I hadn't planned on going to Disneyland when I was in Hong Kong.
Reviews from friends and families who've been there were generally not so good, citing long queues, incomplete parks and lack of attractions as their major complaints.
Besides, going to a theme park alone is like making love to your own hand. You shiok sendiri, but no one really cares.
Anyhway, my brother who was there earlier in the year convinced me that it was worth the trip and the HK350/RM174 entrance ticket. So I changed my mind and went at the last minute.
Disneyland Resort is located on Lantau Island, a lush green and mountainous land devoid of the high-rise buildings typical of other parts of Hong Kong.
If Kowloon is Petaling Street and central Hong Kong is Orchard Road, then Lantau Island must be Kuching!
I didn't want to waste my whole day at a theme park, so I detoured to another tourist attraction on Lantau first.
Po Lin Monastery is about 45 minutes drive by coach from the nearest MTR station. It houses the Giant Buddha, which according to my brochure, is the World's Largest outdoor, bronze, seated Buddha on a lotus
I like how the imposed so many conditions just to justify describing it as a World's Largest.
Technically speaking, I'm also the World's Sexiest Kuching-born, hairy, "a bitch overweight" 24-year-old man.
A vegetarian lunch at the monastery costs HK60, which is not bad coming from someone who eats meat almost everyday.
After that it's off to to destination Disneyland in their themed MTR train.
I have to say, this wasn't my first Disneyland experience.
I first visited Disneyland in Los Angeles, California back when I was only 11 years old and too spoilt to appreciate how expensive it is to travel from Kuching to the USA.
My late father, in a fit of generosity, decided to treat the whole family to a tour of Los Angeles, San Diego and Las Vegas. I even remembered staying at the penthouse suite in the famous Mirage Hotel, fake volcanos and white tigers and all.
Needless to say, a luxury holiday like that literally cost my dad a fortune. There was no AirAsia back then and very few 11-year-olds in Kuching had the same opportunity as I did.
Ironically, the lowlight of the trip was my visit to Disneyland. I wanted to get on as many rides as I could, but my parents took their time walking around and spending hours in the restaurant, thinking why rush since we had the whole day here.
What they didn't realise was that it was winter and the park closes earlier at 6pm instead of 10pm.
So when the park attendants ushered us to the exit earlier than expected, I cried.
I cried like a sook and being the brat that I was, blamed my dad for wasting time. Then I demanded that he bring me back here the next day.
Upon hearing that, my dad forced an awkward smile and said to me "Kenny, the next time you come to Disneyland, it won't be Papa bringing you here. It would be you bringing Papa here."
He passed away before I had the chance to bring him to Disneyland.
But let's move on and get back to the topic, shall we? :)
So here I was 13 years later, at the entrance of my second Disneyland with my own hard-earned cash.
I thought I've outgrown Disneyland, but I was wrong.
I wasn't even expecting much, given the negative feedback, but honestly I had an awesome experience.
Disneyland is probably not The Happiest Place on Earth™, but I say it's definitely got the title as The Second Happiest Place On Earth.
The happiest place on Earth is still the Playboy Mansion.
The Disney parade was worth half the entrance ticket alone.
Most memorable characters, from Ariel to Woody, make an appearance here singing and waving to the audience.
You can see a lot of effort is put into this. The lengths the dancers go through to entertain the crowd is simply phenomenal.
Some of dancers scared me though.
You can feel the energy and enthusiasm coming from the dancers, and it's hard not to put a smile on your face. I mean, how could you not laugh at a DANCING PINK FLAMINGO!?
If pink flamingos and coconut trees dancing doesn't make you smile, nothing will.
Another must-go attraction is the Golden Mickey show.
Done in the style of an Academy Awards show, it features even more singers and dancers in typical Disney fashion and some really great thearetical work.
If anything, it's worth attending just to see Mickey Mouse speak in Cantonese.
It was so good, I kinda teared during the Beauty and the Beast dance sequence.
Hey I liked that movie when it came out. Maybe it's 'cos I could relate to it.
Over in FantasyLand, I spotted my favourite Disney character of all time.
