Honeymoon Day 13 -A Very Vegas Day!

We grabbed a take away breakfast of croissants and tea, from The Encore Lobby Cafe and made our way to the pool area, where we managed to get the perfect 2 sunbeds which we knew received the sunshine all day. Perks of waking up early for once!

We ended up having yet another lovely lazy day around the pool, drinking cocktails, reading our books, swimming in the warm water. It was so nice knowing that it was constantly sunny and we barely ever saw a cloud in the sky!

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As we had been at the pool since early morning and we were feeling a little peckish, we decided to pop inside for a bite to eat. We just thought we would go to one of the bars on the casino floor for a couple of small sharing plates but look at the size of this feast!

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We did a bit more sunbathing and had a little swim to burn off the calories and then decided to get ready early for the evening ahead as Matt had mentioned that he wanted to watch the Packers game.

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As we had enjoyed it so much on our first day and we love the atmosphere of watching American sport at a Sports Bar, we decided we would head back to Blondies for drinks and to watch the game.

This time around the place was packed with people, most of whom were Packers supporters, but we still managed to get a table right in the centre of the action. Bit of a different experience to our first night, but still a lot of fun! We grabbed a couple of drinks and soaked up the excitement. Of course I can’t go a day without buffalo sauce, so we may have ordered some Chicken wings and curly fries to snack on too.

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We couldn’t stay and watch the game all night though, as we had tickets to see Penn and Teller at the Rio Hotel (which is just off the strip) at 9pm.

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Penn and Teller were amazing and I loved that they did old school magic and kept it simple with no big fancy sets and gimmicks. We saw David Copperfield back in 2012 and even though his show was amazing it was a bit too OTT. So it was nice to see amazing magicians keeping it simple. Also loved the amount of audience participation, especially as we had great seats just 10 rows from the front! Would definitely recommend seeing them if you are in Vegas and fancy something a bit different.

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Taking a look at the props before the show began!

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After the show they were meeting fans outside the theatre, so we got pictures with them which was pretty cool and really nice of them to do. They just seemed such genuine down to Earth people and not wrapped up in their celebrity status at all.

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The Rio Hotel was pretty quiet, nothing like the craziness of the hotels on the strip so it was quite nice to have a leisurely wonder around. Which is when we found KISS Crazy golf, which looked too good to miss. So we ended up playing 18 holes, in neon lights while rocking out to KISS songs. It was a lot of fun…even if I was pretty terrible at the golf part!

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We got back to our hotel around midnight and decided to do a bit of gambling before calling it a night. I got very excited when I won $150 on the wheel of fortune, only for the guy next to me to win $4000!! But hey I still won and actually that was the best I did all trip ūüôā

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I always ask Zoltar what my future holds ūüėČ

Love, Chloe xx

 

Honeymoon Day 12 – The Day After The Night Before!

I was slightly fragile when waking up from the night before and decided not to get out of bed until midday!

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Why would you ever want to leave this room?

We decided to go to Jardin for brunch which is inside the Encore Hotel next to the pool area. Feeling hungover and hungry, I decided to order a pizza all to myself and it was delicious. I think Matt had a Caesar Salad. We also ordered some sweet potato waffle fries to share, yum! And I got a healthy juice as felt like my body needed a bit of a boost!

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Just a tad hungover!!

We ended up spending the whole afternoon around the pool area which was lovely, as I could just read my book, soak up the sun and then casually cool off in the pool when I needed to. Best cure after a crazy night out! We only decided to head back up to our room when the last of the sunshine was slipping behind the buildings. It was nice to have a super lazy day though.

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I never got tired of seeing this beautiful blue, cloudless sky

I decided to have a bubble bath when we got back to our room, as I felt I needed to warm up after staying at the pool until close. There was even a TV in the bathroom, which was great, as meant I could catch up with all my trashy TV as I soaked, whilst Matt watched sport in the main room ha.

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As we didn’t have anywhere booked for dinner and we didn’t really fancy doing much or getting dressed up, we decided to go for a walk along the strip¬†and see where we ended up.

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Firstly we ventured into¬†Treasure Island Hotel, which is opposite The Wynn, as we wanted to see what it was like, as neither of us had been inside before. Personally it feels quite old fashioned and very old school Vegas compared to the hotel we were staying in, so it wasn’t really our cup of tea. Although they do have a Senor Frogs which I love! ūüėČ

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We then walked further along the strip and popped inside Caesars Palace’s The Forum Shops. A mixture of high street and designer it was nice to have a nose and a little window shop. And then we spotted The Cheesecake Factory (yet another thing the UK doesn’t have, sob!) so thought we would pop in for some dinner.

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Incredibly we only had to wait 5 minutes to be¬†seated. Now to work out what we fancied from the 50 page menu! I exaggerate, but seriously have you seen their menu’s!?

We decided to share dishes knowing how big their portions are. So we went for the crispy Cuban rolls, dynamite shrimp and the Santa Fe salad.

The food was good but we felt the service was a bit rubbish, it was like we were being forgotten about as we were sat right in the corner, but to be honest we didn’t dwell on it as we only wanted a quick meal.

We decided to look around a few more shops after dinner, before walking back to the hotel, to get in bed and eat our Oreo Dream Extreme Cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory (my favourite) Bliss!

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Inside the Nike store

Love, Chloe xx

Honeymoon Day 11 – When in Vegas…

After an almost 12 hour sleep, I clearly needed it! We decided to walk next door to the Wynn for their buffet breakfast. Believe me when I say that there is nothing better than a Vegas buffet breakfast. Last time we visited we fell in love with the Caesars Palace buffet. However as we were in walking distance to the Wynn, we thought we would give theirs a try this time.

There was a small wait for a table, but it didn’t matter as you had a lovely view of the whole restaurant which is beautifully decorated with the biggest floral arrangements I have ever seen, it’s stunning.

