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Advertorial: HK Disneyland!

Wishes do come true. All you need to do is to believe.

I believed, and well… my wishes came true one fine day.

It was really something beyond my wildest belief, to be able to go to HK Disneyland with my daughters and husband finally. You can never imagine how thrilled my girls were when they found out that they were going to visit Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty and Mickey Mouse! Sharleez could not contain her excitement in fact and kept asking prior to the trip when exactly we would reach HK Disneyland to see the princesses. Myreen on the other hand, wanted to see Mickey Mouse because Mickey House Clubhouse is after all, her favourite TV show. Hot Dog! Mysha being Mysha, wanted to just see whoever Sharleez and Myreen wanted to see so that you know, she got the best of both worlds. Smart girl! Thank you Thank you THANK YOU to everyone involved for making this a reality for us. And to you, my most beloved readers, I know you have been waiting for this entry! After all, I had sooooo many of you tweeting, emailing and leaving me PMs in Facebook to blog about my HK experience as soon as possible.

Okay here you go!

They say HK Disneyland is a magical place. Magical? Just what is so magical about HK Disneyland? Why must every kid and adult go there at least once every year for a holiday? I know of so many friends and acquaintances who keep going to HK Disneyland for their yearly vacation.

Never been there before? Here’s what you have been missing out on. Booo yaaa!

Disneyland is unlike any other fun parks which are built for thrills and hair raising experiences. Disneyland is simply built for that magical enjoyment with your family. When we were there, it really made us forget about the real world for a while. The girl in me and the boy in my husband were unleashed when we were there. We took one ride after another, queued up just for a photo taking session with Minnie Mouse, and shrieked in excitement when we saw the beautiful fireworks at the castle. But this is just a summary of what we did there. A pretty long one. ;p

Come along with me now and enjoy as I take you to Hong Kong and HK Disneyland! Do take note of the 15 great pointers as well for those Muslims out there who are intending to go to HK!

 DAY ONE:

Our flight to HK was as early as 6.45 am so that required us to do some major planning with regards to the girls’ bedtime, our wake up time, and of course packing. We had to reschedule their bedtime the night before and made them sleep by 8 pm so that by the time we woke them up at 3 am the next morning, they would already have 7 hours of sleep and be fresh for the plane ride. Daddy and Mak woke up as early as 3 am too and drove us to the airport. My parents-in-law met us at the airport to send us off too. Thank god for these folks, really! They didn’t have to be there but they still came despite it being in the wee hours of the morning. And I know why – they had to give hugs and kisses to the Nadyas. Thank you Nana, Dada, Nenek and Atok!  We missed all of you terribly while we were away, by the way.

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We reached HK airport at about 11 am. Since Popeye’s at the airport is halal, we decided to have a very heavy lunch before heading to the Cosmo Kowloon hotel for an early check-in. Why not Hotel Disneyland instead? See, during our first two days in Hong Kong, it was free and easy for us – we could go anywhere we wanted to and do the necessary – sightseeing, shopping and explore halal makan places over there.

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From the airport, we took the airport express MTR to our hotel. Days before our trip, I googled to find out the nearest MTR to the hotel that we would be staying in for the first two days, and also the nearest MTR stations to everywhere we planned to go during our stay in HK. . Save the money for the shopping, not cab fares! And in case you are wondering, the MTR does work the same way as our very own MRT!

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The weather was cooling, but not cold enough until it required us to put on sweaters, snow caps and our gloves. Wasted I say because we brought along our snow caps and gloves, okayyy? But thank goodness I brought along my brown boots. Nyeh nyeh! Those boots are definitely made for walking! Temperature there was around 20 to 25 degrees Celsius, so yeah it was cold BUT bearable. In fact, the weather was really cooling that we were not even bothered by the hot scorching sun right above us. The result? BBQ version of us when we came back to Singapore. THAT too we did not realize until my Dad made a remark on how dark we all were. Haha!

