Disney vs Universal?

This maybe a conflicting opinion but hands down Disney wins. No question about it! I don’t know what you think, but I don’t think Universal has a patch on Disney!

For the duration of the holiday (or as Americans would say ‘vacation’), we’ve had a fourteen day pass for both Disney parks and Universal parks.

Obviously Harry Potter world was amazing at Universal, but I’d say it was the most interesting part. I just don’t think Universal is all that. For one it doesn’t have as many rides or thrills as Disney and two it isn’t magical!

As I previously mentioned on a blog the queues at Universal’s waterpark Volcano Bay were ludicrous, which was a real shame as mum and me love water rides. As for Islands or Adventures, sure it has the Hulk rollercoaster but it doesn’t add up to the experience of Disney.

I have to give Universal one thing though it does have much more food choices, but really that isn’t the be all and end all of things.

If we were to come again we’ve said both mum and me that we’d only get a day pass to Universal just so we could do Harry Potter World again, as the experience is unreal!

Universal Studios with Sideshow Bob.

Animal Kingdom with Minnie and Mickey.

Magical Kingdom with Tiger.

Universal Studios.

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Volcano Bay, Disneyโ€™s Animal Kingdom & Hollywood Studioโ€™s…

Well I was meant to do a blog after I visited Volcano Bay, but I literally pass out into bed after a day exploring, so now I’ll just write about the past three…

Let’s start with Friday when we went to Volcano Bay. Well mum and me were super excited to escape the sun and enter the water, that was until we understood how the queues worked. When you arrive at Volcano Bay you get given a TapuTapu to wear. Then you go to the ride you want scan it and wait the time it says, for example 50 mins. After 50 mins your TapuTapu will buzz and you go to the ride. However, in the meantime you can go on other ‘ride now’ rides, although this is very few and far between and it’s mainly spending time in the Congo river or wave machine. A day well looked forward to only ended up lasting three hours because the queue were horrendous. One was even three hours! It’s all fun being in the wave pool and Congo river for a bit, but really you just want to go on the rides! Therefore, we decided to explore International Drive a bit. After returning to the hotel and getting changed etc we took a stroll to the Icon wheel where there was some nice restaurants. After this I persuaded mum to come to the mall nearby in an Uber (all because I mentioned there was a Cheesecake Factory.) Off we went to Mall At Millenia…

Wow- let’s just day I cannot wait for our proper shopping day on Thursday! We agreed we wouldn’t do a proper shopping day until near the end of the holiday, so this was just a sneak peak. We did however purchase cookie dough cheesecake and carrot cake from the Cheesecake Factory and it was amaze! ๐Ÿ˜ We also took a trip to Macy’s and I found some bargain Disney tops for $10 each. One even was Toy Story based with the Aliens saying I’m the chosen one!!

Saturday- Animal Kingdom

This we were super excited for as we had heard so many good things! What an amazing experience we had!! The thought and work that goes into Disney parks is just incredible and I cannot honestly say it was an magical animal experience. It was amazing have Apes swinging across near us whilst queuing for rides.

A ultimate highlight of the day was the Kilimanjaro Safari. Wow, just WOW! We went on a short safari seeing all different types of animals. Some who are nearly extinct but Disney are trying to help these endangered species so this doesn’t happen. The giraffes even caused a traffic jam for us plodding along in the road. However, the best moment was when our tour guide, Joy said that a cheetah can run 60mph within three seconds just after we spotted one. Mums reaction was absolutely priceless, her being the worried that she is ๐Ÿ˜‚

Our favourite ride of the day was probably Expedition Everest. Out of all the different mountains in the parks this was definitely the best by far. The speed, drops and turns going backwards were brilliant!

We ended the evening with The Rivers of Light. A show with water, light and fire. It was truly breathtaking and I would recommend for anyone to go and watch!

We are yet to return on Tuesday so we can do the Pandora, Avatar ride! We can’t go home without doing that! It’s meant to be out of this world!

Sunday- Disney’s Hollywood Studio’s

BEST DAY EVER!!!

