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.
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.
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.
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.
While I like my pics bright and colorful, do let me know if the photo editing is too distracting.
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).
Rainy mornings often result in gloriously beautiful afternoons.
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.
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.
......... 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.
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.
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.
The trees have gotten taller, much taller.
Big crowds.... I'm not very used to big crowds in adventureland.
The entrance for Grizzly Gulch. Still disappointed at not being able to go the preview......
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.
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.
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.
And there it is. July 14 cannot come any faster...
Love the detail
This camera has been recording the entire construction period
This is new, looks neat.
Toy Story Land. Again, this was a good surprise. I wasn't expecting so much detail here at all.
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.
Ice Cream Cart
Pizza cones and frozen yoghurt? Best snack cart.
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.