Planning your character dining at Disney doesn't need to be mind-boggling, but I completely understand why it can seem confusing. If you aren't sure which restaurant serves what, which characters are where, which parks the restaurants are in and how on earth you choose between them all then this blog will help make it clear. Disney World character dining is an amazing experience and the perfect opportunity to meet characters that you might struggle to find in the parks, or if you do it'll likely mean a long wait, time that you could be spending on rides or watching parades.
Find out -
Where the restaurants are (park/hotel)
Which characters you'll see
What food is served
How much money/dining credits it costs
It is recommended that you book your character dining in advance, 180 days in advance if you are staying on-site. This is especially important if you want to book Cinderella's Royal Table or if you have your heart set on meeting a particular character. Plus, booking in advance is great fun, booking day is something we look forward to it and we always make a big fuss, gathering everyone around the table with our list, it's another exciting stage of the vacation planning.
This complete guide to Disney World Character Dining will make the process a whole lot easier so you can make the best decision for you and your family.
In the parks
The Highland villages of Dunkeld and Birnam, which are neighbouring villages in the heart of Perthshire, are charming places to stop and explore, or you can stay here and use them as a base to discover the rest of beautiful Perthshire. There are so many lovely things to do in Dunkeld, Birnam and the surrounding area that it’s the perfect spot to spend a few days, eating in the fantastic cafes, doing some shopping in the wide range of independent shops, and taking strolls down by the river.
The two villages are situated on either side of the River Tay and are connected by a picturesque bridge which was built in 1809 by Thomas Telford. Thomas Telford not only designed a huge amount of bridges all over the U.K. but also constructed the Caledonian Canal. The villages are around 15 miles north of Perth, just off the main A9 road into the Highlands.
This village guide will tell you everything you need to know about Dunkeld and Birnam so you can make the most of your trip. Find the best things to do in Dunkeld, a little bit of history, what the village is like today, how to get there, Dunkeld weather and the best restaurants, cafes and shops.
If you've been doing research about Scotland you'll have no doubt heard about the notorious wee beastie that goes by the name of "Midge". Conversation usually goes something like "those BLOODY midges were everywhere!" Or "I've been eaten ALIVE!!". You may not recognise the name Scottish Midge , they are also known as "no see ums" in the states (which I think is a pretty excellent and appropriate name for the little swines), sand flies in Australia, gnats and punkies. Whichever name you call them there is no denying they are a bit of a nightmare. Here you'll find out everything you need to know and how to how to get rid of midges.
For those unprepared they can indeed be a complete pain and can easily ruin your holiday but fear not, a few simple rules and some good midge repellent should make your trip to Scotland beastie free and let your enjoy your trip without the need to turn into a mad man/woman, swinging tennis bats/hand bags/frying pans around your head like you are doing the time warp.
What is a midge?
The Scottish midge is a teeny wee flying insect with a wing-span of 2-3 mm. There are actually over 35 species of biting midge in Scotland but it's the ferocious Highland midge that causes the most problems. With wings that flap 1000 times a second they have the highest wing speed of all animals worldwide and if you unfortunate enough to encounter a swarm of them they can deliver 3000 midge bites in an hour. That's the scary facts but you'll be pleased to know that only half of the midge population will bite, the males are quite content to munch on flowers. The females reach adulthood with enough eggs for one batch of eggs, after this, if she decides to have more, she needs blood so it's then that the little madams decide to feed on us.
Just a quick note as people are often confused. Midges are not mosquitoes, the are a much smaller version. You are unlikely to ever see a mosquito in Scotland.
While visiting Edinburgh it would be criminal to miss out on a traditional afternoon tea, especially as Edinburgh has some of the most amazing venues to enjoy it in. Afternoon teas in Edinburgh are a luxurious and indulgent way to relax after a few hours pounding the cobbled streets of this beautiful city. It's an experience, one to be savoured with friends, one to enjoy with loved ones, where you can sink into a comfy seat, sit back and chat while relishing the pretty, dainty treats on offer.
Splashing out on afternoon tea dates back to the 1880's when Anna, 7th Duchess of Bedford, fancied a light snack during the long afternoon gap between her lunch and evening meal. What began as some tea, bread and butter served in her room with a few friends quickly caught the attention of high society and the light snack became a glamorous affair enjoyed by ladies dolled up in dresses, long gloves and posh hats.
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St Andrews is a classy town. Best known as 'The Home of Golf' St Andrews, in the north of Fife, is where the game was invented and if it's golf you are coming for there are an amazing 10 courses to play on, including the famous Old Course. St Andrews also has the third oldest university in the English-speaking world. There is so many things to do in St Andrews that I highly recommend spending at least 2 days here although if you only have one you can still get a feeling for the town and get the chance to explore. It's a town which is culturally rich, with a diverse population and unique attractions. It's really a town like no other and it would be a shame to miss it off your Scotland Itinerary.
