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Dancing On Ice is back this January (Picture: ITV)

Dancing On Ice will be back on our TV screens in a matter of days, with a 12-strong celebrity line-up waiting to entertain us.

They’ve been rehearsing for months so should be pretty snazzy on the ice as they make their debut next week.

The new series will see Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby reunited onscreen after their time apart while she was co-hosting I’m A Celebrity last year.

Here’s all you need to know about the new series of Dancing On Ice…

When does Dancing On Ice start?

The series kicks off on Sunday 6 January on ITV at 6pm.

Will the judges be back?

This image is strictly embargoed until 00.01 Friday 28th December 2018 From ITV Studios Dancing On Ice: SR11 on ITV Pictured: Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield. This photograph is (C) ITV Plc and can only be reproduced for editorial purposes directly in connection with the programme or event mentioned above, or ITV plc. Once made available by ITV plc Picture Desk, this photograph can be reproduced once only up until the transmission [TX] date and no reproduction fee will be charged. Any subsequent usage may incur a fee. This photograph must not be manipulated [excluding basic cropping] in a manner which alters the visual appearance of the person photographed deemed detrimental or inappropriate by ITV plc Picture Desk. This photograph must not be syndicated to any other company, publication or website, or permanently archived, without the express written permission of ITV Picture Desk. Full Terms and conditions are available on the website For further information please contact: / 0207 157 3052
Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield are hosts (Picture: ITV)This year’s panel consists of all four of the judges from last year’s show – Jason Gardiner, Ashley Banjo and Torvill and Dean.

Another familiar face is also coming back to the fold Karen Barber – a former judge who famously crossed swords with Gardiner on the show – is returning as Head Coach.

ITV has confirmed that she’ll be back to help the celebrities brush up their skating skills, saying she was excited about her return.

‘It’s a joy to return to Dancing on Ice as Head Coach,’ she said. ‘Having been involved with the show since its very first series, it holds a lot of special memories to me and I’m looking forward to working with this year’s celebrities as we start transforming them into skating stars.’

Which celebs are taking part in the new series?

Gemma Collins

The former TOWIE star is partnered with Matt Evers.

This image is strictly embargoed until 00.01 Friday 28th December 2018 From ITV Studios Dancing On Ice: SR11 on ITV Pictured: Gemma Collins and Matt Evers. This photograph is (C) ITV Plc and can only be reproduced for editorial purposes directly in connection with the programme or event mentioned above, or ITV plc. Once made available by ITV plc Picture Desk, this photograph can be reproduced once only up until the transmission [TX] date and no reproduction fee will be charged. Any subsequent usage may incur a fee. This photograph must not be manipulated [excluding basic cropping] in a manner which alters the visual appearance of the person photographed deemed detrimental or inappropriate by ITV plc Picture Desk. This photograph must not be syndicated to any other company, publication or website, or permanently archived, without the express written permission of ITV Picture Desk. Full Terms and conditions are available on the website For further information please contact: / 0207 157 3052
Gemma Collins and Matt Evers (Picture: ITV)

Saira Khan

The Loose Women panelist is partnered with Mark Hanretty.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Nils Jorgensen/REX (10037198bw) Saira Khan, Mark Hanretty 'Dancing On Ice' TV show photocall, London, UK - 18 Dec 2018 Saira Khan, Mark Hanretty at launch to celebrate the new series of the ITV Dancing On Ice skating competition, at Natural History Museum
Saira Khan and Mark Hanretty (Picture: Rex Features)

James Jordan

The former Strictly Come Dancing star is partnered with Alexandra Schauman.

This image is strictly embargoed until 00.01 Friday 28th December 2018 From ITV Studios Dancing On Ice: SR11 on ITV Pictured: James Jordan and Alexandra Schauman. This photograph is (C) ITV Plc and can only be reproduced for editorial purposes directly in connection with the programme or event mentioned above, or ITV plc. Once made available by ITV plc Picture Desk, this photograph can be reproduced once only up until the transmission [TX] date and no reproduction fee will be charged. Any subsequent usage may incur a fee. This photograph must not be manipulated [excluding basic cropping] in a manner which alters the visual appearance of the person photographed deemed detrimental or inappropriate by ITV plc Picture Desk. This photograph must not be syndicated to any other company, publication or website, or permanently archived, without the express written permission of ITV Picture Desk. Full Terms and conditions are available on the website For further information please contact: / 0207 157 3052
James Jordan and Alexandra Schauman (Picture: ITV)

Richard Blackwood

The former EastEnders actor and singer is partnered with Carlotta Edwards.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Nils Jorgensen/REX (10037333ah) Carlotta Edwards, Richard Blackwood 'Dancing On Ice' TV show photocall, London, UK - 18 Dec 2018 Carlotta Edwards, Richard Blackwood at launch to celebrate the new series of the ITV Dancing On Ice skating competition, at Natural History Museum
Carlotta Edwards and Richard Blackwood (Picture: Rex Features)

Brian McFadden

The former Westlife star is partnered with Alex Murphy.

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 18: Alex Murphy and Brian McFadden during a photocall for the new series of Dancing On Ice at the Natural History Museum Ice Rink on December 18, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by John Phillips/Getty Images)
Alex Murphy and Brian McFadden (Picture: Getty)

Ryan Sidebottom

The former England international cricketer is partnered with Brandee Malto.

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 18: Ryan Sidebottom and Brandee Malto during a photocall for the new series of Dancing On Ice at the Natural History Museum Ice Rink on December 18, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by John Phillips/Getty Images)
Ryan Sidebottom and Brandee Malto (Picture: Getty)

Jane Danson

The Coronation Street actress is partnered with Sylvain Longchambon.

This image is strictly embargoed until 00.01 Friday 28th December 2018 From ITV Studios Dancing On Ice: SR11 on ITV Pictured: Jane Danson and Sylvain Longchambon. This photograph is (C) ITV Plc and can only be reproduced for editorial purposes directly in connection with the programme or event mentioned above, or ITV plc. Once made available by ITV plc Picture Desk, this photograph can be reproduced once only up until the transmission [TX] date and no reproduction fee will be charged. Any subsequent usage may incur a fee. This photograph must not be manipulated [excluding basic cropping] in a manner which alters the visual appearance of the person photographed deemed detrimental or inappropriate by ITV plc Picture Desk. This photograph must not be syndicated to any other company, publication or website, or permanently archived, without the express written permission of ITV Picture Desk. Full Terms and conditions are available on the website For further information please contact: / 0207 157 3052
Jane Danson and Sylvain Longchambon (Picture: ITV)

Wes Nelson

The Love Island star is partnered with Vanessa Bauer.

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 18: Wes Nelson and Vanessa Bauer during a photocall for the new series of Dancing On Ice at the Natural History Museum Ice Rink on December 18, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by John Phillips/Getty Images)
Wes Nelson and Vanessa Bauer (Picture: Getty)

Saara Aalto

The former X Factor singer and Eurovision hopeful is paired with Hamish Gaman.

This image is strictly embargoed until 00.01 Friday 28th December 2018 From ITV Studios Dancing On Ice: SR11 on ITV Pictured: Saara Aalto and Hamish Gaman. This photograph is (C) ITV Plc and can only be reproduced for editorial purposes directly in connection with the programme or event mentioned above, or ITV plc. Once made available by ITV plc Picture Desk, this photograph can be reproduced once only up until the transmission [TX] date and no reproduction fee will be charged. Any subsequent usage may incur a fee. This photograph must not be manipulated [excluding basic cropping] in a manner which alters the visual appearance of the person photographed deemed detrimental or inappropriate by ITV plc Picture Desk. This photograph must not be syndicated to any other company, publication or website, or permanently archived, without the express written permission of ITV Picture Desk. Full Terms and conditions are available on the website For further information please contact: / 0207 157 3052
Saara Aalto and Hamish Gaman (Picture: ITV)

Melody Thornton

The former Pussycat Dolls star is partnered with Alexander Demetriou.

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 18: Melody Thornton and Alexander Demetriou during a photocall for the new series of Dancing On Ice at the Natural History Museum Ice Rink on December 18, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by John Phillips/Getty Images)
Melody Thornton and Alexander Demetriou (Picture: Getty)

Mark Little

The Australian TV star is paired with Brianne Delcourt.

This image is strictly embargoed until 00.01 Friday 28th December 2018 From ITV Studios Dancing On Ice: SR11 on ITV Pictured: Mark Little and Brianne Delcourt. This photograph is (C) ITV Plc and can only be reproduced for editorial purposes directly in connection with the programme or event mentioned above, or ITV plc. Once made available by ITV plc Picture Desk, this photograph can be reproduced once only up until the transmission [TX] date and no reproduction fee will be charged. Any subsequent usage may incur a fee. This photograph must not be manipulated [excluding basic cropping] in a manner which alters the visual appearance of the person photographed deemed detrimental or inappropriate by ITV plc Picture Desk. This photograph must not be syndicated to any other company, publication or website, or permanently archived, without the express written permission of ITV Picture Desk. Full Terms and conditions are available on the website For further information please contact: / 0207 157 3052
Mark Little and Brianne Delcourt. (Picture: ITV)

Didi Conn

The Grease actress is paired with Lukasz Rozycki.

