Hi Guys!

Sorry again for the gap in posting, I am really determined right now to get back into a more regular pattern over the next few weeks, I have some ideas for posts already and with a few more trips booked before the end of this year I should have plenty to share with you all!

First of all I thought I would take the opportunity to reflect on my recent weekend trip to DLP, it was a really quick trip and done on a budget but we managed to pack so much into the weekend and had such a good time that I wanted somewhere to put all those memories down in words.

Our journey started at about 5 am on Saturday August 12th where with tired eyes but excited hearts we caught the tube to St Pancras to get our Eurostar, the tube is pretty quite at this time of day, which is good for me as i do get anxious when it's busy, we got there in good time and printing our tickets was really easy and quick which is always a relief! We had time for a quick breakfast before boarding our train and then we were finally on our way, the train was one of the newer ones and was really nice inside, I'd love to tell you more about it and about the first leg of the journey but to be honest I slept pretty much the whole way.

Our train was indirect and we had a short stop over at Lille Europe, this is the second time I've travelled indirect and I can be quite nervous when travelling, luckily both times the change has been really easy and I've had no problems getting back on the right train, if you have enough time between trains, there's a shopping centre opposite the station where you can stretch your legs and have a browse, there's also a Primark for some last min Disney impulse buys!

We arrived at Disneyland at about Mid day, dropped our bags off with the concierge which was free with my Infinity Annual Pass, and then headed straight into the park to soak up as much magic as possible! Our first port of call after soaking up some main street atmosphere was Pirates of the Caribbean, it has no long re-opened after being closed for refurbishment for the first 6 months of the year, so we were all so excited to see what it was like, and its quite a popular ride amongst the group I was with as it's one we can all ride together and the ride photo is a great bonus. The queue wasn't too bad, and we were all quite excited and had plenty to talk about which helped make it go even quicker, we did have time for a quick outfit change for Duffy too so we could get some photos after the ride. In short, I really enjoyed pirates post refurbishment, though not everything was 100% (seriously how hard can it be to maintain a swinging pirate guys?!) it was nice to see everything looking so fresh, the majority of animatronics working and some new scenes. Of course it's no real spoiler to know Jack Sparrow appears in the ride now, and although I'm not a fan of the pirates film, he was enough to really impress me!

After Pirates the guys were going to hit Hyperspace mountain, which I probably would have taken as a chance to do Buzz or Orbitron (I'm still a bit of a coaster wimp) but on the way through Fantasy land we found out Belle was meeting at the old mill in her village dress, so the two Sophie's and I decided to stop and meet her while everyone else did a few rides and got fast passes to do Hyperspace mountain later. I felt a bit hungry in the queue for Belle, as we hadn't eaten properly since about 6:30 that morning while waiting for the Eurostar, so while Belle took a quick break we got some waffles from the old mill, they were about €4 and unfortunately you can't use your annual pass discount here, but despite not being Mickey shaped (which is something we totally should have please DLP!) they were so worth the money and really made waiting far more enjoyable!

After Belle we went to Discovery land to meet back up with everyone, and as the queue was short, and hyperspace was currently down, we decided to hop on Star Tours, I loved star tours before its upgrade, but now its just so much better and every time I surprise myself with how much I enjoy it, the changeable scenes also mean you never know exactly what you're going to get, and although I've seen some of them a few times now, I know from speaking to others there's definitely some I still need to see, that plus my determination to one day be the rebel spy means I'll keep riding for many trips to come!

After star tours, Hyperspace mountain was back up, so the group of us that weren't riding too the opportunity to have a quick break in Hyperion Cafe, this is one of my favourite fast food places in DLP but we didn't actually eat this time just take the weight off for a while and re charge the batteries. Then it was over to Pueblos for some shopping before a bite to eat and a trip into the Forest of Enchantment.

