Disney South West Meet-Up, February 2017

Why stop at Disney meet-ups in London when I can go else-where to meet my favourite kind of people. When I first heard about the Disney South West meet-up I questioned whether it was doable. When I looked up the train journey online and realised Southampton was just an hour and a half away from London Waterloo I agreed to go. I had never been before so the prospect of travelling somewhere new had me excited and a little nervous.

Luckily I already knew the organiser Brian and a few others that were going to be in attendance otherwise I would have felt more nervous than I already was. I think the nerves were mainly down to not knowing what to expect when I got off the train in Southampton, I was worried that I was going to get lost. There was no chance of that though. Thanks to the group chat on twitter I was successfully directed to my destination which was just a 5 to 10 minute walk from the station.

Now feeling a lot more confident I made my way inside the Marlands shopping centre where I was to meet everyone outside the Disney Store. I was relieved when I saw Brian with a couple of other people, one of which was Sarah who I felt I already knew from watching her YouTube videos despite having never met her before. It was good to get to know them before the next lot arrived.

When most people were with us we went into the Disney Store. Again I managed to resist buying anything but it was nice to look. When we had everyone gathered I took the oportunity to take some photos, and with Deandre helping me out with his super selfie arms again we managed to get a group photo before moving on to Starbucks for a drink and a chat. 

The atmosphere was very relaxed and it was nice to be able to take our time. Being in a small group it didn’t feel like I was going to run out of time to talk to everyone. We went to get some food at Five Guys which meant I could have my favourite cherry Fanta again. We managed to create one long table at the back and we sat there for a while chatting about DLP. It was shaping up to be a good day, the sun was out so we went for a walk along the town centre where we stopped in Primark to investigate what Disney items they had. I bought a mermaid tail throw (which is now one of my favourite things to laze about in) while others bought a few Disney bits.

As if we hadn’t eaten enough already, we decided to get desert at Sprinkles gelato where I got two scoops of ice-cream, one Toblerone and the other Jammy dodger. They had loads of different flavours. Brian went for a rather impressive freak shake type thing and Deandre had waffles. Everyone else was sensible and had something small, the two scoops was definitely enough for me. Kelly who had been out shopping had realised after checking twitter that there was a meet-up going on and decided to join us for a while bumping our group numbers up to 15.

A little while later Sean and Hollie (ducknmouse) joined us. By this time we were feeling sick from eating too much ice-cream and it was starting to get dark so they suggested that we walk down to the castle where scenes of Southampton through the ages are projected onto the back wall by The Esplanade. It was really well done and seemed to pull in the crowds.

(The middle group photo in Sprinkles is courtesy of Deandre)

Feeling a little worn out from the days events we decided to find somewhere to settle before it was time to go home. We took over EBB and Flow with a large table right in the middle and ordered some drinks and snacks. The group numbers dwindled as everyone gradually started to leave. Helen then escourted myself, Deandre, Sophie and Gabi to the train station before heading to her car. Overall it was an amazing day that I was so pleased I could make. With one direct train from London it’s really easy to get to so I would recommend it to anyone thinking of attending a future meet-up there.

Thank you again to Brian for organising it and making it possible for some of us to connect with others who live further away and find it difficult to attend the London based meet-ups.

Shout outs go to those who I haven’t mentioned above (go and follow them on twitter), it was so nice to meet you all. RubyMattDianneHoodsieClare    and Jonathan.

Disney London Meet-Up, February 2017

So I’ve become quite partial to a good Disney meet-up of late. If it’s possible, I’ll be there… with bells on; and this one was no exception. I love meeting new people from the Disney community and catching up with some familiar faces. I knew from the group chat on twitter that there were going to be a lot more people attending, the numbers seem to grow each time but this got me even more excited.

On the morning of the 11th I was up early getting ready as I had arranged to meet Kirsty for a quick catch up before the madness began. I went equipped with my new Cheshire cat jumper, Mickey hat and ruck sack (well you can’t go to a meet without being all Disney’d up). After myself and Kirsty stopped for some hot beverages and a pastry (because it was blooming cold that day) we headed for the Japan Centre where we met DeandreSophieGabi and Joe. After purchasing a few bits from there we went to find a bus stop (which wasn’t quite as easy as we thought) to catch a bus to Oxford Street where we were going to meet everyone outside the Disney Store.

