Hey pals!

Wow OK, so this is probably going to be a tough one for me to write, but at the same time, I felt compelled to say something, I'm not sure I have the right words to tackle this delicate subject, and I must stress that anything here is solely my own opinion from the news stories I've seen online.

So where do I start? If somehow you've been living under a Disney free rock for the last few days you may be confused as to what delicate subject I'm about to stick my foot in like a clumsy elephant, so just to clarify, reports have surfaced this week originating from the Hollywood Reporter from a leaked memo to Disney staff from the Chief creative officer of Disney's animation division and Pixar co-founder John Lassester, in this memo he announced that he is taking a 6 month sabbatical after becoming aware that some of his staff may feel disrespected or uncomfortable following some missteps by Mr Lasseter himself.

He later goes on to apologize if they feel he had over stepped the line through unwanted hugs or other gestures, and insures it was never his intent to cross anyone's personal boundaries. Disney haven't as yet said a huge amount on the issue, other than their acceptance of the apology and their support for John going forward.

First of all for me John Lasseter has by my hero for probably, well the best part of my life, as I've touched on before Disney has always played some role in my life, but Pixar was what really ignited my passion, Toy Story and Cars are probably 2 of my favouirte film series of all time and I have always admired the work that Pixar have created, as well as the story of how they came to be, even when things were stacked up against them. So this news comes as not only a huge shock to me, it also feels like such a disappointment, that something I am so emotionally invested in, could suddenly feel so dirtied by these allegations.

Honestly right now I still don't know what to make of it, he's obviously made a statement himself where he admits to doing things wrong, but the actual facts of what he's admitting to are scarce, reports go from overly long hugs, which could be deemed inappropriate but hey they're not the end of the world, to allegations of groping, which of course is totally unacceptable. So what do I believe? Well that's a toughy, I desperately want to believe he's a good guy who perhaps likes to hug a little too long and is a bit over friendly all in an innocent way. But I fear that's not the case, a six month sabbatical for some longer than comfortable hugs does seem like cracking a nut with a sledge hammer no? And I have no reason to disbelieve anyone who has spoken out against him.

So do I think John will ever come back to Pixar/Disney? I desperately hope so, but only if the "Missteps" mentioned in his memo turn out not to be the serious things he's being accused of, no matter how great the artist he is, I don't think welcoming him back to that position of power with open arms would be the right move.

And whats next for Disney's Animation Division? Honestly I'm not worried, sure short term the effects of this could effect Disney negatively, financially and in terms of shares if nothing else, but John isn't the only name that's responsible for the successes at Pixar and Disney over the last few years and I'm confident the studio can continue to excel without John at the helm if his actions are proved to have been inappropriate.

Coco has arrived in the US and most of Europe and is already doing well, Lee Unkrich has the lead directing credit and also a writing credit for the film, he's also credited on other success films including Toy Story 3, Monsters Inc, Toy story 4 and Finding Nemo to name a few, He is a huge up and coming name at Pixar and I'd love to see him progress to take on John's role when the time comes.

On the Disney animation side, Ron Clements who wrote and directed Last years box office hit Moana, also has credits for other Disney hits including princess and the frog, Hercules Aladdin and the Little Mermaid. this leaves me confident that there's plenty still to celebrate in Disney's Animation Division, and if we cut John Lasseter from the picture, it's still OK to enjoy Pixar and Disney animated films, and praise the many other individuals who have put so much into bringing these stories to life and to the silver screen.

So John, you may have let me down, though I'll always cherish the work you did and the environment and company you introduced me to, I'll always be thankful Pixar came to be and for the films and characters it's given me, but I think more than ever what you've made me realize is how important it is to speak out when something isn't right regardless of how big the name is, your story needs to be heard not just for yourself but for anyone else going through the same who can't speak out for themselves.

What are your thoughts? What do you believe really happened, do you think we'll ever find out for sure, and will you continue to support Pixar and Disney?

Hoodsie xx
Ahoy pals!

