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  1. #1

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    [Very Photo Heavy] HKDLFAN's Summer 2012 Trip Report

    Hey guys! It's been literally forever since I've posted here - school work has been relentlessly tough this year - so I guess now would be the optimum time to finally return to the forums. What's far more exciting though is that I have a whole month here in Hong Kong (June 27-July 30) so I'll be covering Grizzly Gulch a lot in this ongoing thread once it opens on the 14th. I'm not going to make new threads - I'll just post pics of all my visits in this one so it will be very photo heavy. I will be going to the park probably every other day for short visits (I live 5-7 mins away) so there will be plenty of updates. Also, these pics may not be great quality since I'm fixing my Flickr library but I'll re-upload the HD versions of these pics once I get my Flickr back online.

    So lets get started.....

    Day 1 - July 1

    Got my Magic Access Platinum Card today, really impressed - They finally stopped being cheap and made proper plastic cards! Aside from that, the Magic Access Cards are a great improvement over the previous Annual Passes for many reasons (Priority seating at shows, 30% discount at all merchandise stores, 25% discount on all food items etc...). Though my biggest issue with the MA cards is that not everyone is entitled to see Grizzly Gulch before it opens on July 14. That is truly pathetic (Lucky draw determines if you get to preview it??? What??). There have always been previews for annual passholders in the past for new attractions (IASW and TSL) so theres no excuse as to why we shouldn't have entitlement to preview GG.

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    Moving on to more important stuff, it wasn't too odd visiting the resort after nearly 2 years. It felt all too familiar and I certainly didn't feel or act like a tourist. The promenade of the park is truly beautiful. This particular part of the resort is unmatched by the promenades (or the 'outer' regions of the resort) other Disney parks (The TDR one is just..... bland). I personally prefer walking to the park from the HKDL Hotel - The promenade this side is more peaceful, lush and enjoyable. Though a Downtown Disney would be an extremely successful addition to the resort, I would hate hate hate for it to ever be built anywhere near this promenade - unless if it is something like Iksipari with European architecture and not something loud and modern.

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    And here is where I noticed decay. You would think that the entrance of the resort would be polished and perfect right? Well, those character statues around the whale are decaying.

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    Nothing has really changed much here at the entrance. Except for the crowds. The crowds are definitely heavier than two years ago. I know its harsh and wicked of me to say this but I miss those days when HKDL used to be mostly empty - allowing for a remarkable experience you cannot experience at other parks.

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    While I like my pics bright and colorful, do let me know if the photo editing is too distracting.

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    Wow HKDL is milking TSL. Its been a long time since it opened and its still being heralded as something new. Grizzly Gulch hasn't been marketed AT ALL (All i've seen is one bus decorated with the mountain and trains).
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    Rainy mornings often result in gloriously beautiful afternoons.

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    Seems totally out of place here. Doesn't at all fit the "quaint" and small feel of this Main St. It is confirmed to be a shop but it is an ugly one. Tear. It. Down.
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    Main St. was in top condition this morning - The smell of fresh paint was evident. No decay/neglect thankfully. Again, the crowds were massive, I've never seen Main St. so crowded before.

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    ......... Why Disney why? If you have to sell Marvel merch, sell orignal Disney Parks ones and not the same ones you can get for much lower prices at Toys R Us.... There were two horrendous shelves of this stuff in the Emporium.

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    I've always thought that HKDL was really poorly planned. Was it WDI's intention to make the SBC look small against the backdrop of the mountains? The park should have been built so that the castle was NOT against the mountains.

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    Though it lacks attractions and is undeservedly large, Adventureland is my favorite land. It's immersive thematically and is the brainchild of Adventureland and DAK.

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    The trees have gotten taller, much taller.
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    Big crowds.... I'm not very used to big crowds in adventureland.
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    The entrance for Grizzly Gulch. Still disappointed at not being able to go the preview......
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    Random Shots
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    I like the rockwork here. Tarzan Island could be a much better experience if it didn't just have the treehouse. There is enough space on the island for a restaurant or something of the same size. One thing I never understood was HOW the rafts to tarzan island can be considered as a separate attraction.

