My thoughts on Dumbo 🐘

I know I am week behind but we finally managed a cinema date to see Dumbo today.

It’s my nieces birthday so we took James and her little boy Jaidon to Cineworld in Newcastle to watch the remake of one of my favourite Disney films, Dumbo. The original movie holds a special place in my heart as I have always loved the bond between Mrs Jumbo and Dumbo. I think part of the reason is I was parent at such a young age so I felt that I could relate to it. I also feel as though Dumbo is one of Disney’s most iconically adorable characters.

So here are my thoughts on the movie…. I didn’t really know what to expect with Dumbo, I had imagined that it may be quite dark with Tim Burton directing. I was also worried that I may not like the new Dumbo as I had with his predecessor. I was wrong on both fronts. The movie does have dark moments however it also has plenty of magical moments to make you smile and laugh. However, overall the film was not as dark as I had anticipated, rather I found it quite a beautiful film to watch.

From the moment that Dumbo arrived on screen, I fell in love with him. He is simply adorable and you can’t help but others him, his little eyes speak a thousand words. I was most worried about James reaction if it was a little too sad or scary and I was surprised that he really did enjoy it. I think from the opening seen with Casey Junior captured his attention until the final scene. He did cry ( actually weep) but I just reminded him that there is always a happy ending.

I have read some reviews saying that Tim Burton missed the original message of story. I may be out on my own with this one but I actually like that fact it has a slightly varied storyline. I enjoyed the fact that I wasn’t too sure exactly what was going to happen next. There were still plenty of nods to the original that were done very well. Some made me cry. I know that some people have criticised some of the actors by I think the casting was fantastic and in particular I loved seeing Danny Devito on the big screen. The child actors were brilliant as was Eva Green but Colin Farrell absolutely stole the show for me. ( I have had the biggest crush on him forever, so I get this is a biased view) SPOILER Alert 🚨 My favourite moment was when Dumbo flies for the first time. My little nephew squealed and it really was a magical moment. Overall, it was a wonderful movie and went beyond my expectations. James loved it more than I thought he would and I would totally recommend a visit to the cinema to see it! ❤️

Why I had a little break from Instagram ❤️

I have been thinking about writing this for a while and I feel that this is a good time to share and also to explain why I needed to take a little break from Instagram. And before I start I just want to say sorry to anyone who was worried about me. That wasn’t my intention, I decided to delete the app totally out of the blue but in retrospect I should I have let you guys know, so sorry about that. Sooooo, I love social media. I think that it is an environment that people can share their love and passion for all things. A place that they can build friendships with likeminded people. It can serve as a diary , showcasing memories over the years that make you smile. It can be a place to share pictures with family and friends that you might otherwise not see from year to year.

Sadly, there is another side to social media. It can be a competitive environment in which people seem to turn a bit nasty. It is a place that can make people feel jealous, inadequate and create insecurities. It is a place that nasty “trolls” like to lurk and I have to admit this is a side to social media that I find really hard to deal with. Throughout my life I have always tried to avoid conflict or confrontation. I’m just not that kind of person. If I have an argument or a disagreement with someone, I need to resolve it there and then. I don’t hold grudges, I find that negative energy or thoughts just eat away at me and I like to feel happy. It is really hard to avoid conflict and confrontation on social media. I am certain that there have been people who have disliked me over the years, in my private and professional life, but I have dealt with that by avoiding them. You can’t avoid this on social media. If someone doesn’t like you or agree with you they can let you know that and I think this is what I have struggled with. I worry for young people in this world of technology. I can’t imagine being a teenager and comparing myself to people online or falling out with friends and having to cope with issues both in real life and online.

So, yeah sorry for the huge explanation but I just needed to take a little time out to do some soul searching and put things in perspective. I have spent the last week with my family, playing with and caring for the boys, speaking to Aoife several times a day, having heart to hearts with Gareth, meeting friends for coffee, cuddling little babies, spending quality time with my parents and just enjoying the simple things in life.

