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Universal Studios Hollywood: A Fun Day With The Stars

April 6, 2020

Universal Studios Hollywood: A Fun Day With The Stars

April 6, 2020

This post is in collaboration with Klook, however, all thoughts are my own.

As soon as I started planning my trip to California I knew that I had to include a trip to Universal Studios in Los Angeles. Home of Hogwarts and Springfield, it felt like the perfect place to go and live out my childhood dreams for the day. Luckily, the 3-Day Klook Pass includes Universal Studios, which meant I was able to enjoy the park as part of the one-off cost of the pass.

What Is Universal Studios Hollywood?

So, for those of you that don’t know, Universal Studios has a number of different theme parks in several incredible locations across the world. From Orlando and Los Angeles in America to the Universal Studios parks in Japan and Singapore, each location is 100% worth a visit if you’re in the area.

Although not all parks have the same, each park has attractions that are centred around some of Universal Pictures biggest hits. From Jurassic Park to the Fast and Furious Franchise, there are so many fun things to see and do. In Florida, you can also visit Islands of Adventure if you buy a park hopper ticket. 

How Do You Get There?

As we didn’t rent a car during our time in California, we booked ourselves an Uber from our hotel. We stayed in Hollywood and with the studios located in Burbank, it was just a short 10-minute drive that cost roughly $12.

There are lots of other ways, however, to get there.

Train

If you want to take the train, the Metro Red Line train from both Downtown LA and Hollywood stops at Universal City station. Once you exit the Metro station,  you will see a Universal Studios shuttle which provides complimentary shuttle service to the front gate of Universal Studios Hollywood. This service runs every 10-15 minutes and stops two hours after the park has closed. If you want to walk from the station, it’s about 5-10 minutes uphill.

Driving

If you would rather drive and park up, the theme park is located just off of the 101 Freeway in Universal City north of Hollywood. The northbound exit is Universal Studios Blvd; the southbound exit is Lankershim Blvd. From there, you will need to follow the signs to the Universal Studios parking.

Shuttles

If you’re staying in the Anaheim area, a number of hotels offer a shuttle service to and from the park. This might be something you want to check before you book your accommodation.

Address: 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, CA 91608, United States

Buying Your Tickets With Klook

If you’re looking to save money on your trip to California, buying a Los Angeles Travel Pass that lasts longer than three days is 100% worth it when it comes to Universal Studios.

For example, a three day Los Angeles Travel Pass on Klook costs roughly £190 per person. This includes entrance to Universal Studios Hollywood, which costs up to £105, depending on the dates you choose to visit. Once you have visited the park, you have two full days to make use of all of the other included attractions, which are likely to total more than the remaining £85 if you were to purchase separately.

Not only is it cheaper, but you’re also able to skip the line for tickets and go straight to the gate. Your Los Angeles Travel Pass QR code will scan right away, without having to be converted into another ticket (which applies for a number of the attractions included).

So, What Can You Do At Universal Studios Hollywood?

Universal City Walk

Before you enter the park, you have the opportunity to walk around Universal City Walk and honestly, it’s 100% worth it. From the exclusive stores to the incredible restaurants, you could easily spend hours walking around before you even enter Universal Studios Hollywood itself.

Although we didn’t spend long walking around, we made sure we stopped at the famous Voodoo Doughnuts for breakfast. I had the 8-Mile doughnut which was, you guessed it, covered in M&Ms. I also couldn’t resist picking up a hoodie from Bubba Gump Shrimp Co, as I used to work in the London branch when it first opened.

Other places to explore include Pink’s Famous Hot Dogs, Margaritaville, Sephora, Hot Topic and The Dodgers Clubhouse.

If you’re pressed for time, you may want to consider exploring Universal City Walk whilst you’re on your way out as it remains open after the park has closed.

The Universal Studio Tour

One of the biggest attractions at Universal Studios Hollywood is the World Famous Studio Tour. As the hub for film and television production, Universal Studios Hollywood gives you the option to explore a live working studio during your visit. On this incredible 45-minute tour, your hilarious guide will take you on a behind-the-scenes ride through both the front and back lots, showing you exactly what it is like to work on a real movie set.

Once you have driven through the front lot, where you will see all of the active stages, the tour starts to become a little more interactive. The backlot starts with a drive through what can only be described as car-enthusiast heaven. With cars from Back To The Future, Fast And Furious And Jurrasic World, you get a glimpse at what goes into creating some of the world’s most recognised cars.

As you finish looking at the cars you can see a cart, much like the one you’re riding in, that has been crushed in the distance. I knew EXACTLY what was coming next and as I have a fear of practically everything, I had to brace myself for the first 4D experience of the tour.

