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Old 01-13-2012, 10:17 PM   #256
zanzibar138
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Yep our TA has confirmed that we don't need visas for HK

The China ones seem a bit involved too so I'm actually quite glad we don't have to worry about those this time around Although we've got Vietnam ones to get which also seem to be quite involved, so it's not really much of a win...

Hmmm next year you say... well as our next big trip is probably going to be to Paris, maybe we can make sure it's at Chinese New Year time and go on the way
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Old 01-14-2012, 03:38 AM   #257
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I remember last year we were in Vegas for Chinese New Year I would hope that they get at least as good as we did!
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Old 01-14-2012, 09:05 PM   #258
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zanzibar138 View Post
Yep our TA has confirmed that we don't need visas for HK

The China ones seem a bit involved too so I'm actually quite glad we don't have to worry about those this time around Although we've got Vietnam ones to get which also seem to be quite involved, so it's not really much of a win...

Hmmm next year you say... well as our next big trip is probably going to be to Paris, maybe we can make sure it's at Chinese New Year time and go on the way
I don't really want to deal with the China visa either; but I'd rather give us the option of being able to go to Shenzen rather than not. Still need to research what to see and do in Shenzen (aside from shop)....but it will mean that we can say that we've been to China!


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Originally Posted by franandaj View Post
I remember last year we were in Vegas for Chinese New Year I would hope that they get at least as good as we did!
If not at HKDL, then at least all over Hong Kong itself you'd expect the festivities to be fantastic.

I think DH is liking the idea of heading into Melbourne Chinatown to check out the festivities here. Hopefully I'll have some pictures to share in a couple of weekends time.
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Old 01-14-2012, 09:11 PM   #259
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“The Wonderful of Disney”....Hotels, Food and Recreation!

“The Wonderful of Disney”....Hotels, Food and Recreation!

Hong Kong Disneyland Hotels

There are two on-site hotel options at HKDL – the Disneyland Hotel, which is based on the Grand Floridian theme; and the Hollywood Hotel, which I think looks like the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim with a Hollywood overlay.

We’ve chosen to stay at the Disneyland Hotel. My mother, in particular, is really excited about being able to stay on-site and she has always had a thing about the Grand Floridian. Whilst still on the pricey side, I suspect this will be the closest that we’ll get to being on a similar themed hotel without paying Grand Floridian prices.

We’ll be arriving rather late on a Saturday night and will have 3 nights here. At this stage, we’re planning on taking things easier on the Sunday. My dad will be along on this trip and he’s going to be a little on the slow and steady side. We hope to be able to orientate him round the resort so that if he gets tired, he can come and go as he pleases without getting too lost.
So, I’ve been checking out things to do at the resort. There is a pool, which if warm enough or not, I’m guessing that my DS will be jumping into.


Food Options

My Sunday plans kinda feels like this at the moment. Wake up and work out where to have breakfast. This is probably going to be harder than it seems given that we’ll be a captive audience within Disney. Food options include:
  • Crystal Lotus, located at DLH, serves lunch and dinner. We’re booked in for the special Mickey Dim Sum lunch here on Sunday. I’m looking for a lighter breakfast, given that we’re more than likely having a big lunch.
  • Enchanted Garden is located at DLH. A character breakfast buffet is available here. We’re booked in for breakfast on Tuesday morning, so I’m not sure that I’m going to be keen to have breakfast here on Sunday as well.
  • The Grand Salon, is located at DLH. Serves a la carte and it would appear that there are items such as the rice porridge I posted about in a very early food post in the PTR; as well as muffins and buns. Might be a place to check out for this first breakfast.
  • Chef Mickey, located at the Hollywood Hotel, serving buffet breakfast.
  • Hollywood and Dine, café style for quick snacks.



