Thursday, July 9, 2015

Amusing Hong Kong

I am an amusement park junkie.  While in China I have missed the intoxicating mixture of roller coasters, junk food, cheesy musical performances, and fireworks that only a theme park can provide.  Many local parks have small roller coasters and plenty of junk food, however I just haven’t been brave enough to take a ride.  While I am too chicken to ride the local attractions, I had wanted to make a trip to Hong Kong Disney for a day of rides, fun, and a little magic.  So for my birthday, we returned to Hong Kong for an amusement park extravaganza!

Color me happy...we're going to Disneyland!
Hong Kong Disney is a lot like Disneyland in LA and the Magic Kingdom in Orlando. Attractions like Space Mountain, It’s a Small World, and the Jungle Cruise made me forget I was in Asia for a few hours.

The area outside the gate reminded me of the Magic Kingdom in Orlando. 
After we walked in the gate, I was so surprised at the size of Sleeping Beauty's castle.  It was considerably smaller than the castles in other Disney parks. 
We had a great time visiting such Disney classics like It's a Small World,

the Carousel,

the spinning teacups,
and the flying Dumbo ride.
Even though I felt like I was in the US, some of the attractions reminded me I was in Hong Kong. 
When we arrived at the park, we were greeted with a sign banning selfie sticks.
Some of the rides, especially in the Toy Story area, seemed a little more thrilling than the rides I saw in the American Disney parks.
Haunted Houses in Asia aren't considered fun.  Many folks in these areas take ghosts and worshiping ancestors very seriously, so there were no ghosts in Mystic Manor.
Instead imagineers developed a ride with enchanted artifacts.  
While there were many western dining options in the park, we chose to eat dinner at the Plaza Inn.  The eight course Cantonese meal was yummy.

Our mango pudding desert had ears! :)
That evening, we thoroughly enjoyed Mickey’s Paint the Night Parade.

The LED floats representing different Disney Musicals were so pretty!
Mickey performs a techno number to wrap up the parade.
After the parade we were exhausted, so we headed back to the Disney Hollywood Hotel for a good night’s sleep.

While at Disney, we stayed at the Disney Hollywood Hotel.  The Hollywood Hotel had all of the comforts of a Western Hotel, and a really yummy breakfast with Mickey that was included in our room package.

The hotel felt like it was taken right out of LA in the 1950's.

It even had it's own Hollywood sign!

We clowned around with Mickey at breakfast. 
The buffet had a wide variety of western and eastern Disney themed food!

These pork buns on the eastern food line cracked me up! 
For the second half of our amusement park adventure, Chris and I headed across town to Ocean Park.  Ocean Park is one part zoo, one part aquarium, one part water play land, and one part amusement park.  The thrill rides and animal exhibits reminded me more of Six Flags and Busch Gardens than Disney.  In spite of the 103° heat index, we had a good time proving we’re not too old for thrill rides.

Chris and I had a great time exploring nature and riding thrill rides at Ocean Park.
Selfie sticks are welcome at Ocean Park. 
Many of the coasters were significantly larger than Disney's coasters.  We started our day off with a ride on the Hair Raiser.  It had been a while since I had been flipped upside down on a coaster.  It felt GREAT! 
After a little hemming and hawing, I willed myself to go on the Flash.  It was incredible to see the Hong Kong coastline upside down.
After turning upside down we cooled off on some water rides.
We wanted to catch lunch with some penguins, so we took a number and waited a good 45 minutes.  
The hostess said we had plenty of time, so we checked out the North and South Pole habitats next to the restaurant.  The hostess lied.  We missed our reservation by three numbers, so we could either get back on the bottom of the list or find someone else to eat.  I was mad. I was a Clark Grizwold can't get in Wally World kind of mad. 
Fortunately, Chris calmed me down and took me to the terrace restaurant for a grilled ham and cheese instead.  This view from lunch was more beautiful and less smelly than the penguins.
The combination of hills and heat made the day exhausting.  We missed about 1/2 of the park due to poor planning. Around 5:30, we stumbled into a cab back to our hotel.
After catching a ride to the other side of the park, we caught a glimpse at one of the pop shows and took off.

Unfortunately, one day wasn’t enough time to explore all of Ocean Park.  We completely missed sections of the park due to poor time management and heat exhaustion.   I highly suggest downloading the Ocean Park Hong Kong App to plan your day before arriving to the park. I would love to return one day soon. 

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I am so happy to have stumbled upon your blog! My husband, two children and I just moved to Shanghai. I can completely relate to your "crying in Carrefour" post. One of the moms at my children's school suggested Kate & Kimi for groceries and I absolutely love them. Anyway, thanks so much for your blog. It makes me feel a little less crazy. -Megan