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Friday, 21 August 2015

It's Friday! Neverland, Disney Store and Birthday fun!

Wow! What a jammed packed summer! Disney and I have both been busy- it's hard to keep up with all those D23 Expo announcements! I am looking forward to checking out the new 'Frozen Ever After' ride when we get to Florida in a couple of years, I will be less bothered about visiting the new 'Star Wars Land' announced but I am sure we probably will. Toy Story 4-hooray! I usually hate drawn out sequals but as 3 was so great- fingers crossed this will live up to expectations!
Last week I was with hubby and the kids at my parent's static caravan on the coast in stunning Pembrokeshire, South Wales and it was just what I needed- lots of relaxing on the beach and also some magical visits including to Carew Castle and Castell Henllys Iron Age Village. We checked out Oakwood theme park which I haven't visited for a few years. I  was interested to visit the recently developed 'Neverland' themed area . I have included some photos of various attractions from this part of the park. I thought it was simple but nicely done and ideal for our little ones with small rides plus not much waiting, the kids loved the simple rides like 'The sights of London' where we rode on little taxis. 'Tinker Bell's Flying School' made me dizzy and the small log flume coming out of Skull Rock was good fun. The 'Crocodile Coaster' was a perfect size for little ones. My favourite part was the scenes in the 'Journey to Neverland", the areas of the children's bedroom magically came to life one at a time and the shadow of Peter Pan flew around.

Of course there is one theme park which opens today in the UK which I am sure will cause some controversy with Disney lovers which is Banksy's Dismaland exhibition (or experience) in Weston Super Mare. Disney and other theme parks, especially the rundown seaside ones, seem to have inspired Banksy and the other artists to create some interesting art work!  Disney logos and castles are such powerful and well known icons that in some ways it is inevitable that they open themselves up to be part of the social commentary of the day. One photo I have seen is of a powerful model of a crashed Cinderella's carriage with lifeless princess, being looked on by model reporters with cameras clicking away, a haunting reference to the death of Princess Diana. I have appreciated Banksy's imaginative work before and I can't condemn him for using these beloved icons for social commentary, as in some ways isn't everything a part of social commentary on some level- even Disney icons and images themselves? If I get a chance I would be interested to take a closer look whilst the exhibition is running. If you feel brave enough you can check out Dismaland for yourself at

Finally, as it was my Birthday on Wednesday I took the kids into Birmingham for the day. The day began with some Disney magic as I had arranged for the kids to 'rope drop' the Disney Store that day. I rang the store in advance as this is something they do by request. We arrived the next morning to find the cast members waiting for them at store opening. It is pretty quiet first thing in the morning at the Bullring shopping centre as Disney Store opens before most of the rest of the shops. The kids loved dressing up and pulling down the cloth to drop the rope and to 'magic' on the lights and music. They were given Inside Out badges and Mickey lanyards as gifts and on the way home A asked "when can I do it again!"

When walking through the centre of Birmingham this summer it is impossible to not notice the owls inhabiting street corners and squares. Owl spotting made the day extra fun and the kids loved it. Here are a few of the owls we found, including a stunning mosaic owl and Ozzy Osbourne's contribution! Visit  for a map of owl locations!  You might notice how keen A is to pose- this is a very new phenomenon which I haven't quite got used to yet!
Happy Friday everyone!

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