Thursday 31 October 2019

Halloween at Disneyland Paris

Since going to Disneyland Paris for the first time in my life back in February, I have been dying to go back. In May we booked a trip to go at Christmas as we thought it would just be so magical. However, we then saw the theming for Halloween and my sister and I decided we just had to be there. It just fell that we both had annual leave the same week, and after a short conversation of should we / shouldn't we? we quickly decided we needed to be there and started the process of scrolling the internet for the best deals. As it was last minute we thought we might be able to get a fabulous deal. We were definitely too optimistic and to stay in any Disneyland hotel like we did last time it was coming out way above our budget. With a bit of research we decided to stay in Paris and travel in ourselves. I have an upcoming post on how we did it on a budget.

Once we went through the gates at Disneyland Paris we were overwhelmed with the spectacular theming throughout the park. They really do go to town which is great as it makes the experience even more magical. They change their programme for October and have special parades, performances and meet and greets.

No matter what time of year you visit they do two different parades each day. In the morning they always do two of the same parades which have the theme as to whatever season you are going. Then every night at 5.30pm they do the disney on stars parade which is just the most fabulous spectacular, and every single person watching has a continuous smile on their face. This time it was obviously a halloween themed parade in the morning  featuring all of the disney villains. It was led by mickey and minnie dressed up in the absolute most divine and cutest costumes you have ever seen. This parade had lots of characters who you would not normally see on a daily basis and it was great to have more variety and not to just have the 'bigger' characters. It featured cruella de vil, queen of hearts and jack skeleton. It is also huey, dewey and louie who are just the cutest next to donald and daisy.

There was also lots of exclusive meets and greets. I love that the programme of meet and greets change throughout the seasons and the characters change up. Throughout halloween the meet and greets include characters such as stitch, queen of hearts, cheshire cat, max and daisy duck. As always they had all the princesses in the princess pavilion which you can meet, but the queue is normally very long. I discussed in my first post all about using an app called lineberty and how you can get exclusive meet and greets with characters such as woody, buzz and minnie so head over to that post for more details.

They decided to have some halloween exclusive food and snacks which we thoroughly enjoyed. I have written an in depth a post about where you can eat in disney and my recommendations. This time we didn't have a meal plan and had a very different experience to last time. There is no denying that the food everywhere is expensive. However, using the counter services makes things cheaper. We queued in videotopolis for over an hour and a half just for burger and chips as we thought the prices were reasonable, but it was just soooo busy. If you do book any kind of disney meal plan I would very much recommend taking advantage and booking in advance restaurants for all your meals. The counter service although much cheaper than all the restaurants, we found on all three days we had to queue no matter where we chose and it added a lot of time and effort on to the day.

Overall, we had an absolutely incredible time and we both said we would recommend to everyone and anyone to visit at halloween. The whole feel was just so special and we had a fantastic time. Going for a second time means you have so much more knowledge on just the simple things which we spent our first trip trying to get our heads around. We used the fast passes to our full advantage, used the Disneyland app to watch for the queue times, find the parades information and we planned our days out so much more to ensure we got everything done. When I came back from my first trip I wrote a post listing all of my top tips for first time visitors, as I would have found it so useful to have read something similar before my initial trip. We also treated ourselves with tickets to the halloween party which is an exclusive event which happens twice during the week of halloween. It costs £60 per ticket but the park closes to all non-party visitors earlier than normal at around 7pm. The park is then only open to party members for the entire night until 2am. The party has exclusive meet and greets and one-off parades, you can also go on all the rides and enjoy special food and snacks. We thoroughly enjoyed the party but it was a very long day and also very busy meaning the queues for all the meet and greets were huge. Although, if you are a huge disney lover I would recommend going and treating yourself as it was lots of fun.



Wednesday 23 October 2019

Santa Ponsa Majorca

I was lucky enough to be able to escape the normality of life and head off to Majorca for a family holiday for two whole weeks. We are very lucky that we have a close family friend who owns an apartment on a private golf complex. It is amazing to be able to step out of the back garden and be at the pool. It is so peaceful and tranquil and it was the break that we all needed.

We have stayed here before so we know the surroundings very well. The apartments are situated on a golf complex between Santa Ponsa and Port Adriano. Santa Ponsa is the biggest town near to where we stay. In a taxi it takes less than 10 minutes to get right into the heart of the town. Santa Ponsa itself is a lovely bustly place which brings tourists on mass each year in the summer months. It has lots of shops offering a variety of goods, it is great to take an afternoon just to walk around the many streets and go in and out of the shops to see what they all have on offer. There is also the beautiful beach which is clean and enjoyed by everyone. Surrounding the beach there are lots of bars and restaurants which you can stroll to, to have a little break and refuel. There are a variety of hotels and apartments both budget and high end depending on what you are wanting.

