Friday, June 25, 2010

A Peek at "It's A Small World" in Hong Kong Disneyland



You'll know you're in Hong Kong Disneyland not just because of this landmark...


but because of the music resonating throughout the theme park.

"When you wish upon a star, makes no difference who you are.
Everything your heart desires will come to you..."


When I heard that, my heart quickened in that sort of familiar way when I first visited Tokyo Disneyland eleven years ago. Read all about it right here.



The magical land of Disney came true because one man dared to dream a fantastical place where both kids and parents can have fun. Read the history of Disneyland right here.


The rains may have been persistent alright.




But I didn't allow the stubborn weather to come between me and the Disneyland magic. Unlike Donald Duck over here who chose to sulk the entire afternoon.



When my sister-in-law Ren finally got our tickets, our excitement was at an all-time high.


Since Disneyland exempts kids below three years old from paying entrance fees, Tutapel got in for free!



Every sight was a complete delight.


One delightful sight is "It's A Small World," a whimsical boat ride into magnificent sets and ornately-dressed dolls representing the different nations of the world. And did I mention that the ride came with a soundtrack? The song "It's a Small World" is recorded in different languages and heard over and over throughout the ride. It's a Small World Official Website.


What a blessing to see the attraction for the second time with my hubby and long-awaited son in tow!



When we were about to enter the attraction, I only had one mission in mind. And that was to get the most incredible photos inside. When I first saw this attraction in Tokyo Disneyland, I didn't get to catch anything in camera, maybe because of sheer excitement.


Now, of course, I'd like to think that I'm much wiser and better prepared. And so I asked my hubby to take pictures of everything inside. That was my mission!


As soon as the boat ride started, we were taken to a wide array of cultures and traditions. First destination was the Middle East.


Home to the beloved street urchin Aladdin and the beautiful Princess Jasmine in the 1992 Disney animation, "Aladdin."


Several displays later, we entered the land of the Americas...


South America is known for cultures and traditions so rich and diverse...


...that history books sometimes fail to capture its very essence.


In this attraction however, its distinct traditions have meshed well with those of North America...


whose famous landmarks are featured to represent their important part in world history.


From the Americas, we were taken to the glorious cultures of Europe...


widely-known for its incomparable songs...


vibrant national costumes...


fiery dances...


and classic works of literature...


...which have produced some of the world's best loved epics, fables and fairy tales such as Cinderella, featured right here with her beloved Prince Charming.


From Europe, we were ushered into the complex but interesting scenes found in the African continent.


The signage didn't quite prepare us for the world ahead.


Africa was shown as a land brimming with incredible sights and sounds.


It was also depicted as a place where man and nature depend much on each other for survival.


In Africa, trinkets like masks are deemed important in any ceremony...


or celebration.


One thing for sure though. Those who live in Africa do know how to have a good time!


Just like them, Tutapel and I were having the time of our lives from this one-of-a-kind boat ride.


When I looked up, I was fascinated to see this flying contraption. Of course it was just a very creative ceiling decor to make the ride even more interesting.


Once again, the ride's energy level turned up a notch.


As an Asian, my heart soared just by looking at the display.


From the cultures of China...


to India's inimitable traditions...

to Brunei's colorful history...


to the Philippines' vivid past and sparkling future as a people, somehow I understood why Asia is on the rise.



I thought Asia was the last stopover, not until I saw this welcome post.


I thought that the temperature slid down to negative zero just by looking at the immaculately clad dolls and set displays.



But I felt really really good inside, thanks to the attraction's diverse pageantry of cultures, traditions and languages from around the world.


Alas, it was time to leave.


My eyes surveyed all the good-bye signs.


But I was only looking for one thing. When I finally saw it, I felt that it was the perfect ending to an already perfect afternoon! Mission accomplished!




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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Discover The Golden Mickeys In Hong Kong Disneyland

Armed only with a complimentary map, we proceeded to Fantasyland...


...home to the The Golden Mickeys--clearly one of the most highly recommended shows in HK Disneyland!


Staged at the Storybook Theater in Fantasyland, the Golden Mickeys has all the elements you're looking for in a Disney live show: elaborate set designs, unique storyline and bigger than life characters.


From what I've been told, The Golden Mickeys is presented in the tradition of an awards show. Think the Oscars, the Emmys or Grammy's! Characters from Disney films such as Toy Story 2, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Tarzan, Mulan, Lilo and Stitch, The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast are nominated in different categories: Heroism; Comedy; Villains; Friendship; Romance.


Viewers scrambled for their stuff to make sure that they remained uninterrupted for the next 25 minutes.


Anticipation was high amongst us.


When the show finally started, everyone was clapping!


The musical revue-style stage show continued without a hitch.


As seen on the right portion of this photo, the host Bebe, wearing a gorgeous yellow gown, continued her narration in Cantonese with running English subtitles on a large screen set on stage. Of course, the show won't be complete without the star of the show: Mickey Mouse!


Well-loved characters from Toy Story 2 and The Hunchback of Notre Dame joined Mickey and the host Bebe on centerstage.


Scenes from Mulan re-ignited the spirit of heroism as demonstrated in the Disney animation.


In reality, Disney got the idea from an epic poem told during the Tang Dynasty around 600 AD about a brave daughter named Hua Mu Lan (Magnolia flower). Read China vs. Disney: The Battle for Mulan By Ling Woo Liu.


The groove changed when Lilo and Stitch arrived in their trademark surfboard.


Stitch was hysterical! And Mickey seemed to enjoy every minute of his performance.


The set changed and minutes later, Mickey made another entrance this time with Tarzan, the Lord of the Jungle.


More magical moments followed with scenes from The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast. The Disney characters were obviously having fun onstage.


Unfortunately, the show was already on its last leg.


I was glad I clicked the camera at just the right time!


The show ended the way it should be. Perfection!


As expected, everyone did have a great time! For lack of a better term, The Golden Mickeys rocks!




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