When we turned the corner to face the dismantled cart, ours started to rear itself onto the tracks that had been put into place. We were told to put on our 4D glasses and as we entered the dark room, the screens started to display a stunning forest. I had a few seconds to enjoy the stunning view before out of nowhere, Kong jumped onto our cart and started causing havoc. I have to admit, I couldn’t keep my eyes open much longer. As soon as our cart was hurled through the air and started falling, I tapped out and closed my eyes as the special effects were so incredible, I genuinely felt as though I was dropping deep into the forest. Although I could still feel the cart moving about on the tracks, closing my eyes made it a little bit easier for sure. For those that love the thrill of being hurled around by an ape, however, this is definitely the experience for you.

Once we made it out of the forest, the drive continued through the backlot and into Mexico. With sets that had been used in lots of movies I know and love, I loved driving around this little area. Here we were also given examples of how they make it rain as well as how they would create a flood, which was pretty awesome to see.

If you’re a fan of The Good Place, the next stop on the tour will probably have you freaking out as much as I did, as I couldn’t believe we were able to drive through the ACTUAL GOOD PLACE SET. Honestly, I was so happy and felt as though it made up for the traumatic Kong experience moments before. Or so I thought…

After a drive past Whoville, The Bates Motel and Amity we arrived at our next interactive experience. This time, I KNEW I wouldn’t be able to open my eyes at all as it would mean living out one of my worst fears of being trapped on an underground train during a disaster. Although I can’t give you many details as I held on for dear life with my eyes closed, what I can tell you is when I opened my eyes and saw what had happened, I’m glad I didn’t have to go through that. What it was supposed to be for those that watched, was an example of how a set can be ready to go at any time.

After a couple more stops, we had our final 4D experience, this time courtesy of the Fast and Furious franchise. The clip started with a warehouse party that you’ve been invited to, it doesn’t take long, however, for things to heat up. I actually ended up keeping my eyes open for this one and loved the thrilling car chase through Los Angeles. The effects were incredible and although we weren’t moving at all, I really did feel as though we were speeding through the streets.

Despite fearing for my life on more than one occasion, the Universal Studios tour was actually my favourite part of the day. It was so informative and our tour guide made it super fun and educational.

Universal Studios Hollywood Highlights
The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter

If you’ve followed me for a while then you will know that I am a HUGE Harry Potter fan, which is why I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to dress up in my Hufflepuff uniform for my first-ever (!!) visit to Hogwarts. Having only seen the ‘tip’ of the castle in Orlando whilst visiting Universal City Walk, seeing one of the replica castles for the first time was something I had been dying to do for YEARS.

We arrived at the park before the gates opened so as soon as they let us in, we made sure we ‘briskly walked’ to Hogsmede. Despite being one of the first sets of people in the park it was already starting to get busy so skipped past the stores and walked straight to the castle to look around and take some photos. There was music from the film being played through the speakers and the whole thing was so so so magical, I loved it. After we were done at the castle, we slowly walked back through Hogsmede, looking in all of the shops to ensure we didn’t miss anything. Of course, that means trying a famous Butterbeer too.

If you wanted to go on any of the rides, you will find both Harry Potter and The Forbidden Journey and Flight Of The Hippogriff here. At night, you will also be able to see the popular light show on the castle.

The Simpsons: Springfield

Who knew that just around the corner from Hogsmede is Springfield, the home of The Simpsons. Although I haven’t watched The Simpsons for years, I loved seeing all of my favourites from a series I grew up watching each and every day. From Moe’s Tavern to The Kwik-e-Mart, the theming was absolutely incredible. We spent some time here looking around all of the stores before grabbing some fried chicken and a Slurpee at Cleetus’ Shack.

For those that love rides, you have The Simpsons Ride.

The Lower Lot

After taking a million and one different escalators down to the lower lot, we were immediately greeted by a park ranger from Jurrasic Park and Jurassic World. He was holding a baby velociraptor and trying to get my friend, Kaye, to stroke it. I was filming and as he knew I wasn’t paying full attention, he decided to turn the miniature dinosaur to me and fake an attack. I swear I was becoming more and more traumatised as the day went on. 

Okay, I’m kidding, but it did make me jump… 

Although we didn’t spend a lot of time in the lower lot, it looked like there was a lot to do. From the Jurrasic World ride to the Transformers 3-D experience, it’s definitely worth spending an hour or two exploring. If you’re lucky, you may even get to see Megatron…

Live Shows

Throughout the day there are various different live shows that you can go and watch, from learning the secrets behind training pets to finding out how some of the most popular special effects are created, you can learn a lot during your visit to Universal Studios Hollywood. As we were walking past as the show was about to start, we went to see The Secret Life Of Pets. Although mainly aimed at kids, it was super fun to watch all of the animals on stage.

