Saturday, January 24, 2009

Hong Kong Disneyland

Here, finally, is the last post about our vacation that I had intended to write the first week of January. It took me a week to get over the jet lag and another two weeks to get over the cold that each of us in the family succumbed to in succession. No more excuses ... here is what happened at Hong Kong Disneyland.

We went to Hong Kong Disneyland by subway, which is the most sensible way to get anywhere in Hong Kong. Kate got pretty excited when she saw the mouse-ear windows on the train that connects the theme park to the rest of the city. We were happy to see that the park wasn't crowded when we arrived. The cool and damp weather seemed to discourage the locals and other tourists, but to us, it was quite pleasant. Many of those willing to brave the 15 degrees Celsius temperatures were sporting hats, mittens and even parkas. Yes, parkas -- those big puffy things we put on when it goes below zero degrees and there's at least a few centimetres of snow on the ground. Really, how can you look cool shooting down the villains on the Buzz Lightyear ride wearing a parka? Julia stayed in shorts the whole day, even though I'd packed long pants for her in our backpack. Can you spot the Canadian girl in the crowd?

Hong Kong Disneyland is much smaller than the Florida's Disneyworld, but it was just the right amount of entertainment for us to fill up the day. Julia felt a bit queasy after her first ride on Space Mountain but recovered sufficiently to go back on a few more times. The rest of us stuck to the tamer rides. Of course, we had to do the "It's a Small World" ride. I love the displays in that ride and could have gone through several more times; instead, I had to be satisfied with hearing Kate sign the song over and over the next three days. The Winnie-the-Pooh ride was also a must-do for us. This time, we didn't get stuck in the psychedelic Heffalumps and Woozles section like we did in Florida several years ago.

Oliver wanted to meet all the characters, so Joe and Jill went off on their own for a while. Our kids opted for rides, but Kate did want to visit Mickey's Christmas House, where she got to have her photo taken with the man himself. She was also thrilled to find in Mickey's house a framed picture that matched a Walt Disney cross-stitch picture made by Jill and hanging in Oliver's room.

The final photos below aren't from Disneyland but I wanted to include a few from our visit to Ocean Park on New Year's Day. Ocean Park is a huge marine-themed amusement park set high up on a hill. The weather was wonderful and we had a fun day with Joe, Jill, Martin and Oliver before having to say a sad farewell to them the next day. We had a wonderful two weeks with them and hope we see them all again before too long.

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