I think it has given me time to realise that I really miss working with young people. I also believe that everything happens for a reason and I’ve had lots of little signs that feel like the universe telling me that I should go back to work. I have bumped into old students who said lovely things to me and helped me remember how much I enjoyed my job. It is crazy to think I used to give them advice on how to deal with bullies and childish behaviour, yet here I am dealing with it myself online. I have came across old photos and found myself having conversations about working in school. My mam said something completely out of the blue that really hit home. She said ” Just think about what a difference you could make to some young people” and that is what I used to love most about my job. Don’t worry though I am still going to keep doing Disneyfind, but I think I need the balance of both. Maybe it’s my character or age but I definitely struggle with some aspects of social media. I could never give up Disneyfind all together though as I love doing it. I love that there are so many of you who appreciate what I do and share my love for all of the new Disney products out there. I know that I am so lucky to have the experiences and opportunities that I do but I feel like I need to give something back. So nothing much will change, I’m back online now and in a much better frame of mind. I will be on the look out for a job but I might not get one… so you might be stuck with me forever! I also wanted to add that having a social media break really can be good for the soul. Sorry for the huge oversharing but I feel like I’ve been on this crazy journey with you for the last five years and I think it’s only fair that I am honest with you all. Thanks for reading Love Roisin ❤️            

Why I love Disney so much ⭐️

Why do I love Disney so much? Someone asked me this question last week and it really got me thinking about why I love it so much.  The simple answer is that it makes me so very happy and the story of my snow globe collection is a good way to explain it to you.  

When I was a little girl I loved Disney. Then my Auntie Janice and Uncle Charles took me to Disneyland Paris when I was twelve and this just ignited my love for it even more. I used love visiting the Disney Store in Eldon square (absolutly my favourite place to shop) and I remember heading straight to the snow globes and looking at them in wonder, always hoping that I could own one. 

Then on my 16th birthday I was given my first snowglobe, The Lion King and I loved it. I started collecting them and built up a lovely little collection over the years.

When I was eighteen, I fell pregnant with Aoife and I think the realities of daily life, being a young mam, going out with my friends, getting my job as a Head of year, I kind of forgot all about my love for Disney.  In fact my snow globes stayed in my parents loft for years….

I went through a phase in my life when I didn’t really like myself, I was approaching my thirties, single after being unlucky in love and decided that I needed to concentrate on me and what makes me happy. So in April 2009 I decided that I wouldn’t go on any more dates, start being healthy and I had in my mind that something amazing would happen in April 2010 (this is a true story, I told all of my friends) Then April 2010 arrived and guess what? I met Gareth.  This was the night we became a couple 😊

I honestly feel like this is when I remembered who I was. Obviously, I fell in love with Gareth and we talked about what we liked and disliked and I think it was the first time since my teens that I could truly be myself. Gareth was so lovely to Aoife. The first time he met her he took her to one side and told her that he never wanted to replace her dad but hat he would like to be her friend. This actually makes me cry thinking about it now. He was so lovely to her. Then he took us all to Disneyland Paris a few months later.  Our first family trip to Disneyland Paris

We were engaged in a year (in st Lucia), Married the following year and James was born the year after. It was a whirlwind but I wouldn’t change it for the world. Gareth’s proposal in St Lucia, Our wedding day and James birth ❤️

We decided to have a Disney themed  wedding and we had snow globes as the centre pieces. Gareth went a bit bidding crazy for them on eBay and my collection doubled (not complaining)  When we bought our first home together in 2014, we designed shelves for the snow globes to be on display. Its almost as though I have gone full circle and now my family, friends and Disney are themes important parts of my life. 

Starting Disneyfind four years ago allowed me to share my love for Disney with everyone else and I have never looked back. Now, when I see an animated Disney character it makes me smile. it brings me joy. I love to walk around the shops and my most favourite thing is to see the reaction of other people. Yesterday this teenage girl (about 15) shopping in Primark with her mam. When she spotted Stitch on some jogging bottoms, her face lit up…. I cried! I know this is sad but thats what Disney does to me. So when you send me messages or tell me that I helped to reignite your love it is incredibly special to me.  So as long as I have Gareth, my family, friends and Disney in my life I know I’ll always be smiling! Oh and not forgetting my snowglobe collection 😉 Let me know why you love Disney below…. Thank you for reading Roisin 

The most Instagramable bar in Newcastle (especially for a Disney fan)

Strolling along Grey Street, I happen to stumble upon the most Instagramable bar in the Toon. When I say stumble, I mean I intentionally headed in the direction of Grey Street to check out the first bar ever to give me butterflies ( yes I’m that sad 😆)

It did not disappoint. This Alice in Wonderland themed bar – “Those Who Know” has replaced the popular Christmas bar that appeared through the festive season and is situated at the bottom of Grey Street. As soon as you enter, you can feel the magic. It was almost like I was stepping off Grey Street and into a magical Geordie Wonderland.