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    Tarzan Treehouse is by far the least managed place in the park. It hasn't received fresh paint for a long time - the paint on the plastic leaves is coming off and it is blatant.

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    Is this a thematic intrusion? I don't see TSL as much of a disgrace as many on the forums do. Yes it has cheap and carnival rides BUT it is the third most detailed land after Adventureland and Main St. And its a hit with the folks.

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    And there it is. July 14 cannot come any faster...

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    Love the detail

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    This camera has been recording the entire construction period

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    This is new, looks neat.

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    Toy Story Land. Again, this was a good surprise. I wasn't expecting so much detail here at all.

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    What's interesting is that RC Racer isn't at all a popular attraction. With an average wait time of 5-15 mins, it is the least popular attraction at the park.

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    Ice Cream Cart

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    Pizza cones and frozen yoghurt? Best snack cart.

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    Day 1 TR will be continued tomorrow with MORE Marvel invasions at the park, The Golden Mickeys, The most popular land at the park, and Mickey's WaterWorks Parade.

  2. #2

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    Re: [Very Photo Heavy] HKDLFAN's Summer 2012 Trip Report

    Very nice post and excellent pictures , almost feel like I'm there. Thank you!
    Im here for fun and info not be a bully! Carsland here I come

  3. #3

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    Re: [Very Photo Heavy] HKDLFAN's Summer 2012 Trip Report

    ORWEN: Oh! HKDLFAN! Us Cauldron girls have missed you so much! We've been wondering how you've been and what you were up to! We started to think some Disney villain had kidnapped you and that you'd never be seen again!

    ORGOCH: I was thinkin' Orwen might a swallerd ya up by accident while radin' a Krispy Kreme Donut joint!

    ORDDU: In any case, we are so glad to see you here again, duckling. Thank you for the wonderful pictures!

    ORWEN: Many hugs!!!

  4. #4

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    Re: [Very Photo Heavy] HKDLFAN's Summer 2012 Trip Report

    Great to have you back HKDLFAN!

    It's a shame that RC Racers is not a huge draw, as it is the most thrilling ride in the whole park (and I do suspect this might still be true even after BGM opens). But do people still stop to look at it?

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    Re: [Very Photo Heavy] HKDLFAN's Summer 2012 Trip Report

    Quote Originally Posted by SirEdge View Post
    Great to have you back HKDLFAN!

    It's a shame that RC Racers is not a huge draw, as it is the most thrilling ride in the whole park (and I do suspect this might still be true even after BGM opens). But do people still stop to look at it?
    It would be a terrible shame if BGM turned out to be like RC Racer. It would spell doom for any such E-Ticket in the future if BGM fails to live up to expectations - I mean why would WDI want to invest in such grand attractions when crowds flock only to the cheap and carny ones like Parachute Drop and the Slinky Dog thing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Witches of Morva View Post
    ORWEN: Oh! HKDLFAN! Us Cauldron girls have missed you so much! We've been wondering how you've been and what you were up to! We started to think some Disney villain had kidnapped you and that you'd never be seen again!

    ORGOCH: I was thinkin' Orwen might a swallerd ya up by accident while radin' a Krispy Kreme Donut joint!

    ORDDU: In any case, we are so glad to see you here again, duckling. Thank you for the wonderful pictures!

    ORWEN: Many hugs!!!
    Haha Its great to see you witches again. Was really busy with school work this year (APs, SATs....) so time was scarce.

    Quote Originally Posted by Trav1Disney View Post
    Very nice post and excellent pictures , almost feel like I'm there. Thank you!
    Thanks!

    Here's Day 1 continued...

    These have been selling like crazy at the park.

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    What???!! The Amazing Spiderman doesn't even belong to Disney technically - Its a Sony movie!

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    If you look closely at the trees, the branches have been cut to look like geometric shapes. I remember there being something about this in the WDI book...

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    The vegetation has grown a lot here...
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    It's a relief to see Space Mountain doing so well

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    Some random shots

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    Terribly small loading station
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    WaterWorks was back this year
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    I'll upload the Golden Mickeys pictures along with my Day 2 TR after I go again to the park tomorrow

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    Re: [Very Photo Heavy] HKDLFAN's Summer 2012 Trip Report

    Great report!

