Sunday, 15 October 2017

Disney On Ice presents Passport to Adventure at Manchester Arena - Review

On Wednesday we visited the newly re-opened Manchester Arena to see Disney on Ice Presents Passport to Adventure, it was our sixth time watching a Disney on Ice show and my Disney mad daughter declared that it was the best show ever!

We donned our Disney themed clothing to get into the spirit and jumped on the tram after school to head into the City Centre to Manchester Arena. It was our first visit to the venue after the terrible events that took place in May and it felt quite emotional to be there again. However, the staff were all fabulous, super friendly and made us all feel very safe. The security was fantastic and handled really well, taking note of the information on the arena website, we took very little with us so passed through the airport-style scanners quickly and easily.

Happy Family meeting Mickey Mouse at Disney on Ice

Both children were super excited to have the very special opportunity to have their photo taken with Mickey Mouse before the show. (OK, I admit it I was excited too!) We soon found our seats and took our places ready to enjoy the Disney magic!

Before the main show began, we were treated a Fit to Dance pre-show warm up with the stars of Zootropolis, Judy Hopps and Nick Wilde. It's definitely worth arriving early to give your children the chance to see this extra segment and join in the dancing!

Mickey and Minnie Mouse with friends at Disney on Ice Passport to Adventure

It wasn't long before the much-loved characters, Mickey, Minnie, Daisy, Donald and Goofy came out onto the stage ready to start the show, their costumes were amazing as always and perfectly themed with the 'Passport to Adventure' title, they even had their suitcases ready!

The world tour of Disney delights started with a beautiful display of costumes from around the globe, skating to It's a Small World, which my daughter loved as it took her back to our Trip to Disneyland Paris earlier this year and her favourite ride!

Timone and Pumba at Disney on Ice - The Lion King

I don't want to reveal too much but the first half continued to take us on a whistlestop world tour, stopping at  Africa in the Pridelands and getting us all dancing to 'I Just Can't Wait to be King', then London and Neverland on a magical adventure full of Pixie Dust with Peter Pan.

Peter Pan and Captain Hook Crocodile

After a short interval where I successfully veered the children away from the rather shockingly priced merchandise (but did treat them to a box of popcorn each for £4), we headed Under the Sea to visit with Ariel and friends, which involved some amazing skating that had the audience oohing and ahhing throughout.

The Little Mermaid at Disney on Ice Passport to Adventure

The final destination we visited was Arendelle, where we were treated to a mini-retelling of the Frozen story including all the much-loved characters and favourite songs! We've Frozen featured in Disney on Ice previously, but I think this may have been the most entertaining yet, we just wanted to sing along!

Elsa - Frozen - Disney on Ice Passport to Adventure

The spectacular finale brought all of the stories together and ended the show with a sparkly bang!

Each segment had something unique to offer and our whole party were enchanted throughout the show, however, one had us just squealing with delight and that was Peter Pan! It's long been a favourite of both my children and everything from Tinkerbell, Peter and the Darling children flying high across the Arena to the wonderful costumes of the lost boys and of course those pesky pirates led by my son's favourite, Captain Hook!

Peter Pan and Wendy flying at Disney on Ice

We thoroughly enjoyed the show and had a wonderful family evening! 

If this has got you singing your favourite Disney tunes and ready to dance along why not book your tickets now?

The tour continues at the following venues: 

Arena Birmingham - 18th -29th October
SSE Arena, Belfast - 3rd - 5th November
Citywest Hotel, Dublin - 10th - 12th November
FlyDSA Arena, Sheffield 15th - 19th November
The O2, London - 20th - 30th December

You can book tickets and see the full schedule on the Disney On Ice website.

Check out what We're going on an AdventureThe Brick Castle and Red Rose Mummy thought of Disney on Ice presents Passport to Adventure too!

We were invited to attend Disney on Ice at Manchester Arena free of charge for the purpose of review, all thoughts and opinions are our own.