This image is strictly embargoed until 00.01 Friday 28th December 2018 From ITV Studios Dancing On Ice: SR11 on ITV Pictured: Didi Conn and Lukasz Rozycki. This photograph is (C) ITV Plc and can only be reproduced for editorial purposes directly in connection with the programme or event mentioned above, or ITV plc. Once made available by ITV plc Picture Desk, this photograph can be reproduced once only up until the transmission [TX] date and no reproduction fee will be charged. Any subsequent usage may incur a fee. This photograph must not be manipulated [excluding basic cropping] in a manner which alters the visual appearance of the person photographed deemed detrimental or inappropriate by ITV plc Picture Desk. This photograph must not be syndicated to any other company, publication or website, or permanently archived, without the express written permission of ITV Picture Desk. Full Terms and conditions are available on the website For further information please contact: / 0207 157 3052
Didi Conn and Lukasz Rozycki (Picture: ITV)

Who is skating during the first show?

The first two-hour show will see six skaters and their professional partners take to the ice in a bid to impress the judges.

This weekend’s six are: Didi Conn, Mark Little, Saara Aalto, Jane Danson, James Jordan and Gemma Collins.

More: ITV

How to get tickets

If you fancy being an audience member on DOI, you can apply via SRO Audiences.

There is a form to fill out online with your preferred dates and you’ll be notified if your request has been successful.

At present, there are still some tickets available but you’ll need to be quick as some of the earlier dates are waiting list only now.

Dancing On Ice returns on Sunday 6 January on ITV1 from 6pm to 8pm.

MORE: Nicole Scherzinger spotted supporting fellow Pussycat Ashley Roberts on Strictly Come Dancing’s Halloween Special

MORE: Dancing On Ice’s Jordan Banjo quits new series as show faces major shake-up


FERNE McCann has spoken for the first time about finding love again after making dating her New Year’s resolution.

The 28-year-old spoke exclusively to The Sun Online about being keen to meet someone new almost two years after being left heartbroken by her acid attacker ex Arthur Collins.

Ferne McCann is ready to meet someone new as she kicks off 2019 positively feeling fit and healthyINSTAGRAM/FERNE MCCANN

Celebrating the release of her new fitness DVD Fit As Ferne, the reality TV star told how she’s entering a new chapter in her life – and says she’s happier than ever before.

She told us: “For so long I’ve been saying I don’t have the time.

“I’ve always thought that this comes first, or that comes first, and couldn’t imagine how I would have fitted dating into my busy life.

“My priority is my daughter Sunday and I have to work to provide for her, but she’s a year old now and life is moving on.

The reality TV star was left heartbroken by her acid attacker ex Arthur CollinsFerne spoke exclusively to The Sun Online about what she has in store for 2019The Sun OnlineFerne has been focusing on her fitness and healthy lifestyleFit As Ferne

“My friends are getting married and I’m a bridesmaid at my sister’s wedding.

“I’m at that stage of my life, so I am more open to dating now. That’s my New Year’s resolution.”

Ferne’s ex Collins went on the run after injuring 14 people when he hurled acid across a packed nightclub dance floor in April 2017.
Devastated by his actions, Ferne split from Collins – but revealed she was carrying his baby.

In November that year, their daughter Sunday was born, helping Ferne to let go of her anger and change her life for the better.

@fernemccann // instagram Ferne has been bringing up daughter Sunday alone after Arthur was jailed[/caption]

Two months later, The Sun also exclusively revealed she was in a secret relationship with an older man who was her “confidante” in the months after Arthur’s conviction.

She then had a brief fling with Love Island’s Charlie Brake after meeting on a boozy night out.

They enjoyed a passionate snog weeks later at an awards night and are thought to have been on a few low-key dates.

But the young mum insists she is still very much single as she focuses on Sunday and her growing workload.

Ferne was first linked to Love Island’s Charlie Brake after being spotted on a night out together in October holding hands

Fans have since followed her journey through motherhood watching Ferne’s TV series First Time Mum, which is soon returning for a second series.

The ITVBe show focuses on Ferne juggling between being a working woman and a single mum.

The mum-of-one has admitted that as well as struggling to do it alone, she has also experienced loneliness at times.

“I’m into a whole new chapter now,” she said.

“The first series was me learning on the job, being a mum and winging it.

“I’m still doing that but this is more about the highs, lows and the ‘lols’.

The single mum admits it can be tough bringing up a child aloneInstagram

“What I love about the show is it’s from a single parent’s perspective.

“There is nothing out there reality-wise in the UK that does that and it’s so important.

“I’ve had so many people reach out and say they relate and feel inspired by me.

“There’s so many single people in this country and I feel if I can honestly show my life then it might help others.

“Being a single parent can be really lonely sometimes.

“Even though it’s the best thing because you get all the love and it’s so rewarding, there’s definitely nights when it’s like ‘wow, I don’t have anyone else’.

The First Time Mum star has totally transformed her bodyInstagramFerne with ex Arthur in 2016 before she started on her fitness programmeGoff Photos

“First Time Mum showcases that, but it’s really fun as well.”

Ferne says her 14-month-old daughter is her inspiration and helped her to go from a size 12 to eight so that she remains fit and healthy for the little girl growing up.

Her weight loss inspired the launch of her new fitness DVD, which aims to give working mums quick and effective workouts.

Ferne said: “Everyone’s very busy, whether you’re a mum or working in the city.

“People live in the fast lane and life never sleeps because of phones and social media, so it can be hard to find the time to train.

“This is why my exercises are so fantastic. I’m realistic – I’m busy and have a baby – I don’t have time to be training all day, every single day.

She has been celebrating the launch of her new DVD Fit As Ferne
The 28-year-old has released her first fitness DVD Fit As Ferne

“These exercises mean you can do it two or three times a week and anything else is a bonus.

“The short, snappy programmes have the same effect as an hour working out with a personal trainer.”

And the proof really is in the pudding as Ferne showcases her rock hard abs in a crop top for the press launch of her DVD.

She admits it was important for her to get herself on top form mentally and physically before meeting a potential new man.

But now she’s looking and feeling incredible, the mum-of-one hopes she will be able to find someone special as she thinks about expanding her family.

Instagram Ferne has been focusing on her health since becoming a mum[/caption]

Ferne added: “I like to keep active because I want to be 100 per cent at my optimum state of health because I have a baby, I’m thinking about someone else now.

“And of course I’d love to have more children, but I do just love it being me and her right now.

“I’d love to have another set of hands because you can’t do it all.

“She’s got to an age now where she’s becoming a bit more needy.

Getty - Contributor She has dropped from a size 12 to a size eight in the last 18 months[/caption]



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“In everything I do, I’m always putting Sunday first and thinking is this right for her. All your decision-making changes after having a baby.

“But now I’m open to dating because I’m feeling so fit and healthy and that’s where it starts – you’ve got to learn to love yourself first.”

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The best things to do at Disney World, Orlando including must do rides for adults at each park

Disney World can indeed be the most magical place in the world. At its best it’s pure, stress-free fun and a blissful escape from the real world.

To make the most of a trip to Disney and avoid long queues, you need to plan in advance. Prioritize the attractions you most want to do and ride them first thing in the morning or use a Fastpass. A little planning makes Disney much more enjoyable.

Disney World in Orlando, Florida has four main parks: Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Epcot, and Hollywood Studios. Each one is very different and I recommend dedicating at least one full day to each park.

Below I have listed the best rides at Disney World not to miss in each park, as well as a Fastpass strategy to help you avoid queues and our favourite places to eat.

I’ve focused on the best Disney World rides for adults and older kids, but many of these are suitable for the whole family.

Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom is one of the best things to do at Disney World Florida

Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom

Use FastPass+ to Avoid Queues

There are two main ways to avoid long queues at Disney World and by using them we rarely queue more than 15 minutes (30 minutes is our maximum). 

Arrive Early

The first is to arrive at parks at least 30 minutes before the official opening time (which you can check on the Disney World website) as they sometimes let people into the parks early. For the first hour of the day, you can get on most rides without much queuing. 

If you are staying at a Disney resort, each day one park will have Extra Magic Hours when you can enter a park an hour early or stay a few hours later than everyone else. This is great for resort guests, but avoid those days if you are staying off-site.

Check this Disney World crowd calendar for the best days to visit each park. 

Use FastPasses

The second way to avoid queues, even if you don’t arrive early, is to use Disney’s FastPass+ system. FastPasses allow you to choose a specific time to ride and skip the queue.

The easiest way to book these is using the My Disney Experience app or website—you can book up to three FastPasses per day 30 days in advance or 60 days in advance for resort guests. FastPasses for popular rides do run out fast, so book as far in advance as you can. 

Best Rides at Magic Kingdom

If you only have time for one park at Disney World, make it Magic Kingdom. It’s the most classic Disney park with the fairytale castle and famous characters like Mickey and Minnie Mouse.

The best attractions at Magic Kingdom for adults are the three mountains. I haven’t included any Fantasyland rides below as they are aimed at small children, and the queues for rides like Peter Pan and Winnie the Pooh are usually very long and not worth it to us.

The most popular ride of all is the gentle rollercoaster, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. We rode it once and enjoyed it, but we don’t think it’s worth the very long queues. If you really want to ride it, get a Fastpass or head there first thing (but everyone else will be doing the same and it gets a bit crazy).

1) Space Mountain

Magic Kingdom’s most thrilling ride is a high-speed rollercoaster in the dark with plenty of twists and turns (but no inversions or large drops). As you fly through the galaxy you never know what’s coming next. We often ride this first thing and it’s quite the way to wake up!

