Hong Kong was bitterly cold (almost 6 degrees) when we landed. It was a shock to our systems coming from the temperate weather conditions in Bangalore.
But Disneyland is not a place you can feel cold and miserable. Within minutes, we were all rushing around in excitement, arguing amongst ourselves as to where we should go first, what rides to wait for, and even passionate debates on food – cotton candy vs caramel popcorn vs pizza vs Indian food…
K and I have been to the LA Disneyland several times, so we were basically quite comfortable with the concept of lands and the general layout. At the gate, you are given a map of the place outlining the various lands (Adventureland, Fantasyland, Tomorrowland), and a list of the rides and places to eat.
We were thus able to optimize the time we spent there very efficiently. A couple of tips that saved a lot of time for us:
- Do not eat lunch at lunch time. Eat an early or a late lunch. This way, you avoid long lunch-time queues at the restaurants, and you can take advantage of the comparatively lesser queues on rides. We did this and ended up waiting only 10 minutes for certain popular rides, which normally had wait times of an hour.
- The park generally empties out during parade times or after sunset. It’s worth staying back late to take advantage of the thinned out crowds. We were able to go on a couple of popular rides two times over. Also, the park is lit up beautifully at night. And did I mention the awesome fireworks? The fireworks display was even better than the one in LA Disneyland :).
In Hong Kong, you don’t have to worry about getting back and forth from Disneyland. We were booked into the Kowloon Shangri-la (a hotel literally on the other side of Hong Kong), but we were able to use the local MTR train system to commute very safely and easily. You can just pick up a map from your hotel’s front desk (it’s in English and color coded, so you really can’t get lost). Oh! and the local people are extremely friendly and helpful. We found the instructions and advice very accurate (this is not always the case when you travel in Asia…in Thailand, we were frequently misled in the completely wrong direction).
Also, the train connecting Disneyland to the city MTR is the cutest. It has these awesome Mickey Mouse windows and lovely seats. In addition, the atmosphere is really party-like, with bunches of children showing off their purchases to each other, parents cooing over stranger’s babies, smiles and laughter everywhere. Going in that train was part of the fun for us, honestly.
And now to the photos. Here is a short series of photos. I had to go over almost a 1000 photos we took in Disneyland to come up with this shortlist. I will be uploading a complete set to my Flickr page sometime soon…