Featured

Character Dining at Disneyland Paris

Having initially uploaded this post in 2020, it is now significantly out of date and in need of current info!

If you are familiar with other Disney parks in general then you may feel like DLP really does not have as much to offer. Its a fair assessment. It doesn’t mean there is nothing to offer though!

Dinner at Cafe Mickey

Character dining is one of our favourite things to do at Disneyland Paris and we have not yet done a trip without one. So far we have eaten at Auberg D’Cendrillion, Cafe Mickey and Plaza Gardens but thanks to the pandemic we did not get to have a Sunday Brunch in the Disney hotel prior to its closure for refurbishment.

In hindsight, we have always enjoyed the character dining so will always recommend factoring a character meal into your budget. I really think they are a highlight of our trips.

What are the options? Well effectively there are only a few places where you can eat and meet Disney characters. However some restaurants are only open for breakfast and others are only open for dinner. In short though, character dining is only currently available at Plaza Gardens (breakfast and dinner) and at ADC. Cafe Mickey is now closed for good whilst Sunday Brunch will not reopen until the main hotel does. Sadly, this means that options are very limited.

It is also worth noting that Buffalo Bills is also no more!

Character Breakfast at Plaza Gardens

Auberge De Cendrillion

Breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Ita’s absolute favourite restaurant at DLP. This is Cinderella’s restaurant where you will meet lots of princesses as well as Jaq and Suzy and Perla. Typically you get to meet the princesses; usually Aurora, Cinderella, Belle and Rapunzel however we have also been lucky enough to meet Tiana here! I know a few have said they have met Ariel here, but we haven’t (yet).

There are 2 breakfast sittings here; 8.15am (for Disney residents using their extra magic hours) and 9.45am.

ADC is based in Fantasy Land quite close to the castle and is a table service restaurant. You will need a valid park ticket to eat here.

You can now have breakfast, lunch and dinner here at ADC. I would personally recommend a breakfast as the optimal option since you gain access quite early to the park.

There is actually a 4 princess policy here – if you do not get to meet at least 4, tell your waiter and they will make sure that you do! Not many people know this and it really is a valuable tip.

Plaza Gardens

Breakfast and dinner.

Breakfast here is my favourite as they serve an American style buffet which frankly is delicious. Here you meet Mickey and friends. We have had breakfast here twice and we absolutely love it.

There are 2 breakfast sittings here; 8.15am (for Disney residents) and 9.45am.

Plaza Gardens is at the bottom of Main Street USA and like ADC, you will need a valid park ticket to eat here.

Inventions

Sunday Brunch.

Inventions is a buffet restaurant based on the 2nd floor inside the main Disneyland Hotel just outside of the park. As such, you do not need a valid park ticket to eat here. This restaurant is where you will meet Mickey and friends, but also hosts the more obscure characters too.

Every Sunday this restaurant hosts their Sunday Brunch. Now, for some reason this seems to be a bit of a secret?

It takes place each Sunday between 1-4pm. Every week the theme of the brunch changes which makes it very different from the standard meal (lunch or dinner) at Inventions. The themes include Lilo and Stitch, Mary Poppins and Alice in Wonderland however you will not find out in advance what the theme will be!

In addition to rare and special characters, you will also get the VIPs (Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, Daisy, Pluto, Chip and Dale) in special outfits each week as well.

HOWEVER! This is currently close due to the ongoing renovations at the hotel.

Buffalo Bills Wild West Show

Is no more. Which is quite sad considering it was the most unusual character dining/ experience that DLP had to offer.

Lunch at Auberge D’Cendrillion

We booked another Disney Cruise!

Last year we embarked on the Magic at Sea Staycation Cruise and well, we just knew we did not experience the full magic of a Disney cruise. It was always our intention to do another one, but in all honesty we just weren’t sure when. We had thought it would be a few years off and most likely be one of their amazing Barbados cruises. But then only a few weeks ago, Disney Cruise Line announced a few Summer Sailings from the UK, set to sail in 2023!

Admittedly, I was quite surprised and totally unprepared for their announcement but the 4-Night UK Sailings to Spain or France seemed quite appealing.

Especially since the cruise is set to take place aboard the Disney Dream, one of the most beautiful ships in the DCL fleet. The one thing holding us back was that everyone over 5 years requires a covid vaccination. I called Disney to discuss this and was told by 2 separate people that this requirement is not likely to be in place by the time we sail. If it is, we have until May 2023 to cancel and up until then we can get a full refund. Our hope is that by Summer 2023, all restrictions will be a thing of the past! This hope doesn’t seem too unrealistic. 

