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MSC Cruises – Spending The Day On Board MSC Preziosa.

On Wednesday 4th October I was very excited to have been invited to #BlogCampOnBoard hosted by Tots 100, and MSC Cruises, on board the MSC Preziosa cruise liner. I had never been to a blogging conference before let alone on a cruise ship, hence my excitement.

The MSC Preziosa was going to be docked in Southampton for the day so this gave us the chance to explore the ship as day guests as well as attend various blogging sessions if we wanted to.

When I arrived at Southampton docks it wasn’t hard to spot where I needed to be. The Preziosa was absolutely beautiful and that was from afar. I couldn’t believe the size of her (not surprising seeing as she has 18 decks, 14 of which are for guests). The sun was already shining and it got me excited to get on board and explore what she had to offer.

MSC Cruises - Spending The Day On Board MSC Preziosa.
Photo © It’s a Blogs Life

We had to pass security just like a passenger would and present our passports, even though we weren’t actually going anywhere we were still treated the same. It was interesting having never been on a cruise before to see it was just the same as traveling through an airport. It looked just like airport departures with security and the departure lounge.

Once we were escorted to board the ship we were once again asked to show our day passes and present our passports to the security team on board – the level of security is really good and definitely makes you feel at ease and feel safe on board.

Once all the checks were in place we walked into the breathtaking main atrium of the ship. It is absolutely beautiful. Everything was so shiny and sparkly and so very grand. The spotlights and lights in the ceiling reflected onto the tiled floor below. There was a beautiful piano situated in front of a generous seating area whilst being encased by a Swarovski crystal staircase. The grandest staircase I have ever seen in my life. Each step has been embedded with the crystals and costs a whopping €8-10,000  – yes that’s right each step! I felt privileged to have walked down them and I can only imagine how glamorous it would be walking down them in a ballgown. There were two glass lifts which gracefully carried guests between each floor.

MSC Cruises - Spending The Day On Board MSC Preziosa.
Photo © It’s a Blogs Life

MSC Cruises - Spending The Day On Board MSC Preziosa.

Photo © It’s a Blogs Life

MSC Cruises - Spending The Day On Board MSC Preziosa.

Photo © It’s a Blogs Life

MSC Cruises - Spending The Day On Board MSC Preziosa.

Photo © It’s a Blogs Life

Photo © It’s a Blogs Life

MSC Cruises - Spending The Day On Board MSC Preziosa.
Photo © It’s a Blogs Life

We were taken from there into the ships Platinum Theatre, which can seat a whopping 1,603 passengers. It was absolutely huge, far bigger than anything I have been in on land and this was on a ship!

MSC Cruises - Spending The Day On Board MSC Preziosa.
Photo © It’s a Blogs Life
MSC Cruises - Spending The Day On Board MSC Preziosa.
Photo © It’s a Blogs Life

MSC is a family-owned company and that really showed. They have thought of everything and cater for children from babies through to 17 years.

Seeing as we have such a large age gap (L is 14 & C is 5) I was keen to find out how they could both benefit from the kids clubs and I wondered if they could cater for both of them. I was surprised to find they could.

The children clubs are split into five groups:

  • Baby –  3 years
  • Mini – 3-6 years
  • Juniors – 7-11 years
  • Young – 12-14 years
  • Teen – 15 – 17 Years

Kids can join in as little or as much as they like. Daily schedules are delivered to cabins each day with a forecast on the following day so you have plenty of time to decide what they would like to do. The clubs are open 9am – 11pm and your little cherubs can be taken for their breakfast, lunch or dinner if you wanted the staff to take them. You can even leave them on board in the clubs if you fancied the odd day off exploring an island when the ship is docked. The activities in each club depend on the age but they can range from talent shows, cooking, arts & crafts, discos, DJ/sports/technology programmes … there’s plenty to do.

MSC Cruises - Spending The Day On Board MSC Preziosa.
Photo courtesy of MSC
MSC Cruises - Spending The Day On Board MSC Preziosa.
Photo courtesy of MSC
MSC Cruises - Spending The Day On Board MSC Preziosa.
Photo courtesy of MSC

MSC also offers a new baby laundry service for families traveling with children aged 0-6 years so you don’t have to over pack on luggage. How cool is that? We all know as parents accidents and food mishaps can happen. But on board with MSC you don’t need to worry. They have also partnered with Chicco & Lego to bring fun and educational toys and equipment on board for their little passengers.

I know both of mind would love the facilities on board especially the swimming pools, waterpark and water slide!!

MSC Cruises - Spending The Day On Board MSC Preziosa.
Photo © It’s a Blogs Life
MSC Cruises - Spending The Day On Board MSC Preziosa.
Indoor pool with a retractable roof Photo © It’s a Blogs Life

 

MSC Cruises - Spending The Day On Board MSC Preziosa.
Photo © It’s a Blogs Life
MSC Cruises - Spending The Day On Board MSC Preziosa.
Indoor pool with a retractable roof Photo © It’s a Blogs Life
MSC Cruises - Spending The Day On Board MSC Preziosa.
Photo © It’s a Blogs Life
MSC Cruises - Spending The Day On Board MSC Preziosa.
Photo courtesy of MSC
MSC Cruises - Spending The Day On Board MSC Preziosa.
Photo courtesy of MSC

Once we had finished the welcome and briefing in the theatre we were split into three groups. The first thing my group did was have a tour of the ship. We weren’t able to see the entire ship because of time restraints before lunch and the ship currently had passengers on board so we weren’t able to see in any cabins. MSC has however provided some photos of the cabins to show us what they would typically look like.

MSC Cruises - Spending The Day On Board MSC Preziosa.
Photo courtesy of MSC
MSC Cruises - Spending The Day On Board MSC Preziosa.
Photo courtesy of MSC
MSC Cruises - Spending The Day On Board MSC Preziosa.
Photo courtesy of MSC
MSC Cruises - Spending The Day On Board MSC Preziosa.
Photo courtesy of MSC

The MSC Preziosa is a beautiful ship, she was christened by Sophia Loren in Genoa Italy. Sophia is the godmother of MSC Cruises. The ship’s length is 333.30mt, she weighs 130,072 tonnes (WOW!), she can carry 4,345 passengers which are accommodated over 1,751 cabins (45 of which are suitable for reduced mobility passengers) and her average speed on the water is 18 knots (although she can reach 24,21 knots!)

To keep you occupied on board the MCS Preziosa has:

  • 3 outdoor pools – one of which is an infinity pool & one indoor pool with a retractable roof, so if you are sailing towards better climates then you can experience the ‘outdoor’ pool vibe.
  • Doremi Castle – a water playground for kids
  • 120mt waterslide wrapping itself around the outside of the ship.
  • Fully equipped panoramic gym (where better to work out overlooking the ocean)
  • MSC Aurea Spa – 1,700m of beauty and wellness offering a range of treatments and expert masseuses.
  • Onboard shopping boutiques selling handbags, jewellery, perfume and even cameras and camera equipment.
  • Platinum theatre – seating 1,603 passengers hosting a range of different shows almost every day of the week.
  • Sports and bowling alley (yes that’s right, an actual bowling alley on a ship!!!)
  • 4D Cinema
  • F1 Simulator
  • All night Casino
  • Wide choice of live music in a choice of different bars and lounges
MSC Cruises - Spending The Day On Board MSC Preziosa.
Photo courtesy of MSC
MSC Cruises - Spending The Day On Board MSC Preziosa.
Photo courtesy of MSC

The MSC Preziosa has an impressive 8 restaurants on board so there would be plenty to choose from.

