps the most beloved of all the Flower and Garden treats - the violet lemonade. To this point, I had never tried the violet lemonade. The last time I visited the festival, the lemonade was either not offered or just wasn’t as popular as it is now. Obviously, it’s grown massively in popularity over the years, as this year they even had merchandise devoted to this sweet drink! So I figured I had to give it a try. I love lemonade and this was absolutely no exception. I was genuinely obsessed with this!! It was really refreshing and tasty, although it is quite sweet so if you’re not into sweet drinks this may not be for you! I had this on two separate occasions because I loved it so much. Also, it was quite lovely that they tell you where the flower on top of your drink came from!

You can find this at the Pineapple Promenade booth near the Refreshment Port!

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Watermelon Cucumber Slushy

Staying on the topic of drinks, my boyfriend and I shared one of these bad boys. I was actually quite nervous to try this! I’m not an adventurous person at all when it comes to food or drinks, and the idea of cucumber in a drink seemed like it wouldn’t really be my sort of thing. But I made it my goal to try new things on this trip! And I ended up loving this slushy! And so did my boyfriend, for that matter. The cucumber wasn’t overpowering at all and the bit of it that you could taste was really lovely and refreshing. I always love a good watermelon juice as well, so that part of it was definitely down my alley. I’m already trying to figure out how to make this on my own at home!

You can find this at the Florida Fresh booth between the France and Morocco pavilions!

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Beef Tenderloin Tips

One of our first stops on our first trip to the Festival this year was Canada. I’ve recently learned that it’s actually “proper” or whatever to follow the World Showcase by doing Mexico first and ending in Canada, but we’ve always done the opposite! I think that it’s because we’re Canadian, we are automatically drawn to our own pavilion. My boyfriend wanted to try the Beef Tenderloin Tips from the booth so we ended up sharing a plate and it was so delicious!! It felt sort of reminiscent of the Wild Mushroom Filet that is served during Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival during the fall, except this one didn’t have the creamy gravy/sauce on top. It was really tender and cooked well (which is a blessing as I can’t eat any meat that isn’t cooked well). And the mashed potatoes underneath were wonderful!

You can find this at the Northern Bloom booth at the Canada pavilion!

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Tri-Coloured Tortellini

First off, please take in how the pasta is literally almost falling out of the bowl smh. This is what happens when you try to take creative photos in ridiculous Florida heat and get a little dizzy. Let this be a cautionary tale lol. I’ve only recently gotten into tortellini as picky eater me thought it was weird. And even with dipping my toe in the tortellini world, I refused to eat multi-coloured tortellinis because I’m weird. However, we’re trying new things right?! So I tried this tri-coloured cheese tortellini and LOVED it. Like honestly this might have been my favourite dish at the festival. The sauce was a chicken veloute with sage butter which was really light and lovely, but oh-so-tasty. I’m already searching up how to cook this one at home, too!

You can find this at the Primavera Kitchen booth at the Italy pavilion!

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Toasted Pretzel Bread

Let me preface this by saying that I absolutely adore pretzel bread. I love bread as it is, but pretzel bread is even better. Soft pretzels just rock, don’t they? So when I saw that Germany was offering some sort of pretzel bread sandwich, I was all in. This pretzel bread was sort of in the shape of a roll and toasted with black forest ham and melted gruyere cheese. It was so melty and savoury and delicious! It sort of reminds me of the Croissant Jambon Fromage at Les Halles Boulangerie-Patisserie in the France pavilion - which is ham, cheese and bechamel in a croissant. It was really well done and I think it would be an excellent treat for if you wanted something more sustaining to get you through a long park day, as opposed to the sweeter options around the Festival!

You can find this at the Bauernmarkt at the Germany pavilion!

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Grilled Street Corn on the Cob

This was more so something that my boyfriend wanted to sample, and that I decided to try and ending up really enjoying! This corn on the cob is coated in a savoury garlic spread, which makes it absolutely so delicious that I can’t even put it into words. The corn itself was also very sweet which made it a really interesting mix of flavours - in the best way! I was sort of skeptical about just chomping down on a corn on the cob in the middle of a theme park but it was really tasty and I liked that they provided you with an aluminum foil covering at the bottom so you could hold the corn without touching it with your bare hands! Regardless, this was a super messy treat. The garlic spread got all over our faces lol so I would definitely recommend having plenty of napkins on hand if you decide to try this!

You can find this at the Trowel and Trellis booth near the Mexico pavilion!

Frushi

Lastly, we tried the famous Frushi. I’ve seen a ton of Instagrammers snacking on Frushi over the years at the Flower and Garden Festival, so I just had to know what was so great about it. I have NEVER eaten sushi before, in my life. I don’t even think I’ve seen anyone eat sushi in front of me before, unless maybe my dad did once upon a time. I’m not a seafood-eater at all so sushi isn’t in the cards for me. But fruit sushi is! Frushi is comprised of fresh pineapple, strawberry and melon rolled with raspberry coconut rice and sprinkled with toasted coconut, accompanied by whipped cream on the side (with some sort of raspberry sauce on it I think). I had no idea how to go about eating this lol my dad had to tell me to eat it in one bite which is hilarious because I only ever eat things in small bites. But it was good! I don’t know that I loved it, but it was refreshing and the fruit was so so tasty! I think the only thing that put me off might have been the raspberry coconut rice. But I’d try it again in the future!

You can find the frushi at the Hanami booth at the Japan pavilion!

♥ ♥ ♥

And that’s a close on my 2019 Flower and Garden Festival adventures! It was so lovely to be back at this beautiful festival, enjoying the wonderful treats and sights. I love how they integrate flowers in their sweets and how they keep everything fresh and themed to the season. We tried sooo many things this year but there were still so many things I wish I had time to sample! If you tried anything that I didn’t feature in this post, let me know what it was and what you thought of it!

Felicia x

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Christmas 2018 Travel Diary: Bright Lights in Hollywoodland

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Welcome back!! Today’s post is going to be pretty long and very photo heavy, so get cozy!

There’s something so aesthetically pleasing to me about Hollywood Studios. Although it may not be my favourite park, I can definitely appreciate the overall theming of the park, especially the front entrance. I could stand on Hollywood Boulevard for hours and just take a million pictures to be honest. So for me, half the fun of visiting Hollywood Studios during the holidays is capturing every inch of beautiful decor throughout the park!

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We happened to accidentally time our arrival at the park perfectly with the March of the First Order (this was partially due to the fact that my Magicband, as usual, refused to cooperate at park entry and we spent about 10 minutes sorting that out lol). It was pretty cool as we got to stand right at the start of Hollywood Boulevard and get a great view of Captain Phasma leading the Stormtroopers down the street towards the stage!!

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My dad had a Fastpass right off the bat for Tower of Terror which is something I absolutely do not ride haha so while he did that, the remainder of our group spent some time checking out the shops and, of course, taking more pictures of the park duh. I’m just in complete awe of how beautiful this park is you guys!!!

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I think that the holiday decor additions that they’ve made at Hollywood Studios in the past few years have been really great! Especially around Echo Lake. The tree in the middle of the lake, the floating ornaments, and Gertie’s adorable Santa hat really add a special something to the park!! We also got in our first viewing of the Sunset Seasons Greetings show on Sunset Boulevard, which premiered only last year. We wanted to see it last year but ended up missing it because the weather was absolutely rotten lol. Fortunately, this year was much, much warmer! Sunset Seasons Greetings is a projection show off of Tower of Terror. It’s pretty short but super cute and runs intermittently throughout the night.