These particular cruises depart from Southampton and journey to picturesque La Rochelle in the south of France, and to the enchanting city of Bilbao, Spain. We were quite honest in that the Magic at Sea cruises fell short of our expectations and did not reach the usual standards of Disney, but the pandemic was a significant contributing factor to this. So we decided that we would put a place holder on a room and take a few days to weigh up one of the 4 night cruises.

https://disneycruise.disney.go.com/cruises-destinations/overview/uk-4-night-sailings/

Aside from the 4 night cruises, Disney Cruise Line also have a 7 nights Norwegian Fjords Cruise, sailing from Southampton to Amsterdam (Netherlands), Skjolden, (Norway), Nordfjordeid (Norway) and Sandnes (Stavanger, Norway).

https://disneycruise.disney.go.com/cruises-destinations/list/#august-2023,europe-cruises,southampton-england,7

Having sailed previously, this time we were considered silver members which meant we could reserve our cruise a few days before the general public. In typical fashion (do we ever get to book something without issues?), we went to book our cruise and of course my details were all incorrect! I spent 2 hours on the phone trying to speak with someone from Disney with no luck. In the end, I went onto the Walt Disney World app, and clicked the “chat” service. Someone was able to amend my details in a matter of moments and I was then able to reserve our cabin. This is a useful tip – the chat feature on the app is so handy!

The deposit for this break away was a whopping 20% of the total price. For the Magic at Sea Cruises the deposit was only 10% so it is a big whack to use as a deposit. However, the 20% is apparently quite standard for all Disney cruises. Definitely something to bear in mind!

So, what’s included in a Disney Cruise? 

Food and drinks including room service (there are certain exceptions), theatre shows, children’s club , movie screenings, character meets, pool access, quiz shows, drawing classes, night clubs, fitness centre amongst quite a few other things.

What isn’t included?

Palo and Remy (adult only restaurant), alcohol in general, the Bippidy Boppidy Boutique, Royal Court Royal Tea, bottled water, gratuity (tips), internet, spa and any port adventures.

Since booking we haven’t stopped watching vlogs and reading blogs on the Disney Dream ship. It looks incredible. It is well over a year away before we sail but I have a feeling we will be well acquainted with the ship way before we board! One thing we are really hopeful for is to have the full cruise experience without any restrictions or social distancing. When we spoke with Disney they indicated that there are plans to do the Sail-a-Wave deck party, have fireworks and to have pirates night. These are things we missed on our last cruise. So lets just hope it all goes to plan!

Disneyland Paris at Halloween

One of the questions we get asked the most is when is the best time to visit DLP. In honesty, for your first visit I would suggest a warmer month such as June or July but of course seasonal theming is a big deal and its obviously done so well by Disney! The main reason I would recommend those months is because it is quite nice to enjoy the sun. The weather in this part of France is much like England. When it is sunny, its gorgeous. When it rains, well… it pours! Plus I think it is quite nice to get photos without the seasonal decorations unless you are lucky enough to go again! This is simply a personal preference!

We had never visited DLP at Halloween until October 2021. We had the most incredible time! We cant work out whether it is because it had been over a year since we had visited the parks or whether it was down to the spooky fun. It is most probably a combination of both of those reasons but our Halloween visit will forever be such a special visit for us.

Weather

Firstly, as a family this was our first visit to DLP in October but I have previously visited in this month too. The weather on both occasions has been lovely and mild. Cool enough to perhaps require a jacket but mild enough to mean you aren’t loaded with layers of clothing. It is worth noting though that October is one of those months where it can be quite warm or quite rainy. The thing we love about October in general is it is that perfect time of year where you quite look forward to the feeling of Autumn/ Winter.

Decorations/ Theming

The décor as soon as you enter the DLP gates is so striking! It starts from the Town Square and goes all the way down Main Street. We did notice that the décor continues into Frontierland but that there wasn’t much in any of the other areas. This didn’t really bother us because it still felt like there was heavy theming. The castle especially looks fantastic and gets a special make over courtesy of Malificent!

The Coco theming in Frontierland fitted so well. Honestly I cannot describe how perfectly it fitted into this area. We really liked that you get to meet so many characters dressed up in this spot too. It made for the perfect backdrop!

Characters in Costume

One of the first characters we saw was Stitch in his costume and it made Ita so happy! We also met Mickey and Minnie in Frontierland and Jafar in Adventureland.

In Disneyland Studios there is a special Villians meet ( Ita was terrified!!). Here we met the Evil Queen, Jafar, Cruella, Captain Hook, Queen of Hearts and Lady Tremaine. At other times you could meet Gaston and Dr Facilier!

