Hey guys!

In the past I have reviewed most of the hotels that I've stayed in at Disneyland Paris, however, the Disney owned hotels don't always suit everyone's budget and more recently as an annual pass holder I have found myself looking at off-site hotel options to try and keep the cost of my trips down. On my most recent trip, I stayed in a partner hotel, an off-site hotel which is not owned by Disney, but does partner with them to offer some of the perks at a reduced price, and decided it might be useful to start sharing my thoughts on these hotels too.

The Vienna House Magic Circus is a 396 room circus-themed family-friendly hotel just a few minutes drive from Disneyland Paris, the hotel has a restaurant, bar, swimming pool and other facilities and as part of its partnership with Disneyland Paris, it also has a small shop which sells parks merchandise as well as the expected amenities and a free shuttle bus to and from the parks each day.

The hotel can be booked as part of a package which includes your park tickets, or you can book the accommodation on its own, this is what we did as we did not need park tickets. We booked through Hotels.com and found the rate to be extremely favourable for our dates when compared to the Disney owned hotels, the booking process was incredibly easy and we were also able to book adjoining rooms online due to the size of our party. We paid in full online at the booking stage, but there was also the option to reserve with a deposit and pay on arrival for the room, the only additional cost was the city tax which is payable on arrival for each guest, this is the same tax you would pay in a Disney hotel but it is included in their initial booking cost.

As we were only on a one night trip we arrived at the hotel fairly late in the evening to check-in, I would imagine it was around 9pm, to keep costs down we had driven over, so I didn't get to experience the hotel shuttle bus but was pleasantly surprised by the amount of free parking on offer and didn't struggle to find a space. The reception area is open plan, bright and spacious, even though we had arrived quite late there was still ample staff available to assist with checking in and the reception area has a small seating area where the rest of your party can wait as well as a water dispenser.

Past the main reception, there is a small shop which as well as selling your toiletries and other essentials, also stocks a range of Disney parks merchandise including Mickey/Minnie Ears, autograph books and pens and a selection of plushes and other toys. Further round the corner there was more seating areas and a number of different arcade machines which would be great for distracting the kids during check-in. The hotel restaurant is also on the ground floor, we didn't actually get to use it on this trip due to the short nature of our stay, but we were offered a breakfast service which we could pay on the morning if we changed our minds for €16 per adult.

Check-in was easy and quick and we were assigned to 2 adjoining rooms on the first floor, we were booked as a party of 5 adults and 1 child, however, we only ended up being 5 adults. The two rooms were identical and there was an adjoining door which needed to be unlocked from both sides before it could be used, the rooms had a double bed and then a set of bunk beds, a modern good sized bathroom, 2 TVs and a kettle and facilities to make hot drinks as well as a generously sized fridge, there was a menu in the room but as we had already eaten I didn't pay too much attention to whether it was for room service or the main restaurant.

I was particularly impressed with how modern everything felt and also the level of decoration and theming in the rooms, I also liked how the room could be separated for kids and adults with a curtain that pulled around the bunk beds, which had their own bedside table and TV! The beds were really comfortable and we all got a great nights sleep, which is super important when you're up early for another busy day in the parks.

The bathroom was a really good size, was incredibly clean and modern, a selection of toiletries and towels were also provided, my only areas for improvement here would be that the hairdryer provided was not particularly powerful, and only having 1 sink in a room designed for 4 people can be a pain. The room had lots of storage including a large wardrobe which is great for longer trips where you want to unpack your clothes and hang things up, or even for just storing your bags or other luggage out of the way as the rooms weren't huge.

As I mentioned briefly above, if you aren't driving, or are staying for more than one night there is a free shuttle bus provided by Disneyland Paris to get to and from the parks, the shuttle is approximately once every 20 mins from around 8 am until around midnight and stops directly outside of the reception and drops off just outside of the train station at the entrance to the parks. The shuttle services a number of the nearby partner hotels so can get busy at peak times, but they have ample room for pushchairs and wheelchairs and are provided completely free of charge, a timetable can be picked up in reception to allow you to plan your timings.