So I'm not long back from my Halloween trip and I thought rather than jumping straight in to another 5 day trip report I'd cover off some other things first, and one i really wanted to give it's own spotlight to, was the hotel I stayed in for most of my trip, the Newport Bay club has been somewhere Duffy and I have been dying to try, and we thought it would be nice to share my thoughts on this amazing hotel!

So I checked into the Newport bay early in the morning on the 28th of October, it was around 8:15 am by the time we had checked out of the Kyriad and got an Uber to Newport Bay so our rooms weren't ready but we were able to complete most of the check in process, get our Hotel Easy pass and leave our bags for the day so that we could get back to the park.

One of our first stops was actually the hotel shop and it had a really great range of stuff, a lot was generic parks merchandise which you could get in any of the stores, they they sell some more specific hotel stuff (toiletries etc) and they had some mugs which I think were exclusive to the Newport Bay hotel! The shop was really open and bright and beautifully decorated, it had quite a good selection of items and had a separate photo pass counter too which was great for getting your photo passes sorted when you're not in the parks early in the morning on late in the evening, I guess it also gives you the chance to check all your photos are there before you check out to go home which is super handy!

Each morning there's also one of Mickey's pals, or sometimes Mickey himself in the hotel lobby waiting to meet you and have photos, the queues can get quite long, but it's a great way to get your favourites in their traditional outfits, the queue runs along the side of the shop in the lobby, and when it's your turn you are taken through to a little room at the back of the shop for a private little meet, which is super cute!

We went to the park for a few hours and came back in the afternoon to have a rest as the room was ready from 3pm. For our first night we had a ground floor room in the west wing (or as I call it the only wing ;) ) and although it was quite a walk from reception, I mean I was honestly surprised the rooms even went round that far, the room itself was beautiful and so worth the walk.

We went for a standard room rather than a compass club one, but still our room key card allowed us to have 4 free hot drinks per day from the vending machines, there is supposed to be one on every floor, the ground floor one for the west wing took us ages to find, its actually at the pool, after we eventually did find it, it was out of order so we popped up to the second floor, which had a much more visible machine and were able to get our free drinks there, which were actually really nice!

For the first night I shared with Sophie and Sophie and Katie Snow, they then moved to the Disneyland hotel for the rest of their stay, and I moved into a new room at the Newport Bay, I must point out here that there was nothing at all wrong with our room,we had lovely doors that opened out, a view of the outdoor pool, and despite being a bit of a walk from reception, it was perfect. The reason I changed was that I had made a separate booking for the last 3 days of my stay and this was in a Lake side room, so I really wanted to take advantage of that. My room wasn't ready until 3pm again but this wasn't an issue and I was able to use the hotel luggage storage again for free, this is really handy.

I went back around 8pm on Sunday evening after our meal at Bistrot Chez Remy in the Studios park and was able to get my room with no problems, this time I was on the 3rd floor in the East wing, my room was just as lovely and even had a little sofa pull out bed on top of the two doubles, more than enough for little old me and the baby bears.

My lake view was actually really lovely, in an ideal world I would have liked to have been situated more centrally in the building so that my view was directly towards the hotel New York, but my view from the East wing was just as nice over the lake and across towards the sequoia, unfortunately because of the way the windows open, it was quite difficult to get a nice picture of the view which was the only disappointment with the whole room.

Unfortunately there were a few things I didn't get time to do during my stay, I didn't find the time or energy to use the fitness and swimming facilities, however everything looked really clean, and the staff at the pool were super friendly and helpful when we asked about the drinks machine. The bar was actually closed during my stay due to unforeseen issues, and that was a little disappointing as that's now 13 trips to DLP and I still haven't tried the famous Glowtini, again from what I could see the facilities looked really nice, and it's on my list to go back and try again. Finally I didn't try eating at the restaurant, I had such a short stay with so much to fit in and a tight budget that saw me mostly eating fast food there just wasn't an opportunity on this trip sadly.

Over all though I loved everything the Newport Bay club has to offer, the location the theme the beautiful rooms. I personally can not wait to book another stay here!

Hope this insight into the hotel has be interesting and if you have any questions I’d be happy to try and help just drop them in the comments!