Halloween Snacks

We can honestly say we have never seen so many themed snacks at Disneyland Paris, as we did during the Halloween season! We found lots on offer along Main Street but the best place was in Frontierland. We were spoilt for choice.

We definitely plan on visiting again for the Halloween season.

This year it starts from 1 October and runs through to the 6 November 2022.

Hidden Gems / Secrets at Disneyland Paris

The attention to detail in DLP is really fun and so clever. Every single visit we discover something new and it adds to the excitement of our family breaks. So! Here are our favourite “secrets”…

By the coffee shop on Main Street USA is a window that reads “Piano Lessons”. If you listen carefully, you will hear the sound of someone practising their scales during a piano lesson. We always tell Ita that it’s Marie practicing with her brothers! 🐾

Some other sounds to listen out for on Main Street USA include someone fiddling with the taps in their bathroom (above Victoria’s Style Restaurant) and of course the dentist’s drill next to the Discovery Arcade. In fact, every single time we visit Ita asks whether she needs to visit the dentist and of course we say “depends how many Mickey snacks you have!!”.

My favourite hidden gem is in New Century Notions shop, where there’s an old-fashioned phone on the wall. If you pick it up you can hear funny conversations from the past going on in one of the houses down the street – Ita genuinely believes we’re eavesdropping!!

One of the best things about DLP is the animatronic dragon under Sleeping Beauty’s Castle – it is incredible!! As you stand facing the castle, to the left is the entrance to a cave. According to Disney the dragon isn’t Malificant but say it is anyway!

Upstairs in Sleeping Beauty’s castle you’ll find guards who are under a sleepy spell – listen carefully you will hear snoring!

In Fantasyland you’ll find the Sword in the Stone. Apparently the sword DOES come out every now and again and if you manage to pull it from the stone, the nearest cast member will crown you! (Though, we have never seen it happen).

Head to the graveyard by Phantom Mansion, turn left and then up to Boot Hill Cemetery. Listen carefully and you’ll hear a heartbeat or scratching to get out of the grave! How creepy!

I’m sure there are loads more, why not share them in comments!

Disneyland Paris Q&A – part 1

If you follow us on Instagram, you will have seen that there has been quite a few requests for tips on visiting Disneyland Paris. I have already done quite a few posts but obviously our blog allows us to provide a more detailed narrative!

I popped a questions box up on my stories and decided to break them down into a Q&A style response!

• Who do you book with? 

Typically we book with Magic Breaks as we’ve always found them to be reliable but now that we’re annual pass holders, we book everything separately. We will be visiting in the next few weeks and will have booked everything separately so I will do a little cost break down on this visit. Typically, you get some great deals on Magic Breaks and by booking directly with Disney and if we were not APHs then we would still book everything this way!

• What age do you think DLP is suitable from?

Honestly, a baby! That’s the fantastic thing about Paris. There are even lots of rides that they can go on. Ita’s first visit was on her 1st birthday and it was so memorable. Children are free before 3 years (they are excluded from certain things because of this).

• Best places to eat in park/ village and where to get Mickey snacks?

Head over to my DLP guide on Instagram for snacks as I’ve popped information in there previously and it’s quite handy. Aside from character dining, we love the Mickey pizza from Belle Notte (its only about £5) and Earl of Sandwich in the Disney Village! The cafe down Main Street and the Old Mill do some great snacks too including Mickey waffles. We always enjoy the food at Plaza Gardens as its buffet style. The Disney Village has McDonald’s and Five Guys too which is handy for quick service. Actually this might need its own post!!

• Do you think it’s worth visiting without character meals?

ABSOLUTELY – in my opinion, we probably won’t do any more character meals until the Sunday brunch is back in the Disney Hotel. We’ve done them all so many times and enjoyed them all. It’s a nice addition but it’s nothing like meeting a character in the park!

• Best place to watch fireworks?

You will see them from anywhere so don’t worry but if you stand behind something i.e. a bin then you’ll have less chance of someone standing right in front of you – which happens to me all the time! Gotta love being short!

• Is the Studio Park worth visiting?

100% YES! It has our favourite ride there – Ratatouille, as well as Toy Story Land, Cars Road Trip, Crushes Coaster and some good shows too! It’s where Disney Juniors and Stitch Live is shown.

• Any unusual suggestions?

Head to the Studios and do a drawing class – they’re free and so much fun. It’s a great place to head to if it rains! Enjoy character meets in the hotels every evening (around 7.30pm) – anyone can visit!

Under the “Guides” section you’ll find lots of information so don’t forget to follow us on Instagram too!