If you want to venture further afield you can use the free shuttle bus to get to the parks and then catch the RER from here to go into central Paris, or you can get the RER or walk from the Disney Village to the nearby Val D'Europe shopping centre which has a selection of places to eat and shops (including a very popular Primark) as well as a pharmacy.

Although my stay at Magic Circus was incredibly short, we may have spent less than 12 hours at the hotel, I was incredibly impressed during my stay and would definitely book to stay again in the future. The hotel was clean and modern, with a fun, family-friendly theme, every member of staff I spoke to was friendly and helpful and many of them spoke multiple languages outside of French and English. The location of the hotel is excellent, it is only a few minutes away from the Disney parks by bus or by car, but has the advantage of a lower price tag by being outside of the main Disney property.

I hope that I will be able to stay again soon and experience more of the hotel facilities, and of course, if I do, I will update this review with my impressions.

Have you stayed at Magic Circus, what did you think? Drop me a comment below with what you liked most.

Hoodsie xx

Hi Guys! 

It has been a while since I’ve done any new character dining experiences to be able to review for you guys so while we were in DLP for Run Disney we decided to treat ourselves to a royal breakfast and I thought I’d let you know what the experience was like.

Breakfast with the Disney Princesses is a fairly recent addition to Disneyland Paris, it launched in February 2019 for a short time, before returning in July 2019 due to its success. Set in the heart of Fantasyland, Auberge de Cendrillon was already home to Lunch and in peak times dinner with the princesses, so the addition of breakfast came as little surprise.

The restaurant can be found tucked behind Sleeping Beauty’s castle, it has a small courtyard where you can see Cinderella’s magical carriage, and inside the walls are covered in murals depicting some of the film’s most well-known moments.

As with the Plaza Gardens character breakfast, there are two sittings each day, 8:15 am is the first sitting and 9:45 am is the second. It is worth noting that the first sitting is during extra magic time, so guests will need to be staying in a Disney hotel, or have the relevant level of annual pass to enter the parks during this time. Reservations can be made either 3 days in advance by phone, through your hotel concierge or through city hall if you wish to pay on the day or use vouchers, if you wish to pay in advance this can be added to your booking through your travel provider.

We opted for the 9:45 sitting which gave us the option of either a later start or a chance to do some of EMT before going for our breakfast. This worked really well for us, and we arrived around 9:40 and joined a short queue at the entrance to the restaurant. The queue moved quickly and once we got to the front and confirmed our reservation and party size we were taken straight through to the restaurant and seated.

When we arrived there were already several pastries on the table for us and within moments a server came over to provide us with both a hot drink and a choice of orange or apple juice which was topped up later in the sitting. The breakfast is a set menu and after a short wait this was brought to our table, this consisted of scrambled egg, 3 small sausages, some roasted potatoes with mushrooms and asparagus and a Mickey waffle. On the side several small glasses with side dishes were provided, this included salmon, a crunchy vegetable mix, a fruit salad and yoghurt.

During the breakfast, three princesses in attendance visit guests at their tables for autographs and photos, we saw Cinderella, Snow White and Aurora. Compared to the character breakfast at plaza gardens I found the interaction with the princesses to be much better, despite having less characters. I felt that the quality of each meet was much higher and it personally felt a lot more relaxed which allowed me to enjoy it more without constantly worrying about trying to fit everything in.

The breakfast is priced at €49 per adult and €39 for children, as we did not have any children in our party I could not comment on the food they were served or if there were any menu changes. We used an Infinity Annual Pass which reduced the bill by 15% and felt that this was a fair price for the experience as a whole.

I really enjoyed the princess breakfast, I enjoyed the food and found even as a more picky eater there was enough for me to enjoy that I came away feeling full. I was impressed with the level of service from all of the waiting staff and especially with the interaction from the princesses. This isn’t a meal I would personally do every trip as I have already met the princesses on multiple occasions and would not normally spend this amount on breakfast. However, as an occasional trip in the future, or with my niece, it is definitely something I would do again.