The moment we reached our hotel, of course we could not wait to see our hotel rooms and just…COLLAPSE. The Nadyas were jumping in joy and shrieking like baby hyenas when they entered the hotel room because they just love hotels so much.

You know, pillow fights and girly stuff like that.

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Since we were pretty much exhausted still from the early flight and all, everyone napped for about three hours. For dinner, we took a cab to Nathan Road, which was about a 10 mins ride from the hotel. Once there, we went to Chung King Mansion, which is very near to Tsim Sha Tsui MTR and ordered dinner from Bismillah Kebab, Shop No. 75. There were quite a number of Halal Indian food outlets there but somehow, Bismillah Kebab caught our attention, thanks to the extremely friendly staff and the outlook of the eatery. We ordered chicken briyani, chicken fried rice and fish and chips, and decided to take away our dinner instead. We thought it would be nicer to eat together in the hotel room instead. My verdict on Bismillah Kebab? Food is nice and serving is more than generous. No pictures of food because we were too hungry to even think of anything else that would not be able to fill our empty stomach like taking pictures.

After a very heavy dinner, we called it a wrap and slept, exactly at 8 pm. Very healthy lifestyle, I know.

So that was our first day in HK.

Ready for some tips?

Tip 1: Do ensure to prepare some activities or favourite toys for your little ones that will occupy them throughout the entire plane ride. Even though our flight to HK was only about 3 h 15 mins, the girls got bored easily, no thanks to the sitting in the plane.  For a list of great plane activities, click HERE.

Tip 2: Have a good meal at Popeye’s at the airport before heading to your hotel. Pack some biscuits and burger too while you are at it.

Tip 3: Take the MTR if possible because it works exactly the same way as SMRT. However, do plan where you want to go and find out the nearest MTR to the place that you want to go. How to? GOOGLE!

Tip 4: If you go to HK in November, just a jacket or long sleeved top/pants will do. In December, a sweater will do just fine.

Tip 5: Try chicken fried rice from Bismillah Kebab, Shop No. 75 at Chung King Mansion near to Tsim Sha Tsui MTR Station. Opening hours is from 9 am to 11.30 pm, and they even do delivery to your hotel. Numbers to call: 27225733/23696786

DAY TWO:

Everyone was awake by 7 am – it was either because we had an early night or we were simply too excited to start the day. I choose the latter because I know I could not wait to venture Hong Kong. For Day 2, since we started the day early and fresh, we were a bit more adventurous and aimed to go to 3 places – the famous Halal Dimsum at Ammar and Osman Ramju mosque for our brunch, Victoria Peak for some sightseeing, and Citygate outlet for some shopping. Did we manage to go to all three places? Well, of course we did! Don’t underestimate the tourist me. I did not research, google, and plan for the entire trip in my Mircrosoft Word for nothing, you know? Since we intended to go out for one whole day, we brought along the twins’ stroller so that they could have their nap in their stroller.

To go to Ammar and Osman Ramju mosque, we took the MTR to Wan Chai station, and took a cab thereafter. The cab ride was less than 5 mins although it involved a lot of turns before we finally reached our destination.  I have to say that our best meal in Hong Kong had to be at Ammar and Osman Ramju mosque. Everyone ate their fill and despite us ordering food enough to feed the entire village, the total bill only came up to 269 HKD. In SGD, that is about $40 only! The dim sum is to die for, seriously. We kept ordering the dim sum because it was just that nice – totally different from the dim sum you find in Singapore, and undeniably the best halal dim sum I have ever tasted this far. I would vouch for it with my name Diah Mastura Roslan! The seafood fried rice, chicken fried rice and noodles are just as nice too. Again, since we were already there, we packed some food to fill our stomach for later.

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Ammar and Osman Ramju mosque is a must to visit if you intend to go to Hong Kong. It is open daily from 10 am to 9 pm. Friendly staff, nice ambience, and GREAT food.

