Our first full day in Hong Kong was spent at Disneyland. Oliver had been talking for months about giving Mickey Mouse a high-five, so Disneyland was at the top of our to-do list. After taking several trains from our hotel on the opposite side of Hong Kong, we arrived at the station for the Disney land express. Disney had it's own line on the MTR straight to the park that was decked out in Mickey Mouse. The handle were shaped like Mickey's face as where the windows. Oliver was overjoyed! He kept gasping with amazement.
It took a bit to get our tickets and get through the main gate, but once we were inside, the our boys were consumed by the magic of Disney. Mickey and Minnie where in the gazebo near the entrance greeting guests, so (even though there was a ridiculous line) we got waited to see Mickey first thing. It took well over an hour before we got to the front of the queue, but in the meantime, we had spotted several other characters on there way to greet guests as well.
When it was finally our turn, Minnie was very excited to see Oliver! She gave him lots of hugs, and Oliver was all smiles! In fact, Oliver held Minnie's hand the throughout the encounter. Owen went right to Mickey and was also wearing a cheesy grin. They gave hugs to each of the boys and did a little peek-a-boo to really get the smiling. And, yes, Oliver did get to high-five Mickey Mouse!
We also got a great family picture. Mickey and Minnie spent a bit of extra time with our family, and I was grateful because I know Oliver will be talking about meeting them for months now. I was also glad that Oliver wasn't frightened of the giant mice because he is generally not a fan of mascots. The day was off to a very pleasant start.
After the excitement with Mickey and Minnie, we headed to Toy Story Land. Owen was excited for this as we had just watched the movie for the first time together a few weeks ago. He recognized all the characters ad was excited to go on some rides. We did the slinky dog ride and the Army guys' parachute drop before it was time for lunch. Even Ollie got to join in the fun though I'm not sure he really like the parachute drop all that much. Owen is much more a fan of fast rides.
The neatest part of Toy Story Land is that it is designed to make you feel as though you have been shrunk down into the world of toys. There are giant foot prints in the concrete and the grass around the area is tall. The effect is completed with oversized dominos, tinker toys, and a giant alphabet puzzle board. There were Army men wandering around the grounds and a large version of the RC car to pose with.
After the rides, we met up with some friends for a quick lunch. We have some veggie pizza and the the kids were thrilled that the pizzas were shaped like Mickey Mouse. They also go corn on the cob and watermelon, again, shaped like a mouse. It was a pleasant, albeit overpriced, lunch.
In the afternoon, we rode the jungle cruise, watched the parade, explored Tarzan's treehouse, rode the Dumbo ride, and wandered over to Grizzly Gulch. Gizzly Gulch is set up like an Old Western Town and has a roller coaster. Owen was tall enough to ride the big kid ride, so he was eager to try it out. Derek went with him and I comforted Oliver because he was rather perturbed that he wasn't big enough to go on the ride as well. After the ride I think Oliver was relived he didn't go because Owen was visibly shaken by the ride. The bears were a bit to real looking for the poor kid.
By then we were ready for dinner which proved to be a nice distraction for Owen. We found a place that offered Indian food which suited our vegetarian needs well. Dinner was again expensive, but the kids ate well. After we ate, we had time for another ride, maybe two, before the fireworks, so we raced over to the Tomorrow Land area and queued up for the Buzz Lightyear ride. Then we did the race cars, and since the lines were so incredibly short, we did the Buzz Lightyear ride again.
We finished the day with the fireworks. It was an impressive display, and Owen said that was his favorite part of the day.
On the way out, mostly to let the mad rush of people to the train die down, we wandered through the gift shops. Oliver went the whole day without having an accident, so we celebrated by getting him some extra special Mickey Mouse underpants. They each got a small stuffed animal too. Oliver chose Mickey Mouse, and Owen chose Mike Wazowski. I offered to buy the bigger Mickey for Oliver, but he demanded that it was "too big" and clutched on tight to the smaller one.
The long train ride home was a little rough, and three stops before we got off, the boys were sound asleep on me. It was an eventful, wonderful day. There really is nothing better in this world than seeing your kids' eye light up with joy!
Here you will find the collection of blog entries about our trip to Hong Kong in March 2014.
Swanson Family Travels
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