It’s indoors inside a mammoth futuristic structure, and there are interactive games to keep you occupied in the queue (which we never have time to use as it’s usually quiet after park opening).

2) Thunder Mountain

Thunder Mountain is a fun outdoor rollercoaster in Frontierland, which is our favourite area of the park with its Wild West theme. It’s not as wild as Space Mountain, but we love the theming—you’re on a runaway mine train during the Gold Rush—and the views of the park.

3) Splash Mountain

Splash Mountain is one of the best things to do at Disney World in the Magic Kingdom park

We have a real soft spot for cheery Splash Mountain. This leisurely log flume ride tells the story of Br’er Rabbit who goes off in search of adventure with Br’er Bear and Br’er Fox in pursuit.

The ride is mostly inside with cute animatronic characters and catchy songs, before going outside for a fun drop down a five-story waterfall. We don’t usually get soaked, but it is possible if you’re sitting in the wrong seat at the wrong time.

There are rarely queues for Splash Mountain in the morning or evening and we usually ride it multiple times.

4) Pirates of the Caribbean

Bride auction on Pirates of the Caribbean which is one of the best rides at Magic Kingdom

The Pirates of the Caribbean ride no longer includes this bride auction!

Pirates of the Caribbean is a gentle indoor cruise through scenes of a pirate raid from the bombardment of a fortress to debauchery after the victory. Every time we ride it we notice new details. The films were inspired by this classic ride and you can now see an animatronic figure of Captain Jack Sparrow.

5) Haunted Mansion

A slow ride through a haunted estate full of ghosts and ghouls. It’s fun (and often humorous) rather than scary with lots of spooky details and special effects to enjoy. The queue features interactive elements like a musical crypt, so a slightly longer wait here is fine.

6) Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin

On this Toy Story themed interactive ride, you shoot targets with laser cannons and earn points as your spinning car (you control the spin) makes its way through the scenes. It’s not as good as the similar ride at Hollywood Studios, but Simon still wanted to ride it again to beat his score.

The Best of the Rest at Magic Kingdom

Once you’ve got the main rides out of the way, one of the best things to do at Magic Kingdom is just wander, soak up the atmosphere, and pop into one of the random shows and attractions that rarely have long waits.

Musical shows like the Enchanted Tiki Room, Country Bear Jamboree (which is surprisingly racy!), and Mickey’s PhilharMagic are perfect when you need a break.

We also love having a picnic on Tom Sawyer’s Island, clambering up the Swiss Family Treehouse, and getting on the water on the pun-tastic Jungle Cruise or the leisurely Liberty Square Riverboat.

The Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover takes you behind the scenes of Tomorrowland’s attractions and is especially lovely at sunset when you can see the park from above. We enjoy taking the Railroad around the park in the afternoon when we’re feeling tired.

Finishing the day with the Magic Kingdom fireworks above the castle is a Disney World must do.

Best Fast Passes for Magic Kingdom

The number one FastPass to get at Magic Kingdom is Seven Dwarfs Mine Train as even at park opening the queues are very long. You’ll probably need to book 60 days in advance to snag one, though.

Thunder Mountain would be my second pick as these tend to get booked up quickly. We usually get a FastPass for Space Mountain too, but if you go first thing in the morning (or just before closing) you won’t need to queue. I would choose a Fastpass for Buzz Lightyear before the other rides above.

Where to Eat at Magic Kingdom

We’re only eaten at the cheaper quick service restaurants at Magic Kingdom. Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn in Frontierland is our favourite as they have a huge free toppings bar where you can liven up your meal with salsas, cheese, jalapeños, pickles, and lettuce. The veggie nachos and veggie rice bowl with beans and vegetables are pretty tasty once you’ve added the toppings. Save time by ordering on the Disney app.

Columbia Harbour House in Liberty Square is another good option. We enjoyed the hummus and broccoli slaw sandwich and vegetarian chilli.

Best Rides at Animal Kingdom

With the addition of the new area, Pandora – The World of Avatar in 2017, Animal Kingdom has become one of the most enjoyable parks at Disney World. There are fewer major attractions than at other parks, but this makes for a more relaxing experience (with fewer queues), and there’s still plenty to do.

7) Avatar Flight of Passage

The view in the queue for Avatar Flight of Passage, one of the best things to do at Disney World Florida

The view in the queue for Avatar Flight of Passage

Avatar Flight of Passage is by far the most popular ride at Animal Kingdom. Queues were up to three hours when we visited in November, so it’s essential to get a FastPass (difficult) or arrive before the park opens (ideally with Extra Magic Hours). We arrived 30 minutes before Extra Magic Hours opening (they let us in early) and only had to wait 25 minutes.

Flight of Passage is well worth the wait and the beautiful queue and fun pre-show are part of the experience. This may be Disney’s best ride yet.

It’s an exhilarating 3D flight simulator ride where you fly on the back of a dragon-like banshee. You can feel it breathe beneath you as you soar over the extraordinary Pandora world through forests and waterfalls. While flying over the ocean a whale even jumps out of the water and splashes you. It’s magical and incredibly immersive.

While it’s not necessary, I’m glad I watched the Avatar movie before we went on the ride.

8) Na’vi River Journey

The second Avatar ride is not as spectacular, and the queues are nearly as long, but it’s worth doing if you don’t have to wait over an hour (we got a FastPass for early evening).

Na’vi River Journey is a peaceful river ride in the dark through a bioluminescent rainforest. It’s a beautiful world with plenty to see, and the graceful Shaman of Songs is Disney’s most life-like animatronic character yet.

9) Kilimanjaro Safari

Seeing a lion on Kilimanjaro Safari, one of the best things to do at Disney World Orlando

Seeing a lion on Kilimanjaro Safari

On Kilimanjaro Safari you board a jeep to head out into Disney’s safari park to see real live animals. It’s best first thing in the morning (we went after Flight of Passage and didn’t wait) when the animals are more active and the queues shorter. The guides are genuinely informative and we got to see elephants, lions, giraffe, rhinos, and cheetahs.

10) Expedition Everest

Expedition Everest is one of the best rides at Animal Kingdom in Disney World Orlando

Expedition Everest is a fast rollercoaster train that speeds through the Himalayan mountains trying to avoid the mythic Abominable Snowman. The details in the queue (and in the whole Asian area of the park) reminded us so much of Nepal.

There’s a single rider line that’s much quicker, so Simon usually rides it a couple of extra times by himself.

11) Kali River Rapids

Kali River Rapids, one of the best rides at Animal Kingdom in Disney World Florida

This whitewater rafting ride is fairly gentle with a few thrilling drops. The fun is in the nervousness over whether you’ll get just wet (as everyone does) or truly soaked (as about one person per raft does).

The Best of the Rest at Animal Kingdom

If you have time, the Dinosaur ride is surprisingly scary and was empty at the end of the day.

There are many attractions at Animal Kingdom that don’t have queues. It’s well worth walking the informative Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail and Maharajah Jungle Trek to see gorillas, tigers, and many other animals.

Our favourite show is It’s Tough to be a Bug, and it’s also worth seeing the Festival of the Lion King and UP! A Great Bird Adventure. There’s plenty of street entertainment going on all day, too.

In the evening don’t miss the Tree of Life Awakening (every 10 minutes after dark), Rivers of Light show, and wandering through Pandora.

Best Fast Passes for Animal Kingdom

More than any other park in Disney, it’s essential to book your Animal Kingdom FastPasses as far in advance as you can (60 days before for resort guests if possible). Your first choice should be Avatar Flight of Passage, but if not get Na’vi River Journey (you can only get a FastPass for one of the two).

After those choose Expedition Everest and Kilimanjaro Safari.

Where to Eat at Animal Kingdom

Animal Kingdom has the most vegetarian-friendly food in all of Disney World and there are lots of options. For breakfast we love to share a giant Mickey cinnamon roll at Kusafiri Bakery.

On our latest trip, as it was Simon’s birthday, we had lunch offsite at Sanaa restaurant in the nearby Animal Kingdom Lodge. You can watch giraffe and zebras wandering past as you eat and the Indian food is delicious (but pricey).

Delicious Indian bread service at Sanaa at Animal Kingdom Lodge

Delicious Indian bread service at Sanaa

Best Rides at Epcot

We always start the day at Epcot thinking there’s not much to do, then end up running out of time. The park is divided into two sections—Future World has the most rides, while World Showcase (which opens a few hours later at 11 am) has pavilions representing 11 countries with shows, shops, and restaurants.

12) Soarin’ Around the World

Soarin’ is a wonderfully relaxing hand gliding ride where you soar above the world and see famous sights like the Great Wall of China, Iguazu Falls, and Sydney Harbour. It’s my favourite ride at Epcot.

13) Test Track

Simon designing our car at Test Track, one of the best rides at Epcot in Disney World Florida

Simon designing our car at Test Track

Test Track is unique because you design your own vehicle, choosing to prioritise power or efficiency or responsiveness, before taking it for a high-speed test ride.

There’s a quicker single rider queue for Test Track, but you miss the design stage, so I’d only use it for a repeat ride.

14) Mission: SPACE

Mission Space, one of the best things to do at Disney World in the Epcot park

If you’ve ever wanted to be an astronaut, this space shuttle simulator is for you. The Orange Mission is intense as you experience the real feel of a space launch as you rocket to Mars and dodge meteorites. The g-forces are incredibly realistic and unlike anything we’ve experienced before.

