Wednesday, April 2, 2008

It's a (Huge) Small World

Earlier this week I had the opportunity to visit our Theme Park in Hong Kong (Hong Kong Disneyland, for those of you who hadn't guessed). The occasion was to observe/participate in the orientation program for new employees (Cast Members, for those of you who are picky when it comes to proper nomenclature).

As I was traveling on the train to the Park, a sense of deja vu hit me and I remembered that years ago I had a dream where I had to go to Hong Kong Disneyland for one day to observe the park and orientation program and report back (for work, of course). In the dream, I flew over the Park and took a car to the entrance. This was the first time that I had remembered that dream and it was freaky (maybe a premonition?!).

Anyway after the orientation program, we had a chance to play in the Park. My first impression:  Wow!  It is soooooo clean!  My second impression:  Wow!  It is so small, yet spacious!  My third impression:  No wait for Space Mountain! Thank God it is a yucky Monday and the Park is empty!

My orientation group at the Park entrance (yes, we were freezing!)

Before going our separate ways, the orientation group watched the 3:30 parade together. Now, I haven't seen a Disney parade in a while, so I'm not sure how different this one was compared to the other Parks, but there were a few things that caught my eye...

Is this a weird-looking Mickey, or what?

Far out "Little Mermaid" themed parade costume #1

Far out "Little Mermaid" themed parade costume #2

After the parade, we walked towards the castle. I have to say that the backdrop of the mountains really made it stand out more than the castles at WDW and Disneyland.

Sleeping Beauty Castle

There are also many beautiful gardens lining the Park. We were informed that this is because the Asian people love to take pictures in gardens -- especially with Disney characters. So they built these gardens with gazebos to allow for many character photo opportunities.

One of the gardens near the castle

Finally, we walked by the "It's a Small World" attraction, which is scheduled to open on May 28 (three days before I go home to California!). All I could think was:  Wow! This attraction is going to be HUGE! How long is the actual ride going to be? Can people deal with hearing that song for more than 10 minutes? 

It's a Small World -- built on a whole lotta land (picture does not do the size justice)

While the rest of the orientation group wanted to either shop or watch the shows, Lailany and I rushed to Space Mountain. It was great! Then we proceeded to take advantage of the fact that there weren't many people in the Park and ride as many attractions as we could. While this Park does not have as many attractions as our other Parks and while it is not as big, I really enjoyed it. It definitely seemed more peaceful and intimate.

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