We sit down with the one and only Jordan Middleton of the fantastic theme park and attractions blog Cupcakes and Coasters!
When it comes to bringing something fresh and original to the table, Jordan Middleton never ceases to captivate and inspire her audience with each and every new post she writes.
Cupcakes and Coasters brings together wit, charm and originality in every way possible delivering a very different and original style of theme park blogging.
Since first establishing her blog Jordan has always managed to make her work stand out as her own with a very true to life writing style that always puts her point across as if you would stood next to her talking in person.
Cupcakes and Coasters is also synonymous amongst the theme park and attractions content creator world as the creative host and founder of the legendary annual community awards – The Clamshell Awards.
The Clamshell Awards which runs annually recognises all those within the content creation business for their hard work and dedication throughout the year and enables the enthusiast community to vote for their favourites across numerous different categories.
We therefore felt extremely honoured when we were recently given the (virtual) chance to sit down with Jordan herself and get to know more about the woman behind the magic!
Here’s how things went.
Who are Cupcakes and Coasters?
Cupcakes & Coasters is a content-creating brand that focuses on bringing to life my passion for all things themed attractions.
What first drove you to become the theme park enthusiast you are today?
I’ve literally always been obsessed with themed attractions – not just theme parks but zoos, aquariums, museums, the whole shebang!
It’s something I grew up with and a passion that only grew with time.
Where do you find your inspiration for the content you create originates most?
Inspiration can come from anywhere really but I find the most inspiration comes from two places.
Firstly, other content creators. I love seeing what other creators are doing and seeing if that’s something I can adapt or apply to Cupcakes & Coasters (this extends further than just theme park content creators too).
Secondly, I often find myself wondering about certain subject matters and that’s usually where my ideas for blog posts come from, if I have a spark of an idea that I’d like to explore a little more.
What's your earliest theme park memory?
Really hard to say but I do have a distinct memory of riding the Space Chase roller coaster with my dad at Peter Pan’s Playground in Southend-on-Sea when I was very young and losing my hair scrunchie whilst on the ride. It’s probably that to be honest.
What's your go to ride type?
How would you say the original style of your content reflects your personality most?
I’ve always gone against the grain in every aspect of my life so I guess Cupcakes & Coasters continues on that trend.
I really try to make my content as laid back and relatable as possible and I tend to write how I speak in my blog posts.
My vlogs don’t have any flashy editing or stunning tracking shots or cinematography (mostly because I can’t be bothered to put the effort into that aspect, especially if I’m at a theme park trying to have a day out), I tend to just film stuff that comes organically and whack it all together.
I want it to be fun and laid back, which is hopefully reflective of how I am as a person.
It's fair to say the Clamshell Awards have definitely become a community wide phenomenon, however what first inspired you to bring them about?
They started in 2017 when I noticed that year after year we’d see many theme park awards floating about: Golden Ticket, IAAPA, etc, but noticed there wasn’t really anything that celebrated the content creators in our ever-growing community.
I also noticed there were blogger awards that recognised content creators in less niche categories like beauty, fashion, etc, but nothing when it came to theme park content creators.
So I decided to fill that gap in the market.
Who is Jordan Middleton outside of Cupcakes and Coasters?
I’m a 30 year old themed attractions marketing professional living in London.
Married to a ridiculous hairy Irishman, pet-parents to soot-gremlin demon rabbit Frank.
I’m a big film buff and particularly love body-horror movies and bleak social-realism films and adore travelling, exploring and photography (outside of just theme parks).
I’m actually a really fussy eater but when I like, I like and that includes ridiculous American BBQ food like hot wings, cornbread and shrimp and Asian cuisine, dim sum and dumplings in particular.
Is there anything in your life other than theme parks that you share the same level of passion for and if so what?
Nothing on the same level to be honest as I don’t think I have the mental capacity but I guess you could say my other passion is film.
My bachelor’s degree is in Film and when the cinemas are open Conor and I are usually there at least once a week.
During lockdown I’ve been slowly making my way through my must-watch list but the trouble with that is there’s always fantastic new films coming out so it’s a never-ending cycle. Not that that’s a bad thing.
How has your journey as a content creator changed and evolved over the years?
I think I’ve become more comfortable with my niche.
When I first started Cupcakes & Coasters back in 2013 I tried to make it a catch-all place for all the things I enjoyed but the market for like-minded people who want film, fashion, beauty and theme parks in one place is not that diverse and from an SEO perspective it’s much better to hone in on one specific thing and develop that, which is why over time I’ve ditched the other subject matters and focused on themed attractions (although the other stuff is still there if you know where to look!)
Something that has come on leaps and bounds is my photography and editing skills.
I’m really proud of where I am at with that now and I’m still continuing to grow and develop these every year.
I think I’ve also become a much fairer and more measured reviewer.
If you read some of my earlier pieces they’re a lot more scathing whereas I now try to focus on the good stuff.
It’s much more enjoyable to write about (although the negative stuff ALWAYS performs better).
What time of year is your favourite for getting out to the parks and why?
Halloween, duh. Which tends to span out the entire month of October which is fine by me.
There’s just something extra magical in the air that time of year and I have no idea how to begin explaining why, it just is.
It makes me feel all gooey inside even thinking about it. Parks tend to look extra gorgeous that time of year with the trees turning brown and the sun lower in the sky.
And of course, night rides with the sun setting earlier. And to top it all off, scare mazes! Best time of year hands down.
What's the best advice you could give anyone new to creating content?
Try and figure out what you’re bringing to the table, what you’re doing differently and who you’re making content for.
A rule I tend to use is if I wouldn’t click and read/watch the content I’m trying to plug then what’s the point in making it if I’m not even interested in it?
Don’t feel you have to do it just because it seems like everybody else is, and don’t feel pressured, just do it because you enjoy it and it will all fall into place.
How have you found life as a content creator changed by the current pandemic if at all?
It’s given me more time to plan stuff, which is fantastic.
Luckily a lot of the content I create for the blog doesn’t necessarily depend on parks being open so that’s been great, however for YouTube it’s meant thinking outside the box a little bit to continue with the channels as it’s something I love doing but also not putting out shit just for the sake of filling a schedule.
I was furloughed back in April for five months so Cupcakes & Coasters was a bit of a saving grace in terms of keeping me sane and giving me something to focus on.
Finally, what can huge fans of your work (ourselves included of course) look forward to from Cupcakes and Coasters in the years ahead?
My last ‘big’ new project that I wanted to launch was the store, so nothing major in the works to be honest.
I’ll be focusing a little more on developing my Instagram content and trying to put out more Reels and Story templates as people seem to enjoy those, but I imagine it will just be carrying on as I have always done – chopping and changing things as I go, dropping things that don’t really work and trying new things when they pop up!
We would like to offer huge thanks to Jordan for taking the time to provide us (and you the reader) with this incredible behind the scenes look into the fantastic world of Cupcakes and Coasters!
We really hope that you have enjoyed getting to know more Jordan and her work as much as we have.
If you haven’t already then be sure to check out Cupcakes and Coasters on all of their socials too by following the below links!;
We would again like to say a huge thank you to Jordan for giving us this amazing opportunity and we can’t wait to see what the future holds as we finally move into 2021 and beyond!