TR---Girls' Trip to Asia--First Stop: Hong Kong!--updated 8/26: Day 6

Discussion in 'Hong Kong Disneyland' started by belle2211, Aug 16, 2012.

  1. belle2211

    belle2211 DIS Veteran

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    Hi there! I took one of the best trips ever this past summer--a girls' trip to Asia! We went to both Hong Kong and Tokyo and hit up Disney parks in both locations. It was simply amazing! This TR isn't going to cover just Disney though. I'm going to show all that we did so that maybe I can help so people like people helped me!

    First up, I'm Andrea. I am a cast member at the Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World and am definitely a fanatic! In fact, I got married at the Wedding Pavillion at the Grand Floridian a little over a year ago. It was definitely a fairy tale!

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    Anyways...how did we come to deciding to go on a girl's trip to Asia? Well my friend Meredith and I had a pact. We met in college and went to Disney World several times together. When we graduated from college in 2002, we travelled to Europe together and so of course we went to the 2 Disney parks in Paris. So we made a deal. Five years from then and ten years from then we would hit a new park. So in 2007, we went to Disneyland and sure enough, this year in 2012, we went to Hong Kong and Asia! So we've to every Disney park in the world together!

    Here's Mer

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    Then we were each talking to our friends and convinced them to come with us. Cori was a bridesmaid in my wedding, so she knew Meredith from that.

    Here's Cori
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    Meredith and I knew Rebecca from college

    Rebecca
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    And I met Vuong through Meredith on recent trips to Chicago and New Orleans. Vuong met up with us in Tokyo since she had just been to Hong Kong earlier in the year.

    Vuong
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    And then, just because this was the first picture on my camera card for the trip, here's my puppy Bella. I knew I would miss being away from her, so I had to take a picture before I left!

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  3. elleinad16

    elleinad16 Have you ever looked beyond today into the future?

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    SO excited for this TR!!! :) woohoo!!!!
     
  4. DFTWbride2013

    DFTWbride2013 If I had a world of my own...

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    I've been waiting for this! Can't wait to read and see all the pictures! Yay! pixiedust:
     
  5. zanzibar138

    zanzibar138 DIS Veteran

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    Oooh looking forward to it! It's slim pickings for info on HK - we can use all the TRs we can get :thumbsup2
     
  6. jenshell75

    jenshell75 Mouseketeer

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    ohhh I can't wait to read all about your Hong Kong and Tokyo TR. We are taking the kids to HK DL at Xmas 2013 :) and I want to get a good idea of all the great places to visit while in HK. :)
     
  7. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

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    Fantastic!

    I'm in too. popcorn::
     
  8. Carrie_Cat

    Carrie_Cat I'm a Rive Gauche person Moderator

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    Lurking ;)

    We are off to HKG next June :upsidedow
     
  9. belle2211

    belle2211 DIS Veteran

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    Thanks!

    Yay!

    I was only there for a few days but hopefully I can help some!

    You will have so much fun!

    Popcorn----that smiley will be used tons in the Japan part :lmao:popcorn::

    You'll love it!
     
  10. belle2211

    belle2211 DIS Veteran

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    Day 1 & 2 are all together because we left out Monday morning here and got into HK Tuesday night.

    We were going to be gone for 14 days and I am an over-packer. Cori packed as much as I did, but the other girls were much lighter. I was worried about travelling with two big suitcases but we ended up taking taxis everywhere so it wasn't a big deal.

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    The flight from Orlando to Detroit was pretty easy. We expected there to be a lot of turbulence due to Tropical Storm Debby (the first of 3 natural disasters we were in), but it wasn't bad at all. Our flight left Orlando at 10:15am and we got in Detroit at 12:50pm. In Detroit we ate at a restaurant called something like Max & Emma's. We both had chicken salad on a croissant with fries. It was pretty good but I forgot to take a picture. I got much better about that the rest of the trip though!

    Our next flight left Detroit at 3:40pm on Monday and got into Hong Kong at 7:30pm on Tuesday! We found out before we boarded the plane that Rebecca was delayed and wouldn't make the flight. Cori and I were flying together to Detroit and meeting up with Rebecca there then the three of us were flying together to Hong Kong--or supposed to anyways. And then Meredith was flying out of Denver, to Los Angeles, to Tokyo, then meeting us in Hong Kong. Anyways, we tried to talk to gate agents because Rebecca was only going to be 10 minutes late. I know they really can't hold planes just for late passengers but we had to try anyways.

    We had upgraded to Economy Comfort on Delta for $180 a couple of months earlier. SO WORTH IT! We booked one window and one aisle seat hoping no one would want to pay all that money for a middle seat and it worked for this part of our trip (not so much on the way back). We had the whole aisle to ourselves to stretch out. They served dinner an hour into the flight which kind of stunk because we had just eaten in the airport. I had chicken with rice & some unkown sauce, salad with Italian Herb Vinaigrette Dressing, a roll with butter, cheese, crackers, and a chocolate chip blondie for dessert.