Hoodsie xxx
Hi Guys =D

I'm a mixture of happy and sad writing this, it's the final day report from my amazing September trip for Run Disney, and reflecting back on everything that happened over the 5 days makes me realise how truly lucky I am to get to visit the place I want to call home so often.

So before I get too snotty and sad, lets crack on with day 5, my solo day of the trip!

Woke up on my last morning at the Hi park and packed up all my stuff and did a last sweep to make sure neither of us had forgotten anything, check out was nice and easy and I actually had a really nice stay, our room was one of the most basic ones which meant we had a sofa bed rather than a proper bed, and our room wasn't cleaned, towels weren't replaced etc, but for what we paid, and the amount of time we actually spent in the room I thought it was brilliant and would definitely stay again, we even had a view of the outdoor pool from our room!

After Checking out I got the shuttle bus to the parks, the walk is actually really short and quite pleasant, and I always felt safe doing it, but with the amount of running/walking I'd already done over the weekend, and having my case and park bag too, I decided to wait the few mins for the free shuttle which stops right outside.

Now I always find solo park days a little weird, anyone who knows me well will tell you I'm not the biggest fan of my own company so at times I do feel a little lost, having said that, when its only one day of a trip, being alone can be quite nice as it lets you  be really selfish and do all the things you want to do without compromise. First up was the end of EMH so I went to meet Donald in his amazing 25th outfit, in the queue I met a lovely couple who also had a Duffy and Shellie May, and between talking to them and the really friendly CM who was minding the queue, the time passed quickly!

After Donald there was a Photo pass photographer on the hub by the castle, so of course i got a photo with my medals here too (got to make the most of them) and then it was over to Adventure Land for a meet with Genie, I was hoping to see Abu as I still don't have his autograph but the CM said he wouldn't be out that day, and Genies queue was short so i went for it.

I got some photos of Duffy in his Peter Pan costume in Adventure Isle and headed back to Town square to meet Daisy duck in her Blue 25th dress, I am such a sucker for their new costumes, and compare to the weekend the queues were very manageable so I made the most of it, I showed her my medals and we talked about Donald for a while, she's always so much fun to meet.

Next I decided to see who was in the princess pavilion, the queues here can often be quite long so it's not something I do every trip, but if the queues aren't bad and depending on the princess it is nice to do and the photos are always lovely. On my way to the pavilion I spotted Pinocchio and Geppetto were meeting outside Bella Notte, and again it was a very short queue, who am I to turn down a character hug so off I went to join the back of the queue, while waiting patiently for my turn Goofy Max and all their friends walked past as they made their way to the castle stay for the Happy Anniversary show, so that was pretty cool! And not long after, all the princesses and their princes ready for the waltz, apparently I was just in the right place at the right time.

It was Aurora in the pavilion once I arrived and the queue was about an hour, she's probably my joint favourite princess along with Anna, so I was very happy to queue and meet her, plus my 10 KM medal had Flora, Fauna and Merryweather on so I wanted to show her, as always in the pavilion I got some great pictures on my photo pass and it was really worth the wait.

After i went back to adventure land to meet Baloo as although I've met him before I've never had his autograph, plus Duffy likes meeting other bears and Baloo gives excellent cuddles, then it was round the corner back into Frontier land for a late lunch at the Lucky Nugget Saloon, and guys, I finally managed to catch one of the puppet shows! Only took me just over a year since they started in May 2016 the day after we went home, have to say, I'm glad I went and finally saw them, the entertainment in there is so so good, and I love the weird mix of quick service/counter service it made for a really pleasant meal at a good price, I would definitely recommend this restaurant, especially if you're on a budget but want something that doesn't feel as rushed as some of the other quick service options.

After lunch I went back over to Discovery land where I rode Star Tours, Buzz's lazer blast and I met Darth Vader at the star port, it's certainly one of my favourite meets just for Vader's character and the way he interacts with you, one day I'll get him to give me a cuddle I swear! After that I had time for a little shopping and to take some photos before my last Stars on Parade of the trip, I cannot get over how much I love this parade, and though I do miss elements of Magic on Parade, I'm really enjoying everything Stars on Parade has to offer.