    No wonder that RC racer doesn´t have long lines. A person that likes thrilling rides does not go to HKDL. Perhaps it will change. I hope.
    The world according me: http://www.youtube.com/user/TimmyME

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    Re: [Very Photo Heavy] HKDLFAN's Summer 2012 Trip Report

    I agree with you HKDLFAN that Adventureland is the best designed land in the whole park. I think it is the best Adventureland in any park because of the largeness of it and the dense foliage. In addition, it has the same detail and beauty that is present in Animal Kingdom (which in my opinion ties with DisneySea as the most beautiful theme park). I'm guessing the same team that worked on Animal Kingdom was brought over after they finished Animal Kingdom.

    Great update and I look forward to following you.

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    Re: [Very Photo Heavy] HKDLFAN's Summer 2012 Trip Report

    ORGOCH: Gonna' become a stalker, is ya, WDW1971, ducklin'? Just remember how my good fer nothing' sister gits in trouble fer that sort a thing all the time!

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    Re: [Very Photo Heavy] HKDLFAN's Summer 2012 Trip Report

    Quote Originally Posted by Witches of Morva View Post
    ORGOCH: Gonna' become a stalker, is ya, WDW1971, ducklin'? Just remember how my good fer nothing' sister gits in trouble fer that sort a thing all the time!
    Hahaha, Witches, you just crack me up, all of you.

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    Re: [Very Photo Heavy] HKDLFAN's Summer 2012 Trip Report

    Quote Originally Posted by WDW1971 View Post
    I agree with you HKDLFAN that Adventureland is the best designed land in the whole park. I think it is the best Adventureland in any park because of the largeness of it and the dense foliage. In addition, it has the same detail and beauty that is present in Animal Kingdom (which in my opinion ties with DisneySea as the most beautiful theme park). I'm guessing the same team that worked on Animal Kingdom was brought over after they finished Animal Kingdom.

    Great update and I look forward to following you.
    Nothing in Animal Kingdom ties with DisneySEA is you ask me. At some times close... but mostly not at all.

    ...as for Adventureland... it looks good but only has one ride and no room for any real expansion as it looks today. Not much of an adventure at all... and very far from where adventure and imagination sets sail.
    The world according me: http://www.youtube.com/user/TimmyME

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    Re: [Very Photo Heavy] HKDLFAN's Summer 2012 Trip Report

    Thanks for all the comments guys! And Timmy I AGREE. Attractions get too much undeserved space at HKDL (Autopia? UFO Zone? The loooong green zone around the FL train station? Jungle Cruise????). Once again reflective of the critical thinking WDI used when building this park....

    Anywho, heres Day 2 as promised.

    Today was a really cloudy - though humid day. The two conditions considered by any photographer as very painful.

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    The Mice were in summer garb, looking joyful as ever.

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    New merch has arrived! Brave items have crammed most of Emporium and are selling really well. Thankfully a shelf of that tacky Avengers trash was removed and was replaced with Brave stuff.
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    An updated park map at the Information Kiosk

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    I love this transitionary courtyard linking FL, AL and TSL.

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    Time for a quick lunch...

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    ... And the 7th Anniversary lineup has landed!

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    Storybook Shoppe

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    Space Mountain was closed for several hours due to a technical problem. And when it opened...... For those of you who have been fortunate enough to experience the Hong Kong MTR hustle, you'll know what I mean when I say it was a mess. I have never seen people so viciously clamoring to get into an amusement park ride - EVER.

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    DECAY

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    A closer look at the angular trees I mentioned earlier.

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    Good to know a roaming and talking trash bin can get more reception than a thrill ride like RC Racer...

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    HKDL's Adventureland is truly beautiful after rainfall.... No photo-editing here I promise, the green is natural!

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    Time for the Golden Mickeys..... Its not a bad show at all - though often some of the performers look bored to death. My 26 year old cousin screamed fangirl-style when the "lioncloth-wearing hunk of a man" (Tarzan) swung onstage. Though she was overreacting a tad, I have to admit he was probably the best-looking Tarzan HKDL has ever employed for this show. It got really awkward later on when she began asking CMs about the Tarzan guys name at the end of the show...

