Hong Kong Disneyland Part 1

Good evening from Hong Kong! I can’t believe we are in our final city before heading back to the good ol’ U.S. of A! We are more than ready to be HOME with our boys and settling into a routine, but we have to first fly out of here. Since we could not get a flight back on Saturday that would work, we will be heading to the States on Sunday, giving us two days in Hong Kong to chill out. Since we are Disney lovers, what better place to go?

When we realized we would have time to go to Hong Kong Disneyland, we started setting things up to leave ourselves the option to go to the park or not, based on how Mia was doing. We had to stay somewhere in Hong Kong, so we decided on the Hollywood Hotel so that we could have the shuttle to both the park and the airport, and of course, that great Disney service. So, that is why we are here! We have done the Walt Disney World family vacation with both of our boys twice, so why not a day with our princess?

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The morning started with finishing packing and getting ready to head out of Guangzhou. The van was MUCH nicer than I had anticipated, and we were glad to have a driver who spoke some English. After saying goodbye to Kathy and Paul, we headed out. We armed ourselves with some kid-level melatonin and I popped some Dramamine before we even left the hotel. About 15 minutes in, we asked the driver if we could play a movie, seeing the screens in the van. He politely agreed and about 10 minutes later he pulled off to the side of the road to fuss with getting the DVD in and set up. It literally took 10 minutes of fighting with the screen to come down and trying to get the disc to read to realize that it would not read discs made in the USA. So, we moved on to snacks to try to entertain the princess. She actually sat better today than usual. She also enjoyed being with Daddy more. Eventually, we did give her one dissolvable tablet of low-dose children’s melatonin to see how it would affect her for Sunday’s huge travel day. It took about 30 minutes for it to work and she fell asleep holding her snack in her hand!

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Immigration and customs was interesting. I hadn’t DRIVEN to a different country since my parents had taken me to Niagara Falls on the Canada side many years ago. Back then you didn’t even need a passport! The driver was awesome and made sure we had all the documents we needed. There were two toll-booth like stops before we were able to get into Hong Kong. Both times, the driver opened all the doors and they checked all three of our passports and we smiled and went on our way.

I couldn’t believe we were already in Hong Kong! Everyone had said it was a 3-4 hour drive and we made it in much less time. We actually made it to our Disneyland Hollywood Hotel in 2.5 hours! Since we were there early, we checked in, but our room wasn’t ready. John had planned on having to buy a child’s ticket for the theme park because Mia is over two years old. Turns out, she doesn’t need a ticket and for the same amount of money as we were expecting to pay, we could get 2-day passes instead of 1. So, John came back and said, “We’re going to Disneyland!”

First, we explored the hotel grounds and then we found the little line for the shuttle to the park. Everything is really easy to get around and everyone seems to speak both Chinese and English. Mia really enjoyed walking around the beautiful resort.

We hopped on the charter bus to the park and navigated our way to the entrance. Our Tula carrier was in our luggage at the hotel, so we had to just carry Mia until we could find a stroller rental place. At the hotel, we were told we did not need to exchange any currency for Hong Kong dollars, we could use our credit card for everything. Therefore, we did not have any US cash on hand and only a little bit of Chinese RMB left. The hotel person was incorrect. The stroller rental would only take HKD, so we had to try to exchange some RMB. Well, we didn’t have enough. They told John we could use our credit card at the ATM to get cash out. We tried, but we have never set a pin number on this credit card, because we have never needed to, so it got locked out. It was definitely time for lunch at this point, so we went to a nice restaurant in the park and while we waited for food, John called the credit card company. A super nice American businessman overheard our conversation and asked how much we needed for the stroller and gave us exactly the amount that we needed in HKD! What a blessing! I asked him to write down his address so we can thank him and return the money, but he said no need. He did leave us his business card, so we will definitely be sending a note to him soon!

After finally getting the stroller, I realized that Mia has probably never ridden in one, and certainly would not enjoy the seatbelt. Guess what? She loved it! She did great in it the whole time and it was very helpful for Mommy and Daddy, too! She wasn’t really interested in pictures, but we just figured she was tired and not really with it, so we just said we will try again tomorrow!

Disneyland is definitely smaller than WDW Magic Kingdom, but it is very nice and has that same Disney “feel” about it. We love all the special touches, Mickey heads everywhere, and the perfectly groomed landscaping. The plan was to see as much or as little as Mia wanted and take things slowly, knowing this can be very overstimulating to a two-year-old who has never seen a theme park before!

Our first ride was the slinky dog ride in the Toy Story land. This section of the park was super fun. We waited in line about 40 minutes and Mia only wanted to be held by Daddy. We got on the ride and it started and stopped a few times, but finally they got it going. She really seemed to like it after we got going.

There is a very cute little walk through path in Fantasyland that Mia really liked. It was like separate garden areas for each of the princesses and their stories. This allowed the kids to interact and turn a crank to get the music to play and have the characters do something. Despite the fact that Mia didn’t know a lot of the characters, she really seemed to enjoy turning that crank!

The second ride was the carousel in Fantasyland. This is just like the one in MK. We waited only 20 minutes, and we thought she would love the horses and music. At first she really was excited, but then….not so much! I have no idea what happened, but the progression is priceless!

She was definitely getting tired, so we headed back to Adventureland to see the Lion King show. Mia ate some snacks during the performance and was very tired, though she liked the ending a lot!

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After the show, we decided to walk through Tomorrowland and see what is there for tomorrow. We also stopped in a shop only long enough to feel claustrophobic. WAY too many people were in there! In fact, after 5pm we really noticed the crowds increasing tremendously. We are so used to going to WDW during the off-season times to avoid the crowds, so this made me a bit anxious. We made our way back to the return the stroller and head back to the hotel.

At the hotel, we were finally able to go up to our room and get our luggage back. By this time we were hungry and wanted some good food. There are three restaurants at this hotel, so we chose the sit-down one tonight and we are planning on the buffet tomorrow night because they will have characters out. The restaurant we ate at tonight was very good and they even play movies in there at night! Tonight’s was “Frozen,” but we were ready to get back to the room and get Mia to bed.

Tomorrow is another day at Disneyland, and hopefully after a good night’s sleep, Mia will feel more up to it. I have really enjoyed our approach so far. It is nice to be able to say, we don’t HAVE to do everything or ride all the rides, but rather base everything on her.

So, goodnight from Hong Kong. One more night after this and we will be on our way to America! YAY!

 

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