Other rides and attractions include Revenge of the Mummy, Despicable Me Minion Mayhem, Super Silly Funland, DinoPlay, Dreamworks Theatre Featuring Kung Fu Panda, The Walking Dead Experience and WaterWorld. Although I wish we had time to do everything and explore all of the lands, there was just too much to choose from! 

Food & Drink

Although we didn’t get to eat and drink as much as I would have liked during our time at the park, I thought it would be rude not to mention some of the amazing places you can eat during your visit to Universal Studios Hollywood. Some of the must-try food and drink includes:

  • Butterbeer from The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
  • Bangers and Mash from The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter
  • A Giant Donut from Springfield
  • A Blue or Red Slurpee from Springfield
  • A Krusty Burger from Springfield
  • A Dino Sized Burger from The Lower Lot
  • A Milkshake From Mel’s Diner

You will also find a Starbucks and Panda Express on site.

Have you ever been to Universal Studios in Hollywood before? Which ride would you go on first? 

I'M KIRSTY LEANNE

My mission is simple. I want to help change the way travel looks, showing both brands and society that plus size people really do travel too. In a community where plus size travellers are made to feel unwelcome, I want to inspire and advise people like me on how they can make the most out of their own incredible travel experiences.Join me as I share my own personal experiences, my best tips and tricks and all of the challenges I face along the way. It won’t always be an easy ride, but it sure as hell will be a fun one.

Together, we can change the way that travel looks today

WHAT TO EXPECT

Instagram

  • Just some of the things people (including me) can feel anxious about as a plus size traveller. It can be hard, but thankfully there’s a great community of people here on Instagram who can help ❤️✈️🌎 #plussizetravel #plussizetraveltoo #plussize #travel #fatgirlstraveling #fatgirlstravelling #fatgirlstraveltoo #curvygirltravels #travel #travelblogger #travelblogger #anxiety #anxieties #travelanxiety #overwhelmed #takeuspace #takingupspace #community #travelcommunity #reels #instagramreels #reelsinstagram
  • AD  For a long time, I was scared to admit that I was on my self-love journey as I felt like it meant that I had to constantly be positive about how I feel about my body. I knew that the way in which I felt about myself was definitely changing in a positive way, but I didn’t want to open up and say that I was on this journey because I was so scared that I couldn’t be the positive role-model that people needed 🥺

It took some time, but I finally realised that self-love means something completely different to each and every person that has started the incredible journey of learning to love their body more. For some, self-love is wearing a bikini in public for the first time ever. For others, it’s saying no to something you really don’t want to do and taking time to focus on YOU instead 👙

To believe that self-love was a linear concept held me back from so much so when @welovedates asked me to share what it means to me, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to show you that there’s so much more to self-love than building your confidence in yourself ❤️👏🏻

I’ve shared five ways in which my life has changed as a result of my self love journey over on my blog so if you fancy reading, head over to the link in my bio 👩🏼‍💻✍🏻

If you’re on your self love journey, how has your life changed? 👇🏻❤️ #welovereal
  • In another world, today would have been the first day of the Plus Size Travel Too x Bali trip ✈️🌎
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For those of you that are new here, this time last year I announced my first international group trip created with plus size travellers in mind. For obvious reasons, however, I had to cancel it earlier this year. It felt as though it was my biggest career achievement to date and honestly, I am gutted that it hasn’t been able to go ahead as planned 🥺😢

Being passionate about an industry that is now so uncertain isn’t easy right now, but I’m (mostly) hopeful that things will rebuild and I promise they when it’s safe, I’m going to do all that I can to make Plus Size Travel Too trips a reality again ❤️👏🏻 #plussizetraveltoo
  • ad pr • them: “gross, she probably can’t even touch her toes 🤮”

Me: “......hold my drink 😏👏🏻”

Just your friendly reminder that you shouldn’t assume someone can’t do something just because they’re bigger than you AND if for any reason they can’t do the same things as you, they’re not any less worthy of your respect ✌🏻
  • ad pr • a cat print dress certainly makes for the purrrfect Halloween outfit 🕸🕷

When it comes to shooting new content I’ve been feeling really uninspired lately and honestly, I think it’s because I usually find my inspiration in travel and discovering new places ❤️✈️