Toy Story Land- need I say anymore?! You just cannot beat Toy Story no matter what you say. It’s my absolute childhood favourite. I’m such a massive kid so toys coming to life is just my thing. This new land only opened this year, so it’s incredibly popular. Fast tracks for Slinky’s Dash rollercoaster ride were pretty much never going to happen, therefore we arrived at the park early. Despite this the queue was ‘110 mins’ long. (Our longest wait yet). However, really when it came down to it, it only took 45 minutes! Winner! It was well worth the wait though and we’ll definitely be back on it when we return to the studios on Wednesday! It was a real shooting rollercoaster and the work all around the park to make the ride was just phenomenal. All the colour and thought gone into it. Andy’s back yard to Al’s toy barn, Andy’s bedroom to crayola colours- it was just unreal!

Then of course we had our pictures with the Toy Story legends Woody and Jessie!! Jessie loved that we had matching names with it being the best name ever, however Woody was sad! But when I told him about a Woody at home he was happy because I’m from England. Automatically they both posed drinking tea, because you know tea is so British…

Then we ventured to some more of our faves Sully and Mike! These were another childhood fave- growing up to the release of Monsters Inc and being obsessed with it!

Aerosmith, Tower of Terror and many more rides were experienced throughout the day.

Overall I have to say Disney’s Hollywood Studios absolutely did it for me and has been more ultimate fave so far! Especially with Toy Story land being there! โค๏ธ๐Ÿ’›

Orlando, Florida!

Sooooo… I’ve been here for five days and one of my friends at work asked if I’d write a blog so I thought I’d carry on using the one that I used from Thailand.

Day 5 so far… We’re off to Volcano Bay- The newest Waterpark around. I’ll write a blog about it later!

So before day 5. We’ve done Epcot, Universal Studios and two days in the Magic Kingdom. What an experience it’s been! I can’t quite describe how amazing it is over here. It’s so different to the UK in many ways. The food is crazy- additive central and definitely not something I could get use to on a full time basis. Crossing the roads I mean where’s the button and green man? Did you know bobbles are called elastics? I mean I didn’t either until we had that problem in the super market!

Disney: Epcot and Magic Kingdom are just our of this world! The queues for Epcot were a lot less, but it is Magical Kingdom so everyone wants to be there. Overall we’ve been pretty lucky and the longest we’ve had to wait is around 35-40 minutes for a ride so far! Definitely take advantage of your fast passes in Disney you get to skip the horrendous queues!

My favourite ride at Epcot was Soarin! You literally feel like you’re flying through the sky seeing all these different places such as mountains, the dessert, Eiffel Tower and many more. It really is magical and we managed to get on it twice!! After the second time on the ride we went to eat at Tukers Grill Bar which includes characater dining, so we met Mickey, Pluto, Chip & Dale. It was a fab experience- especially on mums birthday! The food was lovely and it was unlimited food, let’s say we wasn’t hungry the rest of the day…

Magic Kingdom: My favourite ride has to be between Snow Whites Mine train (which is new) and Splash mountain where you get absolutely drenched!! You’re definitely not fit for a photo after it let’s put it that way! I thought it would have been Space Mountain after loving it in Paris but it’s very different and not as good, unfortunately. We spent two days in this park as it’s so big and the queues are looooong because everyone wants to be there! However we got everything done that we wanted to including meeting many characters and the fireworks in the evening.

Characters- the true magic of Disney! Call me a kid, but I don’t care. You can’t come to Disney and not get pictures with your faves! All in all we’ve done so well considering we’ve only done three days in Disney so far. We’ve met Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, Goofy, Donald, Daisy, Peter Pan, Stitch, Tinkerbell, Winnie the Pooh, Tiger, Buzz Lightyear, The Ugly step sisters and Chip & Dale! ๐Ÿ’› You have to do it- you’re not here everyday. I have to say Stitch and Buzz have probably been my favourite so far as I love them films! Buzz was taken away by my name (of course), but I had to let him down gently and tell him I’m not his Jessie ๐Ÿ˜‚ I’m praying at weekend when we go to the studios I meet Jessie and Woody! โค๏ธ

The castle- WOW!! It’s a bit different to the one in Paris it looks more structured (if that makes sense?!) At night time it is beautiful with the fireworks. All the characters being on there from the villains to Moana and Tink! It really is the most magical experience!

I probably have lots more to say because I should have started this five days ago, but I’m off the Volcano Bay now. I’ll try write one everyday from now on and add one about my day in Universal Studios from Tuesday, now I’m over the jet lag!

