12 Things to Expect in Hong Kong Disneyland

After more than two decades, I finally had the opportunity to re-visit my childhood memories and see them in real life. Haha! Yes, I know they’re all actors, but, seeing familiar characters and scenes from the cartoons we used to watch as kids made my eyes brighten up. If you’re a fan of Disney, I suggest that you go to any Disneyland park at least once in your life. But for those who aren’t fans yet, maybe this post can help you appreciate it more and consider visiting too! I’ll be sharing twelve things that you can expect when you visit Hong Kong Disneyland. Enjoy!

 

1. GOOD AND UNLIMITED WI-FI

You would be delighted to know that the park has free Wi-Fi in almost all of the areas. I noticed that the signal was a bit low inside enclosed areas (e.g. Indoor rollercoaster rides, theatres, etc.), but in general, I was very pleased with the availability and connection. This was also helpful for us because the pocket Wi-Fi that we rented at the airport wasn’t excellent at all. So, for tourists like us who don’t have local numbers in Hong Kong, getting lost in the park won’t be such a hassle because you can connect to their Wi-Fi and easily communicate with your family or friends online.

 

2. LIMITED FOOD & DRINKS

Planning what to eat for a day tour in Disneyland is quite confusing. You don’t want to overindulge during breakfast because you know you’ll be going on rides at the park. But, you also don’t want to starve. Unfortunately, you can’t bring food from outside. So, if you get hungry in the middle of the day, you have no choice but to buy from their stalls and restaurants along Main Street. I promised myself that I wouldn’t spend a lot on food inside the park because I knew that it would be very expensive. So, throughout the whole day, I only got myself a Mickey Mouse waffle and a sausage roll from Maxim’s cakes.

There were times when I craved for fruit shakes because of the hot weather. However, they only had a limited variety of products. Bottled water, soft drinks in cans, bottled fruit juices, diced fruits in a cup, salty popcorn, caramel popcorn, Disney-themed ice cream popsicles, and squid were sold at the kiosks in every section of the park. They were, again, more expensive than usual. More than what I’m willing to pay for. Haha. So, I just settled with buying their cold bottle of water since it was the best option.

I’m not sure if there are other drinking fountains at the park, but I did notice one near the theater where The Lion King show was, just beside the restrooms. A bottle of cold water inside the park will cost you around HKD 30 (PHP 200). If you’re okay with drinking lukewarm water, you can refill your bottles at this fountain.

 

3. PARADES

“Flights of Fantasy Parade” (3:00 pm) and “Disney Paint the Night Nighttime Spectacular” (7:30 pm) are must-see attractions in Disneyland! The characters parade through Main Street while they dance to the upbeat background music playing. Some characters even invite some of the kids to join them in dancing for a few seconds. I can’t really tell which one’s better, but I enjoyed watching both!

 

4. SHOWS & ATTRACTIONS

My favorite attraction was The Lion King show. It felt like I was watching a broadway musical. I loved it! The choreography, harmonies, acrobats and dancers gliding through the area! Another attraction that I enjoyed was the Mystic Manor. You’ll be seated inside an electric carriage that takes you through eight galleries with animated antiques. This attraction also incorporates cool gushes of wind, mist, cinematic sounds and lights! It was amazing and surprisingly refreshing on a hot day. One of the things that I loved about these two was that we were allowed to capture the moments on video (without flash, of course). Make sure to visit these when you go! For more details on the other attractions, you can check their website.

 

5. RIDES

There are a few rollercoaster rides. But, there are a lot more relaxing kiddie rides throughout the park. We didn’t line up for these anymore because of the long queues. But, we did manage to ride the ff.: Hyperspace Mountain’s indoor rollercoaster, Iron Man Experience, Big Grizzly Mountain outdoor rollercoaster, and Slinky Dog Spin.

 

 

6. PHOTOGENIC PLACES

You’ll see most of them along Main Street, where we usually stayed to rest or wait for the next parade. It’s an added feature inside the park that makes you feel like you’re part of a community; a small town that is very welcoming.

 

7. PHOTO TAKING WITH DISNEY CHARACTERS

Near Main Street, some of the characters such as Mickey & Minnie, Chip & Dale, Donald & Daisy, and Goofy have their own stations where guests can line up to have their pictures taken with them. We chose to line up and wait for Mickey and Minnie under the scorching heat of the sun. After almost two hours, we finally had our photos taken. Can you believe it?? Hahaha. If you can’t afford to wait that long, I suggest that you take photos from afar instead and hope that the characters will be seen in the background.