Summer has been and gone and I think I must have only taken a handful of photos. I felt like I was putting pressure on myself to create when I didn’t feel like it, so even when I did try to self shoot the photos didn’t come out how I wanted 🤷🏼‍♀️

Thankfully, Autumn is well and truly here and I’m feeling really really motivated to start taking photos again. It’s my favourite season for both the colours and the fashion, so I feel like it’s a time of the year where my ‘at home’ content always starts to improve a little 🍂

As I’m not going to be travelling anywhere for a while, I feel like this is going to be the year to embrace my Autumn content even more (starting with this gorgeous @joanieclothing dress) ❤️📸 

I hope you’re all as excited as I am for my content over the next few weeks 😂🎃👀 #joaniegirls
  • I know things have been a little quiet around here the past few weeks but it’s for good reason, I promise! 🥺❤️

So, as I haven’t mentioned it here yet, last week I started working for a new job on a part-time basis! 👏🏻 I’ve been doing lots of training and getting used to my new schedule so unfortunately, Instagram fell behind a little bit. I feel like I haven’t had the time to develop content ideas or create new Reels for a couple of weeks now and when I finally remember to post, it’s gone 10pm and far too late to consider posting 😂

I’m finally getting the hang of things again, so consider this post an accountability post to say that I’ll be back to posting properly ASAP 🥺✌🏻
  • I don’t have a lot to say today so I thought I’d let you all know I really miss Disney California Adventure, even if their churros were extremely overpriced and small 🎡🎠
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Side note: next time I go to a Disney park, will someone please remind me to wear something practical? I looked cute but oh my god, it was so WARM 🥵 #plussizetraveltoo
  • “PLUS SIZE GIRLS POSING IN BIKINIS ARE PROMOTING OBESITY. THIS IS NOT OKAY”❌
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So, earlier this week I shared a video of myself in a bikini. It was the first time I’ve ever worn a bikini to the beach and honestly, I was super proud of myself for taking a big step personally on my journey 👙
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Over the course of the last few days I have a lot of positive and supportive comments from people but of course, when a video on Instagram gets a lot of views, it starts to attract those that think those in a larger body than them shouldn’t be allowed to live their best lives on social media.
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They’re the people who, no matter what I’m doing, tell me I’m promoting obesity by sharing videos and images of my body online 🤷🏼‍♀️📸
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These comments don’t phase me anymore, so....
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JUST FOR A LAUGH, I DECIDED TO DESIGN THE PROMOTING OBESITY MAGAZINE COVER, JUST TO SHOW HOW RIDICULOUS IT ACTUALLY SOUNDS WHEN PEOPLE SAY THIS 😂👏🏻
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By posting videos of myself travelling and enjoying myself, I’m not saying HEY EVERYONE  YOU SHOULD ALL GAIN WEIGHT AND I WON’T BE HAPPY UNTIL THE WHOLE WORLD IS FAT LIKE ME. I obviously recognise that there can be health complications for some people, but size does not indicate your health and health does not indicate your worth. 
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Every single person on this planet deserves love and respect and I am going to continue to fight for that every. single. day. Just because someone lives in a body that is bigger than yours, it doesn’t mean that can’t live the same life that you do publicly for fear that people are going to come for them online.
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When people say we’re promoting obesity what they really mean is we’re promoting loving yourself at any size. We’re promoting happiness. Following your dreams. Travelling the world. Finding confidence. We’re promoting the life that everyone deserves to live.
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Honestly, I didn’t realise a video of a happy fat girl in a bikini was going to make people so mad 🤷🏼‍♀️👙 #plussizetraveltoo
  • I’ve been quiet the last few days but I’m back and feeling super refreshed after spending a night glamping, even if it was just thirty minutes from my front door ❤️🥺
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2020 really has been a whirlwind but I am so so thankful for all of these small, happy moments ✨#plussizetraveltoo