Donald Duck so totally owns Mickey Mouse's ass. I reckon the mouse is overrated. What did Mickey Mouse ever do to deserve his place as the star of Disneyland. All he ever did was pose and smile like a nutcase.
Donald Duck on the other hand, wears a sailor's outfit and doesn't put on pants. Except when he goes swimming. Now that's something.
While I was lining up to take a photo with Donald Duck, I noticed something peculiar.
A little girl in front of me was asking Donald Duck for an autograph.
When I saw that I couldn't help but to wonder. See, the name of the guy inside the Donald Duck suit most likely is not "Donald Duck". His name is probably something lame like Lee Boon Teck or something. But he dressed up as Donald Duck because that's his job.
Question is, when he signed the autograph, did he sign it as "Donald Duck"? Or did he sign it as "Lee Boon Teck"?
Obviously he signed it as "Donald Duck" right?
Isn't that signature forgery? You bet.
If you sign your name as another person, and you knowingly led other people to (in this case, an innocent little girl) believe that you're the real deal, isn't that identity theft? Of course it is.
In which case, doesn't that make Donald Duck a criminal?
Someone put that deceitful duck in jail.
Before I knew it, it was time to go. The night concluded with bang as the fireworks went off at the Sleeping Beauty Castle for the finale.
Overall, the Hong Kong Disneyland experience comes highly recommended from me.
If there's anything I didn't like about Disneyland, it would be that the drinks were WAY too expensive. RM10 for a bottle of Coke. And there's not even vodka in it.
Apart from Space Mountain, the rides in Disneyland are nothing compared to most other theme parks I've been to.
Sure, it's got the whole "Disney theme" going on for it. But most of the time you line up for ages and ages and in the end, you get on and uninteresting ride that lasts for at most 2 minutes. It's really not worth it.
You get more thrilling rides in Genting than in Disneyland.
The queues for the rides can get quite long at times. And it's not uncommon to queue for more than an hour just to get on a ride.
If I gotta queue for more than an hour just to get to what I want, it better be for something worth it. Like Hello Kitty toys at McDonald's.
As if that's not bad enough, "some people" there has a penchant of jumping queues.
Look, I'm trying my best not to permeate stereotype here because I've read in the the mainstream newspapers about how some asshats there are notorious for inconsiderate behaviour that spoils the experience for everyone.
The papers were writing about people climbing fences, smokers in non-smoking zones and kids peeing in the lawn. And I was giving them the benefit of the doubt, because seriously how bad could it be?
I was wrong. There are people there being really inconsiderate. The park attendants must have a hard time because they gotta discipline 40-year-old uncles and aunties whilst still smiling and be as friendly as possbile.
Among some of the techniques these morons used to jump queues:
1. Little boy squeeze through to the front yelling he's looking for his parents. Five minutes later, parents squeeze through the queue yelling they're looking for their kid.
2. Mother carrying her boy, frantically waving her air ticket screaming how she's gonna miss her flight if we don't let her through. Auntie, if you're gonna catch a flight you're supposed to be at the airport, not Disneyland.
That reminds me of an incident that happened at the KL airport when I was returning from Hong Kong.
I was at the immigration checkpoint at the arrival hall, passport in hand, queueing up like an obedient citizen should. Then out of nowhere, this lady carrying her Mainland Chinese passport came up and cut in right in front of me like that.
I was mildly annoyed, but maintained my cool nonetheless so I just stuck out my hand before she could cut in and smiled at her.
She took the hint, apologised, and promptly lined up behind me where she's supposed to be. All's fine.
So there I was, minding my own business, looking idly around, moving when the queue moved forward when suddenly...
She cut into my queue again! When I was not looking! What the hell! That stealthy auntie!
Nevermind lah. Let her be since I wasn't rushing for time and besides, my luggages weren't even out yet.
But the highlight of this whole incident was when this queue-cutting Chinese auntie successfully got to the immigration counter. The auntie took out her Chinese passport and then got REJECTED when she...
...put it into AN AUTOGATE MACHINE.