Part 8: Hong Kong and Macau Trip: My Solo Adventure in Disneyland

I’ve often heard from my friends and office mates that Hong Kong Disneyland is the best place to visit in the city especially if you have kids. But I was on a solo vacation and it saddened me to leave my family in Manila for not spending a great holiday like this with them. Anyway, their encouraging words somehow lessen the agony. They wanted me to enjoy every minute of my vacation especially the most anticipated part of my Hong Kong and Macau Trip.

My solitary adventure in Disneyland!  Again, thank you HSBC for my free trip to Hong Kong.

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From a quick visit from The Peak with my new found friend Day Leen, we headed to Central MTR station. There she left me with an encouraging smile, tips and ideas.

I boarded the train and alighted at Sunny Bay station, an interchange station between the Tung Chung Line and the Disneyland Resort Line. Then I took the train going to the theme park. It was good to see lots of Filipinos inside. And what’s so amusing, the cute train had windows and train handles made in the shape of Mickey Mouse’s head.

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When the door swung wide open, my spirit was soaring high. I started to savor the thrill of anticipation that will surely lead to a big day.

I walked all the way to Disneyland Resort sign and started clicking photo after photo as a token of memories. After my bag was checked at the entrance, I headed to the ticketing office for the validation of my “Play and Dine” ticket which I bought on-line for HK$539. This includes one free main course with soft drink at any restaurants in the park. Then I grabbed a map and times guide in the information area. It’s good that both pamphlets were written in English and in Chinese.

It was almost 12:00 high noon. I have to walk fast so I can ride all the desired attractions on my list.

Mystic Point

I can’t help but smile as I was on my way to Mystic Point situated at the farthest corner from the main entrance. Its prime attraction is Mystic Manorwhich is the first attraction in my list to ride on. The Victorian manor house was owned by Lord Henry Mystic where part of it was turned into an exotic museum. It was so huge and absolutely beautiful!

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The mansion had several portraits of Lord Henry Mystic and Albert the Monkey. Lord Henry’s collections of artifacts and antiques from his journey around the world were also found inside.

From there, we entered the pre-show area and watched a slide show narrated by Lord Henry. After the presentation, we boarded the Mystic Magneto, an electric carriage which are trackless ride vehicles invented by Lord Henry to tour the guests inside the museum.

I gasped with amazement when the audio-animatronic statues started to move. The technology behind all those movements had cast a truly magical experience. The journey was astounding. There’s no doubt Mystic Manor is one of the top Disney attractions. This ride isn’t only for the kids, adults will love this too.

Outside Mystic Manor is Mystic Point Freight Depot where guests can watch grandnephews of Lord Henry sharing adventure stories.

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I did not go inside the Garden of Wonders anymore. I just took a quick glance from the entrance and headed to my next destination.

Fantasyland

Exploring around, I noticed all roads lead to the stunning Sleeping Beauty Castle. This is Disney’s iconic symbol where lots of guests flocked at the center for picture taking. The castle itself is the attraction. This is where the “Disney in the Stars” happens every night at closing time (8:00 pm).

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In It’s a Small World, guests will experience a unique musical boat tour. I was fascinated much seeing little children in a form of animated dolls from around the world. They were singing “It’s a Small World” song from their native languages.

The journey into seven continents was really amazing. My eyes were rolling from left, to right, up and everywhere trying not to miss anything. It was colorful, so vibrant and so alive. If only my little girl was here, she will surely love those beautiful dolls singing, dancing and playing guitars while dressed in their intricate national costumes.

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There were 38 Disney characters blended well in this attraction but there were only few I saw. They were Pinocchio, Alladin and Jasmine, Ariel the Little Mermaid and Lilo and Stitch. Where are the others?

As the tour is about to end, we passed by the Good-Bye section featuring different good-bye in languages from around the world. I was so overwhelmed seeing my own native word “Paalam” in this amazing ride. I was totally mesmerized and overjoyed.