  • The Golden Lobster restaurant
  • L’arabesque restaurant
  • Galaxy Lounge
  • Panoramic a la carte restaurant
  • Maya & lnca buffet (open 20 hours a day)
  • Eataly & Italia themed restaurants
  • La Locanda international wine bar and pizzeria
  • Le Palmeraire (Private gourmet restaurant for Yacht Club passengers)

MSC Yacht Club.

This is an exclusive area for passengers wanting that little bit extra on their cruise. This club is offered on seven of the MSC ships – MSC Preziosa, MSC Divina, MSC SplendidaMSC Fantasia, MSC Meraviglia, MSC Seaside and MSC Seaview. It’s the best way to discover various destinations. Included in the MSC Yacht Club you can enjoy these special privileges:

  • Private swimming pool and sun deck
  • Private concierge reception
  • 24 hr butler service
  • Prestige luxury suites
  • Panoramic top sail lounge
  • Luxury experiences from mini bar, meals, refreshments and drinks
  • LePalmerair restaurant
MSC Cruises - Spending The Day On Board MSC Preziosa.
MSC Yacht Club private pool and sun deck. Photo courtesy of MSC.

After our tour of the ship, we were taken to the Golen Lobster restaurant for our lunch. We had either a choice of food from the 3-course menu or we could help ourselves to the buffet. I decided to go with the buffet and enjoyed some cold meats, salad, potatoes and some fresh bread. I also opted to choose some dessert from the buffet because quite frankly they all looked amazing.

MSC Cruises - Spending The Day On Board MSC Preziosa.
Photo © It’s a Blogs Life
MSC Cruises - Spending The Day On Board MSC Preziosa.
Photo © It’s a Blogs Life
MSC Cruises - Spending The Day On Board MSC Preziosa.
Photo © It’s a Blogs Life

The staff at lunch couldn’t have been more attentive. They were constantly making sure we had water in our glasses and topped up wine if glasses seemed empty. We had the choice of still or sparkling water and red or white wine. For those of us who didn’t want to drink, soft drinks were on offer too. As soon as plates were empty they were being taken away so the tables were kept clean and tidy.

After lunch, there were a few blogging sessions to choose from so first up I decided to pop along to one that Alison Parry was taking all on Podcasts. I found this really interesting and informative and who knows maybe sometime in the future I might just embark on podcasting. The second session was all about metrics with Sally Whittle founder of Tots 100. We had an interactive game to play for a bit of fun and a good way to find out how Tots 100 work.

After all the blogging sessions we had a Q&A session with the lovely MSC staff whilst sipping on cocktails. They answered some pressing questions us bloggers had about cruising with MSC and help us with any information we didn’t already find out from the day. They told us how they are planning to accommodate British passengers on board by providing kettles in the cabins with the famous Yorkshire teabags (my favourite tea!) They also answered queries bloggers had about children traveling on board with medical issues and how the staff would be able to deal with this.

I then took the opportunity to quickly pop off for one last wander around the deck to take some last minute photos and take in the beauty of the ship before we disembarked.

MSC Cruises - Spending The Day On Board MSC Preziosa.
Photo © It’s a Blogs Life
MSC Cruises - Spending The Day On Board MSC Preziosa.
Photo © It’s a Blogs Life
MSC Cruises - Spending The Day On Board MSC Preziosa.
Photo © It’s a Blogs Life
MSC Cruises - Spending The Day On Board MSC Preziosa.
Some of the gorgeous cakes on offer to buy with an afternoon coffee.         Photo © It’s a Blogs Life
MSC Cruises - Spending The Day On Board MSC Preziosa.
Photo © It’s a Blogs Life

Before Blog Camp on Board, I don’t think a cruising holiday would have been something I would have booked as our family holiday, but I was surprised to see how many families and children were on board and how many facilities were on board to keep children entertained. It is definitely something I would now consider.

MSC have 16 ships, two of which sail from the port of Southampton – the Preziosa and the Magnifica. This is a huge selling point seeing as Southampton is only half an hour away and it would save the worry of flying out to a destination to board a boat and no baggage allowances to worry about either!

A huge thank you to MSC for welcoming me on board for the #BlogCampOnBoard conference and also to Sally at tots 100 for organising it all.

If you wanted to find out more information on MSC Cruises, you can check out their website for more details.

 

Disclaimer – I was invited onboard the MSC Preziosa as a day passenger to attend Blog Camp on Board, however, all thoughts and opinions on the ship are my own.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kidzania London

We visited Kidzania London last weekend for a Birthday treat for C. He was 5 on the Wednesday and seeing as it was his first week at school we decided to make it a nice weekend.

Kidzania London is situated in Westfield shopping centre in Shepherd Bush. We’ve never been but I have heard lots about it.

Kidaznia is basically an indoor city, just for kids. They have the opportunity to experience various different jobs and careers to earn money, have the chance to spend their earnings on fun activities or to open a bank account to save their cash.

Kidzania is pretty easy to find. Westfield is a huge shopping centre and Kidznia is situated on the first floor by Marks & Spencers. When you arrive there is a desk opposite where you hand in your confirmation. I also assume you can buy tickets there as well, as long as they had spaces for the timeslot you wanted that day. We had pre-booked our day and time slot.

You are given tickets that are like pretend plane boarding tickets. It has your name, date and time slot and various other details to mimic an actual boarding ticket. You then take your boarding tickets over to the main entrance and you are directed to the elevators and told to go to level three to the departure area.

Kidzania London

Kidzania London

I honestly didn’t know what to expect despite watching the official kidzania video on their website but I was really very impressed when we arrived at the ‘airport’

Kidzania London

Kidzania London

Kidzania London

Kidzania LondonWhen it was our turn to ‘check in’ we handed over our boarding passes and just like real life they tore the stub off and handed us back the main ticket. We were then also given our security RFID bracelet which are really detailed. The bands were all scanned to link us all together as a family. They would alarm if either of the children walked out of the city and only one parent could leave at any time, one had to stay on site – again it would have alarmed if both parents tried to leave. This allows your children to have the freedom if they are a little older to explore the city and the activities themselves whilst Mum, Dad/Carer sat in the various cafe areas inside. They had to also be removed once our session was over a little like a shop removes a clothing label with a magnet. So kids can’t remove them themselves.

We were also given a brief seeing as we have never visited before explaining how Kidzania works. Both children were handed a health and safety hair net which they had to use on activities that required them to wear headgear and they were also issued with their Kidzo’s. Kidzo is Kidzania’s currency. They were each issued with 50 kidzo’s.

 

 

 

Kidzania London

 

These can be used to pay for certain activities, you can earn more Kidzo’s from doing various jobs in the workplace or they can choose to open a Kidzania bank account and save their money (if they have a minimum of 75 Kidzo’s) and they can leave their savings in the bank to earn interest between visits. There is also a shop where they can buy small items using their Kidzo’s on the way out I believe – we didn’t do this though.

Each activity or job has an allocated amount of children allowed into each session. It’s clearly posted outside each door with the capacity of children allowed in, the amount of Kidzo’s it’ll cost or how much you’ll earn and how long each session takes. We did visit on a Saturday and sometimes we found we had to queue for more than 20 minutes for certain activities. A few times C left the queue he was in purely because he didn’t want to stand around. We all found it pretty exhausting by the end of the 4 hours with all the standing around we did.

C first opted to be a firefighter. Once it was his turn after queuing his group were all taken into the fire station for a briefing before they got called out on a ‘job’ To get to their call out they went in an actual moving fire engine. Parents were able to follow behind so we could be with them or if your children are older you can let them go off on their own.

He was taken to a place over the other side of the city where a hotel was on fire. There were also two other activity groups attending the scene too (paramedics and police) and the area was cordoned off. C and his team had to put the fire out while the paramedics paid attention to any causalities and the police made sure no-one crossed the barrier until it was safe to do so.

