After our morning routine we confirmed it wasn’t raining and met Jon in the Central MTR station at the Disney Express ticket counter. Jon had previously purchased 2 tickets at a Circle K because he got a free umbrella, so we just needed to purchase one more ticket. We also got maps to the park so we could review our plan on the way.
We hopped on the MTR and rode about 30 minutes to the Disneyland stop where we transferred to the Disneyland Express train – all the windows and hand rails are shaped like Mickey (in case there was any confusion about where you were going). I did start to get a little excited once on the Mickey Express, I mean we were headed to the happiest place on earth, right?
Once we arrived we ascended the steps through the MTR station and the Welcome gates. There were certainly lots of people but not as many as I would have expected. That may have been because we went on a Monday versus a weekend day. Anyway, we made the long walk from the entrance gates to the actual gates to the park, stopping for several photo opportunities of other tourists along the way.
The park isn’t as big as the ones in the U.S., so we wanted to head straight for the roller coasters, and more specifically, straight for Space Mountain as Dave was really looking forward to it. On our way to Tomorrowland where the coasters were located, we ran into a moving show: High School Musical. I’m going to post the video Dave took because it’s priceless. Once I saw that, I must say I was hooked and really started to enjoy myself. Anyway, we made it to Space Mountain and it had a very short line, we must have waited less than 30 minutes to actually get in. Once strapped in I got a little nervous and I will admit that this particular ride was not my favorite. I didn’t like that it was dark and you could see the tracks above you it was such a small space. Jon and Dave enjoyed it, though. We then headed to the Buzz Lightyear ride where you get to turn your car and also shoot at targets. That’s the last time I share a car with Dave because I got sufficiently dizzy from all the spinning. But he was pretty happy with his high score so all was good.
At this point we’d exhausted half of the roller coaster rides and decided to check out the other areas of the park. We made our way over to It’s a Small World. There wasn’t a long line but once we had queued up we had to wait a bit to board the boat, I think there was a mechanical issue. Once resolved, we boarded the boat and made our way through all the continents, including the islands, listening to that darn song that’s still in my head. After disembarking from the boat we made our way to the Mad Hatter Teacups which were my favorite. We had to wait a few cycles but we ran to a cup that matched Jon’s and my yellow shirts and spun to our heart’s content. We were all super dizzy and must have made quite the show for the other theme park-goers. At least we went on that ride before lunchtime. Speaking of which, Dave and I were getting hungry by this time and it was just our luck that there was a fast-food court right next to the Teacups for us to enjoy a delicious lunch of noodle soups.
Dave had the beef slices with broth and I had the dumpling and fish/tofu soup. I liked the dumplings and noodles but the broth was just okay, a little salty for my taste. After this rest we weren’t quite ready for a roller coaster or a ride so we went to the Mickey Philharmonic show. It ran every 10 minutes so the queue wasn’t that long and you were handed Opera glasses (we call them 3-D glasses in the US) upon entering. I will also admit that I really enjoyed this show! It was a super cute movie about Donald Duck wearing Mickey’s magic hat and being taken through a number of Disney movie classic songs. Not only did I enjoy the songs, but the special effects were surprising. For example, during the Beauty and the Beast "Be Our Guest" rendition we all smelled the cherry pie in the theater. During the angry mop and broom scene from Fantasia we all were sprayed with droplets of water in the theater. And during Aladdin’s Magic Carpet Ride we were all taken through light breezes right there in the theater. And I will also admit that the little tykes behind us kept reaching through to grab onto the 3-D items that came through the screen. Very cute.
After this show we tried for the Dumbo ride but the line was at least 45 minutes long and we didn’t care to wait. So we headed in the other direction to Safari land. After a bathroom break we decided to stop for some popsicle treats. Dave had the classic Mickey ears ice cream, I had a green tea popsicle and Jon had a black currant popsicle. What was surprising was that my popsicle was like a milk flavor on the outside and the green tea frozen part was in the middle.
Jon’s was surprising because the center of his popsicle was the consistency of jelly. We took our treats to the Safari Cruise line as it had a bit of a wait. As soon as we got into line these two little boys in front of us who were about 4 and 6 just stared at us longingly and it took me a minute to realize they wanted our frozen treats! Well, apparently we had started quite a scene because they were begging their parents for some ice cream and the parents gave us very dirty looks. Oops. We did have to wait a solid 30 minutes before we boarded our cruise but it was well worth the wait. The guide was extremely energetic as she took us through the jungle and we were sprayed with water several times for an all-over enjoyable experience. After we disembarked we really wanted a bar for some cocktails. Unfortunately, we learned that there is no alcohol in the park. What? I’m rethinking my re-thoughts about Disney already. And I have a newfound respect for any adult who takes a child to Disney!
We decided to try the line at the racecar ride in Tommorrow land again as the line was previously at a 45 minute wait (we have a 30 min threshold if you didn't notice, mostly because of me). The line still said 45 minutes but we figured it was our last of the day so we would chance it. Turns out it was really only a 20 minute wait but the ride itself wasn't that great. The cars went super slowly even when pushing the pedal to the metal. We did round one curve that provided a nice view of the overall park but otherwise I wouldn't recommend it to others. After that, I had to use the ladies room and the boys wanted one last go at Space Mountain so we split up.
They enjoyed a minimal wait for the roller coaster and I enjoyed people watching, a win-win. By the time the guys were done we were all officially exhausted. I don't know how anyone does that with actual children. We made our way back through the park to the train station and went our separate ways.
We were so tired from the day's activities, we just went next door to Cafe de Coral for dinner. It's a local fast-food joint but to us was nice! We both enjoyed a dish and drinks for $8 which was quite a deal. I had the chicken over rice which is new for me - they include the skin, fat and bones with chicken (and they eat all of it). Let's say I left a lot on my plate, I just can't chew the bones. We then stopped at 7-11 for some beers and enjoyed a quiet nite in the room on the internet, watching local TV and the latest BBC reports on Japan. All in all, a quite enjoyable day at Hong Kong Disney which wasn't terrible at all.
I'll admit, I was skeptical. Some of you may know that I’m not the biggest fan of Disney in the U.S. It’s not so much the actual films, characters or rides that concern me, but rather the throngs of screaming, crying, whimpering children that seriously frighten me. So when we learned we’d in HK for longer, Dave, who does not share the same concerns about Disney that I do, insisted we make a day at HK Disney. Our friend Jon was also interested in this excursion so I was outnumbered – HK Disney it was on a muggy Monday in Hong Kong.