Dan and I had a couple of ideas for our honeymoon – however when we saw an amazingly cheap flight deal for one of our preferred locations it made the decision for us. So off we went to Orlando, USA and headed for Walt Disney World (not to be confused with Disney Land in Florida) in search of fun times, adventure and experiences of a life time! (As I’m slightly obsessive I had already researched and knew that all this and more was going to be right at our fingertips at the ‘Happiest Place on Earth’!)


Dan and Paula dressed up for the Halloween Party

After a gruelling 12 hour flight from Brisbane to Los Angeles, we had a quick 3 hour stop over and then directly onto another 5 hour flight across the country to Orlando. By the time we arrived in Orlando, picked up our bags and made it to the ‘Disney Magical Express’ (the courtesy bus from the Airport) we had been “awake” approximately 25 hours and were utterly exhausted. I’d recommend if anyone is planning this trip – to take a day in LA, get a hotel and rest!

We stayed at the Pop Century (value resort) for the majority of the trip. This accommodation was budget (and the food seemed to specifically cater to this cost saving group) but it allowed us to stay at the deluxe Animal Kingdom Lodge resort for the last two nights of our honeymoon. This worked for us, as we were rarely in our room for the first week or so as we were constantly sightseeing and visiting the park attractions and other theme parks in the Orlando region. However if we did do it again we’d spend the money and stay at the Animal Kingdom for the whole trip. Their restaurants were amazing!


Pop Century Resort Area near main pool


Foyer of the Animal Kingdom Lodge

The food is WDW’s biggest let down. It consists mostly of fatty fast food. Seek out the more upmarket restaurants at the resorts or Downtown Disney for better quality food. We loved House of Blues at Downtown Disney and the Californian Grill at the Contemporary Resort for good quality food.


Dan with ‘toy soldier’ near the Toy Story Mania Ride at Hollywood Studios


Sheriff Woody at the parade at Magic Kingdom

We saw and did so many things. (There is so much to see and do we actually didn’t make it into the city of Orlando in the whole 18 days we were there!)
– went to Sea World and saw Shamu,
– rode an ‘enchanted bench’ through Harry Potter’s Forbidden Journey ride (and other fantastical sights at the newly opened Wizarding World of Harry Potter) at Universal Studios,
– saw Cirque du Soleil’s La Nouba at Downtown Disney (the only place you can see this show in the world),
– went hot air ballooning for Dan’s very special 30th with Orlando Balloon Rides
– attended our first American Halloween party at Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween party,
– Went on a romantic carriage ride around the Fort Wilderness Camp Grounds in WDW (which we kindly were given as a wedding gift – Disney World Wedding Registry ! Check it out – worth a look!)
– Spent a whole day at the Walt Disney World Speedway where Dan got to drive (by himself!) and ride a-long in a NASCAR and Indy Car for his 30th birthday
– Had a romantic dinner while watching the “Wishes” fireworks from the Californian Grill restaurant that overlooks the Magic Kingdom
– Experienced the Wanyama Safari Resort Tour through the grounds of the Animal Kingdom Lodge (where we got sniffed by a giraffe!) and then had an amazing 3 course dinner at Jiko.
– And saw all WDW’s 4 main theme parks being The Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom.


Seaworld – 5 killer whales splash the crowd during the ‘Believe’ show


Hogwarts Castle at Universal Studios (at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter)


Ollivander’s Wand Shop at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter


3 of the 12 balloons that took off on the same morning as our balloon ride


Pirate pose at the Halloween Party!


Dan and Paula after their carriage ride


Dan’s ride-a-long in the Indy Car

Travel Trips:
– Take the time to sleep! (the one day we went flat out all day and didn’t have a nap was the night we saw La Nouba. We had amazing seats – but that didn’t stop me from nodding off sometimes…)
– Off peak season is the key to a good WDW trip! The crowds are still big – but they are MUCH bigger in peak season
– Do your research and book in advance anything you really want to do
– Be prepared to negotiate, compromise and have some disappointments – (we didn’t get a king bed the whole trip; it didn’t stop us though from pushing our 2 doubles together!) It might be your honeymoon but it doesn’t mean you go to the top of the line.


Fireworks spectacular at Mickey’s Not-So-Scarey Halloween Party

What we loved:
We loved everything but I think we had the most fun at the Halloween party!