Legoland, Dubai

Ad – We had such a brilliant day at Legoland Dubai, it totally surpassed our expectations! Where do we start?

We were in Dubai during the week before Easter and we were invited to the Junior Explorers Event which is running until 24 April. The event sees children take on different challenges to collect 4 gold coins which they then trade for a treasure map in order to find their prize – a very cool limited edition Lego set! The challenges included digging for fossils and building an artefact so they were not too taxing and suitable for most children to take part in. The adventure took about 45 minutes for us, but I would recommend putting aside an hour or so if you wanted to take part. There were no queues at all for us to move onto the next challenge which I think sped up our timing. One thing that I really appreciated about this event was that it was in one area and those areas that were covered so it was a perfect rest from the sun.

In fact, most of the theme park is covered which is so needed in the Dubai heat. On the day we visited it was 36 degrees so we visited the Legoland Waterpark first and then made our way to the theme park around 3pm. However, the areas within the theme park are also spacious with lots of shaded areas and seating. Miniland is inside with air-conditioning and is the perfect spot to rest.

Prior to visiting Legoland Dubai, we had only visited the Windsor resort but it is our favourite UK theme park so we were really looking forward to seeing how Dubai compared. The resort is very big, all on one level and very well designed in terms of layout. There are lots of rides at this Legoland – and plenty with smaller children in mind. Ita loved Wave Racer and was able to finally get her driving licence!

There is so much to do and see aside from the rides too. This is something that hugely differed at the UK attraction. You can visit The Factory to make your own Lego brick which is completely free and makes for a little souvenir. You can also meet lots of Lego characters including Ollie the Dragon! Yes you can meet characters in Legoland Windsor, but we have found that you can normally only meet Ollie at the Legoland Hotel in Windsor so this was a nice surprise. You can also watch the fountain show at The Burj model display (inside Miniland). It was so clever!

When I posted about our visit to Instagram, I had lots of messages about visiting a theme park in such great heat. We were informed upon entering that the heat meant 2 rides were not working – this is something to bear in mind because extreme heat or cold can cause problems for the mechanics of the rides. One thing that I was slightly put off about was the potential queuing for rides. However, during our visit he theme park was so quiet that there were no wait times (literally walk ons) which made our experience even better. It may be because of Ramadan, as we know someone who visited the week before us and they also said it was very quiet too. However, upon speaking to a friend who resides in Dubai, she said that a lot of places tend to be quiet during the days since the heat is off putting and Dubai culture typically sees people going outside in the evenings.

One thing worth mentioning is that Legoland Dubai, Legoland Waterpark, Motiongate Themepark and Bollywood Dubai are all situated in a complex called Riverland and are all within walking distance too.
Within this complex there is a Mc Donalds and Costa as well as a Fridays (TGI Fridays to us in the UK).

Prices start at 295 AED per person for the theme park and we would definitely recommend a visit.

Wind in the Willows, Immersion Theatre Company

Immersion Theatre have just started touring with their new show, The Wind in the Willows, and we were fortunate to have seen it a few weeks ago in Harrow.

Pack your picnics and join Ratty, Mole, Badger, and the fantastically irrepressible Toad as they embark on the adventure of a lifetime culminating in a colourful battle to save Toad Hall from the mischievous weasels.

We often go to the theatre and children learn so much from these experiences. I know many who often worry that their child is too young or won’t sit through a show. However this show was almost panto-like with so much interaction. I really liked that the actors, despite being in character, noticed when the audience was engaging more and played on this. There is so much audience participation which the children especially really enjoyed, but it was evident that adults did too. Children were encouraged to learn songs during the show to later sing along too.

The energy from the actors was so strong that it was easy to take for granted that there were only 5 in the show! The costumes were so cleverly put together that even though one actor would be playing various roles, it wasn’t obvious. Mr Toad especially was incredible. I don’t know how he has so much energy but I’d like to!

Ticket prices seem to vary depending on the location and theatre but average about £15 per adult and slightly less for children.

The show is touring the UK up until the end of April. (Link below to see where they are performing).

The show is 90 minutes long with a 15 minutes interval too.

Zog and the Fly Doctors Theatre Tour

We had such a fantastic trip to the theatre this afternoon to see Zog and the Flying Doctors. So much so, we felt it deserved a blog post!

The story remains true to the original in that Zog, Princess Pearl and Sir Gadabout go on a flying adventure to tend to a sunburnt mermaid, a unicorn with one too many horns and a lion with the flu. However, the King (Princess Pearl’s uncle) has other ideas about whether princesses should be doctors, and she’s soon locked up in the castle! An adventure pursues in order to free the princess and unite the medical trio!

