So a typhoon was heading straight to Hong Kong, and while this had made for perfect weather on Day 1 of our Disney sojourn, it was not so perfect on Day 2 because the
stupid ever-vigilant Observatory hoisted the No.3 signal. This means that all the outdoor rides in the Park shut down.
The previous night V had asked me if I would prefer to leave the next day and use our tickets on the weekend instead (since you can use the second day tickets anytime over the next seven days). It did throw me into confusion for a bit because logically it made sense – we had had our fill and could recharge and come back again for more fun – but emotionally I was against it. For some illogical reason, I wanted to do two consecutive days and really saturate in the Disney experience.Anyway, we later realised we had special tickets for the Frozen Village attraction and so that decided things for us.
However, when we got to the Park, I heard the attendant telling V something about the rides and him asking about the Frozen Village. I was a bit behind him and when it was my turn to enter, the attendant told me that the outdoor rides had shut down due to the typhoon. It was too late to reconsider since V had already entered so I went in after him.
Frankly, had I known that the rides were not all operational, I might have chosen to save our tickets and return another day. I was surprised because the weather was not typhoony at all. It was similar to the previous day. But since the Observatory had raised the signal, Disney was just following protocol.
Anyway, we had some time to kill when we entered so I clicked some photos of Mimi (since Nene would not cooperate hmph) on Main Street, something I’ve been dying to do for ages. When the Park gates opened it was crazy to see people literally running in all directions. Luckily, we were not stampeded on the path we were on. Much as I it was hilarious and slightly dangerous for the kids, I can understand the sentiment because the queues can be crazy.
1. So our first stop was the Frozen attraction. If your kids are into this film (and how could they not be?) then this should probably be your first stop this summer (it’s only on till 30 August). Entry is free with park tickets, but they get snapped up. I’m not actually sure how to get them because we already had our waiting in our hotel room thanks to friend and we could bypass line so we marched into the Palace of Arendale the target of many envious looks.
The main attraction is the show in the Crown Theatre in which Elsa, Anna and Kristoff appear. There’s also a lot of singing along karaoke style. Frankly, I did not love it, but it was cute to see Mimi belting out Let It Go complete with actions. Unfortunately, Nene was singing very religiously also till he saw he laughing. Bad mommy! But really, it’s so funny how the kids with totally serious faces sing these songs as if they’re in church. At one point, I looked at Mimi and she had this queer expression on her face and she turned to me and asked “Where’s Elsa?” and I realised she was utterly star struck. It was like a cult member finally getting to meet the great leader. Oh well, I guess this is their mythology. Since the message of the film is the love between siblings and how not to fall for the first guy that flatters you, I’m ok with it.
Outside in the Festival Square, kids get play in snow/ice and build castles. My kids spent all of five minutes there. Wonder how they’d handle real snow. Then one can do a toboggan ride for which you have to queue up. The queueing was a bit chaotic but didn’t take that long. The ride is over in a minute though and it’s a bit of a crash landing. However, worth doing.
Unfortunately, Olaf took a break just as we decided to queue up for him and then Mimi had a meltdown because she wanted to buy the expensive Elsa dress from the shop. Somehow V managed to get her to lunch and feed both the kids who ate like angels while I zoomed off to get the only other Fast Pass for Space Mountain.
2. I could only get a Pass for 12.55 pm so after lunch we went to It’s A Small World. The last time we went, the kids were not impressed with this one, which surprised me because it’s the one I loved the most when I visited Tokyo Disneyland as a child. The good thing about this ride is that queue is indoors and moves quickly. I kept Mimi and the people in the line near me amused by singing the Small World song. While I tried my best to make the ride come alive for Mimi, she didn’t seem to love it. Hmph!
3. We then headed to Tomorrowland for the Space Mountain ride. Although Mimi was tall enough for the ride, the attendant warned us that it was a fairly scary roller coaster and so we decided against sending her. V and Nene proceeded to it, and V said that it was scary so I’m glad we took that call. Unfortunately, I just missed the Lilo and Stich encounter, so ended up buying a slush and sitting around with Mimi, watching a moving and talking trash can.
At about 1.30 pm, we decided to call it a day. The kids were visibly flagging and we had done most of our must-dos. The wait time for the Astro Blasters said 30 minutes and we felt that was too much. My big regret was not having done the Jungle River Cruise but I guess we’ll just have to come back.
On the way out, I noticed that there was no queue for the Art of Animation studio so we went it. It’s basically a drawing class where they show you how to draw a Disney character, this one Olaf. I was pleasantly surprised at how Nene focused on his considering that his kindergarten teacher said he’s not that into art.
On the way out, we got a Spiderman T-shirt for Nene and a Princess swimsuit for Mimi as a souvenir. A little overpriced but I know that Nene at least is going to wear that T-shirt to death. Alas, no mouse ears for poor (literally) ol’ me.
So that was our Disney experience. Had I had my way and the weather cooperated, I would have wanted to do the Jungle River Cruise and Astro Blasters and probably another spin on the Orbitron or the Carousel. So two short of my ideal list, which is not bad all things considered. I’m glad we got so much done on Day 1. My plan had always been to wing it on Day 2 anyway.
We collected our bags from the hotel and took a cab back. The kids passed out in the taxi and Mimi is only now getting back to her normal self. She was quite emotional over the past two days, which I realised was because she was upset about being back to real life.
At one point, V trying to be clever, said how this whole thing is a money making racket. Yes, it is, I don’t deny it’s consumerist but I think buying an experience is better than buying things. I went to Disney when I was 9 and to this day I remember the details clearly. It was one of the best experiences of my life. I know that when we first took my kids, they were soooo excited and talked about it and asked to go back for ages.
Yes, Disney is probably a perfect example of Baudrillard’s simulcrum, but so what? It is kitsch and it’s also magic. It’s like entering a wonderland where almost everything is pure fantasy (except the part where you have to pay in real money).
Initially, V had suggested we go to a resort with a theme park in China instead, which I overruled with the Disney idea. In the end, the China plan was not working out that much cheaper and with the hassle of the visas etc. I just could not be bothered. But also I realised that Disney was easier to get too and would be more memorable for the kids. And it was.
In the bargain, I realised I should just shut up and admit it. I’m a total Mouseketeer.