Monday, May 18, 2009

Hong Kong & Disneyland!

May 18/09...

The iPhone blogging software has been misbehaving and I completely lost Saturday's post, so am summarizing it in the beginning of Sunday's entry which I'm working on now (Monday morning).

Saturday was pretty uneventful, Rick & I took the subway to Mong Kok where there used to be excellent tech shopping, no longer though... still lots of tech shops here but the selection isn't what it used to be, and the prices were nothing special, so we didn't buy much.

We wandered around some more, checked out the Hong Kong Space Centre, and visited a bar we thought was a strip bar, but by the time we got to the bar we each had 4-5 women hanging off us and the bar clearly had a different purpose than just show... yoicks! We beetled out of there two steps at a time!

The rest of our Saturday was significantly less eventful!

So it turns out that Disney opened up a park in Hong Kong, so of course being the Magical Kingdom nut that I am, I had to go!

Rick, Andrew & I left around 7:30am for a 40 minute subway ride that involved two line changes. The final line change was clearly owned or at least funded by Disney as the train had mouse-shaped windows and character statues in the cars.

We arrived not long after 8am only to find the park didn't open until 10am, would have been nice if the hotel concierge could have told us this (isn't that his job to know stuff like that?) but we had a good time regardless hanging around listening to Disney music and chucking shyte.

Once we got in, we found it to be... well... Disney... lite. Hong Kong Disney is built on a much smaller scale than Anaheim, where we get our normal Disney fix. The castle is about 2/3 the size of the original...

... and there are far fewer attractions. The only thrillride is Space Mountain, no Splash, Matterhorn, or Big Thunder... no Indiana Jones or Star Wars... no Frontier Land, no New Orleans, no Toon Town... the list goes on... disappointing, but it was still Disney and it was in freaking Hong Kong! Would I visit Hong Kong just for Disney? Not on your life! Would I spend a day there if I happened to be in Hong Kong with some free time? Sure, why not, it was a fun day and crowds were as small as I've ever seen so even with multiple rides on Space Mountain it wasn't difficult to fit the entire park in a one day visit.

The staff were all Asian, the snack of choice was dried squid rather than churros and although the Disney princesses were white (except Mulan of course) they all spoke Cantonese! Whacky... but it still had that very clean "happiest place on earth" kinda feel to it.

We had to leave well before the closing fireworks as we had a tour dinner to attend, but it was a very full and enjoyable day!

The tour banquet is an important touring tradition, and a great way to close the tour. The highlight of the event is the Tour Awards, where a small representative community creates funny but kind "cheap shot" awards for everyone. Mine had to do with my uncanny ability to keep my wits about me in leadership situations even when under the influence of alcohol, I refer you to a past post about the Heritage Village in Sokcho, SK.

Was a great evening, but I was exhausted when it was done and went straight back to my room to get packed and off to sleep.

It's Monday morning now & I'm hastening to get this done before boarding the plane. I can't wait to see Mick & Steve again!

-- Post From My iPhone

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