Christmas Day 2017 was our second Christmas away from home since starting the trip. Our first Christmas had been in Melbourne with two of my friends from school and involved Christmas dinner, movies and partying on the beach at St Kilda. It had been great! This year was just me and Niall and we were in Hong Kong. We decided to go to Disneyland because, well, why not? This was probably the best decision we could have made as we had such a good day!
We had to get a train from one of the public stations which was on the Disneyline and had Mickey Mouse shaped windows and statues of Disney characters inside. The train was packed with people exploiting the day off to go to Disneyland. Christmas isn’t a huge thing in Hong Kong but they still get a day off for it and decorate everything Christmassy which is all you need really. We had pre-booked our tickets so it didn’t take us long to get into the park to start our day.
Disneyland looked great. They had decked the entire place with Christmas trees, Christmas lights (which looked great at night) and all of the characters were dressed in Christmas outfits. The entrance to Disneyland brought you into Main Street U.S.A where the shops and the parade goes by and ends with the classic Sleeping Beauty castle – a smaller castle compared the Florida, USA park which is Cinderella’s castle.
There were a number of different sections of the park with rides in each of them. It really made me want to watch all the Disney movies! Probably our favourite ride was in Toy Story Land. It was called the RC Racer and was a bit like the swinging boat rides you get at fairs but faster. It was a semi circle track that propelled the car up and then shot it back down. The G-force was something else and really took us by surprise, we went on this ride twice and probably would have gone on it more if the queues weren’t so long.
As well as Toy Story Land, the. other areas in Disneyland were:
• Main Street U.S.A;
• Mystic Point;
• Grizzly Gulch; and
In Fantasyland we went on the Mad Hatter Tea Cups which are always good fun no matter what age you are!
We went to Micky Mouse’s theatre where we got taken through a number of the classic Disney songs in 3D which I very much enjoyed as I’m a big Disney fan! We even went on a boat ride in Fantasyland which took you through the different continents to kill some time before the light show began but I personally thought it was still very well done. It was in an incredibly lit up building too which looked great after it got dark.
We also really enjoyed the Mountain Runaway Mine Cars ride but unfortunately only had time to go on it once as the queue was too long. It went a lot faster than I expected and had times when it also went backwards – all a lot of fun!
Tomorrowland had the most rides we wanted to go on as a lot of the rides in Disneyland cater more for families and small children and so don’t give us enough excitement, but Tomorrowland had a few good rides for us. Due to Disney now owning the Star Wars franchise a lot of the rides had been revamped to incorporate Star Wars and they referred to it as a ‘Star Wars Takeover’. Hyperspace Mountain (like the standard space mountains found at all Disneyland theme parks) was very good and we were able to go on the ride three times. You had to help the Resistance fly around space shooting down First Order battleships – it was high speed and very fun.
There was also the Iron Man Experience which is a 4D ride that had you getting a tour on one of his new ships and then the enemy attacked and you and Iron Man had to try to stop them and get back to safety. The strange thing about this ride which I hadn’t anticipated and which wasn’t really an issue with the other rides was that half of it was in Chinese. It made it hard to know fully what was going on but the ride was still good and we were able to get the gist of it.
We had managed to find a deal that gave you a meal and popcorn in the park as part of a pre-bought package. We used a site called Klook which discounted the price of this deal more than was on the Disneyland official website. This sorted us for our food for the day as we knew it would be more expensive and the popcorn was so good – freshly made caramel! Our Christmas dinner consisted of burgers, chips and drink. Not a conventional Christmas Dinner but still good and Niall’s favourite meal so he was happy!
As it was Christmas Day, there was a tree lighting ceremony where the giant Christmas tree was turned on once it got dark. This was on Main Street U.S.A and involved the singers from the shows that are performed throughout the day singing Christmas songs whilst the lights throughout Main Street were turned on in sync with the tree. It was so pretty and with the Christmas music being played and the fake snow they blew out over the street, it was the closest we would get to our own romantic winter wonderland. It was one of those perfect moments and one of my highlights from the day.
We got our spot for the night time parade which happens in Disneyland every evening with around an hour to go before the park closes. This was really good and had a lot of the different Disney characters such as Buzz and Woody from Toy Story, the Monsters Inc characters which had digital doorways showing more characters, Ariel, Tinkerbell and Belle from Beauty and the Beast. Each float that went down the parade was illuminated by a lot of neon lights and because we were near the start of the parade we were able to see the different character with the right music which made it even better. I didn’t know how I’d find the parade or whether I’d think that was more for little kids but I thought it was exceptional and we really enjoyed watching it.
We were able to get in one last ride before the park closed them all and then went to get our spot for the fireworks. It was understandably packed as the whole site floods Main Street to see the fireworks before the park closes. We managed to get a good spot and they didn’t disappoint! The show had scenes from the Disney movies projected on the castle whilst fireworks and the Disney songs played. It ended with loads of fireworks and was the perfect ending to a really great day.
As a big fan of Christmas and being very close to my family, I had been worried about being homesick this year as it was doing something so very un-Christmas. I didn’t need to worry though as Disneyland had decked the whole place out to have Christmassy vibes and the nice weather with fun rides was a really great day. It wasn’t your traditional Christmas but I can have tonnes of those for years once I get back and I wouldn’t trade spending this Christmas with Niall in Disneyland Hong Kong for anything.
Sending Love x