If I had to suggest improvements to the offering it would be to include some of the princes and perhaps even Suzy and Perla just to provide a more varied character rotation. The addition of Prince Mickey and Princess Minnie would almost certainly encourage me to return on my next trip.

So that covers my experience and thoughts on the Princess Breakfast, have you been before? Did you agree with my thoughts and which princesses did you get? Drop me a comment!

Hoodsie xx

Hey guys!

So excuse the total clickbait title, but tell it like it is I guess? I’m sorry this won’t be the usual kind of post you would see from me, but I feel like this is something I need to do for myself. I’ve covered most of my run Disney journey so far so it only seems right that I would cover this part too, maybe one day it will help someone else, maybe it will help me now.

So I guess I should start at the beginning, no doubt some of you will have stumbled across this post with no idea what has happened. Early this year I signed myself and my best friend Sophie up to run the run Disney 36km challenge in Disneyland Paris, if you follow my blog you’ll know this is an event I’ve taken part in every year since its inception in 2016. When I ran last year I didn’t have the best time, not in any part due to DLP but purely because of my own lack of training. Running doesn’t come easy to me, I’m a slower runner and each race, each training run is hard, sometimes it’s just a mental battle while other times it’s a physical one, so sometimes, training was just too hard, too much of a task to force myself to undertake.

When I got home from run Disney in 2018, I promised myself 2 things. First, I promised myself I would go back, this might not sound like much but I was so drained, physically and mentally, crossing that last finish line had taken every single ounce of everything I had left. Secondly, I promised myself I would come back stronger, I knew what had happened to me was my own fault, I knew if I had given myself more time, trained more regularly rather than rushing it all at the end, the ride would be smoother and my achievement would be even greater.

I took a few weeks off once I was home from DLP, but by the middle of October I was training again, I knew the first hurdle would be getting started after a break so I didn’t want to leave it too long. I started booking races, this gave me the accountability I needed, I had something that I’d paid for and I had to show up for, I wanted to make a good job of it, so I reminded myself of that each time I needed to get out of the door. If I couldn’t find a race, I looked for virtual medals, I know some people don’t like this idea as you get a medal for what is basically a training run, but it gave me the motivation I needed, it got the job done.

I created a spreadsheet to help me track my training, I wanted to be able to see where I was improving and what still needed working on, with a combination of this and the races I had booked the second hurdle seemed easier to get over, keeping running over the winter. Face it, it’s a tough time to run for anyone, the mornings are dark, the nights are darker, its cold and its wet and I’d rather be inside under a blanket. But I kept going and my total mileage kept increasing month by month.
In January I started my next challenge, on top of running all 3 races at Disney I decided to try and cover a total of 500 km for the year, this would be around double what I achieved in 2018 and gave me a real sense of purpose. With each month the runs got longer and my times got quicker, I was finally getting somewhere and felt optimistic about the year ahead.

In April I reached my first Parkrun milestone, we celebrated my 50th run at my home parkrun and my niece and I ran in Disney costumes, while many of our friends put on a pair of Mickey ears in support.

Despite the summer heatwave things continued to improve throughout May June and July, by August I had completed more than 10 races since promising to train better, on top of that I had run 30 park runs, and reduced my 5km time by around 3/4 mins, on top of that I'd run over 350 km and helped start a couch to 5 km group at my work as well as encouraging other friends to start running, things were going really well.

Were. Were going well. Unfortunately this is where the story goes downhill, just over a week ago I went to Parkrun, no surprise there, it was where i could be found most Saturdays of the year so far, this week however I went to a different Parkrun to my usual as a friend was running for the first time and I wanted to support her. The course was tough but I wasn't going out for a PB, just a steady 5 km I told myself. The course was two 2.5km laps, the first lap went really well, started a bit quick but settled nicely into a more comfortable pace, however on the second lap I fell, and as I know now, sprained my ankle. 