FOLLOW MY ADVENTURE

PLUS SIZE TRAVEL TOO COMMUNITY

  • Is anyone else ready for Autumn? 🍂 📸: @sandrapotisek
  • Here’s your friendly reminder that every body is a beach body ☀️🦩👙 📸: @lb_trippinagain #plussizetraveltoo
  • This is a common question for plus size travellers and after experiencing it difficulty on a recent flight, @megkatem has written an article for the Plus Size Travel Too site that looks more into when and where you can’t use a seatbelt extender 💺✈️ 
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The link to read is in our bio ✨#plussizetraveltoo
  • SOUND ON 🔊 HOW TO FIND THE SIZE OF YOUR SEAT BEFORE YOU FLY/BOOK A FLIGHT ✈️🌍❤️
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This is one of the most common questions I get asked both here and on Tiktok, so I thought I’d create this video to help 👏🏻
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1) Log onto seatguru.com
2) Pull up your flight details on Skyscanner (or the site you use to book your flights)
3) Enter the name of the airline and select the carrier you’re flying with from the drop down menu
4) Enter the date you’re travelling and the flight number (if you have it)
5) Take a look at the seat map. You can see the seat layout, the seats closest to the toilets, the ones with the most legroom etc
6) Click info at the top of the screen and scroll down, here you will see the width and pitch of each seat for each available class
7) If needed, scroll through the customer photos to get an idea of what the pay looks like from a user-perspective
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I hope that helps! If you have any questions, please ask below and I’ll do my best to answer 👇🏻❤️ #plussizetraveltoo #plussizetravel #plussizetraveltips
  • Are you looking for plus size friendly activities in LA? Plus Size Travel Too founder @kirstyleanneuk shares her top picks in a recent PSTT blog post ❤️🇺🇸
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“LACMA URBAN LIGHTS: Created by Chris Burden, the Urban Lights have been outside of the Los Angeles County Museum Of Art for almost 12 years. There are a total of 202 1920's lamps and 309 LED bulbs that make up the incredible structure. We visited during the day but as the sun starts to go down, no matter what time that is, the lights will turn on. When the sun comes back up again the next morning, they turn off thanks to an astronomical timer. Since their installation in 2008, they actually haven't missed a single night”
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Find out what else is included by clicking the link in bio 📸: @fordtography #plussizetraveltoo
  • Have you ever put off living your life because of your weight? Kristina from @livingwonderfilled thinks about all of the things she wished she hadn’t missed in her latest blog post on Plus Size Travel Too ☀️🚣‍♀️
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At the end of the day, when we were talking about how great of a time we’d had, planning more days like this, I suddenly felt kind of nostalgic for all the days I’d missed. All the times like that one, when all everyone wanted to do was have fun, but I got too in my head about it to let myself enjoy.”
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The link to read the post is in the profile bio ✨#plussizetraveltoo
  • Ever wondered what it’s like to visit a Moroccan Hammam while plus size? ✨
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“As a plus size woman, I did not feel embarrassed as the hammam I visited had women of all shapes and sizes. No one judged or batted an eye. I was the only woman with dark skin there, however, but still no one seemed to care and were too busy enjoying their spa experience. It was just a normal day for the women who lived there as this was something integral in their culture. I quickly realized that my fears and insecurities stemmed from being judged in America, but that Moroccans were much more accepting and unbothered. I just had a body, it was nothing to gawk at or laugh at, as I had imagined. It was serene to simply be allowed to exist without feeling ostracized. It was also a confidence boost to walk around practically naked while indulging in spa treatments.”
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Katrina, from @globalmidwife shared her experience over on the Plus Size Travel Too blog. To read more, visit this link in our bio 🌍 #plussizetraveltoo
  • EXCITING LAUNCH TIME 🌍✈️❤️
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So for the past few months I have been mentioning a ‘secret project’ and after lots of hard work, the launch day has finally come. Although I know was supposed to launch last week, I had a number of setbacks and I wanted to ensure everything was perfect before I put it out into the world 🥺
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SO, WHAT AM I LAUNCHING?
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Today is the launch day for the Plus Size Travel Too website, a safe plus for plus size travellers to find inspiration and advice when it comes to their travels ✈️
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Although I regularly post plus size travel content on my own website and blog, I wanted to create a space that was dedicated specifically to plus size travel, rather than it being mixed in with all of the other topics I cover. It’s a place for community, as plus size travellers are also encouraged to submit their own advice and experiences too 🥰
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To celebrate the launch day, there are already some INCREDIBLE posts live. These posts have been submitted by @cardifforniagurl @thetravelcurve @thecrownwings @globalmidwife @gemmaslittleworld @livingwonderfilled @rhianwestbury and @leabellablogs ❤️
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I’d love it if you head over to www.plussizetravel.com (the link is in my bio) to have a read of their awesome work and if you can, spread the word about the launch. Wether you’re plus size or not, you never know who may benefit from something they may read ✨ #plussizetraveltoo
  • 🌈 HAPPY PRIDE 🌈 although celebrations may be a little different this year due to COVID-19, we want to know how you’re celebrating in the comments! 👇🏻
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Here at Plus Size Travel Too, I’m celebrating by donating to Mermaids - a charity that supports trans children and their families! If you want to do the same I’ve popped the link in my bio (as well as links to 12 other organisations you can donate to today, or any other day of the year!) 🌈📸: @readytostare #pride

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