Archive for the 'HONG KONG' Category

13
Jul
13

MEETING FELLOW FILIPINO BLOGGERS IN MALAYSIA, HONG KONG & SINGAPORE

Like a surgeon with his list of procedures done on the operating table. Like an architect with his volume of blueprints drawn for the structures he built. Like a lawyer with his number of  legal cases won for his clients. I’m very proud that blogging has been my passion for the past 6 years and counting. Apparently, it has been occupying the biggest fraction on the pie graph of my limited social life.

Documenting our family’s fun adventures from our dining table to wherever our feet lead us, so that I (and hopefully Gabby) will have something online to look back, particularly when we’re all old and gray, has been surprisingly beneficial! But over and beyond freebies and loot bags, sponsorships, invites, and yes, some recognition, the most engaging part of being a blogger, in my opinion is having the opportunity to meet people who share the same passion. Certainly a big plus when bloggers go to events, travel here and there, eat and do things they love to do together, then eventually share the experiences to their readers. Engaging. Informative. Entertaining. Interesting. Fascinating. Never boring.

Within the past 3 years of living in Penang as an Overseas Filipino Worker, it’s been a pleasure to meet fellow Filipino Bloggers beyond Philippine shores.  This post randomly enumerates our casual meetings with them in Malaysia, Hong Kong and Singapore.

MALACCA, MALAYSIA

Before we checked out from our 3D2N sponsored accomodation at Quayside Hotel and Halia Inc. Restaurant & Coffee Bar on our second visit to Melaka last June 2013, Jun Baris of GalangPusa.Wordpress.Com with his charming wife, Cynthia came over to meet us for few minutes before we head back to Penang.  They were even thoughtful in bringing Gabby two packs of ChocNut as pasalubong! Thank you Jun & Cynthia!

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Read Jun’s blog posts on his Malaysian adventures and more HERE!

PENANG, MALAYSIA

The youngest and the very first bloggers from the Philippines that we met in George Town, Penang were Lloyd of  TheLostBoyLloyd.Com and Dan of HappyWanderer.Com. I toured them for more than 6 hours within George Town to Gurney Drive during the 2012 George Town Festival. We went to Pinang Peranakan Mansion where we even witnessed a prenuptial photoshoot, strolled to Muslim’s Mosques, Taoist, Buddhist and Hindu Temples which are all harmoniously existing within a few meters away. Diversity in this side of Asia isn’t only observed in religions but gastronomic delights as well. With all the rich cultures intertwined in Malaysia, it’s always a feast in almost all corners of Penang being the country’s food capital! We savored local restaurant and hawker foods to our delight! My only regret was not photographing the two for this blog. Nonetheless, I’m happy to be their half-day-tour guide in the island!

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Glad to introduce my ultimate favorite Malaysian dish to them : Char Koay Teow!
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Lloyd, Dan and I also sampled Penang’s famous desserts…
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Ais Kachang, Cendol and Bubur Chacha! Sarap! Sedap!

They also spotted Lithuanian Artist, Ernest Zacharevic while working on his commissioned murals for George Town!
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Dan and Lloyd, Maraming salamat sa pasalubong! Our favorite!!!
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The visit of Lloyd and Dan to George Town blog post HERE! Read also Lloyd’s own take on their Penang experience HERE! I also suggest you visit Dan’s Happy Wanderer Blog HERE! 

Few months after, the blogger from Angono, Rizal, Anton Carranza Jr. revisited Malaysia and conquered Penang on foot in few days with his lovely wife, Teresa. They literally roamed around George Town on their own the day after I met them for dinner. I brought them to hawkers in Gurney Drive too but I thought, since they already tasted offerings from hawker stalls in Jalan Alor in Kuala Lumpur, it would be better if they try steamboat buffet in Seoul Garden inside Plaza Gurney Mall.

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*Photo courtesy of Anton from his blog, PusangKalye.Net. Read his blog series on their Penang trip via his blog HERE!

Ivan Man Dy, the well-traveled Filipino Heritage Expert cum Tour Guide Extraordinaire and many other hats to his name has been to Penang several times even before I came to this Malaysian state to work in 2010.  We met Ivan several times in Manila but our first meeting with him in Penang was over Chicken Tandoori and Garlic Cheese Naan savored with barehands at Restoran Kapitan in Little India, George Town; blogged  HERE!

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We met Ivan initially in Penang when I was a few pounds lighter and Tina hasn’t started her diet and physical regimen yet. She’ll kill me for this, hehehe!

Ivan decided to pay George Town, Penang another visit but this year, his trip was so timely on the city’s anniversary of incription as one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites. From our favorite local Indian-Malaysian restaurant last year, we brought Ivan to a sponsored and sumptuous Wine and Dine Dinner Buffet at no less than Sarkies at E&O Hotel; blog post HERE! 

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After that Sarkies dinner, Ivan, Tina, Gabby and I went to Khoo Kongsi to watch the few moments of GTF2013. We were amazed and amused at the Taiwanese Puppet Show at the courtyard of one of the grandest clan houses in the island. We also got a chance to meet some local performers, who were all in their traditional attires.

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Here are Ivan Man Dy’s pasalubong to us. Maraming salamat!

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Visit Ivan Man Dy’s OldManilaWalks.Com and reserved a walking tour with him HERE!

Joey and Krissy of BoundForTwo.Com are Filipino bloggers currently based in Kuala Lumpur. We first met late last year when I visited Malaysia’s capital to renew my passport at the Philippine Embassy. We had some sushi and sashimi at a Japanese restaurant in Pavilion Mall.  Their blog post HERE!

This year, they also decided to explore Penang during George Town Festival. They stayed in the island over the weekend and Gabby and I (because Tina chose to do a ton of household chores) accompanied them to Kafe Heng Huat in Lorong Selamat where the most delicious Char Koay Teow that I’ve tasted with the most plump prawns and bowls of Ais Kachang among others are served. We also went to Thai and Burmese Buddhist Temples in Pulau Tikus, G Hotel and the famous hawkers and Plaza Gurney Mall in Gurney Drive. Like Anton and Teresa, they also toured the island by themselves before and after we met them. Thanks for the visit, Joey and Krissy!

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KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA

During the 2013 Blog Awards held by Ministry of Tourism where this site was awarded for two consecutive years as Best Expat Blog Award Winner, three topnotch Filipino Bloggers were flown in from the Philippines to participate as speakers in the conference held for the event. We met Tonyo Cruz, Vince Golangco and Blogie Robillo during the awarding ceremony that same night. Blog post HERE! 

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On this photo with the Honorable Tourism Malaysia Minister Dato’ Sri Dr. Ng Yen Yen (center wearing yellow gown) are Filipino bloggers Vince Golangco (standing second from right) of www.wheninmanila.com  , Blogie Robillo (standing second from left) of www.robilloblog.com and Tonyo Cruz (standing third from right) of tonyocruz.com.

HONG KONG

Tina, Gabby and I were invited by Hong Kong Disneyland for 3D2N sponsored trip and accomodation with full meals, together with Filipino celebrity bloggers.

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Lesley (third from left on the photo above) of ShootFirstEatLater.Com, Gael Hilotin (eighth from left) of ThePinaySoloBackpacker.Com, Pastor Dennis Sy (next to Gael) of ActLikeAMan.Org, (next to Pastor Dennis on the photo above is his lovely wife, Thammie Sy of ThammieSy.Com and celebrity-fashion bloggers, Kryz Uy (third from right) of ThirstyThoughtByKryzUy , Robbie Becroft (behind Kryz) of RobbieOffDuty.Com and Laureen Uy (second from right) of BreakMyStyle.Com.

SINGAPORE

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While in Singapore and over Sufi Restaurant’s Babaganoush, Kebab on a Sword and other Mediterranean goodies, I’ve met the Nuffnang’s Asia-Pacific Award Winning Travel Blogger, Nina Fuentes of JustWandering.Org  on July 19, 2012 in Arab Street. I first met Nina on an invitational blogger’s event for Singapore Tourism Board few months prior my work in Penang started. Our Singapore casual yet tasteful dinner, blogged HERE!

And just a day after the dinner with Nina, I met a few more Filipino Bloggers in the Lion City as we were all invited to grace the 2012 Singapore Blog Awards; blog post HERE!

We were hosted by omy.sg and designated to various hotels of Far East Hospitality. I was luckily assigned to Oasia. It was fun when we attended the welcome dinner, the awarding ceremonies the following day where Noks wore that Joker costume and won over other contestatnts in superhero attires; we rode the Singapore Flyer together, and eat, laugh, eat, laugh in that happy cycle! Of  course, it was fun to meet fellow bloggers from other Southeast Asian countries; we gained friends after the event! :)

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If this was the Blogging Olympics, here’s the contingent from the Philippines! (From left to right on the photo above) Brenna Bustamante of PhilippineTravelogue.Com, KC Canlas of SpreadSomeAwesome.Com, the Joker who won the Best Costume Award in SBA2012 -Noks Sosa of SiningFactory.Com (and his other blogs), and certainly not the least, Aleah of SolitaryWanderer.Com

June 2013, we met Paul Ang of the blog, MadDawgWorld.Wordpress.Com  and his cheerful and loving wife, Fran of the blog, FrannyWanny.Com who both are currently Singapore-based.

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Paul Ang (in acid blue shirt) and his better half, Fran (in pink shirt). We were invited by an inspiring Filipino achiever in Singapore and across Northeast and Southeast Asia, Dennis to a delightful Japanese Dinner in Hakumai Sushi and Omakase and French Desserts at Antoinette; blog post HERE! Dennis will kill me for posting this! Sorry, Dennis but again, THANK YOU SO MUCH for that wonderful dinner!

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Why did I painstakingly blog this?  

To tell the entire Universe that we, Filipino Bloggers are conquering the world and we chose to begin with our own continent. Kidding!

If you’re visiting us while we’re still here in Penang, we charge for MEET & GREET SESSION and we highly welcome pasalubong from the Philippines, JOKE!!! :P

Seriously, to all those mentioned in this long but humble post, thank you so much for taking the efforts and spending your precious time with us! Hope to see you again soon!

PS : If in any case I missed someone, kindly identify yourself, state where and when we met outside the Philippines and I’ll gladly edit this post.  Maraming salamat po!  :)

09
Dec
12

THE 2012 OF BEYOND TOXICITY @ DOCGELO.COM

THANK YOU, 2012!

It’s only mid-December and the BEST SEASON, the BEST CELEBRATIONS are yet to come.

Despite all problems, challenges and daily hassles, counting blessings makes life more meaningful.

Words are not enough to express my gratitude for everything that happened to this personal passion called blogging.

Allow me to press the replay button, and sentimentally share with you once more

the vibrant and happy colors that made our family’s 2012 a kaleidoscope!