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One of the things I was most excited for at Hollywood Studios was the holiday additions to the new Toy Story Land!! As you probably know already, Toy Story Land opened this past summer (which you can read about here). When I heard there was going to be a Christmas overlay to the area, I was soo excited to see what they were going to cook up. Although we only got to ride Toy Story Mania, which is the only ride without any special additions (lol), we did get to see all the extremely cute decorations - JUST LOOK AT REX’S ANTLERS AWEE!!! They also added a Christmas themed soundtrack to the Aliens Swirling Saucers ride and a cute little jingle noise to the Slinky Dog Dash as it rolls by which I thought was an extremely adorable effect.

Lastly, we stayed in the park to see Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!, which is the nightly holiday fireworks show. It was a really cute show, but I couldn’t get any pictures as you have to be extremely close to the Chinese Theatre to see the full effect of the fireworks, which we were not. Regardless, it was a fun time! I was a bit annoyed though because I had my heart set on having a coffee during the show but Starbucks was closed!! Apparently Starbucks closed along with the park at 8pm and the show wasn’t until 8:30pm… No clue why they would close the park half an hour before the fireworks lol but it was pretty disappointing!!

All in all, it was a super fun day at Hollywood Studios! Check back in soon for my next post of the trip! :)

Felicia x

Christmas 2018 Travel Diary: Travelling the World Showcase

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By now, I’m sure you guys know how much I love Epcot. If not, here’s the gist: I love Epcot with my whole heart, I want to live there forever, there’s no greater sight than that beautiful ball lit up at night. Got it? Cool.

Last year, due to my anxiety, I wasn’t able to make it to Epcot (cue tears) but thankfully this year I’m feeling better than ever which meant is was Epcot time for me!!!

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We were extremely lucky as we managed to get fairly last minute reservations at Les Chefs de France, my fav restaurant in Epcot (maybe even in all of Walt Disney World??). So as soon as we walked through the park gates, we hightailed it on over to the restaurant and we were very quickly seated. Obviously, I ordered the Boeuf Bourguignon which is the tastiest meal. And I even got to see my fav waiter who served my boyfriend and I when we went in August!! If you’re ever dining at Les Chefs de France and you’re served by Kevin, you’re in for a treat - he’s the sweetest EVER.

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After dinner, we went on one of my fav rides, Frozen Ever After, and then took a stroll around the World Showcase to see all the beautiful holiday decorations. Epcot is so interesting during the Festival of the Holidays, their special holiday celebration where each country pavilion showcases their own cultural way of celebrating! Each pavilion is decorated so beautifully for the season, it’s such a sight to take in! I highly recommend strolling around and peeking into every pavilion - you won’t regret it.

After we walked the entire pavilion, we - of course - went to Mouse Gears, one of the best Disney shops. And then grabbed a Starbucks for the journey home. I actually managed to grab a Peppermint Mocha Frappucino, which I’d never had before but I’ve tried when my boyfriend has ordered. I LOVED it. So festive and delicious! I wish the holidays weren’t over so I could have another haha.

See you in a couple days for the next day of my travel diary!

Felicia x

Christmas 2018 Travel Diary: Celebrating in the Magic Kingdom

Welcome back, my darlings!

If you haven’t already read my first travel diary post, give that a read here first!

I truly believe that the most magical place to be at Christmas time is the Magic Kingdom. Everything is just so enchanting there during the holidays! Not a single piece of Main Street isn’t adorned with beautiful wreaths or garland, and there’s just a really homey feeling in Town Square. If I could live on Main Street throughout the month of December, I’d be the happiest gal out there!

So, it goes without saying that my favourite day of our Christmas trip is always the day that we go to check out the Magic Kingdom festivities!

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The very first thing we did when we arrived at the park was, of course, take in the beautiful sights. I got a million pictures of all the decorations, but I think my favourite is of the Fire Station! Everything is so beautiful at Christmas, I wish they could keep the decorations up year-round (except for at Halloween time, of course). We also took a little dip into the Main Street Emporium shop. They have sooo many new items in stock and I wanted to buy it all!! My dad ended up buying me the Mickey’s 90th Birthday ears which was extremely exciting because I didn’t expect them to still be available.

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Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmastime parade has always held a very special place in my heart and I’m so grateful that we got to see it this year!! There have been a couple years that we’ve had to miss it, so I made sure that we specifically planned to be at the park in time to see it go by this year. The parade is so fun and cute. My absolute favourite part is when the toy soldiers march by. I don’t know what it is, but I’ve just always loved seeing them go by in formation! It’s just so cool to me. And I especially love seeing Belle dressed up in her gorgeous Christmas dress! There’s not a year that goes by that I don’t wish I had that dress haha

“meet me under the mistletoe” shirt - shopdisney (old); christmas ears -  shopdisney

“meet me under the mistletoe” shirt - shopdisney (old); christmas ears - shopdisney

During Christmas time, the parks can get extremely busy. It’s one of the busiest times to visit, along with July 4th and Thanksgiving. For someone with anxiety, that can mean it gets pretty hectic, especially when waiting in queues upwards of 120 mins. So I prefer to just stroll around the Magic Kingdom, take my time in letting it all soak in, instead of rushing from ride to ride. We did get a couple of Fastpasses, including ones for Big Thunder Mountain and Haunted Mansion - two of my faves and pretty impressive scores considering their popularity! But aside from that, we just wandered and took in the sights. Personally, I found that much better than doing all the rides. As I have an annual pass, I can come at any time of the year and do rides. But during Christmas time, I’d prefer to see the decorations and relax.

If you haven’t ever been on Jungle Cruise during the holidays, then definitely add it to your bucket list because it is SO FUN! I already love Jungle Cruise enough on its own… But add a Christmas overlay to the ride and my love can only grow! The “Jingle Cruise” overlay adds a ton of festive decorations throughout the ride, as well as a bunch of Christmas-themed jokes told to you by the beloved Skippers. This classic ride is a must-do for me during the holiday season, so I always make sure to grab a Fastpass for this one as the queue can get quite long during the holidays (as do most ride queues during this time!).

Last, but certainly not least, we obviously had to see the Frozen Holiday Wish, where Elsa lights up Cinderella’s Castle with her magic ice powers!! The Dream Lights are the most beautiful thing in the park during the holidays. I’m always in awe whenever I see the castle lit up in shades of blue, pink, and white, no matter how many times I’ve seen it before. The show itself is also extremely cute, especially if you’re a Frozen fan like myself!

We decided to head out of the park shortly after the show (as my boyfriend was battling a cold) so it was the perfect way to end the perfect day!

Thanks so much for reading!

Felicia x

Christmas 2018 Travel Diary: Resort Hopping & Disney Springs

Hello friends! Merry belated Christmas.

If you haven’t been following along with my Instagram stories (shameless plug rn, follow me at @bookishbrunettegal) then you may not know that I’m currently away in Orlando on my annual Christmas family vacation! Our Christmas vacation is one of my favourite trips of the year. It’s full of festivities, and magic, and beautiful lights! So, I thought I’d bring you all along with me on my trip with some travel diaries! Starting off with our very first day on the trip, December 26.

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Our vacation was set in motion by one of my favourite new traditions, the Boxing Day brunch. For the past two years, we’ve had brunch on our first day at the Grand Floridian Cafe, which you probably know is my favourite brunch on Disney World property. This year, we got to sit out on the patio which probably because of how massively packed the restaurant was. Our reservation was at noon but still there were plenty of people waiting to be seated. Having our meal outside was sooo nice. The weather was absolutely lovely and we had such an amazing time. As usual, I ordered the traditional eggs benedict with a cup of coffee and it was delicious!!

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After brunch, we embarked on another one of our beloved Christmas traditions: the monorail resort hop. On Boxing Day, we love to go around to all the monorail resorts and check out their Christmas decorations, starting at the Grand Floridian. I already adore the Grand Floridian. But I love it even more at Christmas time. The decorations are so beautiful and delicate. They have a number of Christmas trees, including their massive showstopper on the main floor of the lobby, and of course, their famous Gingerbread House. This year, I actually remembered to buy a gingerbread shingle which you can actually buy at the counter inside the Gingerbread House. Unfortunately though, the line at the Grand Floridian was huge so I got my shingle at the Contemporary Resort later on in the hop - which is a good tip for anyone who doesn’t want to wait in a massive queue!