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The seating area is spotlessly clean and very open and airy, filled with all these amazing flowers, plus they had TV screens showing adverts of the shows to see and things to do, which I enjoyed.

Now for the main event…the food! I think I went up to the buffet 3 times in the end, as there is just so much choice and I wanted to try it all! It is also really good value for money as it will seriously set you up for the day. I started with some granola, yoghurt and mini pastries, then went onto pizza (who doesn’t love pizza for breakfast!?) and finally I ended on some mini desserts such as strawberry cheesecake and mint choc chip cones, which were just delicious! I really wanted to get an ice cream to take away with me, but I had already eaten way too much so went against the idea. Matt stuck to the more traditional breakfast items like toast, bacon, bagels, salmon etc. There is definitely something for everyone, whatever you fancy!

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Opposite the Wynn and Encore Hotels is the Fashion Show Mall, it’s not overwhelmingly big like some American malls, but has all the shops you could want or need, so we decided to head there after breakfast as we needed to walk off all those treats.

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The mall was pretty quiet when we arrived which was great, as it was like we had the place to ourselves! Matt brought a few more bits in American Eagle while I found a new love with the shop Express, which unfortunately we don’t have in the UK. The sales assistants in Express were so helpful. When they saw me carrying around a few items I wanted to try on they took them from me, set up a changing room ready and still allowed me to go around & look at more clothes, before trying everything on. They even picked a few things they thought I might like and added them to my cubicle too! Take note UK High Streets!

I also fell in love with the shop Hot Topic, where I ended up buying a lot of presents for my sister for¬†her¬†Birthday. We didn’t spend too long shopping though as we wanted to head back to the hotel pool for some sunshine¬†before heading out that evening.

Back at our hotel, we did a quick change and then headed down to find a spot by the pool. It was quite busy but The Encore has a few pools to chose from so you should always be able to find a spot by the one you are after. Whether that’s the Encore Beach Club with it’s famous parties, The European Pool Area with casino tables, hot tubs and stage for live music. Or the smaller pool which we always found ourselves at, as it had the perfect mix of relaxation but you could still hear the music from the other areas so it wasn’t too boring. We spent the rest of the afternoon chilling in the sunshine, enjoying the yummy frozen strawberry daiquiris!

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That evening our hotel concierge had amazingly managed to get us a table at Gordon Ramsay’s Steak Restaurant located inside the Paris Hotel.

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On arrival we spotted the man himself which was really exciting, but we didn’t manage to get a photo with him. We did however get a photo with Chef Christina which if you are a fan of Hell’s Kitchen, like we are was pretty cool. She was so lovely and I think a bit shocked that a British person was asking for her photo!

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The food was absolutely amazing and we were shocked at the large portion sizes considering it’s a fancy place. To start Matt had the Shrimp cocktail, I have never seen shrimp so big they were huge! I went for the pork belly which to be honest could have easily been a main course, but it was super tasty.

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Then for mains Matt had the Wagyu American filet steak which I think is one of the best things he has ever eaten, as he has mentioned it a few times since! I had the fish and chips and was shocked when 2 whole fish arrived, it was delicious but I couldn’t finish it all.

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For dessert I had the sorbet as I fancied something light and refreshing and Matt had the baked Alaska. They brought our desserts out with candles, as a celebration of our honeymoon.

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After dinner we headed over to Omnia nightclub in Caesars Palace to see Calvin Harris’ DJ set. Not your typical honeymoon evening but we had such a fun time and Calvin was amazing.

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The views from the bridge on our walk over to Omnia 

 

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We finally got back to our hotel around 4am and decided to do some gambling, when in Rome Vegas…¬†

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Love, Chloe xx

Honeymoon Day 10 – Unusual Utah & Viva Las Vegas!

A 3am wake up call is never fun but we were both excited for the next adventure and exploring somewhere new.

It was dark driving to the airport, but we managed to drop the hire car off with no issues and made it through security in good time Рconsidering how busy the airport already was, with everyone trying to escape the hurricane. We bought a couple of hot drinks and boarded the plane to Utah, ready for our 6am departure.

It was roughly a 4.5 hour flight to Salt Lake City, Utah, but as we were both pretty tired we decided to try and sleep the best we could and actually the time flew by.

Utah are 2 hours behind Orlando so when we landed we had a couple of hours free before our connection flight to Las Vegas. We found a nice restaurant for breakfast and then had a look in a few of the gift shops.

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The airport was really busy. Clearly a popular connection stop and we were shocked to learn that the temperature was only 3 degrees outside. Crazy when Orlando had been so hot and then Las Vegas would be hot too. By 11am it was time to board our final flight of the day.

The last time Matt and I visited Vegas was in 2012, over Thanksgiving weekend. We met up with a few of Matt’s friends and partied every night, which was a lot of fun but quite crazy. So during our¬†flight Matt asked me how we wanted to do Vegas this time around. Should we relax, go to the spa and try to bring The¬†Bahamas to Vegas? Or should we just embrace Vegas, go with the flow and find some fun things to do to make it memorable?

I think you can guess which option we chose seeing as we started drinking at 11am…

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A bit sleepy but a couple of vodka’s soon woke us up!

The views from the plane were stunning and I got a bit snap happy, especially when I spotted the Hoover Dam! But the flight was over so quickly as it was just less than an hour from Utah!

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Salt Lake City, Utah

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The Hoover Dam

It was so nice to be greeted with pure blue skies and sunshine and once off the plane we headed straight to The Encore Hotel which is where we would be staying for the next 5 nights.

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As usual, check in in Vegas is always super busy but we were just so happy we were there and couldn’t wait to see our room and go and explore.

