Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Relive your childhood in Hong Kong Disneyland

Like I mentioned in my previous blog post, right after our city tour in Hong Kong last April 2007, we hurried back to our hostel, packed up some stuffs and went straight to Hong Kong Disneyland Resort that very same afternoon via MTR. Coming from Causeway Bay Station, we went to Central Station, transferred line going to Sunny Bay and took the dedicated train connecting to the resort. The train wasn't full because it was already late in the afternoon. It was customized with a lot of Mickey Mouse symbols from the viewing windows to the handles and had a lot of Disney artifacts inside.

We arrived in the resort a few minutes later. It was one of those magical moments in my life where I felt my childhood dreams were turning into reality.

Right behind the train station is where the shuttle buses were waiting. These are buses going to and from Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel, Disney's Hollywood Hotel and the Public Transport Interchange (the area where the train station, taxi cabs and bus stops are located).

We hurriedly checked-in because we plan to go to the park right after. To avoid ticket lines, we bought our tickets from the hotel during check-in. They have a promo of 2-days admission ticket for the price of a 1-day ticket that time so we hurriedly went up to our room to drop our stuffs.

The room was great. Old-fashioned, yet very majestic. As a kid you will have a feeling of being a royalty, sleeping in a bed like a prince/princess. The amenities of the room were superb - the room was fully furnished and decorated, there was free internet (wall cable), and an LCD TV with around 3 or 4 channels dedicated to Disney programming. As a youngster (or young-at-heart), what else can you ask for?

Maximizing our time in Hong Kong Disneyland, we went afterwards to the park (via the free shuttle). It was a long walk from the drop off station (Public Transport Interchange) to the entrance of the park. Once we got there, I immediately saw the famous Railroad Station.

This picture was taken in Main Street, U.S.A. around it are different shops, boutiques, bakeries, restaurants and some sort of entertainment activities.

This is a picture of Julie, my mom and me in front of the famous Sleeping Beauty Castle. I've read somewhere that depending on which Disney resort you are in, the main castle piece is either the Sleeping Beauty or the Cinderella Castle.

For that night, we walked around the park, ate our dinner, took the Jungle River Cruise, rode the Autopia car, waited for the fireworks display, and stayed in the park until closing time. We also watched the Festival of the Lion King show. Too bad I didn't charge the battery of my camera so it went empty that night and I didn't get to take a lot of shots.

Closing time, we immediately went back to our hotel and explored around a little. The lobby of the hotel was very welcoming, like a castle in a child's imagination.

There was a pool area but no one's swimming. We planned to swim that night but we do not have our swim wear with us. We are about to buy new ones from the hotel store but we thought it's not worth it for a night of swimming so we discarded the idea.

We just continued strolling around the premises. The hotel looks like a grand castle at night. Luscious greens surrounded the garden. A perfect place for children activities.

Back in our room, I bought a cute looking cheesecake from a bake shop in the park. The taste wasn't the best but it wasn't bad either. I'd say, it's a 4 out of 5.

This is the view from our room window the next morning. Again, the pool is "inviting" but we resisted. I didn't realized until this time that the resort is just beside a body of water to the right.

At the breakfast area called Enchanted Garden Restaurants, key Disney characters like Mickey Mouse, Miney Mouse, Pluto, Goofy, etc. were there for a meet & greet and photo opportunities with the diners. No offense, but I should say it was the place with the largest concentration of brat kids I have ever been. Children crying left and right, moms and nannies trying to pacify them with huge promises, etc.

Right outside is the garden we passed by the night before. There was a garden maze which I didn't notice at first. It was just tall enough for the kids to hide among themselves. Nicely planned!

The lobby of the hotel was very welcoming, it's sad to check-out and bade goodbye to a very heartwarming place like this hotel.

We went back to the park early in the morning just in time when people began to flow in.

That morning, we watched Philhar Magic, a 3-D show depicting a few Disney movies we loved when we were kids like The Little Mermaid and Alladin. The show left a tear in my eyes, reminiscing the times when I was a kid. On the way to Tomorrowland, we chanced upon a street entertainment I have never seen before. In a nutshell, it was a synchronized beating of garbage cans by what they call the roving janitors! I find it very exciting and entertaining.

Going around, like in our breakfast area, there were also meet & greet areas for different Disney characters around the park. This is me and Belle (of Beauty and the Beast) taken in one of the wing entrances of the Sleeping Beauty castle.

There were also some help-yourself photo opportunity slots in the park like this one.

There's Tarzan's treehouse which is a raft-ride away. Nothing much really to do in there but the top gives you a good view of the park and nearby areas.

We also watched The Golden Mickeys show, which we have no idea what it was about at first. It was like a musical Broadway/Vegas show featuring different Disney characters. At the end of the show, all characters come together for a dance number and waves goodbye to everyone which signals the curtain close. Talk about stage show for kids!

Right after The Golden Mickeys show is the Disney on Parade show. Here floats of different Disney shows and characters are showcased like Mickey and Miney Mouse, Goofy, Toy Story, The Little Mermaid, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, etc.

There are other things to do in Hong Kong Disneyland Park which we didn't. This includes thriller rides that we didn't dare (Julie went into Space Mountain), Jungle River Cruise that I wanted but my companions do not because of fear of getting wet, and other shows like Stitch Encounter which we do not have time for due to fixed time schedule of the show.

We left the park around lunch time, went back to our hostel to drop off our things and went off straight to Ocean Park Hong Kong, an experience which I'll be blogging next.

More pictures are available in multiply. Just add me as a friend to view them.

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