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Disney Magic, travel

Planning a trip to Disney World {Part 2}

If you haven’t read part 1 of this, you should probably start here and hop right back after, it’ll make more sense that way. There’s tons of stuff to cover in this second part, so buckle up those seat belts and let’s get going.

We’ll start part 2 with some of the basics, like when is it a good time to visit Disney World?

Trick question. The answer is anytime. There’s no bad time to be in Disney and no matter when you go, you will have the most magical time.

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Ok, let me rephrase the question to “When is the BEST time to visit Disney World?”

Ah, glad you asked. In my highly subjective opinion, the best time to visit is in the last week of October right through to early November. The crowds are relatively manageable at this time, you’ll see the parks dressed up for both halloween and christmas, plus you get to experience 3 special events: Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, and Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival.

That’s too many birds with one stone.


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Nobody does parties like Mickey and I most definitely recommend attending the halloween and christmas parties if you can. It’s not hyperbole when I say that these were the 2 best parties I’ve ever attended in my life. We also really enjoyed the Food and Wine Festival at Epcot. There’s FOOD! And WINE! You get all these pop up stalls around Epcot’s World Showcase selling amazing snacks like lobster tail, mini sliders, cheese plates, seared rainbow trout with bacon – it’s like having a delicious food tour while you’re touring the park.

My next favourite time to visit in in late Jan/early Feb, when the weather is lovely and crowds are at its lowest all year. The downside is that there are usually a couple of rides that are closed for refurbishment (which could happen at other times as well), but plenty of the other rides are basically a walk on, so less time is spent queuing for rides.

If you have Primary-schoolers and you can only travel during the school holidays, I’d recommend going as soon as the holidays start in late November. Or in June. Or other time you’d like.

Because uh huh, say it with me, anytime is a good time to be in Disney.

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Picking up where we left off in part 1…

#6. Touring the Parks

The first rule of Disney park touring is to hit the parks early at rope drop. With kids, this takes a tremendous amount of dedication and discipline, but trust me, it’s worth it. You’ll be able to do much more in that 1-2 hours once the park opens than in the next 4 hours after that. If you’re staying at a nearby resort, you can head back to the hotel for a break/swim/siesta in the afternoon once the crowds get really insane.


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#7. Making sense of Fastpass+

The Fastpass+ system is genius. Everyone in the park gets to pick 3 fastpasses per day (it’s free) and it will tell you when to show up for your chosen attraction. When you arrive, you just need to scan your magic bands and you’ll be whisked off to a special express queue where the line is short and the experience is beautiful.

Picking the attractions is the fun part. You can start booking fastpass+ 60 days prior to your check in date and you should try to do so because the fastpass selections for the popular attractions get snapped up very quickly. I’m also going to tell you my top picks for each park because not all fastpasses are created equal and it’s worth more at some attractions that others.

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Magic Kingdom: 7 Dwarfs Mine Train and Meet and Greet with Elsa and Anna should be at the top of your list. The third can be a toss up between Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Space Mountain, Jungle Cruise or Tomorrowland Speedway.

Epcot: Test Track (or Soarin’), The Seas with Nemo and Friends, Turtle Talk with Crush.

Hollywood Studios: Toy Story Mania, Tower of Terror, Frozen Sing Along.

Animal Kingdom: Kilimanjaro Safaris, Expedition Everest, Festival of the Lion King.

#8. A little more on the best rides in Disney World.

Asking me to pick my favourite ride at Disney is like asking me to pick a favourite child, it just cannot be done. I can, however, narrow it down to the top 5 rides from all the parks, in no order of preference. These are all THE BEST.

//Test Track – if speed is your thing, this is it. There are no scary drops or loops or spins or any other distractions, just 100% acceleration and speed and the feeling of wind in your hair.

test track

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//Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (*at night) – as far as traditional coasters go, this one is done to perfection. Brilliantly themed, well paced, no drops, and the rush from start to finish is indescribable.

//Toy Story Mania – a really fun 4D shooting game that captures the magic of Pixar’s Toy Story. Plus, the scoring system is so addictive. Fans of Woody and Buzz will love this.


