Wednesday 24 January 2018

Which Is Our Favourite Disneyland Paris Hotel?

One of the questions I'm most often asked about Disneyland Paris is "Which is the best hotel to stay in?"

Now I wish I could give you a definitive one-size-fits-all answer to that question but if I could...then I guess there'd be no point in having so many of them available! The fact is that which hotel is best will depend entirely on what you want from a hotel.

Some of the Disneyland Paris hotels have amenities that others don't such as swimming pools. Some have different themes running through the decor and ambience than others. Some are closer to the park. Some have better breakfast options. Some are cheaper.

It all just depends on what you're looking for in your Disney hotel and how much you want to pay for it.

I would love to be able to give you a personal run down of my thoughts on each one, and I HOPE to be able to do that by this next year as I should hopefully have stayed in each of them by then!

But right now...out of the 6 main Disneyland Paris hotels, I have only stayed in 3 (number 4 next month though!)

But what I can do is give you a run down on our experiences in those, and which my favourite is so far....the answer may just surprise you!


Tuesday 16 January 2018

Top 5 Snacks To Try In Disneyland Paris

I don't know if this is just me, but one of the things I get most excited about when visiting Disneyland Paris is the chance to try out some of the wonderful foods and snacks on offer!

You only have to scroll through social media to see video after video about the many weird and wonderful snack options available in the US Disney parks from Mickey shaped waffles and Pretzels to the infamous "Grey Stuff"... and although there are fewer offerings in Disneyland Paris - there are still some gems available if you know where to look!

So I thought I'd share my own personal list of Must Try Snack foods at DLP!

1) Pineapple Whip

What Is It?: If you're a regular to Walt Disney World Florida then you'll no doubt be familiar with the infamous Disney Dole Whips...they are pretty much all I see anybody talk about on the forums and seem to be the holy grail of Disney snacks stateside!

Now if you're a fan of those let me just clear this up before you get too excited....there ARE NO DOLE WHIPS ON SALE AT DISNEYLAND PARIS!

But there ARE Pineapple Whips. Now admittedly I have never had a Dole Whip so I can't compare the two, but I can confirm that the Pineapple Whips? Are AMAZING.

They are basically a vanilla ice cream float served in pineapple juice and drizzled with fresh pineapple syrup, and they are the most delicious and refreshing snack you can buy in Disneyland Paris in my opinion. I only discovered them on our last trip and I wish I'd found them sooner....they are the first thing I will be heading for when we go back in February! YES IN FEBRUARY...I don't care how cold it is, I need that Pineapple Whip!

Where From?: The Pineapple Whip is available from the small food cart stationed outside Agrabah Cafe in Adventureland.

2) Mickey Marshmallows

What are they?: They are basically gooey delicious marshmallows dipped in milk chocolate. There are a variety of colour/flavour options available, and the main selling point to me is that they are Mickey shaped!

I often feel that there is a real lack of Mickey Shaped treats available in Disneyland Paris, having previously only found the very tasteless and disappointing Double Mickey Cakes....the Mickey Marshmallows satisfy both my sweet tooth AND my Insta-photo needs much more fully!

Where from?: The sweet shop on Main Street USA

3) Nutella Crepes!

What Is It?: Well let's be honest...are you even in France if you don't eat a crepe?!! 

These very thin sweet pancakes are served piping hot with either lemon and sugar, or nutella...and trust me, the combination of the warm pancake and the sticky delicious Nutella on a cold Parisian day is perfection!! We basically lived on these during our last trip!

Where From?: You can buy those all over, but we got them most often from the Cafe outside Alice's Curious Labyrinth as we really liked the seating area there!

4) Candy Apples

What Is It?: You can choose from either a traditional candy apple or a chocolate covered apple, and all of them are pretty tasty!
Our personal favourites were the Frozen themed ones which were made to look like Snowman, but you can also get traditional red ones and various other themes around the park too. Also a good way to ease the mum guilt when your child has basically survived the holiday on sugar and french fries...coz you least there's fruit in there somewhere!

Where From?: Various stalls around the park sell these, but the Frozen themed ones were available from the kiosk outside the Chaparral theatre where the Frozen show was.

5) Jedi Burger

What Is It?: I've left this until last as its more of a meal than a snack but I couldn't not include it because it is Hands down the MOST DELICIOUS BURGER I HAVE EVER TASTED! Bar none!
Trust me, I have tried some burgers in my time and this one stands out in my mind as one of the tastiest!

It was a little bit spicy but not too much. It was filling but somehow it still left me wanting more.
Honestly, even after dining in some of the "finest" establishments in the park, the Jedi burger was hands down the best meal I ate!

Where From?: Available from Cafe Hyperion in Discoverland


Monday 8 January 2018

Travel Plans For 2018

One of my favourite things to do at the start of a new year is make travel plans.

