Last week, I was in Orlando (and the Bahamas!) with my gorgeous niece, Amy, trying out the fabulous Disney stay and cruise package. We’ve recorded a fantastic video for you which is coming soon, but until then, here’s our week in pictures, and lots of reasons why we thought Disney stay and cruise was the perfect holiday!
I’m off to Florida in just two weeks’ time and I’m RIDICULOUSLY EXCITED. I’ve been promising my gorgeous niece, Amy, that we’d take a trip together, and when this one came up I knew it would be perfect for some quality auntie time. We’re heading off with a couple of really lovely friends including my homie Liz to possibly my favourite place in the world, Walt Disney World, for a couple of days of theme park fun (and to visit the new Disney Springs area, which has been on my list – more of this in a minute), and then we’re off to the Bahamas on Disney Cruise Line’s beautiful ship, the Disney Dream for some relaxing, a bit of pampering, and a bit of beach time on Disney’s heavenly private island, Castaway Cay. If you haven’t planned your holiday yet, here are five fantastic reasons to visit Walt Disney World Resort, Florida this year:
One of my favourite things to do at Walt Disney World Resort Florida is to take a sunny walk around World Showcase at Epcot. The best smelling part, bar none, is the amazing Karamell-Küche in the Germany pavilion, the home of Werther’s Original, where you can sample all sorts of yummy treats made with the famous caramel: cookies, fudge, and – my favourite – salted caramel brownies.
It’s been a busy few weeks! I’m in Barbados at the moment, and before that, after heading down to Kent and spending some time at the lovely Goudhurst Inn, we were in Dover for a wander around the refurbished (re-imagineered in Disney speak) Disney Magic. The Disney Magic is the original (and best, in my opinion) Disney ship. It was Disney Cruise Line’s first ever vessel, and it’s regarded very fondly by Disney cast members and fans everywhere.
With Frozen being the largest grossing animated film in history, it’s safe to say that everyone’s pretty interested in Frozen 2. At The Walt Disney Company’s Annual Meeting of Shareholders held back in March, Chairman and CEO Bob Iger joined John Lasseter, Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios’ Chief Creative Officer, and Olaf himself, actor Josh Gad, to announce that Frozen 2 was officially in development at Walt Disney Animation Studios. So what’s the gossip on Frozen 2? Does Elsa die? Does Olaf find love?
Ah, meetings. Inevitably I get invited to quite a few, but when an invitation pops into my inbox to come to a meeting AT A GORGEOUS HOTEL AND SPA? Well, naturally, I’m all over it. So this is how I came to be enjoying the gorgeous spa at Pennyhill Park in Surrey. The lovely chaps at Kissimmee, Florida, invited me and a few fellow travel folks to The Spa to hear more about the area and meet with some of the representatives from the area.
Naples was the last stop on our Alternative Florida tour of the beautiful south western coast of Florida with Virgin Holidays. After pretty Sarasota, and the heavenly beaches of Fort Myers, it was time to head even further south to Naples. Here, we stayed in my favourite hotel, La Playa, an idyllic retreat right on the beach, and explored the coastline by boat.
So last week I spent a gorgeous few days with the gang from Virgin Holidays discovering the sunny south western coast of Florida. Plenty of people fly into Orlando for fun and frolics at Disney and Universal theme parks, but we went further afield and discovered wonderful resorts, stunning white sand beaches, some great fun activities and food, food, food! Look out for my Alternative Florida series over the next few weeks. First, though, we headed to Gatwick Airport and spent some time in Virgin Holidays’ v-room – their private lounge with brilliant facilities – for a stylish start to our holiday!
This weekend we were really lucky to be invited to Disneyland Paris for the opening of the brand new Frozen themed Summer celebration, Frozen Summer Fun and to see one of the very first performances of the new Frozen sing-along show in Frontierland. From today until 13th September, guests at Disneyland can experience lots of new Frozen-themed fun, with characters from Frozen appearing all over the place!
The gang at Disney have been really busy creating fantastic new experiences for us to try. They’ve just announced that Disney Cruise Line will be cruising out of New York, Miami and Galveston in 2016, plus there’ll be British Isles cruises for the first time! There’s also the return of the fantastic value Virgin Holidays Free Disney dining plan at Walt Disney World, Florida!
This summer, Disneyland Paris is going to be sprinkled with snow! From 1st June to 13th September 2015, guests can experience the magic of the hit film Frozen, joining Anna, Elsa and Olaf in live, interactive Frozen sing-alongs, and catching a glimpse of the sisters as they ride around the park in a twinkling carriage.
Port Canaveral, Disney Cruise Line’s home port in Florida, is based about an hour from Walt Disney World Resort (you can book transfers when you book your Disney cruise, and if you’re going straight from Orlando Airport to your Disney ship, your luggage will be whisked straight to the ship while you board one of Disney’s Magical Express coaches).
Oh, the Disney Dream. The delightful, delicious, delovely, delectable Disney Dream. Regular readers will know that I adore all the Disney Cruise Line ships, but there’s something about Disney Dream in particular that makes my heart sing. I think it’s because my first ever Disney Cruise was on board the Disney Dream. I just love everything about it – the restaurants, the fabulous AquaDuck water coaster, the gorgeous restaurants, the gorgeous cocktail bars, the sumptuous spa… So, if you’ve ever wondered what a cruise holiday on board a Disney Cruise Line ship is like, wonder no more. Sam (my oldest son) and I kept a diary during our cruise trip last week, and here’s part one.
So Sam and I are off on a trip on Sunday (don’t feel too bad for Charlie – we’re travelling together in April) on the delicious Disney Dream. Before I travel, I have a few little pre-trip rituals and pampering treats, and pack a few tried and trusted essentials. Here are my recommendations:
You know me, I adore Frozen. So the news that Anna and Elsa (and Sven and… yes, Olaf!) will be coming to the Disney Cruise Line ships has made me a happy girl.
As regular readers will know, I’m a huge fan of Disney Cruise Line. DCL’s fleet comprises four beautiful ships: the first, the recently reimagined Disney Magic, originally set sail in 1998, closely followed by Disney Wonder in 1999, both with the capacity to welcome 2700 guests on board. Then DCL launched two larger ships, Disney Dream in 2011 (my first, and favourite – with the incredible ‘AquaDuck’ – the world’s first ‘watercoaster’ at sea), and the Disney Fantasy in 2012, both longer than the Eiffel Tower is tall, and with a maximum occupancy of 4000 passengers.
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