Wednesday, 21 November 2018

Disneyland Paris 2018: Day One

Monday 29th of October at 7am, we were up and getting ready to leave the Travelodge and head to St Pancras. Luckily, our hotel wasn't too far away so we took a leisurely stroll down to the station. Once we got there, we went to the M&S food and got ourselves some food for the Eurostar.

Our gate opened at 8:45 which meant we could start the process of checking in for our train. We scanned our tickets, had our luggage and body scanned by machines and then headed towards passport control. This was the first year of me travelling through Eurostar that they had the passport scanners instead of a person in a booth. The member of staff was rather rude and abrupt when we weren't sure how to use the machines. Luckily though, our passports went through no problem and we were in the departure lounge before we knew it. The 9:22 train to Paris was delayed so there wasn't a lot of places to sit, so w waited until that train finally boarded before sitting down and having breakfast. Before we knew it, our gate was called and we were boarding the train.

When I originally booked the holiday, I made sure to book Disney Express, which is a service where they give you luggage tags and your park tickets on the train. You then drop your luggage off at the Disney Express counter in the train station before heading straight to the park. Many Disney Express Cast Members walked up and down our carriage and gave me no paperwork. With half an hour left of our journey, my name was called over the tannoy and I had to go to the Disney Express office. There, I was given all of my paperwork and my new magic pass card which had everything on that we would need during the holiday.

When we got to Marne la Vallee, we put our tags on our luggage and dropped them off at the Disney Express counter. From there, we headed straight for the Disneyland Park. This was my mam's first time visiting Disneyland Paris at Halloween and I'm so glad they brought back all of the Halloween-y goodness and added so many wonderful extras.

The first thing we did was have a slow wander down Main Street USA to take in all of the Halloween decorations and get photographs.

The ghosts of Main Street USA were one of my favourite parts of the decorations. I love decorations you can get great photographs with.

After wandering down Main Street USA, we headed to Discoveryland to see how long the queue was for Star Tours. During my trip last December, Star Tours quickly became one of my favourite rides and I was excited to get back on it. The waiting time wasn't too bad so we decided to stand in the queue and before we knew it, we were being stopped by Kylo Ren and chased through the universe.

From there, we went back across Central Plaza and headed into Frontierland. This is my favourite land to visit and during this trip, also became my mam's due to the chosen decor. We decided to wait for the next trip around Thunder Mesa on the Molly Brown as we hadn't done this since our first trip to Disneyland Paris in 1999.

Day one was more casual than the rest. We sat and had some food at Bella Notte, watched the parade and then went shopping. Our thought was, get most of what we want on the first day and then we won't be carrying lots of bags on rides the following four days.

After shopping, we decided to head to the village for a drink, before going back to the hotel and checking into our room. Disneyland Paris now sells a vegan cider called Finbarra which is excellent and super tasty. This was the first time I have had a drink in Billy Bobs whilst on holiday at Disneyland Paris. This wouldn't be the only first of this trip.

We checked into the Hotel Cheyenne and were told we were staying in the Sundance block, which was at the furthest end of the hotel. We were excited to see the new Texas rooms as we hadn't stayed in one yet. The new design of these rooms is incredible. I love all of the small details like the cow print cushions and the fact that the curtains are the same design as Woody's trousers from Toy Story.

After taking photos of the room, we went to the Red Garter saloon, had one more drink before getting an early night, so we could have a fresh early start the next morning.

Monday, 12 November 2018

Disneyland Paris 2018: London

I haven't talked about it a lot on this blog, however, Disney has played a huge part in my life, from being very small. Whenever something has gone wrong in life or taken a bad turn, Disney has been a comfort for me. Since the age of even I've been visiting Disneyland Paris, whether this be with family or friends. This year, I visited during the Halloween season with my mam. This was her first Disney Halloween and I wanted to make sure she enjoyed every second of it.

Throughout November and probably at times during December, I will be sharing trip reports from Disneyland Paris Halloween season 2018. Starting with day one which really, was our day in London.

