So they say, Disneyland is the happiest place on Earth. How do you even start picking on that? It can’t be truer. “Here you leave today and enter the world of yesterday, tomorrow and fantasy.”
Upon stepping into Hong Kong Disneyland, you bid farewell to the hubbubs of your typical cosmopolitan city, you bid farewell to all the stress and worries, you bid farewell to all your unhappiness and reality and be enraptured in a magical world where dreams and fantasies come alive and unfold before your eyes.
There are many other theme parks all over the world, but Disneyland is undeniably the most successful.
Back in Tourism school, my lecturers would always use Disneyland as examples and case studies, and even through mere words, Disneyland came alive during lectures and tutorials. The amazement comes from every aspect, and nothing reminds you of the modern world – the decor, the music, the food, the merchandise, the rides, the characters… everything. Yipe, that is the idea Walt Disney had when he first dreamed of somewhere to escape to, so that dreams could be free.
Take a stroll along the classic Main Street USA and be greeted by the well-loved Mickey & Minnie Mouse and their friends – yes, you will be glad to know that photos with them are definitely allowed. Be enchanted by the whimsical array of shops, from baked Disney-themed goodies and an aroma cuppa, to picking up a souvenir from the mind-boggling selection of merchandise featuring all your favorite characters.
Explore the various thematic lands, and the configuration differs in every country. One to highlight is surely Fantasyland (available in all Disneylands) – a favourite among females – because it is where the inner princess in us comes alive. Disney Princesses rest in pavilions for photo-taking and chit-chatting with little girls, and fun is found in the happy Tea Cups and Carousel rides. Of unicorns, balloons, rainbows and everything pink & glittery, it is not hard to spend an afternoon with your Prince at Fantasyland.
Other lands include Adventureland – think Tarzan & Jane in their Treehouse and all the whitewater rafting fun, Toy Story Land (exclusive to Hong Kong Disneyland) with Andy’s toys coming to live and merry-making with you under the sun, and Discoveryland – a futuristic emulation of great visionaries with thrilling roller coasters in the dark and intergalactic adventures.
Don’t miss the daily Parade of Dreams too, where floats will tour the park and all the Disney characters will greet the crowd. A little fun fact about the Parade of Dreams – every float has a hidden Mickey on it, so try spotting the household Mouse!
And the highlight of a day in Disneyland is most certainly the nightly Fireworks Spectacular – the world-famous dazzling display of beautiful fireworks igniting to heart-warming Disney soundtracks at the iconic Sleeping Beauty castle. No trip to Disneyland is complete without this celebration of wishes, dreams and imagination.
Being in Disneyland lets you forget the world and rekindle the child in you, and it is a must to visit with your loved ones at least once in a lifetime. As Walt Disney has said, Disneyland is a work of love.
“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.”
Words by Melody Yap, photographs by ladyironchef