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The Happiest Place on Earth!  In Hong Kong!

Today is the Fourth of July back home, so I felt that I should do something as American as possible for the 4th, and what’s more American than Disneyland?  Well, okay, lots of things, but this is the best I could do.

Apologies in advance, I’m going to draw a lot of comparisons to rides back home.  If you’re a reader not from the SF Bay Area or have never been to Disneyland Anaheim, much of this may not make sense.

For the very reasonable price of $58 USD, I got a ticket to visit Hong Kong Disneyland.  I say “very reasonable” in comparison to the $92.00 USD per adult that it now costs to get in to Anaheim Disneyland.

The park is very nice, very clean, just as one would expect from Disney.  It’s also a lot smaller than Disneyland back home.  I’d say about half the size, possibly less.  I walked all the way around the park, twice, in the ~5-6 hours that I was there.  It has a lot of similarities to Anaheim, including Tomorrowland, Fantasyland, Adventureland, and Main Street USA (Seriously, it’s still USA).

It lacks some of the classics, like Pirates of the Caribbean or the Enchanted Tiki Room, but has a few attractions that are completely unique to this park.

Mystic Point

Essentially, this replaces the Haunted Mansion with a new house and ride.  The story is that a 1930’s explorer-type gentleman, Lord Henry Mystic has just come back from someplace with new treasure, rumored to bring inanimate objects to life!  Of course, things go slightly awry when his companion, the monkey Albert, gets his hands on the treasure…

The ride is a low-impact adventure in the “Mystic Magneto-Electric Carriage” through the house.  Again, very strong similarity to the Haunted Mansion in Anaheim.

Grizzly Gulch

This here is the “Old West” section of the park, parallels to Frontierland.  The major attraction here is the “Big Grizzly Mountain Runaway Mine Cars” roller coaster.  This ride was a LOT of fun!  I went on it once, then at the end of the day decided I had to come back and go again.  It’s a flat coaster, no loops or upside down, but very fun and “my kind” of roller coaster.

Toy Story Land

An entire section of the park based upon the Toy Story movies!  The Green Army Men were running around being silly with patrons, there were three rides, one based on Slinky Dog (a kiddie roller coaster that just goes up and down in a circle), RC Racer (one of those half-pipe type roller coasters), and the Toy Soldier Parachute Drop (much like Drop Zone at Great America).

Fantasyland

Carousel, Dumbo’s flying ride, something related to Winnie the Pooh, teacups…  Much of the usual fare from Anaheim.  No Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, though.

The one “ride” I actually went on here was “Mickey’s Philharmagic”.  It’s a ~20 minute 3D film where Mickey and friends are about to put on a concert using enchanted instruments and the hat that Mickey stole from the Sorcerer all those years ago…  Except Donald steals the hat before the show can get started!  It’s a series of re-creations of old songs with new animation (both 3D animated and in 3D requiring glasses).  I found it to be somewhat difficult to watch as per usual with shows requiring 3D glasses.  I’m very confused as to why some people were taking flash pictures of a 3D movie since they’d be basically unviewable…  I particularly liked how the seats were rigged with things that would blow a bit of air or splash a bit of water at you at certain points in the show to increase the immersive experience.

Tommorowland

This section was REALLY small.  Took me less then 2 minutes to walk across the entire “land” and that was at a lazy pace.  I didn’t feel the need to try to go on Space Mountain or Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters, but I had to come back for the “Stitch Encounter” at 3:00 since it was the English language show.

The “Stitch Encounter”, the audience is at a space communications outpost, calling in to Stitch out in space, wherever he may be.  He picks out a couple people from the audience and has a short chat with them, then the audience has to help him escape capture by the Space Police.

Wouldn’t you know it, Stitch picked me out of the audience!  Apparently he remembers me from when we were locked up by the Space Police a few years ago and he helped me escape incarceration.  Of course, I was framed and not guilty of any crime!  They even put up my Wanted poster on the big screen using a picture they took of me either while I waited in line or while I sat in the audience waiting for the show to start.  Stitch thinks I need to smile more.

Adventureland

This section has a little ferry that will take you out to Tarzan’s Treehouse Island and the classic Jungle River Cruise.  I went on the river cruise, and was pleased to hear some of the same corny puns that I’m used to.

Main Street, U.S.A.

Shopping, shopping, shopping!  Last chance to get your Disney memorabilia before leaving the Happiest Place in Hong Kong!

To sum up, Disneyland in Hong Kong was a lot of fun, but I can’t imagine spending more than a day there.  I was there for ~5-6 hours, and feel that I saw everything that I wanted to.  The food is NOT typical American fare.  They have available Indonesian, Chinese, Japanese, and a few others, depending on which eatery you choose and in what land you are.

And now the sucky part of my day…  Have you ever heard of an ohnosecond?  Well, I experienced one today as I was taking a picture of something in Toy Story Land and my camera, the one that I spent over a month researching just for this trip, fell out of my hands and landed on the extended lens.  Now it won’t retract, won’t power on, and the lens has a lovely bend in it.  I’m probably going to find a camera store here and buy a replacement, something cheap but effective, and mail the broken one home to investigate repairing sometime after I get back.

10 Comments

  1. So sorry about you camera…I dropled mine on the granite floor at the observation deck of the Empire State Bldg. on my 1st visit to NYC. Granite 1, Nikon 0! Sounds like HK Disney was fun!

    • Oops. Dropped. Though dropled sounds like a fun word!

  2. On our first trip to DC, we’d ordered an expensive long lens from NYC, and one of us dropped the camera on the marble floor of the Air and Space Museum. Then there was the marble floor at Club Hershey in PA that didn’t like one of MY digital cameras. Is this a family thing??

    • It’s also not the first bit of camera kit to have a swift interception with the ground under my tender care. At ComicCon a few years ago, I dropped my camera with a $700 lens on it and turned that lens into a crunchy-sounding kaleidoscope.

  3. It looks like it’s a place for the English-speaking tourist. Few signs in Chinese?

    • Many signs had 3 languages, Cantonese, English and Mandarin. Some were English-only. The Stitch show had special showtimes in each language.

  4. Have you ever thought about a strap? I use a wrist strap on my little digital, with a hair rubber band attached (holds tighter, or you can get a strap with a slider to tighten) if I am going somewhere particularly hairy and expect to have to have both hands free in an instant.

    • My camera had a strap, but I took it off. My general usage is to keep it in my pocket and only pull it out when needed. Although I’ll grant that a strap likely would have prevented this accident.

  5. Sounds totally neat that Stitch picked you out. =] And I’m sure you were ‘framed’. Uh huh.

    I’m sorry to hear about the camera. You have been taking amazing photos so I hope it is fixable.

  6. The neat 3D Mickey music ride is in Disneyland in Florida. Michelle Brodie and I had a great time with that ride.


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