>>><<<

May 2012 : BEST EXPAT BLOG AWARDS from MINISTRY OF TOURISM MALAYSIA

May 2012 BlogAwardsMay 2012 MITBCA

blog post : http://docgelo.com/2012/05/09/2012-ministry-of-tourism-malaysia-best-expat-blog/

January 2012 :  BATU CAVES, KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA

January 2012 Batu Caves

blog post : http://docgelo.com/2012/01/27/caves-and-bears/

January 2012 :  PETRONAS TWIN TOWERS SKYBRIDGE VISIT

January 2012 Petronas Twin Towers

blog post : http://docgelo.com/2012/01/21/our-fun-homage-to-malaysias-magnificence/

February 2012 : HONG KONG DISNEYLAND THEME PARK & HOTEL SPONSORED TRIP

Feb 2012 HKDisney
February 2012 HK Disneyland
February 2012 Hong Kong Disneyland
February 2012 HKDL

blog posts :

http://docgelo.com/2012/02/23/our-hong-kong-disneyland-trip-2012-arrival-lunch/

http://docgelo.com/2012/02/27/our-hong-kong-disnyeland-trip-2012-spectacular-burst-of-colors/

http://docgelo.com/2012/03/01/our-hong-kong-disneyland-trip-2012-timeless-magic/

May 2012 : HAVING MY OWN DOMAIN + BLOG HEADER

blog header

blog post : http://docgelo.com/2012/05/25/happy-blogging/

May 2012 : AN INVITATION from @ SAKAE SUSHI, GEORGE TOWN, PENANG

May 2012 Sakae Sushi
May 2012 SS

blog post : http://docgelo.com/2012/05/28/love-affair-with-japanese-food-continues/

May 2012 :  INVITATION to PENANG SPICE TRAIL from MINISTRY OF TOURISM MALAYSIA PENANG BRANCH

May 2012 Penang Spice Trail

blog post : http://docgelo.com/2012/05/22/penang-spice-trail-enticing-sensory-experience/

June 2012 : SHOWCASING GEORGE TOWN, PENANG 

June 2012 Penang Street Art

June 2012 Street arts Penang
June 2012 GT
June 2012 Intro to George Town
June 2012 GT Penang

blog post : http://docgelo.com/2012/06/24/how-i-introduced-george-town-penang/

July 2012 : PHOTO PUBLISHED ON LONELY PLANET ASIA MAGAZINE

July 2012 LP
July 2012 Lonely Planet

blog post : http://docgelo.com/2012/07/17/surreal/

July 2012 : INVITATION from SINGAPORE BLOG AWARDS  | FAR EAST HOSPITALITY HOTELS -

OASIA HOTEL SPONSORED 3D2N ACCOMODATION

INVITATION from MARINA BAY SANDS SKYPARK | HARRY POTTER EXHIBITION -

ANDY WARHOL EXHIBITION

jULY 2012 MBS Sg a1 bar
July 2012 Sg MBS
July 2012 Sg Harry Potter
July 2012 Oasia
July 2012 Sg Blog Awards
cooled conservatories from sands skypark, marina bay sands
marina bay sands, gardens by the bay

blog posts :

http://docgelo.com/2012/07/25/oasia-my-oasis-in-singapore-2012/

http://docgelo.com/2012/07/28/marina-bay-sands-my-awesome-experience/

http://docgelo.com/2012/08/08/infinite-dose-of-spring-gardens-by-the-bay/

http://docgelo.com/2012/08/05/singapore-on-greater-heights/

http://docgelo.com/2012/07/27/a-bloggers-weekend-in-singapore-lah/

July 2012 : HARD ROCK HOTEL PENANG SPONSORED 3D2N ACCOMODATION

July 2012 HRHP
July 2012 HRHOTEL
July 2012 Hard Rock
July 2012 HRHP 2
July 2012 HRHP room
July 2012 HRHP 3

blog posts :

http://docgelo.com/2012/08/01/glorious-food-porn-hard-rock-hotel-penang/

http://docgelo.com/2012/07/31/our-rock-roll-family-weekend-hard-rock-hotel-penang/

 August 2012 : BANGKOK, THAILAND

photography inside tuk tukgrand palace 7
grand palace 10
grand palace 20
grand palace 21reclining buddha
reclining buddha
buddha's face in wat pho
mystic place bangkok 16
mystic place bangkok 4tina & gabby at amari watergate lobby
daddy's boy heichinrou bangkok

blog posts :

http://docgelo.com/2012/08/20/bangkok-series-2012-grand-palace/

http://docgelo.com/2012/09/01/bangkok-2012-series-golden-reclining-buddha/

http://docgelo.com/2012/08/23/bangkok-2012-series-we-highly-recommend-mystic-place/

http://docgelo.com/2012/08/25/bangkok-2012-series-chatuchak-weekend-market/

http://docgelo.com/2012/09/04/bangkok-2012-series-heichinrou/

http://docgelo.com/2012/08/28/bangkok-2012-series-penang-bangkok-penang-via-bus/

September 2012 : INVITATION from LEGOLAND MALAYSIA

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blog post : http://docgelo.com/2012/09/22/our-legoland-malaysia-experience-2012/

September 2012 : SINGAPORE ONCE MORE WITH TINA & GABBY

july 2012 singapore

blog post : http://docgelo.com/2012/09/29/a-saturday-in-singapore/

October 2012 : FINALIST in PHOTO CONTEST @ CHINAHOUSE,

GEORGE TOWN, PENANG, MALAYSIA

chinahouse george town penang

blog post : http://docgelo.com/2012/11/11/we-got-free-brunch-chinahouse/

November 2012 : EXCLUSIVE INVITATION to FOOD TASTING @ FEAST VILLAGE,

STARHILL GALLERY.

SKYBAR @ TRADERS HOTEL | CHYNNA @ HILTON HOTEL | 7ATENINE @ ASCOTT  

KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA

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10starhill tea salonpetronas twin towersANS_13927atenine

blog posts :

http://docgelo.com/2012/11/17/village-bar-an-underground-fantasy/

http://docgelo.com/2012/11/20/my-delicious-afternoon-at-feast-village-starhill-gallery/

http://docgelo.com/2012/11/14/intoxicating-views/

http://docgelo.com/2012/11/24/7atenine/

http://docgelo.com/2012/11/23/dining-chinese/

November 2012 : SPONSORED AIRLINE FOOD REVIEW

November 2012 Airline Food Review

blog post : http://docgelo.com/2012/11/26/malaysian-dishes-on-air-an-airline-food-review/

December 2012 : PHOTOSHOOT for FAMILY PORTRAIT @ MACALISTER MANSION, PENANG

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blog post : http://docgelo.com/2012/12/02/weekend-at-macalister-mansion/

We commissioned one of the brilliant Malaysian photographers from Penang to do our family photos on the first day of December for an hour of unlimited shots at a very reasonable cost and a week after, he posted these two teaser-proofs on his facebook account. The rest of the photos will be delivered in weeks time.

family portrait december 1 2012
family portrait

As of this blogging, I’m also waiting for the result of ExpatBlogs.Com Best Expat Blog Awards

of which my site is nominated and currently 3rd among 13 expat blogs in Malaysia

(blog post : http://docgelo.com/support-docgelo/).

I’m also excited to share my interview and blog feature on InterNations.Org based in Germany soon!

On a more serious note,

Thank you to those people who lifted our spirits during our lowest moments this year.

Thank you to those generous souls who helped us in so many ways during those trying times.

Thank you to my blog readers, followers and fellow bloggers who have been a constant inspiration.

Advance Happy Holidays! A Blessed Christmas And A More Prosperous New Year to all of us!

THANK YOU SO MUCH, LORD ALMIGHTY!

All Glory and Honor is Yours, Now and Forever!

>>><<<

This is also my entry to Weekly Photo Challenge : My 2012 In Pictures

25
May
12

HAPPY BLOGGING

Looking back, the first 5 months of 2012 have been more exciting and fun filled for me & my blogging. To others, these things may be ordinary but of course to me, the following events that transpired mean the moon and the stars already! :P

Let’s have a trip down recent memory lane, once more!

February 2012 was about docgelo x Mickey Mouse! The family and I were invited to a 3D2N sponsored adventure in Hong Kong Disneyland. We’re thankful for the opportunity to revisit the wonderful island and theme park for free.  It was glorious!

Two months after, I was almost blown away with the hits this blog generated in one day. Considering I am not a celebrity, neither I blog sensational stories, nor national-level events or global issues, an almost 7,000 hits in a single day was beyond surprising!

On the same month of April, I stumbled upon an info on twitter that THE Ministry of Tourism Malaysia is holding its very first Malaysia International Tourism Blog Conference and Awards. I took a chance to nominate my blog and eventually it won under the Best Expat Blog 2012 category. And meeting the gracious and honorable Minister of Tourism Malaysia on stage was really one for the books! Accepting an award because your blog was voted by the people and was approved and confirmed by professional judges was indeed surreal! And FYI, the trophy was literally solid-heavy!

The event was featured in some newspaper within Malaysia and God knows if it also got to foreign shores. Obviously, it felt like weird and unusual to be on paper and to make matters more amusing, I can’t read a character because I don’t know Mandarin! I had to source out to instant friendly translators from my facebook list – a friend in Hong Kong and a Penangite blogger translated that it’s all good so I need not worry. It still felt weird, nonetheless I take pride as the only one wearing Barong Tagalog on that stage. My nose that night became an inch taller! hehehe! :D

The award was too perfect to celebrate my FIVE YEARS OF BLOGGING; the date of the awards night, May 8, 2012 coincided with the exact anniversary of my blog. Sweet victory, is it not?

Then came last week when I got my blog a dotcom, finally!

A week after I got my own domain, my new blog header banner was delivered.

How could you not be happier? :)

Presenting, my newest blog header banner….taaaaadaaaah! :)

Do you like my new blog header?

Does it shout out what I blog about- family, food and fun? :D

Thank you to my sponsor for this blog header banner, no other than my lovely wife, Tina! *applause!*

Tina and I like it a lot. I love it to bits actually! I even appreciate how my receding hairline was immortalized in this digital masterpiece, hehehe! It’s unbelievable that I have collaborated with an amazing Malaysian artist who generously agreed to do it for my site! Her name is Ms. Emila Yusof, a mother, a wife, a seasoned traveler, an Illustrator, a Children’s Book Writer and an Award-Winning-Blogger! Her blog was named as 2012 Best Tourism Lifestyle Blog at the 2012 Malaysia International Tourism Blog Award. It was literally on stage where we casually and briefly met! And the rest as they say, is history or in our case, an online collaboration. I emailed Ms. Emila heavily about my design in mind and it looks like she effortlessly illustrated everything I want.  All my request and suggestions, even my last-minute-revisions were granted and delivered professionally!

Terima Kasih, Ms. Emila! Thank you for being so kind and patient on all my request. It’s my pleasure to own a piece of your awesome talent! :)

Know more about Ms. Emila Yusof, her art works, books, worldwide exhibits and her portfolio via her award winning blog :  http://emilayusof.com/

There are certainly a lot of things to celebrate and to be grateful for!

Thank You, Lord! :)

16
Mar
12

IN TUNG CHUNG

Parang Nasa MRT / LRT lang sa Pinas (less the stampede and the bomb threats! *no pun intended*)

Closed. Sarado. Tutup.

Siklistas are mall rats, train riders and bargain hunters too!