There were special effects to make it as real as possible with mini explosion noises and fire crackles. They also had really water hoses to put the ‘fire’ out with. C had a great time.

Kidzania London
Kidzania LondonKidzania LondonKidzania LondonNext up he chose to be a paramedic. It was a similar activity to being a firefighter – he was in a set up a bit like an A&E department – they sat and had a briefing after putting on the uniform and then had a call out – this time they went in an ambulance to the same area he went to as a firefighter only this time he was treating any causalities. At the end of his session, he was paid a wage for his work.

Kidzania LondonHe then queued up to be a shop assistant in the supermarket but he got bored of queuing because it was quite a long queue, so instead he had a go on the climbing wall. This being a fun activity obviously cost him some kidzo’sKidzania LondonKidzania LondonThe next activity he chose was to be a dentist. He earned kidzo’s from doing this and the room looked really authentic!

Kidzania LondonNext up he tried his hand at being a surgeon. He was the only one in the queue so he had the whole activity to himself! His patient needed a liver transplant, he had to put them to sleep and then using the theatre tools he had to perform a transplant.

Kidzania London

Kidzania London

Kidzania LondonLastly, he was a vet with the PDSA. Here he had to help operate on a poorly dog.

Kidzania London

Kidzania is aimed at children aged 4-14 years and although L was within that bracket she actually didn’t want to do anything once she was in there. She felt too self-conscious being that much older so next time I will just put her down as an adult (if we return before she’s 15 that is) Having said that C doubled his money by having L’s.

We had a great time, even just as an adult watching your little ones enjoy the different experiences. We will definitely like to return again one day and perhaps it’ll give C a chance to explore different jobs next time.

 

 

 

Lake Buena Vista Resort Village & Spa – Orlando, Florida

If you’re planning a holiday to Florida and are looking for family accommodation then I can thoroughly recommend the Lake Buena Vista Resort Village & Spa, as a perfect place to stay on your holiday. By doing some research we come across these perfect apartments within a hotel environment.

Lake Buena Vista Resort Village & Spa - Orlando, Florida

Having only been built in 2006 and had some refurbished work carried out in 2017, there are 495 apartments spaced out over 5 buildings, which consist of either private one, two, three or four bedrooms, sleeping from 1-10 people.

Each apartment has a fully equipped kitchen, a jacuzzi bath in the master bedroom, flat screen TV’s in the living area and all bedrooms, a living room with a sofa bed if extra sleeping space is needed, a washer and dryer and also high-speed internet. They have absolutely everything you might need for your Orlando stay.

I don’t know about you but when we go away being a family of four the washing soon builds up. I liked the idea of being able to pop a wash on every few days to a) save it all building up for when we got home and b) It saved us a lot of luggage weight not having to take 2 full weeks of clothing away because I knew we could wash, dry and rotate clothes whilst we were there.

I also liked the convenience of some days making stuff in the kitchen for us, especially breakfast. We tended to have breakfast in the apartment and make up some snacks and bottles of ice water to take to the parks. On the days we had off from visiting the parks I wouldn’t mind cooking us something in the evening. I tend to get a bit bored of eating out for two whole weeks so making the odd ‘home’ cooked meals didn’t bother me at all and it was actually nice some nights.

We had a two bedroomed apartment. It included two bathrooms, two toilets and two separate bedrooms. Bedroom one (the master) had a huge king sized bed, a Jacuzzi bath, a separate shower and a toilet. There was also a large walk in closet/wardrobe which housed a fairly decent sized safe, and in the bedroom itself we had a chest of drawers and a flat screen tv. The beds in the resort are amazingly comfy. There’s loads of space as well because the beds are massive.

Lake Buena Vista Resort Village & Spa - Orlando, Florida

The second bedroom had two twin beds, a wardrobe and chest of drawers and next to the bedroom in a separate room a bath & shower combination, sink and toilet.

The lounge/dining room had plenty of seating, a flat-screen TV, a table in the centre of the sofas and the dining room had a really lovely big circular dining table and 6 dining chairs.

Lake Buena Vista Resort Village & Spa - Orlando, Florida

The kitchen had a cooker, microwave, kettle, toaster, coffee machine, fridge/freezer, all the crockery/glasses/cutlery/pots and pans you would need and in a separate cupboard, there were a washing machine and dryer.

The outdoor swimming pool “The Pirate Plunge Pool’ features an excellent Pirate Ship which has a water slide. It’s even been built into the shape of a seahorse! There is a poolside bar so if you fancied a drink, snack or ice-lolly in the sun, sat down by the pool you could.

Lake Buena Vista Resort Village & Spa - Orlando, Florida

 

We found the Lake Buena Vista Resort perfectly located for the Disney,  Universal & Seaworld Parks and also for restaurants, shopping and supermarkets. DisneyWorld resort is only a short 10 minutes drive, Universal & Seaworld were 20 minutes and Walmart is literally a few minutes drive across the road. The resort also offers shuttle busses to all of the theme parks too.

They have three restaurants on site as well. Pizza Hut Express, Lani’s Lanu pool bar and Frankie Farrell’s Irish Pub.

Lake Buena Vista Resort Village & Spa - Orlando, Florida

Lake Buena Vista Resort Village & Spa - Orlando, Florida

The resort is also next to the Lake Buena Vista Factory Stores, so plenty of shops to help that all-important shopping day!

The Lake Buena Vista Resort Village & Spa have their very own ‘Reflections Spa & Salon’ on site so if you fancied a little treat and some time to relax then you don’t have to go far and if you are feeling more energetic (if you’re brave after a full on day at the park) you can make use of their fitness centre too.

Lake Buena Vista Resort Village & Spa - Orlando, Florida

I would definitely choose to stay there again and I have recommended the resort to anyone who’s been looking for recommendations on places to stay.

Have you ever stayed at the Lake Buena Vista Resort Village & Spa?

All featured images are supplied courtesy of Lake Buena Vista Resort Village & Spa.

 

 

Paultons Park Family Theme Park – Review

We are so lucky only living 30 minutes drive away from the UK’s number one family theme park. Paultons Park family theme park is situated near Romsey in Hampshire. With 0ver 70 attractions it is also the home of the Worlds only Peppa Pig World.

Paultons Park Family Theme Park - Review

Paultons Park is opened from February through to the middle of November. Paultons Park then operates their Christmas themed event from the middle of November until the end of December. All of their opening times can be found on their website.

On arrival, you will notice there is plenty of parking and after a short walk, you will come to the main entrance where you will find toilets, the tickets booths and the turnstiles to enter Paultons.

Paultons Park Family Theme Park

Once you’re through the turnstiles you will be in the main entrance to the park. On the right is their main restaurant ‘The Wild Forest’ and to your right is the Big Toy Shop (which also leads to the exit and the car-parks)

Paultons Park Family Theme Park

Paultons Park Family Theme Park

After you walk through the entrance you enter the courtyard and to the left if the information centre where you can purchase season tickets, hire strollers and have any questions answered if you have any. It’s also a good idea to ask here where the ‘lost and found’ is situated. They offer labels for you to stick to your child with a contact number should you become in the unfortunate position of loosing a little one during the day.

Paultons Park Family Theme Park

The Courtyard then leads you off to different parts of the park for your day of fun.

Paultons is a family focused park allowing family members as small as pre-walkers right through to teens and above to enjoy the day out. I have L who is 14 and C who is 4 and both of them really enjoy having a day out here. There is plenty to do for all ages and we can easily be in the park from opening until closing and sometimes still never get round to see everything – there’s so much to do.

There are three main areas to Paultons Park – there, of course, is the most famous Peppa Pig World, then there is the Lost Kingdom and lastly Critters Creek.