I have to say, @freckle_productions have done a brilliant job with this immersive production. The show is for younger children, the recommended age is from 3 years though a smaller child could easily enjoy this show. With that said, the last few years, specifically the numerous lockdowns and event closures, means the youngest children have really missed out on many social experiences let alone theatre ones. Even at a childrens theatre show the general expectation is that a child sits through the show without distracting anyone else, but Freckle Productions changed the flow of the show by deliberately including children. Talking directly with them, instead of simply putting on a play. This was genius. That simple modification meant that even those who are unused to the theatre, was able to completely enjoy it. The show was perfectly created to engage the children whether to reintegrate them back into the theatre world or to introduce them to it! 👏🏻

The show is touring the UK until the end of August so head to http://www.Zoglive.com to find your closest theatre.

https://zoglive.com/zogandtheflyingdoctors/

Our Trip to Lapland, Finland

This time last year everything felt really flat. Boris had cancelled all of our Christmas plans and after such a difficult year, it was something we had been really looking forward to. So I made a really spontaneous decision that the following Christmas we would feel as festive as possible and that meant a visit to Lapland!

The most stunning view on our way to the Snow Village

When you google holidays to Lapland you are inundated with so many options. One that I hadn’t considered was a day trip to Finland, which quite a few companies offered. I narrowed it down to either 3 days or a day trip and then looked for reviews on both. The 3 day trip certainly seemed a better idea initially but being married to a Spaniard… and Ita taking firmly after him… I just knew they would find the cold painful (I was so right, but Ill come back to that!!). One thing that also put me off was that you potentially spend a lot of time just enjoying the snow.

The Snow Village, Kittila

Naively (possibly stupidly) I thought Lapland was merely a small village in Finland but there are actually so many areas you can visit. In Rovaniemi there are international-name shops and restaurants, as well as vibrant night life too! Levi, Pallas, Yllas and Kuusamo, were described as experts in snow activities. Then there’s Saariselka, a real winter wonderland, and Luosto and Hetta, secluded spots, which are real Northern Lights territory. All I knew was that I wanted to take my family to Lapland where we could do some snow activities and most importantly, meet the real Santa!

In doing some research, it was clear that Finland is exceptionally cold over the Winter and whilst one year there was no snow at all, most years it can reach -45 degrees c! To put things into perspective anything under 16 degrees means my family are cold. Therefore I decided that the price would make the decision on how long we were there however, surprisingly there wasn’t actually much difference in the price. Day trips all seemed similarly priced across a few different companies whereas there were big differences in longer stays (obviously dependant on your hotel and additional activities). I wasn’t too fussed about visiting a particular area, especially since I had decided that a day trip seemed to be the better option for us.

Reindeer rides!

In the end I decided that TUI offered the best packages for day visits. Ours included our flights, meals on the plane as well as in Lapland, transfers to Kittila, all clothing (snowsuit, gloves, boots) husky rides, reindeer sledging, entrance to the Snow Village, Meeting Santa and a gift from him too. This was at a total cost of £1,813. Hugely expensive for one day, but I justified that it would be a very memorable, one-off experience. TUI also offer a monthly direct debit option which softened the blow somewhat.

Once we landed in Kittila we were swiftly directed to a huge warehouse to collect our thermal clothing. On the date we visited it was -30 (I just knew it would be one of the coldest days!). We collected our snow suits, boots, socks and gloves and were advised to wear these over our own thermal clothing including our puffa and ski jackets. So that’s what we did. I’m not joking when I say I could barely walk!!

We then headed to our coach and drove about 25 minutes to Kittilas Snow Village. There we had free reign of what we wanted to do and were encouraged to follow our own itinerary. We enjoyed reindeer rides in huge sleighs and Ita especially loved the husky rides! We had hot chocolate in the hotel made entirely from ice and ate delicious mash and meatballs (think ikea style!). A highlight was of course taking a snow mobile to Santa’s cabin deep in the woods.

Ice Bar!

However, I would be absolutely lying to you if I said the coldness didn’t affect us. It was horrendous. My phone turned itself off and wouldn’t work at all because of the temperature which kind of worried me since my boarding pass was on there! There was one point where Ita broke down in tears from being so cold. In fact she said she was ready to go home. I felt terrible because I knew she wasn’t exaggerating, she was genuinely painfully cold. At that point I was so relieved to have only booked a day trip… I just know my little family too well!

That’s not to say that you shouldn’t consider more than a day in Lapland. If you can manage the weather or perhaps your children are older etc, then please do not allow my experience to put you off. You need to think about what trip would best suit your needs.