From the mosque, we took a cab to Victoria Peak. We had wanted to take the MTR but because the twins needed their nap, we chose the cab instead so that they could sleep in the cab and wake up just in time for Victoria Peak. Do you know that Victoria Peak is the highest point within Hong Kong? We should have taken the tram to The Peak but our cab took up all the way up. When you are at Victoria Peak, it is like having a bird eye’s view of Hong Kong. Given the choice, we would have preferred to go to Victoria Peak at night because I have heard that the night view there is really beautiful. But with three small girls, that was not even a choice. And did I mention that it was super cold too over there because we were after all, so high up. Look at Sharleez’s expression – she was frustrated because she was shivering. Haha!

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When you are at Victoria Peak, be sure to also visit Madame Tussauds Wax Museum to view your favourite celebrities wax figures like Jackie Chan, Michelle Yeoh, Angelina Jolie, Bruce Lee, and… HIDAYAT WAHAB!

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Oops, I am sorry for the mix-up. Hidayat Wahab is not even a celebrity to begin with, so how to be a wax figure, right? But seriously, it is amazing how all these wax figures really look like the real McCoy. How to tell the differences, really.

From Victoria Peak, we took a cab to the nearest MTR and headed to Tung Chung station for the Citygate outlets. What’s the biggie about Citygate outlets? Well, they are basically factory outlets of branded stuff like Esprit, Nike, Adidas, Coach, and Crocs. I did my shopping mainly at Crocs because the Crocs for kids were selling at just 144 HKD which converts to 28 SGD! How cheap is that? So yes, the girls each got themselves 3 brand new pairs of CROCS. Nothing for Mummy. Nothing for Daddy.

We did some grocery shopping at the supermarket, and bought some titbits, bread and jam for our breakfast the next morning.

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Thank god for happy helpers like Myreen! 🙂

We took the MTR back to our hotel, and ordered Bismillah Kebab for dinner. They took less than an hour to deliver our dinner, by the way.

We were not as hopeless as we were on day 1 – we did not go to bed right after dinner. The girls had several rounds of story time by Daddy and Mummy and a bit of playtime before it was bedtime. Excellent – I like it when there is still routine no matter where we can be.

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So that was our day two in Hong Kong.

Tip 6: If you have to take the cab in HK, make sure you know the name of the road. Knowing the name of the building only will not suffice because Hong Kong is so big.

Tip 7: For those with small children, bringing along a stroller will help you more than you could ever imagine.

Tip 8: It’s better to take a cab from Wan Chai MTR to Sultan Anmar mosque because even though it is only a 5 min cab ride, it is not that easy to find.

DAY THREE:

Once again, we were already up by about 7 am. If we had been excited the days before, we were more than excited on day three because we were checking out from the hotel and heading to Disneyland finally! Pity my girls because they had been waiting to meet Mickey and friends! We could not wait to check out from the hotel but we had to wait a bit before we could check out. So while waiting, the camera became our victim again.

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Sharleez taught us the Princess pose. Like this!

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Since Disneyland was quite a distance from our hotel, we took a cab! We would have taken the MTR instead if not for the luggage plus stroller plus three little Nadyas. The moment we arrived at Disneyland Hotel, I was speechless for a moment. The view was so breathtakingly beautiful.

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Everyone was super friendly, super nice and super helpful over there, we really felt at home. Again, we were granted an early check-in. The room, oh my god, THE ROOM, was more than we had imagined it to be! We were beyond control the moment we entered the room. Once again, we were given two hotel rooms instead of just one! And do you want to know what’s inside each hotel room? Two queen sized beds, a balcony with a nice view of the swimming pool, a nice big toilet with a nice bathtub, and a wardrobe with three bathrobes for Mummy, Daddy and the little one. But wait I am not done yet. I did mention that we were given two rooms, but did I mention that our rooms were connected to one another. So that makes it 1 very big hotel room with 4 queen sized beds, two balconies, two nice toilets with two nice bathtubs, and two wardrobes with 6 bathrobes for Mummy, Daddy and the little ones! Let me catch my breath for a while now.