Weโ€™re going on a bear hunt…

I thought now I’m home and recovered from jet lag I’d share some more experiences of Thailand…

So after our amazing day with the elephants we went to national park Saturday and Sunday. Jungle treck, bat caves, hot springs and waterfall- what a weekend!

First a three and a half hour train journey on the worlds uncomfortable seats ever. They were like plastic with no room to slouch whatsoever! Let’s just say my back wasn’t in great conditions afterwards.

When we arrived we were picked up and arrived at our accommodation for the night. Jen and me shared, probably for the best putting the two loud mouths together ๐Ÿ˜‚

Before we went on the tour I made it extremely clear to the tour guide that if he bought any spiders near me he wouldn’t be returning home that night… I think he understood the message!

First we went to the hot springs. You know like you see in films where people look mega cool in the pretty water with waterfalls- well I got to go experience it!

Anyone that knows me knows I love water so I was absolutely in my element. After bricking it for about five mins I also jumped from the rocks into the water- my heart was pretty much in my mouth but it was so much fun!

Afterwards we went to the bat caves. Our tour guide asked who likes Harry Potter and me being me was like ‘YESSSSS ME’ so he was like are you sure. Obviously then I went to the back of the crowd because he had something in his hand. No thank you! Then be put a spider on someone’s face and I didn’t trust him after that, despite whether they volunteered or not. Although the bats were an absolutely extraordinary experience. We saw millions flying it was like something out of Harry Potter!

After our first evening of exploring Hattie and me were gasping for pizza. Of course we asked if anywhere did it and the guy told us no not really so we said we’ll go on a hunt. Weird guy said it wasn’t safe but that didn’t stop us. Don’t know why he said that because a little further up the road we found the most beautiful food with the best carbonara EVER!! Carbs overload but I was super sick of rice and noodles by this point.

Cheese, cheese and more cheese! ๐Ÿ˜

We had such a laugh that night and I think it was safe to say the best food whilst we were away over the sixteen days!

Day 2- Jungle trek and Waterfalls!

I have to say the 12 of us made a cracking group and I couldn’t thank them enough for their help during the jungle trek! After my stern words about how me and creepy crawly’ are not the best of friends everyone was on high alert during the jungle trek. Claire and Kat in particular were my saviours and helped me up, around, down, over all over the spider webs! It was pretty much like a bear hunt!

After an hour and a half we didn’t have awful luck on our trek so we headed to have some dinner. This was where luck came in as we got to see some gibbons and a vicious viper snake!

I also got to be the big kid I am and play on the swing!

Later on during our journey we saw some monkeys and one even stole an ice coffee and were drinking it, cheeky devils!

Seeing the different animals were great!

To bring the day to an end we got to go see a 25m waterfall. Have you seen the film The Beach? It was the one from there. Pretty much felt as though I was going to die as I was stepping down the steepest, rocky, unstable stairs ever but I somehow managed to stay alive. Let’s just say England would have a field day with health and safety in national park! ๐Ÿ˜‚ Especially with the 100m one we went to visit afterwards!

To top it all off we got caught in the heaviest monsoon known to man and got soaking when walking back from the second waterfall. Little Jess over here was very thankful for her water coat she remembered. Everyone hated me for that idea! ๐Ÿ˜‚

Finally we went back quickly had some more food in the lovely restaurant across the way from the hostel before getting the train back to Surin. We were absolutely dreading the journey back with the plastic seats. However, our luck was in. This time we got reclined seats. It was as though we won the lottery! A short while into the journey the market joined us again. This time I wanted to buy something just to throw at them as they wouldn’t stop pecking our head. I mean I’m not being funny but who wants fish on a train journey? Bugger off and stop smelling the train out. I even got some spray and sprayed the train. Everyone thought it was hilarious, but you know me and my ways- no shame! After the hustle and bustle got off and were chucked back onto the platform we carried on the next three hours journey. So whilst everyone had a kip on the way back I watched City win their first match of the season against Arsenal. Get innnnnnn!!

Elephant Adventure!

Last Friday I went to have a one in a life time experience and its definitely something I will never forget.

Me and some of the girls I’ve been with get Friday’s off from teaching so we arranged with our co-ordinator to go and work with the elephants. I couldn’t quite believe when she told us that it was only 1500 baht- that’s only roughly around ยฃ35!!

We were all super hyped for the day ahead of us!

