I wasn’t raised the Disney way. I haven’t seen the Lion King and I just found out that “A Whole New World” was from the movie Aladdin. Most recent was the knowledge that Aurora was sleeping beauty’s name. What did I do when I was a kid? Well, there were really nice films in CinemaOne…
Anyway, going to Disneyland was not one of my childhood dreams. Heck, I only learned that it existed after I had undergone puberty. I wanted to go out of curiosity because they said that you’d feel like a kid again (or rather, wish you were one) and be immaturely happy and I was willing to shell out a couple of hundred bucks (in this case 399 HKD) for that experience because adulthood was not anything near what I expected it to be.
In HK, the theme park had its own station in the MTR called Disneyland Resort Line with Mickey’s head for windows and hand rails.
The park is divided into 5 sub-parks (or lands) namely Main street, Adventureland, Fantasyland, Tomorrowland, and the newly opened Toy Story land. Main street, USA was basically just an avenue of stores selling expensive merchandise and similarly expensive restaurants.
Next we went to Tomorrowland where the much anticipated Space Mountain was. The line was long but patience is a virtue, a hard one at that. According to the definition in their website, “you would rocket at warp speed to synchronized music and sound effects on this one-of-a-kind indoor roller-coaster”. In addition, “you would launch into the inky blackness of the nether reaches of space”. When we road the coaster though, it wasn’t pitch black so we could actually see where we’re going. Still, the ride was fast and there were lots of twist and turns but it would have been a gazillion times more fun if the only things our eyes could make out were the stars. According to Ysa, when she and Bianca rode again, the place was darker, hence, better.
Next we went to Fantasyland specifically in Mickey’s PhilharMagic, a three-dimensional show reminiscing through some of the most memorable moments in Disney animated films with Donald Duck as the protagonist. I unexpectedly loved the show even if I have not seen any of those films before. I was smiling like an idiot the whole time because I was imagining how the younger, less corrupted version of me would have reacted if she was the one watching instead of me. I did not care that I wasn’t raised believing in princesses and beasts and magic (until Harry Potter) or else I would have been a worse hopeless romantic. But watching the show, I asked myself what if? What if I was like Nicka and millions of other girls who knew every lyrics to every song? Would I have given the world more chance? Looked at things with more hope? Or would I have been shattered after learning they were not true and lived with the lasting negative effects of being conditioned to the way Disney is supposedly brainwashing people? Lastly, I remembered my youngest brother because no matter how strong the impact was to me, I know it would be ten times more powerful to a young kid.
After that, we went back to Main Street for the Flights of Fantasy parade and yes, the kid in me prevailed. I clapped and shouted and laughed and took lots of pictures. I guess that part of us never really left. We just kept on toning it down to fit in on what the world says is a grown-up. One of the things I like most about being a Filipino is the feeling that anywhere you go, in all four cardinal directions, there will always be a kababayan and Disneyland is no exception. We saw lots of Pinoy performers during the parade and we loved how they waved and smiled at us whenever we shout “HELLO ATE! HELLO KUYA!”.
After the parade, we were supposed to queue for The Golden Mickey’s but the line was impossibly long and we ran out of patience so Jaq and I just went back to Fantasyland and lined up for “it’s a small world”. There’s nothing adrenaline-rushing about the attraction. We just sat on a boat while dolls wearing different costumes and complexions and facial features sang “it’s a small world” in all languages possible. After the ride we saw this.
After that, we lined up for a photo-op with the princesses. Due to time constraints, we were only able to have a picture with Rapunzel because we decided she was the prettiest. Disneyland is not as jam-packed in terms of adventures as Ocean Park. Besides, there were way too many people and I think we were way over-aged. Just like what Bianca said, I wished I was able to visit when I was 7, it would have made my life. Yeah, realizing things do not really exist changes one’s perspectives. Most attractions were safe if not redundant and the best that you could actually do is take pictures because lines were really long some attraction’s waiting time is 50 minutes!
After Rapunzel, we went to Minnie mouse for another photo-op and we saw this cutie patootsie and her equally handsome father. Her face was so round I wanted to bite her cheeks off and make her cry because already cute babies are cuter when they cry. Lol.
We arrived at Disneyland late, as in past 1pm-late and the park closed really early at 7:30 pm. Aside from that, crews stopped accepting customers for rides at 6:30 because they said there would be fireworks display in the next hour and the lines are still long. Hence, we did not enjoy Toy StoryLand that much given that it was the most exciting of all 5 lands (thanks to exhilarating rides like RC Racer and Toy Soldier Parachute Drop).
At 7:30, we made our way to Main Street where Sleeping Beauty’s Castle could be seen (over which, the fireworks would commence) and sat on the floor together with thousands of other visitors hoping for a nice display. It was, in my standards, magical because I would still love fireworks anyway no matter how simple and/or ugly they are. But seriously, it was nice. For the first time in a long while, I did not care if I would not be able to catch it on video because no amount of file can compete with my own memory of this one, upgrades and downgrades included.