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Our next stop on the monorail journey was the Contemporary Resort. The Contemporary, unfortunately, isn’t a huge stop for decorations because of the monorail track through the middle of the resort. There is a huge tree outside of the resort by the road, but you basically have to stand in traffic to see it. So that’s not really an option. They do, however, have a really cute gingerbread set-up based on the Cinderella characters in the lobby. This is where you can buy a bunch of festive treats, like the gingerbread shingle!! Definitely a good alternative to the Grand Floridian shop in my opinion. You can also go through the number of gift shops at the Contemporary while you’re there which is always a fun time!

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Lastly on our resort hop was the Polynesian Resort! I loooove the Polynesian. It’s so pretty and tropical, and like the Grand Floridian, has a ton of trees of different sizes throughout the lobby. Idk I just think the Polynesian looks extremely cute dressed up in her Christmas decor!! My mum also loves visiting the Polynesian because it means rooting about the gift shops for Lilo merchandise. Why is it that there’s always Stitch merch but never Lilo?! So disrespectful. A neat fact about the Polynesian is that it is one of the places on WDW property that sells Dole Whip!! If you’ve ever waited in line for Dole Whip in Magic Kingdom, you know how long it can take as so many people are always queued up at Aloha Isle. But at the Polynesian, there’s usually a minimal line! Just pop on over to the Pineapple Lanai. Enjoy your treat!!

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After we finished our grand tour of the monorail resorts, we headed on over to Disney Springs for a little bit of shopping. As I hadn’t been to the parks since October, I missed the opening of the new reimagined World of Disney shop so I was extremely excited to check that out! What did you guys think of the new World of Disney? Personally, I miss the old character-heavy design, but I think that the renovation has made it a lot more roomy and open, which makes it a lot more manageable during the heavy season (like Christmas time!). Luckily, I found the Christmas spirit jersey there which I was sooo happy about because I hadn’t seen it anywhere on our resort hop. We popped into a few other shops, namely Zara and my absolute fav, Uniqlo where I bought the most beautiful, cozy sweater EVER!!

Afterwards, we went home and ordered some pizza. It had been a long day, especially after a pretty gruesome travel on Christmas Day. So, that’s all for our first day! I’ll pop back in soon to share our other adventures in another travel diary post!

What did you guys get up to on Boxing Day?

Felicia x

Blogmas 2018 Day Five: My Favourite Disney World Holiday Traditions

I really do believe that no one does the holidays better than Disney does. Christmas is sososo beautiful in the parks. They drown everything in sparkly lights and there’s just a really cozy feeling in every inch of the parks and resorts. As my family visits Walt Disney World every year for Christmas, we’ve been lucky enough to do a bunch of different holiday-themed experiences. So today I thought I’d share my absolute faves with you guys! So without further ado, let’s get right on to it!

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THE MONORAIL RESORT LOOP DECORATIONS

One of my all-time favourite holiday traditions in the parks is taking a trip around the monorail resort loop and seeing all the beautiful Christmas decorations!! I think this is probably one of the best free holiday activities in Disney World that I consider an absolute must-do every year. If you park at Magic Kingdom, you can hop on the resort monorail and visit all 3 resorts around the Seven Seas Lagoon. Every resort has it’s own unique decorations, complete with a giant Christmas tree themed to the resort. They’re all so beautiful and photogenic! In the past few years, my family has chosen to do brunch at the Grand Floridian Cafe and then we head around the loop which is a really chill and fun way to do it.

GRAND FLORIDIAN GINGERBREAD HOUSE

Although this is technically a part of the monorail resort loop, I think it’s worth mentioning separately. The Gingerbread House is phenomenal!! Boasting 5,089 gingerbread shingles, this is an absolute monstrosity made out of gingerbread and other sweets. Honestly, when else in your life are you going to be able to see a giant house made out of gingerbread? Probably never, right? Not only can you take adorable pics of this beauty, but you can also buy the edible shingles to take home and try for yourself which is really cool.

MAGIC KINGDOM PARADE

I completely and utterly love the Magic Kingdom Christmas parade so much!! I haven’t been able to see it every single year unfortunately but this year, I’ve specifically set aside time to go out and see it which I’m very excited about. It features all our favourite Disney characters in their festive winter garb along with a few Christmas favourites, like toy soldiers (my faves), reindeers and Santa Claus himself!!

HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS DECORATIONS

Guys, there’s not much I love more in this world than Gertie in her Santa hat!!! Like how freaking cute? They’ve really put a lot of work into amping up the decorations in Hollywood Studios over the past few years and I’ve been absolutely loving it. Last year, we tried to take it all in but unfortunately it was absolutely FREEZING (I had to buy a sweater and a blanket to wear around the park lol). But this year, we’re going to go out and see them properly. They’ve also added some decorations to the new Toy Story Land so I’m excited to get my first look at those!

THE EPCOT INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF THE HOLIDAYS

Y’all probably know by now how much I love my Epcot festivals. There are so many incredible experiences at Epcot during the holiday season. You can try a bunch of holiday food delights from different countries, hear how cultures celebrate during the holidays, and see the Candlelight Processional which is a really incredible experience that’s hosted by celebrities through the end of November and the month of December. I think that the cultural aspect of Epcot is one of my favourite aspects of the park, and Christmas time really reflects that.

What’s your favourite Walt Disney World holiday experience?

Felicia x

To view a list of all my Blogmas posts, click here.

Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party | 2018

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It’s the mooost wonderful time of the yeaaaar!! That’s right, friends. It’s time for my annual write-up on Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party! If you’ve been here for awhile, you’ll probably know that I’ve been to Not So Scary twice before - once in 2015 and again last year. I absolutely love the party and I love writing these posts, too. It’s sort of like reliving everything all over again to me honestly. So, without further ado, let’s jump in.

If you’re interested, you can read my prior posts about Not So Scary from 2017 here.

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You probably won’t be surprised to hear that I love Halloween at the parks. I’m sure I’ve said it a dozen times before, and I’ll say it another dozen times in the future. Disney really does everything better, especially the holidays. And Halloween gives them an opportunity to bring out some of the less popular characters. They also decorate the parks to the nines, with giant pumpkins everywhere, and bales of straw and other harvest-themed decor at every turn. If you love a good Jack O’ Lantern, look no further than Main Street U.S.A.!

If you’ve never heard about Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, you’re not alone. Until I went in 2015, I hadn’t heard much about it either. In the past few years, it’s been gaining more attention and popularity, but back in the day it was this super mysterious exclusive party that I never really knew much about (especially because I didn’t visit Disney in the autumn). Basically it’s a ticketed event held at Magic Kingdom on select nights from late August to Halloween, where you can go in ‘after hours’ and experience a bunch of attractions, rides, and shows that are Halloween themed. There’s also a massive dress-up component, as tons of people (myself included!) dress in costumes. Where else do you really get to do costumes anymore when you’re an adult??

The event starts at 7pm, so we got there about 6:30pm. At that point, cast members were desperately trying to control the crowds, getting the non-party guests out of the park and the party guests into the park, without causing too much of a commotion. We entered the park with our Magicbands as usual and then immediately got our wristbands for the party put on. If you’re already in the park when the party starts, there are stations set up all over where you can get your wristbands, too. Once we had our bands, we went onto Main Street and got to pose with this super cute car before going ~backstage~ to make our way into the party.

Initially, my boyfriend and I had decided not to do costumes this year. All summer we tried to figure out what we wanted to dress-up as but couldn’t decide on anything and when we did, the costume idea fell through, so we just gave up entirely. But then, about a week into September, I got the idea to do a Mary Poppins and Bert couples costume. We completely (and somewhat frantically) DIY’d our costumes, searching the depths of the Internet for pieces to put together (I’ll do a post on our DIY later!). I’m sooo happy with how our costumes turned out!! We had a few tiny last minute glitches but in the end it all worked out and the costumes were actually super comfy throughout the night thank god.