Now here's the thing about a sprained ankle, most of the time when people say they've sprained their ankle, they probably haven't. I'm not having a go, I'm sure this is something I've been guilty of in the past. A sprained ankle is a whole world different from a twisted ankle, and now that I know and understand the difference first hand, I'm going to be so much more mindful of it.

I don't know why or how I fell exactly, it was just luck, or bad luck I suppose. It wasn't anyone's fault and there probably wasn't anything I could have done differently that morning, something I'm still struggling with now. Anyway, after 2 trips to the Minor Injuries unit and a few X-rays it was confirmed nothing was broken, but unfortunately the severity of my sprain and the damage it has caused means that taking part in the challenge, or even the half marathon, just isn't going to be possible for me this year.

So that's where I'm at right now. Utterly heartbroken.

Maybe that sounds ridiculous to some people, but that's the truth of how I feel. Some people have said they would still run or try to walk it, some have said I won't be able to cover that distance for a long time, the truth is everything is a bit up in the air at the moment. Currently it could take anywhere from 6 weeks to 3 months to make a recovery and get running again, which obviously is too much time for run Disney.

So now what? Well, I'm seeing a sports injury specialist to make sure everything heals the best way possible, and that when I can run again I've got the best chance of staying injury-free. But I can't stop thinking about my races.

I did everything right. I did exactly what I was meant to. So why has it ended like this? Why me? Did I deserve it? Believe me when I say my mind is going round in circles trying to figure this one out and work through it, I told someone the emotional and mental pain far outweighs the physical pain, and honestly I still feel that way. I trained for this, I trained early to give myself the most time, I trained slowly so as not to put my body through more than it was ready for, I got up early when I was tired, I ran after work even if I'd had a hard day. I ran in the rain, the wind, the snow and the heat. But it didn't matter, because I fell. Did I deserve it? Was I too sure of myself? I have to admit this was the most calm and confident I've ever felt in the lead up to the race, I knew my training was good, I knew I was hitting all the right numbers, instead of worrying about making the distance I was daydreaming about which characters I wanted to see and what photos I wanted to take with my medals. The jokes on me now though, won't have any medals to take photos of. 

I know deep down this could have happened to anyone at any time, but it didn't, it happened to me, and I'm still trying to work through that.

So what next?

Well I'm trying to find the positives in all of this, of course I'm still going to take my trip to DLP, with the help of my physio I'm hoping to at least walk one of the races. I'll still be there to support my friends, and though it doesn't seem it a lot of the time, I was lucky and it could have been a lot worse. I may use this as a platform to document my recovery, perhaps one day the thoughts and feelings that I've thrown out into the world in an attempt to recover emotionally will provide support to someone else in the same position, or maybe it will just be something I can look back on and remember where I was and how I've grown.

I'm so grateful to all of my friends both at home, at my running club, at parkrun and online for their love and support during the last week or so. I'm sorry if I haven't been the most responsive, or positive, I'm trying. This may be just a race to a lot of people, but for me run Disney is so much more. This is my passion, this was where I found my love-hate relationship with running, where I learned I was tougher than I could have believed and that if I worked hard for things I could achieve them. This was my London Marathon, my Olympics, my big race, a chance to show the result of all of the months of training and work I had put in. And it's hard knowing that won't happen now.

Hopefully I will recover, and hopefully this isn't the end of my running story, but for now I just have to ride through a chapter I wasn't ready to open yet.


Hey guys!

So its August and the 2019 edition of Run Disney will be in Paris in just a few short weeks! It really doesn't seem possible that it was almost a full year ago now that I was last lacing up my trainers for the most magical races in Europe.

I'm sure everyone is hard at work training, but I decided to take a little time out to start daydreaming about race day, who am I kidding? I haven't stopped dreaming about race day since the moment I booked our bibs!

Of course, I love everything about the Run Disney races, the magical surroundings, the incredible medals, and sharing the sense of pride and achievement with some of my closest running pals, but for me what makes Disney races extra special, is the characters we meet along the course. So it got me thinking, now that we know the themes for the races, who would I love to see along the way?