From the Lewis Carroll quotes, the stunning floral decorations, the cute Alice bows worn by staff to the giant Alice. The owners have succeeded in created a bar that makes you smile. It is full of treasures that you don’t want to miss and photo opportunities that would look fab on instagram.

The Alice themed cocktail menu looks spectacular serving delights such as “Tumble down the Rabbit Hole” to “The Sunshine Caterpillar” and I believe that they are 2 for 1 throughout January.

Sadly, this is only a temporary fixture in the greatest city in the World… I’m biased I know 😬 In fact I might just make it my new workspace whilst in town. I hope the two lovely girls behind the bar don’t mind? I bloody LOVE it! Watch the full video here 🌟💫✨ Roisin x

Life update on following my Disney dreams ⭐️💫✨

*Just as a side note before you start this, I am very grateful to have a healthy family, to have a roof over my head and to have the opportunities that I get. I’m also happy to have developed a fondness for bright hair bows and rainbow coats. I just wanted to share a little more insight of my life this year with you all. It has nearly been a year ago that I explained to you all that I was GIVING UP MY JOB….. Your reaction to that post was so overwhelming, I feel it only right that I share an update with you all. I can’t believe its been a year! What a year its been…. and not for all good reasons. I feel that it is important for me to share this honest post with you so that you understand how this year has developed. I think it would be wrong of me to pretend that it has all been plain sailing or a huge success because that is not the truth. I was so positive about it all when I made that decision, for those of you that don’t know my history. I worked as a Head of Year for 12 years at a High School in Newcastle. I started Disneyfind purely for fun when I was on maternity leave with James, almost four and a half years ago. As the years went by, my page grew in popularity and I was starting to get interest from companies. I felt very torn between working in school and running Disneyfind and I decided that I needed to follow my dreams and try to make it a success. Another big factor in making this decision was my family, I wanted to be able to take James to school and spend more time with Joseph. So I handed in my notice. I think I was a little naive and I didn’t really think it all through before making the decision. I knew that people made money from social media and I had just discovered affiliate marketing so I kind of just hoped that I could make a living following my dreams and also spend time with my children whilst they were little. For those of you wondering, Affiliate Marketing is when I add a link directing you to a store. If you buy something using this link then I get a small commission for sending you in that direction. I didn’t have clue that this existed until about this time last year. At first, everything seemed really positive, I was getting a small income from my affiliate stuff and just hoped that companies would work wth me and I would get paid for it. HOWEVER, ITS NOT AS EASY AS THAT. I had a successful page but I  didn’t have the skills to know what to do next. I know that lots of bloggers get AD deals, but I had no idea how? So, I just kept on following my instinct, trying to reach out to people but not really getting much back. One thing that I quickly discovered was that people don’t really want to share their knowledge with you. I couldn’t believe the number of people that I have reached out to, asking for help and they were just unwilling to share, unless I paid them thousands for the privilege. It is only in the past two months or so that people have shared their knowledge with me and two people in particular have been a real help are Charlotte Ruff and Emma (Brummy Mummy) and I will always remember their kindness. So I started to struggle…. I’ve always had a job since I was fifteen years old (Barratts shoe shop, working for £1.73 an hour) I had three jobs when I was a single mam with Aoife working at Accesorize, in a pub and at a Youth Club all whilst studying. So, I found it tough not having an income. Just to put it in perspective for you, I was probably making about £80 a month from my affiliate schemes and this is its not enough to live on. I also hated depending on Gareth for money. I am in a lucky position that he had a good job but it made me feel pretty down. I also had no idea about the loneliness of working at home or how hard I would find it. Most days it was just me and Joseph, I went for a coffee ever my day just to talk to another adult. I was used to having a laugh with my colleagues, having people to bounce ideas of or look to for advice. I had none of this and all of my friends were at work so it was a lonely time. Also, in my opinion I found staying at home with a baby so much harder than going to work. In between all of this, we went through a difficult time as a family, I had a few nasty trolls who affected me far more than they should, I was shadow banned, my page stopped growing, I stopped being my positive, happy self  so quite simply I was incredibly close to giving it all up. In fact, I decided I would go back to work. I applied for a job, had the interview but didn’t get the role. So I decided to give it one last shot, with a big prep talk from my incredibly supportive Gareth. I stopped worrying about likes, follows or what I was posting, comparing myself to others and I remembered why I had started the page in the first place. I LOVE DISNEY. Then……things got better. Over the past couple of months, I have have had so many amazing and exciting things happening to me. I have started working with some brilliant companies and having some dream come true moments. I feel very lucky but I also wanted you to know that it has been quite a journey to get here. Many of you have asked me if I regret giving up my job and the answer is NO. I have had one of the hardest years of my life but I know a lot of people are going through way more difficult times. I am glad I gave up my job because it allowed me to spend time with my family that I would never have been able to do if I had stayed in school. I also feel like I have learned a lot about myself too. I have embraced wearing clothes that make me happy. I’ve learned that not everyone is going to like you no matter how hard you want them to and finally I’ve realised that you shouldn’t give up on your dreams. I guess the moral of the story is that you should keep going. So I’ll finish with the words of Walt  Disney ” All of our dreams come true if we have the courage to pursue them” Thank you so much for reading and also sticking with me through this bumpy old year. Love and hugs Roisin