//Kilimanjaro Safaris – an actual safari ride that takes you on a ride into the african safari plains. You get to be up close with the giraffes, zebras, rhinos and lions. One time, a baby giraffe came so close to the truck that I could have stretched out my arm to pat it.


//7 Dwarfs Mine Train – this is the newest addition to Magic Kingdom and it’s a phenomenal one. It’s pretty similar to Big Thunder Mountain, but with jewels and the seven dwarfs and a slightly more thrilling track.

#9. And also a little on the best shows.

I think I love the shows as much as I love the rides, or maybe more. I’m going to include the fireworks as shows here, so the best shows that you absolutely have to catch are…

Wishes Nighttime Spectacular, Fantasmic, Illuminations, Beauty and the Beast, Festival of the Lion King, and Finding Nemo.


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Special mention goes to For the First Time in Forever (for Frozen fans) and Disney Junior Live on Stage (for Disney Junior fans).

10. On Character Meet and Greets. 

I have not met a Disney character that I’ve not loved, and this includes Lady Tremaine, who did her best to turn up her nose at everything I said. Also Cruella De Vil, who tried to mock me mercilessly.

Meeting the characters are a great experience in itself, but instead of just standing next to them for a photo, here are some ways to make it more fun and interactive.

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//Get an autograph book and a sharpie. I custom made my own autograph book with photos and quotes (by each character) for the kids and it was a huge hit with the characters. Elsa took her time browsing each page and telling Kirsten about her own favourite characters, it was such a treat.

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//Make conversation and play along. They never break character, which makes it so fun to interact with them. Like Chip and Dale are really playful – one time Chip pointed to his cheek for a kiss, and when I gave him a peck, he pretended to blush while Dale went over to the husband to comfort him. Or another time, Anastasia and Drizella were fighting over Truett to see who got to marry him, and then he panicked and bolted away from them as fast as he could.


Above all, the one most important advice that we try to remember on all our trips is that the memories are what’s most important, so it’s not a big deal if you end up missing some rides or if the kids decide that they do not, in fact, want to meet Mickey after 45 minutes of queueing.

Oh yes, this actually happened to a father 2 spots in front of me. It was literally his turn when his daughter started tearing and said, “I don’t want to meet Mickey anymore.” He asked her again, “Are you sure? It’s your turn and he’s standing right there” and when she nodded tearily, he picked her up and said, “Alright, let’s go get an ice-cream instead.” He just calmly left the queue after being there for 45 minutes. For me, that was a profound moment of zen-ness, which has become my guiding principle for traveling and parenting as a whole.

We’ll go there with a (very detailed!) plan, but once we’re there, we’ll adjust and wing it and try our best to make some magical memories to bring home.

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Disney Magic, travel

Planning a trip to Disney World {Part 1}

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I’ve been wanting to do a series on planning a trip to Disney World (btw, thanks for all the emails asking for Disney advice – I get excited just hearing about all your trips to Disney!!) and I’m finally getting down to doing it.

This is by no means exhaustive but admittedly, I’ve spent (too) many hours researching this particular topic, plus I’m also throwing in some handy tips we picked up during our travels so I think this will be helpful if you intend to head on down to the happiest place on earth.

//If you need more information, I’m listing some of my favourite resources herehere, here, and here.

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The most common question I get from people is “Is it really worth the trip down?” YES. My answer is always a shouty YES with big upper case letters. “It’s so costly”, “the flight is brutal” and “there are so many other gorgeous places in the world to visit” – all true, but there’s magic in Disney that I’ve never been able to find anywhere else in the world.

To me, Disney World is like fine wine, it’s meant to be taken in slowly and every time I’m there, I discover something new and magical to love. So yes, if you have the opportunity to do this, my sagely advice is hell yeah, GO FOR IT.

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Next most common question, “Should I bring my kids?” Again, YES!! A thousand times, yes. We’ve done Disney couple trips and Disney kid trips and hands down, the kid trips are way, way, way more fun. Sure, kids will cramp your style (both in life and in Disney) and you won’t be able to tour the park as efficiently as you would as a single adult – they will want to nap, or ride Dumbo 5 times in a row, or spend 35 minutes queueing to meet Mickey Mouse and then have a meltdown just as you reach the front of the line but there’s nothing quite like watching your kids take in the magic of Disney.

