Disneyland: Bringing Back the Kid in You

Day 3 – Part 1
February 1, Friday

I’ve been a theme park junkie since I was a child. I remember when I was little, I used to make miniatures of theme park rides using paper, boards, folders, or cartons -- I carefully measure and cut out each part then assemble them and finally, paint them with watercolor. Roller coasters and Ferris wheels were my favorite.

Back then, I collected maps of Enchanted Kingdom (perhaps the Philippines’ most popular park) and Disneyland, which only came from relatives abroad who have visited and thought of sending us maps to make us envious. From those maps, I would invent my own rides and eventually draw my own map and my own theme park. Yes, I was incredibly peculiar back then, but it certainly contributed to my creativeness and was a huge factor why I am such a weird genius today. Hahaha, just kidding.

Anyway, what that introduction has to do with the rest of the blog is that on Day 3, we went to Disneyland Hong Kong. It certainly surpassed all theme park experience I’ve had. The rides weren’t as exciting as those in Ocean Park, but they were well-designed and certain to give you a different kind of experience. All the structures, up to the littlest of designs – Mickey mouse-shaped fruits up the trees, Mickey pancakes – contribute to the splendor of the entire theme park. I wish I went there as a child!

inside the train going to Disneyland
I’d like to think everybody dreams of visiting Disneyland someday, and I believe people definitely should, at least once in their lives. There is nothing like a fantasy world which started on film turn into a “reality”.

OOTD - Day 3

Upon entering, we studied the map and decided to line up to take a picture with Mickey and Minnie first. This two-hour queue disappointed me immensely, as they didn’t let me do a dancesport pose with the two vermin. They are directing poses and just told me to stand like the idiot that everyone else was. What the fuck is wrong with them?

Disneyland railroad
It's Chinese New Year in Disneyland! 

The Most Disappointing Pic Ever 2013

We watched the Golden Mickeys first, which showcased the best of Disney movies. I loved the dances and the transitions and the change in set design per movie – my favorites were Tarzan, Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast. After that, we saw the Festival of the Lion King show, which was, in one word, superb. Awesome singing, amazing dancing; I even cried during the Can You Feel the Love Tonight sequence, in which the spirit creature demonstrated some fantastic air dance stunts. Awesome dancing, combined with the lovely music from the Lion King OST, was probably what made me cry. It is not the first time I cried watching a dance, though; I always break into tears whenever I see such heartfelt performances.

I will never forget two rides: the Runaway Mine Cars, a mini roller coaster which takes into caves inhabited by bears (animatronics of course), up and down mountains, and through geysers. The tricks were incredibly surprising. Watch the POV video recording of the Runaway Mine Cars here. The other one is the Space Mountain, an indoor high-speed coaster that simulates a journey through space; all you will see inside are stars and galaxies and stuff. Mind-blowing!

Despite not being able to do my signature dancesport pose in front of Mickey, I did manage to get a falling-off-the-stairs picture, in the Grizzly Gulch area. I love it!

By 3PM we watched the Flights of Fantasy parade, because our friend Deo was a part of it. Awesome, colorful floats, mascots, dancers (most of them Pinoy). I enjoyed every minute of it. If I had jazz background I would definitely try auditioning as a cast member.

After the show, we roamed around the park again and discovered the Toy Story Land. The first thing that captured my attention was the RC Racer, a gravity-defying ride that takes you speeding up and down a U-shaped track. It was fucking awesome!

RC Racer

More crazy pictures, popcorn, and walking followed, and when we got tired, we decided to meet up with Deo and we bought some souvenirs before going out of the park. I already had Mickey Mouse toys so I just bought several phone accessories and a tumbler.

shopping with Via
I was unwilling to leave Disney but my feet couldn’t take any more walking. I got tired of taking pictures, as well. You can’t explore the whole park even if you stay there the whole day – you cannot try all the rides and watch all the shows. A second visit to Disneyland is a must, or perhaps even a third. I felt like there was a surprise in every corner, and as I keep telling you, it’s the littlest things that make things like this so memorable.

favorite dancesport pose again

Hong Kong Disneyland
Lantau Island, Park Promenade, Hong Kong
General Admission Rates:
Adult (HK $450)
Child (HK $320)
Senior (HK $100)
Operating Hours: 10:00am-8:00pm

How to Get There:
Travel on the railway network of MTR (Mass Transit Railway) and interchange for the Disneyland Resort Line at Sunny Bay Station. From there, another train will take you directly to the Disneyland Resort.

Helpful tips:
  • Bring sunblock, sunglasses, and/or umbrella, as you will be exposed to a lot of sunlight.
  • Purchase your tickets in advance (through their website) to eliminate the need to queue up on the Main Entrance ticket booth.
  • Obtain a Guide Map and Times Guide (schedule of shows) from the Main Entrance and plan accordingly.

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About Pepe Samson

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