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Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Maia Travels: Day 1 - Arriving in HK Disneyland

We planned this trip for almost a year. Our not-so-little girl had picked to go to Disneyland instead of hosting a party because "I'm not a party girl, Mommy". Much to my delight, this decision of hers. So we proceeded to book our plane tickets (lucky for us on one of the piso fare sale of a local airline) and started saving for this trip.

Despite our excitement for this milestone trip (her first out of the country trip), we rarely talked about it with her because we wanted to keep the excitement at bay till a few days prior. The day before we left, she was more worried about the classes she'll miss. They just got back from a week long semestral break in school so she sort of miss her classmates and teachers. Gladly, we got permission from her teachers and she was allowed her to miss 3 days. Guess what, all those worries were forgotten the minute we stepped out of the plane and boarded the MTR to Disneyland Resort. She was just ecstatic, sporting a grin any parent wouldn't dare wipe off.

We dedicated 2 days of our 4 days, 3 nights in Hong Kong for Disneyland alone. My husband bought the tickets from and opted to just claim the tickets on the ticket counter at HK Disneyland upon our arrival. We checked a few options to buy the tickets and came out the cheapest. We saved (if I remember correctly) about HK$30 for each 2-day ticket. Sign in as a member and you get additional discount as well.

Got tickets! Ready to rummmmmbbbbbble!
We didn't get lost from the airport to Disney, yay! Despite the language barrier, we didn't encounter any trouble during the train rides. We arrived in the resort at around 10:30am. We decided to take the shuttle bus to Disney Hollywood Hotel (where we spent one night)  drop our luggage first. We booked 45 days in advance and got a discounted rate for our one night stay. We weren't sure where to leave our luggage but took the chance anyways and fortunately for us, the hotel had a designated baggage drop for early arrivals. We didn't have to worry even if our check in was still scheduled at 2pm. We settled our hotel reservation and headed back to the park by 11am. We decided to just grab a quick bite at the park in case we get hungry. We were still full from the brunch we had earlier anyways.

Our Disney adventure just about to start (and those tired faces were replaced by delight when we got into the park!)
Since we arrived close to opening time, there wasn't a lot of people yet at the park. We got maps (got extras too for friends) and other informational fliers at the gate and got into the park.

We're here!!!!!
Happy to know that the park publishes a weekly schedule of activities so it was easier for us to manage our 2-day trip. The little girl couldn't wait to plan her day!

We decided to walk around first while we plan our two day park itinerary. We wanted to get as much autographs as we can (the little girl made an autograph book for characters to sign during meet and greet time). But we also wanted to take our time at each stop as well.

Let me indulge you with photos for the remaining part of this post. We spent 11am-3pm walking around and trying out some of the rides. By 3pm, we were really beat so we decided to head back to the hotel and rest. We wanted to have plenty of energy for the Night Parade (no expectations. Our goal then was just to experience what it feels like at night in Disney).

Several things I would like to note in here as well:

- We regret not taking the opportunity to have photos taken with the toy soldiers, Jessie and Woody in Toy Storyland because we didn't get the chance to meet them anymore in Day 2.
- We wish we brought more snacks for the little miss since it was allowed anyway. Best to pack light sandwiches for your little kids to munch on. Bring lots of water if you can. We were there November so we were expecting colder season but had to contend with a hot and humid afternoons instead. Winter came late for HK in 2015.
- Make sure to check the weather forecast a week before your trip so you can pack appropriate clothing.
- Our daughter can already handle long walks. But the park also rent outs strollers so you don't have to break your backs carrying toddlers and babies if you're with one.

Main Street, USA. Most of the shops are found here.

Her first ride was here. Via the Slinky Dog Spin.

The Toy Soldier Parachute Drop.She rode this with her dad.
"Parang sakit ng tyan ko, Mommy! Pero ang saya saya!!!"
See that mine cart on the left? She rode that too! Was too much for me but for her, it was just gut-wrenching fun! Haha.
I think we have one adventurer here, Daddy! Get readdddyyyy!

She passed up on this. Because we can hear the "screaming" from manor entrance.
This was her at 3pm. Sooooo tired. We decided to head to the hotel first for a quick rest.
Read Part 1 here.
Read HK Disneyland at Night here.
Review of the Disney Hollywood Hotel, Breakfast with Chef Mickey and Day 2 of our Disneyland experience here.
Read about Maia's HK Science Museum experience here.
Exploring TST and Mongkok here.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Maia Travels: HongKong Disneyland (Part I)

"Byebye Disney. I will be back. Kung sana malapit lang dito bahay natin no? Or kung pwede na lang tumira dito, Mommy ano?"
(If only our house is just near, no? Or if only we can live here, no Mommy?)

That was my daughter's emotional farewell while we were walking out of HongKong Disneyland. I used to think I'm tough enough to never be lured by the tag line "happiest place on Earth" but turns out the tag line is never bounded by age nor race nor generations. Only by your wallet, I suppose. Hehe. But this trip proved to me one thing -- the child is me is still alive, after all!

We arrived in Hong Kong half past 9 in the morning last Wednesday via Cebu Pacific Air from Manila. Good thing our flight was on time. Building itineraries are not my best points, so I told my daughter and husband to manage expectations. Anyways, we planned for a slow-paced trip so we have plenty of time for rest stops.

We took our sweet time lining up at the immigration since its the little girl's first out of the country trip we tried to explained how things work when one leaves his or her home country and arrives in a different territory. I couldn't really tell if she understood everything. I will probably find out the next time we go on another trip abroad. But for now, I took all the nods as a "yes".

After exiting immigration, we went to find Cafe De Coral at the 7th floor of HKIA since we wanted to fuel up before leaving the airport. We wanted to have plenty of energy in case we get lost on our way to Hong Kong Disneyland.

Most of the breakfast items were already sold out. The cafe was already starting to put out the lunch menu. But we still managed to eat a decent meal. We ordered meal sets. I think we spent about HK$70 for 2 meal sets but they were already very filling. The little girl liked the ramen soup particularly and finished the hefty serving all by herself.

After the hearty breakfast, we prepared to leave for Disneyland. Being first timers in HK, we went to find the information counter at the airport first to make sure we are headed to the right direction. There's several ways to get to Disney. I supposed the cheapest would be to take the bus but we decided to take the train instead since we have a kid and 2 luggages with us. It took us 3 train rides to get to Disney. But the transport system in HK is very efficient so we didn't feel any hassle despite having to do several train transfers. All 3 rides were comfy enough for our little girl to enjoy the ride. I'm sure in her mind - "I CAN'T WAIT TO GET TO DISNEY" was on constant play.
Train from HKIA to Tung Chung (this was the shortest but most expensive among the 3 train rides) then Tung Chung to Sunny Bay

Sunny Bay to Disneyland Resort!

Part 2 here: Maia arrives in Disneyland Resort.
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