Thursday, July 1, 2010

Hong Kong Disneyland, a second time around

As soon as we have checked out from Renaissance Hong Kong Harbour View Hotel, we immediately walked towards the nearest MTR station (Wan Chai), headed for Sunny Bay station. From there, we are to change trains with Disneyland Resort line, ultimately heading towards Disneyland Resort. The trains of Disneyland Resort line is very distinguishable from other lines as it has a Mickey Mouse-shaped windows, some figures of Disney characters on board and couch seating.

There are only two stations on that rail line and one can't get lost as it's either just Sunny Bay or Disneyland Resort station. Minutes later after riding the train, we arrived at Disneyland Resort Public Transport Interchange that serves as a gateway for MTR, taxi cabs and buses to the resort.

Mr. Truffles and his luggage at the entrance of the theme park
But before we enter the theme park, we headed first towards the bus station to check-in at the hotel, or at least leave our stuff as it was still late morning and we plan to spend our time at the theme park.

Yes, we stayed last night at a Disneyland resort hotel. When I was at the park for the first time 3 years ago, we stayed at Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel, which is a Victorian-styled, castle like hotel.

This time we are stayed at Disney's Hollywood Hotel, themed after Holywood during 1930s time. The going on rate at the time of purchase (it was pre-purchased a month prior) was HKD1883 for a Park View room, inclusive of breakfast, net of tax and charges. We also pre-purchased our park tickets (HKD700).

Didn't get to explore much of the hotel, nor got into our room, as it was still early. We left our things instead and went back to the theme park to relive our childhood memories (now with my wife).

HKD350 is the on-going rate for a 1-day ticket per person. Since we were staying at the hotel, we took advantage of the privilege for guests of paying only for a 1-day ticket for use for 2-days consecutive. That's considered to be a big savings for us since we can do unlimited entries today and tomorrow instead of just one day to spare.

It was almost lunch time and very hot to walk to theme park entrance. It was actually a long walk but you wouldn't notice it since your eyes will be feasting with a lot of displays and icons that will sure make you reminisce some childhood memories.

As we approached the gate, we just showed the tickets we picked up from the hotel and we're good to go. The familiar facade approaching Main Street, U.S.A. and the railroad station greeted us.

me and Roshie

A marker as we enter Main Street, U.S.A. clearly reads "HERE YOU LEAVE TODAY AND ENTER THE WORLD OF YESTERDAY, TOMORROW AND FANTASY". Perfect description of the feeling both adults and children alike going to the park experience.

The first attraction we entered (after taking some pictures on the street) is the Animation Academy. At that time, guests were being taught on how to draw Tigger (from Winnie the Pooh).

I'm not very good in drawing, in fact, I'll be honest to say that I'm bad at it but the step-by-step tutorial was so easy enough that I managed to draw something a bit closer than average, so I'm proud to have an artwork (again) after all these years (elementary days was the last perhaps?).
There was street entertainment when we went out of the Animation Academy. Old style entertainment of a marching band (sporting summer wear) were entertaining passers-by.
We stopped for awhile to listen and watch. As it was a Disney act, it's not just the usual playing of instruments but of course with matching choreography.

We checked out a few shops along Main Street, bought a few items, then we walked towards Fantasyland.

There in Fantasyland, we had witnessed our first show in the park in that visit - The Golden Mickeys, a musical show depicting multiple Disney animated movies such as Lilo and Stitch, Little Mermaid, Mulan and Beauty and the Beast among some. 

Sebastian, Little Mermaid

Beast and Belle, Beauty and the Beast

Mickey Mouse and friends

After the show, we went to Tomorrowland for Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters ride, where we got to shoot aliens.
Then we witnessed Mickey's WaterWorks parade, a summer season parade of Disney stars and there is tendency for you to get wet as they sprinkle some water here and there from time to time.

Buzz Lightyear

The Three Little Pigs


Alice in Wonderland 

Daisy Duck and Minnie Mouse
 Disney Princesses (Snow White, Belle and Sleeping Beauty)

Mickey Mouse
Winnie the Pooh and Eeyore

Woody and Jessie

After the parade, we happen to pass by a live glass-blowing activity, creating a glass décor.

We left the park and went back to the hotel by 4PM to finally check-in and rest for a couple of hours. As it was past check-in time, our room was ready (reserved for a Park View room). The room didn't look as grandiose as the Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel room I had before (which is a Sea View), but as it was themed after it was just as I expected, of course with touches of Disney and Mickey Mouse.
our bed, with a Mickey Mouse display at the head board area

toiletries at the restroom


This is the view from outside the room. One can see from afar some structures of the park. The nightly fireworks show can also be seen from the room.

