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  1. #1

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    Mini HKDL Trip Report

    Went Yesterday - Saturday, November 23, 2013.

    Arrived at about 9:30 by MTR. The train was very crowded, and I feared the worst. But I got into the park quickly and made my way towards Cinderella castle, waiting for the park to open (they open Main Street for character visits and shopping at 9:30 or so). I was absolutely shocked and appalled to see that the last half of Main Street on the right side is just plywood facades of buildings. Still, after 4 years, they haven't been able to complete Main Street? It is really a shame.

    Headed straight tor Space Mountain, and was on the 3rd car to leave the station. After the ride, there was still no one in line. Made my way over to Mystic Manor, and still no one in line. In fact, there were no lines the entire day. It looked like there were 20-30 minute lines for Dumbo, Winnie the Pooh and the Carousel, but everything else was walk right on. There were long lines for pictures with characters as well.

    Big Grizzly Mountain Railway is by far the best ride there (IMHO). I was able to ride 4 times in a row, and had a great time!

    Rode on the "English" Jungle Cruise. I was disappointed at the lack of English that the guide spoke, and the spiel was awful. None of the campiness and humor that exist in the states. Maybe it is a translation issue, or the inability of non-English native speakers to convey the types of jokes that make the Jungle Cruise so fun. Here is a video of almost the full ride: 20131123_111049.mp4 - YouTube

    I was surprised at how small the park was. All of the "lands" are about 30-50% of the size of the similar land in Anaheim or Orlando. Toy Story land, Mystic and Grizzly Gulch are extremely small. Even smaller than the size of "Critter Country" in Anaheim.

    I saw 1 show (Philharmagic) and it was great, and rode several (but not all) of the rides, and left the park at about 3. Overall I had a good time. Here are some pictures:
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  2. #2

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    Re: Mini HKDL Trip Report

    ORWEN: Thank you for your trip report, arrosen, duckling. One thing I guess I'd better point out is that HKDL doesn't have a Cinderella Castle. They have a Sleeping Beauty Castle. It's Tokyo Disneyland that has a Cinderella Castle.

  3. #3

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    Re: Mini HKDL Trip Report

    ORDDU: Speaking of the castle, I'm surprised they didn't decorate it with the Christmas lights like they usually do--unless they're planning to do it later on. It's a step down from what it usually looks like for the Christmas season. Surely even Princess Aurora can't be that lazy!

    ORGOCH: Sure she can! Somebody'd better wake up that Snoozin' floozie!!!

  4. #4

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    Re: Mini HKDL Trip Report

    ORDDU: Something else that should be pointed out is that the second half of Main Street to the right has, indeed, been completed. What you saw was repair work being done--otherwise known as refurbishment. Whenever the Disney theme parks want to do repair work they usually put up temporary scrims or 'false'fronts' to beautify the area until the repair work can be completed. So please don't be fooled so easily by what Disney is trying to hide from public view. As soon as they finish making those repairs the false fronts will come down and you'll be able to see the real buildings.

  5. #5

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    Re: Mini HKDL Trip Report

    Quote Originally Posted by Witches of Morva View Post
    ORDDU: Speaking of the castle, I'm surprised they didn't decorate it with the Christmas lights like they usually do--unless they're planning to do it later on. It's a step down from what it usually looks like for the Christmas season. Surely even Princess Aurora can't be that lazy!

    ORGOCH: Sure she can! Somebody'd better wake up that Snoozin' floozie!!!
    They havent done Christmas Lights on the castle for long time (after 5 anniversary) I wish they will redo it someday

    HKDL is really lack of Christmas atmosphere to me....

    And they shouldn't maintain the facade of Main street in November... It's peak season.... they should do it on Jan or After Chinese NY....

  6. #6

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    Re: Mini HKDL Trip Report

    ORDDU: That's true, Duyanh92, duckling. It's bad form to have a scrim over a building for refurb during the busy season--unless there was some sort of emergency situation going on at the time that none of us knows about. Still it looks rather ugly and unplanned.

  7. #7

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    Re: Mini HKDL Trip Report

    Ok.. I always love to read what others have to say about the Disneyland parks I don't get to visit for years in a row. Last time my family and I visited Hong Kong and Disneyland was 7 years ago. However, I have always been a believer that to write a review of anything, you should experience it all. Like, can you fairly review a 2-hour movie by just watching 30 minutes of it? That's why I would've wished you had stayed in the park until closing time and really see everything. In your review you mentioned you skipped rides. And probably skipped some shows as well?. Did you see the daytime parade? I do't know but leaving Disneyland before night time is a big miss for me since usually the park takes on a whole different atmosphere after dark. So I assume you missed the current Christmas Illuminations, snow falls on Main Street, and the grand fireworks show at the end of the day in the park. And yes, the park is small, we have known that since 2005. I'm surprised some visitors still need to complain about that. Yet your pictures show a small park that seems lovely in details, and yet it's classic in look.
    I think I would go there and enjoy the whole day from opening time to closing.