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Shortly after we checked in, we went down to meet up with the HKDL PR and they distributed our passes and coupons for Disneyland Resort.

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High Tea was booked for us at the Grand Salon at the lobby of Disneyland hotel in true Victorian Style. We had requested for a no pork no lard menu prior to that. I like the whole idea of a Victorian afternoon tea with the loved ones – it is such a simple yet sophisticated affair altogether. We were served an assortment of cakes, pastries, cookies, salmon sandwiches and of course, TEA.

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Once high tea was done, we took the shuttle bus from the hotel to Disneyland Resort. It was less than a 5 min ride but since we were too excited, it felt like forever before we finally reached Disneyland Resort. At Disneyland Resort, we had a tour guide for the day, Carmen. Such a nice and friendly lady, indeed. She is one of the many friendly staff working at Disneyland Resort. What Carmen did was to bring us around the entire Disneyland Resort to enjoy the many rides and shows.

First things first, Disneyland park consists of FOUR themed lands:

  1. Fantasyland
  2. Tomorrowland
  3. Adventureland
  4. Main Street, U.S.A

We managed to watch the Disney “Let It Snow” Christmas Parade up, very close and almost personal right on time. The Disney “Let It Snow” Christmas Parade is basically a parade by all the Disney characters and their accompanying dancers. So you can imagine us (yes, me and Tatek included) going Oooooh and Waahhhhh!” when the Disney characters walked past us.

 And just because it was a Christmas Parade, there was snow!

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Of course it was not real snow. It was actually just foam!  But since we were at Disneyland, we made believe that it was real snow.

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After the parade, it was basically more tour, more shows and more rides.

We especially enjoyed the “It’s a small world” fun boat ride at Fantasy Land. It was like a boat ride around the world with costumed dolls and Disney characters as we sang along to the song. We took the ride twice so I guess I do not have to elaborate on just how much my girls enjoyed the ride.

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“Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters” was also really fun and thrilling because during this ride, we had to use our laser guns to blast the enemy targets. Bang! Bang! We relived our childhood there and then.

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Of course the girls had difficulties trying to shoot at the target accurately. Why, they were afraid to even hold the guns! I do not blame them because I always tell them that they are not allowed to play with guns – so when they were given laser guns and asked to shoot, they did not know whether to listen to Mummy, or to just have fun for that few minutes. They were all the more confused when they saw me shooting at the targets (hardly accurate, may I add) and hysterically laughing for every target hit and missed. What a contradicting mummy.  :S

Another ride that you must take is “The Many Adventures of Winnie The Pooh”. In this storytelling and indoor ride through the Hundred Acre Wood, you will be sure to bump into Winnie The Pooh, Tigger, Piglet, Eeyore and the rest of the gang. Any kid will enjoy this ride because any kid enjoys storytelling.

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Besides the rides, we also went for the Golden Mickey show. This musical extravaganza honours all the Disney films and makes you feel like you are really watching an award show. All the characters will also be present to sing a song and perform a dance or two.

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At night, we waited in front of the gorgeous Sleeping Beauty Castle for the “Disney in the Stars” fireworks. Never in my life have I seen firework displays as spectacular and as breath taking as the ones I saw at Disneyland. They are just so colourful, radiating and mighty. The fireworks are just full of energy. Ahh yes, full of energy best describes the fireworks. My pictures did not justice to what I just stated because well, you just HAVE to be there to witness everything yourself.

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 The child in me was actually secretly hoping for Sleepy Beauty to wave at us from the castle. She did not of course! Hahaaa!

We did shop a bit at the many Disney stores available at Disneyland Resort! We went crazy. You will too. The Nadyas got for themselves a princess dress set each. To know who chose what, you have to wait for Sharleez’s birthday party!

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We ended first day at Disneyland Resort with this picture of the very tired us. Even the camera was tired (of us).