Housekeeping then knocked on our room and delivered items for our consumption, as they know it was our honeymoon - a greeting card, 2 pins, 2 little towels shaped as penguins, small bouquet made with paper and a can of cookies. It was a nice gesture of the staff we appreciated well. We've been lucky so far. :)

After some quick snooze, we went back late that afternoon to the theme park, just as the sun is starting to set. We took the chance to take pictures as most guest were leaving at that time and the park is getting less crowded.

me and Roshie

We headed first to Adventureland, and made it in time for Festival of the Lion King, a musical show inspired by the animated movie "The Lion King".

Just across after the show, we boarded a raft to cross the river to Tarzan's Treehouse.
is it Terk or Jerk? 

going up the treehouse

view from the treehouse


We also took Jungle River Cruise right after.

The rest of the night, we just ate and walked around the park. Then come night time, around 8:30PM, the "Disney in the Stars" Fireworks display went on, with the Sleeping Beauty Castle as its main piece. The battery ran out however so I wasn't able to take some pictures as it went along.

We slept early last night so we can wake up early today and explore the hotel premises before the park opens. It's cute to see a kid-sized bathrobe that fits Mr. Truffles, so we played with it a bit.

The breakfast included with our room rate was buffet setup served in Club Mickey.

The place looks cute and futuristic, and as we were early, there wasn't a lot of guest dining at that time. We helped ourselves in the food spread and took our time to eat.

There were cute-shaped items served like a smiley potato fry, Mickey Mouse pancake and pig dimsum, on top of the regular fare of food items catered to serve both Asian and Western taste. Too bad there wasn't meet and greet with Disney characters at the restaurant which they do only during Sundays or Holidays.
We explored the grounds after breakfast, the area is huge and we had to take time walking around.

Piano Pool, a piano shaped pool area. There were a number of kids and adults for a dip already early in the morning.

Hollywood Hotel sign

roshie and Mr. Truffles 

It was a lovely day. Sun was out so bright and it's hot outside, so we left the hotel for another day of visit to the park just before it opened.

There were a number of Disney character meet and greet and we took advantage of these throughout the day.

Mickey and Minnie Mouse

with Daisy Duck

We were back again at Main Street, U.S.A and we visited a few more shops we missed yesterday and checked if there's anything good for tow.

inside a store

Around half an hour before lunch time, Stitch's Summer Dance Bash parade started so we stopped for a while to watch. Another parade of Disney characters!

Bob Parr of The Incredibles

Ariel of The Little Mermaid 

Genie of Alladin

Then they blasted and showered Mickey Mouse shaped confetti. To everyone's delight, adults and kids start picking those up.

We then strolled around for more character meet and greets that day. As we approach the Sleeping Beauty Castle, I cannot help but be awed at the level of detail they put into building this.

me and Roshie

Cinderella and Snow White

with Carl Fredricksen and Russell of the animation movie "Up"

with Mickey Mouse
with Goofy

Pluto looking at Mr. Truffles

with Pluto

Winnie the Pooh hug

with Winnie the Pooh

We also rode the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.

with Minnie Mouse

Our last and memorable ride for the day is in Fantasyland, located at the farthest end called "It's a small world".

The castle for entrance to the said ride was queer and colorful, supposedly a mixture of different culture of palaces and castles.

The experience is like sailing slowly across the river hearing the tune of "It's a small world" all throughout. However, as one passes different places and countries, the lyrics of the song may change according to their language. The ride is actually enjoyable as one can see different costumes, cultures and traditions of different countries and even some Disney characters that are country specific representing theirs.
Mr. Truffles enjoying the ride

goodbye notes as the ride ends

Paalam, or Goodbye in Filipino

As we exit the park, we passed by Tomorrowland and saw a street entertainment of men playing with the garbage bins as if they were drums, therefore creating music out of it. Quite entertaining too.
Lunch time! We had lasagna and chicken with mashed potatoes and corn cob from Starliner Diner.

inside the diner


We also had some icecream sticks of different flavors.

with Buzz Lightyear

Mr. Truffles at Tomorrowland

Rode the train on the way to the exit of the park.
inside the train
 Main Street, U.S.A. train station

alighting the train 
It was mid-afternoon as we left the park today and would have wanted to stay longer, but we have to move on to our next destination.

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