Lost Kingdom was only opened in 2016 and I can honestly say being regular visitors over the past few years we were really blown away when we visited the Lost Kingdom for the first time. This dinosaur themed land has amazing 3d theming and animatronics with music playing to suit the theme. We were really impressed with ‘Alive’ which was home to a rather scary looking friend!

Paultons Park Family Theme Park

Paultons Park Family Theme Park

Paultons Park Family Theme Park

Paultons Park Family Theme Park

Paultons Park Family Theme Park

Paultons Park Family Theme Park

Paultons Park Family Theme ParkPaultons Park Family Theme Park

Paultons Park Family Theme Park - ReviewPaultons Park Family Theme ParkPaultons Park Family Theme Park

Paultons Park Family Theme Park - Review

C’s favourite ride in the Lost Kingdom is by far The Flight of the Pterosaur. It’s the only leg suspended coaster in the park. He’s such a daredevil.

One thing I noticed was how many toilets were positioned around the park. You don’t have to ever walk very far to find one and also the same for food huts. Perfect for a drink, snack or an ice-cream on the go.

Critter Creek is a really colourful themed area with plenty to do for all ages. There is the family roller coaster ‘Cat-O-Pillar or for the smaller members of the family they can always jump on Professor Blasts Expedition Express. I went on this recently with my nephew and I couldn’t help but admire how well the gardens are kept and how pretty all the colours of the flowers are that are planted. All over the park the gardens everywhere are really well looked after making the walk round to each area a really pleasant one.

Paultons Park Family Theme Park - Review

Paultons Park Family Theme Park - Review

Paultons Park Family Theme Park - Review

Paultons Park Family Theme Park - Review

Paultons Park Family Theme Park - Review

I was there today and since my last visit, they have welcomed some new Japanese Gardens. It makes a lovely edition to the park and somewhere to have a little stroll though on the way to seek out our next adventure.

Paultons Park Family Theme Park - Review

Paultons Park Family Theme Park - Review

Paultons Park Family Theme Park - Review

Paultons Park Family Theme Park - Review

Paultons Park Family Theme Park - Review

Paultons Park Family Theme Park - Review

Paultons Park Family Theme Park - Review

Paultons Park Family Theme Park - Review

Paultons Park Family Theme Park - Review

Paultons Park Family Theme Park - Review

 

Peppa Pig World is a whole entire section over one side of the park and for that reason I have decided to do a separate post on this.

Other than the three main themed areas there are lots of other rides in the park. They have a beautiful traditional carousel, the wave runner (featuring a dingy boat and water), a pirate ship, the raging river log flume …. this will most definitely leave you wet, the edge, the Cobra, Sky Swinger and many many more. You can check out all the rides and attractions on their website.

Paultons Park Family Theme Park - Review

Paultons Park Family Theme Park - Review

Paultons Park Family Theme Park - Review

 

If you happen to be visiting the park during the summer they currently have a live beach themed show running every day and different intervals. It’ll be worth checking the website or at the information points in the park to check out the times when you visit.

Paultons Park Family Theme Park - Review

We found it a perfect time to lay out the picnic blanket to haver some lunch whilst we watched the show. The kids loved having a bit of entertainment keeping them occupied whilst they ate. It’s very interactive with characters, lots of music and dancing. It’s fun for everyone.

Here is C today having a photo with Manta.

https://paultonspark.co.uk/attractions/rides

Paultons Park Family Theme Park - Review

If you are interested in the history begins Paultons Park there are several posters around the park with lots ion history information – certain dates and photos are all added. Also if you have time take a walk to the Paultons water mill. It’s worth the lovely walk across the lake.

https://paultonspark.co.uk/attractions/rides

https://paultonspark.co.uk/attractions/rides

Paultons Park Family Theme Park - Review

 

It’s not only just rides and attractions Paultons have to offer – there are lots of bird aviaries, home to many different types of birds and prey, penguins where at certain times of the day you can sit and watch them being fed, giant tortoises .. just to name a few.

I could literally go on all day about Paultons Park – we have loved visiting here yearly and C & I now have season tickets so we’re making the most of going as often as we can before he starts school. We’re making the most of the low term time queues. I highly recommend a day out here. You won’t be disappointed I’m sure.

Even on the way out through the shop, the theming doesn’t disappoint.

Paultons Park Family Theme Park - Review

Paultons Park Family Theme Park - Review

 

 

 

 

 

Florida Holiday – Mickeys Very Merry Christmas Party – Day 12

So we decided to have a look online to see if they had any tickets for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party before we leave and the only dates they did have were for the next night, the 18th so we went ahead and booked :-D. The party started when the park closed at 7pm and finished at midnight.

 

Florida Holiday - Mickeys Very Merry Christmas Party - Day 12

Florida Holiday - Mickeys Very Merry Christmas Party - Day 12

We arrived at the park for around 6.30pm I think to collect our tickets from the desk. The chap that issued them told us a little about the party seeing as we had never been before – he said there were two parades, one at 8.30pm and one at 10.30pm. He advised we missed the 8.30 performance and make use of the low crowds to queue for rides and that by 10.30 the parade crowd is a lot quieter due to the people with younger kids having left. He also said the very first thing we should do was head over to the character signing for the Seven Dwarf – these characters only ever come out at special times and you’ll never see them in the normal park hours and because of this the queue gets really long.
We got out tickets and headed for the turnstiles – it did feel really special seeing hundreds of people leave the park after their day and us being special enough to enter just as the park was closing. The guy on the ticket desk said in a normal day for this time of the year the park has around 55,000 people but on special occasions like tonight the max tickets sold are 24,000!!!!
As we entered we were given wrist bands showing we were part of MVMCP and that way we couldn’t be asked to leave like everyone else at 7.
Pictures for the Seven Dwarf started at 7 so that was the first place we headed for – it was right beside ‘Big Thunder Mountain’ and ‘Splash Mountain’ and both of those queues for the rides were only 5 minutes so whilst L & I joined the queue, Mr S went on both rides.
We were asked to show our wrist bands as we joined the queue and already it was around half an hour long.
Mr S did both rides and still joined us whilst we were in the line for about the last 20 minutes – as he walked past the end of the line he heard someone being told the queue time was 2 hrs so I am really pleased we got there when we did.
The Seven Dwarfs were very cute. They entertained and were in character the whole time so they were fun to watch.
Florida Holiday - Mickeys Very Merry Christmas Party - Day 12
Florida Holiday - Mickeys Very Merry Christmas Party - Day 12
There was something quite special walking round in the dark knowing only certain people were allowed in – they had complementary hot chocolate and cookies all over the place as we could have as many as we liked – it reminded me of being at home just before Christmas – we used to pick L up from school and head off to do some Christmas shopping wandering round with a cup of hot chocolate that we bought from Costa .. except this was far better – Christmas Decorations and Christmas music everywhere and the buzz of Magic Kingdom.
We stopped by Cinderella’s Castle where the Characters were performing a show which was lovely.
Seeing the snow falling around was just so special, the hairs on the back of my neck stood up, it was amazing
After the show we wandered around to Tomorrow Land because people were starting to get their spots for the first parade. Mr S went on Space Mountain with a very small queuing time. I think he walked straight on.
Afterwards we just walked around the various lands soaking up the atmosphere and getting some hot chocolate & cookies.
Around 8.30pm we headed back to the Castle so we could get a good position for the shows, fireworks & parades.
In January of this year the Magic Kingdom started ‘The Magic, The Memories & You’ show, on Cinderella’s Castle. It is presented just before Wishes. The show is projected on the Castle itself and it is just simply amazing – We saw it the first day we visited MK and even though this was the second time we saw it, it still blew me away. It was just magical and very clever.

