Here’s a fact: I grew up in Las Vegas, Nevada– 4 hours away from the original Disneyland in Anaheim, but I’ve never once been there. I even spent a summer down in Anaheim once, but sadly, I was never able to experience the happiest place on Earth. My husband (boyfriend then), Derick, who is a southern California native thought this was unacceptable, but since we weren’t going home for awhile, he took me to the next best thing– Disneyland Hong Kong.
I’ve been told this Disneyland is smaller compared to the others– Anaheim, Orlando, Tokyo, and Paris. Nonetheless, I looked forward to it like anybody who’s never been to Disneyland would. We’ve also added visiting every single Disneyland in our bucket list, so this was a pretty good start since we’re located in Asia already. We purchased the tickets at a kiosk located at The Avenue of Stars for a total of (more or less) $80. We even got a free Disneyland umbrella, which was genius and absolutely appropriate for that hot summer day.
Our hotel was located in Tsim Sha Tsui area, so we took a train to the Central station until we reached the Disneyland Express. Disneyland is a little far off the city and it was quite convenient that they had a specific train line going there and back. The train itself was pure magic already, with Mickey Mouse shaped windows and lively colors all around. Although we went on a Monday, that didn’t spare us from the crowd. The train was easily full, with plenty of little kids in their school uniforms. Must be nice to go on a field trip to Disneyland, don’t you think?
I was cheesing from ear to ear when we finally reached the promise land. The music playing had me feeling nostalgic. There I was, walking down Disneyland, feeling like a little child all over again. The first thing I looked for was Mickey ears. It was my first time and I wanted the full experience. As a matter of fact, I even had a Mickey Mouse shirt packed, but I cropped it a little too short so it didn’t look appropriate. My Star Wars shirt would have to do for now. They got bought out by Disney anyway, so that works.
We got there pretty early so we were able to get on the rides without waiting for too long. As suggested by Derick, who apparently is a pro theme park hopper, we started at the rides all the way at the back because those will be less likely packed in the morning. And he was right of course, so we headed all the way past the castle. It was great that we did too because we were able to get some trademark Disneyland pictures at Sleeping Beauty’s castle without having too many people ruining our shot.
We went to all the rides, skipping the very kiddy ones we knew we weren’t going to enjoy. Time seemed to go by fast, but perhaps it was just all the waiting. It was quite hot that day too. The free umbrella was definitely necessary. But despite all the waiting and the scorching heat of the sun, I was having a great time. It really was the happiest place on Earth!
We decided to have brunch to avoid the busy lunch hour and we picked the first cafe we saw. The food was good, though overpriced as expected. The Mickey Mouse waffles were actually pretty amazing. We also had salad with smoked salmon (and Mickey croutons). An odd combination, but it worked.
Since I was fully committed to the real Disneyland experience, I did get in line to take photos with the characters. I’m not even ashamed of it. I skipped the princesses since my favorite Jasmine wasn’t there, but I was able to meet Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, and Pluto. I wish Donald was there but maybe next time.
Around 3:30, we were able to catch the daily parade. We went a little early so we were able to pick a good spot. We were able to get some chili dogs and popcorn too. The parade was pretty cool, and as always, it got me feeling like a little girl again. There’s just something about Disney doing it so well and hitting it right on the head. It doesn’t matter how old you are. Being there is just…heartwarming.
We went on a few more rides after, and then we just walked around as we waited for the fireworks. We wanted cheap hole in the wall dinner in the city to save a few bucks so instead of grabbing dinner here, we picked our spot for the finale, and we just chilled there until the fireworks started.
According to Derick, it is in fact much smaller than California Disneyland. He’s not particularly a fan of this one, but I definitely was. The firework show was good, I loved it a lot! It was a great way to end the day.
Disneyland has been deemed the happiest place on Earth and for many years, people of all ages never fails to find comfort being here. All of a sudden, we’re all victims to Peter Pan Syndrome. Is it just the nostalgia it instantly gives us when we see our favorite characters? Maybe it’s the fact that we’re surrounded with kids and it makes it easier to let down our guards. Or possibly because everyone is so joyful already that the energy just keeps transferring through. Whatever it is, it’s become a form of escape that successfully brings us to a whole new world. After all, you’re never too old to believe in magic.
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