When we passed the store on the bus, we could see just how big the group was and I started to worry about not getting the chance to chat to everyone. Previous meets had already proved quite difficult for this so with the increased size of this group it seemed impossible. It became my mission to get as many photos with as many people as I could while attempting to join in with conversations. It wasn’t easy but I thought I did well.

Once initial hello’s were out of the way Kirsty started her Disney pin giveaway. She was kind enough to bring with her a bag of pins that she no longer needed. There wasn’t enough for everyone so she drew a raffle to make it fair. I was one of the lucky winners bagging myself a lovely Easter Alice pin.

It was then time to hit the Disney Store. I managed to resist buying anything this time as I’d already bought a few things in my local store a couple of weeks before (well there was a sale on so what’s a girl to do?). When everyone had finished we all gathered for a group photo outside which I got Deandre to take with his super selfie arms (tall friends do have benefits haha!). 

After a little more chat we all said our good byes and dispersed into smaller groups to go and get something to eat. Unfortunately it would have been impossible to stick together with so many people. The group that I was in decided on Five Guys, a place that I had never been to before but was happy to try. This is where I discovered THE SODA FOUNTAIN!!! forget about the veggie sandwich with cheese and chips (which was good by the way) but this is how my obsession with cherry Fanta started (damn you!).

Feeling happy and full we moved on to find a pub to chill out in. The Montagu Pyke in Charing Cross road was rammed when we got there so I had an idea. I ran over to the Phoenix Artist club on the opposite side of the road. This is a private bar for people involved in performing arts and media and is open to anyone before 8pm. I knew this venue would be ideal as I had held a couple of charity events there a few years ago. I popped in to see if they had enough room for us and to lay on something special before the others came in. I called everyone over and as they entered the venue they were surprised to hear Disney music playing. It made my day to see everyone excited, like they had stumbled upon a treasure trove. Everyone made themselves comfortable for the next couple of hours. A great day turned into a great evening.

Of course special thanks go out to Eleanor and Lizi for organising the meet-up yet again, your efforts never go unnoticed.

DLP Trip Over-View, January 2017, Season Of The Force

As the saying goes, ‘start as you mean to go on’, so what better way to start the new year than with a trip to Disneyland Paris. This trip was packed with new experiences which I’m going to highlight in this post. The main reason for this particular trip was to catch the January sales (which I covered in a previous post) and opening day of ‘Season of the Force’.

Myself and my friend Louise had booked a two night stay at Sante Fe which I hadn’t stayed in since my first trip five years ago. It was clean, cosy and comfortable with the added bonus of it being on site and a convenient distance to the Disney Village and parks which meant we didn’t have to wait for a bus, we could just walk to and from the parks with ease. Although being one of the furthest hotels it’s still a nice stroll along the river.

We arrived fairly early on Thursday the 12th so we started looking around some of the shops before heading for breakfast at Annettes Diner. We had never eaten breakfast here before so we were intrigued despite hearing mixed reviews. I always like to try things for myself before forming an opinion and I was pleasantly surprised. The food wasn’t amazing but it was good. Being vegetarian I was able to order my breakfast without the sausage and bacon but there wasn’t any substitutes and obviously the price was still the same but that didn’t bother me as what I had was quite adequate and I still went away feeling full. I had little potato cubes with beans, tomato and scrambled egg which looked questionable but tasted quite creamy. On the side we had a slice of toast each and pancakes with maple syrup. It also comes with a hot drink and a glass of orange juice.

I was able to fulfill a couple of things on my to do list during this trip. One was to meet Captain Jack Sparrow and the other was to ride Big Thunder Mountain for the first time since it’s refurb. Both didn’t disappoint. Although I enjoyed BTM, I am looking forward to riding it again when in gets warmer. Snow in the face at a considerable speed wasn’t my idea of fun. As always I met a variety of other characters during the trip, Aladdin and Jasmine stood out the most for me, especially Aladdin’s interaction… he gave good hugs and got us to do a few poses for the camera. I will definitely be looking out for him in future.