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The ride was so unbelievable. I left the area teary eyed.

Mickey’s Philhar Magic had a short queue so I watched this 4-D film attraction. This show features characters from Disney with 3D effects, water and scents.

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It lasted for about 11 minutes. The kids had a great time watching it. Honestly, I was bored with the show. This is absolutely for kids only.

I was delighted walking in a pathway filled with beautiful landscaped gardens in Fantasy Gardens. The best part in visiting this themed area is you will meet your favorite Disney characters and the opportunity to have a picture with them.

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Fairy Tale Forest is a magical garden where some of the scenes in a fairy tale were creatively done through miniature setting. As I explored the winding path, I saw castles, towers, caves, magical storybooks and interactive music boxes. It was fun going around.

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The queue in The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh is quite long. It was night time when I decided to try this attraction so as expected; I have to wait patiently for my turn. It’s best to ask for fastpass to skip the long line.

This attraction is based on A.A. Milne’s classic tales which features various adventures of Winnie the Pooh starting from “A Blustery Day in Hundred Acre Wood”. Fan of this story will surely enjoy as you will see famous characters like Tiger, Gopher, Piglet, Eeyore, Roo and Kanga.

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The ride in a Hunny Pot gliding and bouncing throughout the journey will surely make the children enjoy. Have fun!

Other attractions: Cinderella Carousel, Dumbo the flying Elephant, Fantasy Gardens and Mad Hatter Tea Cups

Toy Story Land

I smiled like a little tot when I saw larger than life characters in this area like giant Woody, giant toys, giant paper plane and a giant Rex. Everything is large.

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There’s no doubt, this is the most colorful and liveliest area for the kids as they will enjoy a gigantic world of fun here in Toy Story Land.

They say Toy Soldier Parachute Drop is for all ages. I should have tried this ride but since I was alone, I just watched the parachutes in a series of rises and falls while those brave souls were shouting and laughing in the air.

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Other attractions – RC Racer, Slinky Dog Spin, The Original Lincoln Log Building Set,

Grizzly Gulch

This themed area features an abandoned mining town. It has one attraction only, the Big Grizzly Mountain Runaway Mine Carsa steel roller coaster that moves forward and backward too. If only I have someone to shout out loud, I will brave the ride. But since there was none, again, I just watched one thrilling journey where the riders were shouting so loud. I heard a snoring of a giant bear in the middle of the thrilling ride.

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I had a souvenir photo inside the Grizzly Gulch Jail taken by a fellow Pinoy.

I even took time getting inside food establishments as I walked around. The temperature was humid, so I bought bottled water from a pushcart vendor. I kept on walking and ended up sitting near Sleeping Beauty Castle. It was then I decided to eat.

Restaurants and Food Stalls

There were several restaurants and food stalls inside Disneyland. Expect it a bit pricey. From all the signature restaurants I visited, I chose Royal Banquet Hall because their menu was tempting. I ordered Baked pork chop with rice combo and one regular coke. It was loaded with rice so I assumed, my lunch will be heavy.

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But to my dismay, the pork wasn’t tenderized. I ate small portion only. I did not finish eating the rice too. I had a wrong choice of menu. I should have ordered spaghetti instead.

Adventureland

I’m a fan of Lion King movie that’s why I will never leave Disneyland without watching the Festival of the Lion King. This musical extravaganza showcases acrobats and fire dancers came into life.

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Behind those dancing and singing, what so special about the show is the “love” between Simba and Nala that I felt down deep in my heart. But of course, there was Scar, the villain who wanted to snatch away the kingdom from Simba.

The cast was great and even the props. It was well produced. It’s good that I watched the show. It was so fantastic and so alive. If my family were here, they will surely like the show.

Show time: 12:00 noon, 2:00 pm, 4:30 pm, 6:00 pm:

Tip:  Arrive early, theater does fill up. Doors close ten minutes prior to show time.

