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Monday, 9 November 2015

Travelling with kids to Hongkong 2015 - Disneyland + Lantau Island

Our last experience at Hongkong Disneyland was proven unforgettable for Rboy. He has been  reminding us to bring him back ever since our last Disneyland trip earlier this year. Therefore, we decided to make it happen again this holiday! This time we made it more challenging by bringing his younger brother BabyK along, and even feel more adventurous to book an extra stay in central HongKong.
 Many have asked if the stay at Disneyland Hotel was necessary, since it is much more costly compared to other nearby hotels outside the Disneyland. If you have the intention to visit Disneyland and is towing along a drama-rama 3years old toddler and a clingy boobs-sucking 18months old baby, let me emphasize again that's a hell damn YES! Staying at the hotels inside Disneyland is going to worth your every penny.

Benefits of Staying at Hotels inside Disneyland
 (solely based on our experience with our 2 kids)

Firstly, the hotels at Disneyland are just a 5 minutes free shuttle bus ride away from the theme park, so it's so much convenient to travel to and fro. It is very important for us especially when the boys are screaming their head off for their royal nap or when weewee-poopoo accidents happened, or even to retrieve any kids-related stuffs that we left in our hotel. Once you enter parenthood, no matter how already well-prepared you thought you were ... somehow kids never fail to surprise you unexpectedly. Overall, we just need that sense of security to have our accommodation/luggage so near to the theme park where we are going to spend our next two days there.

Most of the visitors usually stayed till night to catch the spectacular night parade and fireworks, and you should never let the kids missed that. That's because I can't describe how much my boys have enjoyed them so much! Till now, they have been replaying the recorded parade and fireworks videos repeatedly on my IPhone, and asking when they are going back there again. 

 After spending an entire exhausting day at Disneyland with two shagged-out kids , you wish for the ability of teleportation, to get you back to your hotel room instantly. We witnessed the huge mob of people heading towards the mrt train and some stranded around to look for alternative transport back. As for us, we walked casually(and stress-free) towards our almost empty free shuttle bus and headed back to our hotel in less than 15 minutes! Once again, hubs and I gave each other another round of standing ovation and praised each other again for making one of the best decisions for this trip ; to book the hotel inside Disneyland.

Secondly, if you are looking forward to have your pictures taken with the Disney characters at Disneyland theme park, then opting for the hotel's breakfast buffet is highly recommended. Mickey mouse and his friends will go around to greet the hotel guests and have photo-taking session at every table. In this way, you can then skip the crazy long photo-taking queues inside the Disneyland park since you already had the chance to interact and take photos exclusively with Mickey during breakfast. I watched how my boys' faces lit up when Mickey Mouse surprised them with his appearance during breakfast. Last but not least, the buffet offers a marvellous spread of variety with a touch of Disney theme; Mickey waffles and cartoon dim sums! Way to score with the kiddos!

 The Cons
As expected, everything in Disneyland cost an arm and a leg. They certainly go all the way out to wring you dry. We paid around $10 for a bottle of mineral water you can roughly do your math on how much we spent on all our meals there.

List of rides for young toddlers
Rboy is 3.5 years old and requires a child ticket to enter Disneyland. But no ticket is needed for 18 months old babyK! Free entrance fee! And we did try to make good use of that by exploring most of the rides which are suitable for them. Below is a good list of what we've tried with our baby and toddler, and it's more than what we expected. (Recently we brought our 18months old to Singapore Universal Studio and couldn't find any fun suitable rides for him to join us. So Disneyland is absolutely more younger kids-toddlers friendly.)

- Cinderella Carousel
- Mad Hatter Spinning Teacup
-Winnie The Pooh ride (My kids' voted fav)
- Its a Small World boat ride (My kids' voted fav)
- Fantasyland Train Station
-Buzz LightYear laser shooting ride
- Stitch Encounter
-Slinky Dog Spin
-Jungle boat ride

Shows that Kids MUST watch!
- The Lion King Show (At Adventureland)
- Paint The Night LED Parade
- Fireworks at the Disneyland castle

 On the last two days, we took a cab to our next hotel of choice, Langham Place Hotel at Mongkok. A classy hotel inside a shopping mall, and walking distance to the Ladies market and MTR station. We got a free upgrade (Credits go to BabyK. The hotel receptionist was charmed by him.) to another room at a higher floor with a good view of the city.

 The next highlight of our trip is

Ngong Ping 360 at Lantau Island

 Tip 1: If you make an online booking for the cable car tickets through their website before arrival, you get to skip the queue at the ticket counter and can straight head towards the cable car. This will save you at least 30-45 minutes of the queuing time.

Tip 2: If you do not have acrophobia (fear of heights), then do choose the new Crystal Cabin that comes with a transparent glass bottom. The kids will be wowed by the magnificent bird's eye view below, and feeling as though they were soaring through the sky is definitely a fast and cheap thrill for them!

Ngong Ping 360 is a cultural themed village located on a high plateau of Lantau Island. There are quite a few interesting attractions and photo taking spots catered for tourists like us. The cool weather was fantastic, and the boys were as happy as the awesome sunshine that day. Kids in good mood = Parents in even more excellent mood.
 These two charmers did capture lots of attention and even lured some tourists over to have a picture with them.

 Riding on the boys' excitement, hubs suggested climbing up to the Big Buddha to enjoy better view from above. I was quite hesitant with the idea of lugging two kids up 268 steps with all our "barang barang". Finally I was convinced by the hubs, and that's because he volunteered to carry both the kids up and down that intimidating 268 steps of stairs.
I'm glad that we made it to the top...with the two kids!!! The joy on their faces says it all. 

 Our experience getting our way around central Hongkong with the kids was not exactly a pleasant one. In fact , I would never categorise Hong Kong as a kids-friendly country to travel with young kids (besides Disneyland). The streets are narrow and cramp ,overwhelmed with crowd and noise pollutions. It's totally not stroller-friendly especially where there's no lift or escalator in most of their MTR stations. Quite a few restaurants, dessert shops or Chinese cafes don't provide baby chairs or kids' utensils. The friendlier Hongkies we encountered are mainly the staffs from our hotel. Other than that, the locals seem to walk around carrying stress and attitude on their face. Customer service doesn't seem to exist in Hong Kong and we were once reprimanded by the waitress for our inability to comprehend Cantonese (rolled eyes~).

To sum up, the memories collected from this short 4 days 3 nights trip in Hongkong were pretty wonderful and precious enough. The boys had a great amount of exposure and experience, and most importantly, an amazing bonding time with us.

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