“To all who come to this happy place: Welcome. Disneyland is your land. Here age relives fond memories of the past…and here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future. Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, the dreams, and the hard facts that have created America…with the hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world.”
- Walt Disney, Dedication of Disneyland, July 17, 1955.
And soon Disney’s “inspiration” was spread all over Asia…
One of the famous parks was built in Hong Kong. And if the guide of 2007 only mentions that the construction of the amusement park has lately been finished on Lantau Island, the practice of recent years shows that the popularity of Disneyland in Hong Kong is growing incredibly fast.
There are cases when people apply to court because of the inability to buy tickets – so huge are the queues. But these are the side effects of Chinese parks, not Disneyland itself.
It is difficult to say for whom the park opens its doors every day. Children and adults visit it in equal numbers. The latter even seem to prevail. But the park is still considered to be for children.
Fairytale travelling starts in the subway. Special, fully automatic trains run along the pale pink thread, controlled by no engine drivers. The statues of legendary heroes stand in the cars, black and white photographs of the world’s first Disneyland hang on the walls, lovely music from cartoons play for the passengers… And, of course, Disney’s favorite, Mickey Mouse, is in each and every detail.
A broad avenue leads from the subway station to the main fountain. These are the gates with which the avenue begins.
Mickey Mouse proudly rising above the fountain.
There is another avenue near the fountain where you can find a ticket office. The entrance to the park for an adult costs 350 HKD (about 45 USD). It is 100 dollars more expensive than going to Ocean Park. The most ardent fans of Disneyland can buy a subscription.
The building of Main Station Hong Kong Disneyland Railroad. The main station of the circular railway located within the park. A train goes in a circle, calling at all the thematic areas of the park. You can get on it in one side of the park, and get off in another. Or just ride around.
The train itself.
Main Street can be considered a separate park area. It holds administered buildings of the park, souvenir shops, the Academy of Animation, bakeries, which are impossible to leave without trying all the fresh pastries, and so on.
Souvenir shops are a separate issue. All these things, pens, pencils, magnets, key chains, T-shirts, purses, toys, watches, sweets, cookies, earrings, bracelets… can be examined for a very long time. It’s better to prevent your children from such abundance if you don’t want to spend all your savings.
All buildings on the street are made in such a US style.
The first area, Tomorrowland, includes a set of appropriate rides: Space Mountain, Stitch Encounter, Orbitron, UFO Zone, Autopia, Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters…
The next area of the park.
“The Golden Mickeys”.
A theatrical musical performance is held in Cantonese. Jumping on stage dolls make kids in the hall squeal with delight. At the side of the stage you can see the crawling letters of the English simultaneous translation.
Fantasyland, the part of the park designed for young children, and the ride called “It’s a small world”.
Sitting in such a train, adults and children set off for a colorful, almost psychedelic kingdom…
It passes by the dolls in the guise of cartoon characters…
…or dolls-represantatives of different countries.
Skyscrapers, an old ferry, a panda. Well, everything’s pretty clear – you’re passing through miniature Hong Kong.
All this is so bright, flickering, kaleidoscopic, colorful, nervously moving and singing to the music… Just dolls’ madness.
That’s why to go outdoors after such a ride is especially pleasant. This ride is called “Mad Tea Party” not for nothing. It’s really mad.
Fantasy Garden has pavilions with enormous cartoon characters. For example, Tiger or Mickey Mouse in Chinese national costumes. And everybody is photographed with them.
Cinderella’s Carousel, a ride without which no good American Christmas movie can exist.
Cinderella’s Castle. The very same castle, the outlines of which we see on the first frames before each Disney cartoon. Who would have thought that his miracle of architecture does exist?
“The many adventures of Winnie the Pooh” is very similar to “It’s a small world”. The only difference is that the train follows the traces of Winnie. Here you can either stand in a queue or get the ticket through a slot-machine and come back at the appointed time. Very convenient.
So, “…one day in a Hundred-Acre Wood, the East Wind traded places with the West Wind, and that stirred things up a bit…”. And then begins the same colorful, musical madness as in all similar rides. Only with the use of mirrors.
Sailing past your barrel of honey landscapes.
The exit through a souvenir shop! Here you can buy souvenirs with the image of Winnie and his company.
Oh, and these are super-glasses for watching cartoons, effects and graphics of which could be envied by Cameron himself with his “Avatar”. Here are some peculiarities of these cartoons.
First, surround sound. During the whole film, it seems that someone runs behind the back of your seat… all the audience turn their heads back and see no one.
Second, the image itself. A cake, hovering in the air between you and the seat in front, is very impressive. But what is even more amusing is to watch your neighbors. Trusting Chinese children stretch their hands in front of them, trying to grasp the illusion. But except for it looks very natural, it also smells.
Oh yeah, the third is the smell. The appearance of the cake is accompanied by the smell of cinnamon. Plus the breeze, rocking chairs, sprays of water, and an incredible three-dimensional image on the screen. After such a performance the world seems a little flat.
It’s very interesting to observe the visitors of the park. Look at these husband and wife. They came here without children or grandchildren. Just two of them riding a flying elephant.
Chinese children look particularly charming.
Some of them are the basic engine of the souvenir trade in the park.
Young people (girls in particular) also try to keep up with children.
And that’s how Disneyland employees look. Every part of the park has its own particular uniform. This one was in Fantasyland.