Recreation

I think we might be checking out the recreational things around the resort.
  • In the gardens of DLH is a mini maze. Should take all of 10 minutes for DS.
  • I don’t have a DD so there will be no reason for me to check out the BBB equivalent of My Little Princess.
  • Prince Eric Room is located at DLH. Seems to be a kids club room; bedtime story reading at 9 pm by a CM.
  • Victorian Spa – I might have to pass up on this experience.


Failing all else and assuming that we won’t want to head into the park on the reputedly busy Sunday, we can head off resort using the MRT towards Sunny Bay and onwards to Tung Chung. Tung Chung has the Citygate warehouse outlets; and is the stop for the Big Buddha. I’d personally like to see the Big Buddha/Po Lin Monastery on the Sunday; but my mother tells me that it is crazy there on a Sunday. I’m sure we’ll find something to eat either at Sunny Bay or at Tung Chung.


I’m sure we’ll figure it out.


My Days 2 and 3 are easier to plan for and will exploring the items mentioned in the next post. We’ll be at the park on Day 3 and will also need to check out of the hotel and transferring across to the hotel in Kowloon. Still figuring out how to do this but I suspect a taxi might be in order!



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Old 01-14-2012, 09:17 PM   #260
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“The Wonderful of Disney”…My Park Must-do list!

“The Wonderful of Disney”…My Park Must-do list!

Hong Kong Disneyland – My Park must-do list

Hong Kong Disneyland is located on Lantau Island, Hong Kong. It was opened on 12 Sept 2005 and consists of Main Street, Fantasyland, Tomorrowland, Adventureland and the new Toy Story Land (recently opened in 2011). Reputed to be the smallest of all the Disney parks, it is a place that most people seem to claim is ‘doable’ in less than a day. I suspect this will come down to what the crowds are like during the day.

There are 2 new lands planned for HKDL:
  • Mystic Point, which will include an expanded Haunted Mansion type attraction, based on the technology available at Tokyo Disneyland. Planned to be completed in 2013.
  • Grizzly Gulch, which by all accounts will be the critter country and part Frontierland equivalent, taking its inspiration from Grizzly Peak in DCA. Planned to be completed in 2014.
To me, somehow, the park won't seem so small after these two new lands are opened and a return trip might be in order.

I’ve checked out the pictures online and also in Robert TG’s photo tour TR for a view of how this park looks. You'll find it on this part of the boards, otherwise use the link here.


Hong Kong Disneyland seems a lot greener and lusher than its ‘counterparks’ in the US; plus there are lovely looking hills in the background. I suspect this will be the main point of difference that I’ll enjoy the most. Here's a summary and my list of must-do's:

Main Street – the standard attractions seem to be present, shopping, Dapper Dan’s, vehicles, DL Railroad, City Hall, character meet and greet. I’m hoping to check out the Mobile Muppet Lab (an interactive mobile laboratory), Animation Academy (English version) and the Art of Animation (assuming it has re-opened in ‘late March’). My must do’s for attractions listed under Main Street are the Flights of Fantasy parade (which I’ll assume I can catch from throughout the parade path in the park) and Disney in the Stars fireworks.

There are a number of eateries in Main Street but I’m not sure I’ll be enjoying any of them at this stage. I’m looking for something more ‘local’ and might be steering clear of the Western offerings here.


Fantasyland – attractions include Sleeping Beauty castle, Cinderella Carousel, Sword in the Stone, DL Railroad stop, Dumbo, Mad Hatter Tea cups, Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, It’s a Small World, PhilharMagic, Snow White Grotto complete with wishing well, Golden Mickeys at the Storybook Theatre and Fantasy Gardens Character Meet and Greet. If HKDL is indeed ‘smaller’, I suspect we’ll probably get through every attraction here. However, my must do’s here will be the Golden Mickeys broadway style show, PhilharMagic, Dumbo, Tea cups and It’s a Small World. No refurbs have been listed yet for our visiting period.