And that brings us to the end of my trip! It was such a lovely, incredible and exhausting trip, I am so proud of Sophie for running her first 5 Km and getting her medal, for all my friends who finished their races too, being able to stand in front of that castle with 4 beautiful (and rather heavy) medals round my neck was a really really special feeling, and you can be sure I'm going to train even harder to come back stronger next time.

Hope you've enjoyed our journey, if there's anything else you'd like to know about my trip or Run Disney please drop me a comment and I'll do my best to help!

Hoodsie xxx
Hi Guys!

As promised I'm actually back this time and ready to finish of the report of how my Sunday unfolded after the Half Marathon! Now this is something I can't wait to share with you guys as we did some really fun stuff as it was Sophie's last day, so lets jump right in.

After finishing the race and getting my medals, I headed back to the expo, via a quick stop for a finisher photo, now at this point I owe Sophie a public apology because apparently communication was not my strong point and I left her waiting in Fantasia gardens for me with all my stuff and all of her own while I buggered back off to the expo, sorry again Sophie!

Once we met back up at the expo after Sophie dropped her bags at concierge we did a little shopping, now a pro tip I found out at last years expo, is that after the half marathon has been run, a lot of the merchandise gets reduced to 50% off, typically this will be any dated merch other than the pins! So I picked up an I did it half marathon top for myself and an I did it 5 Km top for Sophie and they were only €9.99 each before AP discount which is a bargain! And I was super proud of how much Sophie achieved given how late she decided to sign up especially, she deserved that top! I also picked up the last 2 Run Disney pins, the plain Mickey and Minnie because apparently I have some sort of pin addiction now, oopsie.

After expo we took a slow walk back to the main park as we had about an hour or so before our lunch reservation, we took some really nice photos of our medals in the village, Fantasia gardens and outside the castle, my favourite is the one of both me and Sophie and this is now my home screen on my phone =)

[gallery ids="2812,2813,2811" type="rectangular" link="none"]

Once we were done with our impromptu photo shoot it was time for lunch, and this was something I had been looking forward to for pretty much the whole trip, we had booked the Character Brunch in Inventions restaurant in the Disneyland Hotel, it's around €70 per person for adults, and €35 per child from ages 3-11 but it is so worth it if you are a character enthusiast, in addition, if you are an annual passport holder you will get your restaurant discount on top of this.

On a Sunday the lunch meal is a themed Brunch instead of the usual more common characters, and this means you see lots of either rare characters, or unusual outfits and this is why it's so popular, the themes aren't made available in advance in case they need to be changed short notice for any reason however personally I haven't had what I would consider to be a bad one yet. Some themes can be guessed by the time of year (Easter, Christmas etc) and the others are repeated throughout the year.

We were really lucky and we had a good idea what the theme might be for our weekend and thankfully we were right so we were really dressed for the occasion and this just made character interaction even better. We had the Neverland theme and met 9 characters in total, Peter, Wendy, Hook, Smee, Mickey, Minnie, Chip, Dale and Donald. The VIPs (Mickey etc) were all in amazing pirate themed outfits and Peter and the gang were in their standard park wear. As we're both pretty big Peter Pan fans (though I must admit Sophie gets the crown on this one) we were wearing our custom ears from Queen Ursula UK, Sophie had a Wendy bound and I had my favourite Neverland top from Hot Topic, and of course the Bears weren't left out of the fun, Duffy wore his Peter costume, My Shellie May was Tinkerbell and Sophie's Shellie May was Wendy in a dress Sophie made herself!

[gallery ids="2801,2802,2803,2804,2805,2806,2807,2808" type="rectangular" link="none"]
After brunch we didn't have all that much time before Sophie was due to go home so we decided to watch Stars on Parade from town square as it was running early all weekend, I can't explain how much I love this parade, more than I ever thought I would and more and more every time I watch it, It was the perfect end to the time I shared with Sophie on this trip, and I'm so grateful she came.

After the parade I took Sophie to the train station to catch the TGV home and then went into the park for a few solo hours, I did small world, Dumbo, Peter Pan's flight and Pirates before getting a great spot for Illuminations just before it started. After Illuminations I took a slow wander up Main street and took some photos in the dark and then walked back to Hi Park for my last night, over all, it was a really relaxed afternoon after all the running in the morning, but it was perfect, and somehow I still managed over 45,000 steps that day!

