Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Exploring Hong Kong Disneyland Day 1

Disneyland is known to be the happiest place on earth - not only for kids but also for those young at heart. Every time I go back, there is always something new to look forward to and after 3 years, we were looking forward to check out "Toy Storyland" and "Grizzly Gulch." Too bad that we came 2 weeks early because they were opening another new area called "Mystic Point" on May 17, 2013 nonetheless, we enjoyed every minute of our stay.

Since we were going on a May 1, which was a National Holiday that was celebrated by China, we opted to eat at the airport prior to departing for Disneyland to avoid the long queues. Since there were 6 of us including our parents, we decided to take a cab instead of the airport express to avoid any inconvenience. It took us around 20 minutes to reach the Disney Hollywood Hotel and spent around HKD 120. Since check-in was not until 3pm, we left our luggage by their storage area, went to get our park tickets inside the hotel and headed for the theme park via Disney's shuttle bus. I highly encourage parents with small kids stay in Disney Hotels when you plan to visit Disneyland. It's because there are  2-day park tickets available and you can maximize your stay at Disneyland when you are checked-in their hotels (especially those with toddlers and kids as travelling to and fro the city will be more challenging). Disney Hotels may cost a little bit higher (Around 12k pesos per night) than that of the hotels by the city but when you have money to spare, it's a one-of-a-kind experience that you and your kids will never forget.

Even though it was past 12, there were still a lot of people making their way to the ticket booths to purchase park tickets. Since we were expecting a lot of people due to the holidays, we strategically planned our route and headed first to Grizzly Gulch to check the area out and try the latest ride. The queue was not very long and the queuing area was interesting as it was filled with cool interiors/designs. What's nice about this ride is that it is continuous because they have at least 4-5 couches that are simultaneously running through the tracks. What I admired about this ride is the precision of timing that each coach has because there was really no room for mistakes in a fast ride as such.

We headed next to Toy Storyland and we were surprised as there were lots of kids who were in this area enjoying the rides and attractions. I'm not really a fan of Toy Story but I loved how they designed this small area to accommodate quite a few rides and it's cool how they designed to make it colorful just like a giant toy land. Since the queue for rides were long, we decided to return earlier the next day to save time.

It was almost 3pm when we headed out so the parade at Main Street was already starting. People came rushing to the parade route and suddenly, queue for most rides have been emptied. We decided to take advantage of this and went to queue up at "It's a Small World." This was actually the first time we actually enjoyed this ride because not only were we first in line but there was no crowd so you could take photos and videos clearly.

Since we were all fans of Astro-Blasters, we decided to go and ride this attraction. I noticed that there were a number of seats that were out of service. This is part of the original rides when HKDL opened so it might be struggling with maintenance? Nonetheless, It's always a fun interactive ride even if I always got the lowest score among us all.

Late in the afternoon, rain didn't stop us from enjoying our Stitch Encounter. It was my first time to do this and it was a good way to end our Day 1 in Disney. I suggest that you check out the time guide for this as there are only a few encounters that are done in English. Ours was around 645pm.

We never had the chance to take photos with characters during our first day. I guess it's because we were more interested in exploring the rides and new areas first. What made it unique was the fireworks display. Since one of our rooms was facing the castle (Park view room, Hollywood hotel), reception told us to head back to our room before 8, turn on the television transfer the channel to 31 to actually hear the fireworks music. Of course the experience of hearing the crowd and the fireworks was different but if you wanted a more serene and less crowded area, watching by your hotel room would definitely be the best alternative.

That ends our Day 1 at Disney! It was more of a relaxed trip and the fun part comes in our Day 2 Disney experience here: Disneyland Day 2 Blog

PS. Liked the post? Subscribe to my blog by typing in your email below. You'll get my posts in your inbox via email.
Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner



Rochester said...

Can't believe you got there without lines! When I got there, I only got to ride the Grizzly Gulch and Space Mountain because of the single rider lanes, and that still took about half an hour of wait... I didn't even get to ride the Astro Blasters and that's the one I really wanted to ride!