The Green Mission is a less intense ride without spinning where you orbit the earth.

15) Spaceship Earth

Spaceship Earth is inside Epcot's iconic geosphere and is one of the best Epcot rides at Disney World

Spaceship Earth is inside Epcot’s iconic geosphere

Spaceship Earth is a gentle journey exploring the history of communication from the Stone Age to the computer age. After the ride there are interactive games and displays in Project Tomorrow—it’s areas like these that mean Epoct takes longer than you expect.

16) Frozen Ever After

Epcot’s newest ride takes over the old Norway ride and follows the same route. It’s a must for Frozen fans with excellent animatronics of Elsa and friends as you slowly ride a Norwegian vessel through the wintery world of the popular movie. This is the only ride in World Showcase that opens at park opening.

The Best of the Rest at Epcot

In Future World you can follow Nemo on The Seas and visit the aquarium afterwards. Living with the Land and Journey into Imagination are also worth doing.

In the afternoon, heading over to World Showcase is a must do Disney experience. You don’t have to worry about queues here—just make your way around the different countries, eat and drink your way around the world, and pop into any of the shows that take your fancy (Impressions de France is dated but very pretty).

Best Fast Passes for Epcot

There are two tiers for Epcot FastPasses. In Tier 1 I recommend Test Track or Soarin’ (or Frozen if you can’t get one of the others). Ride the other two that you didn’t get a FastPass for as soon as the park opens.

We had a FastPass for Soarin’ and rode Frozen (no wait) followed by Test Track (30 minute wait broken up by the design phase), but the other way around would have been better as Test Track queues get longer more quickly.

In Tier 2 book Mission Space and Spaceship Earth (although you’ll rarely need the latter). The other rides in Tier 2 don’t get long lines.

Where to Eat at Epcot

Eating and drinking your way around the world is part of the fun at Epcot and there’s plenty to choose from.

On our last visit, we had a late lunch at San Angel Inn in Mexico. It was fun to have a romantic candlelit meal under the stars overlooking a river, temple, and volcano.

San Angel Inn, one of the best Epcot restaurants at Disney World Orlando

The vegetarian options looked rather boring, but we shared the guacamole and Plato Vegetariano (sautéed vegetables and black beans with tortillas) and it was delicious. We also loved their range of interesting margaritas, especially the Wild One with ginger liqueur and passion fruit and mango purée.

Best Rides at Hollywood Studios

Hollywood Studios has two of our favourite rides at Disney, but while Star Wars Land is under construction (coming in Fall 2019), there are fewer attractions here than at the other parks. We still managed to spend a day exploring, though, and we love the Hollywood theming of this movie-focused park.

17) Twilight Zone Tower of Terror

Twilight Zone Tower of Terror is one of the best things to do at Disney World and a top ride at Hollywood Studios

Tower of Terror is a Disney classic and is brilliant (and different) every time we ride it—it’s probably our favourite Disney ride. The theming of the abandoned hotel is exceptionally detailed and atmospheric, and there’s nothing like the anticipation as you ascend in the elevator and wait for it to plummet.

18) Rock ’n’ Roller Coaster

The famous large guitar outside Rock ’n’ Roller Coaster, the most exciting ride at Hollywood Studios, Disney World

Rock ’n’ Roller Coaster is the most thrilling rollercoaster at Disney with a fun introduction (you join Aerosmith on a race to their gig), super-fast launch, and fun inversions.

There’s a single rider queue which saves time, so Simon rides this one again and again. It’s one of the best rides at Disney World for adults. 

19) Slinky Dog Dash

Slinky Dog Dash is a colourful new rollercoaster at Hollywood Studios, Disney World Florida

Toy Story Land was new at Hollywood Studios in 2018 and its main ride, the Slinky Dog Dash, is by far the most popular attraction at the park. It’s a gentle outdoor rollercoaster designed to look like Andy built it out of Tinkertoys. It’s fun but I wouldn’t queue too long for it.

You’ll need a FastPass for this or head there as soon as the park opens (along with everyone else!).

20) Toy Story Mania!

Toy Story Mania at Hollywood Studios, Disney World

This is a much better, 4D version of the interactive Toy Story game at Magic Kingdom where you rack up points by shooting in carnival games.

21) Star Tours

Head into space on a 3D, motion-simulated space flight to popular destinations from Star Wars. Each ride is different so it’s a good one to repeat.

The Best of the Rest at Hollywood Studios

There are some good shows at Hollywood Studios including Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular, Muppet Vision 3D, and Beauty and the Beast (the latter is not a must-see but good for a break).

It’s worth staying after dark for the Fantasmic show using pyrotechnics, water, laser lights, and fireworks.

Best Fast Passes for Hollywood Studios

Slinky Dog Dash is your number one FastPass priority at Hollywood Studios. If you can’t get one, go for Toy Story Mania instead as it’s in the same tier.

After that get FastPasses for Rock ’n’ Roller Coaster and Tower of Terror. If one of those isn’t available you could get Star Tours instead, but the queues are usually shorter.

Where to Eat at Hollywood Studios

The Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater is one of the best restaurants at Hollywood Studios at Disney World Orlando

The Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater at Hollywood Studios

The food at Hollywood Studios tends to be more junky than at other parks and we usually end up getting pizza. On our last visit we enjoyed lunch at Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater instead. We got a table without a reservation, but had to wait 40 minutes in the bar next door which has a surprisingly good selection of craft beers.

The restaurant is very cool—a huge space set up like a drive-in with a starry sky, vintage cars which you sit in to eat, and a screen showing 60s cartoons and movie clips. We enjoyed the tofu lettuce wraps and falafel burger.

Simon and Erin of Never Ending Voyage at the Magic Kingdom Castle in Disney World Florida

We recently finished our third visit to Disney World Orlando as adults and the magic is still alive! I hope our round-up of the best things to do at Disney World has helped you prioritize your time in the parks. Make sure you book your FastPasses in advance, arrive early, and have fun!

You can also see our guides for adults visiting Disneyland California, Disneyland Paris, and DisneySea Tokyo.

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Wondering what the best rides and things to do at each park in Disney are? Here's an easy list! #disneyworld #florida #floridatravel #visitorlando #disneytravel


For two decades, Jim Killen has served as the science fiction and fantasy book buyer for Barnes & Noble. Every month on and the B&N Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog, Jim shares his curated list of the month’s best science fiction & fantasy books.

Outside the Gates, by Molly Gloss (January 1, Saga Press—Paperback)
Originally published in 1986, Molly Gloss’ slender first novel tells the tale of Vren, a boy who is exiled from his home because of his ability to communicate with animals. Vren has been told that beyond the safety of the walls are monsters, and standing at the gates where so many others have died when forced out of their home, Vren is certain his fate is just as grim. Then he meets Rusche, a weather-worker gifted with his own powers, and he’s adopted by a family of wolves. For a while, Vren is happy and content—but a rouge spellbinder who uses those with psychic abilities for his own evil ends kidnaps Rusche, and it’s up to Vren and his wold family to save him before it’s too late. At the time of publication, Ursula K. Le Guin—who later became a close friend of the author—called it one of the best first novels she’d seen in years. This reissue is long overdue—and it’s just the first of four of Gloss’ works Saga Press is reissuing this year with new covers by Jeffrey Alan Love.

Mathematicians in Love, by Rudy Rucker (January 2, Night Shade Books—Paperback)
This whimsical novel by cult favorite Rudy Rucker was originally published by Tor in 2006, and is getting a new lease on life via Night Shade Books. Rucker spins a story of an alternate Berkeley, California where Ph.D. candidates Paula and Bela study under the mad genius Roland Haut, inventing a paracomputer called the Gobubble that allows them to predict future events. As Bela and Paul compete for the affections of Bela’s girlfriend, Alma Ziff, the mathematicians engage in increasingly delirious stunts to catch her eye. This is a universe ruled by a jellyfish-cum-god, and a group of characters whose casual conversation is peppered with Rucker’s delightful made-up math-speak. It’s one of the most unique and surprisingly entertaining weird SF novels ever penned.

The Fall of Io, by Wesley Chu (January 8, Angry Robot—Paperback)
Chu’s long-awaited sequel to The Rise of Io returns to the story of über-competent Ella and Io, the utterly incompetent alien intelligence that has taken up residence inside of her head. They’ve recently been expelled from the scheme by the alien sect Prophus to train Ella as an agent in their efforts to raise humanity to a technological level that will be useful to their war effort against the Genjix—the Prophus’ ruthless alien siblings who are willing to destroy humanity in pursuit of their goal of returning to their own home world. Ella is happily back to a life of short cons and petty heists, with Io unhappily along for the ride—but it turns out Io has information the Genjix need to further their own ends, and Ella and Io find themselves on the run, hunted by immaterial beings who have been guiding human history and development for centuries. This is the series that made Chu’s name in sci-fi (and helped win him a Cambell Award). We’re happy to return to it.

In an Absent Dream, by Seanan McGuire (January 8, Tor Books—Hardcover)
McGuire’s fourth Wayward Children novella is a prequel, telling the story of Katherine Lundy, the erstwhile group therapy leader at Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children (“erstwhile” in that she was killed off midway through the first book, Every Heart a Doorway). As a child, Katherine is absorbed in her studies and wants nothing to do with the responsibilities—or suffocation—of being a housewife, though that’s what everyone seems to assume she will do when she grows up. When Katherine discovers a portal that leads her to the Goblin Market, a place ruled by logic and reason expressed in riddles and falsehoods, she thinks she has finally found her place in the world. In the Goblin Market you can make any bargain you like—but there is always a cost. When Katherine realizes her time at the Market is drawing to a close she’s desperate enough to make such a bargain—with unexpected and heartbreaking results. In a series built from the bones of childhood, this installment may be the most painfully true yet.