So that's the end of Sunday, which leaves just one more day of my trip left to cover, which hopefully should follow pretty soon as I still have all of Halloween to cover, and by the time you're reading this I'll be getting ready for a very brief Xmas trip too!

Once again thanks for following our adventure, Duffy and I love reading all your comments so if you have any questions etc just shout!

Until next time, Hoodsie xx
Hi again guys!

So it would appear no matter how hard I've tried, sticking to a schedule the last month or two just hasn't happened, and believe me I'm super sorry!

However I'm back from my Halloween trip to DLP and have a small window before I go back again for Christmas, so I'm hoping I can stay motivated enough to finish up this trip and write up most of Halloween and get it all scheduled!

So Back to where I left off, you can catch up with the end of Saturday, and then that brings us nicely to Sunday morning, and another super early start ready to walk to the start line, today's outfit was the most simple out of the three as I was conscious running more than double the distance in a more complicated costume could be quite difficult, so Aurora was my costume of choice, and to be honest, I was really happy with it.

I got to the corrals a little later than intended, and although I still managed to get quite close to the start of my corral, I couldn't find Steven, so I ran the full 21.1km solo, at least this way I didn't have to worry about holding anyone back or leaving anyone behind, it was just me and the course and I was ready to throw my all into it, one last push.

The corral wait always feels quicker than it actually is, and once again I managed to stay quite warm which was a pleasant surprise, soon we were off, and a whole spectrum of emotions came over me, excitement, fear, exhaustion, relief.

The half marathon course started outside Vapiano/Five Guys the same as the 10 Km the day before, and then went through the studios park, where there was an option to cut through from the backstage near Rockin Roller to meet Spider-man, I decided to skip this one in the hope of finding some slightly more rare characters further along the course, we then went through the back of tram tour where the cute flower set up from the previous races finally had a character present, when I got there it was Alice, so again as she's not a particular favourite of mine I carried on looking for something more unusual, but if I had run slightly quicker or slower I could have met Tinkerbell there instead, which honestly is a little upsetting as there's no other way to meet her in Paris, but hey ho, that's the way it goes, win some lose some.

Carrying on full steam ahead the course looped round backstage and brought us out at th back of Frontier land by Cotton wood creek and the Frontier land station, as we ran towards Big Thunder Mountain, the next character stop came up outside the Fuente del Oro restaurant, this is the first meet I stopped for along the course and I'm so glad I did as to fit perfectly with the Mexcian theme of the restaurants, the three Caballeros, Donald, Jose and Panchito were meeting! This is a meet you can get quite easily in WDW however it isn't one I've ever seen before in Paris, they were really fun and their costumes looked great, a perfect start!


We then ran through the rest of Frontier land towards Phantom Manor where we were able to cut through to town square at the bottom of Main Street, here at the Gazebo Mickey and Minnie were meeting, now this may not sound particularly special but they were both in their 25th outfits, making this one of the very few times you've been able to properly meet mickey in his blue and silver best the queue was quite long but luckily it moved really quickly and I was just so happy to get a photo with Mickey in his blue to match the rest of the VIPs.


Next it was time to run up Main street towards the castle, on the left hand side the pavement was full of cast members who were so supportive, and on the right friends and family of the runners who were able to get access to enter the parks to cheer their runners by collecting a wristband from the expo. About half way up Sophie was waiting for me with Duffy, and though it's such a simple thing that extra support is such a huge boost, thank you again so much Sophie =)

Once we reached the hub at the castle end of main street we took a left into Adventure land and round past the Hakuna Matata restaurant, Timon and Rafiki were meeting but they were due to swap any min so I joined the queue and let a few people in front of me while we waited for the change, why was I so keen to wait for the swap you ask? The Hyenas! Shenzi, Banzai and Ed, they are pretty much never out, and although I've not met Timon yet, I know he'll be meetable on a future visit where I couldn't guarantee the Hyenas would be.