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    We knew that there would be tvs on every seat back and that a couple of movies would be free, but all of them were free! There TONS of movies both old and new. I watched Something Borrowed since I knew Kory would never want to watch it. I finished one of my books and wrote a review. And we played some games on our iPhones.

    With 8 1/2 in and 7 hours left, we got a "snack". It was a turkey and swiss cheese sandwich, a banana (that was mushy and mostly black) and Milano Cookies.

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    Then I watched the movie New Year's Eve and tried to sleep some. With a little over an hour left, we got another meal. We both had a roll, mixed fruit, salad, and orange juice and I had beef pasta with zucchini and mushrooms.

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    And Cori had chicken with rice and Spinach.

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    When we got to the HK airport, we had to wait about 3 hours and 45 minutes for Meredith's flight to get in. In hindsight, the taxis were cheap enough that we should have just gone to the hotel and had her meet us there, but we didn't know. So we created a game (should have been a drinking game!). To count all of the same pieces of Disney luggage. There was TONS of them!

    Meredith arrived around 11:15pm. At that point, Cori and I had been up for 28 hours and either at an airport or on an airplane for 27 of those hours! And Meredith's luggage was lost! Poor girl. We went to get a taxi and the driver didn't speak English. He put our 4 suitcases in the trunk and they were all sticking out. He used a bungee cord at first to keep the trunk down, but then halfway there, it snapped off. We were so nervous! I had visions of our suitcases flying out and into the streets and being run over. But everything was fine.

    We checked into Disney's Hollywood Hotel. It was the cheaper of the two Disney hotels in HK but it was still really nice! Definitely way better that the cheap Disney hotels back home. I would say that instead of a value resort it would be a moderate resort here.

    Here's a picture of our room.

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    And their version of a towel animal--so cute! I wanted to steal it!

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    And the bathroom

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    We had a park view. It was dark out so all we could see was Space Mountain. We were hoping in the morning we could see the castle.

    Here is a REALLY bad picture out the window at night :confused3

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  11. zanzibar138

    zanzibar138 DIS Veteran

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    Wow that is a serious amount of luggage lol! I am a notoriously light packer and only had one 3/4 full small suitcase when we left for our 3 week honeymoon to 4 countries! It was bursting at the seams on the way back though :lmao:

    I'm really enjoying your photos of the Hollywood Hotel since I'm thinking of staying there in March :thumbsup2 We stayed at the HK DL Hotel on our honeymoon (which was just beautiful) and walked over to the Hollywood to have a look but of course we couldn't see any rooms or anything.

    Looking forward to the next instalment popcorn::
     
  12. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

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    I think I remember you asking the question on this subforum about taking the train to Disney with your bags.

    Yup....I can confirm...take the taxi with those bags. ;)

    Another notoriously light packer. My record is 11 kgs in one bag, with two smaller bags inside the big one (every bag was stuffed full on the way home), for THREE of us for 4 weeks.

    And I was laughing at how your bungee rope broke. I was completely sure it was going to happen to us too. But I'm glad you and the bags all made it to HH safely. The room looks nice.

    Thanks for sharing.




    I'll keep practising then! popcorn::
     
  13. DreamSweetsLove

    DreamSweetsLove Loves Mickey

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    Looking forwward to the rest of the TR! It's nice seeing photo's of the Hollywood Hotel! What time of year were you traveling in?
     
  14. belle2211

    belle2211 DIS Veteran

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    Oh boy! I pack that much just for a weekend away! I always pack for a variety of situations because I'm so afraid I'm going to need something and not have it! The hotel was a lot nicer than I thought it would be!

    Oh man, I am so bad about luggage..you guys need to teach me how to be better! Although once I have kiddos, I'm definitely going to have to learn. The taxi ride scared me! I really thought our luggage was going to be gone!

    Thanks! We were in Hong Kong at the end of June.
     
  15. belle2211

    belle2211 DIS Veteran

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    So lets start off with a daytime picture from outside of our room (and oh yeah, I apologize now for my lack of photography skills...you'll see that most of picture are crooked or a little blurry. Oops!)

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    Cori had a hard time sleeping so when she did fall asleep, we didn't want to wake her up. Meredith got up at 5:50am, not knowing what time it was. She went downstairs early so she wouldn't bother us. We eventually got up at 8:30. We went downstairs to look for Meredith. I quickly discovered that the hotel reminded me so much of the park where I work seasonally, Disney's Hollywood Studios (at the Great Movie Ride, or GMR).

    A couple of pictures of the elevator
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    The lobby
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    We walked around some outside looking for her.
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    We ate at the quick food service Hollywood & Dine (if only it had characters like back home :) ) I had these really cute banana breads shaped like Winnie the Pooh and some really pulpy Minute Maid orange juice.

