Well, Jamie and I are rounding third and headed in for the win! We just went to Hong Kong Disneyland over the Easter weekend, which is our 5th of 6 Disney Parks in the world! We will be in Paris to complete the set in a couple of weeks! Stay tuned for that post soon!
Since it was a long weekend, we went to Disneyland on Good Friday. Our anticipation was that it would be crowded on Saturday and not so much on Friday and we were right. We flew out of Singapore when Jamie got off work Thursday night so we could spend all day Friday in the park. The park opened at 10 am, with some bits not opening until 10:30. That morning it was a ghost town. The park is very, very small – the smallest of all of them – and we rode every ride but one before 12:30. After lunch the park was significantly more busy as I think people were using Friday as a travel day. However, even the ride we rode after lunch, which was the popular “Ironman Experience”, only had a 20 minute wait, at the most.
We stayed at the Disneyland Hotel which was a 10 minute walk to the park. We have now been to all 3 Asian Disneyland Hotels and, even though this was the oldest hotel (built in 2005), it was far and away the nicest. It is modeled after the Grand Floridian in Walt Disney World, aesthetically looks just like it on the outside, just smaller. Victorian decor, as the others (except Shanghai is a bit more modern), beautiful gardens, restaurants, etc. Instead of facing the parks as most other hotels do, this one faced the sea, which was really pretty.
Of course, we started our day with a character breakfast! The picture of me and Mickey is stupid. I did get the Photopass photographer to take one, however, we chose not to purchase Photopass this time. There weren’t enough Photopass spots in the park to make it worth the money. I got a birthday button! My birthday was the week before, but at Disney, if you’re birthday is somewhere around your trip, even if it was a month ago, you still get a button 🙂
After that we casually walked over to the park, as we were a bit early. They let us onto Main Street, USA before 10:00, but had to wait there until exactly 10:00 to get into the rest of the park. We shopped around the gift shops for a while and took some pictures. The castle was under construction so you can’t get close to it, but you can still see it from the front of the park in order to get some pictures. I think it will be this way for a while. It is a small, small castle – the smallest. If I am not mistaken, the renovations will make it somewhat bigger.
The park was all decorated for Easter! Look at all these cute Easter eggs that were around the park! Can you tell which characters they are??
First we went over to Fantasyland. It had the same typical, wonderful Disney stuff that all the other parks had: The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Cinderella’s Carousel, Dumbo the Flying Elephant, etc. Oh! They had It’s a Small World, which the other 2 Asian ones don’t have. It was good! I don’t know if they have updated the ones in the US, but this one felt new and had Disney characters amongst the small people. 🙂 Fantasyland was behind the castle, per usual. It made me realize how small the castle is here. I took some photos and didn’t even realize the castle was in the shots!
The lands Grizzly Gulch, Mystic Point and Toy Story Land didn’t open until 10:30, so we rode Small World and Pooh until then. Unlike it’s Asian counterparts, the rides here are in English. The only thing that was in Cantonese was Mickey’s Philharmagic. Once we were able to go to the other lands we started with Toy Story Land. This section is also opening in Shanghai this month as well as what I am sure will be a larger version in Walt Disney World Florida in the summer. So I like to think we are ahead of the game on this one! 🙂 The ride RC Racer was fun! You rode in what looked like a remote controlled race car (same one Buzz rides to catch up to Woody on the UHaul truck) and the track is what looks like a Hot Wheels Track.
Everything in Toy Story Land is large scale to make you feel like the size of a toy – really well done! There was also the Slinky Dog Spin, but I don’t do spin rides so we skipped. Looked like it could be fun to others, though! And there was a parachute ride, Lincoln Logs, Tinker Toys, you name it!
After Toy Story Land you entered Mystic Point. There is a ride called Mystic Manor that is unique to Hong Kong, so we had to check it out. It reminds me of Haunted Mansion, but the story is not at all the same (more Easter eggs!). It follows the story of an antiques collector who has come across a magic box that does something to the other antiques – think “Night at the Museum”…that’s all I’ll say.
