01 November 2018

Hong Kong Disneyland

Angel and I went to Hong Kong Disneyland for our 4th anniversary, but it's been nearly 4 years since then, and we decided that it would be very special if we could experience taking my little sisters to Disneyland before they are all too quickly grown and gone away to college and work (my parents do not like me reminding them that this will happen, but with 5 kids already flown the nest, I feel they must be prepared for the eventuality that the day will come for #6 and #7 to leave, as well).

But I digress.

Disneyland. We announced the Disney adventure to the girls about six weeks before leaving, shortly after my parents had agreed that we could all take a trip to Hong Kong together over Angel's fall break. Our announcement meant that Sarah had trouble sleeping for the next several weeks due to excitement, but it was well worth it.

When Angel and I had gone to the park before, we'd spent just one day, running around, enjoying all of the rides and shows. We kept up a breakneck pace for the day and felt like we'd pretty much conquered the park by the end of it. Hong Kong Disneyland is a smaller park than some of the other Disney parks, and for most people, one day is probably plenty good enough, but given that we were traveling with a baby, a mega-Disney-parks-fan (me), and two sisters who were very, very excited about this most likely once-in-a-lifetime visit, we decided to do two-day tickets. Of course, buying tickets online in advance, the two-day tickets are only about $10 US more than the one day tickets (and, overall, far, far less expensive than tickets to the Disney parks in the USA! Also, Sarah is still young enough for a child's ticket and Cyrus was free), so it was an easy decision.

We ended up being very happy about the two-day decision. We didn't have time on the first day to experience all of the rides and shows and parades, and if we hadn't had the second day to look forward to, I think that would have been a bit stressful. But since we knew we had two days, we were able to relax even though we knew we couldn't fit everything into one day.

And with that, I bring you, highlights of our adventures at Hong Kong Disneyland.

Seasonal Entertainment

Because we were going in October, the seasonal entertainment at Disneyland would be Halloween-themed. This gave me pause when I was considering the trip, as we're not fans of Halloween, but because this was the best time of year for us to travel, we decided to go anyways, and I hoped that the Halloween theme would not be a detriment.

I was pleasantly surprised-- most of the decor was more like a "fall" theme, and the evening parade at Disneyland was changed from their normal night parade to a "Villain's Night Out" parade, which was a surprising highlight of the trip for us. I think we enjoyed it more because it was themed to various villains from their various movies. These are not characters that you get to see often, and the parade performers were clearly having a lot of fun. Angel was holding Cyrus up so that parade performers could see him, which was pretty funny because they paid him a lot of attention! Cruella deVil ran over to us and yelled, "Darlings! Where are all the puppies?!!" then pointed at Cyrus and said, "Oh, there's one!"

A "seaweed" dressed performer accompanying Ursula walked over to Cyrus and tried to startle him, but Cyrus's response was just to smile at him, at which the seaweed guy simply shrugged. The Evil Queen stared at us so intently that I was absolutely sure she'd suddenly realized that she had been beaten out for fairest in all the land by young Sarah.

We also got to meet a number of villains, who, as I already mentioned, Cyrus was rather enthralled by. Here he is with the Queen of Hearts.


There were a few rides that were new since Angel and I had visited the park, and I was excited to ride the Ironman simulator ride, and brave enough to ride the Toy Soldier Parachute Drop in Toy Story Land.

It worked out quite well to have a multi-generational trip to Disneyland. My parents aren't much into roller coasters anymore, and volunteered readily to hang out with Cyrus and feed him snacks or take him to meet characters while the thrill-seekers among us rode the rides with height limits. He's my baby, and I always reminded my mom that if there were any ride she wanted to go on, I'd happily sit out with baby and let my parents ride instead, but usually they took one look at the coaster and said, "Go ahead, kids!"

Being Disney, though, there are quite a few rides that are just right for any age, and Cyrus's very first Disney ride ever was the Jungle Cruise. This version of the Jungle Cruise has bursts of flame alongside the boat at one point, which made another young one on the boat start to cry, but not Cyrus, who looked coolly into the flames as if he found them mildly interesting.

I once wrote that Angel absolutely detested the "It's a Small World" ride, but in the years since, he has found a love for the ride, and currently calls it "The most philosophical theme park ride in the world." We rode it twice, but he doesn't want to ride it anymore than twice in one trip, he says, because the ride makes him ponder philosophy too much (he's an odd one).


We weren't planning on meeting many characters, until, as I mentioned, we accidentally met Chewbacca and Cyrus loved it so much that we kept stopping for a few minutes whenever we saw a character out. We went on weekdays so none of the lines were long.