To the Left. To the Left

Finally, we reached the CityGate Outlets located at the terminal end of Tung Chung Station via what else but Hong Kong’s very efficient MTR lines (Mass Transit Railway). Although it’s just a ride away from Sunny Bay Station where we hopped off from that awesome Disneyland Resort Train Line, you know what a new place can do for some first-timers-unseasoned-travelers like us. Luckily, our feet didn’t get lost.

CityGate Outlets is one those must-visit spots in Hong Kong particularly when you only have limited time to kill or you’re on a hunt for some branded merchandise on a super bargain price (read : 50 – 70% off, which to us wasn’t a surprise because in malls in Penang, discounts also go as low as those during sale season).  As for us, our game plan for this short trip to CityGate was simply to see the place and while away time as we wait for our 5:45PM flight back to Malaysia. Oh, and to fill our tummies too!

KIDDIE TEMPTATIONS  AHEAD!

Amongst the many branded stores of rubber shoes, bags, clothes offering huge sale, nothing seemed so enticing (to someone whose wallet was well guarded because the budget is uber limited!) to us than this kiosk…

LEGO. Eye Candy to Gabby and Me. And you? Do you dig Lego too?

Gabby's eyes popped upon the sight of this kiosk filled with Lego goodies. While he was asking Tina and I to buy him at least a piece (read : he still has a new large box of Lego which he got as a gift from my father in law last holiday and he just received an exactly similar Lego-Light Buzzyear watch from one of our fellows in our HKDL trip) I held on to my wallet tight and kept my will power. Success! haha! And although those keychains are cute, I passed the chance of buying for I am not much into keychains.

The Star Wars Lego gift that Gabby got from his maternal Lolo last Christmas was as big as this. He has yet to explore and build it soon!

If you must know, I frequently rise up early and always beat my alarm clock- even weekends and holidays, mind you. I believe I don't need a large one as that in my old mobile still does the job perfectly. But these Lego-movie-themed alarm clocks were such an enormous temptations that greater will power to held on to the budget was a must! :) I know I only wanted them but don't need actually (why do we buy things often times we don't need anyway?) . But then again, they're so cute, aren't they? haha! :)

FOOD REPUBLIC,

CITYGATE OUTLETS,

 TUNG CHUNG, LANTAU ISLAND, HONG KONG.

Yes, Food Republic is the CityGate Outlets’ food court!  And I apologize for thinking that we might smell like the food they offer after eating inside; I was so wrong!  It must be a great food place for it’s almost packed when we arrived.

Thou shall not judge people by their hairstyles. There are 5 types in this shot, can you count them all? *snickers*

hip and edgy... i like the hoody more than the hair

It's a must when in Hong Kong

Ate, ano ginagawa nyo sa dim sum?

Bibili na sana ako Kuya, pero parang galit ka. Why?

HCR = Hainanese Chicken Rice is happiness. But we passed up because hawkers offer this in Penang anyway or perhaps, we're craving for something else.

Korea House : Tina's choice

Milo or Ovaltine? Guess.

Tina's Korean Lunch : A Bowl of Beef & Veggies. It was OK according to her.

I almost ordered a Korean Bento Box from that Korea House where Tina bought her lunch set but I decided to hop from one food stall to another and tried  to feel what my gastric mucosa’s craving was.

Food Republic’s made of various Asian cuisines -Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean and my palate opted for a Japanese fastfood favorite!

Impeccable Teamwork : While a lady-crew tends the cashier, these two create our very own favorite that was sorely missed (read: it has been more than 2 years!) Japanese fastfood sizzling yummies in a few sec. However, because queues and orders pile up, customers and hungry diners like Gabby and I need to wait despite the two's perfectly coordinated moves in the kitchen.

They're making Gabby's lunch!

I know.

When in Hong Kong, one should savor Chinese dishes –dim sum, noodles, and anything cooked Cantonese or Sichuan.

But it has been years since we last enjoyed cooking our own food in a sizzling plate with lotsa butter and pepper on the rice meal.

We love Pepper Lunch! We miss their Shangri La Plaza and Powerplant Mall branches back home (We have not tried Greenbelt branch yet). We even won in one of PL’s promo contests years ago (CLICK THIS!). I know now that PL has a branch in Malaysia, but it’s in Pavilion Mall in Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur! That’s 5 hour-away via bus ride from Penang. So when opportunity presented itself, Gabby and I didn’t think twice, we had PL Rice for our last lunch in Hong Kong!

Gabby's Pepper Lunch favorite : Beef Pepper Rice (I can still hear my boy saying, "Daddy ang sarap! Favorite ko ito!")

My Pepper Lunch Meal : Cut Steak and Hamburger Combo. With butter beneath and over the meat, plus that favorite HONEY BROWN SAUCE, a cup of Japanese rice seemed not enough! ANG SARAP!!! Miss na miss!

 We loved those moments in Tung Chung!

Before 3PM, we went back to Disney's Hollywood Hotel, collected our luggage and bags and rode a cab to the HKIA. Bye bye, Tung Chung! Bye bye Hong Kong. Thanks for the memories! They're one of our coolest! See you again in the near future! ;)

*PS : LEGOLAND MALAYSIA in Johor Bahru (near Singapore) opens end of 2012 (view HERE!)

13
Mar
12

OUR HONG KONG DISNEYLAND TRIP 2012 : LAST DAY HIGH

19 February 2012. Sunday. It was the last day of our 3D2N grand family vacation in Hong Kong Disneyland Park and Resort. And although we’re ecstatic with everything we had experienced in the Happiest Place On Earth, we tried to struggle a bit with fact that we’re leaving Hong Kong for our work place in Penang, Malaysia before dusk. It’s always hard to leave something so special that gave you many wonderful memories. Nontheless, we still had a day to enjoy so Tina, Gabby and I started our last morning in Hong Kong with ear-to-ear smiles.

Good Morning, Disney’s Hollywood Hotel !!! :)

From our room down to the lobby, we headed directly to Chef Mickey to have our buffet breakfast!

“Chef Mickey recalls the lavish Art Deco-styled studio commissaries of Hollywood’s Golden Age. Mickey decorations and various Disney characters in sketch form are found throughout the restaurant.” (via hongkongdisneyland.com)

Here’s the nice corner reserved for my family and me…

From the ceiling, fixtures, tiled walls and the spread, there’s a piece of Mickey Mouse to delight your senses!

It was Gabby who first noticed and told me, “Daddy, look at the plate, it looks like Mickey Mouse’s pants!”

Much ado about carbo-loading : My first plate had a crusty cheese bread, a delicate egg tart, sample of fruity and fluffy pastries and a piece of Winnie the Pooh banana cake. Of course, my morning would not be complete without a dose of coffee.

Who says pizza ain’t a morning meal? Gabby was wide-eyed when he spotted an all-cheese-thin-crust-pizza on the spread; he’s a purist when it comes to pizza thus, it’s his favorite!  I asked him, “Anak, do you want some?” Of course, I received an excited positive response! I got a few slices for him, added some hash browns molded into smileys; how cute! And the basic scrambled eggs and bacon with Mickey Mouse waffles spruced up with maple syrup, while our boy favored chocolate syrup!

One of my favorites that I found so good from Chef Mickey’s various offerings was those thin slices of smoked salmon! I paired it with fresh green salad which I topped with different kinds of cheeses, some bits of cold cuts and vinaigrette and my morning instantly became perfect!

Tina and Gabby were satisfied with the breakfast too. Why, there were cereals which is a staple for my wife and son; yoghurt and fresh tropical fruits too! There were also some Chinese favorites –choices of dim sum, noodles, congee and a lot more that we wished our stomachs can accomodate. :)

After filling our tummies from Chef Mickey, we got our luggage and bags, had an early check out at 10:30AM, deposited our bags (for free!) at the Left Luggage Service of the hotel and trooped to the Disney’s Hollywood Hotel garden.

For the nth time, I owe some brilliant observations from our 7-year-old-kid. After first noticing those Chef Mickey’s plates patterned after Mickey Mouse’s pants, he commented about the aisle at the garden has film strips! And so I took a snap…

Bright and beautiful foliage at the Disney’s Hollywood Hotel garden…

The colors of the blooms – both big and small were awe-inspiring!

Pretty, isn’t it? My mother would agree (read : she loves flowers while my wife prefers food!).

It must be the great climate. It must be…

Happy moments in Disney’s Hollywood Hotel were made of these…

So happy he became buoyant on cool air!

Then, at the back of those “Hollywood Hotel” signage is somewhat discreet walkway where vintage cars are parked, excellent for photo-ops. What is Hollywood without them anyway?

Now, here are the exhibits of our “not-our-car-photos”….

Gorgeous cadillac coupled with those lovely smiles…

We’re almost ready to leave the garden when Gabby was fascinated with this movie ticket booth…

Gabby was inspired to do role-playing with his mom. Tina as the movie-goer and Gabby sells the tickets. Guess who’s their director? Definitely, not me! I played the usual camera man; Gabby himself called the shots! And all the while we thought his mind’s already fixed in becoming a chef, hotelier and restaurateur in the future. He got other talents, baby! ;)

The moment came when he thought of dancing in the middle of a turntable-designed ground near the poolside. Elvis Presley songs were on air. He was then more of an entertainer with the grooves more than just an actor-director! haha! :D  (I captured all of his moves in photos which I will probably post on a separate entry soon).

Time to bid goodbye to Disney’s Hollywood Hotel. Thank you for that warm and family-friendly accomodation! :)

As we planned to collect our luggage from Disney’s Hollywood Hotel at around 3PM before heading to Hong Kong International Airport to catch our 5:45PM HK-KUL flight via Air Asia, we rode the resort’s free shuttle bus and went to Hong Kong Disneyland Resort Public Transport Interchange (PTI). 

TRANSPORTATION IS ALSO WHIMSICAL AT HONG KONG DISNEYLAND! 

Here are some info and tips on how to go about the MTR Disneyland Resort Line

Getting to and out the park is as easy as counting 1, 2 and 3. :) From Hong Kong International Airport, one can opt to ride a bus, a car, a taxi cab or a train to reach Hong Kong Disneyland and vise-versa if you’re leaving the Happiest Place On Earth.

We’ve been to Hong Kong and Hong Kong Disneyland quite a few times already but we were always on a package tour (read : there’s a tourist bus that pick us up to and from the park) and we have not experienced riding that Mickey-Mouse-windowed train running on the MTR Disneyland Resort Line. And so we did not let the chance pass last month to enjoy such experience.

It’s always great to ask whenever you’re in doubt. So I went to the counter of the MTR Disneyland Resort Line to inquire how to go to Ting Chung via Sunny Bay. He instructed me to buy tickets from the machines located at the laterals of the station just before the turnstiles. He generously broke my bills into coins for the train ticket machines; very HKDL-friendly! :)

The ticket machines are touch screens; you need to identify and press the point of your origin before you touch the point of your final destination. Say for example, touch first Hong Kong Disneyland Resort then Tung Chung. The ticket price for adult and kids are different but the machine monitor will show the amount per person and you just need to press the total pax (e.g. 3 adults, 1 kid).  Et voila, you collect the tickets to be inserted (or swipe if it’s loadable) on the turnstiles!

Convenience meets Fantasy.

That’s my first impression on Disneyland Resort Train Station.

