Garet Visits Hong Kong

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Garet Visits Hong Kong

Postby Garet » Wed Jan 08, 2014 5:27 am

So with Korean thanksgiving coming up again we decided we'd fly out and have a quick visit to Hong Kong Disneyland. I had always heard from others who visited about 5 years ago how small it was and how it was the kiddiest of the Disney Parks, however with Mystic Manor, Grizzly Gulch and Toy Story Land since then I was extremely keen on seeing how much had been expanded. I'm glad we went we found the park phenomenal, however I think my girlfriend liked it too much though, she actually would rather return here than Tokyo :wtf: I will still claim to my dying breath that Tokyo will always be the disney for me no matter how busy it is and she openly admits it's the best one just not the one she wants to visit the most :| She did give some reasons though:

Maybe we've just been lucky with the days we went but she just really loved the fact that it wasn't too difficult to stroll up to see a parade or get a good spot for the fireworks, the lines never seemed to hit over 30 mins (except autopia and the parachutes), actually got to see the shows and generally if you wanted to meet 1 of the characters in their pavilions in fantasy land or a princess was spotted around the park you could easily stroll up and meet them within 10- 15 minutes. I think she was just also really sold on how instead of a mad fastpass rush with crazy crowds and shoving like our last trip to Tokyo, you could stroll around the park in the opening hours book up a reservation for the retaurant and get in half the park before the lines started to get anywhere near higher than walk-on. She thinks that when we have a child it would be best to return here over any of the others. She just found Hong Kong as a park where we could take the day as it comes whereas when we did Tokyo even when we were just enjoying the park we still were constantly being stuck on tight schedules to optimize flashpasses or beat crowds. She openly admits it's not the best Disney (that still goes to Tokyo) but she just found this the only one out of all of them where she just felt she could be "washed over by the atmosphere" just stroll around the park and do rides as we pleased and bump into disney characters (they still had meet and greet areas but the lines were so tiny it really did feel like you'd just stumbled out of a restaurant and bumped into Buzz as opposed to the 30min-hour waits we've encountered on most other trips for princesses/greetings).

I get what she is saying since between us we've done all the Disney parks and this is the first one where on one of our days we have just done the whole park as we pleased but I don't think anything will ever knock Tokyo my must return to spot (although who knows how Shanghai will turn out :mickey: )

Since the park was so quiet, I took a lot of photos. I'll break them into 4 parts with parts 1 & 2 today and parts 3 & 4 tomorrow.

Part 1 is Toy Story Land & Mystic Manor.

I really enjoyed these lands, Toy Story Land was the first place we hit since most of the crowds seemed to be not heading there, although I wanted to do Mystic Manor first I had no idea how quiet the park would really be and was worried RC Racer would have a long line later in the day since it was the only credit without single rider.The area is stunning with all its bright colours and Rc Racer was a lot of fun but there generally wasn't that much reason around the land for us, we rode the flats although the 45 minute wait for Sarges parachute drop wasn't worth it when we revisited and when we rode we got a view of not much.... I'd love to see a Toy Story Mania go here just so Hong Kong has the Toy story set. It was really weird seeing the coaster and flat going round half empty but all the people standing in a full line for the parachutes.