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We could not wait to get back to the hotel to slumber. The Nadyas on the other hand, could not wait to get into the bathtub despite feeling so exhausted already. On normal days, I will never allow them to bathe that late but because we were at Disneyland, everything is/was possible.  Rules were all thrown to one side and would only be collected back on our last day.

Tip 9: To watch the Disney Parade, be sure to arrive at least about 30 mins earlier to get a good spot and view of the entire parade. Believe me, the crowd is madness!

Tip 10: Disneyland will be coming up with a new parade to celebrate its 5th anniversary next year so you might not want to miss out on this one. They will be coming out with a new parade altogether.

Tip 11: The best period to go to HK is during the November to December period because that’s when HK is the coldest.

Tip 12: For those with small kids like us, start your day early at Disneyland, leave around naptime, go back to the hotel to rest for a bit, and go back to the park once everyone is energized. Cranky kids are not easy to please, right? 🙂

 

DAY FOUR:

During our last day in Disneyland hotel, we had to be up early because we had a buffet breakfast booked for us at the Enchanted Garden with the Disney Characters at 9.30 am! Do they like even sleep, these characters? Finally, we were going to rub shoulders with them. Prior to the HK trip even, Tatek and I had told the girls to not be scared of the characters. I mean, it would be such a waste to travel all the way from Singapore and end up not getting a proper picture with at least one Disney Character in Disneyland. And it was really nice to see the Disney characters coming to every table to have their picture taken with us.

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 Mickey in his Christmas outfit. How cute!

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Goofy!

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After breakfast, it was time to go to Disneyland Resort for the last time before we headed back to Singapore later in the evening. MUST SHOP. MUST TAKE MORE PICTURES. MUST TAKE MORE RIDES. MUST USE MAGIC PASSES.

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Here’s a sneak preview!

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 Another thing I really love about Disneyland is the Gingerbread Village located at the Main Street USA, where all the houses are nicely decorated with colourful sweets and candies. Each house belongs to a Disney character and we actually went around looking for all the houses of our favourite characters like Minnie Mouse, Mickey Mouse, Daisy Duck and Goofy.

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And while the M&Ms were having their nap in their stroller, Sharleez had a picture taken with Minnie Mouse. We actually wanted to wait for the photo taking session with all the princesses in the evening but at the same time, we had a plane to catch back to Singapore. So yeah. Sharleez and the girls would have loved to meet up with the princesses. Come on, girls and princesses and everything pink – do not even bother separating them all. Believe me, I have tried so many times but like I said, do not even bother trying.

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As expected, the girls did not want to leave Disneyland Resort and Disneyland Hotel because they had so much fun there. When told that we were going to take the aeroplane back to Singapore, Myreen actually cried. “I want to go Dish-ni-land!” L If only I could buy you girls Disneyland, I would. Unfortunately, I could only afford to buy you toys from Disneyland. But hey, I bought all of you the princess gowns complete the gloves and tiaras and wands and purses okay? So go play princess all you want until you get tired of being princesses and everything pink!

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Tip 13: It is good to explore the entire Disneyland before shopping there because believe me, it is so really cumbersome to walk around the park and go for rides with big bags of goodies.

Tip 14: For parents with small kids, fret not if you decide not to bring strollers to HK because you can easily rent one at Town Square (near the entrance) for just HKD 60 (about 10 SGD). Click HERE for more info!

Tip 15: Plan your stay at Disneyland wisely. You need at least 2 days there – one day for the rides, the second day to take pictures with all the characters. Queue to take picture with each character takes at least 20 mins!

 All in all, we really had such a wonderful time in Hong Kong, especially at Hong Kong Disneyland. We came back to Singapore with not only our luggage full of souvenirs, but with memories to last us for a life time.

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And yes, it was indeed a magical stay.

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Biggest thanks to HK Disneyland & Nuffnang for making this possible, of course! 🙂

For more information on park tickets & reservations, click HERE!

To book a room at Disneyland Hotel & experience what we experienced, click HERE!

Till next time!  Enjoy the remnants of your holiday, ya?

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