The receptionist was very excited that we were on our honeymoon and actually bumped us up to a suite on the 63rd floor, which was just incredible. We had a full view of the strip from our floor to ceiling windows and we could open the curtains from a button by our beds, so we could enjoy that view each morning and night.

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The view of the Strip from our room 

We quickly freshened up and then headed down the strip to Planet Hollywood Hotel, as we remembered from last time that they had the miracle mile shops and a vast range of bars and restaurants to choose from.

I love the relaxed but party vibe of Vegas, it just makes me so happy. I always feel like you can do whatever you like and no one will mind. It’s most definitely my happy place (this was my 3rd visit and we actually went back again in March of this year as part of our US West Coast Road Trip!)

I always say to Matt if I had to live anywhere else in the World it would be Vegas, but I don’t think¬†that will ever happen!

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So amazing all lit up at night!

After a little bit of gambling and window shopping, we ended up in one of my favourite places. Blondies. It’s basically just like Hooters but the girls wear cheer leading outfits and there are way more screens around the place showing all the sports imaginable.

We noticed that they had an all you can drink for $20 offer on and were shocked when the waitress said the drinks included spirits as well as beers. So as Matt wanted to watch the football (American) we decided to find a spot to settle into for the rest of the evening.

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We decided to share the Blondies Sampler which included all of our usual American favourites – chicken tenders, buffalo chicken wings, onion rings and jalapeno poppers with a large basket of curly fries on the side.

In the end a mixture of lack of sleep and booze hit me and I was sound asleep in our huge bed by 9pm!

Love, Chloe xx

Honeymoon Day 9 – Preparing for a Hurricane!

It was nice waking up leisurely, knowing that we had no plans and could just take the day as we pleased. So we had a lazy morning watching TV (mostly sport or keeping track of the hurricane or presidential debates!) whilst enjoying breakfast in our room.

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We couldn’t spend the whole day lazing around inside though and as it was lovely and sunny, we decided to head to the hotel pool area. We found a couple of sunbeds, ordered a few drinks and enjoyed soaking up the sun.

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We spent the afternoon chilling on the comfy sunbeds, relaxing in the Jacuzzi and floating around the huge pool. It was very calm as it was mostly couples with only a handful of children.

As usual though with the Floridian weather grey clouds started making an appearance by late afternoon and as¬†the staff were already trying to pack up as many sunbeds as possible in preparation for the hurricane, we decided to head back to our room and look into options for the evening. With just a quick pit stop along the way for a game of Shuffleboard…

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Walking back to our room, we received a call from Virgin Holidays. They explained that they had tried to book us onto trips to Mexico and LA but neither had worked out with our dates and so the only other option they could offer us, apart from staying in Orlando, was to fly to Las Vegas.

Matt and I love Las Vegas and have been a few times before and even though it wasn’t the relaxing second week we thought we would be¬†having, we just wanted to get away from the bad weather and relax for a few days, without the stress of a looming hurricane! So we told them to go ahead with the new plan and they said they would email us with all the details but that the flight was 6am the next morning!

We got changed and decided to head back to Disney Springs for our last night in Orlando.

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We drove there in a huge storm. It was so bad that we could barely see the road or cars in front of us, which was quite scary, but we made it and decided to go to the House of Blues for an early dinner.

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Trying to escape the rain ha!

We’ve been to a few States which have a House of Blues but we had never visited one, so I was excited to check out it’s offerings. I loved the decor and music and we were told that Sum 41 had a concert there that evening if we wanted to get tickets. I was tempted as growing up I loved Sum 41! But looking at the horrific weather and knowing we had to be up at 3am we decided against it!

To start Matt and I shared the Voodoo Shrimp, which was recommended and it was delicious. The shrimp were huge and the flavour was incredible, we both thoroughly enjoyed that dish, although I wasn’t too keen on the cornbread. I’m not a big bread fan anyway but that was just an odd one for me, Matt loved it though. For mains Matt had the tacos and I had the pulled pork sandwich which¬†was yummy but huge and as ever I couldn’t finish it all. I don’t think I finished one meal the whole honeymoon!

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We declined dessert as we were just so stuffed and as the weather had cleared, we walked off dinner by looking in a few shops and visiting the World of Disney one last time!

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Sad to say goodbye to Florida but excited for the next adventure on our honeymoon!

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Love, Chloe xx

Honeymoon Day 8 – Should have been The Bahamas…

We had been keeping track of hurricane Matthew while we were in Orlando. It was hard not to, everyone was talking about it or weather warnings were always being shown on TV. Of course we were concerned but we just wanted to enjoy our week and not talk too much about it all.

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We got home from The Magic Kingdom gone midnight and feeling exhausted from the long, busy day, we fell asleep still thinking we would be flying to the Bahamas the next day for the second part of our honeymoon…

We were woken by the¬†room phone ringing at 7am. It was¬†Virgin Holidays in the UK saying that we wouldn’t be¬†flying to The Bahamas, due to Hurricane Matthew. We were gutted, but of course we just wanted to stay safe, especially after then seeing the devastation in Haiti which was just awful and so sad.

So Virgin gave us 3 options; fly home, stay in Orlando for another week or they could try and find us somewhere else to fly to for our second week.

Well we definitely didn’t want to go home. We were unsure on staying in Orlando for another week seeing as the weather was only getting worse.¬†So we asked¬†Virgin to try and find us somewhere else to fly to. Our only requirement being sunshine and if possible a beach. As much as we had enjoyed our week in Orlando and all the theme parks, we were so ready for a romantic week, relaxing!

As we were now wide awake and in limbo, waiting for Virgin to phone us back, we decided to shower, pack and then head to breakfast inside the hotel, just in case we had to leave at a moments notice, we wanted to be ready.

