The Happiest Place on Earth

As a kid Sunday night was Disney night.  We’d scoff our tomato soup and buttered bread (Sunday night was always an ‘easy dinner’) and be freshly bathed and PJ’d ready for the start of The Wonderful World of Disney at 6.30pm.  If you missed it, you missed it.  There were no VCRs, DVDs, or you tube to catch up with it later.

We’d watch the opening scenes of kids enjoying the REAL Disneyland in amazement.  Those kids were so lucky and must’ve been American as no-one I knew as a kid ever went to Disneyland. People just didn’t travel overseas then.

This past weekend my girls had a five-day weekend courtesy of National Day here in Singapore and the great Australian tradition of “Pupil Free Days”. Sorry, I mean Curriculum Days. Whatever.

Anyways, to celebrate Singapore’s 46th birthday we went to Hong Kong Disneyland. Makes perfect sense, huh?

We flew Jetstar.  They were neither great, nor bad, and the highlight of the flight was sharing breathing space with one of the original Popstar girls from Bardot.  I should be embarrassed to admit I knew who she was straight away, but I’m not as I was addicted to that show and even have their first CD to prove it.

We went all out on this trip and stayed in a Balcony Seaview room at the Disneyland Hotel.  The hotel is Victorian in style and the attention to detail is amazing (which made up for the completely tramatic check-in).  There are little Disney touches everywhere, which i found quite charming as it wasn’t completely over-the-top.

As this was a birthday trip for the two Missies we splashed out a considerable amount of cash on dinner in the Enchanted Garden restaurant with the Disney characters.  We dined with Mickey, Minnie, Goofy and Pluto, which gave the big kids as much of a thrill as it did the little kids.  Surprisingly, the buffet was FABULOUS.  The food was plentiful, well cooked and top quality. Even my husband, who is very quick to criticise restaurant food agreed that it was amazing.

Disneyland Hong Kong is a little kids dream come true.  All the iconic Disney rides are there – Teacups, Flying Dumbos, Small World.  Disney characters appear regularly and I was thrilled (and a bit puzzled) that I was allowed to take my own photos, negating the need to buy those snapped by the Disney photographer.  My girls got to meet all their favourite characters, and even one bear called Duffy who I’ve never seen or heard of before.  Although, for some strange reason, Donald Duck seems to have disappeared.

We copped the two hottest days of the year in Hong Kong.  It was so hot I could wring the sweat out of my bra, and at one stage I had a a pool of sweat in my EARS.  Fortunately, staying at the Disneyland Hotel meant we could catch the handy dandy shuttle back to the hotel in the afternoon and return for the night session when it was a little cooler to catch the fireworks over Sleeping Beauty’s castle.

I’m not sure why queueing turns reasonable people into maniacs but it became a recurring theme in our visit.  It’s A Small World did not have a line (which was a shame as the queueing area had air conditioning!), but people would still RUN to the boats like they were in the finale of The Amazing Race.

I think it’s fair to say that certain cultures have different levels of respect for those already in the queue ahead of them.  On the Jungle Cruise a family of five carved a path from the back of the 25 minute queue to the very front, stepping on the Big Missy’s foot and pushing the Little Missy’s head into the railing.  We comforted our kids, raised bemused eyebrows at each other and got on with waiting.  To our surprise, the Disneyland staff member gave them avery animated  five minute tongue lashing, which we couldn’t understand given our non-existant Chinese language skills but they did not board the boat.  Yay, for the Disneyland lady!

We spent our last full day escaping the Disney bubble and headed in to Kowloon. We did a cruise on Victoria Harbour, strolled around, had a sensational dinner at a Chinese restaurant with my husband’s colleague and caught the MTR back to the Disney bubble.

It was such a wonderful weekend (despite the oppressive heat) and is certainly a weekend that will live in our memories forever.

5 thoughts on “The Happiest Place on Earth

  1. Memories…of the way we used to be..sorry Kel.
    I mean “Mickey Mouse…Donald Duck…you know the rest”
    That was such a great trip..and minus the rude people, and the sweat would truly have been a visit to The Land of Make Believe.
    Your Sunday nights sounded familiar.
    Even MY Sunday nights, after we got a TV in 1957, were “tomato soup, bread and Disneyland” In B&W. Who cared. As for the Mousekeeters….
    Anyhoo. What a great way to be able to visit and make memories with the ‘splashing of cash’ making it a more comfortable time too.
    My Dad visited US in 1966 for a business course, and whilst in LA he “did” Disneyland with some of his, colleagues! Seriously. Then he & Mum went years later. My son, at 14, was lucky to visit US to take part in a Talented Tennis Players camp at John Newcombe’s ranch in San Antonio TX, and upon return via LA, did the Disneyland thing.
    For me, I would have to VIP it. The queues…no good for my feet.
    In LA in 2006 I did Universal Studios over Disneyland as I only had 24 hours.

  2. We did Disney in Honkers at the same time of year, it was soooo hot and not a lot of shade from memory. My favourite part was when they wouldn’t let me go on a ride because I was pregnant…except I WASN’T!

    The hotel was gorgeous, I seem to remember a glass slipper hidden in the chandelier, you are absolutely right, beautiful attention to detail.


    • Belinda Chapple, long brown hair and is wearing black leather mini and boots on the front of the CD. We were both laughing at the Little Missy’s disappointment at flying a budget airline.

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