Saturday, 14 October 2017

Snot - The toy no one wanted. Now available at Smyths Toys #picksnot

Have you seen the new Smyths Toys Christmas Ad? It tells a sweet story about Snot - the toy no one wanted, narrated by much-loved children's author, David Walliams.


One dark, stormy night a toy was created in error and thrown out with the rejects, not to be deterred, this little green blob set out to find a place to call home, but just as he found Smyths Toys Superstore, he encountered a huge 50ft monster and with his bravery (and stickiness!) he saved the day! This was witnessed by all the toys in the toy shop and he was hailed a hero!

If you've not watched the ad for yourself you can watch it below:

Now we had a very special package delivered yesterday, which my six-year-old was delighted to open to find her very own Snot cuddly toy! She absolutely loved the advert and we've already downloaded and read the story together.

It's not just a heartwarming story though, the #picksnot campaign is donating all profits to the Great Ormond Street Hospital Charity to support their work helping seriously ill children, so why not pop to your nearest Smyths Toys Superstore and give your children the chance to pick Snot today?

All for a good cause and just £9.99 for the plush and the book.

Snot book and toy from Smyths

Find out more, play an online Snot game and download the story on the Smyths website.

This is a collaborative post.

Monday, 9 October 2017

Space Themed Toys and Gifts for Kids

NASA images of planets -  Space Explorer Room Projector

It's World Space Week and Brainstorm Toys have sent us a fabulous selection of space-themed toys and gifts that would be ideal for would be astronauts of all ages! It's really important that children have educational toys that are also fun and exciting and in my opinion, Brainstorm are fantastic at providing these.

All of the toys and gifts that follow have a STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) aspect to them but they are also things that both my children (age 6 and 8) would choose in a store full of other toys as they are colourful, engaging and each have an interactive element to them.

My Very Own Solar System - RRP 39.99 - Suitable from age 6+

My very own solar system - light up toy - space - planets - brainstorm

My daughter actually circled this when she was going through the Smyths catalogue last week choosing her Christmas list, so she was delighted when it arrived!

This amazing remote-controlled, rotating, diameter solar system mobile will make a fabulous centerpiece in a space themed bedroom or playroom.
As well as the giant sun, it includes includes 8 detailed colour planets which rotate on three independent orbits around the sun. This has a huge potential for STEM learn and includes a secret code to unlock fascinating online space facts!

Once mounted onto the ceiling the solar system is 85cm diameter at it’s widest point, so do make sure you have enough room for it!

The remote control allows your children to illuminate the sun and stop and start the rotation of the planets. 

My Very Own Solar System - RRP 39.99 - Suitable from age 6+

Be aware that this is a little fiddly to set up so will need so grown up help to attach the planets and to screw the base plate into the ceiling. 3 x AA and 2 x AAA batteries are required and are not included and it requires a mini Philips screwdriver to fit them so make sure you're prepared!

Space Explorer Room Projector - RRP £14.99 - Suitable from age 6+

Space Explorer Room Projector - RRP £14.99 - Suitable from age 6+

Kids can explore the universe from the safety of their own bedroom with this fabulous little projector. It comes with 3 disks, each featuring 8 colour NASA and Hubble Space Telescope photographs of spacecraft, astronauts, planets and nebulae, which are really easy for children to change and turn. Each projected image can be up to a metre wide depending on the distance between the projector and the ceiling, the images work best with the lights out and really are fantastic quality! It even comes with a booklet full of interesting space facts to accompany the image. When not being used as a projector a flick, of a switch turns this into a nifty nebula night light.

This is a huge hit with both my children and I may have to invest in a second one for my daughter's room as she reluctantly let her brother take ownership of this one! It would make a great value gift for any space fan.

NASA images Space Explorer Room Projector

It does take 3 x AA batteries which are not included and requires a mini Philips screwdriver to fit them so make sure you're prepared!