Dining in Fantasyland includes the Royal Banquet Hall, which is listed as a QS service type. I will be checking the RBH out as it seems like a ‘variety of rice dishes’. The other eatery here is Clopin’s Festival of Food, another QS based on the Hunchback of Notre Dame. I have high hopes for Clopin’s – seems to serve the Great Flavours of China!


Tomorrowland – attractions include Orbitron, Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters, Autopia, Space Mountain and Stitch Encounter. Looks like Tomorrowland does not much different from the other parks other than the Stitch Encouter, an interactive show, so that will be top of my ‘must do’ list.

The listed eateries are Starline Diner, more Western, and the Comet Café; both QS. The Comet Café seems to have the local rice and noodle style foods. I’ll be checking the CC out for sure!


Adventureland – attractions include Festival of the Lion King, Jungle Cruise and Tarzan Island; all 3 of which will be on my must do list. I’m particularly interested to see Tarzan Island. It seems cool to have the treehouse on an island that you get to on Tom Sawyer type rafts!

More importantly, I have really high hopes for the dining in Adventureland. Both the Riverview Café (TS) and the Tahitian Terrace (QS) seem to offer Chinese meals. I suspect that either of these places will be the establishment of choice for lunch for my family.


Toy Storyland – the newest land in the block, with attractions including RC Racer (a U-shaped coaster which I’m not sure I’m going to get on), Toy Story Parachute Drop and Slinky Dog spin (a kiddy looking attraction). None of these attractions are available at any of the other parks I’ve been to, so we’ll be checking this land out for sure.

There’s only a snack type food service in this land; and it serves healthy snacks and frozen yoghurt. I might need to check it out afterall!



Hopefully, I'll be returning with a set of pictures to post on my TR!




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Old 01-14-2012, 09:31 PM   #261
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Glad the CM came through for you but I can only imagine the $$$$$ involved


Quote:
Originally Posted by PrincessInOz View Post
“The Wonderful of Disney”…My Park Must-do list!

Hong Kong Disneyland – My Park must-do list

Hong Kong Disneyland is located on Lantau Island, Hong Kong. It was opened on 12 Sept 2005 and consists of Main Street, Fantasyland, Tomorrowland, Adventureland and the new Toy Story Land (recently opened in 2011). Reputed to be the smallest of all the Disney parks, it is a place that most people seem to claim is ‘doable’ in less than a day. I suspect this will come down to what the crowds are like during the day.

There are 2 new lands planned for HKDL:
  • Mystic Point, which will include an expanded Haunted Mansion type attraction, based on the technology available at Tokyo Disneyland. Planned to be completed in 2013.
  • Grizzly Gulch, which by all accounts will be the critter country and part Frontierland equivalent, taking its inspiration from Grizzly Peak in DCA. Planned to be completed in 2014.
To me, somehow, the park won't seem so small after these two new lands are opened and a return trip might be in order.

I’ve checked out the pictures online and also in Robert TG’s photo tour TR for a view of how this park looks. You'll find it on this part of the boards, otherwise use the link here.
I'm not going anywhere near HKDL until after these are done...



Quote:
Originally Posted by PrincessInOz View Post
Toy Storyland – the newest land in the block, with attractions including RC Racer (a U-shaped coaster which I’m not sure I’m going to get on), Toy Story Parachute Drop and Slinky Dog spin (a kiddy looking attraction). None of these attractions are available at any of the other parks I’ve been to, so we’ll be checking this land out for sure.

There’s only a snack type food service in this land; and it serves healthy snacks and frozen yoghurt. I might need to check it out afterall!



Hopefully, I'll be returning with a set of pictures to post on my TR!




It is the same rides as at Paris which I've never bothered doing...
I didn't realise that until I read this in your report. I guess Disney are doing ye ol copy if you can...
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Old 01-16-2012, 04:02 AM   #262
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Quote:
Originally Posted by queenie82 View Post
Glad the CM came through for you but I can only imagine the $$$$$ involved



I'm not going anywhere near HKDL until after these are done...