 

8. DISNEY-THEMED MTR (TRAIN)

Tip: If you want to get a decent photo of yourself inside the train with no one in the background, I suggest that you ride the train from Sunny Bay to Disneyland Resort, wait for everyone to go down, let the doors close again, and take photos as you head back to Sunny Bay (where you came from). In short, you can do a roundtrip because that was what we did (unintentionally). Tadaaa! HAHAHA.

The train ride itself is a fun experience to start your adventure in Disneyland. You’ll love it!

 

 

9. CLEAN AIR-CONDITIONED RESTROOMS

One of the things that I liked about the park is how they maintained their restrooms. We didn’t need to worry about using clean toilets because they were neat! They also had the necessary toiletries inside. Plus, the restrooms were air-conditioned! Very nice!

 

10. TRAIN RIDE INSIDE THE PARK

If in the middle of the day your feet get very tired but you still want to tour the attractions, the park offers a train ride around Disneyland! Yes, there is an outdoor railroad inside the park! We didn’t get to try it though, but it was a neat and hassle-free way to go from one area to another.

 

11. SOUVENIR SHOPS

There are numerous kiosks all over the park and some shops along Main Street that sell souvenirs and other Disney merchandise. I wanted to buy a plain Mickey Mouse headband, but the only one that they were offering had a blue ribbon on it (HKD 180 / PHP 1,200). I decided to save the money for food instead. Hahaha! But, if you have extra cash, you might find some interesting Disney items there!

 

12. FIREWORKS DISPLAY AT NIGHT

For the finale… “Disney in the Stars” fireworks show! We intentionally waited for hours before we watched the last attraction for the day. Thankfully, the weather was perfect, so they continued with the fireworks! (Note: Avoid going to Disney during the rainy season. They will cancel the fireworks part.)

It was a lovely 9-minute show of fireworks bursting to the medley of famous Disney tunes such as “Be Our Guest”, “Tale as Old as Time”, and many more. It was an amazing and heartwarming experience especially for a Disney fan! Do not, I repeat, DO NOT leave the park until you’ve finished this last part. You’ll probably feel like a zombie by 9 pm, but you’ve got to hang in there, wait, and witness it in person. Since it was nearing December, they also gave an extra effect along Main Street after the fireworks show. They provided fake snow to fall from the rooftops! Pretty cool!

Hopefully, when you visit Hong Kong Disneyland, you’ll be able to re-live your childhood memories too or for those who will be encountering them for the first time, appreciate the excellence and passion that they’ve put into the whole experience! Until next time, Disneyland!

8 Things to Do in Central Hong Kong

1. Shop and have a photo walk around the city

One thing that you surely won’t miss when you visit Central is the view of high-rise buildings and malls filled with luxury brands and local products. If you would like to shop in Hong Kong, please remember to show your passport so you could pay for the items, tax-free! As you go through the huge sidewalks, you might find Central’s buildings and streets to be interesting subjects for photography too!

 

2. Visit the Victoria Peak

One of the famous tourist spots in Hong Kong is the Victoria Peak. This is the highest peak in the city where tourists and locals go to get a good view of the cityline. We got discounted tickets from the Klook app days before our trip to avoid any inconveniences. We also went there on a weekday to make sure that we wouldn’t be waiting in line for a long time. However, upon reaching the venue, we still had to wait for 20-30 minutes before we got on the tram.

Nonetheless, it was an interesting tour! The tram ride felt like a rollercoaster ride which only went up. Going back down was even more amusing because we went backwards fast! Haha. If you’re willing to spend extra money, you can avail the access to the Sky Terrace which gives you a better view of the whole skyline. But, if you don’t have more budget, you can take photos from the mall right beside it which gives you a gist of what it looks like.

Roundtrip: Peak Tram Only – around Php 300
Roundtrip: Peak Tram + Sky Pass – around Php 600

More details HERE

 
3. Go on a food trip

You can read more about it HERE.