Ten reasons why our trip to Florida was a unique educational experience for our children ❤️

Ok, so we didn’t book our trip to Florida for the educational value. We booked our trip as I am a die hard Disney fan and I have dreamed of visiting Walt Disney World since I was a little girl. I was looking forward to meeting the characters, experiencing the rides and most importantly sharing the magic of Disney with my family. What I didn’t expect was that so many parts of our trip would be valuable educational experiences that I think will stay with the boys and us forever.

Education is very important to me having worked in a High School for twelve years. I am a mum of three Aoife ( 18) James (4) and Joseph (20 months) Aoife is currently studying Fashion at University in London and didn’t want to come away with us so it was just my husband and boys that went on the trip. Although school is a massively important aspect of education, I also believe that the foundations for learning start at home and that parents and families have such an important role to play in shaping the minds of our little people.

I believe that experiences are just as important in shaping the minds of children as classroom teaching. this can be through travel, visiting museums, planting seeds or just exploring whenever and wherever you can. I have done this with all three of my children, even when I was on my own with Aoife, I used it save up to go on little trips together, just the two of us and we would visit places like London or York and explore.

So whilst planning our trip to Florida, if I’m being really honest, I didn’t consider an educational element to the trip. James loves dinosaurs so I wanted to include as many dinosaur related experiences as possible. However, my planning was more about which rides we wanted to fast pass, which restaurants we would I eat in, what we would wear etc… I did not think beforehand that the trip would leave have such a profound effect on me in terms of how much all members of the family learned from it.

We arrived at the Art of Animation resort and the learning experience started there! We were walking to our hotel room for the first time and James points to a sign near the lake. It has an alligator and snake on it. James explains to me that this means there might be Alligator or snakes in the lake. I actually had no idea that this may have been the case but James told me that rattle snakes live in florida. We then went to our room and researched what types of Alligators and Snakes May live in Florida and what we needed to do if we encounter them.

This was only a tiny snippet of how much we learned during our trip. All of the parks have an aspect of educational value however it was two parks in particular that I believe offer the most valuable learning experiences . If you have been to Walt Disney World you will probably know that they are Epcot and Animal Kingdom and they were our favourite parks as a family to visit.

I thought I would share my TOP TEN educational experiences at Walt Disney World with you all.

1) Kilimanjaro Safaris

We did the Safari twice, in the morning and the evening and I am so pleased that we did. The Safari takes place on an an open sided jeep and drives through an area created to replicate the a savannah of East Africa. On the day time Safari we saw Elephants, Crocs, Giraffes, Hippos amongst others and the whole family were in wonder at being so close to these stunning animals. I was worried about the evening Safari as I thought it would be difficult to see the animals. However, it was a very different experience to our daytime visit. I was actually a bit scared… but Gareth and the boys loved it and we saw the Lions which we hadn’t during the day and James hasn’t stopped talking about that fact since.

2) Epcot World Showcase

It is just amazing!I mean where else in the world can you watch an Italian street entertainer, listen to a Canadian band and pick up some British Fish and Chips within an hour? James was fascinated by it. He was continuously asking questions about things he was seeing and he was over the moon that he had his photo taken beside the Eiffel Tower. We actually didn’t have enough time to explore the “world” as we much as we would have liked. I know that many people said to me that there weren’t many rides here and that’s why they disliked it. In all honestly, it doesn’t need rides, for us it was a welcome, relaxing break and again another opportunity to for the little ones to gain knowledge of the world. I also believe that there are Kidcot stops around the world where children can collect stamps and create a personalised souvenir. We will definitely be doing this if we get the chance to visit again.