It is the same rides as at Paris which I've never bothered doing...
I didn't realise that until I read this in your report. I guess Disney are doing ye ol copy if you can...
If it works at one park, it should work at another. Besides which, it saves the imagineers having to imagine some more.
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Old 01-16-2012, 04:04 AM   #263
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Referencing an external Hong Kong Disneyland blog

There is a distinct lack of information regarding Disneyland Hong Kong on the Dis. I guess this might change over time as more Dis-sers head to Hong Kong and post reports.

In the meantime, the HK Disney website contains some information....but I found this blog at the weekend.


http://hkdisneylandreview.blogspot.com/


Seems to contain most information in the one spot, not sure how often it is updated or how current the information is....given that there is a reference for Toy Storyland, to say it was "opening in November 2011".



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Old 01-16-2012, 04:33 AM   #264
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There is another website www.hkdlsource.com which has a bit more information :-) but doesn't seem to be that up-to-date either. I actually sent them an email a few months ago but never received a reply.
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Old 01-16-2012, 07:32 PM   #265
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Jack wold LOVE Toy Story Land. Thankfully he doesn't know it exists It all looks so interesting, and different. I visited DLRP once, but it was raining and I just wasn't enjoying myself. I often kick myself for not taking better advantage of the park.
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Old 01-16-2012, 09:19 PM   #266
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It's very interesting looking at "other" Disneylands, it's like you're in a Twilight Zone. HKDL looks more similar in size to DL than MK, especially the castle. That TR you linked to was great, but I can't download that many pictures at one time.

I'll just wait for yours. The tweaks in the lands sound very interesting. I too would be avoiding the burgers and fries and trying all the funny noodle dishes and other things. You'll have to notice if they have both at any restaurants, that way I can get what I want and the other in my party can have what she wants!
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Old 01-17-2012, 12:46 AM   #267
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Sounds like alot of walking, I cant imagine the costs of visas. Sometimes it feels like you spend the same amount for the needs as much as the trip itself costs. I know nothing about HK, so I have to live it through you. I wont even look at that other TR as I dont want to spoil it from reading yours. I want to hear and see it from your take. What a journey in the making.
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Old 01-18-2012, 06:39 AM   #268
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zanzibar138 View Post
There is another website www.hkdlsource.com which has a bit more information :-) but doesn't seem to be that up-to-date either. I actually sent them an email a few months ago but never received a reply.
Thanks zanzibar. Really appreciate the input.


Quote:
Originally Posted by stephielela View Post
Jack wold LOVE Toy Story Land. Thankfully he doesn't know it exists It all looks so interesting, and different. I visited DLRP once, but it was raining and I just wasn't enjoying myself. I often kick myself for not taking better advantage of the park.
There's always a next time for Paris.


Quote:
Originally Posted by franandaj View Post
It's very interesting looking at "other" Disneylands, it's like you're in a Twilight Zone. HKDL looks more similar in size to DL than MK, especially the castle. That TR you linked to was great, but I can't download that many pictures at one time.

I'll just wait for yours. The tweaks in the lands sound very interesting. I too would be avoiding the burgers and fries and trying all the funny noodle dishes and other things. You'll have to notice if they have both at any restaurants, that way I can get what I want and the other in my party can have what she wants!
It took me a long time to work through the visual festa of pictures too. I know I've been accused of photo overload...but I don't think I've posted that many....at least I don't think so.


I'm hoping to at least take a peak inside most of the dining places in HKDL and get some pictures. What was that I just said about photo overload??



Quote:
Originally Posted by usnuzuloose View Post
Sounds like alot of walking, I cant imagine the costs of visas. Sometimes it feels like you spend the same amount for the needs as much as the trip itself costs. I know nothing about HK, so I have to live it through you. I wont even look at that other TR as I dont want to spoil it from reading yours. I want to hear and see it from your take. What a journey in the making.

