(Continued from Victoria Peak visit)
We earmarked the second day for Disneyland. From Tsim Sha Tsui, we took the MTR and transferred to Sunny Bay Station to get in the Disney Train. We went early so we had ample time and privacy to take photos of gold plated Disney characters at the corners inside the train, hip stuff and more.
The ticket rates are expectedly higher that day because it’s a weekend. Be careful in buying tickets from the travel agencies and other sources. We met a group of Filipinos, maybe 15 years my senior, and claimed that theirs costed more than double of ours. Incidentally, what was quoted to them by the travel agent is the annual pass. While they have no plans of visiting Disneyland again for the coming months. Caveat emptor (buyer beware).
Admittedly I was more excited about the other attractions in Hong Kong than Disneyland. Maybe because I grew up not watching Cinderella, Snow White, Beauty and the Beast, Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse, etc. Though I consumed all the media related to these during my post-adolescence. But as we approached the welcome arc and felt the blood rush of the other visitors, I jibed in.
I can just imagine the excitement of the children and the young once who actually loved the characters just in the right moment. My cousin (who toured with us coming from her Manila flight) who is a year younger than me claimed that this was the highlight of her Hong Kong visit.
Other than bringing a friendly camera, one of the major rules must be to check the map before anything else. There are so many attractions that you need to prioritize which to cover that day. I remember a friend who visited this months after its opening in 2005. She was so disappointed declaring that Enchanted Kingdom is even better. As of December 2008, I would say it has much to offer.
These are the theme park’s attractions which appealed to me, in no particular order:
(a) House of Finest Collection of Curiousities
There’s a number of fancy buildings and stores in Disneyland. But the name of this store got me. Majority of the items inside it are similar to the other souvenir shops around. I got a Mickey Mouse pendant, tee, bags for my consumption and other stuff as pasalubongs. We did the shopping part before visiting the main attractions and put the items for free safekeeping in the admin office.
(b) Festival of the Lion King
I was expecting for a repeat of High School Musical. But instead they had the Festival of Lion King. This is included in my Top 3 attractions.
The musicale was well-executed, special effects especially the fire, are amazing.
(c) Golden Mickeys
You need to allot ample time to queue for this since you get in the theatre on a first come, first serve basis. It’s a musicale of evolution of Disney characters starting with Mickey Mouse until the current ones. I remarked, “Mickey had a nose job. I saw some of the recent illustrations, his nose is not that too pointed now.”
(I took this not from the Golden Mickeys show, but in the window display of one of the souvenir shops). Pinchable nose eh?
It’s a continuous showcase of Disney films like Toy Story, Lilo and Stitch, Pocahontas, Beauty and Beast, etc.
It’s great to see all these lovable characters altogether in the finale.
(d) It’s A Small World
In the south wing towards the mountain view, the small world attraction is housed.
I love, love. It made me feel childlike riding in a boat while being toured inside the ‘world’ of each area having display of nations’ identities. I was LSS-ing (last song syndrome) on the song ‘It’s A Small World’ after that. The song’s lyrics change depending on which country the boat passes by (yes, we heard the Filipino/Tagalog lines ‘O, Kay Liit ng Mundo’). And at the end of the ‘tunnel’ there are placards with different versions of goodbye. It made me smile seeing “Paalam”. Since we liked it much, we went in twice.
(e) Pooh Corner
Of course, Pooh will be eternally cute. But I’m not a huge fan. I don’t know why.
(f) Let It Snow Christmas Parade
We unintentionally did catch the parade twice. Right after the Golden Mickeys show was the second round of parade. The backgrounder was especially merrier for the Christmas season. I enjoyed taking photos being in the good spot, i.e. just few steps from the starting point of the parade.
These are Filipino musikeros, who are stationed near the carousel whenever they’re off the parade. Seeing them reminded me of fiestas in the Philippines.
Each float has a group of dancers and they are my favorite. I wonder if some of them are actually gays. But they are very good, anyway.
Wish I can get a real yum-o.
Toy Story’s float is especially entertaining because…
… of these soldiers. The army dance is great.
Aaaah. I like, like Princess Arielle. Just that I can figuratively see the stockings in her costume.
The jelly fish dancers will make you giddy and giggle.
I guess everybody loves the seven dwarfs, even without Snow White!
I can just imagine the feeling of every little girl wishing to be in her shoes during the parade. I remember the remark from overwhelmed kids, “Yipeeee! She waved at me!”
No, I actually thought she waved at me. Hahaha. Honestly, I’m thinking of these people’s job. Always dolled up, waving, smiling, and other sorts of pleasing. And it must be fulfilling to make someone happy.
Yes, Princess Aurora is indeed the main princess.
I find nothing special about these. They are a staple in Mall of Asia and Panagbenga.
All the time Alice smiled like that.
I call this the gang’s float. The mice, ducks, doggie (Pluto) are here and they’re making the finale.
Chica red shoes no?
(g) The princesses
People lined up (including us) to have their photos taken with Sleeping Beauty and the prince. This kid had an extra time of chatting with the two. They asked her if she actually dressed up like that for the whole day or just for this particular photo. Princess Aurora had an instant daughter.
Lines are up for them, too. They set cut-off time for the shoots. So when you catch them, go for the click immediately. I personally didn’t appreciate much this Snow White. She seems like not very Snow White.
If there’s a box-office queue for the preceding two photos, Princess Belle is very much available. Easily spotted because of the dress. Nice yellow.
(h) Royal Banquet Hall
We had lunch in the Royal Banquet Hall. Inside it are royal couples dancing like them. Nice.
(i) The Castle
The sight of the castle itself made me feel young again. From the moment I’ve stepped in the park’s entrance, I was significantly eyeing its corners. This one was taken near Pooh’s Corner.
This is how it looks like few hours before Princess Aurora Show. I intentionally captured the bulbing system in both sides.
Here’s how it looks like before Princess Aurora Show and while the fireworks display is about to kick off.
(j) Princess Aurora Show and Fireworks Display
The fireworks display begins after Princess Aurora Show. The fiery is synchronized to the backgrounder, which are popular Disney songs like ‘A Whole New World’. The castle’s color also change from blue to red, and so on. I opted to upload these videos I recorded near the finale for better appreciation. A friend who has experienced both, claims that fireworks display here is better than Disneyland Paris.
(k) ‘Surprise’ snowing during the night
Before the closing time, the visitors were surprised when it ‘snowed’. I’m not oriented about the materials used. But the drops felt like icy bubbles which felt good. A lot of camera clicking followed.
Just when I thought I was less excited for Disneyland. I am young once again and rode everyone’s first favorite ride. 🙂