3) Spaceship Earth – so I had no idea that the big Golf Ball was a ride! I hadn’t really given it much thought at all. We managed to walk straight on it during magic hours and we loved it. It takes you on a time travel of how communication and knowledge has developed from the time of the first humans. No one had mentioned Spaceship Earth to us so we had no idea what to expect but we loved it. James asked so many questions afterwards like “why were people writing on walls” what is papyrus?” And he embraced the interactive side of the ride.

4) The American Adventure

Again, no one has mentioned The American Adventure to us. I have never seen it on anyone’s Instagram or heard anything about it. We just kind of stumbled past it on our last day and Gareth suggested we went inside to cool down… what a wonderful experience we had! We missed two fast passes but it was absolutely worth it. The experience we had was in two parts. Firstly the Liberty Singers sang some traditional American songs. They were unbelievably talented and the boys were entrances by them. Then we went on to the theatre to watch a stage show of American history which was fascinating, more so for me and Gareth and I think important for the kids to see considering we were visiting America!

4) It’s a Small World

We were familiar with this ride as I have visited it many times at Disneyland Paris. However, this was the first time that the boys have gone. They LOVED it and James spent the whole ride asking “which country is that? how do you know? Why are they wearing that?”

Again, it’s just another example of how a 10 minute Attraction can start a conversation that will stay with a young person.

5) The seas with Nemo and friend

Again, this was one attraction that no one had actually mentioned to me before our trip. So I just assumed it was another story telling ride through Finding Nemo. So we were shocked ha thrilled to discover that there was an actual aquarium inside! I actually almost cried to see the boys excitement when they watched the fish, turtles and sharks swimming by. They would have happily spent hours viewing the aquarium but we had a fast pass to visit. We did however go back to visit them on our last day to say goodbye!

6) Gorilla Falls exploration trail

This was another attraction that we stumbled upon at Animal Kingdom. I don’t think we even realised we were following the trail until we ended up in the bird area. We headed here straight after the Safari and we are super glad that we did. The boys love animals and the happiness on James face when he saw creatures such as an African Bull Frog that he has never seen in person was priceless. He pointed at some strange looking creature and told me that they were Mole Rats? He is four… I have no idea how he knew this but he was correct and so thrilled to see them up close and personal. There is also an area where you can look for birds that are shown on a guide and it was inspiring to see James hunt around the area for a specific species.

7) Living with the Land

We managed to jump straight on Living with the Land when we arrived early at Epcot one morning. Living with the Land is a boat tour that travels through the Greenhouses at Epcot and it explains how Scientists work to develop a sustainable approach to farming and how farming has developed over the ages. For the first four days this was James favourite ride ( till he rode Everest! – very different I know!)

8) Soarin

Ahhhhh where do I start? Mine and Gareth’s absolute favourite ride at Walt Disney World. It was both exhilarating, fun and thought provoking! Soarin takes you on a journey across the world where you encounter Orcas ( James told me this), Polar Bears, fly across the Great Wall of China and soar across Mount Everest. It was such an exciting attraction for a young mind and again opened a floodgate is questions. It also ignited a need to travel in both me and my husband and it makes you want to see these places in person. Although, it did actually feel like you were there in person. We were in the front row on our first ride and I had no idea just how high we we’re traveling until I was in row three on our second turn. Love love love Soarin!

9) Carasoul of Progress

This was another surprise! We were just pottering around Tomorrowland waiting for our fastpass for Monsters Inc Laugh floor to arrive when we spotted the Carousel of Progress. I had a quick look online and when I saw that it was apparently Walt’s favourite attraction, I was very excited to try it. The boys sat throughout the whole show and were transfixed ( with the dog mainly). We also had “there’s a great big beautiful tomorrow stuck in our heads for a long while after. I actually felt very emotional on this ride and shed a little tear as it reminded me so much of Walt! The fact that it takes you through a time travel of innovation is so interesting and nostalgic! Not only that but the fact that the whole theatre rotates was so exiting… for all of us!

10) Dinoland

Our budding Palaeontologist loved exploring Dinoland and pointing out all of the species to us! There is also a Dinosaur boneyard which he could have quite happily spent all day digging for fossils. There was also the Dino bash taking place whilst we were there which was a lot of fun!