Unfortunately though that wasn’t the case. We appreciated that they must have had a lot of customers in the same position as us, so must have taken a lot of time to contact everyone and deal with everyone’s requests. But as we hadn’t heard back from¬†Virgin for a few hours (when they said they would phone us back within the hour) Matt phoned them just to see what the situation was, as we didn’t want to waste the day sitting around the hotel waiting for a call.

This time we were put through to Virgin America, who said they were working on our request and that we should just go out and enjoy our day, as they didn’t know how long they would take or what our final option would be. As if they couldn’t find somewhere new for us to fly to, we would just stay in Orlando for the second week.

We had pretty much crammed in everything that we had wanted to do in Orlando into our first week. The only thing we¬†missed out on were the¬†Water Parks, but the weather had been quite hit and miss and we hadn’t had the time to fit them in. So we were a bit unsure with what to do¬†for the remainder of the day and unfortunately our Disney and Universal Tickets had expired so we couldn’t go back¬†to the parks, unless we wanted to pay quite a lot just for a day pass.¬†So we decided to jump in the car and see where the day/roads took us.

Weirdly the weather was lovely and sunny (no signs of a hurricane just yet) so with the roof down, we drove along International Drive and ended up in Hooters for lunch. I really love Hooters and wish they would open more in the UK! We decided to share a mixture of foods including buffalo chicken wings (of course!), sliders, mozzarella sticks and curly fries. I was also happy as it was the first place we had found which served Mountain Dew which is my favourite soft drink!

 

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Buffalo Chicken Wings my favourite!

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A mixture of beef and chicken sliders with curly fries

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Mozzarella Sticks

 

During lunch we used the free Wi-Fi (thanks¬†Hooters!) to have a look into things we could do for the rest of the afternoon. We debated heading back to Universal’s CityWalk,¬†looked at a few crazy golf options, I also saw that they had the Orlando Eye (like the London Eye) and also a Madame Tussauds, but knew that Matt wouldn’t want to go there.¬†But then we noticed that it had started chucking it down with rain, now it really did feel like the storm was coming!

We kept looking up ideas for indoor attractions and then Matt mentioned Kennedy Space Centre. It was around an hours drive from Orlando, on the coast and I was a bit concerned about the weather, but as we hadn’t found anything else we were interested in doing and the actual bad storms weren’t meant to hit for another couple of days we thought why not, let’s just drive and see what happens.

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Luckily the rain eased and the sun started to appear again the closer we got to Cape Canaveral (Orlando weather is very odd!) The drive was pretty easy as it’s mostly just one long straight road and at times we were the only car on the road. However by the time we had made it to the Space Centre it was around 3pm and when we checked out the prices, $50 each for entry, we didn’t think it would be worth the money seeing as we would only have a couple of hours to explore and the staff said ideally you need at least a full day if not 2 days to see & do everything!¬†So we took a few photos and then drove on to Cocoa Beach instead,¬†passing the rocket launch site along the way which was pretty cool. It must be amazing being there for a real rocket launch!

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This is the rocket launch bay!

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This hotel was called Faulty Towers!

 

By the time we decided to head back to the hotel it was dark. We were glad we went out and tried to make the most of the day and got to see somewhere different. But heading back just made us realise that we hadn’t heard from Virgin since the morning and had no idea what our plans were¬†for the next 6 days.

When we arrived back at the hotel we were told that Virgin had been in contact with them and that we would be staying at the hotel for a further 2 nights. We were very grateful for the information and the staff were so helpful and friendly and made sure we were happy at all times. Virgin had also left us a message on our room phone, explaining what the hotel had already told us and how they were still looking into options for us. Even though we didn’t know what the rest of our honeymoon would entail at least we knew what we were doing for the next couple of days!

That night we decided to have a chilled evening at the hotel bar/lounge area, we drank cocktails and played cards whilst the thunder rolled in, wondering where we might end up next…

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Grasshoppers and Vodka!

 

Love, Chloe xx

Honeymoon Day 7 – Disney’s Magic Kingdom!

We had a super early start on what should have been our final full day in Orlando (more on that later!) As we had to get to The Magic Kingdom in time for our breakfast reservations at Be Our Guest Restaurant, inside the park.

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I felt like a kid at Christmas getting ready for the day ahead. Excited to visit the most famous Disney park, plus excited for my favourite meal of the day Рbreakfast, in the heart of my favourite Disney Film РBeauty and the Beast!

We got the shuttle bus from our hotel to Epcot, as they didn’t have an early enough one for Magic Kingdom, but it didn’t matter, as from Epcot we then got on the free Disney transportation bus to Magic Kingdom instead. Due to the change, we did have to power walk to make our reservation in time, as typically the restaurant is located in the furthest area/land from the entrance in Fantasyland!

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The look of the¬†Be Our Guest Restaurant is amazing, it really does look and feel like the Beast’s castle.

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I had made our reservation online a good few months in advance and a couple of weeks before we went, we were asked to pre-order our meal & drink choices (I believe this is just for breakfast and not for lunch or dinner.) There were quite a lot of options to choose from, but in the end I opted for the waffles and Matt went for the Croque Madame. We also ordered 2 of the Master’s Cupcakes, as I had been told we had to try them! All breakfast items also come with a side of fresh fruit and selection of pastries.

When we arrived our reservation was checked via our Magic Bands (park tickets) and we had to pay up front for our choices. You are then free to sit wherever you like and they will bring your food straight to you. I still have no idea how the waiters/waitresses find you after you have sat down as there are 3 dining rooms to choose from!

The first one being the The Grand Ballroom. This looked stunning in all the pictures I had seen beforehand, however it was carnage when we entered, lots of screaming kids and it felt like a cheap canteen. I was gutted as I really wanted to sit in there.

 

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The Grand Ballroom

 

Instead we went into the second room, The Castle Gallery inspired by Belle’s library. It wasn’t as elaborately decorated as the previous room¬†but it was a lot calmer!