After the Hyenas we ran past the tree house, past pirates and into fantasy land, I believe Chesh or some of his friends may have been meeting outside the labyrinth at this point but I didn't stop, we ran through the castle, which is always one of my favourite parts, and then past castle stage where Scrooge McDuck was meeting in his 25th anniversary blue and silver, and on towards the small world gates.

Outside the gates 2 of the horse and carriages from Stars on Parade were parked up, and with them were Rapunzel and Flynn and Snow White and her prince, I have never met Flynn or Snows Prince before, and as I was dressed as Aurora I decided to take a few mins to get a Princess Squad photo with them, it would have been rude not to right?


We headed down towards Casey Junior and the story book boats and did a small backstage loop where we got to see the finding Nemo float from stars on parade up close, and then this brought us out in the back of Discovery land for the last 2 character meets of the run, and they really did save the best till last!

Outside the Discovery land theatre, previously home to Honey I shrunk the audience, and Captain EO our friends from Zootropolis/Zootopia were taking it in turns to meet, I got Judy Hopps and I was really happy with that, she's probably the one I wanted most, and as a character that isn't normally in DLP it felt really special to meet her, and I loved her backdrop.


After Judy I knew already who was waiting outside the Hyperion Cafe for the last meet (friends in all the right places eh?) so I literally sprinted around the back of Hyper Space Mountain and Nautilus past the entrance to Autopia and straight into the queue for Sadness from Inside out! It's one of those films I've adored from the moment I first saw it, and one of the things I was regretting most about not going to WDW with my friends that weekend was not getting to meet Joy and Sadness, so being able to meet one of them made me so very happy, and I really like sadness because she reminds me so much of Eeyore and I just wanted to give her a big cuddle. I love my photo with her, and it might be one of my favourite ever Photo Pass pictures from DLP1


We then left the park via a backstage exit to the right of Autopia for the portion of the race that isn't on Disney property, I like that they changed the route slightly this year to give more time in the parks and cut out a big section of off property running, the only part I didn't like was the loop of a lake somewhere in Val D'Europe which was also present in the 2016 edition, like really it feels like the never ending lake when you're running around it, yet it looks so small on the map etc, very deceiving.

Credit where it's due though, the support along the course outside of the parks was incredible, so many locals out clapping and also various artists and performers who gave up their Sunday morning to provide entertainment on the course, you guys are the real MVPs, thank you, from not just myself but every single runner, it makes such an incredible difference, especially if you're on your own or struggling.

Once we got back onto Disney property it was a lap of the outside road of the Santa Fe hotel, and a cut through the middle of the Hotel Cheyenne, and this is where I really started to struggle around 17 Km I was just so exhausted and I could so easily have given up, thankfully my friends were right at the end of the phone to remind me they'd disown me if I gave up ;)

After a run round Lake Disney (why does it feel so much longer when you run it than when you walk into the parks from your hotel!?) we headed through Disney village and back into the studios towards the finish, as I ran through the tiny bit of Fantasia Gardens Sophie was again waiting for me with Duffy bear, who she'd even got changed ready for our park day! This girl is my hero, she was so supportive throughout the entire weekend and seeing her so close to the end when I needed someone most really was the icing on the cake!

Just before the finish we ran through the stunt show where we had the change to have a photo with the 25th Blue family of honour car, the queue was short, and weirdly I really wanted this photo so that was my last stop of the morning!


It was then just a sprint to the finish line and that was it, I'd done it! 1 weekend, 3 races, 4 medals, 36.1km covered and a million memories I'll hold on to for such a long time. Getting those final 2 medals round my neck was a moment I never truly believed would happen for me, is it weird to say I was proud of myself? Because amongst 100 other emotions, that's the one that sticks out. Pushing myself to train and to run those races started out as a crazy idea, and ended up being the best decision and best experience, and in truth, I'm a little sad it's over until next September.

So that was the half marathon, at least from my eyes, did you run? How was it for you? Would you like to try Run Disney in the future?

I'll be back soon (no really this time I will) with the remainder of Sunday and Monday and then this trip is all wrapped up, thanks as always for following along!