22
Mar
11

Escape to Hong Kong- Part 2

 

Disney Day Deux

I forgot to mention in the previous post how smoothly getting home the night before turned out to be. Walking back to the park entrance to return our strollers, then heading to the shuttle buses, we were in a huge crowd of people and anticipated having to wait in a long queue. But most of the crowd peeled off into the MTR station, and we did not have to wait at all. Lucky for us, as the boys were all fast asleep on our shoulders!

The next morning, all the boys woke up excited to go back to Disneyland. After breakfast, we headed back to the park. Unfortunately Trey was asleep (last time he was asleep as well), so we could not get a photo with the five of us in front of the park entrance sign. One thing about having triplets is that we wish we could take more photos to capture the memories, but all hands are usually needed to keep these guys from running amok!

We definitely recommend taking the train ride around the park as one of the first things to do at Hong Kong Disneyland. The route circles the park, and the sides of train cars facing the park are open. This way you can survey each theme area and decide which attractions you want to visit first. Some of the features which are done especially for the train passengers include Toy Story aliens peeking over the wall in Tomorrowland and animatronic animals when passing through Adventureland. Our boys enjoyed it, despite an overexcited little boy behind us excitedly screaming in Cantonese to the consternation and embarrassment of his mother.

The first ride we headed for was the Jungle Cruise, making sure we picked the English language queue. It might have been interesting to see what the Cantonese and Mandarin versions were like, but none of us speak those languages! While waiting in the queue, Trip fell asleep, and was dozing on my shoulder the entire time on the ride.

He missed explosions, roaring animals, and a fiery volcano, which almost scared Trey and Troy, but as you can see from the photos they were enthralled by the whole shebang.

Heading back to Tomorrowland (is that a contradictions?) we queued up for the Buzz Lightyear ride, which is my personal favorite, as it adds a layer of interactivity giving passengers on the ride laser guns that they can use to shoot targets, which activate some kind of motion. It feels like a three-dimensional arcade game, and Troy absolutely LOVED this one, so I had to bring him back again for another go-round (though neither of us scored as high the second time around), and we had to purchase a Space Ranger blaster for him in the gift shop conveniently located at the exit.

This ride also allowed for use of the Fast Pass system (as does Space Mountain and Winnie the Pooh. That is where you check in to return at an appointed time to bypass the bulk of the queue. While waiting you can go off and check out the minor attractions, get something to eat, or go to the bathroom. A big plus, especially when you have little kids. (If you don’t mind spending a little extra, the Star Pass program looks like a pretty good bargain at HK$80 for a VIP experience with preferred seating and Fast Passes, especially as the weather gets hotter).

Next time we come, we will have to take the boys on rides they didn’t have time to see or they were still too young to experience, like Stitch’s Encounter and Space Mountain, respectively. Also, we learned that Grizzly Gulch, Mystic Point and Toy Story Land will be added to the park expansion, which make it even more enticing to visit.

The last ride before we left was Orbitron. We almost didn’t go on, but noticed that there were no lines. We asked the boys if they wanted to go up, and Trip, seeing how high the ride went said “Mai pai! (I don’t wanna go!)” We suspect he has an aversion to heights like his Mommy. So Mook and I took Troy and Trey, the four of us perfectly fitting into one space pod (Mook’s motherly obligations overcoming her acrophobia). Trey and I were up front, and I showed him the control handle that made us go up and down. He relished in the control, while I heard Troy behind us going “Oooooh!” The sun had begun to set and the weather was getting cooler, but not-quite-chilly. Yes it’s similar to a carnival ride, but the setting, the moment, was truly magical.

And while the boys eventually may not remember it (seriously, how many things do you remember from when you were 2?), Mook and I have wonderful memories of this weekend, and we can’t wait to tell them about it when they get older.

***

A Magical Accommodation

Mook and I love going to Hong Kong. We love meeting friends to enjoy a cocktail and the view from Sevva. We love hunting for bargains along Kowloon and Central. We love eating dimsum and wonton noodles and Peking duck. We love the energy of the LanKwai Fong nightlife scene. But we never thought of it as a kid-friendly destination. While we never ventured into Hong Kong proper, we found Hong Kong Disneyland to be a very positive experience for our family.