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    We found Meredith by the pool. The entrance to the pool was cute. It had this little waterfall thing to walk through.

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    We walked around some more.
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    There was a big Hollywood Hotel sign like Hollywood Hills.

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    There was also this small road that had old cars and a traffic light on it.

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    Here is the view at the back of the hotel property looking across the water (not sure what body of water) but it was really pretty

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    Orginally, this was supposed to be the Disney park day but since Rebecca is a big Disney fan too, we didn't want her to miss the park. So we decided to go find the big Buddha statue instead. This turned out even better (well for the three of us) because we were so tired from the trip that it was nice to have a more relaxing day.

    To get to the big Buddha, we had to go to the monorail station right by the park and take the train to another stop.

    A couple of Disney park sign pictures

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    Oh, and notice all the umbrellas? Everyone there used it for shade. SOooo smart! It was so hot! And lots of ladies had these pretty sparkly ones with lace on the edge. I wanted a purple one like this but couldn't find one!!!

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    The evil hat...Us GMR folks hate the sorcerer's hat at the Studios because it blocks the ride and so I just hate it in general

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    The monorail had adorable Mickey shaped windows

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    And the things to hold on to in the monorail were mickey shaped too

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    Inside the monorails, there were different character statues. We sat next to Jiminy Cricket.

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    A shot down the monorail

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    Up next, our trip to the Big Buddha...
     
  16. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

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    Looks like you're having a very nice easy day and morning so far. Love the shots inside the hotel.

    Looking forward to seeing you at the Giant Buddha.
     
  17. zanzibar138

    zanzibar138 DIS Veteran

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    Looks like a pretty good view from your room. Did you think it was worth the extra for the park view? Could you see the fireworks? I'm currently tossing up whether to go for the park view or not.

    Looking forward to your Big Buddha pictures.
     
  18. lorryx3

    lorryx3 Earning My Ears

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    Can't wait to read your report. I'm about to do a similar thing - Tokyo, and Japan then onto Hong Kong.
     
  19. belle2211

    belle2211 DIS Veteran

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    Thanks!

    With my cast member discount, it was a very small difference. But honestly, we were only in the room for a little bit and never during fireworks time so I'm not sure. Sorry!

    You'll have so much fun!
     
  20. belle2211

    belle2211 DIS Veteran

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    First I have to say that I am so glad that something told me to copy what I had just written before submitting it because my internet froze!! And second, sorry about some of the pictures...I rotated them on photobucket first but they're still showing up sideways here

    Anyways...

    We got off the monorail and headed to take a skyline type thing up to the Big Buddha. However, that day they were doing maintanence on it. Boo! So we had to take a bus up there. We took this bus there.

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    I don't normally get motion sickness but for some reason, I did on this trip. And I hate mountains. I don't have a fear of heights at all (I can easily stand at the edge of buildings or over clear glass) but I hate the turns on mountains. I'm so afraid that I'm going to fall off. And there were lots of these. There were lots of cows just wandering around as well as dogs.

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    Here's some pictures of the area around the bottom where Buddha is

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    The Big Buddha is really neat to see. You have to walk up 200 steps to get to him.

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    Around the base of Buddha are 6 other statues. Apparently the hand position means something (Cori said she saw this on Amazing Race)

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    Then we walked into some temples and did some souvenir shopping.

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    Right past the bus stop there was this little village.

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    We ate lunch at the Zen Taiwanese Bistro.

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    I had the pork dumpling for HKD 20 or about $2.50 USD.

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    Then we went to Sweet Paradise for desert.

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    I had the Banana Split Adventure Crepe for $38 HKD or a little less than $5 USD.

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    Then we headed back down the mountain. We stopped at the Coach outlet (right where we caught the bus--how lucky :lmao: ) and I got a wristlet since I had forgotten to pack any of the five of mine that I have. It wasn't any cheaper there.

    They also have 7-11s all over so I got a Gatorade for when we would be running there and Roller Coaster cheese chips (I love to try all types of different snacks).

    Then we took the monorail back to the hotel, once again loving how clean the trains were!

    Up next...our evening in Hong Kong
     
  21. zanzibar138

    zanzibar138 DIS Veteran

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    What a shame the cable car was down for maintenance! It was when we were there too, but we didn't think to take the bus:rolleyes1 PIO was lucky getting to go on it! I hope after all this maintenance this year it will be ready to go for me next March :rolleyes:

    Oh I was forgetting you'd have a cast member discount! How awesome would that be :thumbsup2 I'll be able to get 15% off accommodation with my AP, but of course only for HK. DH and I think that if you're an AP holder at one park, you should be able to get some sort of perks at other parks too, like maybe a discount on park entry at Paris... ;)
     

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