Travelling has always been one of the things I enjoy most in life, and since the boys came along my desire to see the world has only increased - I love taking holidays with the boys and experiencing different countries and cultures with them, and there is just SO much that I want us to see and do together.

I do have a tendency to dream pretty big when it comes to holidays, and now that I've finally managed to put my fear of flying behind me after taking a fearless flyer course in 2017 - the world feels more wide open to me than ever before! Which is great of course, but it does make decision making and planning for holidays that bit harder when there is suddenly so much more choice available to you!

After visiting Italy on our Med cruise this year, I know that I'd love to go back and spend more time there. I'd also really love to explore more of the USA - particularly the smaller towns, and especially around Halloween.


Tuesday 2 January 2018

5 Reasons To Visit Tuscany With Kids

At the start of a new year my mind is always firmly focused on one thing and one thing only - travel plans!
Nothing gets me the dark, dank January days better than thinking ahead and planning out adventures for my boys and I to enjoy over the coming months - and since conquering my fear of flying thanks to Easyjets Fearless Flyer course, I'm finally able to really dream big! My google search history from the last 48 hours shows searches for everything from New Years weekends in New York City to family-friendly villas to rent in Tuscany, and pretty much everything in between!

The list of places I'd like to visit with my family is almost endless - from far flung destinations like Hawaii, Australia and many of the United States Of America, to those closer to home such as Ireland, Scotland and Yorkshire (none of which I've ever been to!) - and narrowing it down to choose where to head to first can be difficult!

We're restricted of course by budget - it'll take us a while to save up for the likes of Hawaii!, by school and work holidays - there's only so many trips you can take in a year!, and by the children's ages - I know that lots of people think that should never be a factor but when you have 3 little ones all so close in age and all under 5 I think things like travel time and style of holiday have to be considered in order for the holiday to be enjoyable for everybody with minimal stress involved!

So I've drawn up a list of countries and cities we'd like to visit sooner - those that are a little nearer, easier to navigate and more child friendly. One of those places is Tuscany.

Italy had always been top of my "Countries to visit" list ever since childhood - the mix of fabulous food, culture and fashion drew me to it but until last year I'd never actually set foot there. But during our med cruise I finally found myself standing on Italian soil! We visited Rome first followed by Florence in the beautiful region of Tuscany - and although we thoroughly enjoyed our day there, there is only so much you can see of a city during a cruise visit and our time there simply whet my appetite for more!

I really think that a visit to Tuscany could be the perfect summer holiday for us, and here's what makes it so appealing for families with young children.

1. Italy is about as Child-Friendly as destinations get!

This was so apparent to us even during our short-time spent there last Summer, I remember asking our tour guide for advice on which restaurants we should choose for lunch in Florence with our toddlers in tow - concerned that these picturesque fine dining establishments would turn their noses up at the arrival of tiny tearaways - but my fears were soon put to rest when she simply laughed and said "Any restaurant at all! This is Italy, we love children! They go wherever you want to go and they will be more than welcome!"

2. There is so much variety on offer!

Tuscany offers everything you could possibly wish to experience - from fabulous food, to cultural and interesting museums, amazing shopping opportunities, and even sandy beaches and intriguing caves and grottos to explore! The possibilities are endless and there is surely something to pique the interest of even the most difficult-to-entertain child.

3. Gelato!

We only spent two days in Italy on our cruise, but we ate more Gelato during that short time than I care to admit to! There are gelataries EVERYWHERE offering flavours you couldn't even dream of, and they are all as delicious as each other - the boys absolutely loved sampling their way through them all and they are the perfect reward after an afternoon spent on best behaviour of course! ;)

4. There is so much to do!

Whether it's a visit to the enchanting Pinocchio park near Pisa which is a beautiful garden decorated with statues from the fairy tale and hosts a small 1940s amusement park and puppet shows at weekends, or a visit to Piccolo Mondo amusement park which offers a 5D cinema and the highest slide in Tuscany - or perhaps even a visit to Pistoia Zoo, there is so much to keep your whole family entertained and enthralled for your whole holiday.

5. The Food Is Perfect!

One tricky aspect of travelling with little ones can be the local food on offer. As a fussy eater myself I've struggled in the past to find anything that suited my tastes when visiting certain areas of countries like Spain where a lot of seafood and not much else was on offer, so travelling with little ones who don't like to venture too far from the food they're used to eating can make things difficult.

In Italy, we found that our boys were just as excited about dining as we were - they knew that we were in the home of Pizza after all, their favourite food ever! Most restaurants offer child portions and are super accommodating making dining an enjoyable experience for everyone.

Our experience of Tuscany last year confirmed for me that Italy is a beautiful and enchanting holiday destination for family, and with flight times from just over 2 hours from the UK and airlines like Easyjet offering low cost flights to Pisa - it couldn't be more appealing!

So for these reasons and more, we've put Tuscany firmly at the top of our "Must Visit" list. Have you visited Tuscany with children? Would you recommend it? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

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