Ms Polka Dot says: Paula and Dan had such a fun honeymoon (see their wedding here) – appealing to all the big (or little) kids hiding somewhere within each of us! Thank you for this fun and sparkly post – I especially liked the photo of the ‘shower’ the crowds got from the five killer whales – hmmmmm!

All photos taken by Paula and Dan

Paula tells us: I’m 24 and live in Townsville, North Queensland with my new hubby Daniel, and our dog Zeus.

Polka Dot Honeymoons Directory Mid Banner

Today we’re jumping overseas to a location I’d never considered for a romantic getaway but one I wish I’d thought of sooner!

On the island of Pamalican, a one hour plane flight from Manila, the capital of The Philippines, sits Amanpulo (peaceful island) a resort of only 40 casitas, 11 villas and nothing but you and the sandy tropical paradise.

It used to be a family run coconut plantation, now the island houses only the resort, a private getaway that is so far from the rest of civilization, the night sky will often show the constellations clear from the smog and lights of the city.

The resort’s 40 casitas are built in the style of a traditional Phillipine bahay kubo- each features steep timber roofs on timber frames. The beach casitas all have a private path leading through the native bush to the sand, while the hillside retreat casitas look out freely over the ocean. For a little Robinson Crusoe, guests can choose the treetop casitas.

For the no expenses spared newlyweds- the deluxe casitas look out over the sea and neighbouring islands allowing their residents unimpeded sunset and sunrises every single day of the week.

Each casita features a king sized bed, oversized marble bathroom with twin vanities,  flat screen televisions, surround sound system, coffeemakers and ipod docks.

For something a little self contained, There are larger villas available for hire- though only one has a single bedroom. Each includes a cook, maid, buggy, private swimming pool, living & dining pavilions, outdoor lounge and kitchen, private outdoor decks, buggies,

Worried about dining on the island? You needn’t! Amanpulo offers numerous private dining options including private island hopping trips, in your casita or private spots around the island.

For something a little more communal, there are three dining facilities within the resort- The Restaurant features international and Filipino Cuisine, The Beach Club offers Fresh Seafood and Spanish Cuisine while the Lagoon Club offers Vietnamese Cuisine, Guests can also enjoy wood fired pizza at the wind surfing hut, a drink at the clubhouse or snacks in the Lobby terrace.

Of course nothing says honeymoon like a little bit of pampering and the resort’s spa offers a range of massages and treatments in air conditioned casitas or the open garden sala.

If you’re up for a little exercise after all that post wedding relaxation, the island is your walking track- a 5.5km walk will take you from your room and back in less than two hours. The resort is very well prepared for your water based activities too- top of the line windsurfing equipment, catamarans, kayaks and game boats are all available for use by the resort’s guests.

Nature is close by with a turtle hatchery on the island- baby black tip sharks and nesting marine turtles are often in sight too- adding to the sense that you really are close to nature. Surrounding the island is a spectacular coral reef- five dive sites are right by the island offering a plethora of soft corals, tropical corals, fish, rays and turtles all within sight.

The resort also offers a gym, tennis courts, yoga centre, library,  and a 30m swimming pool surrounded by lounges (my kind of place) and even a boutique for a spot of souvenir hunting.

For the destination wedding, Amanpulo offers destination wedding celebrations (including a ceremony on the crystal blue water using the resort’s pontoon). All packages include a Filipino wedding officer, guitar serenade,  bridal bouquet, champagne and of course- wedding cake!

To find out more visit the Amanpulo website.

Photos from Aman Resorts

I was dreaming of a mid week getaway when I stumbled upon Atlantic Byron Bay. Not only is Byron Bay one of the most beautiful places on earth, but their accommodation options? Well they take me right back to the days of Mad Men! (An Australian version, with dribbly icecream and surfboards!)

While the guesthouse and standard accommodation looks gorgeous, it’s the Airstream vintage trailer that really got me excited! Perfect for a beach side honeymoon, the trailer contains a double bed with kitchenette, dinette, television and air conditioning.

Now all you need is a vintage swimsuit and freshly squeezed lemonade in hand for a picture perfect honeymoon on that gorgeous deck chair on your own private deck!

The standard accommodation looks like it might fit the bill quite nicely too..

Photos by Atlantic Byron Bay