Find out about all the amazing things to do in St Andrews, how to get there, the best time to visit, and the best places to stay, eat and shop.
Since it’s the beginning of a new year, and hopefully a big year for me personally, I thought I’d share my plans and goals for 2019 with you and let you in on what adventures I have been dreaming about and can finally begin to put into action.
Tiny living has always been my dream. Since I was in my twenties it was always the goal that I’d be tiny living by the time I was 40 and that time is now only a couple of years away. Taylor is now 16, nearly finished her Highers and is in the process of deciding what she wants to do with the rest of her life. Luckily she likes (and is really talented in) art and photography so when she comes with me it'll only help her build her portfolio. I'll admit though that tiny living is not Taylor's idea of her dream life. She loves to travel as much as I do but this is her dream....
She is pretty excited to come with me for a while at least.
I’ve been looking at lots of options. I’ve visited wigwams, shepherd huts, considered fancy sheds and even an octagonal wooden hut and while these are a brilliant options for me in a few years down the line when I get bored doing what I’m doing, they aren’t right for me now because I want to travel.
So what have I decided on?
For an island so small there is a surprising amount of things to do in Arran. When I say small, I mean small compared to the mainland, it’s a lot bigger than many of its neighbouring islands but still has the relaxed and slow paced vibe going on that I love. With a population of only 5000 it’s a close knit community, locals are friendly and no one is in a hurry - ever. Every time I think of Arran it puts a smile on my face.
The Isle of Arran is my favourite island so far. It feels less remote than islands further up north although it isn’t any busier. I’m guessing it feels like that because of the Highland boundary line which passes through its centre. The south of the island is green and plush with forest and flowers and cute little settlements whereas the north is very much like the Highlands of Scotland, dramatic, wild and breathtakingly beautiful.
I’ve rounded up a list of things to do in Arran, from mountains and castles to forests and beaches. I encourage you though to use it as a rough guide and instead land on the island, take a deep breath and feel the stress melt away as you reset your body clock to “island time”. Go without a firm plan and see where the road takes you....
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The town of Falkirk isn't often the first place that springs to mind when visitors are planning their itinerary. This is changing though thanks to the popularity of Andy Scott's stunning Kelpies. There is so much more things to do in Falkirk though so I want to shine the spotlight on them and show you that Falkirk and the surrounding towns and villages are definitely worth adding to your bucket list.
Of course it makes it a whole lot easier that it's so easy to travel to. Situated between Edinburgh and Glasgow it's easily reached from both cities. Find out all the best things to do in Falkirk, how to get there, the best time to visit and the best places to eat and shop.
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Mysterious places fascinate me. Places that aren’t well known and are off the beaten track. If they happen to be linked with ancient customs, fairies, Celtic rituals or anything along those lines then even better. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good tourist attraction too but I like nothing better than grabbing the dog and taking off on the hunt to find a hidden gem. Dunino Den, in the East Neuk of Fife, is exactly that. It ticks all the boxes. Stunning location, fascinating things to see which can’t always be explained, hidden, not well known and surrounded by rumours of druids and fairies.
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Glasgow is an arty city. There is a buzz of creative energy that flows through the streets. Whereas you can feel the history oozeing from the ancient bricks and cobbled lanes of Edinburgh’s Old Town, in Glasgow it's all about the creativity. The Glasgow Mural Trail is a brilliant example of the innovative and hip vibe of the city. Cleverly located around the city centre these stunning colourful Glasgow Murals help fill up empty and dull spaces, show off the talent of local artists and help to tell the tale of Glasgow. It’s pretty easy to see the murals for yourself, most are located within walking distance of Buchanan Bus Station, Glasgow Central Train Station and Queen Street Train Station. I’ve found an easier way though, a lazy option. I hop on the City Sightseeing Bus.
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Leaving from George Square every 15 minutes the open top bus winds its way around the city, with stops at all of the main attractions like Glasgow Cathedral, the Kelvingrove Art Gallery And Museum and Merchant City. I always grab a seat on the top deck so I can take photos without a window reflection and I always stick in the earphones (even though I could probably tell you every story, I’ve heard it so much) and listen to the mesmerising tones of Scottish historian Neil Oliver. I quite enjoy being a tourist for a while and the stops are so handy, especially, in this case, if you want to see some Glasgow graffiti. The fact you can hop off wherever you like and get back on once you're done having a nosy around is perfect.