  8. #8

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    Re: Mini HKDL Trip Report

    Quote Originally Posted by Witches of Morva View Post
    ORDDU: That's true, Duyanh92, duckling. It's bad form to have a scrim over a building for refurb during the busy season--unless there was some sort of emergency situation going on at the time that none of us knows about. Still it looks rather ugly and unplanned.
    Well since I am a lover of themed atmospheres which is what sets Disneyland parks apart, that scrim would not bother me as much. But I have to ask, if this is supposed to be high season for visitors, how come Main Street USA looks so empty on the picture posted above?

  9. #9

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    Re: Mini HKDL Trip Report

    Arrosen, great review. I hope you don't mind if I piggy-back on your trip report with mine. After all, I went the day before you, on Friday November 22. It's my first trip in three years and my first visit to all the new lands. Some random comments:

    - My first ride was Mystic Manor, and I was able to ride it four times in the four different cars. Again car 1 is the best followed by 3 and 4. Due to my extremely high expectation, I was a little bit underwhelmed with the ride. I had hoped for some kind of randomization similar to TDL's Pooh's Huney Hunt.

    - The Explorer's Club is a very well-themed restaurant although food is very expensive there. I did manage to get some satay chicken skewers and a glowing Blueberry Myst, which were good. An alternative to pricey food would be the fish-n-chips at Grizzly Gulch for HK$40.

    - Similar to Arrosen, I think all three new lands are small but I did enjoy their overall theming.

    - I did talk to a cast member next to the times board for character appearances. I specifically asked for special characters and he said only the Gingerbread Men and Duffy are "special". I think HKDL lacks the variety of characters, especially the non-princess face characters. That said, I think all you domestic park fans will be excited to know I met this guy:

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    As a suggestion, like this Chinese-speaking Merlin, they should add the Mad Hatter to their character roster. I think he would interact well with guests and Alice (whom I met also.)

    - I skipped the Lion King Show this time but watched the Golden Mickeys again. I think eventually they'll need to replace both shows - they've been running them since opening. I don't understand but Bebe the hostess in Golden Mickeys this time has a thick English accent to her Cantonese dialogue. Strange given it is Hong Kong.

    - Flights of Fantasy is a great parade and it gave me chills when I watched it in person for the first time. Suggest you watch it close to the castle so you can see the show stop and the rising floats twice.

  10. #10

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    Re: Mini HKDL Trip Report

    ORWEN: Thank you for your trip report too, Wali, duckling! I love your picture of Merlin and had been wondering if he was still out and about at HKDL. You're right that HKDL doesn't have as many characters in their park for some reason. No Peter Pan or Mary Poppins or Aladdin or Ariel as far as I can tell. (I guess Ariel is seen in the Golden Mickey's Stage Show but not out for meetings and greetings.)

    ORDDU: I don't suppose Mary Poppins or Peter Pan mean anything much to the typical HKDL guests. They probably aren't as well known over there. Still, Disney management could 'educate' the guests by having them out anyway.

  11. #11

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    Re: Mini HKDL Trip Report

    Thanks for the mini-TR arrosen! (Btw, loved your report on the Dream Suite a few years back.)

    I was hoping to hear what you would have thought of the shows, especially the Golden Mickeys.

    Excited to go back a second time later this year, and I think this will be my last visit to HKDL for a while. After all the hype for the expansions, I'm more than a little tired of this little park that could, but since I was one month too early for MM, I just have to swing by one last time.

    But many people seem to be underwhelmed by MM, I hope that this allows me to keep my expectation in check for later this month.

  12. #12

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    Re: Mini HKDL Trip Report

    Agreed on many points, wali.

    HKDL is sorely lacking in face characters, but I think that's also part of the problem of maintaining the show? It gets confusing which language the characters speak.

    The princesses speak English, but Merlin speaks Chinese. I couldn't even understand his Abracadabra the last time I saw him.

    Speaking of rare characters, does anyone have pictures of Aladdin and Jasmine from HKDL? It seems rare to see them but I heard that they have made an appearance before. Seems strange that the Asian Disney park does not have too many of Asian characters.

    As for the shows, I think Lion King is fine as is, but the theater does need to be relocated, and Adventureland made denser with a new E ticket. It kinda lacks an Adventure feel since well, Hong Kong is pretty close to tropical anyway right? So a Tropical jungle Cruise isn't as special as it is in the other parks.

    I do agree Golden Mickeys needs an update, although I wish they wouldn't remove some of the rare characters, like Quasimodo. But I think Tangled needs to be inserted somewhere, and by all means, please remove the Under the Sea segment.

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