Friday, 4 March 2016

Revisiting Hong Kong Disneyland

Memory... is the diary that we all carry about with us. – Oscar Wilde 

In mid-February I flew into Hong Kong for work which includes visit to the Disneyland as part of the itinerary. The weather was gloomy, so is  the projection for Hong Kong’s economy in 2016 which see multiple headwinds ahead, especially from China. Though it is still Chinese New Year, the celebratory mood is nowhere to be seen except at the Wong Tai Sin Temple. 

Circa 2016
Circa 2007
On my second day in Hong Kong, we hailed a cab to the Disneyland. It was a down the memory lane visit for me. My first visit to Hong Kong Disneyland was in December 2007 which coincide with my birthday. To this day, I still rate the birthday cake from Maxim’s as the best that I’ve tasted all around the world. The title for the worst goes to Istanbul’s Miramar Hotel. Since that first visit, I’ve never thought that I will be back to Hong Kong Disneyland again. However, God always have surprising arrangements for us.

The same show times then..
....and now.
Hong Kong Disneyland celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2015 but there aren’t much changes in the park despite its ferocious bid to attract the crowd and stay profitable. The rides are old. The shows and their show times remain more or less the same. In conclusion, there aren’t much pull that can attract a second visit. With Shanghai’s Disneyland poised to open later this year, it will be even harder for Hong Kong Disneyland. More than half of its visitors are from mainland China. 

The younger me....
....versus now.
Amidst the cold and drizzle, I took my meandering walk, stopping at certain spots for some mementos, comparing the place with how it was 9 years ago when I was there with daddy, mummy, Yong and my younger cousins. As I am writing this, I doubt I will visit Hong Kong Disneyland again on my own accord. The land of Mickey, Donald, Goofy, Snow White, Aladdin need more than magic to lure the crowd. Otherwise it is hard to imagine this park celebrating its silver anniversary and far away from happily ever after. 

Nevertheless, I am thankful to my companion for that day; for your warm hand that helped to defrost mine, for offering your jacket when it rained and of all, for the happy moments together despite the many challenges that we encounter. 

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