Honestly, the part of Hong Kong I was most excited about was Disneyland. We had decided to go here after hearing that the very recent opening of the new Shanghai Disneyland meant that the Hong Kong one had reduced their ticket prices and wasn’t very busy. And also because I was super curious to see what language all the characters would be speaking.
Disneyland is also on Lantau Island so you get there via MRT, on a special Disney-themed train which is very cute, with Mickey Mouse-shaped windows and handles.
Hong Kong Disneyland is a “traditional” Disney Park in that they have the big train station with Mickey Mouse flowerbeds at the entrance, followed by Main Street. We stopped here for Mickey and Darth Vader shaped waffles. Apparently you can get dim sum here shaped like Disney characters, but it was in one of the fancy hotels and out of our price range.
Then, it was time for rides! They have upgraded their Tomorrowland in recent years to make it more Star Wars-themed, so Space Mountain is now Hyperspace Mountain. Chris really enjoyed the Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters, because he got to shoot things. They also had an adorable interactive Star Wars show where little kids got lightsabers and Jedi training. Interestingly the show was entirely in Cantonese, except for key phrases from the films, which were still in English.
Next it was onto Fantasyland, where our first stop was It’s a Small World, my favourite ride as a child. We also visited the tea cups and flying dumbo ride, but decided not to brave the line up to ride.
We then went to the Mickey and the Wondrous Book show. The main costumed characters (Mickey, Goofy, Olaf the snowman) spoke entirely in Cantonese (with English subtitles), which was pretty crazy sounding since the character voices were still dead on. Chris is pretty sure that Olaf was animated by black magic, as there are parts where he walks around without a head and such. The bits where the princesses sang songs were done in the original English, I guess to circumvent the problem of finding someone who looks like Elsa, Ariel, etc. but speaks Chinese. Actually now that I think about it, the only characters we saw wandering around the park for photo ops were masked ones. Maybe that is on purpose?
Next we had a popsicle and popcorn break, before heading over to visit Tarzan’s treehouse to go on the Jungle Raft. As this one is a narrated ride, they have different lines for English and Chinese. I think we had to wait less to get on the English boat.
In Frontier Town we went on the Grizzly Gulch roller coaster, which made me scream a lot and Chris thought this was hysterical. To calm down we headed to Toy Story Land, which was probably my favourite because it was so cute! Something about walking amongst the life-sized toys is just so pleasing.
Next we went to the the Festival of The Lion King show. This one was actually done mainly in English, with side characters explaining what was going on in Cantonese (I think, it’s basically a reenactment of the movie so there is not much to explain). The theatre is round, so no place for subtitles I guess. The animatronic Simba was pretty sweet.
Chris’s favourite ride of the day was Mystic Manor, which is part of Mystic Point. Your ride a little car through a curio collector’s house and lots of magic things happen around you. I’m not entirely sure what franchise it’s part of, maybe it just goes with the general Disney theme of magical-ness. My favourite part of the ride was the fact that there was a group of monks in line behind us. We also saw them later taking pictures in Tomorrowland.
We almost missed the Paint the Light Nighttime Parade because Chris really wanted to go on the Winnie-the-Pooh ride (no jokes) but we made it in time to see Mickey. Then we of course stayed to watch the fireworks over Sleeping Beauty’s Castle.
Chris lifted me up to get some great pictures, even though I was probably blocking the view of all the small children behind us. By the end of the night we were pretty tired, but in better shape than a lot of the kids around us. And we made it back to the city in time to get Shanghai dumplings before bed!
Flower and Bird Markets
On our last day in Hong Kong we decided to take it easy, and took a stroll around the various markets in Monk Kok. There is a flower market full of colourful bouquets and fancy orchids, next to a very noisy bird market. It love looking at all the flowers, but seeing so many cut each day is a little bit sad I think.
There was also a street dedicated to pet shops! By North American standards, the way they keep the animals is a bit questionable but not surprising (there is a reason we have been avoiding Chinese zoos). They sell tons of gold fish and the like in little bags, making for very striking displays. Some shops also had tubs containing piles of turtles. There were also many adorable puppies, though I don’t really know how anyone could own a dog in downtown Hong Kong, as it’s so crowded. I used a lot of willpower getting through there without picking up any new friends.
On the way home we stopped to visit Hong Kong’s Avenue of Stars. They actual walk is under construction, but they have everything on display in a nearby park. We didn’t know 90% of the stars but we found Jackie Chan’s handprints and the Bruce Lee statue, of course.
They next morning in Hong Kong, it was time to meet up with The Dragon Trip!