Now I haven't seen Forest since March 2016 as it is only on for short runs in the spring and summer, and since last year I had heard there had been some changes, though I wasn't the biggest fan the first time around, I'm so glad I gave it a second chance, the changes are subtle on the whole but it's really made so much difference, and in my opinion it's all for the better. I enjoyed it so much, and I'm a little sad that once again it's only going to be showing until the end of summer, it's such a quality show and deserves a longer run, it'll be a real shame to lose this from the park's entertainment offering.

After forest we rode phantom manor, and big thunder mountain, followed by the wettest ride on Dumbo I've ever had, then we took shelter from the rain in It's a small world, and 2 more rides on Pirates of the Caribbean before illuminations, Finally the guys had 2 more rides on Big thunder mountain and then it was time to head to the hotel, it had been such a full on and long day and everyone was looking forward to getting some sleep ready to do it all again tomorrow!

So that's the whirlwind that was day one! I'll be back with day 2 shortly, but until then, why not catch up with Sophie Squared's vlog of the day!

Until next time!

Hoodsie xx

Wow it's been a while since I wrote one of these!

I guess I fell off the wagon? I'm sorry it's not that I haven't been training, it's just that sometimes, and an awful lot for me recently, life seems to get in the way, and to be honest there's not been much to tell, I run a bit, lift some weights, rinse and repeat.

But I thought I'd let you all know I'm still here, and despite everything else going on, I'm still determined, still training and still trying to make the most of this opportunity.

There is some exciting news though, at least I was excited anyway, Run Disney pins. Now last year the pin situation was to put it nicely, a nightmare, the pins are produced in such small quantities that getting hold of them was always going to be tough, add on to that anyone being allowed into the expo to purchase even if they weren't running and face it there was little chance of getting them right from the start!

In the end last year I was lucky enough to get my hands on the I did it half marathon pin when I arrived on the Friday, however the 5 km version and the replica medal pins were already gone. As you can imagine, I was kinda dreading having to do it all again this year, and the pressure of getting there as early as possible on the Thursday to queue for the chance was making organizing travel quite difficult.

[gallery ids="535,530" type="rectangular"]

So imagine my surprise when an E-mail turns up in my inbox telling me I can pre-order my pins this year ready for collection at the expo when I arrive! This was perfect and exactly the kind of solution I had hoped for, now Disney pin trading isn't, in my opinion anyway, that big in Paris, but it's something I've really caught the bug for recently, and since owning an annual pass my collection has really grown. So when it comes to limited pins like these, as long as I like the design or it has some relevance for me, I'm going to try my hardest to get them.

For the run Disney event there are a few different pin styles, there are some generic pins, a Mickey and Minnie in their running gear and a Run Disney logo pin, these were the ones I wanted least, then there is an I did it collection, one for each race length, 5 km, 10 km and half marathon, this is the one I got last year and the main one I was hoping to get again and I'm happy to say I've been able to secure all 3 this year, though I don't feel I necessarily needed an I did it for the 5 km, it was nice to have the full set.

I did it pins

As well as I did it pins, each race's medal has been made as a replica pin, I really liked the idea of these last year but didn't manage to get any and the resale values online have been so high that I just couldn't bear to part with that much money. As they were also eligible for pre-order this year, I've picked up the 4 replicas that represent the races I am doing, the 5 and 10 km, the half marathon, and then a replica of the challenge medal for running both 10 km and the half! The nice thing about these is i can represent my achievements in the park without having to carry my medals, a constant reminder of the weekend!

replica medal pins

challenge pin

Now the only downside to the pre-order process is as an annual pass holder I would typically be eligible for between 10 and 20% discount on these items, however this isn't available online, there is also a €2.50 handling fee on each order which has made this a little more expensive than it would otherwise be. Though it is a frustration, personally I am happy to pay full retail price and a small handling charge in order to ensure I get the pins I wanted, so I have paid it, however for the photo pass and other items, I am happy to wait until we arrive in exchange for being able to use my discount!

So that's my exciting update for July, and hopefully I'll be back again soon to tell you more about what I'm doing to prepare for the big weekend!