On our first coupley visit to Disney, we were blitzing around the park, riding all the headliners multiple times a day and having a great time, but then every time I saw a kid grin goofily next to Buzz Lightyear, or spontaneously dance on Main Street, or watch mesmerised as the fireworks lit up the night sky, I’d stand there and look at them longingly like a creepy adult, just missing my babies and wishing they were right there with me to experience all of that.




Ok, let’s get down to it.

#1. Plan to stay for 4-8 days.

Remember what I said about fine wine? A trip to Disney World cannot be done in under 4 days. Well, ok yes it can, but WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT?? There are 4 parks, 2 water parks, Downtown Disney, plus 28 beautifully themed resorts to visit. Even 4 days would make for a very rushed trip.

The optimum length for us is 8 days: 2 for Magic Kingdom, 2 for Epcot, 2 for Hollywood Studios, 1 for Animal Kingdom and 1 non-park day for Downtown Disney. This way, we get to take things slow, enjoy the resort, have smores by the campfire and movies by the beach. Which takes me to point 2.

#2. Stay in a Disney Resort.

It’s not so big of a thing if you’re visiting the other Disney parks in Anaheim, Tokyo or Hong Kong, but in Orlando, being part of the Disney bubble is half the fun. We’ve tried staying offsite (at the Waldorf Astoria, which was beautiful), but there’s just no contest, I’d pick staying onsite anytime.

Depending on your budget, you can go for a Value (definitely Art of Animation), Moderate (love the Port Orleans Riverside), or a Deluxe (Grand Floridian!! Boardwalk, Beach Club and Poly are my favourites).

This trip, we did a split stay between the Boarkwalk Inn and the Grand Floridian. They were both so excellent that I’m really torn between the two. I think we’ll probably do another split stay the next time we go back.

The Boardwalk Inn captures the charm of old Atlantic City, complete with street performers and lights and dance halls. Being there feels so Boardwalk Empire, but happier and minus all the gang violence. As a massive bonus, it’s a 5-minute walk to Epcot and a 12-minute walk/boat ride to Hollywood Studios. Being able to stroll back leisurely to the boardwalk after Illuminations (instead of jostling with the crowd for buses) was indescribable. Also, the Boardwalk Bakery has the best pastries and desserts in all of Disney World. FYI, the next best place for sweet treats is Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie in Epcot’s France, just 5 minutes away.

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Oh Grand Floridian, how do I love thee? This place is a dream. It makes me subconsciously hum tunes from Marry Poppins and it feels like little squirrels are about to break into song at any moment. There’s the horse carriage that makes its way around the grounds, the orchestra playing in the lobby, the beautiful landscaping, the posh-without-being-stuffy Victorian charm…it’s like I’m stepping into another world altogether. In terms of location, it’s a 5 minute boat/monorail ride to Magic Kingdom.

It doesn’t get better than this.

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#3. Ditch the car and save on rental

If you’re staying at a Disney resort, there’s really no need to drive in Disney World. The Disney Transportation System will take you everywhere you need to go via bus, boat and momorail. There’s even a Magical Express bus that will pick you up from the airport once you arrive, all free of charge. As long as you’re in the Disney bubble, you should be able to get from point to point without much hassle.

Then again, if you really want to drive, parking is free at all the resorts and parks.

#4. Disney Dining Plan – do or do not.

What kind of advice is that? Well, this one really depends on your vacation style and stomach size. We went for the DDP in 2012 (free dining package with Port Orleans Riverside) and it was amazing. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten this much delicious food in 7 days. We had 1 table service meal, 1 counter service meal and 1 snack per person per day, plus a refillable mug with unlimited drinks. If you plan your meals right, you can eat $90 worth of food a day for a $60 dining plan. This works out to be a ridiculous amount of food, so depending on how much you can/want to eat, this is one of those “your mileage may vary” sort of thing.