Most nights we went into Santa Ponsa for our evening meal and some drinks. If you want to just go for drinks there are some lovely bars situated on the beach front, or if you are wanting to have a little more of a messy night you can definitely indulge into that! We have pretty much eaten in 90% of the restaurants within the area over the years and I am going to go through some of my favourites. The area has a great variety of cuisines which is fabulous if you are a foodie like me. If you are wanting some american type foods like burgers there are two restaurant recommendations - O'Brady's and Fat Sam's which we have been too many times. There is a lovely restaurant on the edging of the beach which is always very popular it is called Empathia. This sells a variety of foods including more traditional spanish foods such as paella, we all had lovely food on this visit and my pizza was delicious. Jackie's is a little restaurant on the main strip near the beach which we always ensure we go to, and on this trip we went twice. They do incredible pasta dishes and my rigatoni bolognese was delightful. To add some variety to our palate we ate at both chinese and indian restaurants. Bombay is a little indian restaurant which is always busy which is obviously a great sign, they do a lovely set meal and the food was delicious. On the same street is a chinese restaurant called China Ming which the entire family love, it does great food at very reasonable prices, it is not fine dining but it is all round somewhere we all leave with full tummies.

If you are staying in Santa Ponsa you can easily get to Port Adriano and is definitely worth a visit. It is a secluded port where many boats come in and out of on a daily basis. The port is surrounded by a variety of restaurants and bars which are all high end, however in the day you can definitely have a nice chilled lunch overlooking the port. We love going to down to the port and it is lovely just to stroll around it.

I have already done blog posts on visiting both Palma and Soller, they are must see places if you have the time and money to get to them. Santa Ponsa is in a very central location which is great meaning you can easily get out and about. There are lots of local buses to get you around. If you are going with children or just want a great day out you can get to Western Water Park easily it is a great day out and we have visited many times, unless you go like we did this year on the only day of the year where there was a storm and flooding! All round, Santa Ponsa is a lovely place to visit and it caters to everyone.



Wednesday 9 October 2019


Palma is a beautiful city and one which I have been fortunate enough to visit numerous times. It is a city which is full of vibrancy and style. As there is a big port in Palma the city is often full of tourists who are on worldwide cruises and they stop here. We visited in August and the city was definitely bustling with both tourists and locals. It has lots of picturesque buildings and churches. It is home to their stunning cathedral which is one of the main tourist attractions. It is very clean and well maintained and you can tell that they take pride in their city and its surrounding.  

As always there are lots of little coffee and cake shops which you could stop off at to refuel. There is a main street called Paseo de Borne which houses lots of fabulous shops. Some of these are higher end and if you want to treat yourself then you will definitely be able to.

We spent the day strolling and exploring the city and ventured into the Old Town which consists of narrow cobbled streets, pretty quaint squares and courtyards, and little bakeries to stop at. When the sun is shining it is a perfect time to go for a stroll into the quieter parts of the city. Like I mentioned before if you are a little bit of a shopper like me, you can definitely take advantage here. I love high street shopping and the Zara here is huge and three stories high. I always take a few hours looking around the shops every time I visit, as alongside the well known stores it is lovely to see the individual shops. There are so many great shops selling lovely gifts and clothing. Me and my sister love to look in these stores and pick up some unique pieces such as jewellery. There is also Palma's city beach which is easily accessible from the centre and is beautiful at all times of the year.

We keep saying as a family it would be lovely to take a weekend away and to stay in Palma itself. I think me and my friends would also love it. I know a few people who have been to Palma for weekends away and they have all thoroughly recommended it. If I was to take a weekend away I would do it in the summer months in the nicer weather. I say this is as in some cities there are lots and lots of tourist attractions to see and do. This city is not somewhere to visit if you want to be able to constantly have things to do and have to rush around in order to get everything done. It moves at a much slower pace and whilst there are things to see and do it is more about taking a relaxed approach.



Wednesday 2 October 2019


I have been lucky enough to visit Soller a few times now. I was trying to work it out and I think this was my fourth time visiting. It is a lovely little quaint town located on the northwest coast of Majorca. It is quite interesting as to get to Soller there is a train that runs from Palma on a daily basis. If you miss the last train you are basically stuck! 

We got on the train early in the morning from Palma and the journey took about one hour to get to Soller. This journey is a very popular tourist attraction and our train was full to the brim. The trains run approximately every hour and the last one back is around 7pm. One piece of advice would be to sit on the right hand side of the train as it is more of a picturesque journey. The train is a pleasant but slightly rickety journey which is expected as you are literally spiralling up in to the mountains. Once the train has pulled into Soller you enter the main square of the town. There are some lovely shops, the church and lots of cafes. This area is always bustling with both tourists and locals.

If you want to get down to the port you can either walk or you can get the tram which run every 20 or so minutes from the train station right into the port. When you buy your train ticket in Palma you can get a combination ticket for 32 Euros return and you get the tram included. If not you can buy the tram tickets once you get on for 7 Euros. As expected these are also very busy with tourists but it is a short and pleasant tram ride. Once in the port it is beautiful. It is surrounded by lots of little cafes and souvenir shops. There is a great range of restaurants some along the front looking over the port, and a few set back into the little streets. We got off the tram and were in desperate need of a pick me up so stopped at the closest coffee shop we could find. I have to say it was a great choice it was called Can Tambora and had such a wide range of cakes and treats.

We spent about 6 hours in Soller strolling around and taking in the views. It is a lovely day out and I think it is a must if you are visiting within the vicinity. One of my work colleagues visited Palma last year and took a day visit to Soller. She loved it that much that this year she actually stayed in Soller for three days. She said she would definitely recommend staying there if you have the chance and they also have a beautiful beach. Everyone is so welcoming and it has such a lovely relaxed feeling to it. We sat having a drink looking over the gorgeous port for well over an hour.

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