 

Straight after ‘The Memories, The Magic & You’ was ‘Wishes’ – again this never fails to amaze me and that night was even better, they used more fireworks and instead of them just being over the castle they literally went everywhere, to the side of us and behind us. It really was lovely.
I said in my pervious MK blog I didn’t think the Parades were as good as they used to be but the one they put on for MVMCP was excellent – they had far more floats and as each one went past they had different Christmassy smells coming from them. They had cinnamon smells, gingerbread ones, vanilla, spices etc. The last float also had Santa on his sleigh so that was really nice.
I did take some photos but they didn’t come out all that good due to it being so dark but here are a few that come out best:
Florida Holiday - Mickeys Very Merry Christmas Party - Day 12
Florida Holiday - Mickeys Very Merry Christmas Party - Day 12
Florida Holiday - Mickeys Very Merry Christmas Party - Day 12
Florida Holiday - Mickeys Very Merry Christmas Party - Day 12
Florida Holiday - Mickeys Very Merry Christmas Party - Day 12
Florida Holiday - Mickeys Very Merry Christmas Party - Day 12
Florida Holiday - Mickeys Very Merry Christmas Party - Day 12
Florida Holiday - Mickeys Very Merry Christmas Party - Day 12
Florida Holiday - Mickeys Very Merry Christmas Party - Day 12
Florida Holiday - Mickeys Very Merry Christmas Party - Day 12
Florida Holiday - Mickeys Very Merry Christmas Party - Day 12
Florida Holiday - Mickeys Very Merry Christmas Party - Day 12
Florida Holiday - Mickeys Very Merry Christmas Party - Day 12
As Santa was the last float the crowd were getting up and walking behind and following down main street and we were lucky enough to be right behind. So there we were walking down Main Street in the snow, behind Santa with the parade still going on in front – it was amazing.
The snow was really life like as well – it was all fluffy and when it landed on you it dissolved.
So we’re really pleased we got the tickets – seeing MK with Christmas Decorations in the dark, with snow and fantastic shows and parades really was something special.
Coming up next Islands of Adventure & Universal Studios.

Florida Holiday – Aquatica Water Park – Day 12

I thought I would do a little throwback series for the next few weeks re-capping our holiday to Disney World in Florida. At the time of going I kept a daily blog which was only ever used for that holiday and i’m so pleased I did. Every night I would sit down and document what we had done each day even down to what kind of weather we had. I love reading it back every so often reliving the memories. On this day we went to Disney’s Aquatica water park.
Todays Weather – 77f (25c)
Well the drive into the park looked really promising, it was quiet n the car-park despite it being a good hour after it opened so we hope that meant the queues would be nice a low for the rides.
Florida Holiday - Aquatica Water Park - Day 12
Florida Holiday - Aquatica Water Park - Day 12
Florida Holiday - Aquatica Water Park - Day 12
Florida Holiday - Aquatica Water Park - Day 12
Florida Holiday - Aquatica Water Park - Day 12
The first ride we went on was the water slide that sent you through the dolphin tank and you were meant to see them through a see through slide. The only bit that was see through was right at the very end and it wasn’t very long, plus with the speed you whizz past you’re lucky to get a look at anything. So we were disappointed and found the adverts really mis-leading.
The park was really very quiet – we went in the lazy river so we could get to another ride you were meant to ride the river in a rubber ring. The only problem was the current was so strong you were lucky enough to be able to stand up let alone struggle into a rubber ring – L got carted off at one point and she couldn’t even hold onto the wall to stop herself 🙁
We probably did 3 or 4 slides in total and none of them were particularly enjoyable.
L stayed and played in the kiddie area for about 15 minutes before getting bored which is unusual for her.
Florida Holiday - Aquatica Water Park - Day 12
Florida Holiday - Aquatica Water Park - Day 12
Florida Holiday - Aquatica Water Park - Day 12
We took at look on the map and realised there were only two slides left we hadn’t done so Mr S went to do them (I had lost interest by now) and L went into the swimming pool with the waves, which after Typhoon Lagoons huge wave machine the other day it really was quite lame.
So after about an hour & a half we all agreed we’d rather just get ready & leave. We found it really boring and what they did have we didn’t enjoy.
So thats two parks owned by Seaworld we’ve done this holiday and not liked, and we certainly won’t be doing either parks again – they just don’t seem to ‘get it’ as fair as we’re concerned so we shall be sticking to Disney in the future :o)
I’ll do another blog after this evenings for Mickeys Very Merry Christmas Party.

Florida Holiday – Disney Typhoon Lagoon – Day Ten.

I thought I would do a little throwback series for the next few weeks re-capping our holiday to Disney World in Florida. At the time of going I kept a daily blog which was only ever used for that holiday and i’m so pleased I did. Every night I would sit down and document what we had done each day even down to what kind of weather we had. I love reading it back every so often reliving the memories. Today we were at Typhoon Lagoon.

Todays Weather – 85f (29c)

Florida Holiday - Disney Typhoon Lagoon - Day Ten

We arrived after a bit of a lazy morning around 10.30/11ish, it was little cloudy to begin with in the morning but by the time we arrived it was clearing and the sun was shining.
L loves the water & swimming so she was really looking forward to today.
Florida Holiday - Disney Typhoon Lagoon - Day Ten
The place was lovely – all set out like a beach, with gorgeous white sand leading into a huge pool with a wave machine.
The place was lovely - all set out like a beach, with gorgeous white sand leading into a huge pool with a wave machine.
The place was lovely - all set out like a beach, with gorgeous white sand leading into a huge pool with a wave machine.
The place was lovely - all set out like a beach, with gorgeous white sand leading into a huge pool with a wave machine.
We didn’t realise at first so it was a bit of a shock but every few hours for an hour and a half there was a big ‘boom’ and this MASSIVE surfer wave just come out of nowhere. I had just about managed to grab L’s hand as it hit us LOL. Of course after that first one we loved it – watching it come towards you is insane – I can’t imagine what those poor people felt like a few years ago when the Tsunami was coming towards them – this was big but nothing compared to that. I almost lost L’s hand in the wave let alone anything bigger.
Florida Holiday - Disney Typhoon Lagoon - Day Ten
We went on the lazy river first – was pretty relaxing except L kept falling out of her rubber ring lol. They had loads of rides – we went on two rubber ring type rides, water slides, a family raft ride, and the new water/roller coaster type ride, ‘Crush n Gusher’. This had to be the best I think. We were able to ride in a triple tube all sat one in front of the other – it was a white knuckle thrill ride which propelled you 400ft through hairpin turns, sudden drops and gravity-defying uphill climbs which then plunges into hideaway bay. There were three side to choose from, coconut crusher, pineapple plunger & banana blaster.
I think when we climbed to the very top and L noticed the first steep drop she was unsure but seeing as we were all able to ride together she was ok, in the end this is the one we went on the most.
We noticed they had a lagoon where you could go snorkeling so seeing as we were pros from Discovery Cove the other day we went to have a look. We collected our snorkels & masks and off we went …….. all was going so well until I stopped to read a sign. It said that the lagoon had rays & tropical fish (which were fine, been there done that blah blah) but then it said there were sharks swimming around freely!!!!! What – no glass wall??!!?? I looked at Mr S and said I don’t think I can do this lol, I daren’t tell L, she would have had kittens!
I must admit I was on the verge of walking back out but thought sod it – they wouldn’t be able to do it if they were dangerous, people have been doing this for days, weeks, years and nothing has happened to them right?? By this point we were at the front of the pool and getting the instructions from the lifeguard. We weren’t allowed to stop, swim back to where we started, we had to swim right over to the exit and if we did get into difficulty to stop and wave your hands (there were two lifeguards in the water) we also couldn’t kick our legs. So there was my safety net gone .. I wasn’t able to swim back if I wanted to .. I had to make it to the other side *gulp*
L was a bit freaked by the freely swimming sharks but the lifeguard told her they wouldn’t hurt, they were Disney sharks and Disney sharks are friendly. I thought to myself a shark is a shark but put the mask and goggles on and off we went.
I am really pleased I did it – what an experience. Swimming along watching sharks beneath me amongst rays & beautifully coloured tropical fish … L wasn’t so keen this time and held onto Mr S’s hand the whole way with her head up lol but we all got the other side alive!!!
The park closed at 5 so we got changed then bought the all important pin badge for L and the all important hot dinky doughnuts for me ;o)
Few photos from the day:
Florida Holiday - Disney Typhoon Lagoon - Day Ten
Florida Holiday - Disney Typhoon Lagoon - Day Ten
Florida Holiday - Disney Typhoon Lagoon - Day Ten
Florida Holiday - Disney Typhoon Lagoon - Day Ten
When we arrived home we showered and decided to head back into Disney to have a wander around ‘Downtown Disney’. (Downtown Disney is now known as Disney Springs). The first shop we went into had a local artist (Alan Foxx) signing his work. We stopped for a look and I fell in love with about 3 so we bought them and he signed each one personally & also wrote us a poem on the back of each one.
Florida Holiday - Disney Typhoon Lagoon - Day Ten
We did have a little wander around but I don’t think we were really in the mood and we were exhausted. We looked in Planet Hollywood, went into the Harley Davidson bike shop and sat on a Harley and Mr S went into for a quick look into ‘The House of Blues’ (I had to stand outside with L) but that was pretty much all we did really before we headed back.
Florida Holiday - Disney Typhoon Lagoon - Day Ten
Next up Florida Mall & Pool Time (a bit of a rest day)