We decided to book a nice meal one evening. Hunters Grill at Sequoia Lodge was our restaurant of choice. It was another first for us and one that I had absolutely no regrets about, in fact it has become my favourite restaurant so far. With the benefit of it being a short distance from our hotel which worked out to be a good move because the weather that evening was miserable. Hunters grill is a buffet restaurant with a fabulous choice of food for both meat eaters and vegetarians. The environment was warm and cosy with a nice atmosphere. I would recommend this place to anyone and I can’t wait to eventually go back.

One of the best things about this trip was meeting up with a bunch of friends for ‘Season of the Force’ who were all as equally excited for it. We were all together at the Walt Disney Studio Park for opening day on Saturday the 14th to witness something special. At various intervals there were Storm Troopers on patrol in the courtyard but interactions were limited. On occasions they would stop and choose people to have photos with (it helps if you are wearing something Star Wars related). I only managed to grab a quick selfie whilst they were on the move.

I loved the march of the first order, an army of Storm Troopers lead by Captain Phasma in a military style march at the front of the stage in preparation for the show. I do love a Storm Trooper but I geeked out when I saw eight of them all at once. Shortly afterwards the drama unfolded on the stage with an explosion of Star Wars characters including Darth Vader, Kylo ren and Chewbacca.

In the evening we watched the much anticipated projection show on the Hollywood Tower Hotel which I found to be quite emotional due to the recent passing of Carrie Fisher. I was beyond impressed with this special effects show accompanied by live actors on stage. DLP had obviously worked really hard to get this perfect. The only thing I would have loved to have seen was Star Wars character meet and greets. That would have been the icing on the cake but I can’t grumble. I was there with great company and I had a good time so that’s all that matters.

My Pin Collection So Far

I only started to collect pins in September 2015 during my first visit to Walt Disney World. It never appealed to me before as I knew once I started I collecting them I wouldn’t be able to stop. But I’d always loved the way they looked and I knew I would eventually give in to temptation.

I normally just pick up the ones that I like the look of, I don’t normally collect a set unless I like the look of all of them. The ones that are exclusive to the parks hold more meaning to me like the attractions and hotel pins. However most of the pins that I have bought so far hold a certain meaning to me which I will explain to you now.

So the pins shown above are the first lot of pins that I bought from WDW. The cats set is the only set I have, I adore cats so I loved it as soon as I saw it. I bought the Simba one at Animal Kingdom because proceeds went towards their conservation program which I thought was such a great idea for raising funds. I didn’t mind paying that little bit extra.

It just made sense that I bought the ‘my first visit to Walt Disney World’ pin. The Mickey Mouse pin just reminded me of Florida with the palm trees on his sun glasses.

The next lot of pins above are ones that I purchased from Disneyland Paris. Some of the more random pins I got at a reduced price so don’t like to pass them up when they are so cheap. But the rest generally remind me of events and rides I love. 

I am just starting to collect the hotel pins, I still need to get the Sequoia Lodge and hotel Cheyenne pins as I’ve stayed in them too. Although I haven’t stayed in the Disneyland hotel yet I have the pin because I spend quite a bit of time in there, plus it was a gift from a cast member so it also reminds me of their kindness. I bought the Mary Poppins pin to wear the time that I Disneybounded as her so that holds good memories too.

I tend to buy at least one pin every trip, sometimes more. When I first started collecting them, I didn’t know much about them. I certainly would have bought more pins that were exclusive to WDW if I had the choice again. Hopefully next year with all being well.

I don’t have anywhere particular to keep them all at the moment and I’m reluctant to take them out of their packaging unless I need to wear them for Disneybounding. I just want to keep them nice. I will eventually find them a permanant home as at the moment they are living in a small carrier bag.

At the moment I’m not interested in pin trading because the pins that I buy I like and wouldn’t want to part with them. I wouldn’t rule pin trading out in the future though. I just need a more established collection before I even consider it.

Disney Collectors Tag

This is my first tag post thought up and written by me. Please feel free to use it in your blog posts and videos and tag your friends. Your answers can be as long or short as you like.

1) What are you currently collecting? 

I collect the occasional Tsum Tsum (when I say occasional, I mean I don’t buy them everytime I see them). My collection has slowed down a little at the moment. I also collect pins.

2) Is there anything that you have previously collected but stopped?

