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Hong Kong: Disneyland: Bring Out the Child in You..

HONG KONG DISNEYLAND

I went to Hong Kong three times but I’ve been to Disneyland once. Well, below is my review from Tripadvisor with my additional commentary, tips and pictures.

I recommended dropping here with my family since we will be going to HK with my 3 year old nephew. I already told myself that it is all for him. But when we arrived there! I can’t stop myself adoring the place! It is just so Disney!

Tinkerbell’s Castle (I thought before that it was Snow White’s castle–I think they already changed the name)

I enjoyed more than my nephew did. I took a lot of photos, watched the 3D with mickey etc. I really loved the place although it is indeed smaller than ocean park or some other theme parks I’ve been, however, this become memorable since it is my very first time in a Disney wonderland.

There is a train passingby City Hall
The Disney landscape with my Mom and Dad…

Since it was December when we went here, they have a lot of Christmas decorations, and after the fireworks in the evening, it even SNOWED — which first I thought was real since it was really cold during that time, but after I used another batch of my brain cells, I remembered from my previous research that “it doesn’t snow in HK!” and then I touched the snow…..I got a blank face while I’m about to touch it (still expecting that it was real) but after it I realized that it is just a freaking soap foam! They almost got me there!

Can you see the candy cane??? I took this picture in Hollywood Blvd, Disneyland

One of the things you should not miss during your trip to Disneyland is the 3D show. It was funny and entertaining. The main star is Donald Duck– which made it a lot more funnier! You should try watching it, it is definitely not a waste of time. It’s sad that I wasn’t able to get a good picture of the theater.

Philharmagic (This is the entrance for the 3D show)

Another attraction we went in was the House of Tarzan. According to the employees, it is the tallest building (which can be accessed by the public) in Disneyland. It is also worth the time. You can see there the things used by Tarzan, Jane and the professor. And you can also see the Apes that took care of Tarzan. To get to Tarzan’s lair you need to ride a bamboo raft which will cross in a manmade lake. This attraction is in Adventureland section of this theme park.

Entrance to Adventureland
The stairs in Tarzan’s lair with my family (I’m the one taking the photo)
These are the other things you can see inside Tarzan’s House

Beside the House of Tarzan is a water attraction (I forgot the name), you cross a river (using a boat) and you will see different animals and some crocodiles too, and a volcano (which erupts water)… anyway, you can get wet to this kind of attraction. But it is also fun and educational for the kids. I don’t have pictures for this place since it was dark and my camera could get wet.

Maybe those people who already went to another Disneyland will be disappointed but people who haven’t, try this, at least you will be enchanted by the world of Mickey

The fireworks are good but I’ve seen better (pyrolympics here in the Philippines). Ques are okay (this is maybe because it is a weekday when we went there)

Fireworks
Fireworks once again….

HOWEVER, there are no rides as scary as in the Ocean Park, so if you want heart pumping and adrenaline rushing rides, I suggest that you go to Ocean Park but if you have time and money to spend, go to both places. Actually, for adults and kids, I recommend Ocean Park, since it is bigger and has a lot more rides than Disneyland.

You can go here through MTR and the disney train! I don’t know how much the train ride is, but if you are going to HK use an Octopus Card to save you more money and save you the hassle of buying tickets.. Riding the Disney train is really a CUTE experience. I’m the most amused not my nephew. The ride on the Disney train (subway) was really fun, you can see a lot of Mickeys! It is really different from the usual subway train, the seat are coated with foam, the windows and the safety handles are carved like Mickey’s head.

Disneyland Train (Just look at the details!)

 

Handle

You can go around the HK Disneyland for 1 day, but you can do it in 5 hours.

Suggestion: Go here not during summer, go here by winter, so that you will enjoy it better, since if summer (the weather is really hot, you’ll just end up more tired and sweaty and you might not enjoy the place as much) If winter–> it does not snow in HK so the climate is just more than 10 degrees celsius.

Food here is really expensive and they check the bags if you brought some food with you. I suggest eating first a heavy meal before coming here so that at least the hunger will not drive you crazy.. If you are really hungry, there are hotdog stalls, however, it is still quite pricey.

Banquet Hall, (here, you can eat but it is expensive for Filipino standards)
The TRUSTY Hotdog Stands (if you don’t have the budget to buy food in the Banquet Hall, you can buy one of the hotdogs here (as far as I remember the costs is more than $1 USD)

Anyway, if I will be back in HK, I will definitely put this again on my itinerary and visit this with my family or friends.

CLICK HERE TO SEE MY OTHER POSTS FOR HONG KONG

HAPPY WANDERING!!!

Hong Kong: Tips on how to save money in HK, Expenses and Budgets for your Hong Kong Escapade (Based from my observation and experience)

The 1st time I visited Hong Kong was on August 2009. I’m only with my Mother that time. However, in this trip, we used a travel agency. Since I’m still a beginner in the world of travel. My Mom usually is our travel organizer but now, I’m the one whose planning it all..The travel agency we used was T&J Travel and Tours. Our entire trip costs P17,000.00 each or ($400 USD) including airfare. We used Cebu Pacific for this particular trip. The package consists of breakfast, hotel accommodation and seat-in-coach tours. This is a 4 days 3 nights package with overnight stay in Macau. We stayed in a 4 star hotel, the Royal View Hotel in Hong Kong and Best Western Taipa Hotel (3 stars) in Macau.

