10 Things To Do at Walt Disney World

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So, you’ve booked a trip to Walt Disney World and excitement is kicking in – I hear ya! The Happiest Place on Earth also happens to be my favourite place on earth, and after seven trips to Florida my love for the resort and parks just gets stronger.

This is not the first time I’ve shared some of my tips for Disney adventures (you can find a guide to Magic Kingdom – and a short video – here!), but after my most recent visit, I couldn’t resist compiling a little to-do list to cover 10 things to do at Walt Disney World. These are a few of my must-do activities and if you’re thinking of going to the parks soon, feel free to use this to kick-start your plans…

1. Tour the whole world (or at least 11 countries of it!) at Epcot. Walt Disney World has four theme parks (and two water parks to boot!), and Epcot is one of our favourite places to spend the day. A big part of the park is the World Showcase Pavilion, which features the sights, sounds and even tastes of eleven countries around the globe. Eat authentic sushi in Japan, take a selfie in front of the Eiffel Tower in France and catch a mariachi band in Mexico! And in true Disney style, every inch of the experience has been created with perfect detail. This park is a must-do for anyone with major wanderlust.

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2. Meet a character (or two!). Fancy getting a photo with Goofy for your photo album (or let’s be honest, Instagram!)? No problem! In each Walt DIsney World park there are lots of opportunities to say hi to your favourite characters, and the wait time isn’t as long as you’d think! Pick up a times guide (they’re free!) on your way into the park and it’ll let you know where and when they’ll be around to meet people. Easy! Cameras at the ready…

3. Take a spin in a teacup! At Magic Kingdom you’ll find so many iconic Disney rides and attractions, and one of my favourites is Mad Tea Party – inspired by Alice In Wonderland. Even if you have never set foot in a Disney park, it’s likely you’ve heard of this pastel-coloured classic. As far as big thrill rides go, this one is more fun factor than fear factor, but it’s timeless, charming AND I guarantee it will make you smile!

4. Dress in theme. Well, what did you expect? Whether you decide to go full-on DisneyBound as your favourite character, or a subtle nod to Mickey in your socks is more your style, theming your ensemble is a surefire way to get into the spirit of things. This year, as well as my Minnie-themed outfit, I also DisneyBounded as Snow White and rocked a cute Disney-inspired manicure from Swoon Nails.

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5. Eat Dole Whip! Disney park snacks are all part of the experience, be it a Mickey-shaped ice cream, freshly-made popcorn, or my personal favourite, Dole Whip! Grabbing a cup of this delicious pineapple soft serve over at Adventureland has become something of a Disney tradition and it’s super refreshing on a warm day at the park!

6. Walk through Cinderella’s Castle. Ah, the castle…there’s nothing like getting that first glimpse of the famous 189-foot beauty to make you feel like you’ve truly arrived in Walt Disney World. Walking through the castle itself isn’t just a good shortcut, it’s another way to see it close-up. You’ll see colourful murals within the main corridor, and if you want to spend even more time in there you can even make a reservation to dine at Cinderella’s Royal Table. BYO tiara!

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7. Check for special events. Yup, Walt Disney World is so enormous that there are often fun events within the resort taking place – and usually at no extra cost. A few examples include Epcot’s International Food & WIne Festival, exclusive tours, live music, sporting events and more. It’s always worth checking the Walt Disney World website (or download the app!) for upcoming schedules so you can make sure you make the most of your visit.

8. Step into the movies at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Inspired by Hollywood’s Golden Age, this Disney park is heaven on earth for anyone that has a passion for films. My favourite area of the park is Sunset Boulevard, which not only looks incredible, but is also where one of my favourite rides – The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror – is located. You can also find attractions based on franchises like Star Wars and Toy Story in this park.

