When I was 6 or 7 my family embarked on the 22-hour drive from British Columbia to California to go to Disneyland! We piled into the family motorhome, a snug yet well-appointed-for-the-times 30 foot Winnebago style Chevrolet, and took off down the west coast of North America. I can only now imagine it from my dad's perspective as an adult; an epic, cross-continent, family road trip. Pretty grown up for my then 30-something dad, Mr. William John Allan III, a guy who still burned rubber in the family station wagon and was known for his prowess at inducing joyful yet fearful shrieks in two disciplines: à la 4 x 4 and his signature ski boat tomfoolery. Nights spent looking over the two-weeks-worth of homework I was given for fleeing the country and listening to my dad read Narnia books to the family in animated tones. Ya, my childhood was 'deece' as the kids say. Kids say that!
The actual events of my adolescent trip to Anaheim, California and the Happiest Place on Earth, Disneyland, are a bit of a blur. I remember meeting Goofy, eating cotton candy, seeing the parade, It's a Small World and waiting in line for Space Mountain and then refusing to partake and ruining it for one of my parents as they had to escort me out and mollycoddle me. My intuition tells me that it was likely my mama, one ever-smiling, sharp, gracious and loving Jean Elizabeth Allan (nee Hayward), who did not get to travel through space inside of a mountain on that day and I guess I owe her yet another one. That'll make it 1,000,001 right Mom?
My trip to Hong Kong Disneyland in December of 2017 will not be forgotten! As soon as you switch MTR's, that's mass transit railway to those living outside of city centres, to the Disney Line, the fun starts. Mickey Mouse heads for windows, Jiminy Cricket statues and memorabilia line the walls. Children smile, parents beam and everyone on the train giggles quietly to themselves. You know that feeling! This train only goes to one place, a place where sorcerers, cartoon dogs, princesses, star warriors and demi-gods clammer to get and hold your attention across 28 hectares of happy! There's so much to see!! What do you do first? What should you do? What did we do?
First stop for us was the Hong Kong Disneyland Railway. A leisurely jaunt ringing the park on a faux-vintage steam train to get the lay of the land and plan our attack. I'm a traveller. I get to a new town and I get up high in a building or on a mountain and look around. If I can find lunch at a revolving restaurant all the better. Lunch is usually less busy, more economically priced and, well, it's daytime so you can see! The railway is the equivalent of that, you see where you need to go, where can wait and how popular each is.
Now I can't guarantee you that you are going to have the same experience as me for one simple fact: I am a travel blogger. I am catered to and fussed over and it's a privilege that comes with offering, I hope, a unique and playful insight into the attraction for my readers. As such I did not wait in any lines while I was there. I'm sorry if that enrages you, but those are facts and if you want to stop reading now I don't blame you. Again, I'm deeply sorry :)
My favourite rides of the day included, but were not limited to: the Grizzly Gulch Mountain Runaway Mine Cars (more on that later), the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (a childhood favourite and one I'll always have a soft spot for since he's named for my mom's hometown of Winnipeg), It's a Small World, Hyperspace Mountain (I stood tall and didn't chicken out this time), the Ironman Experience (I was part of a plucky fighter crew who, along with a tiny bit of help from Ironman, saved Hong Kong. You're welcome.), theRC Racer and the Toy Soldier Parachute Drop... Unlike a parent who will refuse to choose their favourite offspring I will tell you which I enjoyed the most... Ready? The Grizzly Gulch rollercoaster is the best rollercoaster I have ever been on in my life! What's your worst fear on a rollercoaster? Is it the drops, the spins or the turns? For me it's the anticipation as you clink, clink, clink up the inclines on your way to a stomach-dropping descent. What would happen if the brakes failed and you rolled backwards really, really fast? No spoilers, but if you're in Hong Kong, enjoy fun, then you need to head to Disneyland for this coaster alone!