Aqua Dragons in Space -  Live Astro Pets - RRP £29.95 - Suitable from age 6+

Aqua Dragons in Space -  Live Astro Pets - RRP £29.95 - Suitable from age 6+

What are Aqua Dragons? They are live, aquatic pets which hatch out of their eggs once you’ve created the right environment for them. They grow, swim, eat and they can even reproduce. The dragons are very similar to triops or sea monkeys. but these aqua dragons are extra special as they were part of a payload of aqua dragon eggs that were sent into space and tracked on a mission surpassing the earth's stratosphere into space and then recovered! They really are out of this world pets!

We've not had the opportunity to start hatching and growing our eggs yet but you can read a full review of the Brainstorm Aqua Dragons in Space – Live Astro Pets Deluxe Kit from our friends over at Hodge Podge days.

It takes 2 x AAA batteries which are not included and requires a mini Philips screwdriver to fit them so make sure you're prepared!

The Original Glow Stars  - RRP £5.99 - Suitable from age 3+

The Original Glow Stars  - glow in the dark stickers - RRP £5.99 - Suitable from age 3+

This MEGA pack of over 1000 glow in the dark stickers, includes stars, moons, rockets, and spaceships and lets children create a magical night sky in their bedroom! As well as walls and ceilings, these are ideal for decorating bikes, scooters, bags and much more! If stuck onto a white background, they are 'hidden' in daylight. Just expose to a light source for a few seconds and then watch them glow in the dark!

These would make a fabulous stocking filler for kids of all ages!

We were sent these items in exchange for featuring them and taking part in the #WSW17 #Brainstormtoys twitter party. All views are our own. This post also contains affiliate links.

Saturday, 7 October 2017

Disney On Ice presents Passport to Adventure at Manchester Arena

Disney on Ice Passport to Adventure Show Manchester

Disney On Ice will be returning to the Manchester Arena this year with Disney On Ice presents Passport to Adventure. The show will run from 11th to 15th October 2017 as part of the tour that started in Glasgow and visits Newcastle, Birmingham, Belfast, Dublin, Sheffield and London before the end of the year.

Disney fans young and old can join Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse as they take audiences on a fun-filled journey to the most memorable Disney destinations with all of the favourite characters and classic tales that have captivated the world.

Disney on Ice Passport to Adventure Stamp

Manchester Arena is a place close to my heart, I attended my first music gig there as a teenager in the nineties, and have been to many more since as well as taking my children to a variety of shows and experiences at will what be always known to me as the M.E.N. Arena.

The terrible event that took place earlier this year scared me and made me think about all the times I had been stood in that foyer with my children. However, it has not put me off returning there with my children as we are Manchester and we are tougher than that.

As you will know from reading past posts, we are a house full of  Disney fanatics and this will be our sixth time watching Disney on Ice; it's looking like it may be the best one yet! 

We're looking forward to exploring the African Pride Lands with Simba, Timon and Pumbaa, voyaging deep under the sea to Ariel’s mystical underwater kingdom and touring London with Peter Pan and Wendy, before flying to Neverland to meet up with Tinker Bell. That's three of our favourite Disney movies covered there!

My daughter is also super excited that Frozen will be featured again this year as she absolutely loved last years Anna and Elsa themed show

There will be lots more excitement, including the pre-show party! Families arriving early will get to take part in the Fit to Dance pre-show warm up featuring Zootropolis!

Boy and girl with Mickey Mouse - Disney on Ice

Mickey Mouse and Families at Disney on Ice Fit to Dance Workshop

We were treated to a sneak peek of this last month when we attended an exclusive Fit to Dance workshop in Manchester, led by the Disney On Ice Skaters and hosted by leader of dance troupe Diversity, winners of the third series of Britain's Got Talent, Ashley Banjo himself!

Ashley Banjo smiling at Disney on Ice - Diversity

So if this has got you singing your favourite Disney tunes and ready to dance along why not book your tickets now?

You can book tickets and see the full schedule on the Disney On Ice website.