Mystic Manor was an incredible dark ride, I rode this so many times and all the effects where incredible. However though its one of my favorite dark rides I wasn't as fascinated by the trackless parts of the ride as I thought i'd be. Even when the cars joined up for the chinese tornado room at the end your eyes are so focused on the effects that except for the first and last room and when another car came to join up with us before heading to the tornado room I completely forgot about it, that's not a bad thing since I'm sure that's the point but there was never that insane how on earth is this possible moment like the Pooh disco room or most of Aquatopia. I just like moments where those two rides really show off what the trackless system could do but then I'm the guy who dreams of seeing a Radiator Springs indoor ride where all the trackless cars share one giant main room of the town with the main road and then divert off into rooms of the different shops before coming back to the main room between each one. Basically i'm just hoping for an indoor giant version of aquatopia where there are trackless cars everywhere ;) Maybe one-day we'll start to see trackless animatronics driving around or interacting with the riders on these trackless rides.
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I think my girlfriend got sick of "Is this the right train?" jokes many years ago.
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Sadly these full size versions weren't spotted in the gift shop unlike Tokyo.
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We've arrived
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It had a beautiful landscaped entrance
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They were getting ready for Halloween when we visited
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The train pulled up so i'm assuming the park will be opening soon, do many Disney parks have the sideways seating that these trains have, I don't remember them in the other parks but we very rarely have had time to ride the train.
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I've never been this close to the gates for an opening ceremony at a Disney Park before.
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Mickey and Minnie wave to the crowd, a family and their children pose for photos then the children were given a giant key and lock to open Disney.
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Unlike Tokyo and the mad crowd rush to fast passes, everyone in Hong Kong seemed to either A)run straight onto the train or B) run for the photo op with mickey and <innie who moved over after opening the park (the only busy photo-op we saw all day)
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They had this set-up but I forgot to go in and see what was happening.
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Obligatory castle shot
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To Toy Story Land
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Woody greets people as they enter
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As you'd expect from a land based on toys, it was really colorful.
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Andy sure did have a lot of toys.
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First ride of Hong Kong Disney.
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I loved the line was themed to scalectrix pieces.
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To that random lady who went back and re-rode so I could get some pictures when no-one was here, thank-yo and this is your moment.
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TPR salutes you
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I loved that this moved with the ride, it's the little details
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An overview
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So many colours
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A fun ride for the family, not overly fast but enjoyable it built up lines later in the afternoon.
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Again the detailing is fantastic
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and I love how it loves as if it's just been pulled out of the box
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A fun ride but not worth the huge lines later.
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Bye bye Toy story land
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The work put into this building was fantastic
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It really looks amazing from all angles.
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I forgot his name any Disney fans out there remember? Was it Henry or am I confusing him from ToT in Disneysea?
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Mr Simpsons music
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Alfred hides from Jerry Bruckheimer turning him into the next big Disney blockbuster.
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Alfreds more about shadow puppets.
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Ride vehicle
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Looking at the previews i'd always wondered why out of all the cool stuff he want's this box. Once on the ride I noticed the box has two monkeys reaching for the jewel carved into it, the little details really blew me away.
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The finale tornado room with one ticked off monkey.
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The details in these screens were incredible.
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Although the magic music dust that flys around the room before being pulled into the box was my favorite effect of the whole ride.
Last edited by Garet on Wed Feb 05, 2014 2:17 am.

