Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Hong Kong: Celebration in the Air marks HongKong Disneyland's fifth anniversary

HongKong Disneyland is celebrating its fifth anniversary this year with Celebration in the Air. And we were lucky to see some of the attractions set up for the event.

After lunch at Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel, we took the shuttle bus to the theme park. Right after entering the gates, there are brochure racks. Always make sure to get a Disneyland Guidemap and Times Guide to help you plan your trip around the park. The Times Guide let's you know the schedule of shows and events happening in the theme park.

Since we were early for the Flights of Fantasy Parade, we first went to the Jungle River Cruise in Adventureland.

Shortly before 3:30 p.m., we were ferried to Main Street, U.S.A. in an area reserved for us to view the Flights of Fantasy Parade. The VIP viewing location is actually a feature of the Gold Star Tour (HK$3088 for up to six guests) which also includes direct entrance to all attractions and reserved seating for theater shows.

This new and grander parade was created as part of Celebrations in the Air, the 5th anniversary bash of HongKong Disneyland, and features the different Disney characters. And since we were in the front row, my niece Bettina, got to join in the action.

After the parade, we proceeded to Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters. Then we were off to It's a Small World, dubbed "the happiest cruise that ever sailed as children of the world sing and dance to the song It's a Small World." I could distincly hear the song being sung in Filipino as we passed by the two girls in ternos.

Our next stop was The Golden Mickeys, a musical featuring Disney's films and characters. We had watched this show previously. And lining up for it was no joke. But this time around, we used the priority entrance.

After visiting the attractions, we had dinner at Plaza Inn in Main Street, U.S.A., a Cantonese restaurant hosted by Maxim's.

It was another eight-course meal for dinner which included (1) Barbecued Meat Platter, (2) Thick Soup with Shredded Pork, Bean Curd and Mushroom, (3) Golden Shrimp Ping Pong in Almond Flakes, (4) Seared Beef Fillets in Tangy Onion Dressing, (5) Sauteed Sliced Chicken and Prawns with Broccoli, (6) Flat Chinese Mushrooms over Baby Vegetables, (7) Fried Rice and Chicken Folded in Lotus Leaf Wrap and (8) Seasonal Pudding for dessert.

Before leaving the theme park that night, we watched the Tinker Bell Castle Illumination, another special attraction created for the 5th anniversary of Hong Kong Disneyland.

The next day, we went back again to the theme park. It was sunnier than the day before and perfect for photos. We actually had our photos taken in front of the train station where the Mickey landscaping can be found. We later had 8R copies printed for HK$120 at the Kodak store in Main Street, U.S.A. You can choose the border or the effect, including one where you can superimpose Tinker Bell on your hand.

My niece wanted to do a repeat of Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters, so we proceeded there again and it's a good thing the lines were relatively short. We actually had Fast Passes that were good for the afternoon.

Fast Passes help visitors to Hong Kong Disneyland manage their time better in the theme park by lessening time consumed by lining up. The Fast Pass is a ticket which you can get at designated machines in front of an attraction which schedules you for the ride at a later time. So once you have a Fast Pass, you simply come back during the designated time period and you will be allowed to enter through the priority entrance. Only three rides have Fast Passes: Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters, Space Mountain and The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. Here is more information on the Fast Pass.

With our Fast Pass, we were able to use the priority entrances of Winnie the Pooh and Space Mountain which saved us a lot of time.

Of course, we had to go on Bettina's favorite ride which is the Mad Hatter Tea Cups.

Also don't forget to visit Fanstasy Gardens where you can have your photos taken with your favorite Disney characters. Since we already had photos with Mickey Mouse, Pluto, Daisy Duck and Goofy from breakfast, we lined for photos with Winnie the Pooh and Minnie Mouse. We had a really late lunch at Comet Cafe before doing some last minute shopping at Main Street, U.S.A. After our grand experience at the theme park, we made our way to the MTR to explore other parts of Hong Kong.

Part 1: Experiencing Disney magic at HongKong Disneyland Hotel and Disney's Hollywood Hotel
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