This trip, we decided to skip the dining plan and just pay out of pocket for meals. It was a more manageable amount of food and overall, we spent less than we would have if we paid for the $60 per day dining plan. We did get the refillable mug though – it’s $17.99 and you can have unlimited drinks (coffee, hot choc, tea, soda) for the entire duration of your stay.

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dole whip

Both options made for a very enjoyable trip. Maybe when the kids are bigger and need more food, we’ll do the DDP again.

#5. Bring a stroller along. 

If you have kids under the age of 6, I highly recommend bringing a stroller along. Truett and Kirsten are great walkers with remarkable stamina but the jet lag coupled with the long days in Disney makes the stroller a necessity. The first 2-3 days after the flight, the kids will be wiped out between the hours of 1-5pm, possibly earlier if they’re younger. Just put them in the stroller and roll with it until they adjust their internal clocks.

We’ve tried the compact umbrella strollers, which are lightweight and easy to fold but it doesn’t offer much in terms of comfort when they’re passed out in the middle of the afternoon. Especially if you have multiple kids, do a solid double stroller like the Britax B-Agile or the City Mini. These 2 models were everywhere in Disney World. We got the Britax and I love this stroller so much. Sturdy, comfortable, individual recline, folds down real compact and so easy to manoeuvre.



Ok, this post took longer than I thought. I’ll wrap up part 1 here, more to come in part 2!

Disney Magic, travel

Truett and Theo go to Tokyo | Disneysea

The award for show-stealer this trip goes to…Tokyo Disneysea.


I read a ton of reviews before the trip and I expected it to be just ok but after having been there, it is so much more than ok. In fact, I had originally planned to spend 2 out of our 3 Disney days in Disneyland but we loved Disneysea so much that we ended up spending the third day there instead, that’s how good it was.

Magic Kingdom will always have a special place in my heart but Disneysea, wow. I think this park has shot up to a tie for #2 on my list of favourite Disney parks (with #1 being Disney World’s Magic Kingdom and the other #2 being Epcot).

The excellent theming really shines at Disneysea. The park is surrounded by water so all the lands have a nautical theme running through. Pretty doesn’t even begin to describe the landscaping. It’s quite breathtaking, really.









There are some amazing rides at Disneysea (we’ll get to that in a bit!) but my favourite was riding the gondola around the venetian canal being serenaded with operatic numbers by a Japanese gondolier; it was quite the experience.


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We were halfway in the queue for the gondola ride when Gepetto, Jiminy Cricket, Pinocchio, Honest John and Gideon came sauntering out. Gepetto!! I love Gepetto. So we gave up our spot in the queue and went over to say hi. Priorities! Gondolas are nice but Gepetto trumps gondolas any day.



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As far as rides go, adrenaline junkies will not be disappointed. According to Truett, my little daredevil, Journey To The Centre Of The Earth is the best ride ever, and by that, he means that it’s terrifying. In a good way. Followed by Raging Spirits, and upside down loopy coaster, and Tower of Terror (which he described as “not even a little bit scary, just fun”). Kid has a different scale of terrifying because the one time I rode Tower of Terror, I screamed the whole ride like a little baby.

We both agreed that Toy Story Mania was awesome. It’s a non-scary fun ride that consistently has a 2-hour queue. The fastpasses for this ride get distributed early so my advice is to get to the park at rope drop and RUN. Run like you’ve never run before because even the fastpass distribution queue can be 30-minutes long. If you run fast enough, you can pick up the fastpasses and immediately get in the standby line so you can ride it twice. And trust me, you’ll want to ride it more than twice.

toy story


We really missed Kirsten when we got to Mermaid Lagoon. It’s beautifully themed to Ariel’s Grotto, with the whole undersea vibe. There was even a cave that looks exactly like Ariel’s treasure trove when she sang Part Of Your World, complete with a life-sized Prince Eric statue. Truett ran around the cave saying “we need to bring Kirsten here, she will love it!!”


ariel's treasures 2

ariel's treasures


The one thing we found really bizarre was Japan’s obsession with Duffy. And popcorn. But mostly Duffy. Everyone was walking around the park with a stuffed Duffy bear in their arms, even grown men. Some girls were completely Duffied out, with a fluffy Duffy bag, Duffy charms and Duffy bears. They’d squeal at Duffy meet and greets and the line for that was insanely long.