Although we didn’t get to experience everything that Not So Scary has to offer, we did get to see and do so much. Of course, we took part in a little bit of trick-or-treating as usual. My family likes to go to as many trick-or-treat stations as possible, and then bring all our collected candy home to handout to kids on Halloween. Making the most out of the cost of our tickets haha. We also got to see a bunch of the shows that are what make the party so incredible, in my opinion.

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One of my all-time fav parts of Halloween as a whole is Hocus Pocus. And luckily for me Hocus Pocus is a big part of Not So Scary! They put on a show at the stage in front of Cinderella’s Castle called Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular. It has the Sanderson sisters, as well as a bunch of other Disney villains. And, of course, the performance of I Put A Spell On You always completes all my childhood dreams!! Honestly, the Sanderson sisters are the queens of Halloween and you can’t tell me otherwise.

Also, please check out that picture of the Hocus Pocus fireworks from behind the castle that I took while walking. Ugh I love.

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I would be completely remiss if I didn’t mention my beloved HalloWishes fireworks! As you may know, the Wishes fireworks went away early last year which was devastating to all. But luckily, we still have a part of that old magic during the Halloween and Christmas holiday seasons! I absolutely love HalloWishes. I think that the different effects on the castle, the fireworks, and the music are all so incredible.

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And, last but certainly not least, we got a chance to see my favourite Disney World attraction of all time: Mickey’s Boo To You Halloween Parade. I LOVE THIS PARADE!!! Absolute best parade of all time. There’s literally nothing about this parade I’m so-so on. I literally love every single part of this parade. The soundtrack is DIVINE. The whole Haunted Mansion part is sooo amazing. Especially because I absolutely love Haunted Mansion and everything related to it. I highly recommend carving out time to see this parade if you go to Not So Scary (it runs twice a night).

The only bummer of the party this year was that the Headless Horseman, who usually rides out in front of the first float, didn’t show up! Because of the rain, it wasn’t safe for the horse or the rider. So that was pretty disappointing however we totally understood that it just couldn’t happen. Hopefully next year we’ll see him again!!

Have you guys been to Not So Scary before? What’s your fav part!

Felicia x

Review: Epcot's International Food and Wine Festival | 2018

Hello darlings!

Today, I thought I’d do a review of the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival, and chat about the things I tried this year. I’ve done this in the past on two different occasions and I just love writing about the festival because it’s really a lot of fun and reminiscing about food is always a good time.

If you want to read my past Food and Wine reviews, you can! I wrote one up in 2015 (when I still a baby & v new to blogging) and in 2017.

The very first thing we did on our Food and Wine tour this year was ride Spaceship Earth. I don’t know if you guys heard, but it was announced on a bunch of blogs recently that Spaceship Earth will be undergoing a two and a half year refurb which will essentially change everything we know and love about this ride, in preparation for the brand new shiny Epcot 2.0 that Imagineers are cooking up. I immediately panicked when I read the article because basically every Disney ride or attraction I’ve ever held near and dear to my heart has been given the axe over the last 5 years and Spaceship Earth is my absolute fav ride. I’m cautiously optimistic about what this refurb will actually consist of - maybe it’s just a refresh?? But for now, I’m going to ride it as much as I possibly can before it closes down.

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As my family are AP’s, we usually stop at the Festival Welcome Centre right off the bat to collect our free Passholder gift and the Festival passport. The Welcome Centre is located in the old Wonders of Life pavilion, which is super cool because I never visited Disney when the pavilion was in operation so it’s a bit of a glimpse of what Epcot used to be. This year, the AP gift was a magnet with Mickey in a chef hat that is absolutely to die for. Like, c’mon how cute is that!!!! They’ve also been giving out cutting boards if you go multiple times.

Now, onto the food!

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Kalua Pork Sliders

Our very first stop for food was Hawaii. Looking back on past reviews, this is kind of our go-to first stop haha. The weird part of my love for the pork slider is the fact that it’s the exact sort of dish that I’d actually hate in most cases. First off, I typically don’t love pork although I’m starting to warm up to it! Second, it’s got a sweet-and-sour Dole pineapple chutney and spicy mayo on it. I’m the pickiest eater ever so this seems really ‘out there’ for me but good God do I love it.

You can find this at the Hawaii booth.

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Wild Mushroom Beef Filet Mignon

Our second stop was my home and native land! I always get this filet mignon, even though it mostly disappoints me. It’s kind of an iffy dish. Some years I love it, some years I could do without it. This year, it was quite good actually. I feel like it was a lot smaller than last year?? (Update: I went back & looked at old reviews, this dish has definitely gotten smaller and sadder looking over the years). Although I like the taste of the mushrooms on the steak, I’m not huge on mushrooms themselves and there were a ton on top of the beef this time, so I was constantly pushing them aside. But the meat was very tender and well-done, just how I like it. I also tried my mum’s dish, the Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup, and I loved it! Especially because it came with a pretzel roll to dunk into the soup!

You can find this at the Canada booth.

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Schinkennudeln

I also had, for the second time ever, the Schinkennudeln. There will never be a Food and Wine Festival where my family doesn’t totally butcher the name of this while ordering it, but we all love it anyway! It’s pasta gratin with ham, cheese and onions. And it’s sooo delicious. It looks like it’d be a really heavy pasta because of all the cheese but I find it’s actually not which is good because I don’t love heavy pastas. Plus, the cheese is very mild - again, a good thing because I’m not big on sharp cheese. (I know, I’m so weird)

You can find this at the Germany booth.

Loaded Mac ‘n’ Cheese

Ladies and gentlemen, may I please direct your attention to the worst quality pic of this entire post! By this point, it was like 7:30 at night so the lighting was not my friend. ANYWAY. This is one of my fav dishes from the festival. Ugh this is so good. I’m in heaven just thinking about it. Again, it’s one of those dishes that seems like something I might hate. It’s got pepper bacon, cheddar cheese, green onions, and peppers all mixed in with macaronic pasta to make an incredible (and quite spicy) dish. This and the pork sliders might just be tied for my #1 favourite dish of the festival.

You can find this at the Active Eats booth.

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Honestly, Food and Wine is such a great time. It’s a great opportunity to just stroll around World Showcase, taste a few international dishes, and enjoy the atmosphere of *ahem* the greatest Disney park.

Also, let’s have a moment of silence for our fallen heroes (aka the food that didn’t show up on menus this year):

  • Kielbasa and Potato Pierogi (although, I should probably quit holding out hope on this one, it’s been a couple years since it last appeared lol)

  • Chicken Gyro

  • Boeuf Bourguignon (my absolute fav!!! how could Disney do this to me!!!)

Hope you guys enjoyed reading! If you’ve been to Food and Wine before, let me know what your fav dish was in the comments.

Felicia x

5 Tips For Staying at a Disney Resort

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Staying at a Disney resort is an incredible experience. Everything from the resort grounds to the restaurants to the hotel rooms, there is magic sprinkled everywhere. But with so much ground to cover, staying there for the first time can be a bit daunting. So today I thought I'd give a few tips I've learned from staying on-property over the years! 

Use Disney Transport

One of the perks of staying on-property at Walt Disney World is that you have access to all Disney Transport. Believe it or not, there are a ton of different ways that you can get around the parks, be it by buses, ferry boats, monorails, or even Minnie Vans operated by Lyft. Using the buses to get from resort-to-park, or vice versa, is so simple. On our latest stay, we drove to the resort with our own car but opted against driving our car to and from the parks because the bus system was so much easier. The buses are quite efficient as they know the quickest routes around property and might even take lesser known or backstage routes to get you to the parks in good time. An added bonus of taking buses is that you get to bypass the Transportation and Ticket Centre which, if you’ve ever driven to the Magic Kingdom before, you’ll know is a nightmare.