Now I always stress with any of these types of posts, I have no inside information when it comes to race day, I do not know who will be out on the course and this is just my own wishlist if I get lucky and some of them are actually there on the day? Of course, I'll be chuffed, but that is all it is luck. Please do not mistake this for a guaranteed list of characters on the day.

5km - Adventure into the unknown 

Ok, so I have to be honest with you here, the truth is this is the theme I'm least looking forward to. We know the medal is Simba from the Lion King, and If you've followed me on social media, you'll know I just don't like the film all that much. But hey, it's popular, super-relevant currently, and mostly a fan favourite, so I can see why it's being used and I'm ok with it. We can assume that most likely the characters out during this race are going to be predominantly animals, so who would I like to see most?

Timon & Rafiki - As Simba isn't a meetable character (to my knowledge anyway) these two are probably the most logical option to represent the Lion king, hopefully, Timon will be out in his Matta Dance outfit just to make it extra special, and believe it or not, I actually haven't met the little guy yet so that would be kinda sweet.

Ed, Shenzi & Banzai - What is the Lion King without these creepy hyenas? Ok so they are villains, but we still love them! We had them during the races in 2017 so I don't think its too unrealistic for them to make an appearance, they were also in the resort recently for the press event when the Lion King and Jungle season launched, could they be hiding somewhere? I hope so.

King Louis & Baloo - You can hardly celebrate the animals of Disney without the jungle VIP now can you? These guys are in the parks every day, so while they're not rare, they are a lot of fun and totally on theme, perhaps Baloo can wear his grass skirt from Forest of Enchantment?

Credit: Mark Petar Twitter

Pochahontas, John Smith & Meeko - They don't need to be together frankly I would accept any combination. Meeko especially is a most wanted meet for me as he's just so cute, I really think these guys embody the spirit of adventure and would fit in great with the theme.

Credit: Sophie Kean Instagram

Tarzan, Jane & Terk - Again I don't need all 3 together, but how cool would it be to see these guys! We know Terk is making an appearance for PhotoPass day on August 18th, so it's surely not totally unrealistic to ask for these guys to come and play?

Credit: Sophie Kean Instagram

10km - Princesses.

This one I have kind of mixed thoughts on, yes the theme appeals to me more than that of the 5km, but are there any princesses I'm desperate to meet? Very few, so I'm going to go a bit outside the box on this one and expand my most wanted to "Disney Royalty".

Kida & Milo - If you're not familiar with these guys you need to go and get yourselves a copy of Atlantis: The lost empire, right now. Kida is the daughter of Kashekim, king of Atlantis, and Milo Thatch is her husband, these guys are space royalty and I personally would love to see them perhaps in Discoveryland?

Credit: Katie Penn Youtube.

Elena of Avalor - Face it, she's super, super cute and the fact she's not a regular meeting character in Paris already is unforgivable, personally, I'd love to see her this year though I'm not sure where I would put her? Possibly in Adventureland?

Credit: Mark PetaTwitter

Meg & Herc - Honey! You mean Hunkules! I sure do, this Greek power couple is already really popular with fans and I would class them as royalty, after meeting Pain, Panic, and Hades on the course in 2018, I'd love to see the good guys have their turn!

Credit: Katie Penn Youtube.

Vanellope - She might not be a traditional princess, but if you've seen Ralph breaks the internet, you will most likely agree that she is 100% princess material, not only that but she's been a character I've wanted to meet for such a long time so, for purely selfish reasons, she's making the list.

Credit: Katie Penn Youtube.

Atta & Flik - Maybe I'm still salty that they aren't meeting in Animal Kingdom anymore, or maybe it's because she's a badass ant princess, either way, how cute would these guys be nestled into Adventureland?

Credit: Mark PetaTwitter

Half Marathon - Love/Disney Couples.

This is probably the theme I like most out of the 3 for the weekend, its quite vague so there's a huge choice of characters available, and possibly some really cute characters that we don't get to see very often, here's my pick;

Bernard & Bianca - These super cute Mice are rarely seen in Paris, but I really would love to see them this year, I love their outfits especially Miss Bianca and think they would be a great addition to Run Disney.

