Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Hong Kong: Disneyland

Yet another late but still relevant post for all of you out there still planning your trips this summer vacation.

Disneyland is indeed the “happiest place on earth” for my kids.  The park has plenty to keep my young kids occupied as most of the rides and attractions are seemingly designed for this age group.  For my children’s ages, a 2-day park visit is ideal at this time to ensure that the outing goes along at an enjoyable, leisurely pace.

For little girls, going inside any castle is always a dream....

The glittering Disney Holiday Parade always brings cheers.
Aren't the green little men just so delightfully creepy
For all the toy story fans out there, you will be happy to know that the park will open a Toy Story Land in 2011.  Among the additional rides include a Green Army Men-themed parachute drop, a Slinky Dog-themed caterpillar ride, and an RC Racer-themed shuttle coaster.  It is too bad that it is not ready yet during the time of our visit.  I am sure R would have loved that.


Sapce Mountain is top on the list for C and the 2 girls.  J, who can't seem to get enough of it, rode it twice and would have wanted to line-up for a third time if I didn't stop her.

I am not very adventurous, and I usually choose the "safe" (otherwise also known as "boring") rides.  
The Mad-Hatter Tea Cup looks like a safe and gentle ride...

... that is until you turn the wheel in the middle and it gets faster and wilder... "it turns into the wackiest tea party this side of the rabbit hole."

Dumbo (at Fantasyland) and  the Orbitron (at Tomorrowland) are rides that make the kids feel as if they are flying in the sky- without the face-pulling speed of Space Mountain are also perfect for me.

It's a Small World is a slow sail in an imaginative journey through the different cultures around the world.  Needless to say, I found it very comforting. 


For older kids, Ocean Park might offer more alternatives, as aside from Space Mountain, there are no other rides that can possibly gratify a teenagers’ need for thrill.  But the one area in which HK Disney beats Ocean Park is in dining.  The dining options at Disney is more varied and the dining accomodation are more comfortable.  Our personal favorite is the gothic-styled Royal Banquet Hall located at Fantasyland.  This fast-food style outlet has four food stations: The Kettle kitchen offers curries, satays and stews; the Steam kitchen serves dim sum and other Chinese dishes; the Grill kitchen that serves the typical American food such as steaks and sausage; and the Tempura kitchen serves sushi, tempura, and other Japanese fare.  The food that is consistently good and comes with an affordable bill. 

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Aside from the Disney Parade, be sure to catch the 8PM Fireworks Display by Cinderella’s castle. It’s amazing to watch colorful fireworks light up the sky accompanied by Disney’s well-loved songs. 

Staying at one of the Disney hotels is highly recommended.  When I first brought my kids to HK Disneland, we were billeted at the Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel.  The  Victorian styled hotel is the premier hotel in the resort.  My kids enjoyed the breakfast with the full cast of Disney characters on call.  This time around, we chose to stay at the Disney Hollywood Hotel.  Although the rooms seem to run a bit smaller, the amenities are pretty much still the same Disney standard. 
As you can see from the photos that follow, there is nothing to complain about...

Phenomenal Tip:
~ There are three attractions where you can use FASTPASS:   Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters,  The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh,  Space Mountain. The queues for these attractions are generally longer, so what you can do to use your time wisely is to can insert your admission ticket into Disney’s FASTPASS stations to get your FASTPASS ticket, go ride another attraction, return during your given time and join the much shorter FASTPASS queue.
~ You are only allowed to bring a personal-size bottle of water inside the park.  Do not even bother to sneak in snacks, they check. 
~ If you want to get a good view of the fireworks,plant yourself at the benches in front of the castle at least 30 minutes before the scheduled firework activity.


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