The other options of Disney Transport are just as efficient! If you’re staying at the Port Orleans Resort, then you’ll be able to use one of my favourite transportation methods: the boat to Disney Springs! It’s a relaxing ride down the Sassagoula River that takes you right to the middle of the Disney Springs fun.

Also, keep an eye out for a new way to travel the World - the Disney Skyliner gondola system opens on September 29, 2019!

Download the My Disney Experience App

You may already have the My Disney Experience app downloaded to your phone if you’ve been to the parks recently but if you haven’t been in awhile, or ever, here’s the gist. The My Disney Experience app is your guide to the Walt Disney World Resort in your very own pocket. It allows you to look at maps, check wait times, book FastPasses, make dinner reservations, and more. It’s extremely useful. The fact that you can pull it up on your phone whenever you need to with the in-park WiFi is incredible. Sometimes I can’t even imagine how we used to do it in the “old days” with the paper FastPass system lol! Remember when you could only get a FastPass for some of the rides in Disney? Crazy stuff. Also, if you purchase Memory Maker, which allows you to own the pictures that you take with PhotoPass photographers in the parks, you can view all the pictures directly on the app. They’ll even notify you as soon as your picture is ready to download after you’ve taken the picture or gotten off a ride with an in-ride photo. Cool, right? Essentially, it’s a god send and you will thank me for it when you’ve got this handy tool on your next Disney trip.

Purchase a Refillable Mug

This is actually something that myself and my family have been doing since we first started visiting the Disney parks way back in the early 2000s. In fact, this might be a crucial tip, especially if you’re planning on spending a good amount of time at the resorts. The refillable mug currently costs $18.99 (without Disney Dining Plan) for the initial purchase and then you can use it however many times your little heart desires during your resort stay without an extra cost. If you’re on the Disney Dining Plan, the mug will be included in your plan. It’s perfect for grabbing a cup of coffee at breakfast or some Gatorade or pop when you’re going poolside. I filled mine up at least a dozen times during our six-day stay and it was well worth the cost. Definitely saves you from waiting in lines to purchase numerous drinks throughout the day!

Keep in mind though that the refillable mugs are part of the Rapid Fill program. What’s the Rapid Fill program you may ask? Well, that was my question too, to be honest! Back in my early trips, it didn’t exist. But starting a few years back, Disney created a program where they sold these refillable mugs which had RFID bar codes inside. This means that your mug becomes deactivated after your resort stay is complete. And you can’t reuse this mug on your next stay - you’ll have to purchase a brand new mug. Also: you can only refill the mug after about 2 minutes since your last refill. Not sure why, but thems the rules!

Take Advantage of AP, Tables in Wonderland, or Disney Dining Plan

Staying in the parks, it’s easy to rack up a pretty hefty bill from all the food and merchandise purchasing. Especially if you’re just charging everything blindly to your room via your MagicBand (those things are SO dangerous!). Using methods to get discounts on your meals and souvenirs makes a huge difference. As an Annual Passholder, I bring my AP cad with me wherever I go in case I plan on buying something. That card will get me a 10-20% discount!! Additionally, if you have a Tables in Wonderland card or a Disney Dining Plan, you’ll easily be able to save a buck or two throughout your trip on every meal, and as we all know, those extra bucks do matter!! If you’re worried about the additional costs of a Walt Disney World Resort stay, you should definitely look into these methods and see which ones, if any, suit your family the best. One thing I will say that I’ve heard people have done on their vacations is have one person in their travelling party purchase an Annual Pass - only one person needs to be an AP to get a discount on the entire meal/purchase. Just make sure that individual is paying for things and you’re good to go!

Bring Bug Spray

I literally cannot stress this one enough. And I tell you this because I have learned from my mistakes!! This one took me TOTALLY by surprise, I was dumb enough to think that this wouldn’t be a problem and paid for it lol. BRING BUG SPRAY!!! Take this from someone who did not bring bug spray and got eaten alive. Especially in heavily vegetated areas (which is 99% of Disney, it is Florida after all), evil hungry bugs like mosquitos are rampant. In just one late night walk around Port Orleans French Quarter with my mum by the river, I got at least six mosquitos bites. UGH. SO painful. Make sure to pack some bug spray in your luggage and also, pack some After Bite while you’re at it. Juuuuuust in case. Better safe than sorry, am I right?

What are your top Disney resort tips?

Felicia x


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Walt Disney World Haul 2018

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As you probably know if you've been following my Instagram or read my latest blog post, I recently spent time in Walt Disney World, celebrating my 20th birthday (which you can read about here). While I was there, I got completely pulled into the merchandise trap which is pretty much the least surprising thing ever haha. So I thought I'd share with you guys some of the things I picked up! 

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Pumpkin Antenna Topper - When I first arrived in Disney, they had just put out all the Halloween decorations and merchandise around the parks. On our first day there, we went to Disney Springs and I found myself in Halloween HEAVEN. The first thing I picked up was this adorable pumpkin Mickey antenna topper. Currently, I have a regular Minnie Mouse topper but I thought this would be a cute change for the fall season. On the back of this topper, it says 'Hey, Pumpkin' which is just the cutest thing ever!! I literally can't wait to pop this on my car. 

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Mickey Ghost Mug - The other Halloween thing I bought while I was at the parks was this incredible Mickey mug. How cute is this?! It's a ghost Mickey and on the back it says 'Boo To You'. I already have wayyyyy too many mugs but honestly, this was a necessary addition to my collection. I love all things Halloween themed and they had an amazing variety this year. It's getting me so excited for the Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party in October! 

Journal - I hemmed and hawed a lot before deciding to buy this journal, but it was one of the best purchases I made. This beautiful hardcover journal is covered in retro-looking Walt Disney World logos and designs and has Mickey silhouettes on the pages. I picked this up after deciding that I wanted to keep a journal of all my Disney stays as a memory book. This was the perfect pick, in my opinion, and I can't wait to get writing!

Starbucks 'You Are Here' Hollywood Studios Mug - I'm sure you guys have seen the You Are Here mugs at Starbucks before, they're pretty popular and usually have a city/state/province on them with a cute lil design. Starbucks has a Disney World collection, as well as a Disneyland collection. I already have the Epcot and Magic Kingdom mugs, so I picked up the Hollywood Studios one this trip - and now I've only got the Animal Kingdom one left, and then I've got the entire set! 

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Rose Gold Phone Case - I fell in love with this the moment I saw it. Rose gold is my favourite and this is no exception. This bad boy has a little clasp on it and opens up to be a wallet with a few card slots as well as a window one, which makes it perfect for holding my Disney Annual Pass and my i.d. for getting discounts in the park. And, of course, it holds my phone. Hooray for multi-purposeful pretty merch!! 

New Fantasyland Mystery Pin Pack - On my birthday, I decided to treat myself to this adorable mystery pack. It comes with two Beauty and the Beast themed mystery pins, which are themed to the Beauty and the Beast area of the New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom. I got the pin of Belle walking away from her house while reading (which I unfortunately already own) and the three Bimbettes sitting in Gaston's Tavern. They're super cute!! Can't wait to add them to my collection. 