Oswald & Ortensia - It may have all started with a mouse, but who knows where we would have ended up if it weren't for this lucky rabbit! Oswald is the stuff of Disney legend and I am so upset that I've not been able to meet him yet, luckily for me, he's been present at Disneyland Paris a lot since the FanDaze event and this event also marked the first Disney Parks appearance of Ortensia. So fingers crossed this will finally be my chance to meet them both.

Credit: Mark PetaTwitter

Nick Wilde & Judy Hopps - Zootropolis is basically just really underrated. I've met Nick and Judy before, and yes they have been at a previous run weekend, but I don't care, these guys are so much fun! He might be a sly fox and she may be a dumb bunny, but they love each other and I love them.

Credit: Sophie Kean Instagram

Horace Horsecollar & Clarabelle Cow - These guys are so cute and remind me of Halloween due to their regular appearances in the Halloween cavalcade at DLP. They don't really come out often for meets which is a huge shame, so I'd love to see them on the course for a quick hug and a high 5!

Remy & Emile - Anyone can cook, but despite having their own themed area in Disneyland Paris it would appear that not everyone can meet these two tiny chefs, I managed to meet Remy back in 2012 but I've not been lucky enough to catch him since, and I've never met Emile. Paris is there home, and with a perfect backdrop in the studios, it would seem to me to be a real missed opportunity not to have these lovable brothers out!

So those are my picks for this year, will any of them actually make it onto the course? I sure hope so, but who knows who we might bump into on the day? If there's someone you want to see, drop me a comment below!

Hoodsie xx

Hey guys!

So in case you haven't seen online already, last Sunday, June 16th I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to head to London to be part of the European premiere of Toy Story 4. I had an absolutely incredible day walking the red carpet, seeing some famous faces and seeing Buzz, Woody and Bo Peep, but more than that I was able to see the film in full before it hits UK cinemas on Friday!

So I decided I would take the opportunity to share my thoughts with you all, as always I'll do my best to keep things spoiler free, but if you do want to know anything more in depth you can always contact me on my social media accounts!

It's been 9 years since Toy Story 3 graced the silver screen and I'm sure I'm not the only one who has spent at least some of this time wondering how Woody and the gang are enjoying life with Bonnie in their new home, Toy Story 4 not only answers these questions in the most perfect way, but it also ties up a few loose ends from earlier on in the franchise. The film starts with a brief recap of how our heroes ended up with Bonnie and pays particular attention to the fate of Bo Peep who never made it to Sunnyside day care during the 3rd installment. All of our favourite friends are thriving in their new life with Bonnie and are surprised when Bonnie brings home a new friend from her first day at school.

Meet Forky, Yes, he is a spork, but he's called Forky so that's just a hurdle you're going to have to get over pretty quickly, voiced by Tony Hale this lovable utensil turned toy is the stand out character of the film. He's quirky, annoying and yet some how absolutely adorable in equal parts and I can honestly say I love him. An honorable mention must also go out to the rest of the new toys, Gabby gabby, Combat Carl, Ducky & Bunny, Giggle McDimples and of course, Canada's hero, Duke Caboom all of which really do a stellar job and only serve to enhance the existing cast.

I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed this film, I know as a life long Pixar fan a lot of people will say this is not unexpected and perhaps my views are in some way skewed or biased towards Pixar productions and though that may in some way be an unconscious bias on my part, I was one of the people who was quietly apprehensive about this film. The ending of Toy Story 3 seemed to many to be pretty conclusive, we'd followed the toys on their journey through Andy's childhood, and successfully helped him grow until it was time to leave for college, handing the toy's over to Bonnie felt like the perfect ending. So what could come next that would somehow match the level of story telling? I was wrong. The fourth installment is the true ending of the franchise, it answered questions left over from the other films and it brought the story to an emotional, but poignant close. Though I would never oppose seeing more from my favourite toys, especially if the quality stays this high, I do feel like this was the swan song, I would genuinely be very surprised if we ever got another feature length film for this franchise.