We happened to be there for the launch of a limited edition Christmas Duffy bear and the queue to get into McDuck’s (the store selling it) was 4 hours. People were queueing 4 hours to get into a store to buy a bear. No bear is that cute. The bears were sold on on the second day so we managed to get into McDuck’s after a 10-minute wait so of course we had to get a ginormous Shellie May bag for Kirsten.



shellie may

Visiting Disneysea was nothing short of a magical experience. It’s always magic when you get to know a Disney park for the first time, especially a park as incredible as this one.

We’re definitely coming back again.

Disney Magic, travel

Truett and Theo go to Tokyo | Disneyland

So the real reason why we went to Tokyo was for some of this.


I was talking with my mom the other day and she was like “every trip you take is all about disney, don’t you ever get bored…you should visit new places” and I’m like “you say it like it’s a bad thing but if every trip I took had a bit of disney magic in it, I’d be happy. Besides, this Disney is a new place.”

Tokyo has been on my radar ever since Tokyo Disneysea opened and I’ve been hearing amazing things about Tokyo’s parks. My only hesitation was the language issue, not just that I don’t understand Japanese but because having all these Disney characters speak in Japanese would severely burst my Disney bubble. It’s like this one time when I made the kids watch Disney Junior in Mandarin (dual sound for the win!) so they’d be exposed to the language and they were utterly horrified. They couldn’t speak for several minutes and they stared at the tv like their little dreams had been crushed. Finally, Kirsten said “this is wrong, make it stop saying Chinese things.”

I’m happy to say that the language thing isn’t really a dealbreaker after all. Maybe it’s because we’ve been hearing people speak in Japanese for 4 days prior so there was some level of conditioning there but Tokyo Disneyland definitely manages to keep the magic magical. The only thing is that we had to skip most of the shows. As for general conversations with cast members, a combination of English words and gestures worked really well.

So what’s great about Tokyo Disneyland?

Theming. The theming at Tokyo Disneyland was excellent, and in many cases, superior to the parks in both Orlando and Anaheim. The attention to detail was remarkable – all the little details were executed to perfection and the parks were incredibly well maintained. Most of the lands were similar to Magic Kingdom but with a slightly different spin. I think they took the theme and really ran with it.

tru disney




tree night

tree presents

Also, characters. There were the usual characters but in fun new costumes, as well as really rare characters that we didn’t get a chance to interact with in the US parks.


We were walking past It’s A Small World when next to me, a familiar tune from Snow White started playing and the 7 dwarfs came marching out. They were all there, all 7 of them. They marched out, danced a bit and just hung out with the guests, taking photos and signing autographs.

dwarfs marching

more dwarfs








We met Dopey, Doc, Grumpy, Bashful, Sneezy, Happy and Sleepy. That’s one item off my Disney bucket list right there.

Oh, why yes, I do have a Disney bucket list and I’ll share some of them with you.

  • Bring all my kids to Disney (Finn’s first Disney experience coming up soon-ish!!)
  • Spend a night in Cinderella’s Castle.
  • Stay for The Kiss Goodnight Closing Announcement.
  • Ride on a parade float.
  • Visit all the Disney parks (I’m short of Paris!).
  • Dinner at Club 33 and drinks at 1901 Lounge.
  • Break the high score record on Toy Story Midway Mania.
  • Shoot hoops from Matterhorn Basketball Court.

This experience to Tokyo Disneyland wasn’t like our usual all out commando Disney trips. With baby Theo along with us, we took things a lot easier and slower. No rope drop queues or mad dashes around the park. The husband went with Truett on all the crazy rides while I mostly sat on pretty benches to nurse my baby, just watching the magic unfold and soaking up the fairy dust. Selfies with my baby. Watching him get to know the parks I’m so in love with.


selfie theo


It was really nice. I think maybe I’ll mix things up a bit on future disney trips and do this a little more.

Disney Magic

Hong Kong Disneyland – Part the Second

Day 2 of our Hong Kong Disneyland experience was possibly even better than the first day. Partly because we managed to recover somewhat from the exhaustion of having to hit the ground running on the first day.