Overall we had a truly unique and magical visit to Lapland. Ita has long since forgotten about how cold she was and only recalls the reindeers and huskies. She tells everyone she met the real Santa. I am so happy that I made that spontaneous decision to book. 

I had so many messages regarding our trip to Lapland and there were so many different questions! Hopefully this blog post will answer everything but if not, feel free to message me on Instagram.

Santa!

Disney Gift Guide

A few weeks ago we were fortunate to have been invited by Disney to see their gift offerings for Christmas 2021. There was so much to look at from toys for children, joyful crockery for your kitchen to wonderfully jolly clothing for your festive days out!

We always have a Disney themed tree in our Family Room and over the years we have added furnishings such as Mickey and Minnie blankets and cushions. We add a few items every single year and our Family Room is probably my favourite come Christmas time! Our Disney tree makes us so happy.

There were a few items that caught my eye at the Disney event and I haven’t stopped hinting at my husband – so lets hope he gets it!!

Home

Disney have so many wonderful Christmas items to make your home feel festive and I particularly loved this Winnie the Pooh cookie jar available from Asda. There are coordinating items available too and the size if very generous with it being 26.7cm tall!

Best of all… It is only £13.

https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/amp.direct.asda.com/george/home/kitchen-storage/yellow-winnie-the-pooh-christmas-cookie-jar/050907469,default,pd.html

They do have festive Mickey back this year along with matching serving plates, bowls and mugs.

Last year we picked up a gorgeous Minnie and Mickey cushion and fleece blanket from Primark and it added a lovely cosy feeling to our Family Room where our Disney tree is. I noticed that Asda have a lovely red cushion and blanket this year – I especially love the candy cane stripes! Which especially matches the theme of our tree… hmmm

https://direct.asda.com/george/home/cushions-throws/orange-disney-mickey-minnie-christmas-cushion/050483165,default,pd.html?cgid=D26M01G01C05

This year Disney have not forgotten about pets either! I think the dog and cat beds are the cutest I have ever seen and so reasonably priced from only £14, again from Asda.

Clothing

We have just returned from spending Halloween in Disneyland Paris and whilst we were there we picked up this gorgeous red dress for Ita. I have seen this is now available on the Shop Disney website linked below.

https://www.shopdisney.co.uk/disneyland-paris-christmas-minnie-mouse-costume-for-kids-428412217944.html?&cmp=knc-go:shopad:TDS-UK-Smart%20Shopping-New%20In:pcode:::Shopping:::dest&mckv=_dm%7Cpcrid%7C556022695813%7Cpkw%7C%7Cpmt%7C&gclid=CjwKCAiAqIKNBhAIEiwAu_ZLDq0H2NqJVjwou_bXBxBp4lZddj8h32Uh_TLhJdsa-bVJ6D5mVE_KVBoCNr8QAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

Shop Disney have a baby/ toddler version which, dare I say, is even cuter? It is £25 and comes with tights and a hat too. The age range is 0-3 months to 18-24 months. The neckline on this dress is absolutely stunning.

When we visited Disneyland Paris back in December 2019, I couldn’t find many themed Disney jumpers but all of a sudden they have loads! I really like this Spider Man one and feel it is not bad priced at £18. If you are planning a Disney trip this Christmas, you may need this.

https://www.shopdisney.co.uk/disney-store-spider-man-festive-jumper-for-kids-2401049490001M.html?isProductSearch=0&guestFacing=Gifts-Christmas%2520Shop-Christmas%2520Jumpers%2520%2526%2520Clothing&plpPosition=4

And lets not leave out this UP! jumper for adults…

https://www.shopdisney.co.uk/disney-store-up-festive-jumper-for-adults-2325049490014M.html?isProductSearch=0&guestFacing=Gifts-Christmas%2520Shop-Christmas%2520Jumpers%2520%2526%2520Clothing&plpPosition=10

Again available from Shop Disney.

Gadgets

We stopped to check out the Neo Smart Watch which is perfect for children about 4 – 9 years. It is packed with features including a camera, activity tracker and much more. Plus, kids stay in touch with GPS location, calls and chat. All personalised with characters from Disney, Pixar, Star Wars and Marvel.

This is available from Vodaphone at £99.

https://www.shopdisney.co.uk/vodafone-neo-ocean-smart-watch-for-kids-461032133126.html?isProductSearch=1&searchType=regular&plpPosition=1

We also got to check out the new Guardians of the Galaxy game which is available on x-Box and PS4 and 5 which is sold exclusively from Game.