Through Fiery Trials, by David Weber (January 8, Tor Books—Hardcover)
Weber’s 10th Safehold novel begins with peace. After so much time avoiding technology in order to ensure the survival of humanity, the war between technology-endorsing Charis and the luddite-like Church of God’s Awaiting is finally over. The Charis’ desire to see humanity move forward through science and technology—inspired long ago by Merlin, an artificial being hosting the intelligence of a former naval officer and obeying ancient orders to free mankind from the yoke of the megalomaniacal Archangels—have won the day. But Safehold is now a broken world as a result, and Charis’ victory has shifted the balance of power and the nature of alliances in ways not immediately apparent. Rebellions arise in the war’s wake, and the Charisian cabal worries the Archangels may be returning sooner rather than later, driving them to push a radical agenda of industrialization that further destabilizes the unstable.

The Lost Puzzler, by Eyal Kless (January 8, Harper Voyager—Paperback)
The debut novel of internationally acclaimed classical violinist Eyal Kless proves him skilled at more than one form of artistic expression. This complex science fantasy takes place in a deeply-imagined, puzzle-laden post-apocalyptic world 100 years after a disaster known as the Catastrophe. Humanity has slowly recovered along different lines—the Wildeners have reverted to primitive beliefs, while others work to restore the old technological glory. In the center of the fallen Tarkanian empire, the City of Towers hosts the Guild of Historians. Salvationists seek out the lost Tarkanioan technology, each search party led by a Puzzler skilled in opening the digital locks protecting forgotten treasures. Rafik, a skilled Puzzler who has been marked as cursed, goes missing while leading a dangerous expedition in a booby-trapped city. A decade later, a lowly scribe for the Guild is tasked with searching for him. It seems Rafik is the key to a revived Tarakan Empire and the future of humanity—but a host of monsters, traps, and puzzles stand in the way.

Alliance Rising, by C.J. Cherryh and Jane S. Fancher (January 8, DAW—Hardcover)
The latest entry in the sprawling, complex, and Hugo-winning Company Wars series begins with a mysterious, unidentified ship on its way to Alpha station. Like the other stations of the Hinder Stars near Sol, Alpha Station has fallen far behind newer megastations like Pell and Cyteen. Rumors fly about the ship’s purpose and origin, with much of the suspicion centering on another ship docked at Alpha, the mysterious The Rights of Man, commanded by the Earth Company. The true purpose of The Rights of Man is unknown, and many believe the mystery ship was sent by Pell to investigate it. James Robert Neihart, Captain of the Pell ship Finity’s End, also intends to find out, suspecting that there’s more going on with the ship—and with Alpha Station—than meets the eye.

The Winter of the Witch, by Katherine Arden (January 8, Del Rey—Hardcover)
The concluding volume of Arden’s acclaimed Winternight trilogy picks up right where The Girl in the Tower left off, with Moscow in ashes from Vasya’s inexpert use of a Firebird. Russia and the people Vasya love are still in danger, however, as Arden continues her secret history of a nation’s turmoils in parallel with the story of Vasya’s becoming. She stumbles forward in her troubled relationship with the winter-king Morozko, while the Grand Prince Dmitrii makes decisions leading them all inevitably towards a battle that could unite Russia—though the chaos demon Medved would prefer events unfold otherwise. Vasya is no longer the frightened girl of the earlier books, but neither has she perfected her abilities. Even still, she must embark on several dangerous magical quests in order to protect the people and the land she loves. Along the way, she meets new and fascinating chyerti, and all the threads of the two previous books weave together in an epic, truly satisfying ending.

The Outlaw and the Upstart King, by Rod Duncan (January 8, Angry Robot—Paperback)
The sequel to the Philip K. Dick Award-nominated Queen of All Crows is set on the Island of the Free, a version of Newfoundland where violent clans rule, laws and oaths are dictated by tattoos inked on the skin, and the only thing the squabbling factions agree on is that no king will ever rule them. Elias No-Thumbs returns to his homeland, smuggling something that could upset the balance of power in the name of the revenge he seeks. His plan pivots on the assistance of a mysterious woman and her friends who have crash-landed on the Island of the Free and desperately wish to leave—but the only ways ion or off the island are controlled by warlords known as Patron Protectors. Faithful Duncan fans will recognize the mystery woman as Elizabeth Barnabus, protagonist of the Fall of the Gas-Lit Empire trilogy, but readers both old and new will enjoy seeing her save herself and help Elias get his revenge on the people who took his wealth (and his thumbs).

The Heirs of Babylon, by Glen Cook (January 15, Night Shade Books—Paperback)
Cook’s second novel, originally published in 1972 and long out of print, gets a loving reissue from Night Shade Books. It’s set in 2139, by which point mankind has almost been decimated by continuous nuclear and chemical warfare. Humanity survives in isolated islands of civilization, with order maintained by the brutal Political Office that dictates how everyone should think and act—and which calls the Gathering, when the able-bodied must come together to fight a mysterious enemy. When the Gathering is called, Kurt Ranke must abandon his pregnant wife and board the ancient, decrepit destroyer Jäger, a once-mighty warship that has suffered two centuries of decay. Along with other reluctant warriors, Kurt must face the Final Meeting, a legendary battle from which no one has ever returned. This isn’t quite the Glen Cook of the Black Company novels, but this early work is much more than a mere curiosity.

Shadow Captain, by Alastair Reynolds (January 15, Orbit—Paperback)
Reynolds’ Revenger—aka Treasure Island in space!was hailed as his most accessible novel ever: a rollicking tale of pirate adventure set in a universe where humanity rose to dominate the stars—and then declined. The sequel finds sisters Adrana and Fura, former adventure-seeking stowaways on a salvage ship, much changed. After signing on to Captain Rackamore’s crew as they sought out the ancient caches of technology left behind by long-dead civilizations, Adrana was scarred by her enslavement by pirate Bosa Sennen, and Fura became obsessed with the hidden treasure Sennen is rumored to have amassed. Now, Sennen can’t tell them where it is, because she’s dead— but the sister have her ship. Unfortunately, that also means they’ve been marked for death by the forces that still crave revenge on the bloodthirsty pirate.

The Iron Codex, by David Mack (January 15, Tor Books—Paperback)
In Midnight Front, Cade Martin was a World War II hero mastering sorcery in the allied struggle against fascism. Years later, he is worrying his MI6 handlers, his frequent unexplained absences sending up red flags. Meanwhile, Anja Kernova hunts escaped Nazis in South America using the Iron Codex, a magical book of immense power. Other forces want the power that the Codex represents, however, and Anja soon finds herself on the run, even as a secretive cabal schemes to transform the USA into a fascist state using magical forces. Everyone’s path begins to converge on Bikini Atoll, where the Castle Bravo nuclear tests are scheduled to begin. If you like your history twisted up with fantastic magical invention, this is the series for you.

Marked, by S. Andrew Swann (January 15, DAW—Paperback)
Detective Dana Rohan is a cop with a near-perfect arrest rate—and a secret. She doesn’t remember how she got the elaborate mark on her back during her traumatic childhood, but it allows her to travel through time and alternative dimensions, giving her the ability to see the crimes she’s investigating as they are being committed. Power like that rarely comes without a cost, and one night Dana is approached by a homeless man who warns her that the Shadows are coming—and is then violently murdered by an armored monster. Dana plunges into a bizarre adventure across strange alternate worlds, pursued by the shambling, zombie-like Shadows and beset upon by violent relatives she’s never heard of before. If she can just stay alive, she might have a chance to finally understand her strange abilities—and figure out why everyone wants to kill her.

The Kingdom of Copper, by S.A. Chakraborty (January 22, Harper Voyager—Hardcover)
Con artist Nahri accidentally summoned the djinn Dara in 18th century Cairo in The City of Brass and found herself whisked off to the royal court of Daevabad, where she had to use every bit of her wits and her magical abilities just to survive. As the sequel begins, Prince Ali has been banished and is fleeing assassins, even as Daevabad recovers from a devastating battle. Nahri now knows more about her origins—and her power—but that doesn’t mean she’s out of danger, even if she did just marry the heir to the throne. Trapped in a luxurious prison, the king uses her family as leverage to ensure her compliance, and Nahri must once again navigate the complex alliances, grudges, and familial connections of the magical city in order to protect those she loves. Chakraborty’s debut was one of our best-loved books of 2016, and the sequel proves worth the wait.

The Gutter Prayer, by Gareth Hanrahan (January 22, Orbit—Paperback)
Hanrahan’s epic fantasy debut centers on the city of Guerdon, to where refugees flee from an epic ongoing war between insane gods and the sorcerers who once served them. This is where Carillon Thay, desperate thief and recent member of the Thieves’ Brotherhood, finds herself, alongside her friends Rat and Spar. Thay is dealing with the aftermath of a heist gone wrong, and must contend with Ravellers,the  shape-shifting servants of the ancient Black Iron Gods which haven’t been seen in decades. As an apocalypse approaches Guerdon, the last place of safety in this violent world, these three thieves can only count on themselves—but it seems their fates may be strangely intertwined with the warring guilds and other powers that be in the city, and the network of ancient tunnels deep below its streets. Hanrahan brings his city to life in lyrical prose, even as the plot leaps from action sequence to breathless chase and back again.