That was all that was in Mystic Point, so we walked on to Grizzly Gulch which is pretty much exactly like Frontierland in the other parks. I think the only ride there was Grizzly Mountain Runaway Mine Cars which at first reminded me of the Seven Dwarves Mine Train, but then was like Big Thunder Mountain, then another surprise! It was a good rollercoaster! I don’t have a picture of it, but here is Minnie Mouse taking a photo with a stranger.
At this point it’s about 11:30-11:45 and we have already ridden 5 rides, and have 2 left to go – Hyperspace Mountain and The Ironman Experience in Tomorrowland. We walked over to Tomorrowland and took what might be the best picture of the day…
We got in line for Hyperspace Mountain, which was the longest line of the day, but not by any means long. I haven’t been to the US parks in a while, but I am told they changed Space Mountain in Disneyland California to Hyperspace Mountain. What’s the difference, you say? Space Mountain is the original from 1977. Hyperspace Mountain is the same rollercoaster, but they added a Star Wars theme. It was pretty good, however I think they need to work on their timing as to when Admiral Ackbar tells you to “activate hyperspace mode in order to get to planet Jakku!” and the corresponding speed of the coaster at that point. I thought we would shoot off when he said that and instead we were still slowing climbing the first hill. Haha!…it didn’t really match up.
After that we walked back over to the Disneyland Hotel and had lunch at a restaurant called Crystal Lotus. It was Cantonese dim sum and other things, but the highlight was the Disney Dim Sum we ordered! I had to order it in advance, but it was so cute, it was worth it! And it tasted great!
After lunch we went back and rode the last ride, Ironman Experience. It was a virtual reality ride, like Star Tours in the US, but with Ironman, obviously. It was good and unique to Hong Kong. To be honest, after that we were pretty much done. It was about 3 pm at this point. They had a Festival of the Lion King show, like they do at Animal Kingdom in Walt Disney World, so we went to that, which was in Adventureland. It was all in English with some people dressed up like moneys (?? honestly they looked like lemurs which wouldn’t have been geographically correct, but I’ll let it go) who translated in Cantonese. Very similar to the one in WDW, but I think the one in WDW was better. Nonetheless, the Lion King is the best Disney movie ever made, so we had to see the show!
Hong Kong Disneyland is very small, like I mentioned before, so on a slow day/weekday, you could do this entire park in a half day. Now, if you’re like us and want to watch the evening parades and shows, you have to stretch your day out a bit, which we didn’t, so we were kind of bored between 5 pm and 7:15 when the first show came on. We got some snacks, shopped, wandered….didn’t really know what do with ourselves. One thing to note about Hong Kong Disneyland is that since the castle is under construction, they no longer do a nighttime fireworks show. They have moved to Main Street, USA and are doing a projection show about the life of Mickey Mouse on the buildings. BUT they do have one of the best things Disney does (IMO)…an Electrical Light Parade!!! They call it “Paint the Night Parade” and it was actually really good!! I would recommend posting up by Tomorrowland to watch it, as Main Street, USA was super crowded and the parade moved kind of slow. The award for best float goes to Belle from Beauty and the Beast! That’s a real person in that light up dress!
And here is Sorcerer Mickey (best version of Mickey), blowing me a kiss!
Here are the rest of the photos from the parade!
The next day we hung out in Hong Kong city. It’s pretty similar to Singapore so it wasn’t much different than what we would do at home, but it’s a lovely city. The green hills behind the tall buildings and views of the water were beautiful. Here is the view from our hotel room.
We walked around the city, through some parks and took a few pictures of the city. The weather was wonderful the whole time – sunny and never above 75 degrees F.
We stopped and had lunch at a restaurant we saw on Asia’s Top 50 Restaurants – 8 1/2 Otto E Mezzo Bombana. Apparently, this chef, who walked around and greeted a few people in the restaurant while we were there, is known for cooking with truffles! He did not disappoint! I got risotto with truffles and Jamie got their signature pasta dish with truffles. And of course there was dessert – a chocolate and hazelnut concoction – literally the best mash up of 2 things in the history of the world (IMO)! 🙂
We are off to Paris soon and we cannot wait! That is our last park!! We’ve already got some shirts made to celebrate the occasion 🙂 Stay tuned for all that!!
TTFN! (Ta Ta For Now!)