“Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.” –
You are never too old to believe in magic. Or to believe in fairies and magic stardust for that matter! Now, I am one of those people that lives in a bubble and believes in unicorns and fairy dust and want to sprinkle this everywhere I go and so spending a day at Disneyland whilst in Hong Kong was a no brainer!
My sister and I went to Disneyworld in Orlando, Florida many moons ago so one would wonder why we wanted to go to the one in Hong Kong too. Well, there are some places that are just incredibly special and take you back to a time when life WAS all rainbows and butterflies. For my sister and I, Disney is that place and we couldn’t resist in a bit of nostalgia out here in Hong Kong, and the minute we stepped onto the Disneyland Resort Line taking us from Sunny Bay out Lantau, we were transported to another world because the Disney magic begins from the moment you step onto the train with its Mickey Mouse shaped windows and train handles!
Disneyland Hong Kong is much smaller than the one in Florida but just as magical. Disneymode sets in as we leave the resort station and walk through the gates which command that we leave today and enter a world of yesterday, tomorrow and fantasy. Walt and his main mouse greet us by way of a life size fountain and we cannot help but squeal in glee, because really, the inner child within each of us is being unleashed!
There is even more excitement as we get our tickets and scan them through the barriers, officially having entered the land where all dreams are possible and do come true. How different from when we went to Orlando and had what were known as “hopper passes” and pictures of us on them! But, tickets are tickets and the adventure has truly begun as we walk down miniature Main Street USA and catch a glimpse of Cinderella’s castle and the memories of our time out in Orlando come flooding right back!
The Universe must have sensed our thrill at being back at Disney because we arrived in time to catch the Main Street Parade and this was in perfect synchronicity with how we were all feeling because it really set the pace for the day: looking at everything with childlike wonder. I must confess I was as excited as the young kids around me to see all the familiar characters go by, each one more fascinating than the last with my favourite being a very naughty Tinkerbell reeling everyone in with a mischievous smile and twinkle in her eye!
A quick glance at the Disney Map and looking around you will quickly reveal that this park is geared towards the lil’uns and therefore, most of the rides are for those that haven’t yet hit the double digits. But, teacups aside (because you are never too old to ride the teacups, are you?), there are a couple of great rides for adults too.
My sister convinced us to go on the Big Grizzly Rollercoaster and I have confessed time and time again that I am not an adrenaline junkie and so, I for one was pretty glad when the whole thing ended. It was quite a thrill while it lasted though but I must say I was happier walking through Toy Story Land and oohing and aahing at the larger than life lookalikes of Woody and Buzz Lightyear instead of being on an adrenaline inducing ride!
Of course, Disney isn’t the full experience without indulging in Disney parapharnelia or stopping to take pictures with every lovable character there is to be seen! So, in the spirit of Disney the Minnie and Mickey ears were purchased and worn through the day and my superstar M was was a good sport indulging all my whims and fancies!
The one thing that hasn’t changed, and I doubt ever will in Disney are the lines for waiting even if you now have these new-fangled fast passes. I must confess we hadn’t done much research into these because what we really wanted to do was just come and indulge the inner child in us, and so, we pretty much winged it and saw what interested us on the Disney Map and went for it. Even though we have seen this on Broadway and in the Lyceum in London, we couldn’t pass up the chance to watch the live Lion King Show, a musical adaptation of the film which we waited over an hour to get in to see but turned out to be well worth the wait and yes, we did sing along to all the songs and walked out of the show feeling like a million bucks (and a few years younger)!
My personal favourite has always been the nightly electric parade that ends with the traditional Disney firework show. Watching this makes me feel all fuzzy inside and gives me my feeling of joie de vivre where I view the world through rose tinted glasses and is somewhat akin to the holy grail of Disney: a must do and cannot miss. The parade lasts about 30 minutes and is the best god darn electric show you will ever see in your life I kid you not! Each exhibit twinkles with lights, adorned with the beloved characters and brought to life with music and I couldn’t stop myself from squealing and jumping up and down like an excited child with every float that went by.
And the fireworks…oh, the fireworks they really do make you believe in magic and convince you that sprinkling everything with sparkles and fairydust makes life just that little bit extra special. You are never too old for some Disney magic and a day out at this park should be on your WanderList for Hong Kong my dear Wanderlusters!
– On getting to Disneyland
The resort is in Lantau. Take the MTR to Sunny Bay Station and switch there to the Disneyland Resort Line, which takes you right to the gates where the magic begins!
– On costs
A day ticket costs $60 for adults and $40 for kids. And believe me when I say that Disney is expensive…for everything from souvenirs to food and drink! So budget appropriately, especially if you have kids that want everything that they can see!
– A lil nugget for you
Disney is magical but also hectic with its long lines and all the waiting, and yes, queue jumping people who I will not name for fear of being accused of spewing haterade and generalising but trust me, they are there and in plenty. All in all, if you just go with the flow and allow your inner child to escape, and oh, just believe in a little bit of magic – the day will whizz past and you will find yourself grinning from ear to ear as you snuggle into bed that evening because you are never too old for a bit of Disney magic…