When You Wish Upon A Star
Okay, I am now in a position to verify some truths and debunk some myths about Hong Kong Disneyland.
1. It's very small and can be covered in 10 minutes.
- Well, unless you have the attention span of a goldfish, this is unlikely going to be the case. True, it isn't huge, but it's large enough to keep you occupied for at least a day. Especially if you enjoy the live shows, etc.
2. It's thronging with Mainland Chinese who spit and poo indiscriminately.
- This hassss to be the worst rumour of all. Firstly, the park is super duper clean. Secondly, I did not see a single person spit. Thirdly, the only kid I saw who pee-ed into a flower bush, well, alas, sad to say, was Yang Yang. (but this was outside the park, on the way to the shuttle bus, where there are no toilets) In fact, the park and toilets are so clean, I even managed to do a poo there myself. It's clean, dry, and has toilet liners, unlike OUR public toilets here, which seem to be in a state of perpetual flood. And this was the toilet next to the Buzz Lightyear Astro blaster ride.
3. You have to queue for HOURS for each ride.
Well, true and false. There is such a thing as the FAST PASS. Basically, one ticket entitles you to one FAST PASS for the popular rides/shows, like Space Mountain, Astro Blasters, Winnie the Pooh, Mickey Philharmagic, and the Lion King Spectacular. The FAST PASS allocates you a time to return, so you don't have to queue. Great system. And, for rides like Space Mountain, if you don't mind sitting with strangers, there's a SINGLE RIDER queue, whereby you wait all of 5 minutes, MAX. Now, you're probably entitled to only 3-4 fast passes a day. Once you get a fast pass, you cant get another one until a later stipulated time. This must be to avoid people of the country down south mentality from hoarding fast passes. But some rides like the Flying Pachyderms (Dumbo), aiyo, not worth queueing for, Genting oso got. But it's a hit with the kids, so whattttt to do.
4. Food Queues are Long, and Prices Astronomical
Actually, I found the prices reasonable, for theme park standards. Don't forget a bak kut teh for 2 in Genting Highlands is like RM50!!! For RM20, you can get a very generous portion of Siew Ngap Fan, Noodles, Burgers, etc etc.... And, being Hong Kong, of course the food is actually quite palatable. The roast duck doesn't taste manufactured. Had we been in Anaheim, I'm sure we'd be spitting burgers from every orifice after 3 days. On top of that, for RM20, you get free soup, and free Chinese Tea. (from tea bags, not a big cauldron).
5. It is very far from Hong Kong/Kowloon
Nonsense lah. 35 minutes by train. My sis and bro in law even managed to sneak BACK into Hong Kong Island for Roast Goose one night after the fireworks.
6. Everything is in Cantonese.
Again, utter nonsense. Well, for the shows, some parts were bilingual, but by and large, most of it was in English, and quite impressive as well, how the narrator can speak cantonese and belt out songs in perfect English.
Okay, those were the main rumours that got me worried at first. I think that it was winter also helped. The cool weather was a bonus, and made queueing etc much more bearable.
The fireworks at night - Gorgeous. Really magical. The mix of familiar disney tunes, the illuminated Sleeping Beauty Castle, and the pyrotechnic displays, all synchronised, really makes even our NY Eve display at KLCC pale by comparison. Of course, photos cant do it justice.
The Lion King Show - Broadway/West End standard. Fabulous props, live singers and dancers, even better than the Lion King musical.
The Mickey Philharmagic
A 3 D spectacular, incorporating all the favourite disney tunes, and clips, with Donald Duck as the protagonist who travels from world to world. It was soooo cute watching the kids reach out to touch the jewels floating in the air. And for the BE OUR GUEST Song, you can actually SMELL the food, as they spray something in the air. And real splashes of water as well. Simply magical.
The Golden Mickeys - Alas, we discovered this literally at the last hour, on the last day. Also, broadway style production, featuring Disney Ying Hoong's (Heroes), Heroines, Love Stories, (ala cinema paradiso...clips of all the kissing scenes)....it was a befitting finale to our last night in Disneyland.
The kids enjoyed Astro Blasters the most.... a buzz lightyear videogame, that involved a ride and shooting. My personal favourite was of course Space Mountain, and I went everyday for my daily pickup. Not scary, but gives a slight buzz.
There's more to tell, about Hong Kong itself, but for now, this should appease my "adoring fans".
Oh, you would not believe it, but there are long QUEUES of people waiting to take pictures with their favourite disney characters, mainly ADULTS. So, posing with Buzz Lightyear like this requires effort and patience.