It made me wish that all train stations around the globe would be as neat and pretty as this.

“Travel on the railway network of MTR and interchange for the Disneyland Resort Line at Sunny Bay Station.

  • Only 23 minutes from the Hong Kong International Airport, MTR Airport station,
  • 30 minutes from MTR Kowloons tation and
  • 33 minutes from MTR Hong Kong station where Guests can pick up  Park Tickets too!
Operating Hours between Sunny Bay and Disneyland Resort Station
From Sunny Bay: from 6:15am – 12:45am the following day From Disneyland Resort Station: from 6:20am – 12:40am the following day
Frequency 4 – 10 minutes.” (-via hongkongdisneyland.com)

Just wonderful. :)

And at an instant, we fell in love with the train! Those train handles are one of the many reasons why one should visit and experience Hong Kong Disneyland! :)

Among the many train couches, we were lucky to randomly seated near that Mickey Mouse bronze statue.

There’s Tink’s and many other Disney characters immortalized in bronze enclosed in capsules.

Hong Kong Disneyland Resort line runs until Sunny Bay. From here, you wait and take other trains that will take you to your destination.

Doing the “tourist thing” at Sunny Bay Station….

Now, where did we go and what did we do after Sunny Bay would have to be posted next!

With that, I’d like to thank the people who made our Hong Kong Disneyland trip very memorable and fun-filled!  Thank you to Jaclyn, Nicole, Catherine and Purple –you guys are the BEST!

Thank you to my fellow Filipino bloggers and their families and friends who were nice companions on this trip -Gael of The Pinay Solo Backpacker, Thammie of ThammieSy.com, Leslie of Shoot First Eat Later, Laureen Uy of Break My Style, and Kyrz of KyrzUy.com.

Thank you to my fellow Filipino bloggers with their families and friends! Thank you to Gael of The Pinay Solo BackPacker and her sister, Juvy, Thank you to Thammie of ThammieSy.com who came with her entire family, Pastor Dennis of Act Like A Man and their two adorable daughters, Alyanna and Mika. Thank you to Leslie of Shoot First Eat Later who came with her friend, Ms. Elizabeth (not in photo but Thank you, Maam for giving Gabby a lego-Buzz Lightyear watch!), Thank you fashion bloggers and celebrities, Laureen Uy of Break My Style  who came with her special one, Robbie, and Kryz Uy of KryzUy.com who went with her sister, Jack.  Maraming Salamat! Don’t you wish we meet again in some similar trip like this? Better yet, let’s go to HKDL again someday! :)

Last but not certainly not the least, THANK YOU SO MUCH to HONG KONG DISNEYLAND for being the venue of our FAMILY bonding, offering more than expected delicious FOOD and providing us never-ending FUN!

In so many ways, this Hong Kong Disneyland vacation was truly an exceptional one! 

Whether it was our first time or we’ve been to the park and hotels several times over, reasons are beyond words to go back and revisit the Happiest Place on Earth!

Let this last set of my photos speak of those remarkable reasons why WE SO LOVE HONG KONG DISNEYLAND!

As Shakespeare had put it, “Parting is such a sweet sorrow.”

It was an enormous blessing that we got a chance to revisit Hong Kong Disneyland and experienced family bonding, food and fun beyond our great expectations!

Thank you so much, our dear God!

Thank you so much, Hong Kong Disneyland!

Till we meet again, Mickey Mouse! ;)

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This Blog Series Includes :

07
Mar
12

OUR HONG KONG DISNEYLAND TRIP 2012 : GLORIOUS DAY 2

18 February 2012, Saturday.  Tina, Gabby and I woke up early from one of our restful sleeps in Disney’s Hollywood Hotel and excitedly prepared for our Day 2 in the Happiest Place on Earth! 

It turned out to be  glorious! :)

From Disney’s Hollywood Hotel, we hopped on the resort’s shuttle bus and headed to Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel. We had a table reserved under our names at Enchanted Garden Restaurant for our breakfast buffet and Meet and Greet with the Disney characters! Everything seemed so thrilling particularly for Gabby!

As we went down directly to the  basement of the Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel where the Enchanted Garden Restaurant is housed, this beautiful space greeted us…

Enchanting, indeed!

We came in too early at 8AM (read : apparently excited!) and found from the Cast Member at the door of the restaurant that our table would be ready at around 9:30AM (so that’s the time that was reserved to us!). Without a hint of worry, we went out the door from the restaurant and spent time almost unnoticed in this perfectly manicured garden at the back of Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel.

The gazebo looks inviting as a perfect venue for couples to exchange “I dos”.  Imagine a wedding with all your favorite Disney characters led by no less than Mickey Mouse! Amazing!

A more interesting part of the garden is the hedge maze that Gabby, Tina and I tried finishing…

This is called, “Mickey Maze!” :)

Our kid totally enjoyed every second inside the maze…

Spot us in the Mickey Maze…

Let’s play “Hide and Seek!”

More cheesy but priceless bonding moments in Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel…

Must be so happy? You bet!

After almost an hour at the garden, it’s time to freshen up and hit the tables and the spread. On way to Enchanted Garden Restaurant, we spotted super cool and nice things.

Exhibit #1 : Wooden high chairs for kiddos. They made me smile.

Exhibit # 2 : A room near the Enchanted Garden Restaurant will surely entice parents and their little daughters…

In “My Little Princess”, little ladies may be transformed into a Disney Princess of their choice.

This was just a “one proud daddy scene.”  The moment reminded me of our wish (I and Tina’s) to give Gabby a little sister. (read :If it will come, it will in His time.) :)

Exhibit # 3 : Spotted Cinderella at the lobby of Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel with Alyanna and Mika (the beautiful daughters of Dennis and Thammie who were with our group in this HKDL trip).

Finally, a walk under those trellis! Splendid!

Being ushered to our reserved tables and seats felt surreal! Not that we’re excited to binge eat, hehe! but the ambiance exceeded our expectations!

The spread had Asian and Continental breakfast favorites. Everything looked tasteful and a must-try. There was more than enough for us to savor and be energized for another whole day at the park!

And then a thought popped out…

You don’t go to Hong Kong without sampling good bowl of noodles

and some tasteful dim sum and dumplings.

You just dont.

I just wished they had toyomansi (soy sauce + lime/calamansi) for the dim sums.

And because it’s Disneyland, Enchanted Garden boasts of Mickey Mouse figures in their waffles and pancakes! These made me stare at my plate for several minutes before I dunk my fork and knife at them. :)  I had some of the goodies in pair, yum, yum!!! :D  One of my plates had waffles, pancakes, hash browns and french toasts. Appreciate if you won’t calculate the calories! This is when my weakness in Math comes to be most useful! hehe!

The next set was mostly Tina’s and my plates. I had no chance to take photos of Gabby’s because he’s preoccuppied with excitement and huge appetite. ;)

Known in local Filipino TV series, “My Binondo Girl as”Amethyst” that Tina religiously followed online (Malaysia has no TFC!) and more popular as a fashion blogger-celebrity and sister to Liz Uy, we met the charming and beautiful, Laureen Uy.

One Stellar Moment

More stunning episodes happened as some of the best loved Disney characters went to our table for us to take photo-ops! Diners of Enchanted Garden need not to queue to have memorable pictures with Mickey, Pluto and Goofy (and other characters). It’s another VIP treatment that we enjoyed in Hong Kong Disneyland!

Widest and sweetest smiles from my family as we posed with Pluto and Mickey…

Must have one more shot with Pluto…

After that one-of-a-kind-breakfast experience at Disneyland Hotel’s Enchanted Garden, it was time to explore and enjoy Hong Kong Disneyland Park again!

To those who are planning to experience HKDL for the very first time and have doubts if you can enjoy it in one whole day, actually, you can! But would you not wish to double the fun if you can be there on 2 consecutive days?

Weather forecast checked : 14 to 16 degree Celcius. We loved the climate; we didn’t have a downpour! God is truly great!

We wore various hats : A Cast Member volunteered to take our family pic just before a quaint door in one of the pastel-colored structures at Main Street, U.S.A..

Hot. Fresh. Delicious!

Then our feet brought us to Tomorrowland!

As Tomorrowland intends to give park goers a creative experience of being in the future, the moments became nostalgic to us. :)

Here’s how we looked five years ago…I guess only pounds and kilos of happiness were added! ;)

Inside the Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters ride, we have been warned. :)

We had FAST PASSES to this awesome ride!  It was so cool when Buzz Lightyear himself introduced us to Astro Blasters!

Emperor Zurg! :P

Shooting robots. robots and more robots! We liked it here!

After that exhilarating Astro Blaster ride, we trooped to the largest restaurant in the theme park with over 800 seats, the Starliner Diner and grabbed a lip-smackingly good fried chicken and fries for lunch!

Over and beyond the food, what Tina and I liked was the fact that Hong Kong Disneyland’s Starliner Diner prioritizes sanitation and cleanliness by providing plastic gloves given inclusive of the food tray. You’ll find them folded and pack neatly with your tray. So eating chicken with hands was no-worries at all!

One more time on this car, Gabby! :D

2007 on the left ; 2012 on the right –Take a look at Gabby’s Then and Now photos and appreciate what 5 years have done!

Another ride within Tomorrowland available with Fast Passes is Space Mountain. We gave our Fast Passes to Laureen and her friends as we’re not fond of rollercoaster rides (read : Tina has Vertigo, Gabby’s still uncomfortable and cannot ride alone and I might throw up!). But if you’re adventurous and somewhat fearless, by all means, Space Mountain will surely give you the thrill!

We bid goodbye to Tomorrowland and strolled our way in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle to watch the Flights of Fantasy Parade for the second time! That 30 minute Hong Kong Disneyland parade really left us in awe!

Just before the parade started, Tina thought of a clever strategy. Since we didn’t have priority pass to the musical, The Festival of the Lion King, she suggested that together with Gabby while I am still drowned capturing the parade on photos, they will head to Adventureland just before the parade ends. In that way, while people are still busy watching the parade, they’ll be the first on the queue to that another must-see-musical..And true enough, it was a wise move.

The Festival of The Lion King at Adventureland

The scene became more fascinating after the stage lights were turned off. Let the show begin!

“It’s the Circle of Life

And it moves us all

Through despair and hope

Through faith and love

Till we find our place

On the path unwinding

In the Circle,

The Circle of Life….”

It’s visually stunning! The songs and their voices are overwhelming too. We have seen this musical at HKDL more than a couple of times already and performance gets better and better! My particular favorite was the gorgeous air stunt of this lady-bird character; the act was so graceful; almost breathtaking!

These live musical shows (The Golden Mickeys and The Festival of the Lion King) make Hong Kong Disneyland specially different from the other Disney Theme Parks!

Then, it’s Gabby’s time for some Mickey Mouse ice cream! Sarap!

Few more steps, we found oursleves in Liki Tiki…
These “leaky” tiki jungle poles squirts water like fountains; look how our little one enjoys the drizzling effects…

Playing with tribal percussion instruments entertained Gabby to the fullest!

Tina and I are the happiest when he’s happy.

OK, so we left Adventureland with a smile and moved on to Fantasyland with even wider smiles!