Friday morning, we took a 5am flight and arrived in Hong Kong at about 10am, blitzed into the hotel for a quick check in, then went straight for lunch and into the park. Which meant that I was awake for the better part of 48 hours and even though the kids got pockets of sleep on the flight, they were surviving on pure adrenaline the entire first day.

After a nice deep sleep in our room at Disney’s Hollywood Hotel, the kids were up and ready to go at 8am on Saturday morning.

Breakfast was a character buffet meet and greet at the Enchanted Garden in the Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel next door. The food? Stunning both in terms of variety and quality. I still can’t get over how good the food is in Hong Kong Disneyland because my brain has been programmed to associate Disneyland with fried chicken. But the best part was that Mickey, Goofy and Pluto came over to say hi while we were munching on dim sum.

Kirsten saw Mickey approaching from 3 tables away and started shouting “MICKEY! MICKEY I’M HERE!! SEE, IT’S MICKEY, MOMMY!!!” Naturally, everyone turned to look at the commotion but she got an extra hug from Mickey for her enthusiasm.

Once we were in the park, our first stop was Tomorrowland to get Fastpasses for Space Mountain. Since I was pregnant and Kirsten was too short, we did the baby rides while the 2 boys used our Fastpasses and went on Space Mountain 4 times. Yes you heard right, 4 times. Truett just made the height limit for the ride and he was in roller coaster heaven.

Hearing him rave about Space Mountain, I almost tried to sneak in once for old time’s sake but I didn’t because I’m pregnant and responsible.

Another of their favorite rides was Autopia, a race car ride that they could steer and drive along a track all on their own. They weren’t very good at steering so the ride got a little bumpy but all that bumping made it all the more fun for them.

Here’s a video of Truett showing off his driving skills. By the second ride, he actually got pretty good.

While queueing for the Jungle Cruise boat ride, they were picked by one of the cast members to be little helpers to the skipper on board. They were given special safari vests and allowed to help the captain steer the boat.

The last land we visited was the bright and cheery Toy Story Land, the park’s latest addition which opened in November last year. It is also Asia Exclusive, so you’ll only be able to experience it here. There were 3 rides here – the Slinky Dog Spin, the Toy Soldier Parachute Drop and the RC Racer. Unfortunately, Kirsten was too short and I was too pregnant for all the rides here so we walked around and took pictures while the boys got their adrenaline fix.

Baby girl is on a mission to grow taller and I’m on a mission to give birth so when we do that, we’ll be back to try them out.

By late afternoon, we managed to try most of the rides but we couldn’t possibly leave without doing the meet and greets, so we spent the rest of the time waiting to meet characters.

Truett wasn’t big on queueing to take pictures so after spending 20 minutes in line to meet Pooh, he decided his time was better spent on one of the rides. Kirsten, however, was intent to meet Minnie. I told her the queue to meet Minnie would take 25 minutes and she was all “I will be patient…I want to give Minnie a big hug.”

So she did. And that hug meant the world to her.

That pretty much wraps up our 2-day Hong Kong Disneyland experience. Just as we were walking out of the park and waving goodbye to the happiest place in the world, Tru turned to us and said “I like Disneyland. We need to come back again, ok?”

My sentiments exactly.

Disney Magic

Hong Kong Disneyland – Part the First

I think I fell in love with Disneyland the first time I walked down Main Street in Disneyland, Anaheim 14 years ago. It was one of those moments in life where you know something magical is happening the very moment it happens. I remember standing outside the Emporium looking down the street at Sleeping Beauty’s Castle and feeling like I was in a dream I never wanted to wake up from.

Over the years, I’ve been to Walt Disney World in Florida, Disneyland in Tokyo, and back to Disneyland Anaheim. And every single time, I’ve felt the magic standing at that same spot along Main Street.

This visit to Hong Kong Disneyland, we wanted the kids to experience the same magic.

The moment they stepped into Disneyland, they alternated between the OMG-I-can’t-stop-jumping-euphoria and the too-much-awesomeness-brain-shut-down. It was too cute to watch.