The 2nd time I visited Hong Kong was December 2010. This time I’m with my whole family. (My Dad, Mom, brother, sister-in-law and my nephew) and we also booked our trip using a travel agent. We used 99 Gem Travel and Tours. They charged us P33,000.oo each, ($768 USD) since almost of our tours are private (it is expensive due the fact that December is a peak season). We also got a 4 days 3 nights package with overnight in Macau. We stayed in a 5 star hotel which is the L’Hotel Nina in HK and Casa Real Hotel in Macau.

For my third time in Hong Kong, I only spent a total of P10,000.00 or $232 USD including airfare and shopping! This is the cheapest travel I made in Hong Kong (so far!). For this trip, I traveled with my friends, so cheap accommodation is okay. Instead of staying in a hotel, we stayed in an apartment (located in Hong Kong Island) which I booked through Airbnb. We stayed there for 3 days and 2 nights then went back to Manila.

NECESSITIES IN HK: How much are those?

Food is a little bit expensive in Hong Kong compared to Manila. The food there ranges from P250.00 to P500.00 ($6 to $12). Even Mcdonalds costs P250.00 up ($6). In the Philippines, Mcdonalds only costs P50.00 to P150.00 (1$ to 3$) for each variant.

If you travel with kids, beware since the chicken served in Mcdonalds is spicy, so Filipino children (who doesn’t like spicy food) will not be able to eat there. Don’t even look for Spaghetti or even rice since you cannot find it there. You can find  a lot of burgers instead of the usual Filipino food. If you want to eat rice, you can try other places instead. You can eat in KFC since they serve rice. However, take note that when you order fried chicken, there is no rice included, instead, you should order the rice-toppings (it tastes like a mushroom soup mixed with rice).

Water is also a bit more expensive compared to prices in Manila, but the prices is tolerable (unlike Singapore, where water costs $2 USD for a 500 mL of bottled water). Moreover, in theme parks, the food and water they sell are really expensive. In Ocean park, for example, the water there costs around $1.50 USD or P75.00 for 800mL which you can buy outside (any convenience store in HK) for only P25.00 or 0.50 USD. So, if you are going to theme parks, bring some water with you.

COMMUTING IN HK: THINGS TO MAKE YOU SAVE A LOT OF MONEY:

If you are going to commute all the time in Hong Kong, I suggest that you buy the Octopus Card. To get one, you will need to pay a deposit P700.00 (as far as I remember) and load it. Don’t worry your deposit will be given back to you once you return your card. If you purchase one, you will get discounts for fares and it is very convenient. To add, there is a big difference in the fares when using a regular ticket and the octopus card (the latter has a lot more discounts than the former) And it is also convenient since you will only need to touch the card to the reader and VOILA! you are set to go! This is better than lining up and buying individual tickets in the subway station, or making sure that you pay the exact amount when you ride the bus!

One more tip… If you don’t have an octopus card and opt to pay the traditional  way then make sure that when you get into the bus, you have the exact amount of fare with you, since bus drivers will NEVER..EVER.. give change to you.

To buy an octopus card, you can get one by buying in their website prior to your trip or buying it to the counters in the airport. You can purchase it in the first counter you see when you go out the doors of the customs. You will notice that there is a money exchange counter and in front of which is where you can buy the octopus card. Take note that they only accept HKD! So exchange your money first before trying to buy one!

If you don’t have a pre-booked airport transfer vehicle, worry-no-more, since you will save a lot of money by commuting by yourself! I’m not saying to commute using the airport train (which is luxurious and very expensive) or hail a cab, but to use this two simple steps:

1. When you already passed by the immigration and baggage claim counter, you can go to the lobby of the airport, you can ask where the elevator leading to the exits. When we went there the elevator is beside a coffeeshop. The farthest elevator (when you are coming from the customs) is the one you should ride.

2. Wait for the S1 bus, this will take you to a mall which is linked to a subway station (Tung Chung station). Just walk and pass by the fountain or the park (you don’t need to go inside the mall). Then, use the subway going to your desired station (where your hotel is).

More tips is to use the subway (it will save you a lot of time and money). But if you are going to the Victoria Peak, I suggest to ride a taxi, since the bus ride is long (will take you 1 hour to get to the peak, while the tram ride (although a good experience, the line to ride such is really long). The taxi ride is expensive if you are going solo, but if you travel by 3s or 5s the price is reasonable.

Take note that taxis in HK can accommodate 5 passengers. Which means it is bigger than the one here in Manila.

HOW TO SAVE MONEY ON TICKETS

While researching for discounted tickets in Hong Kong, I found CTS Hong Kong which stands for China Travel Service. They offer discounted tickets on any attractions in Hong Kong and Macau. They offer package tickets which will make you save a lot of money. My favorite is the package ticket going to Victoria Peak.

They have tickets for Ocean Park, Disneyland (they also offer this package —> admission ticket + transfer or train ticket + food voucher) and Victoria Peak (Madamme Tussauds, Tram (one way), Sky Terrace.

You can see the prices here

You can opt to buy tickets using their website (you need to pay using your credit card or through bank deposit) and they will deliver your tickets in your designated address (whether in HK –hotels or residences— or abroad). or the easiest way is to go to their counters in the airport. Their counter is the nearest one to the elevator (which leads to the exit). Just ask the guards and they will tell you where it is. Don’t worry they speak english!

CLICK HERE TO SEE MY OTHER POSTS FOR HONG KONG, CHINA SAR
HAPPY WANDERING!