Yours truly hit HKDL last Aug. 19th to check out the new offerings for the summer season at HKDL.
I found the park to be quite busy with what I believe is the biggest crowd I have seen since Opening weekend. At the entrance to the park, lots of AP banners advertizing the virtues of being an APer are in place to lure guests into purchasing the AP. They have also set up a photo spot for that new chinese character movie (the name escapes me now) and a new poster advertising it as well is up.
Inside the park, I enjoyed the new Animation Academy show, and other guests seemed to enjoy the chance to get into the act and learn to paint some of Disney's most recognizable characters. I gave it a hand and enjoyed this as well. The Academy theater is well done, like an animation studio, and I loved the Mickey chairs!!
The lines for photos with the Mice at the canopy on town Square were LONG! and so were the lines for Jungle Cruise, The Railroad and several other attarctions in the park. It was nice to see a little crowd at the park, and most guests seemed to be having an enjoyable time, as they should.
The most memorable aspect of the day of course, was "Mickey's WaterWorks Parade", presented by Bonaqua Mineral water (clever, eh?) This is a truly inspired and FUN parade, designed to get guests wet, and offer some relief from the summer heat in the region. The parade is basically a rolling garden, with some very odd, but colorful and animated watering machines to add to the fun. I give this parade 5***** out of five, and it's the type of stuff that should be presented at WDW, and this parade is certainly TDL quality as well. I was happy with it. As an added storyline... the parade comes to a close with colorful clouds and rainbows, just like a summer shower would end.. It was truly a treat! GO SEE IT! It puts WDW's 6 yrs old parade to bloody shame.
The not so cool things... this being summer, the chinese guests are out in full force with parasols and umbrellas all over the park. While waiting for the parade and in some lines, I got pocked a few times with them, posing a safety hazard to some of us guests. Needless to say, I gave quite a few nasty looks back to other guests and push several umbrellas out of my way. I hate being rude, but heck... I had to do it so I could come back home with both of my eyes intact! I wish they institute some safety policy about this... since I find the excessive use of umbrellas (especially during shows and parades where guests are crammed) to be quite unsafe. Personally I felt the whole thing was quite obnoxious... and my feelings are, if you do not like being in the heat and outdoors under the Sun, then stay home. China must have a very low melanoma rate I tell you!
During my day at the park, I took the HKDL Railroad around the park. I am pleased to report that the train's round-trip service has been restored. From the train now, you get a closer look at the construction area of "It's a Small World" out in the back of Fantasyland. You also get to see the fully completed walkway that leads into the future IASW attraction, and the newly built train bridge, with columns that simulate the IASW Mary Blair facade... a simple touch but effective. So for those of you who were wondering... NO, the train does NOT travel by the IASW building facade the way it does at DL and at DLP. I could also NOT tell if the queue and boarding platform will be outside the building as is the case in DLP and DL as well... But I can tell you this much.. Mary Blair's facade at HKDL will be more colorful than DL's white original scheme. I am very much looking forward to the opening of this ride next april 08.
Finally.. one of my most enjoyable moments at the park is taking the Promenade walk to the hotels... as it is very relaxing. Photos from that are here as well... Plus, my other enjoyable aspect of the park is going shopping... especially for those especial souvenirs only found here. HKDL celebrates it's 2nd anniversary on sept 12th, 2007, but we the shoppers are already being treated to a very exclusive line of 2nd anniversary merchandise that is quite wonderful and unique. The merchandise motif pays tribute to Main Street USA and features Mickey as a train conductor and some of the other characters, like Goofy, Minnie etc... There are teeshirts, pens, pins, cushions, folders, mugs, plushes... you name it! I spent a pretty penny on that stuff...as it is the type of collector items I truly love. Which brings me to the obligatory "SHAME ON WDW!!" moment.. they in FL celebrated the 30th and 35th anniversaries with hardly any noise or merchandise, and here you have HKDL, a park that is having severe attendance problems, going all out to celebrate that milestone in style... and don't even get me started about the nice merchandise coming to TDR for TDS' 6th anniversary in early sept as well. So SHAME WDW!! SHAME!! There, I feel better now.
So, am I to assume that HKDL's 3rd anniversary merchandise in 2008 will feature another land in the park? That would be neat, and made for great merchandise continuity, like TDS' 1st thru 5th anniversary merchandise was! KUDOS HKDL!
As always.. it was a magical day at HKDL... a park that I have come to dearly love for it's simplicity and style, and I am pleased to share with you my personal photo album from my day at HKDL, so enjoy the 300+ photos that made the final cut. It was over 550 photos overall... so no complains from you WDW1974.
Enjoy the photos and some of the captions with them!!