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9. Visit Disney Springs. Formally known as Downtown Disney, Disney Springs is THE destination for amazing shopping, dining and entertainment. With an incredible range of restaurants (who won’t judge you if you fancy ordering dessert first!), cafes and kiosks offering everything from snacks to swanky meals, you won’t go hungry here! A few of our favourites at Disney Springs include bowling at Splitsville, ice cream cookie sandwiches at Sprinkles and shopping at Sephora (OK that last one is probably just one of my favourites!).

10. End your night with Wishes. When the sun sets at Magic Kingdom, the evening entertainment begins and the most exciting spectacle of all is the Wishes fireworks show. I’ve never been a huge fan of fireworks and it wasn’t until I attended a Disney fireworks display that I realised that when done right, I can really enjoy them. And believe me, Disney does it RIGHT.

Well, that about wraps up my top 10 things to do at Walt Disney World! If you’ve been, are any of your favourite activities on there? And if you’re planning a trip soon, I hope this helps or inspires you to check out something new.

With much magic,

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All photos from my Instagram page 

 

What’s In My Hand Luggage?

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This post was very nearly going to be titled How To Pack Like a Sane Person, because it’s taken me quite a bit of practice to stop packing useless items and get to the stage where getting my carry-on bag ready is a piece of cake. I’m kind of proud of how organised I’ve become over the years! I also want to point out that this is NOT an exhaustive list – just in case you think I don’t pack basic things like my purse or some hand sanitizer. I do, of course, but today it’s all about my favourite items, the things that make any journey easier and more enjoyable.

Let’s take a peek and see what’s in my hand luggage, shall we?

1. Something cosy to snuggle up in. Whether it’s a blanket scarf, a hoodie or something else super soft, long journeys instantly feel more soothing when I’m wearing something comfy! I’ll be wearing this ethically-made (and cute as a button!) charcoal sweater by Nobody’s Child on the plane this weekend!

2. A handy pouch. If you like to stay organised, consider a little zip-up pouch to be your baggage BFF. Perfect for stashing your passport, travel documents, and anything else important. It makes things easier to grab when you need them, rather than rummaging around for pieces of paper. This little black and copper bag by Typo has separate pockets and enough room for everything I need.

3. Sunglasses. OK – out of 50% vanity and 50% practicality, I never go anywhere without at least one pair of shades in my bag. Do I look like death? Time for sunglasses. Is the sun glaring in the window? Time for sunglasses. Do I want to catch a wee snooze? Time for sunglasses. Have I been caught off-guard by a rather emotional in-flight film (this actually happened…I’m looking at YOU, Marley And Me…)? The list just goes on and on.

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4. A good moisturiser. This is especially important on a long-haul flight, in the same way as drinking oodles of water. You gotta stay hydrated! A dinky, travel-sized container of something rich to slather on is a godsend when you’re sitting in dry cabin air for hours on end. I’ll be keeping a small jar of Lancôme’s Hydra Zen Neurocalm cream close to hand for topping my skin up while we fly.

5. A Camera. Hey, what did you expect? As a blogger and general lover of gallivanting I have VERY overactive camera trigger finger! It wouldn’t be a trip away if I didn’t have some sort of camera with me. I’ve recently treated myself to a new Olympus PEN compact camera for travelling and I can’t wait to get snapping!

So, these are a few of my must-haves for travelling – but what about you? What would we find in your hand luggage?

Here’s to being ready for anything!

Love,

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How To Spend a Rainy Day in Edinburgh

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Last weekend, Gary and I decided to head through to the capital for the day. We’d worked hard all week, and had hardly seen each other – with me in Belfast and Gary in London and Newcastle –  so a Saturday in a change of scenery was just what the doctor ordered! It was also the final weekend to catch the Roy Lichtenstein exhibition in the city, so we decided that we would grab some lunch before heading over to the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art for some pop art goodness.

On Saturday morning, we woke up to rain, rain and (yup!) more rain. But determined not to let a little wet weather spoil our fun, we headed through to Edinburgh with a spring in our step and our warmest coats. I also wore a retro-inspired ensemble by the fabulous Julie Mollo – because nothing says “take a hike, rain!” like a bright yellow skirt!

