To break up a long transit to London, a stop over was in order. For this leg Hong Kong, and specifically Hong Kong Disneyland, was on the itinerary.
Disney might not be what first comes to mind when you think of Hong Kong but when you’ve got a little one it’s an experience you can’t pass up.
So After recovering from an exhausting flight (more on that later!) we travelled just 20 minutes on the MTR (train) from the craziness of Kowloon and climbed aboard Mickey Mouse Express to be transported to a whole new world (and if you just started singing the song from Aladdin when you read that you are a Disney kid at heart like me).
I grew up singing songs from the Little Mermaid, dancing to the beat of Hakuna Matata and trying do my hair like Princess Jasmine, so an opportunity to visit Hong Kong Disney was right up my alley. It was also something I really wanted one year old Lucinda to experience and to see how she would react to the trademarked ‘Happiest place on Earth’.
Some might think a one year old is too young for an experience like Disneyland but it couldn’t be further from the truth. Lucinda was enthralled by the wonder and excitement of Disney. There was lots of pointing, lots of oohs and ahhs and that wide-eyed innocent curiosity where children are almost entranced by what they see, their eyes popping out of their heads and mouth agasp.
A friend asked me my favourite part and it was honestly seeing Lucinda’s face, she was mesmerized, captivated, just taking everything in.
Some of it was too much; the Winnie the Pooh ride was not a favourite and while she was so excited to see the ‘real’ Mickey and Minnie, a few meters was a safe viewing distance and she was not keen for a cuddle.
But watching the parade was a big hit, as were basic rides like the carousel. Grandma did try to temp me into taking Luce up in a flying Dumbo but I decided to avoid a potential midair disaster and just observe.
I think that was the key for me, not trying to do too much, just let Lucy set the pace and see how she reacted. She loves people and was smiling and waving at everyone and it seemed as though she was a big hit around the park. People just kept commenting about her big brown eyes, chubby thighs and Mickey Mouse dress (and wanting photos)!
We had a great win with Lucy napping in the stroller which is a rare occassion for her. But she seems really comfortable in the travel pram we borrowed. It’s a Mountain Buggy Nano and I am currently in love with it (thank you Mel and Immy). Small enough to take on board a flight which means transit and customs are much easier and it also reclines which means sleep! Hooray!
The MTR is a breeze to navigate but stay away at peak times if you have really little ones or a stroller. There are so many people in Hong along it gets so crowded and just a bit hectic for my liking. But we went about lunchtime and then back at 4:30 and it was fine, starting to get busy at the end though and just a bit hard to navigate with the stroller.
If you bring your own food to Disneyland or want to sit for a break somewhere cool, because it’s hot! There’s a food hall in Tomorrowland just off to the right of the Main Street, the interior is air conditioned and they had no worries with us sitting there with our coffees from another store which only had outdoor seating.
We arrived at the park around lunch time and the park really wasn’t busy at all which was brilliant for little ones and meant there was hardly any line ups. As the day wore on it got progressively busier I think people were trying to stay out of the heat of the day and also stay late for the nightly show. I think going early worked really well for us, yes it was hot but the inside rides are air conditioned as are the shops and restaurants if you need a reprieve, plus we didn’t have to wait more than 5 minutes for any ride or attraction!