On Sunday 28th of October, my mam and I got a coach from Leeds at 8:30am which took us down to London Victoria. We arrived about lunch time and got the tube across to Kings Cross as we were staying in a hotel not too far from the station. As we were walking up to the hotel, we got caught in the heaviest hail storm I have seen for a very long time, so safe to say by the time we got to the hotel and checked in, we were soaked through. Our room was on the business floor, which was the very top floor. The lift only went up to floor four. Great, lugging suitcases up a flight of stairs. Our room was large and this was the view from the window, complete with a view of train lines; how at home I felt.

From the hotel, we got ourselves sorted and headed back to Kings Cross to get ourselves some tube tickets. We visited the Harry Potter shop in Kings Cross station and bought each other a couple of Chistmas presents. We then used the tube to get to Green Park so we could go see Buckingham Palace.

We then had a wander and just whichever way the wind took us. We went past the Royal Cavalry, Downing Street, the Cenotaph and the Women's War Memorial.

We saw Westminster Abbey and the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, who I actually did a Project Manager course through at the beginning of the year. We stopped for lunch at a lovely little pub called The Silver Cross, who had a wonderful selection of Vegan food for me to choose from. It was nice to have a sit down in the warmth and have a drink. The pub is rather large but is such a cute place for some food and drink.

From Whitehall, we saw Trafalgar Square and Nelson's Column, lots of West End theatres, we went to Leicester Square and then took a walk down by the Thames to the London Eye. We walked across Westminster bridge and then got the tube back to Kings Cross.

Once back at the hotel, we had a couple of drinks in the bar, watched the Strictly results (not on purpose, they were on the tv in the bar) and then went back to the room. We just chilled and watched The Hobbit before getting an early-ish night, ready to be up for our Eurostar the next day. 

I love London, and I love being able to have a look at all the touristy things. Next year, we're planning on spending the weekend there so we have the Saturday and the Sunday to visit places and spend more time there. 

Wednesday, 31 October 2018

50 Facts About Halloween

Happy Halloween everybody! I can' believe my favourite holiday is here once again. As you read this, I am celebrating the season in Disneyland Paris and will be attending tonight's Halloween Soiree. As I love Halloween so much and today is in fact All Hallows Eve, I thought I would share with you 50 facts about my favourite holiday, Halloween. 