Florida Holiday – Disney Hollywood Studios – Day Nine.

I thought I would do a little throwback series for the next few weeks re-capping our holiday to Disney World in Florida. At the time of going I kept a daily blog which was only ever used for that holiday and i’m so pleased I did. Every night I would sit down and document what we had done each day even down to what kind of weather we had. I love reading it back every so often reliving the memories. Today we headed to Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Day Nine – Disney Hollywood Studios (15th November 2011)

Todays weather – 85f (29c)

Florida Holiday - Disney Hollywood Studios - Day Nine

Today we decided to go to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. As with all the other Disney parks they had a huuuuuge Christmas Tree just before the entrance so we stopped for a photo – the decorations were all film related.

Florida Holiday - Disney Hollywood Studios - Day Nine

Florida Holiday - Disney Hollywood Studios - Day Nine

Florida Holiday - Disney Hollywood Studios - Day Nine

For some reason I didn’t expect the park to be as ‘Special’ as the other Disney Parks – I don’t know why, maybe it was due to the fact I didn’t really remember what it was like from our last trip but as we walked through the turnstiles I realised I was totally wrong – it was just as amazing in the entrance as the other parks.

Florida Holiday - Disney Hollywood Studios - Day Nine

Florida Holiday - Disney Hollywood Studios - Day Nine

Florida Holiday - Disney Hollywood Studios - Day Nine

Florida Holiday - Disney Hollywood Studios - Day Nine

First off we headed to ‘The Tower of Terror’ & ‘Aerosmith, Rock n Roll Coaster’ for Steve to go on – both rides had super low queues, I think ‘The Tower of Terror’ was only about 13 minutes long.

Florida Holiday - Disney Hollywood Studios - Day Nine

Florida Holiday - Disney Hollywood Studios - Day Nine

Florida Holiday - Disney Hollywood Studios - Day Nine

Florida Holiday - Disney Hollywood Studios - Day Nine

After the rides we stopped for a quick bite to eat before we headed off to ‘Animation Courtyard’

Florida Holiday - Disney Hollywood Studios - Day Nine

Just inside we spotted the characters from ‘The Incredibles’ with a small queue so Lauren got their autographs and a photo with them.
Florida Holiday - Disney Hollywood Studios - Day Nine
We then went into a classroom for a 20 minute drawing class with a Disney Animator. This was ace and we all really enjoyed it. We had the choice to either draw Pluto or Mickey – the class majority voted for Mickey.
Florida Holiday - Disney Hollywood Studios - Day Nine
Florida Holiday - Disney Hollywood Studios - Day Nine
Florida Holiday - Disney Hollywood Studios - Day Nine
These were our drawings (top to bottom – L’s Mr S’s and Mine)
Florida Holiday - Disney Hollywood Studios - Day Nine
Florida Holiday - Disney Hollywood Studios - Day Nine
Florida Holiday - Disney Hollywood Studios - Day Nine
When we finished the class we went out to meet & greet Winnie the Pooh & Mickey and when Mickey saw our drawings he signed them for us.
Florida Holiday - Disney Hollywood Studios - Day Nine
This park was more visionary and there were lots of things to walk round and look at. This was an animators desk:
Florida Holiday - Disney Hollywood Studios - Day Nine
and this was another one with a lady actually sat working on some drawings (I know it’s not a very good photo, the flash kept reflecting off the glass)
Florida Holiday - Disney Hollywood Studios - Day Nine
Florida Holiday - Disney Hollywood Studios - Day Nine
Florida Holiday - Disney Hollywood Studios - Day Nine
Once we had walked round ‘Animation Courtyard’ we headed off back to the park to have a wander round. We came across a sweet shop and Lauren (and I) were in our element choosing all the different coloured jelly beans and sherbets
Florida Holiday - Disney Hollywood Studios - Day Nine
Florida Holiday - Disney Hollywood Studios - Day Nine
Today was seriously HOT and very humid so it was a struggle at times walking round so we had to keep popping into shops for the air conditioning and queuing in the shade. Lauren spotted a queue for Woody & Buzz and then another for Phineas & Ferb so we waited for them and both were super long. It seemed to take forever to get to the front.
Florida Holiday - Disney Hollywood Studios - Day Nine
Florida Holiday - Disney Hollywood Studios - Day Nine
There was a ‘Honey I shrunk the Kids’ kiddies play section so we went in there for a look around, the sign at the beginning said prepare to be the size of ants.
Florida Holiday - Disney Hollywood Studios - Day Nine
Florida Holiday - Disney Hollywood Studios - Day Nine
A huge dog nose that sniffed and blew hot air on you.
Florida Holiday - Disney Hollywood Studios - Day Nine
Florida Holiday - Disney Hollywood Studios - Day Nine
Florida Holiday - Disney Hollywood Studios - Day Nine
I think by this point time was pushing on, we were wanting to watch Fantasmic in the theatre. It started at 6.30pm but the park advised to seat early to make sure we got a spot so we planned to get there for half five. I think Steve went on the ‘Star Tours 3D’ ride then we headed off for some dinner before we headed off to get seats.
Fantasmic was just excellent, it really was very good & all three of us really enjoyed it. I didn’t manage to get any photos because it was so dark but it really was impressive. Its a lavish musical show combining explosive pyrotechnics, shimmering laser lights and dazzling dancing water effects with all of the Disney Characters, songs and animation. So pleased we stayed to see it, we were beginning to think about leaving to head back to the apartment because walking round in that heat was taking it’s toll but we were glad we hung on.
Here are a few more pictures from our day.
Florida Holiday - Disney Hollywood Studios - Day Nine
Florida Holiday - Disney Hollywood Studios - Day Nine
Florida Holiday - Disney Hollywood Studios - Day Nine
Florida Holiday - Disney Hollywood Studios - Day Nine
Florida Holiday - Disney Hollywood Studios - Day Nine
Coming up in the next post – Typhoon Lagoon & Downtown Disney.

Florida Holiday – Discovery Cove – Day Eight.