 

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The Castle Gallery

 

You have to get your own cutlery, napkins and soft drinks from the dispensers¬†but the food was delivered quickly. The meals were average, but the pastries were tasty.¬†I didn’t really know what to make of the cupcake though, as it didn’t really taste of anything?

 

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My waffles, could have done with a lot more syrup!

 

 

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Matt’s Croque Madame¬†& the pastries

 

 

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The Master’s Cupcake

 

Afterwards we ventured into the third and final dining room which is The West Wing, this looked amazing exactly like the film, including the enchanted rose!

 

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The West Wing

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The Enchanted Rose!

 

I may have a few moans about the restaurant but I’m still glad we visited, however next time I definitely want to go for dinner, as I feel the whole experience would be a lot better then!

 

After breakfast we took a stroll through Fantasyland to Story Book Circus. This may be a toddler friendly area but I really wanted to go on the Dumbo ride as it’s a classic!

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Afterwards we made our way down to Tomorrowland as we had fast passes for Space Mountain followed by Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin.

Space Mountain was so much fun. As it’s in the dark you can’t see what’s coming next and there are a few sharp turns and drops, don’t think I have ever screamed so much on a ride!

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Buzz Lightyear was a bit boring and nowhere near as good as the Toy Story ride in Hollywood Studios.

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We then jumped onto Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress as it had no queue and is one of Walt’s original rides, great to see how it all started and features a very catchy song which we found ourselves singing at random times of the day!

The last attraction we decided on, in Tomorrowland¬†was Monster’s Inc Laugh Floor. It’s¬†a comedy show and is pretty funny for both kids and adults, especially if you enjoy the films, like we do! ūüėČ

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We then walked¬†through to Adventureland, but we just couldn’t get over how busy it was and the wait times for all the rides were roughly an hour each!

In the end we decided to join the queue for the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. I feel like they could make the queue a little more exciting as it’s quite boring, especially when you are waiting that long. The ride is fun though and I loved the new addition of Captain Jack Sparrow at the end!

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By the time we had left the ride, it was time to find a spot for the parade at 3pm. Some people had already waited for an hour to secure the perfect spot! But we grabbed a couple of snacks and found a space in Liberty Square to sit and wait ready for the parade to start.

We worked out pretty quickly though why the spot we had chosen was still free, it was in the direct sunlight and even just sitting down, we were melting. We stuck it out though as we had a great view for the parade and ice lollies definitely helped!

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I loved the parade, the songs are so catchy and seeing as we didn’t meet any characters (apart from Mickey of course!) it’s a great way to see them all. If you aren’t interested in watching the parade this is a great time to go on the more popular rides as the queues are much quieter!

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After the parade finished we made a quick dash to ride The Haunted Mansion. We still had about a 25 minute wait but was much quicker than the hour wait it had been all day! I loved this ride although a lot of it did make me jump! I love that Disneyland in California turns theirs into a¬†Nightmare before Christmas theme for Halloween, I wish Orlando did the same, as that’s one of my favourite films!

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Finally we had a fastpass for Splash Mountain which was great, as we pretty much just walked straight on. Water rides are Matts favourite so he was very glad I managed to get a fastpass for this one! It’s a fun log flume ride with lots of drops along the way and a cute story with yet more catchy songs! Plus it cooled us down as we were so hot from walking around all day in the sunshine.

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Having rushed around for most of the day, trying to ride as many rides as possible, we decided to have a couple of hours chill time. We had a look in some of the shops, we met Mickey Mouse and then we ate an early dinner at Tony’s Town Square Restaurant. The food isn’t the most amazing but the pizzas were pretty tasty and huge!

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Before we left for honeymoon, The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train was one of the rides I really wanted to go on, however I was unable to get fastpasses for it, as it is new and very popular! All day we kept an eye on the queue but it was always around the 2 hour mark which we agreed was too long a wait. So after dinner we made our way back over to Fantasyland with everything crossed to try to ride it, thinking lots of people might be at dinner! But unfortunately we had no luck, the wait time was still 2 hours, so it’s still on the list, along with the Frozen ride at Epcot!

Instead, I dragged Matt¬†onto the Winnie the Pooh ride ha. It’s so cute and I think you have to act a big kid at Disney as when else can you?

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The weather had taken a turn for the worse when we exited the ride, it was very dark, overcast and about to chuck it down with rain, so Disney ponchos on we walked back around to Liberty Square to find a spot for the evening Electrical Parade. Again people wait for ages to get a good spot but we managed to squeeze in just before it began. Sadly they have now stopped this evening parade, so will be interesting to see what replaces it!

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We then made a dash to ride It’s a Small World before the fireworks started, again Matt wasn’t thrilled about this one, but I told him it’s a classic and he had to ride it at least once in his life! ūüôā

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Still raining and now singing its a small world constantly! (Why are Disney songs so catchy?!) We found a spot by the castle ready for the fireworks.

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Disney sure know how to put on a fireworks display. They are just stunning and the songs and stories that go with it always get to me. I always start tearing up when ‘wish upon a star’ starts. There is just something so magical and special about it all. Sad but true!

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Love, Chloe xx

Honeymoon Day 6 – Disney’s Animal Kingdom!

After our super relaxing day the day before, I was shocked when I woke up feeling a bit run down. I guess the build up to the wedding and then a few busy days at the parks had finally caught up with me. Nothing a little lie in and sunshine couldn’t help fix though.

 

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The view from our room

 

We drove to Animal Kingdom with the roof down enjoying the morning’s weather.

As we weren’t planning on staying all day at the park and with me not feeling 100% we decided it was easier if we drove ourselves.

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We arrived about 10.30am and after grabbing a map and taking an obligatory picture with The Tree of Life we decided to head straight to Festival of the Lion King Рa 30 minute musical extravaganza showcasing the best songs from the film, we loved it.