 

4. Enjoy street arts at the Soho area / Graham Street

Of course, we wouldn’t miss the opportunity to visit one of the most famous Instagramable spots in Hong Kong — Graham St. It’s nice to appreciate free art in the city. As you walk along the artsy streets, you’ll even find small coffee shops and restaurants that you might like to visit too.

 

5. Shop and take photos at Pottinger Street

Don’t be intimidated by the steep slope at Pottinger Street. By exerting just a bit more effort, you’ll find it worthwhile to check out the local items sold at the stores along the way or to simply take photos at the uniquely constructed pavement — something that you don’t see everyday.

 

6. Ride the mid-level escalators

The longest mid-level escalator in the world is located at Central, Hong Kong. This is also used by the locals as their mode of transportation from one street to another, especially since the streets in the area are very steep. Feeling a bit more adventurous? Hike up the streets! But, it’s quite relaxing to street-hop by riding this one too!

 

7. Buy meat, fruits, or flowers at Graham street

While we were walking along Graham street, we happened to pass by fruit and flower stalls at the side of the road. There wasn’t much fruit markets in the area where we stayed at (Mong Kok), so it was refreshing for me to finally see fruits after all of the dim sum and noodles we ate.

 

8. Go on a tram ride around and across the cities

This is an experience that we don’t have in the Philippines. The ride was a bit bumpy but, it was fun to sightsee from the second level of the tram. Make sure to try it when you’re there! From Central, we rode the tram to Causeway Bay! It took us 15 minutes to get there. Not bad.


There are so much more to experience in Central, but we only had one day! Let me know which ones you’ve tried!

You Were Bought with a Price

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve always imagined myself getting married, having kids, and sharing my interests such as gardening, cooking, baking, and the Bible with them. However, after graduating from college, this desire seemed to fade away. I didn’t think or pray about it for years. For some reason, I was enjoying being single and exploring my different hobbies even after celebrating my 25th birthday two years ago. But recently, I noticed that my relatives and friends started getting engaged and married. Unexpectedly, the dreaded day finally came — The day when I started to entertain and believe in lies.

If you know me, you’ll agree when I say that I am very much aware of the security that we have in Christ. I’ve listened to countless messages and read a good number of books on being single and on Godly dating. I’ve spent time with God’s word too, where I learned about how Jesus is more than enough for us. I’ve also received counsel from some of my mentors and accountability partners. But, I wasn’t careful with my heart and it wasn’t fully surrendered to the Lord, contrary to what I thought. Because of this, I ended up nurturing the lies of the enemy in my head.

Throughout the past months and years, I’ve heard people casually tell me the ff. statements:

“Your standards are too high. You’ll never find a guy like that.”

“What?? You still don’t have a boyfriend? Since birth??”

“How about your siblings? They still don’t have partners? Why???”

“When are you going to have a boyfriend? How old are you now? Ohh, okay. You still have time.”

“I never want to be single. Ugh!”

“I hope you’ll have a boyfriend already. It feels so great to be in love and to have someone love you and cherish you.”

“Your parents are getting old. Hurry up and get married so you guys can give them grandkids already.”

…and the list goes on.

Usually, I would respond with a polite laugh and comment. But, what they didn’t know was how I’d come home feeling defeated, unwanted, and unloved after hearing their comments every single time. But, by God’s grace, He has developed a natural desire for writing in me, so, I immediately open up my heart to Him each time I struggle with this and remind myself of His truths. He has also surrounded me with a few accountability partners who help rebuke and encourage me as I struggle.

For someone who has accepted Jesus as her personal Lord and Savior, I knew that my relationship with Him matters most in life. But, because I absorbed the comments from people and valued my status in society more than my worth in Christ, I honestly struggled believing that He was and is more than enough for me. There would be moments when I would write these lines on my journal: “Lord, why does society always have to put ‘being in a relationship’ on a pedestal — like it’s the most important thing ever; as if you lack something if you remain to be single. Lord, You are more important. Right? Right.”

As the months passed by, more and more of my friends became blessed with the privilege of getting engaged, being married, and serving the Lord as husband and wife / as parents. And I’d find myself sitting at a coffee shop week after week, drinking my favorite frappuccino, thinking: “Wow. I never thought I’d say this, but, I really feel like I’m missing out on something, Lord. I know You are good and loving and You have the best plans for me. But, why is it so hard for me to trust in You? To find contentment and joy in You? Why are my stubborn eyes always on the lookout for what others have that I don’t? Please help my heart trust in You and in Your goodness and love for me. Please?”