So to summarise, we had a great holiday at Walt Disney World and this was only a fraction of the experience and knowledge that we learned during our trip. I haven’t even touched on the transport systems, local wildlife and learning about different climates and currencies. So although a great deal of our holiday was thrill seeking and cuddling some of our favourite characters. I was shocked at just how much we all learned and I think that I have told so many people in person just how impressed I was with the education aspect to it!

I know this might not be everyone’s idea of fun but for us I believe this is what made our trip extra special.

Let me know if there are any other bits of information or knowledge you have gained during any of your trips?

Thanks for reading!

Love Roisin 🌟💫✨

Snow White Afternoon Tea in London 🍎

Did you know that there is a pop up  Snow White Afternoon Tea experience in London and it is lovely. I was thrilled to be invited by Hilton Waldorf to experience their latest Afternoon Tea offering and it was delicious. The Waldorf is situated just around the corner from Covent Garden.

They have a small area at the front of the hotel which has been decorated to feel like a Magical Enchanted forest, with flowers and Apples and other little touches relating to Snow White.The Afternoon Tea itself is served in three stages. Firstly, the sandwiches that you are offered are Oak smoked salmon and chive infused cream cheese blini, Baked Ham with a hint of Dijon mustard onion slice, Free range egg and watercress basil loaf, Tuna Mayonaise with slivers of cucumber carrot bread. The sandwiches were delicious and it was lovely to have such variety of options.

Next, I was brought the scones and cakes and oh my goodness, they were delightful! You are given two scones, plain and Spiced orange and they are served with Jam and clotted cream. They are also served warm and literally melted in my mouth. The cakes looked absolutely beautiful, almost too nice to eat! The cakes were White chocolate and Congac infused Ganache lollipops, Salted Caramel cremeux with tatin apples, Lemon Meringue pie and a Chocolate and cherry roll. The cakes looked both stunning and tasted unbelievably good.

Halfway through the Afternoon Tea experience, they create a little magic with the Poison Apple inspired table decoration which is lovely and adds that little extra.

Finally they bring out a last surprise which is a gorgeous Apple chocolate dessert. Just bare in mind that this is a filling Afternoon tea with so many lovely flavours and options so make sure you are hungry if you book.

  The afternoon tea is running for a limited period only! You can book here 🍎

AD – Our family trip to Disneyland Paris with National Holidays ⭐️💫✨

Well, what an adventure we a couple of weeks ago! If you follow me on Instagram then you will know that we visited Disneyland Paris with National Holidays and we had the time of our life. Before, during and after the trip I have had so many questions that I thought it may be a good idea to put it all in a blog post for you. I travelled from Newcastle Upon Tyne with my husband and two sons, aged five and two. Just to be open and honest with you all, I was invited by National Holidays to experience the trip so it was gifted. I promise to be completely honest with you all about our experience. I feel the best way to share our experience would be to take you through the holiday in a diary form. So here we go! Friday 26th October

We were collected from the pick up point in Newcastle in the early hours and got on board our coach. The boys were in their pyjamas and we brought a cushion and blanket (primark throw) for each of them so they were soon fast asleep as we headed on the road towards Paris. The coach wasn’t too busy on this journey out and we managed to nab the backseat so we were very comfortable. We made a couple of stops in the North East to pick up other passengers and the driver was playing the best music channel (think it was smooth) We all managed to get some sleep on this part of the journey.

Our first stop was Woodall Services which timed well for us as the boys had woken up and needed a little change of air. We went inside, grabbed a coffee and used the toilets. I changed the boys into some comfy clothes and then we were told that we  had to change coaches for our final destination. I wish I had known this in advance as we had our stuff scattered everywhere so just be prepared that you may not stay on the same coach thought the trip. I have since learned that the first coach is a feeder coach that does local pick ups so that you don’t have too many stops. This makes the journey a little quicker and I guess as smooth as possible for the passengers. You then join with the core coach where the groups merge for the rest of the journey. We then boarded our next coach, grabbed our allocated seats and got ourselves comfortable for the second part of the journey. We were introduced to our driver, Dave. Can I just say that Dave was bloody brilliant. He explained the process of the journey, gave us safety advice and also kept us entertained throughout the journey. We then travelled all of the way through to Dover which was lovely, genuinely lovely. All of us were so excited about the trip. I sat with one of the boys and Gareth with the other and we swapped over if they got bored. We did plan ahead though and brought their Amazon Fires, drawing stuff, a few surprises, lots of snacks and Gareth even brought a travel Connect Four. I believe that National Holidays are launching a service called WAVE which mean there will be preloaded film and TV content for passengers to enjoy. Which will be fantastic for theirs traveling with children. The boys were so well behaved and I loved that Dave gave us snippets of facts about the places around us, which I found incredibly interesting, especially in France.