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The Tree of Life

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The Festival of The Lion King

 

As we had fast passes booked for the bigger rides after lunch, we went back to The Tree Of Life to watch It’s Tough To Be A Bug as this had barely any wait time, it’s meant for kids but¬†I jumped a couple of times from the creepy crawlies under my chair!

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Such big kids!

We decided to keep walking anti clockwise (away from the crowds) and ended up in DinoLand U.S.A. which wasn’t too busy, probably due to the fact that Dinosaur the ride was closed for refurbishment.

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Personally, I don’t feel that DinoLand is that exciting and it looks a bit tacky with the funfair style games and big brightly coloured rides. But it’s great for kids who love dinosaurs as they have the huge¬†boneyard play area and then TriceraTop spin which is basically a dinosaur themed Dumbo ride.

The only other attraction in this area is Primeval Whirl.¬†A spinning family friendly roller coaster.¬†This had a 40 minute wait time but we decided to join the queue¬†as I think Matt was ready for something a bit bigger then It’s Tough To Be A Bug ūüėČ

I’m not going to lie I felt a bit scared queuing for this ride, as you know I hate roller¬†coasters and even though this one wasn’t actually that big, the thought of drops and spinning made me fear I might be sick. Also doesn’t help that you are just watching the ride go round and round while queuing which made me more anxious!

The line moved quickly though and soon enough it was our turn. Matt used the GoPro on this ride and I really wish I knew how to upload the video as it makes me laugh so much. I am constantly screaming but actually I really enjoyed it, it was a lot of fun and the spinning weirdly made it better.

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We had fast passes for Finding Nemo the Musical so that was next on our list, it came at the right time too as we were absolutely melting from the humidity, so an air conditioned theatre was just what we needed! This show was amazing, all done with puppetry it was visually stunning and had some really catchy songs too.

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I was starting to flag a bit by this point and as I hadn’t fancied eating breakfast I was starting to feel quite hungry. We hadn’t booked anywhere for lunch as most places in Animal Kingdom seemed to be quick service, so we made our way around to Africa to Harambe Market. It was pretty busy as it was right in the middle of lunchtime but I managed to grab us a table in the corner, next to a fan hooray, while Matt kindly stood in the long queue, in the heat to get our lunch. Thanks Matt!

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The food options are a bit random but Matt went for the corndog and I had the vegetarian stack which was roasted peppers, aubergine, courgette and onions with coleslaw. It was nice to have a rest in the shade and refuel, as it was just so hot.

We had fast passes for the Kilimanjaro Safaris after lunch, and we were lucky enough to see quite a few animals on our journey including rhinos, lions, giraffes and even elephants to name a few.

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Afterwards we made our way over to Asia, as we had fast passes for the Kali River Rapids.

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Unfortunately though we still ended up in a pretty long queue, clearly a popular time for them! We felt that the actual rapids themselves were pretty boring and over really quickly, which was such a shame, as we love water rides, but these are nothing like the Popeye rapids at Universal which are so much fun. Even though we got pretty wet and had a much needed cool down, we were a bit disappointed with them, especially after queuing for so long too!

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The only ride left to do, which I had been debating¬†over all day was Expedition Everest. A very big roller coaster, and we all know how I feel about those! I kept seeing it from a distance thinking no way it’s too high and then I would have a talk with myself and say no you have to do this, you have to face your fears. Matt also really wanted to go on it and didn’t want to ride alone, so he kept asking me to go on it with him. But I just didn’t know. In the end I stood watching it from the viewing point for ages and decided I just couldn’t do it. The drop, the going backwards in the dark, none of it sounded appealing and it just terrified me. I felt bad for Matt and he still tried to persuade me to get on it but in the end he rode alone. Sorry Matt! The only positive of that was he didn’t have to join the 45 minute normal queue, instead he joined the much shorter single rider line and he was back again within 10 minutes! I also managed to get some great pictures of him on the main drop and he was happy having gone on all the rides available, that day.

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Expedition Everest in the very distance!

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Spot Matt in the blue T-Shirt!

As the park was really busy and we had done all the rides and shows available (the only things we missed were all the animal encounters you could walk around and the train which I believe goes around the park) we decided to call it a day and drove back to the hotel, eating some delicious Mickey Mouse Ice Creams along the way!

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That evening we decided to drive to Disney Springs as we hadn’t ventured there yet. The weather had once again taken a turn for the worse (it seemed to be an afternoon/evening thing!) so was a mixture of rain and thunder and lightening, yet still very hot.

We had tried and failed to get a dinner reservation for The Boathouse, which looked absolutely stunning on the water. Make sure you book way in advance for popular dining options! However we did manage to secure a reservation at The Dining Room at Wolfgang Puck Grand Cafe.

It’s quite a small restaurant located above the Wolfgang express cafe, overlooking Lake Buena Vista where we had a great display of the¬†lightening.

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Matt went for the sashimi starter which he said was amazing and¬†I chose the crab cakes which were so tasty. For mains I had the crispy pork schnitzel which was enormous and came with potato salad, tomatoes and a really yummy sauce, I didn’t manage to finish it all though. Matt went for the roasted duck breast which unfortunately he said was pretty bland, so wasn’t too impressed and said he wished he had stuck to the sushi which was delicious. For dessert we shared Wolfgangs famous apple strudel with cinnamon ice cream which was so comforting. In the end I was totally stuffed.

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It was so big!

We spent the rest of the evening leisurely walking around all the shops that Disney Springs had to offer, and there are a lot! Including a huge LEGO Store and World of Disney – The World’s largest Disney store!

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I would love to build this!

Love, Chloe xx

Honeymoon Day 5 – Spa Day & Sunshine!