The plot was simple, and perhaps a little bit predictable in places, but it didn't matter, it didn't need to be the next work of Shakespeare, it didn't need to re invent the wheel, it was heartwarming and authentic and that's all that any of the fans could have asked for. The new characters brought some new dimensions to the film, Forky's relationship with Woody was a pleasure to watch and the comedic partnership of Ducky and Bunny added a lot of real comedy moments which I enjoyed. I felt the character development of Gabby Gabby to be really fascinating, and ended up liking her far more than I expected to going into the screening, I look forward to adding her to my Funko collection in the coming months.

I was able to see the film 5 days early at the European Premiere at the Odeon in London's iconic Leicester Square, I'd like to extend a huge, huge thank you to Elliot for inviting me and offering me a ticket! The day was really enjoyable, from walking the red carpet, to seeing Bo Peep, Woody and Buzz in the cinema Lobby, and finally to seeing Tom Hanks, Producers Andrew Stanton and Jonas Rivera and Director Josh Cooley who got up on stage before the film to welcome us and tell us a bit about how the 4th installment came to life.

It was clear that everyone involved with the production was so very proud of what they had created, and I can honestly say they deserve to be proud of what they've made possible, the film was an absolute joy if not a slightly emotional ride and will become an instant classic appreciated by not only it's original fans but also the new generations who will get to experience Bonnie's years in the way we grew with Andy.

Toy Story 4 releases in UK cinemas this Friday June 21st, I cannot recommend going to see it strongly enough!

Have you seen it yet? What did you enjoy most? Drop me a comment, but no spoilers!

Hoodsie xx

Hey guys!

So I guess it all comes down to this, the endgame. The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) burst on to the silver screen in May 2008 when Jon Favreau introduced Iron Man to the world, since then a further 20 films have expanded this universe, giving us the Avengers, the Guardians of the Galaxy and a whole load of adventures. Endgame has no easy job, trying to tie up the previous 21 films into one final plotline, it's 3 hour run time is used brilliantly by the Russo brothers to bring together our heroes for one last time.

Pic credit: @thedlpgeek twitter

I'm going to try my best to keep this review spoiler free, however, I will be referencing other films from the MCU, so apologies if you've missed any of these and I divulge something you didn't want to know!

Avengers: Endgame starts after the events of Infinity War, when we last saw our heroes they had just lost the battle to stop Thanos from gaining access to all 5 stones, which allowed him to finish his plan to wipe out 50% of all life in the galaxy. Not all of the Avengers survived, so the story now focuses on those who were left behind, the original team of Iron Man, Captain America, Hulk, Black Widow, Thor and Hawkeye are reunited as well as Ant-Man, Rocket, Nebula, War Machine and Captain Marcel. Together they try to find a way to avenge their fallen comrades and put an end to Thanos and his trail of destruction.

Honestly, this film surpassed all of my expectations, the daunting 3 hour run time actually flew by, the pacing was perfect and there was a mix of slower moments to break up the faster-paced action scenes. There were emotional parts, and there were funny moments, the film just felt balanced. I have watched most of the previous movies leading up to this point, but I will be totally honest and say I did miss a few. Personally, I didn't find this made a huge hindrance to my understanding of the film, but I would try to go in with as much understanding of the series to date as possible as this will only enhance your experience.

Despite these characters having developed right in front of us over the last 10 years, I was surprised how much personal growth we got to go through with the original Avengers in this final instalment. No-one is ever a finished product, each character has their own flaws which make them easy to relate to and have us rooting for them even when the odds seem hopeless. Endgame does a wonderful job of completing some of these story arcs, being able to look back to where our heroes began their journey and seeing them finally flourish into their best form.

Though I can't really criticize any of the cast for their role in this movie, for me the two stand out performances were Karen Gillan as Nebula and Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow. Both played a variety of scenes with such emotion and depth that I was truly drawn into their characters individual plights, I felt their emotions and I felt 100% invested in them throughout the film. I would have liked to have seen a lot more of Brie Larson as Captain Marvel and also the wonderful Bradley Cooper as Rocket, thought the MCU as we know it has come to a close, I hope there is more in the future for them.