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I’ve talked before about how to turn a dodgy weather day around, and was determined not to let the rain clouds get the better of us! When we arrived in Edinburgh it was bitterly cold and very wet, so we decided that the long trek to the gallery wasn’t really on the cards – sorry Roy! Instead, we decided on a few fun activities that were in much closer reach, AND had the bonus of being indoors.

Today, I’d love to share a little round-up of what we got up to, and how we spent a rainy day in Edinburgh…

1. Visit a museum and/ or gallery 

…because, like Glasgow, Edinburgh is FULL of them! You don’t even need to walk very far to find one either – in fact, one of my favourites, the Fruitmarket Gallery, is right next to Waverley train station. This cute contemporary art gallery is a great place to start a day in the city, and we couldn’t resist swinging by to see the Another Minimalism exhibition.

We might not have quite made it to the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art this time, but we were in easy walking distance of so many other exhibition spaces that we really didn’t mind!

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2. Shop local at one of Edinburgh’s many indie boutiques

Edinburgh is home to so many awesome and unique businesses, I can’t help but fall in love with them a little bit. I’ve mentioned Godiva Boutique previously, and another shop that stole my heart a long, long time ago is Hannah Zakari. Bursting with handmade designs and creations from the most cult of small sellers, this is the perfect remedy for anyone suffering from high street fatigue.

I always like to check out the latest jewellery designers being stocked in Hannah Zakari, and spent some time having a good snoop around their shelves. I especially loved the colourful work from Miss Vicky Viola (who – call me biased – in addition to making some beautiful pieces, also works in the store and puts together killer playlists!), Wolf & Moon and One We Made Earlier.

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3. Grab an award-winning smoothie

If all that shopping makes you kinda thirsty, just hop around the corner from Hannah Zakari and you’ll find the bright and cheery Hula Juice Bar. With a thirst-quenching menu of freshly-made juices and more awards than you can shake a banana at, your only problem will be deciding what to have. I opted for Sunshine In A Cup – a tasty blend of mango, orange and peach juices, which was the perfect pick-me-up on such a wild weather day! Gary’s pink Ass-Aye-Eee smoothie was also delicious (I obviously had to have a sip for, um, research purposes!).

If you’re a little more peckish, Hula also do a range of light bites, breakfast items and superfood bowls – well worth a visit for lunch if you’re in the Grassmarket area.

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4. Get lost in a world of illusions

Brace yourself – things are about to get weird, and in the best kind of way! When our gal pal Erica visited over Christmas, she told us that she’d been on the tourist trail while in Edinburgh, and one place that she visited during her stay was Camera Obscura and World of Illusions. Miss Thang had talked so enthusiastically about this place, we knew we had to check it out for ourselves.

Located right next to Edinburgh Castle, Camera Obscura has six floors of interactive optical illusions and some visually incredible pieces of work. We explored everything from a mirror maze, to a vortex, a tunnel of stars and much more. All this indoors, plus a pretty stunning rooftop view over the city (which we only braved for about 30 seconds seeing as the rain was NOT for stopping!) made this a really fun way to spend the afternoon!

5. Cosy up with a coffee and vintage vibes

To end our little whistle-stop tour of the city sights, we pulled up some vintage chairs at Spoon and ordered some hot drinks to get cosy and talk about our day. Spoon is the kind of place I go back to again and again, I just can’t get enough of their décor (which has everything from original mid-century cabinets to Chesterfield sofas made for curling up on) and I always feel super relaxed whether in for lunch, dinner or a coffee.

Afterwards, we braved the wet, windy weather one last time, and made a break for the train station! We didn’t see Roy (or the sunshine!), but we had a total blast during our day out. I hope this list inspires you if you ever find yourself spending a rainy day in Edinburgh! Let me know if you have any other must-visits in the city – I’m sure it won’t be too long until we return…

Here’s to splashing through puddles to get to the next adventure,

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