When the afternoon sun started to fade, there was a lively Christmas performance near the giant Christmas tree in Main Street. They were the Disney characters dancing to lovely Christmas tunes. And because of this, I wasn’t able to ride Rafts to Tarzan’s Treehouse and visit Tarzan’s Treehouse because this attraction is until 6:00 pm only.

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It’s good that Jungle River Cruise was still open after 6:00 pm. It was already dark when we boarded a replica of tram streamers and cruised rivers of Asia, Africa and South America. The voyage was led by a tour guide narrating a story in Chinese. I did not understand anything she said.  Anyway, the audio-animatronic jungle animals with sudden fires blasting in the air had livened up the cruise.

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In a remote jungle clearing, there were the Liki Tikis, the totem poles that emits mist and water to passersby. Sorry, my picture wasn’t good.

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sorry my picture of Liki Tikis were bad

Main Street, USA

This themed area resembled an old American town. They say, you’ve never been to Hong Kong Disneyland if you have no photo souvenir with Mickey and Minnie Mouse at the central area near the giant Christmas tree. Though I’m not a fan of them, I queued for almost an hour just to have my souvenir photo.

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Other Disney characters that are roaming around in Main Street, USA are Donald and Daisy Duck, Goofy and Pluto.

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it’s me with Mickey and Minnie Mouse

Other attractions: Main Street Vehicles, Animation Academy, Art of Animation and Hong Kong Disneyland Railroad

Tomorrowland

If only I have a company, I will surely ride the Hyperspace Mountain, but then again, since I was alone, I did not dare. There’s no one that I could shout my heart out. But for sure, I will try this ride when I get back.

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I was waiting for the fireworks and since I still have time to ride, I tried Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters. Buzz welcomed us near the entrance. We boarded the Star Cruisers spinning in 360 degrees and enjoyed shooting the enemies using a laser blaster. It was a child delight teaming up with Buzz. Kids will surely love this interactive ride.

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Other attraction – Orbitron and Star Wards Commando Post.

Parade

I missed Flights of Fantasy Parade in the afternoon for I was watching The Lion King Festival. By night time, I went with the excited crowd waiting for the “Disney Paint the Night” Parade. While some guests were standing, most of the kids including me sat beside the road.

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Mack of Cars was so big, amazing and brightly lighted

The parade started exactly at 7:00 pm. There were seven floats featured in this show. It started from Tinker Bell, the Monsters Inc., Cars, Ariel of The Little Mermaid, Belle of Sleeping Beauty, Woody and Buzz of Toy Story and the famous Disney characters like Goofy, Minnie and the finale was Mickey Mouse of course.

I was overwhelmed watching the fabulous and colorful LED parade. But later I was crying. I missed my family. How I wished we are all here watching this wonderful show.

Again, this is one downside of being alone. Huhuhu…

Shops

There are souvenir and merchandise stores in every turn. So if you have extra money, go and buy!

Closing Time

The Disney in the Stars Fireworks was beautiful and captivating. The spectacular pyrotechnic fireworks display was fantastic. Before it finally ends, I went near the exit so I could easily ride the train going back to Sunny Bay.

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waiting for the great fireworks at closing time

Happy and Satisfied

That ends my solo adventure in Disneyland. For the record, this is another memory to last a lifetime. And though I missed some attractions and rides, still I experienced all the attractions (the best indeed) on my list. This vacation was truly one for the books.

I’m sure this is not my last visit in Hong Kong Disneyland. Definitely, I will go back with my family and I will make my second visit much meaningful than my first.

I had a great time with Micky Mouse and friends. Till next time!

Next Destination – Ngong Ping 360 and Big Buddha

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Part 1: Hong Kong and Macau Trip: Senado Square and St. Dominic’s Church Part 3: Hong Kong and Macau Trip: A-Ma Temple, Maritime Museum and the Golden Lotus Square Singapore Family Trip-Part 7: Orchard Road and Clarke Quay Singapore Family Trip-Part 9: Child delight in Singapore Zoo