The Cast Members – Pre-Trip Report 2014

The Cast Members…who we are!

For those that have read/been reading my previous two trip reports will already ‘know’ us, but for the new peeps following along for this report allow me to introduce us to you!

This is the three of us on our first trip of a lifetime to Orlando! This was taken at Epcot Character Spot and it was always great fun to meet the characters!

There’s me, Michelle, aged 37, and now addicted to planning holidays to Orlando! I’m the photographer, trip report writer and driver on our holidays to Orlando!
Here I am hugging Tigger at Crystal Palace in 2013.

I’m a plus size chick, so you can rely on my reports to give that point of view on the rides. In 2011 I lost nearly 6st for our first trip, but, through my own complacency and idiocy, put 4st back on for our second trip in 2013. It made a big difference to how much I could do – the walking around at the parks mainly, and so, 2013’s visit was focused more on taking a slower pace around the parks.

I’m now back on track and hope to be back to where I was in 2011, if not lower in weight, so that I can really enjoy myself again, and it’s the main factor for booking to go back so soon! I’m not saying that we had a horrid holiday – far from it – but my weight did effect how much we could do, and if you are trying to lose weight for your holiday, do keep going as it can make a big difference – especially in the heat and humidity, as well as the physical side of a trip to all the theme parks.

I find that Walt Disney World’s rides are more generous with their ride restraints than at the other parks, but never be afraid to try out the test seats, as you may surprise yourself! And ask a cast member running the ride, because they see people of all shapes and sizes – whenever I asked if they thought I’d fit okay, they would all tell me I’d be fine, with the exception of The Mummy at Universal Studios, where he wasn’t sure – and he was right as it was a struggle for that (1st trip) as the lap bar must click 3 times, and it wouldn’t, no matter how much I tried to suck it in!

I was a size 24/26/28 (depends on the part of the body and where I bought clothes from! ) on our first trip, and easily a size 30 on our return in 2013. I hope to be back at size 24 by August. I’ve been overweight my whole life and am quite open about it and the struggles I face as a fat chick, and am always happy to answer any questions or worries that you have if you are a plus size gal. So contact me or leave me a comment below, I don’t bite!

This is hubs and me in 2011 at Magic Kingdom, and I have this photograph on my fridge to remind me of how happy I was on that trip having lost weight. It is my motivation for 2014!

My top tips, if you are plus size are these…

  • Start a walking training programme before you go! A lot of walking is involved in the theme parks and your body and feet will thank you for it. (That goes for everyone in the family by the way!) Increase your distance each day and believe me, it makes a huge difference when you’re out and about in Orlando. And the walking you do, do it in the shoes you plan to wear out there. For me, it’s my trusty Crocs!
  • If, like me you’re worried about showing parts of your body (for me it’s my arms), honestly, don’t worry. It’s so hot out there that you’ll regret not going sleeveless! If you’re not happy in shorts, wear cropped leggings. Wear loose, floaty tops which helps whatever breeze you find to waft hahah! For a swimming cossie, go with whatever you are most comfy wearing, mine is the swimdress type, and for walking around the waterparks, I pop a pair of thin shorts underneath to save on chub rub!
  • Invest in a traditional hand fan, attach it to some ribbon so that you can hang it over your wrist and fan yourself down when the heat is getting to you. You would never find me without my fan on both our trips, and so often people would ask where I had bought it from and that it was a great idea! Even the characters would pinch it from me and fan themselves.
  • To deal with sweaty head moments, buy a couple of cute headbands and wrap them around your wrist to wipe your head! So much nicer than sweatbands, and you can match them to your outfits!
  • Take pit stops during the day (although, that applies to a lot of people!) it will make you last longer on your theme park travels. Take things at a slower pace and look around – it doesn’t have to all be about the rides (as I proved on our 2013 trip). And at the end of the day, if you can dip your feet into the pool, or even in the bath to give them a soak, then rub in some foot cream and give them a massage – it makes a difference!

I love photography, so you will always see me with a camera in my hand and snapping the most random of things! I use a Panasonic Lumix as well as my iPhone, and am happy to answer any of your photography questions too!

My favourite colour is purple, my favourite Disney movie is currently Frozen (but I do love them all to be honest!) My favourite Disney ride is a toss up between Test Track and Star Tours. My favourite non-Disney ride is Spiderman. My favourite Disney park is ALL the parks! I love them all for different reasons! My favourite character meet is Chip ‘n’ Dale. My favourite off-site restaurant is Bahama Breeze, my favourite on-site restaurant is Tusker House and my favourite American food is mac ‘n’ cheese!

Right, let’s introduce him, my hubby, Steve. He’s 41, chief keeper of documents, navigator, packhorse and videographer.

Just to clarify, he’s the one on the right in the hat!

He took a little persuading for our first trip in 2011, but now that we’ve been he loves being able to go back! His mission on holidays is usually to eat all the food! He loves his grub, and quite frankly, I don’t know where he puts it all! I refer to him as a packhorse, because, bless him, he’s the one that keeps all of our supplies – sun cream, water, autograph book etc in a rucksack that he doesn’t complain about carrying around on his back all day.

He’s licensed and insured to drive in the USA, but so far, he never has, leaving it up to me. I don’t mind though as I LOVE driving! Tell a lie, one time, he went to pick up the car from the car park as I was so shattered I couldn’t walk any more!

His favourite colour is blue. His favourite Disney movie is Toy Story. His favourite Disney ride isStar Tours. His favourite non-Disney ride is Spiderman. His favourite Disney park is Hollywood Studios. His favourite character meet is Chip ‘n’ Dale. His favourite off-site restaurant is Sonny’s Real Pit BBQ, his favourite onsite restaurant is Boma: Flavours of Africa and his favourite American food is pulled pork.

And finally, the boy, my son and Steve’s stepson, Liam, 15. Despite his increasing age and my fear about it all being too babyish for him, he loves going to Orlando and can’t wait to be back! He really gets involved with meeting characters and because of that, we always end up having a right laugh with the characters we meet.

He eats a LOT, again, not sure where he puts it, and we’re going to be making the most of the dining plan on our 2014 trip with him!

His favourite colour is blue. His favourite Disney movie is Monsters Inc. His favourite Disney ride is Star Tours. His favourite non-Disney ride is Spiderman. His favourite Disney park is Animal Kingdom. His favourite character meet is Chip ‘n’ Dale. His favourite off-site restaurant is Sonny’s Real Pit BBQ, his favourite onsite restaurant is Chef Mickey’s and his favourite American food is hamburgers!

So that’s us…pleased to meet you!

Hope you join us on our pre-trip report: Dine Around Disney 2014!