Family Games

Now, it wouldn’t be Christmas without board games. Ita has loved them from a very young age – shes quite competitive like her dad!

Hasbro Gaming Disney Song Challenge is on the top of our list to get this year and it is available from Amazon for £26.50.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hasbro-Gaming-Disney-Song-Challenge/dp/B0792MHT55

The Disney Song Challenge is a game that tests a players’ Disney song expertise. A card is flipped over from the deck, revealing a Disney movie or TV show. The first player to jump up and sing a song from the movie or show wins the card. But, if the player messes up the song, the player must spin the Wheel of Fun-sequences and perform a silly action. Most of the Fun-sequences are Disney-themed—impression of a Disney character. First player to earn five cards wins.

The Disney Think Fast game where you put your Disney knowledge to by completing fast-paced trivia. The teams go head-to-head in 3 rounds. With each round the answers stay the same, but the questions get harder, until you’re only given one word! You have 30 seconds to answer in, so you need to Think Fast if you want to win!

https://www.temptationgifts.com/abrams-chronicle-booksmacmillan-bvg–disney-think-fast-785249?gclid=CjwKCAiAqIKNBhAIEiwAu_ZLDl9nFTsdMphn6diDbU0MEKtcrjUej1Mvfv2CdG1-Xh7_ucArOEUj0RoCxSEQAvD_BwE

Best of all in my opinion is that playing time is around 30 minutes. Sorry but Ita likes to draaag out board games.

I have also recently ordered this Frozen 2 Monopoly game from The Entertainer for only £12.

https://www.thetoyshop.com/games-jigsaws/childrens-games/Disney-Frozen-2-Monopoly-Frozen/p/540196?gclid=CjwKCAiAqIKNBhAIEiwAu_ZLDlPg0j0CPGcymdb-Z-eaATlr5oGc_ImtuQ6zv-UJh52lvWo-ysVI_hoCLNMQAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

Lego

We have almost every Disney Princess Lego set out as well as a few Star Wars ones too. This is a gift for children (or adults) that you get to take part in too.

LEGO Disney Ariel, Belle, Cinderella and Tiana’s Story is a lovely small set which comes with 4 princess characters and a small castle setting which doubles as storage too. This is actually such great value at £20.

https://www.argos.co.uk/product/9554674?clickPR=plp:5:11

We have actually bought Ita the Mini Disney Castle from the Lego website for £30.99 which I think she will really love. Mickey is so cute!

https://www.lego.com/en-gb/product/mini-disney-castle-40478?ef_id=CjwKCAiAqIKNBhAIEiwAu_ZLDkhAMau9Nu2Y7li7st6g55I7na3ruVqbLHMQnS8rSjggsbViAZKdHRoCG9oQAvD_BwE:G:s&s_kwcid=AL!933!3!288226024267!!!g!296439327739!&cmp=KAC-INI-GOOGEU-GO-GB-EN-RE-SP-BUY-CREATE-PLA-SHOP-BP-SP-RN-THEME_PRICE_POINTS

Another little stocking filler which I think is adorable is the Mickey Mouse Lego keyring at £3.99.

https://www.lego.com/en-gb/product/mickey-keyring-853998

Toys

Ita was lucky in that she got to review this Rapunzel Glow and Style doll back in the summer and since then she has played a lot with this doll. She even came to Disneyland with us. When you brush and style Rapunzel’s hair, it glows!

https://www.smythstoys.com/uk/en-gb/toys/fashion-and-dolls/disney-princess/disney-princess-hair-play-feature-rapunzel-doll/p/200015

It goes without saying that Disney have released new annual plush toys of Minnie and Mickey which can also be personalised.

We usually get Ita a Minnie plushie – the tartan this year is so festive.

https://www.shopdisney.co.uk/disney-store-minnie-mouse-holiday-cheer-small-soft-toy-412502164973.html?&cmp=knc-go:shopad:TDS-UK-Smart%20Shopping-New%20In:pcode:::Shopping:::dest&mckv=_dm%7Cpcrid%7C556022695813%7Cpkw%7C%7Cpmt%7C&gclid=CjwKCAiAqIKNBhAIEiwAu_ZLDgTwRzAymGdfUK2Iq2GpvHyh2K27Q3UxPa-oEq3-dO6aY22FFVMSCxoCgTAQAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

Currently on The Entertainer website, there are really big reductions on Disney toys!

I hope this little guide has been useful but most of all, we wish you a Merry Christmas #FromOurFamilyToYours

Festive Theatre Shows 2021

Theatre is one of our favourite things to experience but theatre during the festive period is something else! There is always so much to chose from and it doesn’t have to cost the earth either. Here are my winter 2021 suggestions!