First when we arrived we got to go see some of the elephants before going to cut some sugar cane down for them to eat. I can officially say I’m not a manual labour kind of gal and my cutting skills unlike Jenna and Ella’s were rubbish. However that didn’t stop me from having fun looking like an idiot whilst cutting it down!

Next we had to sit on the edge of a van whilst we drove to go and chop the sugar cane into pieces. I pretty much feared for my life as we drove round the bends but that’s a normal thing to feel when you’re in a vehicle over here. They don’t really have a code of conduct!

After that we had a Thai traditional lunch and moved on to one of the best parts walking the elephants…

I had the old man. One of the smallest because he’s so old, but he plodded along all the while.

Then we finally reached the water where we got to go and wash the elephants. What an amazing time this was! They were so playful and loved being scrubbed with the brushes. They constantly gave you kisses with there trunk which was adorable and the baby elephant was so playful rolling around in the water. It really was the cutest thing ever!!

I honestly cannot emphasise how much of an experience it was. I mean who gets to walk, scrub and feed elephants everyday?!

They are so well looked after at the sanctuary and all the money provided goes towards looking after the elephants . Mr Lee really knows how to look after them!

Once we left the sanctuary we went to make some poo paper. Not so gross as it sounds I promise! We didn’t get to do all the steps but we got to mix the water and put it onto a frame to dry. Of course Gwang had to help me as the frame was incredibly heavy! It really is incredible what you can do with elephant poo!

Finally we went and visited the silk market. All the locals were so friendly and I bought a lovely type jumpsuit. Everyone thought it was from Zara when we got back when in matter of fact it was the equivalent to ยฃ5 from a silk market! Bargain!!

Honestly if you ever get the chance to work with elephants do it!! They’re so friendly, warming and welcoming. Certainly an experience I’ll never forget! ๐Ÿ˜

Last day in Surin…

So today marks the last day I spend in Surin. A rural area of Thailand where I’ve spent my two weeks of teaching. It’s rather quiet round here, despite the crazy motorbikes…

It’s definitely been an interesting journey spending two weeks here. Especially, when I’m use to the city life!

However small it is we’ve made the most of it, us girls. Friends I can definitely say for life and will keep in touch with. If we’ve not been around the pool after school or taking a nap because of the heat we’ve been going out for food and a good old song (as most bars let us put music on.)

We went to one bar tonight (Surin Welcome) which is round the corner from our house right after we had been for a farewell meal… To actually have some western food it was amazing! One of the best pizzas I’d had for a while! The bar we went is somewhere we’ve been a few times and it has a lovely atmosphere with a great owner. We got talking to him and his friends and it made me realise how grateful I am for what I have. One guy was telling us how he was homeless in France before he came here and it’s until you hear things like that, that you realise how lucky you are. We also were jamming to some old school tunes and even threw in some Disney- winner!!

It was so nice to go for pizza with all the girls I’ve spent the last two weeks with. Even if they do take the mick out of my northern accent, they really have been like family out here…

Tomorrow I travel back to Bangkok on a coach for seven hours. However, I do arrive in luxury to a four star hotel where I’m staying for the night before my flight. I’m insanely excited! Then I’ll soon be home and I can’t wait to see Mum and Dec!!

So it’s nearly home time for me, but I’ll blog some more Friday and Saturday before I leave and write about some more of the fab times I’ve had whilst being out here!

Living like royalty…

When I say living like royalty I tell a lie… The past week and a half have been very interesting with the conditions I’ve lived in.

When I booked onto the volunteer programme of teaching in Thailand i knew I wasn’t walking into luxury. If I can describe how I’ve lived for the past couple of weeks it would be basic.

The bedroom of dreams where you wake up with a load of mozzy bites.

It isn’t exactly your five star dream when you look at Thailand, however the group of girls and I have made it work.

The girls I’ve been with have been an absolute dream. I couldn’t have been more lucky to have met such lovely girls. Despite not being able to have my cheese on toast we’ve had some real laughs these couple of weeks.

Tonight I’m off to a steak place which I’m throughly looking forward to after living off rice and noodles for the past two weeks. It’s a hard decision as to what I have first when I return to the UK! Any suggestions?!

Afterwards we’re returning to the house and having a few drinks together. If I’ve learnt something about the last few weeks it’s not about where you are and the conditions you’re with, but it’s about the company you have! Make the most of the experiences that are thrown your way!โค๏ธ