The Smoke, by Simon Ings (January 22, Titan Books—Paperback)
Much of Ings’ latest novel is told in the second person, but don’t let that distract you; the author is known for crafting challenging narratives, but he always has his reasons, and the end result is a book of alternate history unlike any you’ve ever encountered. The point of diversion with our own timeline is the discovery of the biophotonic ray in the 20th century—a discovery that divides the human race into three distinct sub-species, and makes all manner of medical miracles commonplace. Protagonist Stuart returns to Yorkshire, where they’re making parts for a spaceship headed for Jupiter, after his breakup with Fel, daughter of the leader of the Bund, the group responsible for many of said medical breakthroughs. But Stuart can’t seem to stay away from Fel, or from London—now known as the Smoke, and in turmoil due to the increasingly fractured nature of humanity. Without explaining too much: this might be the year’s weirdest science fiction book, and it’s only January.

The Hod King, by Josiah Bancroft (January 22, Orbit—Paperback)
The third book in Bancroft’s deeply compelling Books of Babel quartet more than delivers on the building promise of the first two. The Sphinx, having discovered the location of Senlin’s missing wife Marya, worries over a brewing revolution, and sends her new servant Senlin to the Ringdom of Pelphia to investigate. In Pelphia, Senlin is, per usual, caught up in local intrigue: specifically, the brutal, bloody arena where the enslaved hods fight as gladiators to amuse the crowds. Meanwhile, Voleta and Iren take on false identities in an attempt to get close to Marya, who has married Duke Wilhelm Horace Pell and become a celebrity isolated by fame. Edith, now captain of the Sphinx’s flagship, investigates happenings along the hod’s Black Trail, which stretches the height of the entire Tower, and hears whisperings of a figure known as the Hod King, whose identity drives this volume to its cliffhanger conclusion—as does the question of whether Senlin can stay focused on his mission, or if he’ll risk disobeying the Sphinx in order to finally reunite with Marya. Bancroft once again perfectly pairs beautiful prose with lively characters and an exploration of an utterly original fictional edifice. A classic in the making, it will set your expectations high for the concluding volume, expected to arrive in 2020.

Vultures, by Chuck Wendig (January 22, Saga Press—Paperback)
Wendig’s sixth and final book in the Miriam Black series sees the foul-mouthed deathseer’s world in flux.  The Trespasser is back, and now has the ability to possess the living as well as the dead. Miriam’s own capability to see the demise of everyone she touches—a power that she regards as a curse—is shifting as well, which gives her hope she might be able to save her already doomed unborn child. Her baby is fated to die, but they don’t call Miriam the Fatebreaker for nothing. On the trail of a serial killer, Miriam sees a pattern emerging than spans all the strange events of her brutal life, and as she faces off against the Trespasser one final time, knowing only one of them will survive, she can only hope to find the meaning of it all, before it’s too late.

Reckoning of Fallen Gods, by R.A. Salvatore (January 29, Tor Books—Hardcover)
Salvatore continues to plumb new depths of the world of Corona, surprising even his oldest and most dedicated fans. The direct sequel to Child of a Mad God (and the 13th story set in the fictional universe) picks up where the first left off: Aoleyn, an Usgar girl who had come to reject her tribe’s brutality and misogyny, has saved the trader Talmadge and killed a god in the process, coming into her incredible power at a tremendous cost. Talmadge can’t seem to forget the fierce girl who saved his life, but neither have much time to ponder their existence: in the distant west, an empire that once dominated the world is waking up again, inspired by a total eclipse that is hearalded as a sign of their rebirth. The tides of history are turning, and Talmadge and Aoleyn seem destined to be swept up in them no matter what they do.

The Wolf in the Whale, by Jordanna Max Brodsky (January 29, Orbit—Paperback)
Omat is an Inuit, a powerful angakkuq, or shaman, who can speak with animals, and even take on their form. Omat is also a uiluaqtaq, one who identifies as neither a man or a woman. Their family is on the verge of extinction, however, after a disaster left the tribe without hunters, and after years without new children to replenish the population. Even Omat’s power cannot sustain them for long. So when another tribe comes across their isolated village, it is cause for celebration—but the new tribe will not accept Omat as they are and insist she live as a woman, causing conflict that erodes the tribe’s chances even further—just as Norsemen arrive, bringing a whole new level of threat. The author of the Olympus Bound trilogy starts anew with a propulsive, deeply researched glimpse into a time and place that will be familiar to few, and which proves to be as fascinating as any fictional universe.

Vigilance, by Robert Jackson Bennett (January 29, Tor Books—Paperback)
Robert Jackson Bennett pauses between installments of the Founders trilogy with a darkly satirical novella that pulls back from the gritty fantasy settings of his longer works for a story set in the near-future—2030, to be exact. In a time when military conflicts have become more and more like video games, with soldiers huddled around screens mashing buttons instead of pulling triggers, John McDean is a the hard-driving executive producer and mastermind behind Vigilance, a reality-TV game show in which active shooters are dropped into the midst of civilians, and anyone who manages to survive the ensuing chaos gets a rich payout. Although the show is highly popular, McDean struggles to find fresh ways of terrifying his audience—simple mall massacres are no longer drawing eyeballs—much to the disgust of bartender Delyna, who might be the only person not glued to the television when the show is on. It’s a fact that comes in handy when McDean discovers the truth about his own show—and finds himself on the wrong side of the camera for once. This pitch-black satire of our modern-day gun culture is almost too painfully true to be funny.

Doctor Who Meets Scratchman, by Tom Baker (February 12, Penguin—Paperback)
Fans of Doctor Who know Tom Baker best as the iconic Fourth Doctor, lover of Jelly Babies and very cool winter scarves. But did they know he also imagined himself an author of the Doctor’s exploits? In the 1970s, Baker and Ian Marter, who played Harry Sullivan, worked up a treatment for a Doctor Who feature film—and at one point, it seemed like it might actually be made, with Vincent Price attached to star. But the script was lost in the shuffle, Baker regenerated into Peter Davison, and decades passed. Now, Baker has dusted off the idea and regenerated it into a novel, which sees The Doctor (along with Harry and Sarah Jane Smith) arriving at a remote Scottish island for a bit of a rest. Instead, they find the isolated village under attack by hideous scarecrows. The Doctor takes on the challenge of protecting the innocent, but it’s all an elaborate trap set by an otherworldly force known as the Scratchman—who might be the devil himself. For Who-vians, this is a glimpse into an alternate timeline where the Doctor became the next film franchise—or just another delightful Fourth Doctor romp.

What new sci-fi and fantasy books will help you kick off 2019?

The post The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Books of January 2019 appeared first on The B&N Sci-Fi and Fantasy Blog.



In my opinion, nothing beats sharing one of the most intimate moments of your life with the person you love, in a dreamy destination. It's one thing to go on a romantic getaway with your significant other, but it's a completely different experience to get engaged on the very same trip. Imagine jetting off into the clouds, daydreaming about relaxing on the sand, only to discover that you'll return home engaged to the love of your life. (Talk about crying all the happy tears.) Here are some of the most Insta-worthy destinations for a proposal, because I can't think of a better way for bae to pop the question.

If you and your significant other share a passion for all things travel-related, then a destination proposal is likely right up your alley. Whether it's pre-planned or a total surprise, the both of you are in for a real treat.

You'll always have a special place to return to, and you'll have the most stunning photos to look back on for years to come. Let's just say, life will never be the same (in the best of ways) once your significant other gets down on one knee with the surf and sand or an iconic landmark serving as the ultimate backdrop. (Time to pop the champagne!)


1Santorini, Greece


Santorini is known for its incredibly Instagrammable #views. The white and pastel-colored homes stacked high above the turquoise blue water make for the perfect photo backdrop.

The island is also home to the most beautiful views of the sunset, and there's really nothing better than a sunset proposal am I right? Your maxi dress will be gracefully blowing in the wind while the love of your life gets down on one knee, and it'll all feel so right.

2Paris, France


A Paris proposal is always a good idea especially with the Eiffel Tower making a stunning appearance in the background. Couples flock to this romantic city throughout the year, so it's no secret that the "City of Love" was made for the dreamiest kind of proposal.

3.Yosemite National Park, California


The Sierra Nevada mountains make Yosemite National Park one of the most surreal spots for a proposal. If you and your boo love the great outdoors, then this destination is sure to make your jaw drop. The dramatic landscapes will set the perfect scenery for your engagement photos.

4Sedona, Arizona


You'll fall in love all over again once you touch down in Sedona, Arizona. This red-rock city will showcase the passion in your relationship, which makes it a truly magical place for a proposal.

You'll be admiring the mountain views and each other, so be sure to take plenty of pictures. This will certainly be a vacation you'll never forget!

5Destin, Florida


Imagine what it would be like to have your proposal surrounded by powdery white sand and turquoise blue water. Destin, Florida is a beach destination that will leave you and your partner in total awe. Your pictures will always remind you of the sweetest day ever spent with the love of your life in pure paradise.


1. Loving yourself based on a set of conditions you have to meet

You set conditional requirements for yourself and only feel like you love yourself when you meet those standards. Most of the time, you don’t deem yourself as acceptable or worthy of being loved if you haven’t proven it to yourself yet.