The first order of business when we arrived was the Flights of Fantasy Parade, a street parade with floats, a marching band, lots of dancers and their favorite Disney characters. We got great seats with a brilliant view of the entire parade.

Kirsten even got a chance to join in the parade to dance with the characters. She was so thrilled she couldn’t stop talking about it the rest of the day. “I dance really well like a princess right? SO FUN!”

Right after, we went for the classic “it’s a small world” boat ride in Fantasyland. I have to admit that in all the times i’ve been to Disney, I’ve never been on this ride because it’s totally for babies. In fact, I’ve never been on most of the rides in Fantasyland because there’s no way I’m queueing 45 minutes surrounded by a bunch of babies to get on the carousel or the spinning tea cups.

But with the kids, we became one of those parents who stood patiently in line for a 2-minute ride on dancing horses. And you know what? It was awesome.

We also managed to catch a show on the first day – The Golden Mickeys. I must have enjoyed it the most because it was basically a musical singalong session featuring all my all-time favorite Disney songs from Beauty and the Beast, Little Mermaid, Mulan, Hercules. The husband didn’t really know most of the songs but he thought the staging was superb.

The kids got a little bored halfway through and Kirsten fell asleep just as her beloved Ariel came on stage, which was unfortunate because that was the only time we managed to see Ariel appear during our entire Disneyland visit. She was really bummed when she found out that Ariel doesn’t do character meet and greets in Hong Kong Disneyland so it seems like we’ll have to make a trip down to Florida some time in the near future.

That was pretty much the end of our first day and we wrapped it up with a splendid dinner and the “Disney in the Stars” Fireworks show.

I’m not really a foodie but I have to take a moment here to talk about the food in Hong Kong Disneyland. It’s like having the best of both worlds because there’s nothing like being able to slurp down a bowl of steaming hot wanton noodles in Disneyland. When we were in Florida, we were eating burgers, pasta, fried chicken and fries until we were both a little nauseous. Our Chinese stomachs were craving for some comfort food in the form of rice, noodles and chili sauce.

During this trip, we had some awesomesauce Chinese food. Like double boiled conpoy and chicken soup in coconut, king prawns in black bean sauce, wok-fried tenderloin beef cubes and these super cute character paus.


More to come tomorrow.

Disney Magic, kids in motion

Special School Day Surprise

One of my best childhood memories was when my parents would whisk us off for a surprise outing on an otherwise ordinary school day. We’d be in the middle of an typically boring day, expecting to do boring stuff like go home, take a nap or mess around with some crayons, when they would show up all badass like “ok kids get in the car, we’re going out somewhere fun.”

“Really? We’re going out NOW? On a Wednesday afternoon? OMG YOU’RE SO AWESOME!”

Even if we ended up going somewhere lame like McDonald’s or any old playground, it would still turn out to be the Funnest Outing In The History Of The World.

So I try to do that from time to time with the kids. Sneak them out somewhere fun in the middle of the afternoon just because, and then watch their little minds struggle to cope with all that awesomeness. I usually get to spend the rest of the day feeling like a rockstar and making them do whatever I say.

Like yesterday, I picked them up from school and we took a trip down to the Science Centre for a special Disney event. Mai and the rest of the Disney team had prepared a preview screening of an upcoming movie called Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Space Adventure. It’ll be launched on the Disney Junior Channel on Feb 20 and by movie, I mean a longer-than-usual 40-minute episode.

It was so cute because all the kids were gathered in the front row to pilot test the movie.

Being the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse connoisseurs they are, my kids found themselves prime seats and got really comfortable for the screening. They have to have their blankets whenever they watch TV, don’t ask.

While the kids watched, the adults had our own version of fun, which included some food and lots of conversation. It was nice to catch up with some of the other parenting bloggers without having to chase after the kids and yell at them every so often.

I’m not going to be able to tell you what the movie was about because I spent a total of 3.27 minutes watching it. All I know is there’s going to be a space parallel universe green alien Mickey and Pluto is from the planet, wait for it…Pluto. Didn’t see that one coming, did you? But the kids loved it and they’ve made clear their intentions to watch it when it airs.

Judging by the looks on their faces, it was enough fun for a midweek school day surprise.