Boy has no idea what any of these things are but if one thing is consistent about Cyrus, it's his appreciation of the strange and unfamiliar. Born for adventure!

Sarah had requested meeting a princess, and on the second day we actually figured out the location and system for meeting princesses. We had to wait almost 15 minutes (nearly unheard of during our visit!) but we got to meet Cinderella, and it was so cute to see her and Sarah chatting it up.

We also ran into Moana late on the last evening and she asked Sarah what the voyage from Malaysia was like.

Family Experience

Going to Hong Kong Disneyland as a family of seven, ranging in age from 50 to 7 months, ended up being just about perfect. I and MaryGrace and Sarah have the most energy for theme parks, and Mom, Dad, Angel, and Cyrus got to take some moments here and there to chill out and sit on a bench. Cyrus took naps in his stroller, even sleeping through an entire parade on the first day!

It was particularly special to experience Disneyland with my baby sisters. I moved away to go to college when they were still so young that neither one of them actually remembers me living with the family--I was the "Skype sister" in America in their memories of me, and I'm really glad that Angel and I got to move closer to family 4 years ago--one of the biggest perks is getting to experience some of their growing up years with them. I love the sense of wonder and excitement and thankfulness at which they approach life.

One of my favorite memories from the first day of Disney was at the end of the day, the rest of the family was waiting for the parade, but there was still some time before it was due to pass by, so Sarah and I quickly headed to Tomorrowland for one last ride on the Orbitron at night.

Cyrus is such an adventurous little guy, not yet old enough for fear or timidity to set in. He was happy through the long days and fell asleep when he wanted to. The only thing he didn't like was the Lion King performance (my favorite show). He cried as soon as it began but then I covered his ears and he promptly fell asleep.

Have you ever been to a Disney Park? What part do you like best?

Linking up with What's New With You!
Heather said...

This sounds and looks like such a fun family trip! I know there are parks in other countries, but I've never really seen pictures of them or read blogs about them so this was very cool to see how they do Disney in Hong Kong, thanks for sharing!

The Emerald Dove said...

This looks so cool! I am dying to visit Disneyland again - I went to the one in Paris when I was 12 and it has just been way too long

Samantha Fabris said...

I'm all about Disney right now! I've been to Disney World 6 times now! I really hope to make it to a few Disney Lands soon, I think Tokyo and Paris look really fun. Thanks so much for sharing, looks like so much fun :)

Carolann Chambers said...

What an incredible family trip! And you're right, any age is a great age to enjoy Disney. I love that the park did more of a fall theme and that villian parade sounds fantastic. I think that the villians are really interesting so it's cool that they played that up for Halloween and that you got to see it. I would love to go back to Disney one day but we'll probably wait until we have kids so we can see it through their eyes.

Michelle said...

How does it compare to US Disney parks? Are there a lot of differences or is it pretty similar? I’ve been to Disneyland three times, and I’m getting a little antsy to go back.

Ericka @ A Quiet Girl's Musings... said...

You captured some great pictures! Yes, I've been to Disney World in Orlando. I really enjoyed, this is going to sound so adult-ish of me, Epcot Center. I also enjoyed the Animal Kingdom, too.

Unknown said...

This sounds like such a fun trip! I've never been to Disneyland, and this park sounds like a lot of fun-that villain parade sounds especially neat.

Kristen @ See You In A Porridge said...

lol @ angel and it's a small world. i am not a fan of that ride personally. i've only been to the parks in the US, it was my mum's dream to go so on our first trip to the US together we went to disneyland. my boyfriend (now husband) and his mom met up with us so we did the rides and our mothers sat out as they weren't ride people. since that trip i've been to disney world and objectively i know it's bigger and better, but disneyland will always hold a special place in my heart because it was the first!

rooth said...

I love that you get to have an "adult" experience with your two youngest sisters and that they get your quality time now. That's so very special

Farrah said...

I'm going to Hong Kong later on this month and mighttt go back to Disneyland too! (I haven't been since 2005! :O!) I'm glad everyone had fun, and it's great that Cyrus pretty much didn't get scared of anything (and/or easily comforted)! :P

Charlene Maugeri said...

Aww this looks like such a fun time! I'm glad the "Halloween" theme didn't deter you. I am dying to go to a Disney park sometime in October to meet all the villains. I'm also so glad Cyrus had such a great time! It sounds like you've got a great and easy-going baby. And I'm so glad you got to have this experience with your sisters. It looks like a great time was had by all!