2018 and Epcot pins - Following the pin trend, I bought two more! Shocker, lol. I bought a Walt Disney World 2018 pin with Minnie Mouse on it, as I used to collect yearly pins when I visited as a child but I stopped for a few years which I massively regret. So I'm back to collecting annual Disney pins! I also picked up this super cute Epcot pin, which features icons of the major rides (Spaceship Earth, Mission Space, Test Track, etc.) and has a super cute Mickey on it! I saw it once about a week ago and then it was sold out nearly everywhere I looked until I finally found this one - and it was the last one there! Phew haha

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Disney H20 Sea Salt Body Lotion - Because Disney H20 products are the cutest ever and remind me of the resorts, I took a few of the complimentary hand lotions home *shrugs*. I'm gonna have to pop one of these into my school bag so I can apply this in class and miss Disney and cry all semester lol

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Haunted Mansion & Halloween MagicBands - Last, but certainly not least, I picked up these two lovely MagicBands! The Haunted Mansion one has a Ghost Host uniform on one side and Ghost Hostess uniform on the other! The Halloween one is decorated in a few of the characters dressed for Halloween, some ghosts and candy, and an orange castle! 

I've only been back for a little while and I'm already ready to go back! Post-Disney depression is real :( 

Felicia x

Travel Diary: Disney World August 2018

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Hello, everyone! Been awhile, huh? Sorry to have disappeared. If you've been following my Instagram stories, you probably saw that I mentioned I'd be taking a bit of a hiatus from the blog as I was on a week-long staycation at Walt Disney World. Crazy stuff, right!!

When I used to visit Walt Disney World as a kid, my family would always stay on-property. But when we bought our vacation home back in 2012, we didn't really have the need for staying in a resort anymore - that's what our vacation home was for, after all! But last year, all of that changed when my parents surprised me with a 2-night stay at Port Orleans French Quarter with my boyfriend as an early birthday gift. Needless to say, I caught the bug and we found ourselves back on-property this year! Today I thought I'd give you guys a bit of a run-down on what we got up to on our Disney trip this year...

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port orleans french quarter

port orleans french quarter

port orleans french quarter

THE RESORT

We stayed, once again, at the Port Orleans French Quarter resort. I've stayed at the French Quarter four times now and will keep coming back without a doubt. I absolutely love it. It's my favourite moderate-level resort by far. I love how small it is, how no matter where your room is located the lobby & restaurant are only a few steps away. The style of the resort is also amazing - the historic French Quarter style with cobblestone walkways, Mardi Gras decorations, and beautiful bursting colours is so pretty. And they even have horse-drawn carriages! How cute is that?! 

We stayed in two different rooms during our stay, because we extended our trip after we arrived and our first room wasn't available the entire length of our trip. But we were lucky enough to have both rooms in the 6th building, with a view of the man-made Sassagoula River. Although the rooms don't have balconies, the sights from the windows were GORGEOUS. I'd totally recommend trying to get a riverview room on your stay. It's not guaranteed you'll get one, but hey, it doesn't hurt to ask!

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grand floridian

eggs benedict at grand floridian cafe

eggs benedict at grand floridian cafe

THE FOOD

Because we were staying on-property, we took advantage of the restaurants that are available within Walt Disney World - safe to say we were by no means restricted! There are dozens (maybe hundreds?) of restaurants of all types around the World for you to try. We ate a few times at the Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory, which is the quick-service on French Quarter property. I actually really enjoyed it! They had quite a different menu than typical quick-services because some of it was Cajun inspired and it was delicious (try the beignets!! you won't regret it).

We also tried out for the first time the Mobile Ordering at D-Luxe Burger in Disney Springs. It was super efficient and so easy to use! All we had to do was place our order on the app beforehand, click a button to let them know we'd arrived, and grab a buzzer at the restaurant to place on our table. We took a seat on the back patio, listened to some live music while we waited, and within minutes, someone was bringing our food over! Sure beats waiting in the massive line to order and wait for food to be made. I'll definitely be using that feature again and I highly recommend trying it! 

And, of course, no trip to Disney would be complete without brunch at the Grand Floridian Cafe! If you know anything about me, you know how much I adore the Grand Floridian resort. I've decided I won't stay there until my wedding (dramatic af, I know) so I've got to get my fix somehow. And that's by having the delicious brunch at the Cafe. I always order the traditional eggs benedict and it's wonderful! 

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disney springs

MEMORIES

This trip was extremely special for me as we were there to celebrate my twentieth birthday! We spent the evening of my bday at the Magic Kingdom, where we did the Happily Ever After Fireworks Dessert Party. I did the Party last year for the first time with my bf and it was such an incredible experience that we decided to do it again for my bday. The Dessert Party is so much fun - there are a ton of sweets and goodies to try and best of all, you get prime viewing for the fireworks. We had a space of the hub grass to ourselves to just sit down, spread out, and relax while we waited for the fireworks - and even got to stay seated during the show. I'm spoiled forever and now standing during the show like a sardine in the crowds will never be the same!

Birthday outfit -- Top:  GREYLITTLEARROWS on ETSY ; SKIRT:  similiar - forever 21 ; EARS:  SHOPDISNEY

Birthday outfit -- Top: GREYLITTLEARROWS on ETSY; SKIRT: similiar - forever 21; EARS: SHOPDISNEY

Easily one of my favourite moments of the trip, however, was my date night with my boyfriend. The two of us went over to Epcot, as we had a dinner reservation at Les Chefs de France. If you've ever been to Epcot, you've probably walked right past this place. It's that beautiful brasserie at the edge of the France pavilion, with the expansive windows and glistening rooftop. We both ordered the boeuf bourguignon and it was TO DIE FOR!! I've tried this dish before at the International Food and Wine Festival but it was even better in the restaurant. We had a delicious meal with an incredible server (shoutout to Kevin!) and then ended our perfectly romantic evening off with a stroll around the park beneath the sunset! 

yummmm

yummmm

boeuf bourguignon at les chefs de france

boeuf bourguignon at les chefs de france

Sunset over world showcase

Sunset over world showcase

On our first trip to Port Orleans as a couple last year, my bf and I decided to do a little resort hopping to see what the other resorts had to offer. When else will you get the chance to do it? This time, we brought along my parents to join us! We checked out Port Orleans Riverside and my personal fav, Old Key West. Riverside was so so beautiful and I thought it was quite cool how they had two different areas (my bf loved the Alligator Bayou area) but honestly it was too big for me and I can't see myself choosing it over my one true love, French Quarter! Old Key West, on the other hand, is a dream stay of mine. I def want to stay there someday (next summer perhaps?) and think it's just the greatest. I've always had a soft spot for Key West, FL and I think this resort really nails it. 

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port orleans riverside

Old Key West

Old Key West

And just like that, I'm back to regular life! I can't believe how quickly a week in the parks went by... What will I do without my Must-Do Disney with Stacey?! The post-Disney depression is settling in. But luckily, now I get to look forward to next year's trip! Is a year in advance too early for starting to plan a Disney trip?? Asking for a friend...

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port orleans french quarter

Talk to you all very soon! x

Felicia 

What's In My Disney Theme Park Bag?

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Packing a bag for a day at the Disney theme parks can be a pretty daunting task. But over the years, I've brought it down to a few simple things that I always have to have on me when I'm headed to parks! Today I thought I'd go through the staples of what I pack for a day at the parks, especially as I've got a WDW staycation coming up very very soon and I'm getting into the Disney spirit! 

Without further ado, here's what I pack in my Disney theme park bag...

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Wallet

First and foremost, I always make sure to have my wallet on me. You always want to make sure to have your Credit/Debit cards and some US currency. I also will have my Disney annual pass for parking and discounts, and my Starbucks Rewards card for if I want to get a coffee while I'm at Disney!

Lipstick + Balm

I always keep lip balm on me no matter what, as I have dry and chapped lips. But if you know anything about me, you probably know I always have a lipstick on me too. At Disney, I usually carry my Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lip Colour in Seduction as it's a very neutral pink.

Sun + Eyeglasses

Because I have prescription glasses, I make sure to bring them along with me as I never know when I'll need those - for driving or for rides. I also ALWAYS bring along sunglasses because it is the Sunshine State after all. Protect your eyes y'all!