Visually, the film is stunning, I have only seen it in 2D so far, but as it was filmed entirely with IMAX digital cameras, so I would love to see it in this format at some point. I will say, the film deserves the cinema screen treatment! The colours are fantastic, the special effects are seamless, the bigger scenes are a visual treat.

Pic credit: @thedlpgeek twitter

The film is however the only film in the series other than The Incredible Hulk not to have a mid or end credits scene, though on one hand, I do feel like the film was well and truly wrapped up, this is something that feels like a tradition and feels like it was put there for the fans as much as the story and it does feel weird for there not to be one.

Overall I really enjoyed this movie, the 3 hour conclusion takes you on one heck of an emotional ride from start to finish, I strongly believe this is the final chapter that a series that has been as popular and successful as the MCU deserves. If the film doesn't perform well during the next awards season I would be truly shocked and disappointed.

Have you seen Endgame? Did you enjoy it? Drop me a comment, but please, no spoilers!


Hey Guys,

Something a little different today, I hope you all enjoy it just as much though!

As the 2019 edition of Run Disney at Disneyland Paris creeps ever closer my mind is already in full-on training mode, and I can imagine I'm not the only one. Training can, however, be a little boring at times, long runs, bad weather and having to run alone are some of the main things that make it hard for me to get off the sofa. Then I found virtual races, and suddenly I have the ultimate running mojo boost tool to hand.

So what is a virtual race? Simple, you commit online to walk jog or run a set distance within a certain time frame. You pay your money to enter and then it's up to you to go out and cover the miles within the set date range. It doesn't matter if you do this out and about or on a treadmill in the gym, the most important part is that you cover the distance and that you get proof. Once you've completed your distance and have your proof ready you can submit it online, if it all checks out your reward is a shiny new medal which arrives in the post a few days later!

And how do I provide proof? This can be either a photo of the treadmill at the end of your session showing total distance covered, a screenshot of your result online from say park run or if you're out running in your local area you can track it on a mobile app such as Strava, Fitbit or Run Keeper and take a screenshot of your logged exercise, the most important thing is that the total distance is visible and meets or exceeds the distance required for whichever event you've committed to.

Now some people don't agree with the idea of virtual races, I often get asked if I feel like I've bought the medal as it's a training run I would have been doing anyway and not a "real" event/race. Though I can understand that viewpoint, no, I don't feel like I've earned it any less than someone who has run the same distance at an official race. 5 km is the same distance no matter whether you walk, jog or run it, so I don't see why I should be any less proud of it because it's a training run!

I often find where I live there can be a lack of races over the winter months and this is usually when my motivation takes a nose dive! It's cold, dark and wet and frankly, snuggling up under a fluffy blanket and watching trashy TV with a chocolate bar to hand does sound a LOT more appealing than going and running in all weathers. This is where I have found virtual races to be invaluable, more than anything they have given me that last extra push to get up and get out, and I almost always feel better for doing it, no matter how cliche that sounds. I have completed 4 virtual races since October 2018 after the Run Disney weekend, but I already have 2 more paid for ready for the next couple of months and a few more that I have my eye on too, it has really changed my training over the winter months and I honestly already feel the benefit of staying motivated and moving.

So what I wanted to share with you guys today are a few virtual races that are Disney inspired that you guys might want to sign up for.

I have in no way been sponsored or paid to advertise these, and will not receive anything additional if you guys do sign up, but I thought I'd share what I've been enjoying with you! 

Spot a race you like? Links below each picture to be taken through to the sign-up page! Please check you meet all eligibility criteria etc.







As you can see there's a huge amount of races out there, and this is just from 2 websites! Hopefully, these will be as useful and successful in inspiring you guys as they have been for me. Which will you be signing up for? Or perhaps you've found some I haven't seen, drop me a link!

Hoodsie xx