[[warning: picture heavy]] Hong Kong Trip - Day 2 - DISNEYLAND!

It was March 10, 2010, and the first thing I did as I opened my eyes to greet the new day, was yell "Disneyland!!". We were all super-psyched, even the kids who, frankly, had no real idea what was awaiting them. We got ready in record time that morning! By 10.30am, we got in to a cab and were on our way to Disneyland. It was our first time seeing the Hong Kong skyline at daytime, and later on, the ocean and mountains. It was quite a wonderful ride, punctuated by several glimpses of the familiar Mickey Mouse head silhouette on the highway signboards en route to Disneyland :) Very cute touch, Hong Kong!

When we got there at 11.15am, the walking began. Walk walk walk as we tried to find the entrance. But I certainly wasn't complaining! With familiar Disney music coming from the speakers and the sight of posters here and there featuring our favorite Disney characters, I was so very very excited! Those who've seen my pictures on Facebook can attest to that, hahaha.



Finally we got to the entrance and my Dad went to get tickets. While he lined up, my mom and I, along with the kids, marveled at how wonderful the weather was (sunny yet cool...PERFECT weather!) and started buying some Disney merchandise for the kids.



Once we got in, I couldn't contain my excitement! I had done some research beforehand and found this website detailing some favorite toddler rides and stuff, but my Dad also went to pick out some useful brochures. We then planned our day accordingly.



First thing we did when we got on Main Street was try and get pictures with Mickey and Minnie, but we were too late, and they closed velvet rope right in front of us :( "But do not worry," we were told, "the Mouses will be right back at 12.30". So we decided to get a bite to eat first before going to take pictures with them. Before we could get to the restaurant, though, we had to watch the band playing Disney songs!





When we got to the restaurant, Aqil was freaking out about wanting a Mickey balloon, so my mom, Afraz and I sat down and flipped through the menu while his Atuk bought him a balloon. I decided that day that the whole day was gonna be a treat for the kids, so I ordered Mickey Mouse-shaped waffles and ice-cream for their lunch. But the kids were having none of that - when Aqil sat down, he asked for rice. Hahaha! Well, its the thought that counts, right?



After a nice, filling meal, we still had some time before we headed back to the start of Main Street to meet the Mouses. So we decided to go on one or two rides in Tomorrowland.



We ended up going on the Orbitron rocket ship ride, which Aqil thoroughly enjoyed as he got to  "drive the rocket!". I don't know if Afraz was enjoying it or not as he was nursing the whole time and actually fell asleep halfway through.



When we saw it was almost 12.30, we decided to head back to the start of Main Street to finally take pictures with Mickey and Minnie, but Aqil was freaking out again because he thought we were going home already. But then he caught sight of Mickey and calmed down :) He was so stunned to see Mickey "in real life"!




I was super excited too, obviously. Afraz...well, maybe he was experiencing it in his dreams?


After that, we headed back to Tomorrowland to experience some more attractions. This time Aqil and my mom went on the Autopia car ride together. That took quite a while, but apparently he had lots of fun.



After that we went to the Stitch interactive show called Stitch Encounter, which only lasted 15mins but was quite a bit of fun. I suspect older kids would find it more amusing, though. Aqil has suddenly become a fan of Stitch since then though, so he must've found that funky blue alien pretty charming! By the time we were done with that, it was time for another big attraction at any Disneyland - The Disney Parade!


After the Parade, we moved on to Fantasyland, where the first thing we did was ride the Cinderella Carousel. I forgot how much good old-fashioned fun a merry-go-round could be!



Later on, Aqil and I enjoyed the Dumbo ride. Similar to the rocket one, except we're in a flying elephant. Aqil didn't get the reference, but enjoyed it nonetheless.



While we walked around after that ride, I noticed this area where all the characters were standing in gazebos for pictures. Naturally, that was our next destination! I went with Aqil while my parents watched Afraz. We only had enough time to meet Pooh and Goofy before all the characters had to leave :/


Anyhoo, after that we went to my mom's all-time favorite attraction: Small Small World! I think she was the most excited out of us all to go on that ride, hehe. I took a tonne of pics inside the ride but they didn't turn out so great :/ So here is a pic of the outside.



There wasn't much else we wanted to do in Fantasyland after all that (none of the adults wanted to risk the dizzying Mad Hatter's Teacup ride), so we went to Adventureland. This is the smallest section of the park, and it was late, so we only went on one ride - the Jungle River Cruise. It was basically just a boat ride with realistic animatronic wildlife and crazy pyrotechnics. Most of the kids were kinda scared, though. Aqil acted tough, but seemed quite anxious.


We were really hungry at that point, and it was around 6.30, so we had an hour to kill before the fireworks and closing time. So we went looking for food. Much to our disappointment, most of the restaurants were closed in preparation for the fireworks. During our walk to find a restaurant, the kids fell asleep. Anyway, we managed to find a restaurant that was open, and had dinner there. After we finished our meal, we managed to get a real good spot to watch the fireworks, and the kids woke up just in time to see the fireworks :)


I had tears in my eyes during the fireworks. First of all, it was a stunning fireworks display - the best I've ever seen. Secondly, the accompanying music and dialogue were taken from my favorite Disney movies - the memories of my childhood came racing back to my mind, and I was so overwhelmed by it all. I know it seems cheesy that I would be so emotional about a fireworks display, but anyone from my generation can't deny how much Disney played a role in our childhood! I know, I know, consumerism has invaded our lives, etc etc, but looking at it from the perspective of a once-innocent and none-the-wiser kid again...man, it was really really sweet.

I think that Hong Kong Disneyland would be a lovely location for a Malaysian family holiday - it is close (3.5hrs away by flight), there's no need for a visa, the food is Asian (this is very important for rice addicts like my kids, LOL), the tickets are cheap (I forgot the exact price, but you can find it on their website...much much cheaper than other Disney theme parks, and kids under 3 get in free!) and the employees speak English fairly well. Also, Malaysians like cooler weather, so if you go there during Spring/Fall, it happens to be non-peak season, which means no crowds :D

I really enjoyed my time at Disneyland, and was pleasantly surprised by how much fun I had. The park is big enough that you can spend the whole day there, yet small enough that you won't get overly tired or need to stay extra days to experience all the attractions. I should mention, however, that we didn't go during peak season, so the lines were basically non-existent - I think the longest we had to wait in line was 10mins. I would totally go back there again one day, only next time I will stay at a Disneyland hotel and not bother with other parts of HK (read Part 1 of my HK adventures if you wanna know why).