First of all, if any of our friends is planning to visit Hong Kong Disneyland, we would highly recommend they stay at one of the park’s hotels. We really really enjoyed The Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel for several reasons:

Shuttle

This free shuttle bus is so convenient to get to the park. For our boys, we wondered if we would have to come back to the hotel for them to take a nap. With the shuttle bus it would not have been a problem (one-day passes are good for reentry, just have to get a stamp before leaving to get back in).

 

Comfortable Rooms

Clean, comfortable, and full of amenities, not much more you can ask for. The television had one channel showing Disney short cartoons in English, Mandarin, and Cantonese, which helped calm the boys down when it was time for them to drink their milk. Perhaps it was because we were so tired after exploring the park, but Mook and I slept very well in the beds. And the bathtubs were very accommodating for bathing three boys at once!

Kid Friendly Accommodation

Even though our hotel was beautiful, and felt like a five-star Victorian mansion, you were always reminded that this was a Disney hotel, and the kids came first. Near the check-in counter, there was a nook with kid-sized stools in front of a TV playing Disney cartoon. The Mickey Mouse motif everywhere, in the carpet patterns, on top of the luggage carts, and on the slippers. They even have kid-sized slippers in the rooms. (They were still too big for our boys, but they still loved wearing them.) Employees (I mean Cast Members) were always handing out stickers, even the housekeeping staff. It is like one of the questions they ask everyone when hiring is “Do you like kids?” And everyone has to say yes and mean it.

One extra special treat: when the hotel learned it was our boys 2nd birthday, the housekeeping staff made them clever birthday cakes out of rolled and folded towels and colored pipe cleaner! Each of the boys also got a birthday card, which made for such a wonderful memory for all of us.

 

Breakfast with Mickey & Friends

If there was one reason I absolutely feel like staying here was worth it, it is breakfast at the Enchanted Garden. Yes it was very delicious with a great selection of Chinese and Western favorites for the morning (including Mickey Mouse-shaped waffles), and yes the staff was very used to dealing with kids. The real treat is that you can actually meet all the Disney characters while eating!

The lines at the park to take photos often stretch to at least a half-hour wait (sometimes longer if it was a popular character). But here, Mickey, Pluto, Goofy, and Daisy Duck came right up to our table to take photos! Even to a jaded grown-up like myself, that. Was. Way. Cool.

 

Fun Facilities

In the garden behind the hotel is a very fun hedge maze, like you see in The Shining, except without a crazed murderer. Instead, you might see a frazzled Dad trying to get his three boys to turn and look at the camera at the same time. But our boys really loved running around it; it was tall enough to be an adventure for them but us adults could still see each other.

There was also a playroom and a studio where girls could dress up as a princess and take photos with Disney characters, along with an indoor swimming pool and a nice-looking spa (which must be a godsend for frazzled moms).

 

Late Check Out

I know this is probably only available when they are not full, but it was a huge relief for us to know that we could check out in the afternoon, giving the boys a chance to nap before heading to the airport. We spent our last few hours relaxed, rather than scurrying and hurrying to catch a ride back to the airport. That’s how a vacation should end.

And as we were leaving, the pianist in the lobby was deftly playing Claire de Lune, which is my all-time favorite classical piece from Claude Debussy’s Suite bergamasque.

It was such a beautiful way to end a magical weekend, our first international adventure with Trip, Trey, and Troy.

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4 Responses to “Escape to Hong Kong- Part 2”


  1. 1 Aimee
    March 24, 2011 at 1:13 pm

    Wow….You are an astounding writer. Both blogs about your family’s trip to HK Disneyland are captivating!!!

  2. 2 sureerut
    November 17, 2011 at 2:06 am

    It ‘s very loveliness. I like it.

  3. February 26, 2012 at 2:59 am

    hi there, jack!
    i’m blessed that my family and i got to experienced the same hkdl trip as yours last year.
    it was amazing!


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