Wednesday, 18 December 2013

A Day at Hong Kong Disneyland - 3 Dec 2013

How to see Disney in a day? Almost impossible, but the goal is to maximise your time in the park and get on those must-do rides and must-see shows first. Choose a weekday. We took a taxi there to save travelling time too. Another important tip - check out the guidemap and showtimes guide at the website and plan ahead before the trip.

For more flexibility, we bought the tickets at the park, which was near the entrance - no queue and no fuss at all. We went into Disney at exactly the opening time, at 10am. We knew we've about an hour advantage before the crowds set in. 

At the Main Street, there's already a long Q to take pictures with Mickey & Minnie. I know this is a MUST but I didn't wanna waste time q-ing to take pictures cos we have an early advantage on the other rides & shows. The boys could not be bothered cos they did not grow up with Mickey. 

"Disney Railroad - main station"
The train ride gave them a feel of the place before walking on foot. There's no Q at all. We got off at Fantasyland, 2nd station. You can take the next train from here to tour the other half of the park.

"Fantasyland"
The popular attraction here was the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. We went twice for this one cos there's hardly any Q. We heard from many blogs the waiting time could take up to an hour at peak times. Also, it's a good impression of the park to Brandon as he loves Pooh stories (so that it's easier to convince him to try more 'thrilling' rides later).

The Qs were picking up very fast at the Dumbo the Flying Elephant and carousel so not worth the time. Guess there're many younger kids at Disney early. We went to Mickey's PhilharMagic for a very entertaining 4-D show instead. 

On the way to Tomorrowland, we stopped at "It's a small, small world" - not a must-do boat ride but it's still early for the next show.

"Tomorrowland"
Here, my boys were introduced to this ride "Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters" and we managed to do up to 4 times until before the park closed. They've so much fun there and also no waiting time. Unbelievable.

The Space Mountain's min. height requirement was 102cm, so I thot it's suitable for my boys. I really wanted them to try at least once, a real roller coaster. It's hidden inside the building, and so less intimidating. Lo and behold, it was such a BIG lesson for all of us. Due to space constraint, the roller coaster has to make up with high speed, sharp twists and turns, definitely not suitable for the faint-hearted. I was so proud of my boys - each of us came out in one piece. It took a long time for Brandon to recover, and soon one after another, younger kids came out screaming and in tears. I took it easier after that experience.....Phew!

"Fantasyland"
We went back to Fantasyland to watch the 1st must-see show, "The Golden Mickeys" at 12.45pm. It's a stage musical of Disney's film and characters. It's a huge theatre so seating was not a problem.

We've a quick bite of sandwiches and popcorns for lunch before we moved on... So far, we didn't even have to get any of the FASTPASS tickets to popular rides / shows cos the Q were all short.

"Mystic Point"
This is the latest attraction at Disney - the Mystic Manor, an adventure going onboard the electric carriage to view the amazing collection of art and antiquities that came alive. Must-do ride and we did it twice!

"Grizzly Gulch"
We almost made the same mistake as "Space Mountain" and went for the mine cars' roller coaster..... Instead, we chilled at the geyser area (watch out for the rainbow at the end of water spurt) and enjoyed getting wet at the water play. This is something like a cowboy town. 

"Flights of Fantasy Parade"
Thank goodness this park is not big, else moving from one place to another will be very tiring already. We've to be at the parade route in time for the must-see, Flights of Fantasy Parade at 3pm. 

This was a highlight of Disneyland. Kinda weird the songs were sung in Cantonese and so many Asian faces representing Disney characters.

"Adventureland"
Our one and only picture with a Disney character - a pirate!! No need any waiting time...

We proceeded to Adventureland to watch the next must-see show, Festival of the Lion King at 4.15pm, which was right after the fantasy parade. The Q-system was more chaotic here and there's no waiting lines like other theatres. So we just crowded outside the entrance, and when the doors were open, there was a rush to get in. No need to push through the madness cos it's again a big theatre and there's enough seating for everyone.

We relaxed a while to get over all the rushing here and there. Took the raft to Tarzan's treehouse.

"Toy Story Land"
We passed by this section many times but never stopping for anything. It's fun for the thrill-seekers to try the Parachute Drop and soaring on the RC Racer U-shaped track. We wanted to take the easiest of all, the Slinky Dog Spin and boy, this was the longest Q ever for the whole day, almost 20 mins for a minute-ride! I wanted Brandon to overcome his fear of spinning after his roller coaster experience much earlier. Indeed everyone enjoyed it.

But... we missed the last chance to photograph with Mickey & Minnie (sob).

"Back to Tomorrowland"
We concluded our must-do rides and shows around 6+pm. Still some time b4 the fireworks at 8pm, the closing time. 

So we revisited Tomorrowland for the Autopia bumper car rides, Stitch show (in English) and more Astro Blasters!! Jin hit the maximum 999,999 points - finally!

We should try Orbitron first before the roller coaster. The flying saucer was so harmless and fun. Our only group photo - mission accomplished!

"Heading to Main Street"
We went to the Main Street just before the fireworks display. The Sleeping Beauty castle looked soooo magical at night.

It's cold like winter, and there's the 'foam' snowflakes falling...

A giant illuminated Christmas tree

Everyone was so charmed by the synchronised music of Disney theme songs and fireworks at the backdrop of the castle. Though I didn't take any picture of the magnificent display, everything looked like perfect ending!

Where did all tis people come from?????

We're thankful for a friend, who fetched us from Disney and Daddy to the rescue!!! Otherwise, how to walk thru the crowd and take trains back to hotel? I'm not a theme park person & my boys are hardly exposed to it, that's why this was a good experience for us. Brandon slept while having dinner, and we're totally exhausted.

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