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    Disneyland at Night:

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    Tomorrowland looks really bland at day, but its stunning at night.

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    These lights are awesome

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    The wavy/alien-like spaceport theme works well

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    HKDL is losing more and more trees at the hub over the years. Maybe its for the photo-op? The trees did block the castle and the fireworks often. But then again, the trees also made the hub look bigger.

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    Still never tried the food at this place....

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    AL becomes really dark, gloomy and.... mysterious at night. The Halloween trail works really well here - its easy to buy this land as a haunted forest anytime.

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    Creepy...

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    This style of lighting marks a more tribal region of AL (The Festival of LK area) whereas oil-lit lamps near the transitionary courtyard at FL mark a more 'colonialist and exploratory' region of AL.

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    JC is difficult to ride at night with all the darkness and multi-colored lights being projected onto points of interest.

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    My fav place at night.

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    Surprisingly, HKDL was kept open almost 1.5 hours after closing time (8:00pm) since many were still busy buying items at the shops on Main St. And why let an incredible money-making opportunity go to waste? What I admire about TDR (even though its annoying at times) is how time-specific the management of the park is. The park will simply not remain open like HKDL will - even if the shops are swarming with moneybag customers.

    I hope the night-quality pics weren't awful, I'm still getting used to my new camera (mastered the daytime mode, pathetic at night though). I'll probably revisit the park in a couple of days (the "monster on Main St." is expected to open by then) and post a Day 3 TR.

    Cheers!
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  12. #12

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    Re: [Very Photo Heavy] HKDLFAN's Summer 2012 Trip Report

    Left this one out.

    Heres a CM looking bored to death and looking at his feet for a good 5 minutes while my parents were busy taking pics of themselves with SBCastle.

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    Re: [Very Photo Heavy] HKDLFAN's Summer 2012 Trip Report

    CM´s in HKDL are some of the most sad looking people I have ever seen. Not all of them, but most should not even be called cast but simply workers.

    HKDL is starting to need a makeover... a complete one.
    The world according me: http://www.youtube.com/user/TimmyME

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    Re: [Very Photo Heavy] HKDLFAN's Summer 2012 Trip Report

    Quote Originally Posted by TimmyTimmyTimmy View Post
    CM´s in HKDL are some of the most sad looking people I have ever seen. Not all of them, but most should not even be called cast but simply workers.

    HKDL is starting to need a makeover... a complete one.
    Some of them aren't even sure of the park's closing time! Or they just have poor english. Until recently, the park had been closing at 9pm and I wasn't aware of that - neither was a CM who I asked. She had to ask her colleague! The new recuits (it's easy to point them out) are much livelier and hard working but the older employees have just gotten.... bored and lazy. God I hope the expansion of HKDL doesn't mean stuff like this gets overlooked by the management.

    I've never really seen HKDL in such poor physical shape before. Adventureland is in swift decay starting with the green paint on the plastic leaves of Tarzan Treehouse and the JC boats. And Space Mountain just looks filthy in plain daylight. The cleanest land of them all is either Main St. or TSL.

  15. #15

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    Re: [Very Photo Heavy] HKDLFAN's Summer 2012 Trip Report

    ORWEN: Thank you for more pictures, HKDLFAN, duckling. By the way, if you think your 26 year old cousin is a big fan of Tarzan, you should see how enthusiastic my sister, Orddu, is where that hunk is concerned!

    ORGOCH: Just had ta bring that up, didn't ya? I been tryin' ta fergit the times that tramp went an' humiliated the daylights outta this whole coven--all 'cause she cain't control herself. I still remember the time she went back stage ta stalk that poor sap on vine after the stage show they used ta have at Animal Cracker Kingdom a few years back. Remember how she stole his dang loin cloth outta his dressin' room just so's she could wear it 'round her fool head???

    ORDDU: (Ahem!) And I STILL wear that precious loin cloth around my head, dear! Jealous much?

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