The other day, I was having a conversation with one of my accountability partners where we talked about this lingering struggle in my life. We called it, “The Ring”, mainly because of the engagement and wedding rings I’ve been seeing everywhere. This week, I had the time to quiet my heart and process things with God again… for the nth time. I humbled myself and specifically told Him about my worries and anxieties. I told Him about how it has been a struggle for me and how I’ve felt like a wounded soldier each time I fell, got back up, and drew near to Him again. But, I also told Him that I wanted to have a heart transplant — figuratively speaking. As I was spending time with the Lord, He encouraged me to look back on His faithfulness and remember how He worked in my heart and life. Praise God for old journals and blog posts! As I read through them, I remembered how God helped me to grow and know Him more through the years.

Then, a random idea crossed my mind: “Nic, what if you buy a ring for yourself, since ‘The Ring’ has been a struggle for you lately? Buy one that will constantly remind you of His love for you.”

It was funny, but I seriously prayed about it. I passed by Silverworks last night and saw a crown ring (Php 1,190) that looked nice! I told myself, “Cool! A crown to remind me that He is King and I am His daughter, a princess.” However, the staff told me that they didn’t have my size. The ring was too big for me. After feeling bummed about it, I almost left the store. But, somehow, I felt that a ring inside that store was meant for me. So, I looked around one last time. Ten minutes later, I found another ring with a red gem on it (Php 390). Even though I didn’t really like other colors aside from gold or silver, I still gave it a try. When I wore the ring, it was as if the world had stopped for a few seconds as this song played in my mind:

“You loved me when I was so unlovely

You sought me when I was lost

You showed me how much you really love me

When you bought me at the highest cost

There’s no greater love than this

That a man would give His life for a friend.”

“But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.” -Isaiah 53:5

I almost shed a tear inside the store. All of a sudden, the color red became beautiful to me. And in an instant, I whispered to myself: “I was bought with a price when Jesus shed His blood for me.” Right then and there, I knew it was the perfect ring for me. In the midst of insecurities, discouragements, and doubts, I can look at it and find comfort as I remember my worth in Jesus, not in the standards or opinions of society. Truths from His Word slowly filled my mind and heart.

I am dearly loved by Him. (1 John 4:19)

I have been forgiven and free because of what He did for me (Eph. 1:7, 2:8-9).

No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly. (Psalm 84:11).

Our life here on earth is short. I am like a mist; here today and gone tomorrow. This world is not our home. (James 4:14).

The peace that we have in Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)

He has made everything beautiful in His time. (Ecclesiates 3:11)

He cares for me. (1 Peter 5:7)

… and the list goes on. :)

 

So, today, I unpack my heart and open it up to the public not because of my longing for sympathy, but, because of my desire to give God the glory… even in my weakness. The Lord has also comforted my anxious heart with this verse: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) These troubles definitely include struggling with believing in the lies of the enemy. Whenever I am discouraged or tempted to believe that God is not good or that He made a mistake or that He doesn’t have the best plans for me, I am humbled and encouraged by the fact that I am already victorious in Jesus when He died on the cross to save us; when He rose from the grave and overcame death. He has defeated the greatest problem in the world, sin. And by God’s grace, I know that I can choose to live victoriously each day for His glory as I continue to put my trust in Him, whether or not I get married. Whether or not I get promoted, have a new car, earn millions, etc. because my security is not anchored on society, but on the One who knows the deepest struggles of my heart and yet loves and pursues me just the same. Jesus, what a beautiful name!

Today, I got my Starbucks planner for 2018 and as I flipped through the pages, I saw the section on February 14. This went on in my head:

“Great. I don’t have a Valenti— Wait a minute!”

*looks at my ring*

“Sorry, lies. But, I’ve been bought with a price!”

It most probably will be a daily battle for me. But, because I know that the Lord is always with me, there is no need to fear. There is no need to worry. To anyone who’s also struggling out there, know that you are not alone. You may feel lonely at times, but you will never be alone. He is Emmanuel.

To the love of my life, my Prince of Peace, wonderful Counselor, faithful Father and Friend, and my ultimate Encourager… from the bottom of my grateful and wounded heart, I thank You!