We arrived at Dover and literally within ten minutes we were boarding the ferry. The ferry was a little dated but had small play area for the boys, who went completely crazy, it was quite embarrassing to be fair but they had been so good so we kind of just let them run around and let off some energy. We also grabbed a wine and a beer from the bar and tried to enjoy them whilst checking on the boys. We then went up to the cafe and ordered two portions of Chips that we all shared and they were lovely! The crossing was smooth and James was so excited to be travelling to France on a ferry and so were we to be honest, before we knew it we were back on the coach and ready for the final stage of the journey. Again, we travelled straight through to Disney which worked well of us as the boys were tired from there craziness on the ferry and slept for the last stage, We arrived in our hotel at the area, Castle before 7pm.

When we arrived at the hotel, Dave gave us our park tickets and meal plan vouchers then we queued for our room keys. I can honestly say that I enjoyed all of this journey, even with two little ones, just be prepared and try and time their sleeps or naps and bring plenty of snacks. We ordered a meal plan as part of the trip so this meant that you get a dinner voucher for two days. So for the first night we headed into the village on the free shuttle bus and paid for our dinner for the first night at Rainforest Cafe, we saved our vouchers for the Saturday and Sunday evenings. We then had a little wander around the shops and headed home, ready to get up early for the parks in the morning. Saturday 27th October

We had breakfast at the hotel which is included in the price and there was plenty of options and I really enjoyed it. It can be busy so I would try and get there quite early if you can. I won’t go into huge detail about what we did at the parks as I’ll save that for another post…. let me know below if this is something you would like. The parks were quite busy as it was the weekend so we tried to plan our day. We headed straight to Big Thunder Mountain for a fastpass and then queued for few rides. We then grabbed something to eat from Cafe Hyperion which was expensive and not overly great. In retrospect we should have just grabbed a snack and used our meal plans for a nice evening meal… but you live and learn.

We then watched the parade and went on a few more rides then headed back to the hotel. Sunday 28th October.

Up early, breakfast then headed back into Disneyland to meet Jack Skellington. Then we headed to the Walt Disney Studios Park. We managed get fast passes for Ratatouille, then we headed back to the Disneyland Hotel to have Halloween Brunch at Inventions. If you are a big Disney fan or celebrating something special, I would highly recommend booking this. We used our meal vouchers towards the price (which was more expensive as it was Halloween special)

The weather was very cold but that worked in our advantage as when we left the meal Walt Disney Studios was empty and we rode so many rides that evening. As long as you are wrapped up, coats, scarves, gloves, sensible shoes and hats then it is the perfect time to make the most of the park. We wanted to watch the fireworks on our last night so we headed  back to Disneyland Park and grabbed a little spot in Casey’s corner and used our last meal vouchers on hot dog and chips for us all. We then watched the illuminations, grabbed a pic in an empty Main Street (go me!) and headed back on the coaches ready for the journey home.

Monday 29th October –  heading home!

We were all packed and headed down to the coach at 6.45 put our bags on the coach and grabbed a quick breakfast. We then jumped on board and started the journey home. We arrived at Calais and the process boarding the ferry is a little longer on the French side due to UK border control which is fair enough. . The boys were a little more awake due to the time we left but we managed that with distractions. The ferry journey home was a little more rocky but the boys played and we grabbed a coffee (too early for vino… ) 

We then started the journey home, we made two stops this time at service stations waiting for other coaches to meet up with us so the journey was a little longer heading home. On the positive side, we stayed on the same coach in the same seats which was great. There were a few extra drop-offs on the way home too so it was quite late by the time we ended home in Newcastle. I think the journey home is not as exciting as on the way there as if you are anything like me then you have the holiday blues…

Overall,I would say that our trip was a huge success and a massive adventure for us as a family.  It difficult to give you each timings as I guess these change depending on where you live, how many people are traveling, issues with traffic or incidents, I think you just have to be completely prepared with little ones as they will get bored and need to be stimulated. I think the positives of traveling by coach is spending a long time with your family and it is fun. I would definelty do it again and the boys loved their experience. Thanks for reading Roisin x