I don't know how it compares to the price of a Chinese visa in the US; but a one time visit visa (within 3 months of visa issue) starts at AU$60. A two time vist (within 3-6 months of visa issue) is AU$90. There are a couple more options for a Chinese visa but I'm debating between two time and two time. I just need to check with my parents that they are not thinking more than two times as well.
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Old 01-18-2012, 06:53 AM   #269
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Hong Kong Disneyland - no expectations

Before I move on to the Hong Kong sights, I just thought I'd say that it is universally acknowledged that HK Disneyland is about the smallest and least exciting of all the Disney parks. It is also almost universally acknowledged that pending crowd levels, you can *do* the park in less than a day. More than anything else, the fact that HK Disneyland only sells a maximum of 2-day general entry pass speaks volumes about what Disney thinks their visitor base will be achieving at this particular park. Maybe with the opening of Grizzly Gulch and Mystic Point this view may change and Disney may think that a 3-day pass might be something worth offering. I don't know...but it is food for thought.


And if the financial reports are accurate, HK Disneyland, after 5 years, is only now starting to hit the target visitor expectations that they thought they would have 5 years ago. And it has been pretty much operating at a loss...until about now.

For me, I'd rather go, see and experience for myself and form my own personal views rather than accept universally acknowledgements.


Therefore, right now, I do not have very many expectations of what HKDL is going to be like. In my research, I've already worked out that there are less attractions and coasters here than in DLR and WDW. And that's okay with me. Afterall, this is meant to be a vacay to Hong Kong; rather than a Disney destination....right?


Is it fair to compare HK Disneyland with the other Disney parks? Probably not....but comparisons is something that is inherently part of human nature and I'm pretty sure that I might have a few things to say about this park in comparison to the others that I've visited to date.


I have posted this post as a reminder to myself (and hopefully I will come back and read this when I'm writing the TR) to keep the comparisons to a minimum and provide a report based on 'in the moment'.




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Old 01-18-2012, 05:02 PM   #270
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”No one can deny the excitement of visiting Another World”…..Ocean Park

”No one can deny the excitement of visiting Another World”…..Ocean Park


”No one can deny the excitement of visiting another world” Barney Oliver



Barney Oliver might have been referring to planets in outer space for the quote I’ve drawn inspiration from; but he might as well have been referring to Hong Kong Ocean Park for all I know.

Most of us on the Dis seem to spend all our vacation time heading back to a Disney theme park that it seems like we forget that there is a whole world of experiences out there for us to explore and enjoy. It’s just as well that this is a Hong Kong vacation; rather than a Disney vacation…..right?



Aside from Disneyland, there is another theme park in Hong Kong – Ocean Park (link here). Trip Adviser posters currently rank it as attraction #11 in Hong Kong; piping out Disneyland which comes in at #14.

It is split into two sections – the Waterfront and the Summit. Animal exhibits, roller coaster rides, carnival attractions, shows. As far as I can gather, there are about 19 rides (2 rollercoasters), 10 or 11 animal exhibits and an aquarium in the park. The animal shows include a Birds of Prey, one that involves marine animals and one specific for sea lions. It seems to be a mash-up of Carnival meet Theme Park meets Animal Park.



Without a doubt, the major drawcard here for me will be the Giant Pandas. The pandas have been here since 1999 and it will be an opportunity for us to see them. I gather that there is a LONG queue to see the Giant Pandas.

I have seen Giant Pandas before, when they visited the Melbourne Zoo many years ago and also at the San Diego Zoo. Yes, I know there are Giant Pandas in the Adelaide Zoo right now. And someday, I’m going to make it out to Chengdu in China to see the Panda Breeding Centre there and make the trek out to the Bifengxia Giant Panda Base.



For now, I’ll just put Ocean Park on my hit list of things to do in Hong Kong. We’ll just have to see how my parents are and whether they are happy to get to this park early in the morning, mid-week.




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