Thursday, November 23
|What a way to cap off a good family vacation!! Disney Land was awesome, and
our girls had a great day. Ironically, everyone had been telling us to skip
Disney Land, telling us it was too small and that we would be disappointed.
The advice we were given couldn’t have been farther from the truth.
We had promised Emily and Stephanie that if we woke up today and it wasn’t raining, we’d go to Disney Land. As soon as Emily’s eyes opened and she checked the weather, she held us to the promise. It was fine by us, anyway, so we all hopped on the subway and went to Hong Kong Disney Land. Yes, believe it or not, the subway takes you all the way to Disney Land. In fact, there is a dedicated MTR line for Disney Land and the train cars all have Mickey Mouse shaped windows, custom seating, and bronze statues inside. There are happy Disney-ish announcements going on, welcoming you to Disney Land, too.
We were impressed right from the get go. The MTR station for Disney was lovely, clean, and well appointed. Being a Thursday, it wasn’t terribly busy, so it was a great day to go.
We were able to pre-purchase our entrance tickets at the subway station so there were no line-ups when we got there. We just walked straight in. As soon as we got inside we took care of the most important details - where to rent strollers and where the first washrooms were!! In that order, too!
We rented strollers, two of them, and we were really glad we did. While Hong Kong Disney Land is nowhere near as spacious and spread out as, say, Florida Disney World, there is no way that Stephanie’s little legs would have made it. Not to mention the fact that Emily had already let us know she was going to need a nap.
We were happy to hear Emily getting very excited as soon as we got into the park. Just like at Florida or California, you can see the princess castle almost as soon as you set foot in the park and Emily wanted to get close. Then we found out that Cinderella owns a merry-go-round in HK Disney Land, and Emily and Danny went on it. Shortly after that, we noticed that Winnie the Pooh had a cool ride and spent time on it, too. Emily enjoyed the Winnie the Pooh ride, but Stephanie wasn’t as convinced.
Just like the other locations, HK Disney Land is clean and family oriented. The bathrooms were the cleanest we’ve encountered since the Toronto airport, so we didn’t have to worry about that.
We found a food establishment and I admit my first thought was “here goes all our money,” but in fact it was quite reasonable. Different than you’d get in Florida for sure. I ordered two orders of barbeque pork on rice, one order of mixed mushrooms on rice, and some leek dumplings. The whole thing, plus a Coke, a Coke Light (diet is a bad word here), and an iced tea, came to $200 HKD or about $35 CAD. Try feeding a family of four for $35 at Canada’s Wonderland some time!
Touring “Main Street USA” was kind of odd. It seemed very out of place, although I guess that’s kind of the point. The only things missing were McDonalds and Starbucks. Ironic, since both of them seem to be on every other street corner in Hong Kong and China!
After that, we headed into TomorrowLand. Emily likes Buzz Lightyear, so we sought him out. In fact, we went on a ride that featured all the characters from Toy Story. Emily loved it and Stephanie screamed her head off the entire time. It was very funny to see.
Throughout the park, in true Disney style, the various characters are walking about, allowing families to take photos with them. They attend at set places in the park and you can line up to take photos. One difference here is that instead of just kids in line, there were whole families, as well as large groups of teenagers, standing in line for 20 minutes at a time, waiting for a photo with Cinderella, Snow White or Mickey and Minnie….very odd indeed. Needless to say, while you can enjoy numerous photos of Emily and Stephanie with the characters, you won’t find me in any of them (although I’m sure at least one of the characters would have found a photo with a blonde white woman funny!)
We played on some more rides, and decided that we wanted to stick around for the daily parade down Main Street. Emily had fallen asleep while I did some souvenir shopping, so we parked her and Stephanie’s strollers at the curbside to reserve some spaces, and waited on the parade. We woke Emily up just as the first float was rounding the corner.
We weren’t disappointed at all. The parade was awesome!! All Emily and Stephanie’s favourite Disney characters were there, singing and dancing right in front of them. We had a great time, clapping along, singing, and waving to the various characters. Both girls were right into it. Emily was only disappointed when it ended!
We stayed around a little longer, taking some more photos with characters, then headed out. It’s important to mention (since you’ll notice it in the photos) that Christmas has arrived in Hong Kong while we’ve been here. There are huge, decorated Christmas trees everywhere you go, and Disney Land was decked out beautifully, complete with Christmas carols being piped throughout the park. Mickey and Minnie even had Christmas sweaters on.
We called it a day, and headed out on the subway again.
We needed to make a stop along the way for Danny to pick up the rest of the custom tailored clothing he ordered while we’ve been here and then we went to his nephew Pok Hei’s house for a final big family dinner.
They hosted us, along with Danny’s aunts, mother, and uncle. It was a huge feast, with homemade hotpot for dinner. They had even bought many of the hairy crabs that are featured at this time of year in Hong Kong. We ate and ate and there was a still lot of food left over. It was a wonderful finish to our trip.
Sadly, at the end of the dinner, we had to say goodbye to Pok Hei and his family. We likely won’t see them again for about two years, when we visit Hong Kong again. They have been very gracious and incredibly helpful again during our trip.
Our next and final post will be to confirm that we made it home safely. Tomorrow we fly out in the afternoon, via Air Canada Flight 16. There is nothing like 15.5 hours on a flight with two young kids to make me smile!