This Pixie Dust area where Tinker Bell usually drop by for photo-ops wasn’t existing yet way back in 2007 (Gabby’s first trip to HKDL).

Time for some Mickey’s PhilharMagic! This colorful 3D movie adventure about how Mickey Mouse lost his wizard hat and what Donald Duck has to do with it never fails to amuse us. You never get tired of great attractions in Hong Kong Disneyland!

3D glasses on!

Our last Fast Passes on our hands were for the The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh...Gabby was only 2 years old when he first rode the track to the story of Winnie.

Cinderella’s Carousel has 60 graceful, prancing horses!

I learned that last year’s celebration of the 5th Anniversary of Hong Kong Disneyland, Tink had showered Sleeping Beauty Castle with her pixie dust… The effect is even more magical at dusk!

After Winter Must Come Spring… Is it Spring yet? :)

Smiles and blooms perfectly blend…

Ahhhhh… another stupendous day at Hong Kong Disneyland is about to end…

Thank You, Lord for another magical day!

We made sure we remember this trip not only through photos and video but mementos and souvenirs from HKDL shops itself. Other than the Disney character-hats that we bought, Gabby got himself a rubber Mickey Mouse wrist watch (When we got into the hotel room, he received a gift from one of our new friends in our group–a lego writs watch with Buzz Lightyear design! Thank You, Ms. Elizabeth for such generous gift!).

Before exiting the shop, Gabby called my attention, “Daddy, picture!” hence, this…

Before 7PM, we left Hong Kong Disneyland Park with almost a heavy heart. It’s our last day in the park and surely we’ll miss all the fun!

Thank you for the memories, HKDL!

We had our last dinner in Hong Kong at Disneyland Hotel’s WALT’S CAFE. I’m almost lost for superlatives to describe how great the overall gastronomic experience we had. First thing came to mind : The dinner was EXCELLENT!

I think diners of Walt’s Cafe can opt to enjoy their meals at the lobby…

I checked the reservation and we’re instantly led toward the end of the restaurant where everything seemed perfect.

This is the beautiful corner reserved to our group. Isn’t it divine?

Looking at my photos after the trip made me wish I have sampled a bottle of their wine…

The view from our table… The ambiance and the look of that by-gone era was almost ethereal!

The smiles to live for….

Now, let’s get down to business. We loved everything we chowed down; starting with this crusty bread that looked like a hot air balloon when you work your imagination; it’s baked to perfection and can be enjoyed sans butter.

Gabby favored one of Mickey’s Kid’s Meal -Oven Baked Ham and Cheese Macaroni with carrots and green peas, fresh fruit salad and a choice of drink; our kiddo got himself a hot chocolate.

For Tina, she savored, Grilled US Beef Tenderloin and Simmered Beef Short Ribs with Mushroom and Pinot Noir Sauce, HK$ 268.

Let me tell you, I had a great time from browsing the menu to having a taste of everything my family had. Here’s my preferences and recommendations from Walt’s Cafe..

Chicken Breast Fillet with Poached Crab Meat with Papaya and Mango Salad served with Honey Lime Scented Dressing, HK$ 128.

My palate was satisfied with its texture and flavors. The fusion of  freshest and sweetest fruits complemented well the crunchiness of the greens. And the Chicken Breast Fillet? Heavenly!

I requested the wait staff to provide extra small plates so I can share my order with Tina and Gabby. I also sampled one Walt’s Cafe’s soups -

Double Boiled Black Mushroom with Kam Ha Wam Soup, HK$ 78.

The soup’s tasteful. I like the flavor of the Chinese ham and the black mushroom. Beautiful combo! The mushroom was shaped into Mickey Mouse’s head too! Amazing!

Then for my main entree, a huge plate was served first with one of the prettiest veggie side dishes I ever had…

To people who think amusement parks and their resorts only offer fast food junkies, think again!  Hong Kong Disneyland’s Corner Cafe and Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel’s Walt’s Cafe proved it otherwise. Their menus are beyond sumptuous! The ambience, sublime!

Seafood Platter for Two. (Grilled or Poached. I wanted it grilled). Lobster, Scallops, King Crab Legs, Squid, Salmon, and Cod Fish with Lemon Dill “Beurreblanc” and Crustacean Sauce, Assorted Garden Vegetables, and Boiled Potatoes. HK$ 538.

One word : Outstanding!

Just take a look at that lime gorgeously wrapped with golden tulle and ribbon; wonderful!

The entree, Tina, Gabby and I shared….

We cannot be grateful enough! :)

Moving on to desserts…

My choice : Penny’s Bay Mango Pudding with Mango Puree.

Tina’s sweet preference : White Chocolate Cheesecake with Raspberry Coulis

Gabby’s dessert plate was the most divine!

Oreo Cheesecake never tasted this great! :D

It’s one FUNtastic dinner to end one glorious day of everything that this blog gives reverence for :

FAMILY. FOOD. and FUN!

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I cannot help but marvel at the immense scale of blissful experiences we had in Hong Kong Disneyland! That 3-day-2-night vacation extremely gave us unforgettable memories that Tina, Gabby and I will cherish forever.

Hong Kong Disneyland spells H-A-P-P-I-N-E-S-S! :D

Thank you so much, Hong Kong Disneyland!

*Up Next : The concluding post of this Hong Kong Disneyland Series! Stay Tuned!

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This Blog Series Includes :

 

01
Mar
12

OUR HONG KONG DISNEYLAND TRIP 2012 : TIMELESS MAGIC

The fambam goes to Adventureland! Celebrating at Hong Kong Disneyland the best way we know how! ;-)

A young elephant at Hong Kong Disneyland, seriously? ;-)

We never thought that we’d see Baby elephant with Mama and Papa elephants other than Dumbo in a theme park reigned by our favorite, Mickey Mouse.  Or perhaps, we got overwhelmed being there again and forgot that almost anything’s possible because MAGIC and FANTASY come alive in a perfect fusion in the Happiest Place on Earth! ;)

Even Tina, Gabby and I have been to HONG KONG DISNEYLAND a few times already, and thankfully I’ve experienced the theme park in Tokyo and California too,  it was our very first time to ride a tour-guided-boat in the waters of ADVENTURELAND last 17 February 2012, and definitely enjoyed every moment to bits.

Our gang at Hong Kong Disneyland with our uber friendly and warm exclusive tour guides, Janice (on red uniform) and Danny (with tie).

How cool it was to bypass the long queues legally without a feeling of guilt because of

DISNEY’S  PRESTIGE  TOUR  (HK$ 3,888 for 3 consecutive hours up to group of six) .

Our Jungle River Cruise in Adventureland was led by an intrepid skipper. Our group was amazed as he passionately described and elaborately narrated what to expect and see along the mysterious waters.

But wait.

Why’s Gabby so afraid?

First he was afraid; he was petrified!!! ....hehe! ;-)

Was it because of the Baby elephant?

Or was it because of Papa elephant and his striped African friends?

Can it be due to those rhino and hyenas chasing these men?

Climb for your lives!!! ;P

Oh, I remember! Gabby was frightened about those fire-and-explosions-on-waters effects during one part of the cruise!

Okay.

Fine.

I admit…

Those mother and baby elephants, zebras, hyneas and rhinos, gorillas and cobras (not in photos) are mechanically operated; they’re unreal! You thought so too? But they’re the next best things to see after watching the lovable Disney characters on parade and I think even better than seeing their natural counterparts in a zoo. Exposing kids like Gabby to such artificial animals that appear like real would give them appreciation of the wild and the environment as a whole without the risk. Safety’s always a priority whenever you travel with kids and Hong Kong Disneyland knows how to implement fun with so much care!

That Jungle River Cruise was really something! It felt like we’re instantly ushered into an African Safari and left Asia for a while to experience some animal and jungle encounter.

Adventureland also features Tarzan’s Treehouse, Liki Tiki and the fabulously produced musical, “Festival of the Lion King”  which we watched the following day (to be featured on my next post!).

Moments after we hopped off the boat, our HK Disneyland Tour Hosts, Janice and Danny brought us to FANTASYLAND to experience another engaging attraction, tagged  as the happiest cruise that ever sailed, as the children of the world sing and dance to the song, “it’s a small world!”

My favorite part of this Fantasyland attraction : The Jungle Safari! We're having a safari-overload! Amazing! :)

A ride on the lift took us down to another exciting boat ride! :) This time, our senses feasted on colorful tableaux made of dolls representing children of each countries around the globe sing and dance to the song of “it’s a small world” in their own respective tongues.  And just like that Jungle River Cruise in Adventureland, It’s A  Small World journey via boat was another first for Tina, Gabby and me because we always passed the chance to experience it on our previous visits due to its long queue (a proof that it’s a MUST-SEE!).  But now that we’re on Disney’s Prestige Tour, it was really a hassle-free!

it’s a small world…

Name Game! What country does this dolls represent? The frustrated violinist in me was in awe! ;)

This FANTASYLAND attraction may be so appealing to kids and kids-at-hearts but it definitely shows a serious issue of unity amidst diversities. We may have come from various cultures and nations but in music and harmony, we could be one!

Indubitably, I am biased with tableaux from Asia!

Outstanding play of colors and costumes!  …More Asian flavors!

Then at one lowly lit corner, two dolls dressed in Philippines’ national costume were singing “maliit ang mundo” (Tagalog version of “it’s a small world”).  

Tina told me that she only wished that the Philippines’ corner would have a larger and brighter area or perhaps she meant, more dolls, more features like that of the other countries. Nonetheless, at least our very own’s represented! Yay! :D

As for our current work place, I think our eyes missed to spot Malaysia.

I’m not sure what comes first but certainly, our boat sailed onto the Golden Bridge!  At this part, I suddenly missed the actual thing!  ;-)

Tulips and windmills? Must be Holland.

Venetian Gondola? Must be Italy.

It’s so magical how we toured the world on a boat without the fuss of going through terminals and applying for visas! hehe :D

Cabaret? ...Moulin Rouge?

“it’s a small world” greeted us with “Hello” in different languages and bid us “Paalam”, “Adieu!”

Next, we headed to another Must-See in FANTASYLAND -A musical celebration of Disney’s movies and characters. If in “It’s A Small World” we took a journey around the globe on a whim, “The Golden Mickeys” presented our favorite Disney films live on stage!  It’s a favorite and we never miss seeing this show whenever we visit Hong Kong Disneyland. Again, this trip was extremely special -I am with my family, we met new friends and we got PRIORITY PASS and EXCLUSIVE RESERVED SEATING!

VIP  TREATMENT at  its  BEST!

Thank you so much, Hong Kong Disneyland! :D

THE  GOLDEN  MICKEYS

Wonderful!

Hearing Mickey and Minnie speak Cantonese never fails to amuse me. It only happens in Hong Kong Disneyland!

I may not be an expert critic in theater but I know my eyes and ears.  I have watched a few musicals during my wonder years and this one’s short but excellently staged! We’ve seen other actors performed “The Golden Mickeys” the previous years and I may state that it has been consistent. What an AWESOME PRODUCTION! Gabby’s eyes were glued on the entire show! The three of us barely blinked! haha! :D

Live performances of songs, dances and stunts really reminded us of our favorite Disney movies!