Not that I can think of but I did have a bit of a Disney sock fettish about 15 years ago, does that count?

3) Is there anything that you are thinking about collecting?

I have recently taken a liking to Vinylmations. I never used to like them but they have grown on me and as a fan of designer art toys I think they’d be a welcomed addition to my collections.

4) Do you have a special place/places where you keep your collections?

No. My bedroom is a miss-match of randomness, I have things dotted all over the place including on my bed. I should really organise my collections though.

5) What are your favourite shops for buying Disney merchandise?

Obviously the Disney Store but I think Clinton Cards are upping their game on the Disney merch front so I always have a nose in there now. I also like Primark for clothing and accessories.

6) Is there anything you would like to collect but can’t?

I’d like to collect mugs but I have no room for them. Every time I see a nice mug I want to buy it especially if it has a Beauty and the Beast or Alice in Wonderland design.

7) What is your favourite piece/pieces of Disney memorabilia?

Definitely my Lumierre and Cogsworth from Disneyland Paris.

8) Does your partner/loved ones approve of your collections?

I’m living with my parents at the moment and I think they are more aware of how much I am spending more than anything else. They are getting used to my obsession though and they like some of the merchandise I bring home.

9) Is there anything that you have really wanted to get your hands on?

I have always wanted a Chip mug from WDW but hopefully I can get one next year if my WDW trip goes ahead.

10) What are your ultimate collectors goals?

I would like to build up an impressive collection of pins. So far I have 19 single pins and one set of 6.


Disneyland Paris January Sales Haul

I had never been to DLP during the January sales before so I had high hopes for it, especially as I had heard that they were bringing in a lot of new merchandise this year due to the five year turnover and 25th anniversary. I went armed with extra money so I could go crazy. Myself and my friend Louise arrived the day after the sales started so we managed to avoid the rush. I didn’t fancy having to fight people for items, that’s just not how I roll.

Unfortunately due to my high expectations I was a little disappointed with the sales. Some shops had small stands of sales items and a few had none at all. There were a few things that I had hoped would be in the sales but weren’t but I was paricularly pleased with the clothing items which I hadn’t initially thought about buying but did. I also understand that arriving a day later meant that we had missed out on a few things. I had my eye on the mini figure Yoda Stitch but couldn’t find him when we were there.

It was a good thing that there wasn’t as much as I had thought 1. Because I would just buy a ton of things that I didn’t need 2. I wouldn’t have been able to get it all home. The things that I did find were a real bargain and all in all I was very happy with what I picked up.

Grey Pirates of the Caribbean ride t-shirt had 70% off (originally €21.99). Reduced to €6.59 (I payed €5.27 with my AP). The hoodie was also 70% off (originally €44.99). Reduced to €13.49 (I payed €10.79). These are really comfy items, the hoodie is very cosy.

Pink Cheshire cat sweater 70% off (originally €49.99). Reduced to €14.99 (I payed €11.99). Grey Beast sweater 70% off (originally €49.99). Reduced to €14.99 (I payed €11.99). I love anything Beauty and the Beast and I’m also a fan of Alice in Wonderland so I was so happy when I saw these.

Non clothing items I bought were a park exclusive Minnie Mouse at €5, Cleo at €3, Mickey head necklace at €2, matching bracelet also €2 and a small 2016 tray at €1 (all before AP discount). 

Keep an eye out for my January trip reports.

Moving Forward In 2017

Firstly I was like to say Happy new year to you all. I hope you have lots of fun things planned for 2017. If last year wasn’t what you were expecting and you had some bad experiences I truly hope this year will be better for you.

I love blogging regardless of whether people read my posts or not. I have really enjoyed writing my trip reports but it recently dawned on me that some people may not be that interested in reading about what I get up to on my Disneyland Paris trips.

This got me thinking… so I’m pleased to tell you that exciting things are coming to ‘Lost In The Magic’ in the year ahead. I am currently working on new Disney themed content with more regular posts that will run alongside my trip reports.

I have upped my game on social media by creating Pinterest and Instagram accounts to accompany my blog. I have also been toying with the idea of hosting live chats and giveaways on twitter. Being able to involve everyone somehow is my main focus.

I hope you will join me on my future blogging adventure by subscribing. It would make me very happy.