2. Thinking that rejection means you’re inherently unworthy and never deserving of anything better

You associate rejection with your inherent unworthiness to attain certain things that seem to come so easily to others. You view yourself as inferior and blame yourself for any end result you haven’t attained yet.

3. Mentally preparing yourself for things that could go wrong because you believe you’re a bad luck magnet

You believe that more bad things happen to you when you make decisions because you still haven’t forgiven yourself for past failures. You think that your tendency to make a wrong decision will repeat itself in the future, so you anticipate failure just to “prepare” yourself for it, even when it’s not actually helping you prepare at all.

4. Assigning a greater value to other people’s opinions of you than your own view of yourself

You feel like everything people think of you is worth more than what you see yourself as because you believe that if you ever think anything positively about yourself, you’re narcissistic and vain (which isn’t true).

5. Suppressing feelings of jealousy

While you do genuinely feel happy whenever people achieve their goals, you also have to suppress feelings of jealousy because you haven’t quite mastered the art of staying in your own lane and being happy with where you are going, since you feel ashamed that you haven’t reached where they’re at.

6. Having a stiff and utterly boring persona that you show to people because you’re afraid that the real you won’t be accepted

You’re still not interacting with people authentically, and you force yourself to maintain a very stiff public face because you fear that if you show your true self, people will think you’re unprofessional and immature. You say what you think people want to hear, nod politely, and don’t speak of anything you’re passionate about.

7. Feeling guilty whenever you decide to spend money on something nonessential for yourself

You believe that spending money on yourself makes you selfish and materialistic, so you go through prolonged periods of self-deprivation, and you constantly deny that it’s driving you insane.

8. Not opening up even to your closest friends and family members

You don’t open up to people who are closest to you or share your most suppressed thoughts and feelings because you feel like you’re being a burden if you can’t resolve those issues yourself first.

9. Irrationally worrying about how you’re perceived and all the hypothetical ways you could be judged

Other people’s thoughts of how you’re not good enough are always in your head, so much that you actually believe you have to earn their love in order to be worthy of loving yourself.

10. Having a burning desire to escape from yourself

You’ve become a master of maladaptive daydreaming, and you’re spending more time in a fantasy world you’ve created than in the real world. Also, whenever you’re faced with a problem, especially one that involves confrontation with others, you do all you can to avoid it, which makes you notorious for running away from difficulties and conflicts.

11. Generally feeling disengaged from your own life

You find it difficult to be engaged with the present moment, since you feel like your life is not worth being excited about. When you don’t love yourself enough, it’s a struggle for you to be fully immersed in your own life because you feel like you can’t appreciate what you have if others have more.

12. Always feeling intense anxiety and dread for the future

Even when you love planning the future and know where you eventually want to go, you still doubt your ability to handle anything that’s unknown and unpredictable.

13. Holding yourself back from going after what you know is best for you

There’s always something within that says you can’t do anything you want to do because you’re unqualified for it and have no chances of success, even when you know you’re capable of more. You listen to this voice of fear and allow it to make decisions for you, which is why you don’t fully love who you are because you associate your inner self with fear, doubt, and ruthless criticism.

14. Saying “I don’t know” a lot, even when you do know

You subconsciously believe that blurting out, “I don’t know” will shield you from consequences of saying something wrong, but instead, it just undermines your credibility, and reinforcing your inadequacy this way only makes you dislike yourself even more.

15. Not allowing yourself to enjoy what you really enjoy because you associate effortlessly doing things with being lazy, immature, and spoiled

You force yourself to do what you don’t want to do to prove that you can be disciplined and self-sacrificing enough. You’re afraid to embrace your true self when it comes to activities you enjoy because you worry that you’ll be seen as self-indulgent and unwilling to do grueling work.

16. Seeing obstacles as physical manifestations of your own insecurities, character deficiencies, innate worthlessness, and lack of willpower

You blame yourself for any obstacles you face, even when it’s not your fault. You believe that somehow these obstacles are here to teach you harsh lessons because you haven’t measured up to some universal standards. You ascribe your recurring life problems to your own inner deficiencies, which makes you think you can’t ever love yourself enough unless you resolve to turn those deficiencies into strengths. TC mark


1. If you put someone on a pedestal, you give them no choice but to look down on you.

2. Some friendships age like wine, and some others age like milk.

If someone makes you feel tired and unpleasant more than happy, it’s time to let them go.

3. Pick your battles.

Many battles aren’t worth fighting: with your wife, who’s otherwise great, with your boss, who knows something is stupid but has to do what he’s told, with a cranky toddler who only wants to wear purple today.

Conversely, don’t be a doormat. Some battles are worth fighting. Some battles are worth fighting even if you think you’ll lose.

Try to find your own principles, and let them guide your judgement.

4. No one actually really knows what they are doing. We always look backwards and things from that vantage point seem like they were preordained. But in the moment, everyone is just guessing. Some people are just better at covering that up.

5. Most of the time, people aren’t doing things TO you. They’re doing things FOR them. They’re not trying to slight you or hurt you, they’re just like everyone else putting themselves first. I’m sure there’s a better way to put it, but that’s the gist. You likely didn’t even come into the equation when they were deciding.

6. Just because its an emergency for them doesn’t mean it has to be an emergency for you.

7. “Love is a rubber band”. It will stretch to accommodate those you care about. You do not need to give less affection to someone in order to have more leftover to give to someone else.

8. You can’t pursue something without leaving something behind.

9. Just try to live a good life for you and do the things you’re supposed to without questioning why.

Eat good food when you’re hungry, drink water when you’re thirsty, sleep when you’re tired, move when you’re restless, be around people when you’re lonely, be by yourself when other people stress you out, work when you need money, spend money on things you need, fix things when they break, create when you’re creative, look for inspiration when you’re in a rut, practice when you’re not as skilled as you’d like to be, wait when you’re patient, distract yourself when you’re not… I could go on.

You most likely know all the things you need to do and why you should do them, just stop looking for better reasons and accept that the most obvious reasons are good enough. An addict doesn’t need a reason to be addicted, nor do they have to enjoy what they’re addicted to. You’re addicted to life whether you enjoy it or not, might as well make sure you’re getting the good shit.

10. No matter how hard you want/need to take care of others, remember to take care of yourself too. Otherwise you’ll burn down, and then you’ll become part of the problem.

11. Life happens. You cant stop it or change some things. Every person will struggle, you’ll wake up depressed some days, and your parents will eventually pass away. It happens. It sucks.

All you can do is keep moving forward.

12. If you don’t learn to forgive, you well end up bitter and resentful over a lifetime of petty shit. Get over it and move on.

13. You can choose your family. You can find people who love you and treat you with compassion.

You’re not obligated to have relationships with people who treat you badly just because they share DNA with you.

“Family don’t end in blood.”

14. People may not remember what you say but they will ALWAYS remember how you made them feel.

15. Sometimes doing the right thing is difficult or unpleasant, but you still need to do it.

Refuse to fall prey to the bystander effect. If someone needs help, don’t stand around waiting for someone else to do something to help. Be the one who steps up.

You can be happy even when things are hard.

16. Everything that is worth having in life is hard to get. Act more, talk less, and stop looking for easier ways.

17. Free time is limited as an adult: spend it doing things you love and with people who love and respect you.

18. Everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always.

19. Think twice before you say. Those words could break someone’s heart or make bad things happen unintentionally. Don’t argue when you are angry. You will lose control of your emotions and you will end up to make things worse.

Don’t trust people too much. Yes, you can trust them but not to the point that they can stab your back without you noticing it. Some people may have double standards. Always be alert.

20. You are responsible for your own happiness. Don’t expect others to give it to you.

21. Your most important relationship is the one you have with yourself. It colors everything else.

  • Perspective is a powerful thing, and you can change how you see things and what your emotional priorities are if you want (I’ve been doing this with cognitive restructuring techniques). If your emotional priorities tell you to play video games instead of study, it’s a lot easier to change that then resist it.

  • Related: you create a narrative of your life, and that narrative can be unhealthy as shit. For example, do you feel like nobody likes you? The only person telling you that is you, and you don’t have to feel that way.

  • Life does not run on a track where you have to reach X point at Y time, or you’re a loser. Do you know what nobody mentions about Jonas Salk’s polio vaccine or Einstein’s theory of relativity? How old they were. It’s your accomplishments that matter.

  • The only person who has to believe in you is yourself. This isn’t depressing; you know yourself best and you know your goals best, so who else is qualified to tell you what you can and can’t do?

  • Taking genuine feedback (especially negative feedback) seriously will reduce your rate of mistakes. It’s all well and good that people keep telling you that you can’t be a surgeon, but what if you’re trying to ignore the fact that you are a double arm amputee? If you don’t consider what people say then you might dismiss something you need to hear.

  • If you want to get good at something, it requires effort, sacrifice… and enjoyment. If you don’t like what you do, effectively putting those hours in is going to be a lot more difficult and ultimately not sustainable. I started getting a lot better at fiction writing when I started finding enjoyment in it, even though I was writing for 3 hours a day before and after.

  • If you want to make an accurate assessment of someone, don’t make any assumptions that aren’t preliminary and give them the benefit of the doubt. If you don’t know them then it’s easy to be missing context.

