Why I…. Love Disney!

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This time around in my Why I series, I’m going to talk about why I love Disney!

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As a child one of my favourite films was The Little Mermaid. In fact, I was devastated when our VCR chewed up my tape of the movie and we had to wait until the 10 year anniversary of its release before I could re buy it (Disney videos were only on short release back then!) In the period between this though, I wasn’t really a massive fan. I didn’t go crazy for Mickey and I could take or leave The Lion King and Aladdin.

There are many Disney films that came out around my early teens that I still haven’t seen, and would never reach for.

But after meeting Gary and having the chance to visit Disneyland Paris, my love for Disney just grew and grew.

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There’s something about the parks that’s just…. magical! There, I said it.

I’ve always had a thing for Tinkerbell and had so much merchandise with her on it, so the fact that Disneyland Paris really focusses on her as a character, was something special.

If you’ve never been to a park, I’ll explain. They are so immersive. So much thought has gone into them and every detail is considered. And I don’t feel like it’s full of American over the top cheesiness that people might think it is. It’s full of happiness and joy. I adore the place.

If you’re not a regular reader of Musings of a So-Called Shutterbug, you might not know that I was able to visit Disney World last year to celebrate my 10 yr wedding anniversary. It was an incredible two weeks and really blew Disneyland Paris out of the water. Don’t get me wrong, Paris Disney is amazing and there are some elements that I prefer over Florida Disney (the Paris Castle is the prettiest in my opinion) but there is so much of it, with 4 parks, each of which bigger than you could even imagine, there’s so much to see and so much Disney magic to go around.

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You can go back and read my old post on my trip to Disney World if you would like. I’d been to Disneyland Paris twice before, which had cemented my love of Disney, but Disney World turned it into an obsession.

There’s so much detail involved in just the planning of a WDW holiday, and then once you’re there, you are (and I don’t mean this to sounds obvious) IN a world of Disney. I know that sounds stupid, but as I mentioned it’s completely immersive. It’s most definitely my happy place! You can be a kid again and all there is to do is have fun!

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There’s me looking pale as, at the Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. I think I could happily live at the Magic Kingdom.

As part of preparing to visit WDW we watched a load of Disney and Pixar films. I love a lot of the Pixar movies and have found a love for some of the older Disney ones. Peter Pan and Alice in Wonderland are firm favourites. Tangled and Frozen are up there too. But my favourite Disney film has to be Enchanted. It’s fairly new and not everyone has seen it, but I really love it every time I see it. I think my favourite Pixar film is Wall E. It’s so beautiful and the music is amazing. Considering the majority of the movie has no speaking in it, I think it’s probably more of a film suited to adults, but I could watch it every day. It’s so relaxing!

I don’t think my love for Disney will ever end. I would really like a Disney related tattoo at some point, and I have an idea of a couple I’d like. Later this year we’re visiting Orlando again, and there’s possibility we might visit Disney for one day. But if not, I’ll still revel in the Disney-ness at Disney Springs.

They say Disney Parks are the happiest places on Earth, and to me, they absolutely are!

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To Live Will Be An Awfully Big Adventure

And so I’m back, from the happiest place on Earth – Disneyland. We worked the parks hard and as a result I’m only just feeling recovered. Here’s what I’ve been up to over the last 7 days.

Last Monday was Gary and my 8 year wedding anniversary. We’d not planned on doing anything but decided to ditch the gym last-minute, put on our glad rags and head out to our favourite chinese restaurant.photo 1

I’d bought this dress quite a while back but hadn’t had the opportunity to wear it and as the weather had been warm that day, I thought why not!

Jen had given me a surprise treat earlier that day:

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A countdown sign for Disney! I adore it, and it’s currently hanging in my kitchen with zero days written on it – I’ll be writing some numbers on it again soon!

Tuesday we spent the evening packing and preparing for an early start, and then it was the big day! I’d been to Disneyland once before two years ago and loved it. But nothing prepared me for how much I would love it this time around. Here are my favourite bits:

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We stayed in a Disney hotel this time around (last time we stayed at one of the ones outside and around the parks) and it was so convenient. Simple, basic and clean rooms. About 15 minutes walk to the Parks from our part of the hotel (which was furthest block away) along a pretty path along a river. We stayed half board which meant a breakfast in their buffet hall and vouchers for either lunch or dinner elsewhere or in the hotel and afternoon snacks throughout the stay. Free wifi in the lobby and daily visits from Disney characters, made it great for the kids. A Wild West theme, the blocks of hotel rooms were lined up like an old Western. There was even a laundry section for those who felt like doing chores. Oh, and as we were staying in a Disney hotel we got to enter the Disneyland park 2 hours earlier than everyone else. Extra Disney magic? Yes please!

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I will never ever get bored with turning the corner onto Main Street USA and seeing that Castle. It’s breathtaking. This time around I managed to find the particular Minnie ears I’d wanted last time – covered in black sequins with red sequins on the bow. I was elated when I found them!

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I was a little disappointed that Frozen hadn’t been worked into the Disney Dreams show in France, since I knew it was in the Florida version, but I guess a lot of it is very French themed. I was not disappointed by the amount of Frozen merchandise in the shops since you can’t find it anywhere at home. As you can see from the photo, Olaf was very pleased to see me!

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I got to ride my favourite ride 3 times – Hollywood Tower of Terror, and each time I rode with my arms up and legs off the floor. This made the falling experience a lot more thrilling. I also grew to love Space Mountain more this time around, and we even got to experience it at the very front on one of our turns.

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I couldn’t resist taking a selfie in front of the Shutterbugs sign. Shutterbug by name, Shutterbug by nature!

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We were able to go on the brand new Ratatouille ride, which had opened in July. We had no preconceptions of this ride, having read nothing about it. The wait was 60 minutes but only 5 minutes for single riders so Gary and I went in on that queue. The first time we rode in the same cart with a family and the second time we rode in separate cars. It was like no ride I’ve ever experienced before and even going on it again we both got different variations of the same ride. It was amazing!

We worked out over the 3 days (well, Wednesday from about 3:30pm to Friday about 3pm) we were in the parks for about 25 hours. It was a perfect amount of time and we were able to have a go on pretty much everything and then go on everything we wanted to go on again and again.

It was a sad time when we had to leave for our train home, but I was comforted by the fact that the next time I’m in Disney will be Orlando in two years time for our 10th wedding anniversary.

Saturday and Sunday were spent recovering and pining over our Disney holiday – our first holiday in a while – and it really felt like a holiday. We had an awesome time in a place where everyone is encouraged to dream and wish…. and never ever grow up.

If you want to see more photos from my Disneyland adventure, feel free to follow me on instagram @groggits