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Sanitizer + Meds

As Disney is a theme park and many people pass through, I always have hand sanitizer on me and make sure to use it whenever I'm about to eat. I also bring an assortment of basic meds with me, like Aleve, Midol, and Pepcid for emergencies.

Keys

Of course, I always have to bring my keys with me to the parks. How else will I get home?! My keys fit in perfectly at the parks as they're very Disney-fied - I've got a Minnie keychain (my bf has the matching Mickey) and a rose gold Cinderella castle keychain!

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Gum

Be warned: Disney World does NOT sell gum! This is a long-standing tradition, to deter people from leaving gum all over the ground and messing with the parks. If you always like to have gum, like me, bring your own and be courteous please!

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Magicband

Although this isn't technically inside my park bag, I always bring a Magicband with me. It's become a total life saver for me these past few years. I always use it for park entrance and Fastpass returns.

Minnie Ears

Of course, I have to bring along my ears!! Where would I be without these bad boys? I have a whole collection of ears that I alternate between, but you can almost always guarantee that there's a pair in my bag or on my head!

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Minnie Backpack

If I'm in the parks for a long time, like a full day, I'll use this Minnie Mouse backpack from Disney instead of my purse - it just disperses weight better on my back and shoulders, and is easier to tote around for long periods of time.

What do you pack in your Disney park bag?

Felicia x

Five Facts About Epcot's World Showcase

Welcome to Epcot, World Travellers! This park has had a very special place in my heart for many many years although it wasn't always that way. When I was a little girl, my parents and I only popped into Epcot for short visits to go to the Akershus Royal Banquet Hall for the princess breakfast and then leave. Can you believe it? Little did we know we were missing out on a whole 'world' of fun (pun intended haha). 

One of the best parts of Epcot, hands down, is the World Showcase. The World Showcase takes up about half the park's estate and is made up of eleven countries. It's educational but not boring in the least. There is so much to do! But did you know that the World Showcase has it's fair share of secrets? Here are five fun facts about the World Showcase!

ORDER UP!

The annual Epcot International Food and Wine Festival is a huge event for foodies. With over 70 days and 35 marketplaces, there is definitely no shortage of opportunities for delicious food tasting. But the most shocking part of it all is the sheer size of the event. It's so huge, in fact, that during festival season, the park sells over 30,000 bottles of wine and over a million plates of food! That's a whole lotta food. You won't be leaving the park hungry, that's for sure.

MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE

Imagineers have been known to use forced perspective throughout the theme parks to make certain structures appear bigger to parkgoers, most notably Cinderella's Castle in the Magic Kingdom. But did you know that they also use it to make things look smaller? Imagineers wanted the American Adventure pavilion to be seen across the World Showcase lagoon, so they made the building a whopping 5 stories. However, to be historically accurate, they had to make it look 3 stories to coincide with the buildings in that era. So, everything is doubled in size - the windows are longer and the doors are taller!

RELIGIOUS BELIEFS

During the nighttime fireworks spectacular, IllumiNations, the pavilions light up the night as part of the spectacle. However, a keen eye may notice that Morocco doesn't light up. The reasoning behind their exception is that the main tower of the pavilion is made to replicate a prayer tower and lighting up the prayer tower would go against the Muslim beliefs of many Moroccan people. Disney didn't want to disrespect their culture and religion, so they chose to keep the pavilion dark during the show. 

LA TOUR EIFFEL

There are actually a couple interesting things to note about Epcot's Eiffel Tower replica. The Eiffel Tower in the France pavilion is one tenth of the real deal. It's also a different colour than the Eiffel Tower we know today. The Tower in Epcot is a pinkish shade and the reason is that's the shade it would have been when it was first created. The pavilion is meant to represent the late 1800s, an era known as 'La Belle Epoque', which is when the Eiffel Tower was first erected. 

TIME TRAVELLIN'

Take a closer look at the buildings in the United Kingdom pavilion next time you're at Epcot. You'll notice that as you pass by the shops, going further into the pavilion, you're actually 'walking through time', starting with the Tea Caddy which is meant to replicate the home of William Shakespeare's wife, Anne Hathaway. From there, you pass onto two shops built in 18th and 19th century styles, respectively. It's just another one of those special details that Disney makes sure to include in the park's architecture!

Which of Epcot's little secrets is your favourite?

Felicia x

 

Disney Must-Do's: Hollywood Studios

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I'm ready for my close-up! It's time for my Hollywood Studios must-do's. Although Hollywood Studios is in a bit of a transition period right now, there are still a bunch of fun things that you should see and do at this park. From walking the bustling streets of Hollywood to stepping into the exciting worlds of your favourite movies, there's adventure at every corner!

~*~

Take a million pictures. This may seem very basic, but trust me when I say that Hollywood Studios is one of the most aesthetically pleasing parks in Walt Disney World. With the Chinese Theatre facade, the Tower of Terror, and basically just Hollywood Boulevard in general, there is no limit to the photo ops in this park. Some of my personal favourite photos to take are of Tower of Terror and Echo Lake, especially if there's an incredible sunset above!

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Go on a shopping spree. Hollywood Studios has arguably the best shopping of all the Disney World parks. On your next trip, I'd definitely recommend taking a stroll through the shops lining Hollywood Blvd and Sunset Blvd. They've got such a wide selection of Disney merch, including some Hollywood Studios specific merch and a ton of cute apparel. If you're looking for Pixar merchandise or an addition to your Dooney and Burke collection (a girl can dream, can't she?), then this is the place to be! It's also worth mentioning that the outsides of the shops are extremelyyy cute!

Step into Andy's backyard at Toy Story Land. Of course, I have to mention the newest addition to the Walt Disney World parks - Toy Story Land!! Coming off of the excitement of the Pandora opening last year, this land boasts two new rides, as well as a revamped Toy Story Mania. If you grew up in the 90s, you won't want to miss this. I recently gave a little review of my first impressions of the new land when I visited awhile back, which you can read here. The number one must-do here has to be the Slinky Dog Dash family coaster which looks incredibly fun and I cannot wait to give it a go when the lines aren't ridiculously long.

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Have a meal at 50s Prime Time Cafe. Keep your elbows off the table! The 50s Prime Time Cafe is the perfect burst of nostalgia and a great diner for some family fun. The whole place is set up like a stereotypical family's home kitchen in the 1950s, decorated right down to the most specific details, and they are very strict on making sure you mind your manners! All in all, it's an interactive restaurant fun for the whole family. 

Watch Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular Fireworks. Callin' all my Star Wars fans, this one is for you! The Star Wars fireworks at Hollywood Studios are sooo amazing. The way they incorporate fireworks, lasers, projections, and pyrotechnics is pretty phenomenal - plus they do a really good job of uniting the characters from the original trilogy, the prequels, and the recent films together seamlessly. And if you think Ewan McGregor is as perfect as I think he is (*swoon*) then you'll be thrilled to hear that he has quite a lot of face time in the show!! 

What are your Hollywood Studios must-do's?

Felicia x

5 Favourite Retired Disney Attractions

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Walt Disney himself once said, "Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world." He knew that in order to keep visitors enjoying the parks for generations to come, they'd have to constantly update what was inside them. And although he wasn't present for much of it's lifetime, the very same idea has been carried over to Walt Disney World also. But there isn't an unlimited amount of space in the world and unfortunately that means that by updating the parks, some attractions have to be retired or removed to make way for new ones. 

Of course, Disney is constantly coming up with exciting new rides - but there will still always be a bit of me that misses some of the older attractions that have been removed. So today, let's take a trip down memory lane and chat about some of the attractions that are now gone that I once loved!

1. Snow White's Scary Adventures

I always loved this ride so so much when I was a little girl, even though it slightly terrified me a bit. Snow White's Scary Adventures was a dark ride in Fantasyland at Disney World's Magic Kingdom. It travelled through the story of Snow White, with her meeting the seven dwarfs and the Evil Queen. This was one of the remaining opening day rides at the Magic Kingdom, meaning that it was a ride that had been in open since the first day of park operation in 1971 - although, in 1994, the ride was modified to be less frightening for children as the original ride was pretty terrifying (allegedly!).

