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.

A Look Back On 2016

If someone had told me that I would be visiting Disneyland Paris four times, become part of the Disney community and make a bunch of awesome new friends in the space of eight months I would never have believed them. When the opportunity arrose to become an annual pass holder at DLP I decided to document my trips via this blog and create a twitter account to accompany it. I never imagined that there was a huge community dedicated to Disney and I’d be attending meet-ups and interacting with some of the most loveliest people.

I have got my friends Jess, Leanne and Louise to thank for inviting me to join them on their trips. I now regard them as some of my most closest friends and without them this blog and everything that comes with it would not exist. I have experienced many highs and a few lows in my personal life this year but my Disney trips have helped me through this. They have become a form of escapism and something for me to focus on when I didn’t want to think about the negative things that were starting to eat away at me. There have been so many memorable moments and I’m so glad I have been able to share them with you.

I have had so much fun joining in with live chats, watching periscopes (mainly Deandre’s haha!) and vlogs and listening to IMDO Podcast broadcasts which have brightened up many an evening. One of the most memorable times within the Disney community for me has to be when a group of us went to see Aladdin the Musical, it was such an amazing show made even better with good company. I would definitely like to see it again at some point.

2016 will be the year I started Disneybounding, had Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum fight over me, developed a new found love for Stitch and drank imaginary tea with Alice. Special thanks go out to Eleanor and Lizi for hosting the official Disney meet-ups and bringing the Disney community together (without them I wouldn’t have met a lot of you) and Jess for allowing me to be part of the Disneybound UK admin team in which I have had a blast taking over the twitter account and attending events.

I would also like to say a huge thank you to everyone I have been fortunate enough to meet through official and unofficial meet-ups and to those who I haven’t met yet but chat to on twitter. You understand my love for Disney when others don’t. You have all had a part in making my year a spectacular one and I can’t wait to see what 2017 has in store, I hope it’s good us all.