  • This one might seem more depressing, but you can’t self-determine: there are some things that are going to be out of your reach, and you can’t necessarily do anything to fix that. You have to understand your limits, however they’re imposed, because working with and around them is the only way to get anything done. Understanding that life is about taking maximizing your chances (it’s all about probability; you’re always gambling) helps a lot with empathy and understanding.

22. I have learnt that it’s important in life to ensure the people you love know that you love them. Not just in the context of a partner, but your parents, sibling and friends.

A time will always come where for whatever reason, those people aren’t around you any more. I can say with great satisfaction that although my mum died, she died knowing how much she meant to me. I get to live knowing that and it brings great happiness to such a dark time.

Love and appreciation can bring so much joy and it costs absolutely nothing.

23. Be on time, say please and thank you, do what you said you would, and finish what you started.

24. Don’t take life too seriously. Sometimes (most of the times) you should just go on and don’t give a shit about things.

25. We don’t see things as they are, we see things as we are.

26. No matter how amazing your day is, it will still be 24 hours long. If you want it to last forever, I’m sorry – that won’t happen. However, if you live in the moment, you can cherish it every day as you relive it.

And this is true for the times your day isn’t going well. The day may seem like forever – but it’s not. It’s still going to be 24 hours long no matter what. Even if your SO broke up with you it will still be 24 hours long. It will end.

27. Being cool, calm and collected in a stressful situation is hugely important. Which is not to say repress your emotions; just don’t let them get the better of you

Don’t live your life to an agenda. E.g., go to college, get a high paying job, get married, buy a house, have 2 kids and a dog, that sort of thing. Just live.

No matter how much you try to stop it, life will throw you curveballs. Learn how to hit the curveball.

28. Sometimes life is unfair and kicks you when you did everything right. It is best to move on.

29. Break the rules, not the law, but break the rules. It is impossible to be a maverick or a true original if you’re too well behaved and don’t want to break the rules. You have to think outside the box. That’s what I believe. After all, what is the point of being on this earth if all you want to do is be liked by everyone and avoid trouble?


31. Start saving for retirement very early.

32. It is impossible to use rational argument to dissuade someone of an irrational point of view.

33. No matter how bad your current situation is, you‘re just a piece of meat and bones walking around on a big ass stone filled with lava. And your time is limited so make the best out of it.

34. Debt will suck the life out of you. Don’t take on debt.

35. There will always be someone richer, prettier, more successful, etc. than you are. Focus on what you DO have rather than what you don’t have.

36. Social skills are very important. Hard work and intelligence are important but mean nothing if you do not how to talk to or work with others.

37. The pursuit of YOUR happiness is all that matters. Give all you can to the people you care about but never at the expense of yourself. Make enough money to get what you want but don’t work your life away. And finally be genuine and kind but don’t let others take advantage of you.

38. Your interpretation and thoughts regarding the world around you have a strong influence on what you end up observing and what you end up experiencing. Your thoughts alone can sometimes create harmony or chaos.

39. Life is filled with challenges. Those challenges will never be the same as anyone else that you know. It’s not about what happens to you but how you handle it. Another good thing to live by is never brag about yourself. Let others do the bragging for you. If you don’t like what they’re saying then you should change something about yourself or not associate with them.

40. There is no time limit or “right way” to grieve.

41. All anger comes from expectation. Don’t expect anything from any human, any animal, any technology etc.

42. If something doesn’t feel right, it most likely isn’t.

43. Not everyone is going to like you and that’s okay.

44. These 4 got me a long way esp during rough tides:

  1. Be impeccable with your word.

  2. Don’t take anything personally.

  3. Don’t make assumptions.

  4. Always do your best.

45. People are willing to help if they think you don’t need any help. Try to fake it if you wish to get support from people around you.

46. Don’t discuss religion or politics at work. Its cliche, but I always have to learn things the hard way. Cost me some friendships with people I’ve liked and respected.

47. People that you don’t know on a deep enough level don’t really care about you. It’s pointless to constantly worry about what others think of you when you occupy an infinitesimal, fleeting portion of their attention. Others care much more about the details in the context of their own lives.

I’ve found that it’s really liberating to do whatever it is that I want with the idea that everyone else is so absorbed in their own narratives in mind.

48. No matter what you do, somebody’s always gonna have something negative to say about it. You cant please everyone, worry about pleasing yourself.

49. Look out for number one. You’re not a martyr and you can’t make other people happy if you’re not happy, but the reverse definitely can happen.

My father used to say, “I made a deal with the bank, they don’t do my job and I don’t loan money.” Don’t loan money and never ever co-sign for someone.

50. People don’t look at you, talk about you or think about you nearly as much as you think they do.

And in the off chance they are, it really doesn’t matter a fuck. TC mark


She is not leading you on with her random texts and selfies. She is trying to test the waters, test your reaction, test the chemistry. She cannot tell whether you are the one for her based on looks and a few back-and-forth texts. You might be perfect for her. Or you might be toxic. She is trying to figure out which one is the truth.

She is not purposely playing mind games with you. She is not intentionally driving you nuts. She is sorting through her feelings. She is sending first texts and asking to hang out so she can see whether you work well together, whether you make any sense as a couple, whether trying for a relationship with you would be worth the effort or a waste of her time.

She does not want to rush into the wrong relationship. She does not want to put herself through unnecessary heartbreak. She does not want to make another mistake when it comes to love because she has already made too many to count.

That is why she is going to take things slow with you. She is going to pace herself. She is going to take your relationship one step at a time.

She is the kind of person who wants to have meaningful conversations with you before kissing you. She wants to learn about your career, your family, and your hobbies before inviting you into her bedroom. She wants to know what she is getting herself into before becoming too invested in you.

It is going to take her some time to get comfortable around you, and in the end, she might decide you are not the right one for her after all. She might stop flirting. She might stop texting. She might choose to fade away. And that is okay.

She is allowed to consider her options. She is allowed to get close to you and pull away. She is allowed to decide someone she invested a lot of her energy into is not worth the trouble after all. She is allowed to change her mind, even if that means accidentally hurting someone in the process.

Just because she showed interest in you for a while and ultimately walked away does not mean she was leading you on the entire time. It does not mean she intended to play games with your heart. It does not mean she is laughing behind your back about how hard you fell for her.

Chances are, she feels terrible about your almost relationship never becoming an official relationship. Chances are, she had some sort of feelings for you and was trying to figure out what to do with them, trying to figure out whether to take a chance on you, trying to figure out what her next move should be.

She was never leading you on. She was never trying to hurt you. She was only looking for love — and, unfortunately, she still has not found it. She is still searching. TC mark


love island
Love Island/Instagram/ITV2

Love Island is looking for non-binary and intersexual contestants for this year’s series. 

Whether you love it or hate it, Love Island never fails to capture the attention of the nation each summer, and this year will be no different as applications for the reality TV series are now open.

The show usually follows a fairly regular format with an odd number of men and women entering the Love Island villa and coupling up, forcing the one left over singleton to tear apart budding relationships in order to be in with a chance of winning.

Love IslandITV2

Although the show has had bisexual contestants before, with 2016 contestants Sophie Gradon and Katie Salmon being the first same-sex couple to form in the villa, Love Island has faced criticisms for the way it focuses on heterosexual relationships.

One frustrated viewer wrote:


While another questioned:

Why don’t they have any #LGBT or hoy a non-binary into #LoveIsland? I mean, after all – we are encouraged to be more inclusive in every other aspect of existence these days… [sic]


— Clare 🐼🐛 (@Rosen_Scibbles) July 16, 2018

Why don’t they have any #LGBT or hoy a non-binary into #LoveIsland? I mean, after all – we are encouraged to be more inclusive in every other aspect of existence these days…

— Lord Barrold (@lord_barrold) June 16, 2018

However the upcoming series is set to challenge those criticisms as bosses are encouraging non-binary and intersexual people to apply, with applications asking wannabe-Islanders to confirm whether they identify as male, female, non-binary or intersex, The Sun reports.

Intersex people are born with a mixture of male and female sex characteristics, while non-binary people don’t fall into strict male or female categories.

Applications are now open for anyone over the age of 18, and as long as you have a valid passport and aren’t employed by ITV you could soon be jetting off for a summer of fun in the sun.

The website reads:

How do you fancy enjoying your very own long hot summer of romance? Love Island will be back for summer 2019 and we’re now on the lookout for lively singles from across the country to take part.

Once again, our Islanders will take up residence in a spectacular luxury villa in the hope of finding love. But to stay on the island, they need to couple up – and more importantly – win the hearts of the public.

If you think you’ve got what it takes, then we want to hear from you straight away.

Still from Love IslandITV2

If you manage to find your true love – or at least someone you can stand to be around for the entirety of the show – you could make it all the way to the end and find yourself and your partner winning the delightful £50,000 prize.

Last year’s winners will soon be in appearing in their own reality show Jack and Dani: Life After Love Island, while a bromance formed on 2017’s series has seen Kem Cetinay and Chris Hughes appear on Celebrity Hunted and even release their own single Little Bit Leave It. 

After calls for the show to alter its focus on heterosexual relationships, the updated application process is sure to be met with positive reactions.

On a related note, if they ever make a version of 'love island' with a mix of trans & cis genders & sexualities, including non-binary people and pansexual/bisexual people.. it's going to be a LOT more interesting.

— Alianna Flynn (@AliannaFlynn) November 8, 2018

Apply for the new series of Love Island here!

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to 


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