Hoodsie xx
Hey guys =D

Yeah that's right, another trip is upon us, they happen so frequently now I'm not even sure they're worth a blog post of their own! But still I'm pretty excited, and as the countdown looms ever closer, I thought I'd share my plans.
It's going to be a bit of a whistle stop tour as it's only a weekend trip, its tricky sometimes to balance making the most of your annual pass and also balancing annual leave from work and other commitments, but a weekend trip seemed like a good compromise.

So on August 12th I'll be getting up at some ridiculous hour to get the Eurostar to Disneyland Paris for 2 magical days! And what could possibly be better than that? Oh yeah, I'm sharing my trip with 8 of my Disney friends! That's right 9 of us are travelling over for the weekend and staying overnight together, and I couldn't need it any more right now.

We're staying at the explorers hotel which is an offsite hotel a short distance away from the parks, as we all have annual passes we don't need to worry about park tickets so this worked out really well for us to be able to go on a budget. We booked indirect Eurostar tickets both ways to cut down on costs too, and if you book them early you can get a really really good deal. I've done indirect with a change at Lille Europe on the way there before, but never on the way back, so I'm a bit nervous about that but hopefully it should all be ok!

As it's such a short trip we haven't made any real concrete plans, booking dining reservations etc isn't a priority, and realistically to save both time and money, I'll probably end up going for quick service meals and snacks. I just don't want to be too tied down to anyone place, it's summer and a weekend, the parks are going to be busy, and sometimes that's when it's best to just go with the flow.

Of course there are a few things I'd like to fit into the trip;

  • A trip to Pueblo trading post - Located in frontier land opposite Woody's meet and greet its a pin collector or Vinylmation fan's dream! It only opens at weekends and some odd extra days during peak times, so I don't get to visit half as much as I'd like to, but I'll make it my mission this trip.

  • Forest of Enchantment - A show in the Chaparral Theatre in Frontier land, it's only running for the summer months this year July 1st to September 3rd, as this is my only trip within this period it would be nice to see it again, though I really wasn't it's biggest fan last year, it has had some changes and the 2nd run is getting a great response on the whole from fans, so I suspect I'll be taking a trip to see what's happening.

  • Lightning McQueen photo op - Lightning McQueen the world's favourite race car is now ready and waiting to meet guests outside the entrance to Moteurs Action stunt show in the Studios park, and as it's my favourite film, and I've been begging for an opportunity to meet him, I can't possibly skip this one, having said that, as I'm in DLP again a few weeks later for Run Disney, depending on time we may have to bump him to the list of the next trip, fingers crossed I can get him though!

  • Get a photo by Boo's door - You'll see why soon, but this is one of the cutest Pixar photo ops in the parks, and more than that sometimes if you time it right Sulley is out for cuddles too!

  • Ride BTM - Big thunder Mountain, the ride that breaks down or is "interrupted" more than any other ride I've ever known! Add in to the mix it's popularity and going at peak time and getting on it might prove to be a little difficult, but it's always worth the wait so looks like we'll be running at rope drop to get on this one.

  • Ride Pirates - The final one on the list (though really there's so much more I'd like to get done) is ride Pirates of the Caribbean, it closed in January for a major refurbishment and I'm so excited to see what they've done with it, I'm not a huge fan of the pirates films but i love the rides and I can agree it badly needed more than a bucket full of TLC. I know there has been some controversy over some of the scenes changing, but I'm going to try and approach it with an optimistic and open mind, and of course I expect I'll be reporting back here after.

So that's the main things I'm looking forward to, I have attempted to plan some outfits, and I have thought of some other photo ops I'd like to take advantage of if time and weather etc allows. But more exciting than all of that, I'm not going alone! As I mentioned before there's quite a group of us going on this trip, because everything is better with friends, and that includes some wonderful YouTubers, so if I could just finish by suggesting you go and follow these guys, I'm sure you won't be disappointed and I'm sure they will all really appreciate it!

Sophie K and Sophie G from Sophie Squared

Deandre from PlayWearTalkRed

And Katie from PennieK

Any questions about my August trip, or anything you'd like me to blog about when I'm home please let me know in the comments!

Hoodsie xx