I used to go on this ride all the time, every time I visited the park. One of my favourite park memories was boarding this ride with my mum while the fireworks were going on, as there was virtually zero line at all and we got on right away. It was so much fun and we could see the fireworks from where we boarded the ride. Sadly, the ride closed down in 2012 to prepare for the New Fantasyland. It was soon after replaced by the Princess Fairytale Hall.

2. The Great Movie Ride

Oh, my beloved Great Movie Ride. I've loved this ride for many, many years. I loved how this ride really tied in with that old Hollywood feel of the park, especially with it being in the Chinese Theatre replica. I'm a huge film nerd so being able to ride through the movies, even if they were a little bit tacky-looking, was so cool to me. Every time I saw that Casablanca scene with Ingrid Bergman and Humphrey Bogart, I was in heaven. And at the very end of the ride, seeing that incredible movie clip montage sealed the deal for me because I have a weird obsession with movie quotes?? It's strange, but I know thousands of famous movie quotes so that sorta thing is so up my alley. 

Riding it for the last time last August was actually the most devastating thing ever. I'm interested to see the ride they replace this with but, let's be honest - I'm going to be bitter over this for awhile. 

3. The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights

Sigh. The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights (phew what a mouthful) was a wonderful experience and one of my family's favourite Christmas traditions. I could go on and on about why they shouldn't have gotten rid of this, but instead I'll hark back to the good ol' days without the resentment. The Spectacle started back in Little Rock, Arkansas with the Osborne family themselves - the father, Jennings, owned a large estate and created a huge Christmas light display which eventually spread to the two properties on either side of their original home.

Eventually, Disney approached the Osborne family, asking to set up their display on Residential Street in the then Disney-MGM Studios. By 1995, it was a part of what's now Hollywood Studios and the rest is history. The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights was honestly so much fun, and I could spend hours and hours walking around there. 

4. Main Street Electrical Parade

This parade music would be stuck in your head for days but God, was it worth it!! 

There's nothing that upsets me more than the fact that Disney took away the MSEP but never replaced it. I miss having that nighttime parade experience so so so much. Here's hoping that someday very soon they're going to put in a new parade! (*fingers crossed*). This parade had magic to it, that's for sure. I always loved seeing The Jolly Roger come down Main Street, with Peter Pan and Captain Hook fighting it out on board. It was such a fun time and I'm so sad that it's gone away. 

5. Wishes: A Magical Gathering of Disney Dreams

Of course, I had to end this list off with quite possibly the most painful departure of any Disney attraction: Wishes. Wishes was the very first Disney fireworks show that I ever saw when I was 6 years old. And it was my favourite until it went away in spring 2017. On every trip to Disney, I saw Wishes at least once. I saw it from all over the park too: from Tomorrowland, from on Big Thunder Mountain, from the queue of Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. It was such a magical, meaningful show and watching it brought back so much nostalgia from my childhood for me.

In 2017, Wishes sadly went away. It was a big moment for my family honestly!! Unfortunately, because they hadn't given a lot of forewarning that it was being replaced, we weren't able to go to the parks to see the last showing of Wishes, but we did watch the Facebook livestream. It had been a part of the Magic Kingdom for a whopping thirteen and a half years. And all of a sudden, it was gone! Fortunately, the replacement, Happily Ever After, is incredible and so, so good. But a part of my heart is always going to miss Wishes and all it stood for. 

What is your favourite 'lost' Disney attraction?

Felicia x

5 Tips for Disney Pin Collecting

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Over the years, I've garnered myself quite the Disney pin collection. Ever since I was a little girl visiting the parks for the first time, I've periodically found myself at the pin section of any Disney World shop, scouring the racks for new pins which ultimately led to a major collection. If you aren't a Disney parkgoer, this might seem like the definition of insanity to you - but if you've ever been to the parks, I'm sure you know firsthand the Disney pin craze. 

Today, I thought that I'd share a few tips for Disney pin collecting with you guys in case you're thinking of starting your very own collection! 

1. Pin trading

Pin trading has become a pretty common thing in the last few years. It's more popular among kids, but teens and adults can totally jump into the fun, too! Cast members typically walk around the parks wearing lanyards with a number of pins on them. They can trade any of their pins (aside from a couple they have, like their personalized tag) with guests and that gives you an opportunity to get ahold of some really cool, rare pins!

2. Visit the pin stores

As much as pin trading can be fun, there may be specific pins you're looking for that may not show up in the pin rotation that you're dying to get your hands on. Most stores will have a pin section in them, like the Main Street Emporium at Magic Kingdom - however, there are also stores in the parks where pins are the main focus. Once upon a time, there was a big giant Sorcerer's Hat in Hollywood Studios that held the best collection of pins!  Nowadays, some of my favourite pin stores are the Disney's Pin Traders at Disney Springs Marketplace and the Frontierland Trading Post at Magic Kingdom's Frontierland. 

3. Buy pins of your favourite rides/attractions

In the past few years, Walt Disney World has been making major adjustments, renovations, and improvements to the parks which has resulted in a number of rides and attractions being demolished or replaced. Although I'm lucky enough to have purchased pins of some of those rides before they were removed, I don't have all of them - especially Great Movie Ride, which was my favourite but I never found a pin for. So, now that I've learned from my mistakes, I've started looking out for pins of my fav rides to buy as keepsakes, should they ever remove them, and I'm here to advise you to do the same! You can never know for sure with a park like Disney, that's always improving, if your favourites will still be intact come time for your next trip. It's always safe to be prepared. Plus, now you'll have a sick collection of pins from your fav rides!!

4. Try out the mystery packs

Disney currently sells quite a few options when it comes to mystery pin packs. These little bad boys are baggies full of pins, and you won't know what's inside until you purchase and open the pack. This makes it a big, fun surprise when you finally do get to open up the bag and see what you've got out of it - you might just have a very rare or special pin on your hands! It's also great for pin trading, as you're likely to end up with a couple pins that you're not particularly fond of but that someone else might be looking for. The same goes for the 'starter packs' that are available which come themed as Princesses or Star Wars, where you get a number of pins from that genre or film which gives you a wider selection to choose from. 

5. Display your pins

This might just be the best part of the post. Obviously, once you've returned from your Disney vacation with all your marvellous new pins, you're gonna want to show them off! The best way to do this is by finding a way to display them in your home. If you only want to show off a few of your favourite pins, you can always use a Disney lanyard - which you can buy from the parks - to display them and hang your lanyard somewhere in your room. Or, you can go with a cork-board, which is what I chose to do. A few years back, for my high school graduation, my boyfriend's parents bought me a heart-shaped cork-board (pictured above). I ended up bringing it to Florida to hang up in my bedroom here and decorate it with all my favourite pins. A cork-board is perfect because it easily keeps pins in place - all you have to do is take the backing off your pin and shove it right in - and it also gives you lots of space for displaying pins! Although I can't fit all my pins on my board (to be fair, I have several dozen pins), it does give me ample room for the pins that I consider my favourites that I want others to see. 

My favourite pins: 'Find Your Happily Ever After' (Happily Ever After fireworks), Pascal (Rapunzel), Rapunzel and Eugene (Rapunzel), Lizzie McGuire (Lizzie McGuire), and Mickey and Minnie Spinning Around the Parks


It doesn't take long at all to get hooked on pin collecting, and I can say firsthand that it doesn't matter if you've been to the parks once or a hundred times, it's still fun to buy pins!! My collection is ever-growing and constantly changing, and I love having a bit of Disney with me right by my bed at all times. It gives me a little bit of home, away from home :) 

Do you collect pins? Which are your favourites?

Felicia x