1.       Halloween is short for Hallow’s Eve.
2.       Ireland is typically believed to be the birth place of Halloween.
3.       Black and orange are typically associated with Halloween.
4.       The first Jack O’Lanterns were actually made from turnips.
5.       Halloween is the second highest grossing commercial holiday after Christmas.
6.       The word witch comes from the Old English wicce meaning ‘wise woman’.
7.       Samhainophobia is the fear of Halloween.
8.       In Irish legend, Jack O’Lanterns are named after a guy called Jack who tricked the devil so many times he was forbidden to enter both heaven and hell and was condemned to wander the earth, waving his lantern to lead people away from their paths.
9.       Trick or treating evolved from the ancient Celtic tradition of putting out treats and food to placate spirits who roamed the streets at Samhain.
10.   Halloween has variously been called All Hallows Eve, Witches Night, Lamswool, Snap-Apple Night, Samhain and Summers End.
11.   Scottish girls believed they could see images of their future husband if they hung wet sheets in front of the fire on Halloween night.
12.   According to tradition, if a person wears their clothing inside out and then walks backwards on Halloween, they will see a witch at midnight.
13.   Dressing up as ghouls and other spooks originated from the ancient Celtic tradition of townspeople disguising themselves as demons and spirits.
14.   Halloween is thought to have originated around 4000BC.
15.   This means Halloween has been around for about 6000 years.
16.   Teng Chieh or the Lantern Festival is one Halloween festival in China.
17.   The Chinese hang lanterns shaped like dragons around houses and streets to help guide the spirits back to their earthly homes.
18.   Halloween celebrations in Hong Kong are known as Yue Lan or the ‘Festival of the Hungry Ghosts’.
19.   Fires are lit and food and gifts are offered to placate potentially angry ghosts who might be looking for revenge.
20.   Salem, Massachusetts is the self-proclaimed Halloween capital of the world.
21.   There is apparently a $1000 fine for selling Silly String in Hollywood on Halloween after it was banned in 2004.
22.   Candy corn was originally known as chicken feed.
23.   Having a full moon on Halloween is extremely rare with the last full moon being in 2001 and the next not being till 2020.
24.   About 99% of pumpkins sold are used as Jack O’Lanterns at Halloween.
25.   According to stories, ringing a bell scares away an evil spirit.
26.   About 50% of children prefer to receive chocolate for Halloween.
27.   The Halloween past time of apple bobbing came from the ancient Roman festival of Pomona.
28.   In many countries, Halloween is seen as an unwanted and overly commercial American influence.
29.   Boston, Massachusetts holds the record for the most Jack O’Lanterns lit at once with a staggering 30, 128.
30.   In Alabama, USA, it is illegal to dress-up as a priest.
31.   According to legend, if you see a spider on Halloween, it’s actually the spirit of a loved one watching you.
32.   Barmbrack, a bread made with added sultanas and raisins, used to be a traditional food eaten on Halloween.
33.   Many shelters will not allow black cats to be adopted on Halloween for fear they may be tortured or sacrificed.
34.   Americans purchase over 20 million pounds of Candy Corn each year.
35.   World War II caused sugar rationing and so, trick or treating was not done by children for many years.
36.   In 2010, Belleville, Illinois banned trick or treating for kids over 12 with teens liable for a fine between $100 and $1000.
37.   The pumpkin originated in Mexico about 9000 years ago.
38.   An old North American superstition states that if a black cat crosses your path, it is an omen of bad luck.
39.   This superstition originated from the Puritan Pilgrims of Plymouth Colony.
40.   The famous Double double, toil and trouble, fire burn and cauldron bubble comes from the William Shakespeare poem, The Witches Spell.
41.   Halloween is known as Cabbage Night to New Englanders.
42.   The Disney film Hocus Pocus was originally going to be a much darker movie titled Halloween House.
43.   At one time, it was customary to sing songs and perform dances in order to receive your Halloween treats.
44.   Halloween was once about matchmaking with women performing rituals to help them find their future husbands.
45.   UNICEF’s trick or treat program was founded in 1950.
46.   Halloween tops Valentine’s Day in candy sales.
47.   Trick or treating began in the UK and Ireland and was originally called Souling.
48.   People went house to house asking for small breads called soul cakes.
49.   Tradition states that if you bite into a Halloween cake and hit a thimble, you will be unlucky in love.
50.   In Germany, it is tradition to hide the knives on Halloween foe fear of spirits injuring themselves.

Tuesday, 30 October 2018

Horror Movies I Watched This October

I'm usually really bad at watching new movies and experiencing movies I've never seen before. I'm a creature of habit and always end up falling back into old habits and watching movies I know I already love. So, on October 1st, I told myself I was going to spend the month watching horror movies or Halloween themed movies that I had not previously seen. Spread my wings a bit so to speak. So, for one of my final Blogtober posts, I'm sharing them all with you.

1. Jigsaw
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2. Cabin Fever 2016
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3. Conjuring 2
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4. Insidious 2
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5. Annabelle
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6. The Shining
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7. Purge: Election Year
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8. The Boy
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9. Creep
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10. I Spit On Your Grave 2010
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11. Scream 2
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12. Scream 3

13. Friend Request
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14. Hush
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15. Halloween III
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16. Ouija: Origin of Evil
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17. American Poltergeist
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18. Selfie from Hell
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19. The Lodgers
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20. The Amityville Horror
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What horror films have you watched this October?

Monday, 29 October 2018

Top Movies To Watch On Halloween

There are certain movies that I will watch either in the build up to Halloween or actually on Halloween itself. I feel like there are certain movies that have to be watched or it's not really Halloween. Today, I'm going to share with you my top movies that you need to watch on All Hallows Eve or the build up to it.

1. Nightmare Before Christmas
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2. Hotel Transylvania
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3. Corpse Bride
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4. Hocus Pocus
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5. Frankenweenie
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6. Beetlejuice
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7. Coraline
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8. Practical Magic
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9. The Addams Family
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10. Casper
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What are some of your favourite movies to watch on Halloween?