Now I may love Disney & Universal and the craziness that comes with visiting all the parks, but for me there is nothing better than a spa day!

After a much needed sleep in the World’s comfiest beds and full from a buffet breakfast, it was time to head over to the 40,000 sq ft on site spa. Yes it¬†really is that big!

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Matt and I have been to a few spa’s together now but this was definitely the largest. Unfortunately I don’t have any photos to share with you from the spa day, as we left all phones and cameras back in the room, as we wanted to spend the day relaxing. Sorry!

The staff were welcoming and friendly and there were lots of healthy drinks and snacks dotted around the place to help yourselves to, during the day.

We were shown around the amenities, which included saunas, steam rooms, Jacuzzi’s, before changing into the fluffiest robes and slippers ready for our treatments.

We waited for our treatments in the calming lounge area, on comfy sofas, whilst listening to the soothing music. It was nice to just relax and have some time away from the theme parks for a while.

We had booked the honeymoon package, so first up was an hour couples massage. Matt and I were in the same treatment room, filled with music and candles and after picking our choice of oils (we both chose differently – Matt’s was a relaxing scent, mine a pick me up) we finally got to relax while having all the stresses and tensions massaged out of us. Pure bliss.

An hour always goes too quickly when you are being pampered. However after the massages we were ushered into our own room, with private Jacuzzi which was filled with rose petals, so romantic and what honeymoons should be about!

When the treatments were over, we were given a private area back in the lounge and enjoyed glasses of champagne with chocolate covered strawberries, yum!

As the weather was so good we decided to take a dip in the spa’s outdoor pool. Again this was lovely and chilled and we made the most of soaking up the sunshine. We were still so stuffed from breakfast, champagne and strawberries that we forgot all about lunch.

That evening we had a dinner reservation at Norman’s which was located inside our hotel. It had been highly recommended and the menu looked delicious.

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After plenty of fried foods we finally got a few vegetables back into our diet ūüėČ

To start we shared the beef tartare and the duo of empanadas Р2 Pork Picadillo and 2 Beef Guisado. My favourite was the pork.

For main course I opted for the pan cooked fillet of Florida Snapper with asparagus spears, Citrus Butter Sauce and ‚ÄúBelly‚ÄĚ Of Garlicky Mashed Potatoes, it was so delicious! Matt went for the chef recommended Pork ‘Havana’ with Smokey Plantain Crema, 21 Century Mole, Black Beans-Sweet Corn Salsa and Golden Grits which he said was like nothing he had tasted before, in a good way!

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To celebrate our honeymoon our waiter gave us a couple of glasses of complimentary bubbles which was very lovely of them.

Then finally for desserts we opted for the white chocolate cheesecake with strawberry espuma and blood peach meringue and the trio of sorbet – mango, coconut and pomegranate. I think these are the prettiest desserts I have ever eaten and they were super tasty too!

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A lovely end to a super relaxing, romantic, indulgent day.

Love, Chloe xx

Honeymoon Day 4 – Disney’s Epcot & Hollywood Studio’s!

A mega early start but no sore heads from the night before, must have been the excitement of heading to Disney!

We got the shuttle bus from our hotel to Epcot at 8am, meaning we got there for opening, but as you can see, the queues were already pretty big!

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Epcot is split into two sections. Future World which opens with the park and World Showcase which opens at 11am. So we began the day at Future World.

First priorities were buying the biggest Minnie Mouse ears I could find and then joining the queue for Test Track. It’s quite fun designing your car whilst in the queue and within 10 minutes we were on the ride. Perks of getting to the parks early!

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When in Disney!

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We spent the rest of the morning trying to go on as many rides as possible before the queues got crazy busy. Only stopping once for a quick sit down & snack as we hadn’t eaten breakfast.

We enjoyed The Seas with Nemo & Friends as we love the film but it is best suited to the little ones. We had a leisurely look around the aquarium afterwards but didn’t bother waiting for Turtle Talk with Crush, which seems very popular¬†with the kids.

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Space Ship Earth (located in the giant Epcot Ball) is another slow-moving ride through the history of Earth. Starting with cave men through to modern-day. A little dated but iconic, looking up at the stars at the end is my favourite bit.

Journey into Imagination with Figment, in my opinion was terrible. It is just so dated and boring. No wonder there was no queue, not even the children wanted to ride it. Hopefully they turn this into something new soon!

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Another Higgins! ūüėȬ†

I really enjoyed Living with the Land – A boat ride through all the laboratories and green houses in Epcot, finding out how Disney produce their own food. Matt however found it boring. To be honest I never realised how educational Epcot was and Matt was starting to get a bit fed up with it all. Luckily best was yet to come. As finally it was time for Soarin’ and this ride was truly amazing. You sit in what feels like a real hang glider and are raised 40 feet in the air, where you then ‘fly’ over the World’s most iconic attractions and locations. I would have loved to have gone on again, as I felt like I didn’t take it all in on the first go. But the¬†queue was an hour-long and there was much more of Epcot to explore!

As we had done everything we wanted to do in Future World and it was nearing lunch time, we decided to head over to World Showcase. Grabbing some buffalo blue cheese popcorn for the walk, deliciously weird!

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The Epcot Food and Wine Festival was taking place while we were there, which made the park even busier than usual. Especially the World Showcase area, as this is where all the food and wine stalls are located.

I was excited to be visiting during this time as it’s quite an iconic festival and I had heard so many great things about it, but to be honest I couldn’t deal with how busy it was and adding the heat to the amount of people, I started to get a bit grouchy!

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It doesn’t look busy here (or hot!) but if I had taken a photo of either side of me, you would have seen we barely had space to walk!

We gradually made our way around half of the showcase countries (Mexico, Norway, China, Germany, Italy & The American Adventure) popping into a few shops along the way and then finally taking a break in Japan where we had lunch reservations at Teppan Edo. It was also nice and quiet again in Japan!

