Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Disney Store Japan Haul | Shop and Box

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Towards the back end of last year I discovered a website called Shop and Box. I was originally looking for US drop shipping companies in order to have Colourpop Cosmetics shipped to me in the UK, but recently branched out and decided to place an order from the Japanese Disney Store.

The basic concept of Shop and Box is that you create your wishlist on their website, and when you're ready to order, submit it. Your order then gets assigned to a boxer in that country, who will confirm the availability of your items as well as the price. Once confirmed, you will be asked to pay Invoice #1, which is the total cost of your items plus any taxes and domestic shipping fees. Your boxer will then go ahead and order your items, check them over once they've arrived and repackage them to save shipping costs. They will provide you with an estimated cost for your chosen shipping method, and will then submit Invoice #2 for payment. This will contain your international shipping fee and your Shop and Box service charge. After receipt of payment, your boxer will ship your items to you!

This was my 4th order placed and I have received customs charges only twice. 

When it came to browsing the Disney Store Japan website, I found navigation pretty complicated (not being fluent in Japanese and all) but Google translate helped me out a bit. I found that if I wanted to search for something in a specific category, I'd need to translate the text to Japanese first and then search.

I couldn't resist the Mrs Potts & Chip bag for my upcoming (well, 8 months) trip to Disney World. It's large enough to throw in the essentials and it isn't a nuisance to wear on your shoulder. The inside lining is pink with illustrated Beauty and the Beast characters, and I love that it's subtly Disney without being too over the top.

I found the selection of purses that were available overwhelming. There were so many beautiful designs to choose from! In the end I settled on this Little Mermaid one due to how pretty it was. It contains more than enough room for all of my cards, change, notes and receipts - something I think is difficult to find in a purse as I always end up bulking them up! There's a cute little illustration of Flounder on the back, too.

Last but not least I spied this diary in the sale. I've been after a diary but most that I'd seen had cost more than I wanted to pay. I wish I'd ordered it earlier as it has the last few months of 2015 inside, but it does go all the way up to the end of 2016. It's littered with adorable Disney characters from the classic movies and is really nicely laid out. I'm looking forward to using it!

If you're looking to shop from international stores that aren't readily available in the UK I'd definitely recommend Shop and Box. With this particular order I was assigned to boxer Hiro and my items were with me less than a week after submitting my request! 

Sunday, 31 January 2016

Disneyland Paris | Inventions Brunch Review

When we booked Disneyland Paris last Summer, I knew I wanted to book the Sunday Brunch at Inventions, located in the Disneyland Hotel. At a set price of €64 per adult, it was never going to be cheap, but the reviews sounded promising and we ended up booking for the Fairytale themed brunch on the 22nd November.

The brunch was due to begin at 1pm, and I believe we were lead into the restaurant just after. Jane was also booked in at the same time, so we had a good chat while we waited!

As soon as we were seated, Goofy came over followed by Daisy and a couple of glasses of champagne which were complementary to our meal. We were sat by the window, which would have provided great views of the castle had there not been a load of scaffolding up on the train station outside.

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Our server brought over a bread basket which was filled to the brim, and we headed over to the buffet. When you hear the word "buffet," your head doesn't automatically link that to "work of art," but that is exactly what this buffet was. It was stunning! There were flowers made out of fruit, ice sculptures - the works! 
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There were a few different sections to the food. The first section comprised of salads and cold starters, including fresh tomatoes and basil, caesar salad, mozzarella and basil balls, asparagus, cold meats, olives and more. The second section consisted of what I deem main meals; seafood, pastas, carved to order meats, beef dishes, potatoes, risotto, pizza and fish dishes. However, the last section was my favourite - desserts! As someone with a huge sweet tooth, I couldn't wait to get over there. They were presented beautifully, especially the fruit display! 

We both really enjoyed all of the food that was on offer. Everything tasted fresh, well prepared and cooked to perfection. All of the hot food was kept that way, and I don't remember there being a shortage of anything.

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Our favourites included the mozzarella and basil balls, the prosciutto wrapped cheese, caesar salad, asparagus risotto, the available pasta dishes and Lewis particularly enjoyed the lamb.

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The eclairs, caramel pots and the cake were winners too. I'm certain I went back for a second plate of the desserts, as I didn't have too much for my main!

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As we were eating, more characters made their way around to our table. We had some of the best character interaction we've ever had here, and it's made us determined to participate in future character meets. By the end of the meal we'd met Goofy, Daisy, Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Pluto, Pinocchio, Rabbit, Chip, Dale, Flynn & Rapunzel. Twelve characters in 2 hours ain't all that bad! 

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Throughout the meal our server was incredibly attentive, clearing away plates as soon as they were empty and offering refills on drinks. 

To be completely honest, I don't rate food in Disneyland Paris all that greatly. For the most part I find it overpriced and bland, but I can honestly say that Inventions is an incredible experience that I'd recommend doing at least once. Especially if you're a character fan!