The 30-minute show ended with a blast! We were soon guided to the newest and exclusive attraction in Hong Kong Disneyland :

TOY STORY  LAND

“It’s playtime at Toy Story Land!

Exclusive in Asia, Toy Story Land brings the cherished stories of the Toy Story movie trilogy to reality, providing an immersive and memorable experience for all Guests. Toy Story Land’s opening on November 18, 2011 as the first themed area of the Park’s expansion project marked a key milestone for the Resort.

Entering the themed area, Guests will feel like they’ve been shrunk to the size of a toy as they are transported to the oversized world of Andy’s backyard. Toy Story Land houses three main attractions – RC Racer, Slinky Dog Spin and Toy Soldier Parachute Drop – offering Guests interactive and playful adventures. Through the themed area, Guests will also be able to play with their favorite Toy Story friends.” -HKDL.

Follow the Arrow to TOY STORY LAND!

Everything is oversized at TOY STORY LAND! Never imagined that we’d experience being in a backyard and feel like shrunken toys of Andy, the boy who owns the toys that come alive in the Disney movies, Toy Story. But it happened magically in TOY STORY LAND!

RC RACER

Soaring in a U-shaped bright orange track, you can ride a race car and have the thrill of fun!

I wish I had the will to try these thrilling rides; I passed up for the fear that I might throw up. I didn’t want to spoil our weekend fun feeling nauseous and tachycardic (having increase heart rate). It’s just me and my family (Tina has Vertigo and Gabby’s too young to get the scare out of him). But for those who seek such gravity defying race ride, RC Racer is made for you!

Since we opted not to try the RC Racer, we thought the next best thing was to pose  for posterity! :P

TOY SOLDIER PARACHUTE DROP

TOY SOLDIER PARACHUTE DROP -another ride that gives you adrenaline rush! If you’re into Skydiving or you dig such extreme drill, this one’s tailor made for you! You’ll get a view of the entirety of Andy’s backyard set in Hong Kong Disneyland in the poetic Lantau Island!

Dig this : “Drop from the sky with the Toy Soldiers in a parachute training drill that thrills!”

 SLINKY  DOG  SPIN

This one’s Gabby’s favorite! He asked me to accompany him not once but twice! :D  We experienced how Slinky Dog run around and chase his tail around and ’round! Fun, fun, fun! ;)

We love Toy Story Land!

You’ll never get to sit on pastel-colored popsicle stick-benches on a daily basis! Made me want to bring them home! haha! :D

Wonderful, isn’t it? “And there’s more to come! Toy Story Land is the first of three themed areas planned at Hong Kong Disneyland. The second themed area at Hong Kong Disneyland will be called Grizzly Gulch and it’s scheduled to be completed and opened to the public in 2012. And the Mystic Point themed area is expected to open in 2013.” -HKDL.

And because Magic is so timeless,

and the fun never ceases,

we didn’t notice the hands of the clock inside Hong Kong Disneyland!

Dusk fell beautifully in this theme park.

Time for dinner at CORNER CAFE!

One of the newly established restaurant inside the park is Main Street Corner Cafe.  This table serviced restaurant offers premium American menu; everything spells D-E-L-I-C-I-O-U-S!

Gabby’s kiddie set included Fish fingers and fries, veggie side dish, cream puffs that he so loved! (read : as I write this, he uttered, “Iyan ang pinakamasarap!” –”That’s the most delicious!”), watermelon sliced into Mickey Mouse head and watermelon juice to match.

We were served with fibrous bread and butter. Yes to carbo! hehe! ;)

I sampled their Seafood Chowder and it’s rich and tasteful, just what I like!

Satisfying one’s craving inside a kiddie theme park is almost always close to rarity. The usual meals in most amusement parks are fastfood delights and at times, far from your palate’s want.  But CORNER CAFE inside Hong Kong Disneyland is amazingly different! Surprisingly, we found the irresistible, SURF AND TURF on their menu!  The adequate portion of tender beef which Tina and I had medium-well, and a perfectly seasoned lobster on a bed of creamy whipped potato, all in one heavenly plate was simply divine!

For dessert, Tina, Gabby and I ordered a trio of cheesecake (not in photo); too bad my shots on that plate were so blurry I decided not to post.

Thanks to the Hong Kong people we’ve met -Nicole, Catherine and Purple (you guys are the best!), they left us with beautiful souvenir pins inspired by Toy Story Land! Everyone in our group had a piece; Gabby even got to keep and bring home the handsome box, sweet!

We needed to postpone savoring our desserts because the fireworks outside was about to start. We’re told that it’s best to view such magnificent lighting of the Hong Kong skies in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle but because we’re still halfway on our dinner  (it’s really sumptious, you feel half-hearted to eat fast!), most of us just walk outside Corner Cafe and marveled at “Disney in the Stars!”

DISNEY IN THE STARS

Because I didn’t bring a tripod and I was not in the most strategic spot (lame excuses for not having expertise on firework photography!), my shots were disappointing. Good thing though, Tina brought her ipod and took a 43-sec video of the finale of the Disney in the Stars!

Short Video Captured by Tina : View  HERE!!!

Our photo and video may not be compelling but trust in Hong Kong Disneyland should be more than enough to convince you that the Disney in the Stars fireworks is such a beautiful and perfect one to end the day at the park.

Thank you, Hong Kong Disneyland!

This post concludes our DAY ONE in Hong Kong Disneyland.

We smilingly hit the sack inside our room in Disney’s Hollywood Hotel

and woke up extremely excited for another MAGICAL DAY!

OUR DAY TWO in HONG KONG DISNEYLAND

and A LOT MORE on this blog’s succeeding posts!

Stay tuned! ;)

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This Blog Series Includes :

27
Feb
12

OUR HONG KONG DISNEYLAND TRIP 2012 : SPECTACULAR BURST OF COLORS

He's the major reason to watch the Flights of Fantasy Parade at Hong Kong Disneyland!

HONG KONG DISNEYLAND IS  UPON US!

You may think I have lost my sanity but granting that I am still single and hypothetically speaking, one could marry a theme park, without a doubt, I would definitely wed and give my forever commitment to Hong Kong Disnyeland, bar none! haha! :P  I could not see any reason why anyone would not dare LOVE Hong Kong Disneyland; everything a kid and kids-at-hearts could ask for is present there–day and night! It’ll be a never ending happiness! Life would be more colorful and whimsical!  But then again, I LOVE TINA and GABBY SO MUCH and TOGETHER, WE ALL LOVE HONG KONG DISNEYLAND!

Out of the 5 Disneyland Park locations around the globe, I am grateful to have experienced 3 of them already–Hong Kong, California & Tokyo (Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea) making only that in Florida and Paris still on my bucket list.

Every Disneyland Park has uniquely beautiful charm but that in Hong Kong remains close to our hearts.  Reasons are beyond words, let our photos on this blog entry convince you why.  So are you ready for some 80+ photos to view and some raves to read?

Don’t ever think I am overwhelming you…

I believe there’s NOTHING TOO MUCH in HONG KONG DISNEYLAND’S MAGICAL EXTRAVAGANCE!

Ready?  Here we go!

After our memorable long trip from our present place in Butterworth, Penang to Kuala Lumpur to our arrival in Hong Kong Disney’s Hollywood Hotel and our fantastic Dim Sum Lunch at Crystal Lotus Restaurant in Disneyland Hotel, we excitingly trooped to Disneyland Park via the resort’s shuttle bus.

Tina and Gabby at the entrance of the park. Happy much! :D

Because we already have our 2-day theme park tickets (and fast passes to 3 rides), passing through the turnstiles at the gate was fuss-free.

Gabby to me : “Daddy, jump shot! :D

And because he’s on the healthy-chubby side, Gabby wasn’t able to jump high, but nevertheless his smiling eyes said it all! hehe! :D

After a brief photo-op at the entrance of the park, our group was led to the Main Street, U.S.A., the first of the five lands inside the park where Hong Kong Disneyland Railroad, Animation Academy and the City Hall are located and where Main Street vehicles are parked. Food places like the Market House Bakery, Main Street Market and the restaurants, Corner Cafe (that offers premium American menu; it’s where we had our dinner on our first night which I will post soon!), and Plaza Inn (that provides Cantonese cuisine hosted by Maxim’s) plus a number of novelty and souvenir shops are housed.

Walking through Main Street, U.S.A. again instantly brought back blissful memories! It was surreal!!! I smiled when I remember my first visit to that same park when my parents brought me and my siblings there. :) I also recalled our trip about 5 years ago when I got a chance to bring my own family–Tina and Gabby to the Happiest Place on Earth. “Time flies so fast,” I silently uttered. Then I looked at my wrist watch and it’s almost few minutes before 3:30PM, the FLIGHTS OF FANTASY PARADE is about to start! 

MAIN STREET, U.S.A.

With a very fine and cool weather (Thank God, we didn’t have a downpour!), the welcoming atmosphere was very apt for fantastic parade-watching!  People of all ages already found their own areas to watch the parade at one end of Main Steet, U.S.A. just in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle.  Everyone was organized and was patiently waiting for the floats of our favorite Disney characters to pass by.

While everyone was anticipating the magical parade to begin, we were ushered to our reserved exclusive viewing area for the Flights of Fantasy Parade…

Notice the rope and pole that secured our reserved exclusive viewing spot?  We absolutely felt more than VIPs with such treatment! You too can enjoy the experience of DISNEY’S PRESTIGE TOUR that includes :

  • Direct Entrance to All Attractions (including RC Racer, Toy Soldier Parachute Drop and Slinky Dog Spin at the park’s newest attraction, Toy Story Land which I will post soon!)
  • Reserved Seating for Theater Shows
  • Exclusive “Toy Story Land” Themed Pin Box Set
  • Exclusive Viewing Area for Flights of Fantasy Parade
  • All for 3 consecutive hours for up to 6 guests (HK$3,888)

or you may opt to avail of DISNEY’S SUPREME TOUR that includes :

  • Direct Entrance to All Attractions (in Main Street, U.S.A., Tomorrowland, Fantasyland and Adventureland only),
  • Reserved Seating for Theater Shows
  • Exclusive Viewing Area for Flights of Fantasy Parade
  • All for 3 consecutive hours for up to 6 guests (HK$ 3,200)

It’s a wonderful experience to meet the warm and friendly, Disneyland’s Tour Hosts!

Our group’s exclusive Disneyland’s Tour Hosts were Janice (far left on the photo) and Danny (the only guy on the photo).

THANK YOU SO MUCH, HONG KONG DISNEYLAND! :D

Sleeping Beauty Castle, Hong Kong Disneyland, 17 February 2012

*Because Tina, Gabby and I were so amazed with the Flights of Fantasy Parade, we watched it twice on 2 consecutive days in 2 different spots. Thus, some photos here were taken on Friday, February 17, 2012 at the VIP area at the MAIN STREET, U.S.A., and some were snapped the following day just in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle

FLIGHTS  OF  FANTASY  PARADE

Expectators know that the parade’s about to start when the Grand Marshall’s car rolls on the street…

Dumbo and Timothy Mouse in “Dreams Take Flight”

Who would be more fitting to open the Flights of Fantasy Parade but the cute elephant with ears that make him fly, Dumbo!

