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Friday, 31 May 2019

Tips for a first time visit to Disneyland in California

Hey everybody!

Despite my California trip feeling like a long, long, long time ago, I recently received a lovely message from an old Uni friend which has completely sparked up my passion for the West Coast resort once again!

The individual in question explained that he is visiting LA for his Honeymoon, and he is a self professed Theme Park fan. Essentially, he wanted some insight into both Disneyland and California Adventure from a fellow 'expert', and I was of course more than happy to oblige.

Whilst composing my response to him I thought, like any good marketeer does, yeah, there's some content in there! So there you have it – this is going to be a pretty niche post but hopefully, my insight into the Californian Disney parks will help some of you as you venture off on your first trip to Anaheim and experience the one that started them all.

Enjoy! And if you have anything you'd like to add to this, or any further Disney related questions, you can find my contact details on the blog!

– Mercedes

Friday, 24 May 2019

My Thoughts: Disney's Aladdin

If you're anything like me, you're probably becoming more than a little skeptical about the sudden surge in Disney live action remakes. 

Whilst I'm slightly apposed to the regurgitation of these animated classics, I do have to admit that I loved the sets and costumes in Beauty and The Beast, Brannagh's take on Cinderella had me well and truly captivated, and whilst The Jungle Book was not my favourite movie growing up, I could still appreciate the incredibly innovative CGI technology and excellent performances featured within the 2016 remake.

With all that in mind, I really didn't know what to expect ahead of entering the cinema for the latest of Disney's live action movies, Aladdin.

'Dalia' and Aladdin meet for the first time at the Agrabah Market Place
Photo Credit: Digital Spy

First of all, Aladdin is one of my all time favourite Disney movies. Growing up in the 90s, the Renaissance Era of Disney has always been my favourite period of Disney Animation and Aladdin is very much a key part to play in that. That wonderful Alan Menken score, the exciting characters, the vibrant colours – watching the animation now as an adult, it is truly no wonder to me that this movie has been adapted in subsequent years for Broadway and London's West End as it really is a wonderfully decadent spectacle that lends itself beautifully to the medium of theatre.

It's pretty understandable that I was very nervous about the adaptation of this movie as it is so dear to my heart! And, to make the stakes even higher, Aladdin also just so happens to feature my favourite Disney character of all time too, Princess Jasmine.

I really wanted this movie to be good but my expectations were low.

Praise Allah, I had my expectations well and truly exceeded.

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

How Disney helps with my anxiety and wellbeing

A photo of me at Disney's California Adventure in Anaheim, earlier this year

You see that photo of me at Disneyland? Look how happy I look! The phrase 'the happiest place on Earth' was coined by Walt Disney when he opened his original Disneyland park in 1955 and for me, this statement still has a very deep rooted element of truth.

Off the back of the UK's Mental Health Awareness Week, I decided to post something, a little more personal than usual, that I hope resonates with some of you.

Ahead of Mental Health Awareness Week, a few weeks ago I posted a video to my Instagram story where I spoke quite openly and honestly about my struggles with Anxiety – this was a first for me as my mental health is something that I have never opened up about on Social Media before.

The response was overwhelming. I had several people contact me – friends, family members, old school peers, strangers, friends of friends – each explaining that they admired my bravery, that the video encouraged them to be open about their struggles with mental health, that they too have mental health issues and felt comforted by the video, that they had a loved one that struggled and they wanted some advice...

It went on and on and on, and I felt truly energised and inspired by the fact that my seemingly small action, could have caused such a positive reaction. I said in the video that if it helped even just one person, that I'd be happy, and it did exactly that. 

So, in a similar vein, I wanted to share with you all how Disney has really come to help me to combat my anxiety over the years. If you're a regular listener of the ChatDisney Podcast, you'll know that Tash and I have discussed how for many people, Disney is their safe place, and I am certainly no exception to this.

I hope you enjoy the post, and if you have any questions about mental health or need advice and support, you can check out, or reach out to your local GP.

– Mercedes

Thursday, 2 May 2019

Will you ever visit all six Disney Resorts?

Hey Everybody!

I hope you're all having a really good time now that the sun has finally decided to show itself – can you believe it's May already? What is happening to 2019!

One of my proudest achievements so far this year has most definitely been starting up the ChatDisney Podcast with my BFF, Tash! If you haven't yet given it a listen, I would really appreciate it if you could, and as ever, let us know any feedback!

In the ChatDisney episodes so far, Tash and I have been discussing and exploring each of the Disney Resorts and Parks around the world...

Top Left: WDW, Florida - 2009, Top Right: Shanghai Disneyland - 2016, Bottom Left: Disneyland Paris - 2018, Bottom Right: Disneyland, California - 2019
I have been very fortunate during my 27 years on this planet and visited four out of the six Disney Resorts around the globe, the first being Disneyland Paris when it opened in 1992, and the most recent being the one that started them all – the original Disneyland park in Anaheim, California.

I often get asked if I have any plans in the pipeline to visit the remaining two Disney parks on the list: Tokyo Disney Resort and Hong Kong Disneyland.