The Snowman

Sadlers Wells – Peacock Theatre, Holborn

This is the magical stage adaption of Raymond Briggs’ much-loved book, and the film directed by Dianne Jackson and produced by John Coates. Set in a wintery wonderland, the giant friendly snowman comes to life.

It is a show entirely based on dancing, no words. So although the Sadlers Wells website states it is suitable for all ages, I would consider whether your child will sit quietly throughout the show.

We see this show every single year and it is always such a highlight. It’s become a Christmas tradition for us!

Age: Suitable to all according to the website however I would suggest 4+

Price:    Tickets from £18

https://www.sadlerswells.com/whats-on/the-snowman/?gclid=CjwKCAjw2vOLBhBPEiwAjEeK9sZjbPP_twx1CIwRs77ANvRRo2zvXPPCaCtMPnHDblv_CUEGnyuPBxoCoHsQAvD_BwE

The Snowman

Frozen

Royal Drury Lane Theatre, Covent Garden

We saw this show a few nights ago and we’re still buzzing from the excitement of it all!

Based on the beloved Disney animation, the show brings Elsa and Anna’s story to the stage in this heart-melting theatrical production. The actors and actresses are utterly fantastic, especially child Elsa and Anna!

With incredible special effects, jaw-dropping scenery, and all the songs you know and love, it’s going to be an unmissable experience that will stay with you long after the curtain falls. The dress change scene… wow!

Age:      Recommended 6+ (children under 3 are not permitted).

Price:    Tickets from £20

Tip: Disney Day Seats. A limited number of £20 day seats will be released at 10am on performance days. Click the link to register.

https://www.disneytickets.co.uk/disney-day-seats-tickets?int_cmp=

https://frozenthemusical.co.uk

Frozen

Nutcracker

London Coliseum, between Leicester Sq and Charing Cross

16 Dec – 8 Jan

Is this not the ultimate festive ballet show?

On a sparkling Christmas Eve in a frost-dusted Edwardian London, Clara and her enchanted Nutcracker doll discover a magical world, where she battles with the Mouse King and meets a handsome stranger. As the air grows colder, Clara and her valiant Nutcracker take a hot air balloon ride across London to the glistening Land of Snow where her adventure really begins.

From the sound of the orchestra tuning up to the final bows and cheers, a trip to English National Ballet’s Nutcracker in the splendour of the London Coliseum is an unforgettable Christmas treat

Age:      Children under 5 will not be permitted

Price:    Tickets from £18

https://www.seetickets.com/tt/tour/nutcracker/1017/?aff=google&src=id1google&gclid=CjwKCAjw2vOLBhBPEiwAjEeK9jaifqSIdjnd0bX43ZRMk_RrGUSVyOoKOGowpwawqlcTXl9V_ccLXRoCaoQQAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

The Nutcracker

Matthews Bourne’s Nutcracker

Sadlers Wells Theatre, Angel

7 Dec – 30 Jan

Not to be confused with the National Ballets performance, this follows the traditional tale but includes heaps of Bourne’s signature style, wit, and pathos, alongside exquisite choreography and Tchaikovsky’s sweeping score, Nutcracker.

We have seen this show no less than 4 times! It is so bright and quirky!

Age:      Children under 5 will not be permitted

Prices:   Tickets from £15

https://www.sadlerswells.com/whats-on/matthew-bournes-nutcracker/

Matthew Bournes Nutcracker

Pantoland at the Palladium

The London Palladium, Oxford Circus

4 Dec – 9 Jan

I have to admit, I am not the biggest fan of panto! I find it a little dull and tire of the innuendos so quickly. However, it is of course a very festive show to see!

The show promises the very best of pantomime, with comedy in abundance and big show-stopping numbers, this star-filled extravaganza will be the ultimate feel-good show.

Age:      Parental discretion is advised due to innuendo – no under 4s allowed.

Price:    Tickets from £25

https://lwtheatres.co.uk/whats-on/pantoland-at-the-palladium/?gclid=CjwKCAjw2vOLBhBPEiwAjEeK9vMtT-2QudNSlE_4B4Jpqm5lvmzJH3zUizw3Onps5xI4eNbu4IluChoCAoAQAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

Pantoland

Stickman

Leicester Square, Leicester Square

23 Oct – 3 Jan

The adaption of the famous Julia Donaldson book is honestly such a brilliant creation by Freckles Productions.

We saw this a few years back and when it starts snowing in the auditorium, it really is so exciting for the children.

Age:      All ages welcome!

Price:    Tickets from £19

https://stickmanlive.com

Stickman Live