Dumbo’s even cuter when he flips his ears and blinks his eyes!

Then came the Disneyland Marching Band, oops, let me rephrase that –the Disneyland Marching and Dancing Band! :D

They surely have the tunes, the moves and the smiles!

A quick glance at Wiki : “The Flights of Fantasy Parade premiered on January 18, 2011 as part of the Celebration in the Air, celebrating the 5th anniversary of Hong Kong Disneyland. The parade celebrates the dreams of Disney characters and includes Disney characters such as Mickey, and friends, Dumbo, Winnie the Pooh, Snow White, Cinderella, Aurora, Belle, Baloo & King Louie, Tantor, Simba, Tinkerbell, Stitch and Woody and Buzz Lightyear. The parade includes seven floats which include Mickey’s Magical Airship, Caught Up in Daydreams, Romance Takes Wing, Jumpin’ Jungle Jam, The Magic of Pixie Dust, Hangin’ Ten and Ridin’ High, and To infinity and Beyond. This parade replaced the former Disney Parade which had been running since the park opened in 2005.”

Don’t you just love those wind instruments?

“Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah, Zip-A-Dee-A.  Wonderful feeling,  Wonderful day!”

…Alright, I’m still having a hangover of the parade! :D

The colorful flags and ribbons thrown and swirled into the air by dancers in virbant costumes were followed by the float of Mickey Mouse and his friends!

Mickey’s Magical Airship

Mickey’s giant airship called, Flights of Friendship has his friends on board –Minnie, Pluto, Donald, Chip n’ Dale.

Chasing rainbows with Minnie Mouse!

Witness Mickey Mouse dance on  air! Click photo to enlarge.

Seeing Mickey Mouse up close never fails to bring out the child in us!

Mickey Mouse is an epitome of every child’s fantasy!

You're the mouse, Mickey! You're the mouse! ;-)

We so love his float!

Chip or Dale?!

Let’s salute Donald and Goofy! :)

If you must know, Flights of Fantasy Parade is exclusive to Hong Kong Disneyland. And one thing unique with it is its being interactive. I didn’t see that awesome parade-perfomer-audience interaction in parades in Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea when I went there in 2010 nor in Anaheim, California back in 2000; perhaps things have changed now for the better.  In Hong Kong Disneyland, dancers, performers and cast members encourage the kids to participate in the fun of the parade!  Even some from our group joined the limbo rock!  It’s just that our very own Gabby was so shy to actively involved himself in the street fun! Perhaps on our next visit. :D

The float of Mickey’s Magical Airship was followed by the float inspired by The Adventure of Winnie the Pooh.

Caught Up In Daydreams

Eeyore and Tigger were ever present with their friend, Winnie.

An eye-candy for me were those prostheses used by Tigger-dancers for jumping and hopping!

Those cast members must love their job of hopping and jumping with those cool-leg prostheses! I want a pair, haha! :P

There are specified areas in the park where a certain unit or float would take its full stop to fully entertain the audience.

And in Winnie the Pooh’s Caught Up In Daydream colorful float, four bungee-jumping performers rise and somersault in the air and do their tricks!

She may not be one of the Disney’s Princesses but she’s definitely Winnie the Pooh’s hunny! :D

Romance  Takes  Wing


After that playful Winnie the Pooh float, comes the Disney Princess unit called, Romance Takes Wing.

Regal, elegant and lovely. These words seems an understatement to describe the cast members dancing in the street, ushering the Disney Princess float.

A crowned swan airboat nestled on a bed of roses takes the Disney Princesses : Cinderella, Snow White, Belle (from Beauty and the Beast), and Princess Aurora (from Sleeping Beauty).

The sweet smiles and fine movements of these Disney Princesses makes the afternoon even more enchanting!  They smile and wave and move perfectly like those in the cartoons.  I wonder what happens if anyone of them needs to sneeze. *just kidding!* :D

Jumpin’  Jungle  Jam

Vivid and bright Safari-inspired costumes of cast members with their impressive moves can immediately put anyone into that “Lion King” mood! :D

Precision in dancing coupled with widest smiles must be pure talent!

Baloo & King Louie from Disney’s The Jungle Book, Rafiki and Timon and of course, Simba -all from The Lion King and Tantor from Tarzan bring life into the Jumpin’ Jungle Jam float!

Hail to the Lion King!

After that African-designed float comes various fairies and Tinker Bell!

The  Magic  of  Pixie  Dust

It’s Tink! :D

Tinker Bell is on board a cotton float, ushered by four fairies driving bug cars and two flower girls following the unit.

I love that feather-dart detail at the back of Tink’s The Magic of Pixie Dust float!

I like this photo; looks like Stitch is chasing Tink!

Even the Hawaiian themed animated characters, Lilo and Stitch participates in Flights of Fantasy Parade with their windsurfing float!

Hangin’  Ten and Ridin’  High

Hangin’ Ten and Ridin’ High  proudly features Stitch windsurfing in the air and beneath his image are two daredevil acrobats that swing a rattan-looking airboat up in the air!  Amazing!

It’s fun to watch them rock that airboat! While leading the Haiwaian street dancers are no less than Lilo and Stitch!

Beautiful Oriental lady-dancers dressed in pink grass skirts smile and say, Aloha! :D

I like to have those sneakers in various hues, one for each day of the week. But then again, without Hawaiian shirts and shorts and a beach or a parade like this, one may appear histrionic! hehe! :D

While my mom was viewing these photos at home, she became so particular with the picture below, so she called and asked me, “Is this boy, Gabby?”  

Our articulate son, told his grandma, “Lola, I’m not that boy; look at his shoes, I’m not wearing those shoes and jacket in Disneyland.”

And then, there’s the handsome cowboy, Woody…

To Infinity And Beyond

Admittedly, Toy Story is a personal favorite! Tina and Gabby love it too! If I could have a collection of huge toys, it would have to be Buzz and Woody!

The newest attraction in Hong Kong Disneyland is Toy Story Land which will be included in my next post. It is expected to see Woody and Jessie and Buzz Lightyear leading the float representing Toy Story Land and their memorable fun and touching movies, of course.

Hi there, Buzz! ....To Infinity And Beyond!!!

Green Paratroopers, Rex and Hamm adorn the eye-catching float of Toy Story!

Wonderful parade, isn’t it?

Flights of Fantasy Parade is more than enough reason for people to visit Hong Kong Disneyland. It’s such a visual feast; a burst of colors that everyone will surely enjoy!

You may have viewed the photos of the parade on this humble site but being there and experiencing the parade itself as it happens before your eyes is totally a different overwhelming experience! Indeed, fantasy comes alive in the Flights of Fantasy Parade! Whenever you find time to go to Hong Kong Disneyland, the parade is always a spectacular you should not missed!

Stay tuned on this blog for more fascinating features about Hong Kong Disneyland! The magic continues soon! *wink*

DocGelo, Tina and Gabby are extremely grateful to Hong Kong Disneyland! Thank You So Much! Until our next visit! :D

         Watch out for more posts about Hong Kong Disneyland! –there’ll be more of Family bonding.Food.Fun soon!

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About Hong Kong Disneyland Resort

Hong Kong Disneyland Resort offers immersive, unique Disney experiences for all families, generations and ages to enjoy. Hong Kong is one of only five locations in the world that is home to a Disney themed park and the many Disney characters that are beloved the world over, such as Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Stitch and Buzz Lightyear. Since the Grand Opening in September 2005, Hong Kong Disneyland has received more than 31 million Guests from around the globe. Through the unique product offering and the world-class service provided by the 5,000 strong Cast at the theme park and the two hotels, the Resort has received outstanding Guest satisfaction ratings and a range of awards from the hospitality and entertainment sectors.

If you want to know more about Hong Kong Disneyland and want to enjoy a unique magical experience, click on to http://www.hongkongdisneyland.com for more information.

For the latest news and photos from Hong Kong Disneyland, please visit our media website at: www.hongkongdisneyland.com/news.

 

This Blog Series Includes :

23
Feb
12

OUR HONG KONG DISNEYLAND TRIP 2012 : ARRIVAL & LUNCH


DOCGELO  X  MICKEY MOUSE

FAMILY.FOOD.FUN @ the Happiest Place on Earth!

Similar to a shot of  adrenaline, the thought of revisiting Hong Kong Disneyland increases the heart beat and quickens the pulse, at least for Tina, Gabby and me. :D It’s incredibly different and NOT physiologically tiring but a special feeling of excitement that my family and I would love to go through over and over again, despite and inspite of everything!  Hong Kong Disneyland has that positively addicting charm that effortlessly draws the young and equally attracts the young-at-hearts! It’s a Nirvana for family bonding, food indulgence and lots of fun! :D

HONG KONG DISNEYLAND : DEFINITELY,  A  STRESS ANTIDOTE

Before Tina, Gabby and I immersed ourselves in a worry-free-three-day-and-two-night-fun-filled-vacation in Hong Kong Disneyland, we had to travel a day before from our current place in Butterworth, Penang to Kuala Lumpur to catch our flight earliest in the morning. We all thought it’s wise to travel via KL if you’re coming from Malaysia because the trip from Penang would take us to Hong Kong International Airport at around half hour past 8 in the evening hence, we’ll lose a day. :( Either we go a day earlier  to Hong Kong which will be more expensive or take the alternative route of via Kuala Lumpur.  We opted the latter. However, since we didn’t reserve a flight from Penang to Malaysia’s capital city  because of  steeper cost (read: we are 3), we chose to take the 5-hour-road trip via the public tourist bus from Butterworth, Penang to Puduraya, Kuala Lumpur, then with our luggage and bags in tow, we hailed a taxi cab from Puduraya Bus Station to KL Sentral where buses that take passengers to KL-LCCT airport are parked.

We arrived in Kuala Lumpur-Low Cost Carrier Terminal at around 8 in the evening of Thursday via Aerobus after an hour trip from KL Sentral.  My family and I had to spend the night inside food and coffee shops. After our quick family dinner and some coffee for Tina and me, chocolate frap for Gabby, we found a corner inside LCCT and called it a night (Actually, it was only Gabby who slept for few hours; Tina and I rarely shut our eyes).  And few hours after midnight, we took turns in taking showers, changed into new clothes and queued to check in at 4 in the morning.

Some may find our travel very stressful but believe me, we’ve experienced more difficult instances than you could imagine.  So this Hong Kong Disneyland trip is definitely a stress antidote for me and my family. We cannot thank the good Lord enough for such opportunity! :D

We took the flight from KUL to HK at 6:45AM, Friday, February 17, 2012 and arrived at HKIA 4 hours after. Before I slept in my seat, I accomplished the Immigration Arrival forms for Tina, Gabby and myself as what I used to do on our few travels.

That long travel to Kuala Lumpur from Penang and finally to Hong Kong, those frequent air pockets and lack of sleep were absolutely NOT enough to kill our excitement and enjoy the Happiest Place on Earth!