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Teppan Edo was great, sitting around a Teppanyaki table the traditional waitresses took our orders and then we waited for our personal chef to arrive, to cook our dishes right in front of us.

To start we decided to share the assorted tempura and edamame and then for mains I went for Ueno which is chicken and shrimp stir fry and Matt went for the Asakusa which is steak and shrimp stir fry. All washed down with orange mojitos! Yum!

It was mesmerizing just watching the chef at work, his knife skills were incredible and the food was delicious! For dessert they kindly presented us with a slice of mango mousse cake, with a candle in and sang us a traditional Japanese song to wish us luck and happiness for our honeymoon/married life. A lovely gesture!

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I could have easily stayed here all afternoon, yummy cocktails, tasty food, great atmosphere, wonderful staff  but we had so much more to see!

Originally the plan was to spend the afternoon leisurely walking around the rest of World showcase, seeing what the festival had to offer Рdrinking cocktails, trying new foods, mooching around the shops and trying to get onto the new Frozen ride in Norway (the queue was always 2+ hours long!)

But after such a nice lunch (and rest!) neither of us really fancied battling the crowds again and we were so stuffed from lunch that we couldn’t even think about eating anymore food! So instead we decided to take the free Disney boat from the International Gateway in Epcot over to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. It was nice to have a bit of a breeze and nose at Disney’s Boardwalk and other fancy hotels along the way.

When we arrived it was a lot quieter than Epcot had been which was a nice surprise. It also felt a lot smaller than all the other parks, but in a good way!

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On the boat over I had managed to get us a couple of fast passes for a few of the attractions, so to begin we made our way over to Toy Story Mania! This ride was so much fun, you travel around Andy’s Room playing carnival games all in 3D. Probably one of our favourites of the whole trip and we did get a bit competitive (Matt won this one!) Just like Soarin’ we would have loved to have gone on this one again, but the normal queue was out the door and I’m shocked I even managed to get a fast pass the first time around!

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We then watched the India Jones Stunt show, it was quite fun and interesting to see all the stunts and there was a lot of audience participation, however it started raining heavily half way through so they had to finish the show a little earlier than expected, but understandable as safety should come first.

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After the show, we¬†found ourselves outside of Star Tours – The Adventure Continues. Matt and I aren’t Star Wars fans (if you are, you need to visit Hollywood Studios as it’s Star Wars crazy!) but as it¬†only had¬†a very tiny wait time, we thought we may as well give it a go. Even though it’s only a motion simulator ride it was pretty full on and a lot of fun, shocked to say I really enjoyed it. Just a shame it’s Star Wars themed ūüėČ

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Now Matt and I love The Muppets…like really love The Muppets. So we couldn’t wait to see Muppet Vision 3D, however we needn’t have bothered with fast passes as there was no queue at all!

I’m sad to say though that I was pretty disappointed by the whole thing. The waiting room video is way too long and then the actual film itself has an annoying non Muppet character the whole way through, which doesn’t really make any sense. I loved the actual Muppets theatre though, but I feel like they need to redo the whole thing. Online I’ve seen lots of people saying similar things and not enjoying this attraction either and I’m worried that Disney will get rid of it altogether as it doesn’t seem very popular. I really hope that isn’t the case, I think it just needs some love and attention and a bit of a rethink!

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We had a look in a couple of shops including the Disney Christmas shop, where we brought some lovely ornaments for our tree!

Then finally we joined the queue for The Great Movie Ride, in the rain! I think this was probably the longest queue we joined all week, but I really wanted to experience the ride.

I enjoyed the cinema area, which is the last section you queue in before the ride begins and they show a film of great moments in movie history and all the different genres, through the years, we spent a long time watching this film as we queued for so long, but meant we learnt quite a bit!

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However we were both a little confused as to why all the film clips and things we had just watched and been told about were exactly the same things on the ride. Seemed a bit weird/silly to listen to and watch the same thing twice! I’m glad¬†we did the ride though as it is well done, I just don’t think it would be one I would rush back to and certainly not one to queue over an hour for!

By the time we finished the ride we couldn’t believe it was dark and gone 7pm! So we made a quick dash to the boat to get back over to Epcot and were treated to Hollywood Studio’s Star Wars themed fireworks while sailing back which was a nice little bonus!

Back in Epcot and feeling a bit peckish, we found a quick service pizza window in Italy. So fuelled on a deliciously gooey pizza slice as big as my head, we walked back around World Showcase to Mexico, as we had pre-booked tickets for The Epcot Dessert Fireworks party.

(You’re allowed to eat all the yummy but naughty foods in Disney as you end up walking so much every day!)

We were pretty exhausted by now so we couldn’t wait to sit, enjoy some yummy desserts, toast our honeymoon and watch the fireworks which started at 10pm.

We had a prime viewing spot for the fireworks, overlooking the lake, with a beautiful table set up for us. But the only thing I have to moan about is the fact that they offer no seating options. We both just found this really odd, especially as they know how many people will be there as you have to pre book tickets and there wasn’t hundreds of us. Chairs or bar stools would really be welcomed and we could hear we weren’t the only ones mentioning it. After a long day at the parks everyone just wants to sit down and chill, so it was a bit annoying having to stand or sit on the floor (which I did end up doing!)

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Excuse the curly hair, I had been rained on a lot!

We couldn’t fault the party though. We made our way through the mini desserts selection which were all delicious, but my favourite was the Baklava, so yummy! And we made the most of the free drinks, not just sparkling wine, but spirits and cocktails too. The fireworks were amazing, focusing on the World Showcase they weren’t Disney themed but still just as magical and the rain managed to hold off right until the very end.

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A tiring but amazing, Disney filled day!

Love, Chloe xx