I thought I would do a little throwback series for the next few weeks re-capping our holiday to Disney World in Florida. At the time of going I kept a daily blog which was only ever used for that holiday and i’m so pleased I did. Every night I would sit down and document what we had done each day even down to what kind of weather we had. I love reading it back every so often reliving the memories. Today we spent a wonderful relaxing day at Discovery cove! It was just pure amazing.
Day Eight – Discovery Cove (Monday 14th November 2011)
Todays Weather 83f (28c)

We all woke really excited today – we were heading off to Discovery Cove to spend the day there and also swim with the dolphins :o) Neither of us have been here before – they had only opened up a year or so after our last visit 11 years ago.

Florida Holiday - Discovery Cove - Day Eight

Florida Holiday - Discovery Cove - Day Eight

 

We arrived around 9am and we checked in at reception – they took our details and took photos of each of us for our name/guest badges we had to wear on a lanyard for the duration of the day. We were also given our dolphin swim time of 2.50pm so were told to have lunch before hand as the restaurant closed at 3 so we wouldn’t have a chance after the swim.

Once we had checked in we had our complimentary photo taken and went off to get some breakfast – everything for the day was free and included in the price, (well I say everything was free … we had to pay for the photographs we had taken with the dolphins). Included in the park tickets – we were entitled to breakfast, lunch, snacks, drinks and even locally produced alcohol. It did feel strange getting a tray of food and drink for breakfast and just heading off to a table without having to pay for it first.
Florida Holiday - Discovery Cove - Day Eight
After breakfast we headed off to get fitted for our wetsuits and to get a bag containing our snorkels, mask & dolphin friendly sunscreen.
Florida Holiday - Discovery Cove - Day Eight
Florida Holiday - Discovery Cove - Day Eight
First place we headed for was the ‘Coral Reef’ we weren’t really sure what to expect so we donned our snorkels & masks and off we went!!!
The water was a tad cold – they had the temperature set to 75f so I was expecting it to be warmer but having the wetsuits helped because it was only our arms and legs exposed. Steve went first and he came back saying ‘Wow you’ve got to come and see this”
At first I found the whole breathing through my mouth and not my nose a little odd and kind of started breathing really fast and feeling a bit light headed but I soon got the hang of it – as I swam towards Steve the bottom of the pool was only about waist height so I didn’t see much until I swam a little further to the edge of the rocks …… I peered over the edge and looked down into a cavern of coral reef and the most beautiful looking tropical fish – all different shapes, sizes and colours. They weren’t the slightest bit bothered by us swimming around them. The one thing I couldn’t get used to were the rays swimming around – some of them were absolutely massive – i’m talking 4-5ft diamater. I am pleased to say most of them were swimming below us (the Coral Reef must have been about 12/15ft deep.) We swam over to the other side where we came across a glass wall under the water and behind the glass were loads of sharks – some big, some small. There is something quite unnerving snorkeling watching a shark swim towards you until you realise there is the glass between us! The biggest shark in there must have been about 12ft long – he was HUGE.
I must admit I didn’t really hang around too long getting back to the ‘beach’ I wasn’t too keen on having huge sting rays swim and flap right next to me – Steve though it was hilarious at one point to stroke the back of my leg as he was swimming behind me – my god I must have lept about 3ft up in the air squealing inside my mask and snorkel …. the sod. I like to think he was swimming behind me because he was relying on me to make the way free ;o)
I still hadn’t got used to the whole snorkeling thing and my breathing wasn’t going right so we headed over to the warmer water and lazy river – the feeling of walking into that water after being in the salt water was amazing – just like stepping into a lovely warm bath. We went round the lazy river a good few times, it’s really long and relaxing and you swim through mini waterfalls and at one point you have the aviary above you with tropical birds and bridges. During that time we used our masks and snorkels so we could get used to them – Lauren picked it up so quickly and loved looking at all the fake artifacts that had been placed on the floor of the river. Pretty soon we all had the hang of snorkeling – Steve being Steve thought it was hilarious when he burped through the tube whilst swimming along – It sounded like a fog horn I don’t think he knew a couple of people were so close cause they passed us giggling thinking it was hilarious too.
After all that swimming we decided to give the Avery a go – you get the chance to feed the different birds in there. Certain birds liked to eat fruit & sweetcorn so we were handed a pot that we had to hold out for them to fly over to and some liked mealworms so a few were put in my hand for them. Lauren didn’t want to go the mealworm route after she discovered they were still alive. I must admit they were pretty wriggly and tickley lol. Steve was the photographer for this part – he had no interest getting up close to any of the birds so he wasn’t impressed when one landed on his shoulder lol.
Florida Holiday - Discovery Cove - Day Eight
Florida Holiday - Discovery Cove - Day Eight
Florida Holiday - Discovery Cove - Day Eight
Florida Holiday - Discovery Cove - Day Eight
Florida Holiday - Discovery Cove - Day Eight
Florida Holiday - Discovery Cove - Day Eight
Florida Holiday - Discovery Cove - Day Eight
ust as I said we’ve all avoided being pooped on a lovely bird decided to poop on my arm!!!
We were finished in the Avery around 1.30pm, we then headed off to have lunch so we were ready for the dolphin swim.
Just like breakfast we were allowed to eat and drink as much as we liked.
After lunch it was Dolphin time YAY. We went to the Seahorse Cabana where we had to sign consent forms and have a briefing on what was going to happen, then we had to watch a short 5 minute video.
We were put into a group with 6 other people and were taken to the waters edge to meet our instructors. We were told there would be two Dolphins we would be interacting with – Stella who is 6 & Marita who is 8.
The water was again salt water so the temperature was a little cold but we only had to stand waist height for most of the experience – the group had to line up and we got the opportunity to touch Stella as she swam past – a few people also got the chance to feed her some fish (Lauren & Steve did this) we learnt how to do certain hand signals to get Stella to do certain things. One example was to mimick casting your fishing rod for her to swim away, then we had to ‘reel’ her back in and she came swimming back towards us. We would also wave at her and she would wave back with either her flipper or tail.
We then had the opportunity to all have our photos taken kissing her and then have a group photo taken. (we’re collecting these on Friday so i’ll have to wait until then to upload them).
Marita was then brought out and we all individually were taken out to deeper waters so we could ride her back to shore – it was amazing and I wished it could have lasted for longer. Lauren did so well – she had the choice to do a shorter trip in shallow waters but she opted to go out into deeper waters.
I can’t believe how fast 30 minutes can go?? It was all over so quickly. Since we had mastered the snorkeling through the lazy river we went back to the ‘Coral Reef’ but OMG all the sting rays had decided to be in the shallow waters and they were everywhere :-0 Lauren was less keen on swimming this time, and I was too TBH but once you had walked past and avoided them swimming into you and were in deeper waters it was ok, I was brave enough to touch one as it swam by and it felt like jelly *shudders*
Looking at the different tropical fish was amazing – so many different colours, we swam over to the shark wall again and back to shore – Lauren didn’t come in with us the first time but we persuaded her for one last time to experience it, once we told her the rays weren’t in the deeper waters she was ok – we were both so proud of how well she took to it. I had a few underwater cameras with us and took loads of photos so hopefully we’ll have some nice shots once I get them developed.
Before we knew it, it was time to leave and get the photos ordered. We opted for the full package in the end which includes a photo album, a poster of the group photo with the dolphin, some wallet sized photos and 6 4×6 prints for the album, the DVD & the CD with all images taken throughout the day.
We started off the morning by saying next time we come we surely won’t need to do Discovery Cove again but by the end of the day we certainly felt different – we really will be doing it again – the place is amazing, so beautiful & peaceful and well worth the money we spent. It’s like someone there said you pay the price to go to a Disney Park but once inside you have to buy snacks, drinks, food, parking etc – at DC everything is included even down to the towels, shampoo & suncream. You can literally turn up on the day with nothing but yourselves. Well worth every penny and what an experience.
Florida Holiday - Discovery Cove - Day Eight
Florida Holiday - Discovery Cove - Day Eight
Next up Disney Hollywood Studios.