Finally, we set foot again at one of the biggest and most impressive terminals in the world! Sweet! :D

Hong Kong Disneyland, here we come! :D

Passing through HK Immigration was a breeze, so did the luggage pick up from the conveyor belt. I wish all terminals particularly that of the Philippines would have such remarkable efficiency. Upon arrival at the HKIA lobby, we trooped immediately to the Train Information Counter. Our initial game plan was to take the MTR from the airport to our hotel but after learning that the waiting and transfer period from one train to the other will take us around an hour, we decided to take a cab.

After paying the metered taxi HKD 150, we arrived at the hotel lobby all in one piece. Yahoooo!!!

DISNEY’S  HOLLYWOOD HOTEL : FAMILY FRIENDLY!

From its exteriors that reflects similarities with Pan Pacific Auditorium, the art-deco theme reminiscent of the golden age of Hollywood echoes to the interiors of Disney’s Hollywood Hotel to every detail in the lobby and in its rooms.

And since it’s Disneyland Resorts, the head of Mickey Mouse with other Disney figures including Minnie Mouse’s of course, are a constant decor. Wonderful!!!

Tina and I have lately developed the appreciation for boutique and themed hotels. It’s nice to see how people put so much attention to details. The first sight of the lobby of Disney’s Hollywood Hotel was definitely a feast to our senses!

 

Just before those bilateral lifts take Disney’s Hollywood Hotel guests to their rooms, the Disney magic manifests with the voice of Mickey Mouse no less, welcoming everyone to their room-level, night and day. So cool! :) It makes you think that Mickey Mouse doesn’t sleep too! *kidding*

Certainly, the glass etching on the doors of the lifts also has the same Hollywood art-deco theme and to make it distinctly Disney’s, there are so many Mickey Mouse embedded on it. Can you spot some?

 

We’re checked in at the 8th level where the view’s fantastic! The blurry hazy skyline at the backdrop confirmed that we’re about to experience a misty cool Hong Kong climate despite the clock already hit 12 noon. And coming from the tropical state of Penang, that for me, was so inviting! Thankfully, we didn’t have any downpour, God is really great! :D

 

The view from our room offers a relaxing sight of Lantau island, its bay stretching to South China Sea and Disney’s Hollywood Hotel’s swimming pool. Can you feel the cool atmosphere despite the clock hit 12 noon? It’s Hong Kong, baby! ;-)

Another view from our window gives you a glimpse of how Disney’s Hollywood Hotel back lot looks like…

I wish I’ve photographed it too at night. Some other time perhaps (that’s another little reason to go back!).

Tina and I basically want few essentials in a hotel room; just nice and comfy bed and pillows to provide us a restful sleep, an insect-free-airconditioned and clean room, toilet and bath and Disney’s Hollywood Hotel doesn’t disappoint. Its theme is continuously obvious. The play of colors are vibrant and definitely puts everyone into the Disneyland euphoric mood! :D

I guess each room with a twin-deluxe beds has a black and white cartoon of Mickey and Minnie from one of their movies.

How sweet it was to sleep with worries and stress far from your cerebrum.

A little while later, Gabby felt so at home!

From Malaysia to Hong Kong, this 7-year-old-Filipino kid loves his Disney cartoons!

It may not be the most spacious toilet and bath that we had experienced but nonetheless, its cleanliness and the generous volume of towels are truly noteworthy. It’s expected that Disney Hollywood Hotel would be family-friendly and we proved it correctly. How many hotels have thought of providing kid-sized slippers? This hotel has it making Gabby simply delighted. Toothbrushes, toothpaste and some wipes and cotton buds are provided in a pack inside 3 paper cups capped with Mickey Mouse ears.  Even the toilet is richly themed! :D

And again, the little artsy details made us smile and utter, “so cute!” :D

Cast members (or those who work for Hong Kong Disneyland Park and Hotels) are amazingly creative at these towel crafts. They even refill it everyday in different colors and adorable animal and alien-designs. We brought home some pieces, actually! ;-)

Riding the theme park’s own resort shuttle buses for FREE was definitely convenience in its truest sense of the word. After checking in and quick freshening up in our room at Disney’s Hollywood Hotel, we went to the resorts’ other hotel, Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel for the much needed lunch.

The HK Disneyland Resorts Shuttle Buses take passengers for FREE from the theme park to Disneyland Hotel then to Disney Hollywood Hotel in 10 minute interval. It spells convenience particularly when you’re traveling with kids. It’s so nice when you’re worry-free of going back to the hotel and theme park or hopping to a restaurant located at either of Disney hotels.

Experiencing two hotels of Hong Kong Disneyland was so awesome! Both hotels have unique themes, one takes you back in time to Hollywood’s golden years and the other is lavishly Victorian-inspired.

HONG KONG DISNEYLAND HOTEL : ENTICINGLY ELEGANT!

We saw luxury and sophistication at every corner of Disneyland Hotel… Our little-big boy, Gabby’s so amazed! I wonder what other kids think of  Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel. Surely, most of them believe that it’s a magical mansion!

what a gorgeous pair of chandeliers!

Everything’s so fanciful!  Even the men’s toilet melted all my worries away, haha! :D

While Tina and Gabby were checking out the merchandise at the hotel’s souvenir shop, I walked towards the concierge and didn’t pass the chance of capturing the framed paintings hanging at the back of the counters.

I asked permission from the Cast Members who are at the reception prior to snapping my cam; made me smile when they gave me a nod.

Aren’t these paintings fascinating?  I remember the Mark Twain’s steamboat that we saw in Disneyland Anaheim on the next painting.

Those bursts of colors are too beautiful in my eyes!

Sincere to their work place, I noticed Cast Members of Hong Kong Disneyland Park and Resorts are all service-oriented, warm and friendly. Just when I was thinking for someone who could snap a photo of us, one male hotel staff offered to take our family pic even without asking him. That’s marvelous! :D

Look at my very own Minnie. Lovely, isn’t she? :)

The hedge maze in the garden of Disneyland Hotel fronting South China Sea really caught Gabby’s attention.

Did Gabby and I try and finish the maze? Find out on my succeeding posts! :D

Meanwhile, can you spot Mickey Mouse’s profile on this green maze?

LUNCH at CRYSTAL LOTUS RESTAURANT, HONG KONG DISNEYLAND HOTEL.

What warmed our souls and filled our stomachs after that long tiring trip from Butterworth, Penang to Puduraya and KL Sentral in Kuala Lumpur, to Kuala Lumpur-Low Cost Carrier Terminal to Hong Kong International Airport then finally to Hong Kong Disneyland apart from seeing Mickey Mouse again at the theme park was a sumptuous and divine Chinese cuisine at Crystal Lotus Restaurant.

With rich, classy and exceptional ambience, coupled with prompt and attentive service and a delightful menu, Crystal Lotus Restaurant is the best option when you feel like indulging in some Chinese favorites with Disneyland’s kiddie appeal.

Modern and sophisticated Oriental ambience of Crystal Lotus Restaurant. We’re so blessed to have experienced it.

Tina, Gabby and I met a few bunch of Filipinos who own blog sites too; Mom and Lifestyle blogger, ThammieSy, Fashion bloggers Laureen Uy and Kryz Uy of Break My Style and KryzUy.com respectively, Foodie blogger, Leslie of Shoot First Eat Later, and travel blogger Gael of The Pinay Solo Backpacker. We communed with our families and friends and with delicious gastronomic treats at this luxurious room.

Crystal Lotus Restaurant brought our taste buds to a variety of Chinese dishes that we all happily took in.

stunningly gorgeous chandeliers

Now, let your eyes feast on the set meal we savored….you might need tissues to wipe your keyboard when you drooled! *kidding!* A glass of ice cold water beside you might be helpful. :D

If it’s Chinese, there must be Jasmine Tea.

We started our delicious dimsum lunch with Roasted Suckling Pig with Cucumber and Sweetened Paste in Steamed and Piggy Mask Buns…

Crisp and flavorful. I’m in heaven! ;-)

Family bonding comes in different packages. At this moment, it came with authentic Chinese cum Disney’s culinary. :P

 Next on the menu brought to our table was Disney Dim Sum Platter. Consisting of Three Little Pigs Barbecue Pork Bun, Little Green Men Pork and Vegetable Bun, Mickey’s Glutinous Seafood Pancake which Gabby liked so much! :D

Eating Dim Sum has never been this cute! :D  It took me several minutes to take them with chopsticks and bite, haha!

I see harmony in steam basket, haha! Then I gave these 2 cute buns a peaceful death via taking them in, LOL!

Pink ears or orange ones? Doesn’t matter, both are appetizingly delicious!

Then came Braised Seafood Soup with Crab Roe. This warm soup dish won my palate! Tina liked it too.

D.E.L.I.C.I.O.U.S

The meal got more interesting when the next dish was brought in. It’s called Wok Fried Chicken and Longan with Sweet Sour Sauce.

My palate is familiar with the fusion of pineapples and chicken meat in a dish but with longan, it must be fascinating! And it is!

With Wok-Fried Shrimps and Disney Root Vegetables, Disneyland and Crystal Lotus Restaurant really know how to make vegetables and seafoods appealing to kids. The dish to me is so impressive!

You know how some children have aversion to veggies and making the ingredients of this dish cut into Mickey Mouse’s gloves and head is pure brilliance!

Who says eating veggies is never fun?

Blessings continued to pour on our table with this golden crab dish…

This one really brought out the kid in me. I was in awe with the plating of this crab dish. Indeed, a crab plated in gold, hehe!

Flip the golden shell of this crustacean plate et voila…

Baked Tasmanian Crab Meat Fried Rice in Whole Crab Shell : Eating crab has never been this edgy!

And of course, a meal isn’t complete without a sweet ending. Crystal Lotus prepared and offered us Chilled “Mickey’s” Red Bean Honey Pudding and Chilled Mickey’s Green Tea Jelly. 

Gabby like these desserts and so did Tina. As for me, I like the fusion of textures and its light flavors.

Must take a detail shot… :D

Did I mention that we EACH received a full course meal? What Gabby cannot finish, Daddy Gelo’s there to rescue. hehehe! Immediately after our very first meal at Hong Kong Disneyland, I thought I gained a few more pounds! Who wouldn’t with such hearty Dim Sum lunch set?  :D

It’s not on a daily basis that we get to eat Disney-themed Dim Sum nor a crab dish on a golden crab shell and of course, not everyone is given the chance to have such indulgence in very sophisticated food place thus, Tina, Gabby and I are grateful for this great dining experience. THANK YOU, LORD FOR ALL OF YOUR BLESSINGS! THANK YOU, HONG KONG DISNEYLAND!

Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel : Such a Magical Dreamy Place!

After our sublime Oriental lunch at Crystal Lotus, we headed directly to the Hong Kong Disneyland Park via the resort’s shuttle bus. We got our fast passes to Space Mountain, Astro Blasters and The Adventure of Winnie the Pooh rides and tickets to the theme park for 2 days!  Excitement soared the highest! :D All that and a lot more in the part 2 of this blog series! Stay tuned! :D

————————————-

*for more information about Hong Kong Disneyland Park, Crystal Lotus Restaurant, Disney’s Hollywood Hotel and Disneyland Hotel, kindly visit the theme park website at http://park.hongkongdisneyland.com

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