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Re: Garet Visits Hong Kong

Postby Garet » Wed Jan 08, 2014 5:48 am

Part 2: Grizzly Gulch. Grizzly was a fantastic roller-coaster, I've never been the biggest fan of Thunder Mountain, I may be in the minority here but although I enjoy it and will get the credit it's very rarely one of those rides I will visit a second time if I can fit in re-rides. However this ride completely blew me away it was just complete fun from beginning to end, it was a lot more thrilling for a family ride than I thought it would be, the launch was surprisingly forceful and it took the hills at more speed than I thought it would.
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We caught a showing of the Lion King next
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I wasn't overly interested in this but it looked pretty
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We did the English tour first but it felt kind of forced and awkward, despite the signs saying all lines were equal length there were a lot of Chinese who went on this tour because the line looked shorter then talked really loudly and translated to his family what was being said :angry:
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We never got around to checking out the tree house sadly.
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It looked fun though
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Looks ominous
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Save the hippos
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This can't be good
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the different finale was fun
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This made me miss all the amazing random flavours I had in Tokyo but we really enjoyed the honey mustard popcorn
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On the way to Grizzly Gulch, they were setting up for the Halloween carnival
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Grizzly Mountain
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This ride had no-line for most of the day, on the second day we skipped the parade and while everyone was watching it was like having your own ERT with trains going round with only 3-8 people in them, although there's something a little creepy about watching people on a ride where most of the restraints are still open and the train is going round.
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I think this was a forwards part but I can't remember
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Cable snap time
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I couldn't get my girlfriend on this, she loves dark rides but will avoid most flats and coasters, she did the mummy but found it a bit too much and watching this bit from afar was what put her off, it's a shame she couldn't see the back seats from afar where the drop isn't so big
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Pure hands up fun
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Those darn bears.
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And the water effect
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Grizzly Geyser
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Most areas of the park had their own dirnks, Grizzly was a peach cocktail drink with cherry bubbles.
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We had a lunch reservation coming up so we did some shopping in the ten minutes before our time, Japan has full versions of the bus holders and Hong Kong had key ring versions of the bus holders
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There were a lot of half animal, half machine merchandise being advertised when we visited, we were really surprised to see how much Stitch was mixed in with the core characters in merchandise, all the Halloween limited additions had a stitch variant and a lot of the multi packs included stitch with Mickey Minnie and Donald where I expected Goofy to have been.
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More terminator merchandise
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Alfred caps now available
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Bumped into a band on the way to dinner
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The corner cafe food was delicious
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and so where the mini-waffles, see you tomorrow for the other half of the park.

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Re: Garet Visits Hong Kong

Postby cfc » Wed Jan 08, 2014 5:57 am

Hong Kong Disneyland is coming along nicely--really enjoyed myself there when TPR visited in 2012.
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Re: Garet Visits Hong Kong

Postby Nrthwnd » Wed Jan 08, 2014 9:15 am

I must have gone on the GG Mine Cars over a dozen times, I enjoyed it so much.

And HKDL to me, is like the "baby" of the Magic Kingdom Family. But it has so much
space and potential for new attractions and technology, it's just getting started.

Too bad your girlfriend didn't want to do Mine Cars. I think she would have actually
enjoyed it, although it is to everyone's tastes and comfort zone, hmm?

Thanks for sharing your visit there.
And yes, the Corner Cafe has awesome food!
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Re: Garet Visits Hong Kong

Postby gisco » Wed Jan 08, 2014 11:08 am

I can't wait to get back to this park. So much has been added since I was there. I hope this is on the radar when TPR returns to China.

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Re: Garet Visits Hong Kong

Postby rctneil » Wed Jan 08, 2014 11:15 am

Glad you had a good time at HKDL. I really enjoyed the park and even though it's small the attractions it does have are top notch.

Grizzly Gulch Mine Cars is an amazing take on Big Thunder and I much prefer it. It ran perfectly all day as far as I can remember.
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Re: Garet Visits Hong Kong

Postby 805Andrew » Wed Jan 08, 2014 11:43 am

Nice pics! It looks like HK Disneyland has improved nicely since it opened. If they keep it up, it will be a nice park to visit when I visit Hong Kong in the future (years down the road).
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Re: Garet Visits Hong Kong

Postby kidcoaster 2 » Wed Jan 08, 2014 11:46 am

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This guy is one of my favorite Disney things ever!

Great report! HKDL is a great park!

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Re: Garet Visits Hong Kong

Postby Woodie Warrior » Wed Jan 08, 2014 11:52 am

Hong Kong Disneyland looks fantastic. Great photos! :)
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Re: Garet Visits Hong Kong

Postby Nrthwnd » Wed Jan 08, 2014 12:10 pm

805Andrew wrote:Nice pics! It looks like HK Disneyland has improved nicely since it opened. If they keep it up, it will be a nice park to visit when I visit Hong Kong in the future (years down the road).


There will (possibly/probably) be another TPR China/Hong Kong Tour planned for 2016*,
so start saving up now! You won't regret it. TPR Tours are a great way to see other parks and countries.

*(And Shanghai Disneyland will also be open -hopefully- by then, woo hoo!)
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And this is to be built there in HKDL too. But not finished until after 2016, I believe.
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