Florida Holiday – Animal Kingdom & Epcot – Day 6

I thought I would do a little throwback series for the next few weeks re-capping our holiday to Disney World in Florida. At the time of going I kept a daily blog which was only ever used for that holiday and i’m so pleased I did. Every night I would sit down and document what we had done each day even down to what kind of weather we had. I love reading it back every so often reliving the memories. We went to Animal Kingdom today with a short visit to Ecopt in the evening.

 

Day 6 – Animal Kingdom & Epcot (Saturday 12th November 2011)
Today’s Weather 75f (23c)
We had decided to do Animal Kingdom & Epcot today – starting with Animal Kingdom then going over to Epcot in the afternoon. The plan was to park in Epcot and get the bus to Animal Kingdom so when we came out of Epcot, when the park closed that night we were near the car. We thought we would try and do the two parks in one day to try and give us a free day – we worked out the parks we still had left to do and the days we had left only gave us one free day to relax by the pool so by doing these two parks in one day would free up some time for us.
We got to Epcot around 9.30ish, parked up and waited for the bus for about 15 minutes, the bus journey then took around 10 minutes so by the time we arrived it was nearing 10am I think.
Florida Holiday - Animal Kingdom & Epcot - Day 6
Florida Holiday - Animal Kingdom & Epcot - Day 6
First place we headed for was ‘Kilimanjaro Safari’ – when we did this 11 years ago we didn’t see anything at all – it was far too hot for the animals to come out so we wanted to make sure we saw something this time, we figured it was cool enough first thing in the morning.
The queue wasn’t too bad and luckily they have the safari jeeps running pretty quickly one after the other.
Florida Holiday - Animal Kingdom & Epcot - Day 6
We saw loads of animals this time …. hippos, elephants, monkeys, lions you name it we saw it – the guy driving our jeep was ace! He really made the experience.
Florida Holiday - Animal Kingdom & Epcot - Day 6
Florida Holiday - Animal Kingdom & Epcot - Day 6
Florida Holiday - Animal Kingdom & Epcot - Day 6
Florida Holiday - Animal Kingdom & Epcot - Day 6
After the Safari we went on a ‘Jungle Trek’ – got to see lots of different things, bugs, creatures etc. Lauren was able to compare her hands with a 6 year old male gorilla’s.
Florida Holiday - Animal Kingdom & Epcot - Day 6
There was a Gorilla we had a good glimpse of – she’s 40 years old and in the wild she would have only reached 40 – the lady we spoke to said in captivity they live for around 10 years more. We watched her go and find some food and she carried it off to a nearby wall to sit and eat it.
Florida Holiday - Animal Kingdom & Epcot - Day 6
Florida Holiday - Animal Kingdom & Epcot - Day 6
After the trek we were feeling fairly peckish so we stopped off at one of the restaurants for a bite to eat.
Next we decided to head over to one of the parks newest rides ‘Expedition Everest’ – Lauren & I didn’t go on it just Steve – he said it was excellent.
Florida Holiday - Animal Kingdom & Epcot - Day 6
Next stop was Camp Minnie & Mickey to meet and greet some characters – we were able to see Dale (from the Chipmunks), Donald Duck, Goofy, Minnie & Mickey – the queues for them we quite low so we were pretty lucky. (We got photopasses on all of them with the three of us with each character so we’re looking forward to seeing them).
Florida Holiday - Animal Kingdom & Epcot - Day 6
Florida Holiday - Animal Kingdom & Epcot - Day 6
Florida Holiday - Animal Kingdom & Epcot - Day 6
Florida Holiday - Animal Kingdom & Epcot - Day 6
Florida Holiday - Animal Kingdom & Epcot - Day 6
By the time we had met with the Characters it was time to get our seats in the theatre for “The Festival of the Lion King’ I had remembered this from last time we were here so we were looking forward to seeing it again.
Florida Holiday - Animal Kingdom & Epcot - Day 6
Florida Holiday - Animal Kingdom & Epcot - Day 6
As we were expecting it was excellent – Lauren enjoyed it – especially the naughty acrobatic monkeys.
After the Lion King we walked to another part of the park and caught a few rides for Lauren and met Pluto & Goofy, and spotted a place where Pooh Bear, Tiger & Eeyore were doing character meets and there were no queues so we took Lauren to seem them too – she did really well for autographs that day. Tigger was really good with Lauren due to the fact there were no queues – he went and hid round the corner from her playing hide & seek and when he did come out he danced with her for a bit.
Florida Holiday - Animal Kingdom & Epcot - Day 6
Florida Holiday - Animal Kingdom & Epcot - Day 6
Florida Holiday - Animal Kingdom & Epcot - Day 6
Florida Holiday - Animal Kingdom & Epcot - Day 6
Here are just some photos we took throughout the day, this is the HUGE Christmas tree they had at the entrance gate with all animal decorations on.
Florida Holiday - Animal Kingdom & Epcot - Day 6
Florida Holiday - Animal Kingdom & Epcot - Day 6
‘The Tree of Life” (the photo doesn’t do it justice really, but they have carved animals into the bark of the tree trunk.)
Florida Holiday - Animal Kingdom & Epcot - Day 6
Florida Holiday - Animal Kingdom & Epcot - Day 6
Before we realised it was around 4ish and we had planned to be leaving for Epcot for 2pm so we decided to head out for the bus back to Epcot.
Florida Holiday - Animal Kingdom & Epcot - Day 6
We waited for about 15 minutes for the bus and by this time wondered why we just didn’t drive between the parks ourselves, especially when we did eventually get on the bus we had the slowest driver … ever!!!!
We arrived back in Epcot at around 5 and headed straight to ‘Test Track’ for Steve to ride – the single rider queue said 30 minutes so I said to him to do that and Lauren & I would head off to meet some characters and we would meet each other afterwards. Job done or so we thought …
Lauren and I headed off to meet some characters we queued for about 40 minutes and spent quite a bit of time interacting with each character so by this point I was expecting Steve to be waiting outside.
Well he wasn’t so Lauren and I sat outside on the wall – time by now must have been around 5.30ish I guess, we waited around for a good half an hour and I had began to wonder if maybe he did a ride next to ‘Test Track’ and that was what was holding him up …… time was pressing on and it must have been approaching an hour of us sitting and waiting – it was starting to get dark and I just kept scanning a sea of people walking towards us looking for Steve wearing a blue t-shirt .. but guess what? loads of people that night were wearing blue shirts.
Anyone who knows Lauren will know what she is like. By now I was getting the panicky “Mummy will we ever see Daddy again” “Do you think Daddy has been taken” “what happens if we never see him again”??? OMG lol We took a walk off to see if we could see him in the area where the ride was but we didn’t see him so walked back. We did this a good few times scanning everyone just incase we saw him … it never happened – in the end I decided to just stand in the one place back outside the character meet – Lauren was balling by now – I was getting bored (very bored) and my legs were killing – trying to console Lauren we would see him agan and to stop being silly and trying to scan the crowds – it actually makes you go lightheaded a bit looking at people walking in all different directions for over 2 hrs in the dark!!!!
Eventually after 2 hours I looked up and spotted him, my god we’ve never ran so quick, heavy bag on my back and all trying not to lose Lauren and trying to get his attention incase I lost him in the crowd again we finally met! Turns out he was stood waiting outside the ride and I was stood outside the character meet and each time either of us wandered to each area we must have been doing it at the exact same time FGS.
Well after that we certainly we not in the mood to do anything else so we left and headed back to the car – sod the extra day we tried to make up – it didn’t work LOL.
Coming up next ….. Chef Mickeys & Epcot