Monday, April 5, 2010

Adventureland at Hong Kong Disneyland

Is Everyone ready for a backwards tour of Adventureland at Hong Kong Disneyland? I say backwards because I'm posting the pictures as I took them entering from the Fantasyland side all the way back out to then hub. Off the top of my head I can't think of another park where you can go directly from Fantasy to Adventure. Usually there is a Frontier or a "Western" in the middle somewhere.
Very similar to Adventureland signs you see in Walt Disney World also the font here is more pointy around the edges. That's a technical term. 

Here is Hong Kong's version of the Liki-Tikis or Leaky-Tikis, I wanted to get individual pictures, but I didn't want to get wet. This seemed strange and out of place as it was kind of in the middle of no where between the Jungle Cruise and nothing. It also made me sad that there was no Enchanted Tiki Room here. 

You my friends are looking at the only merchandise store in the vast empty expanse that is Hong Kong Disneyland's Adventureland. They really decided to go light on the buildings in this one. Get ready for one of the only other establishments in Adventureland: 

Here's the River View Cafe a table service restaurant across from the Jungle Cruise. This is the 5th and final building in Adventureland you can get a set meal here, which involves delicious curry! One of the fun things about this besides its Animal Kingdom like theming is the window on the left is the only window in Adventureland to be adorn with a name. That name is of course Harper Goff who helped create the Jungle Cruise along with many other famous Disney attractions. 

I attempted to get a closer look, but I failed you still can't read it. I tried everything to get it to come out, but it wouldn't. 

Here's some of the fun rock work and waterfalls near the entrance to Adventureland. Also notice in the distance Chip & Dale being adventurous and posing with tourists! This shot gives you a feel for kind of what Adventureland is like to walkthrough, it's much different from any space in any other Magic Kingdom. By Different I really mean empty. 

This bridge helps lead back to the hub. 

Here's the back of the "Adventureland" sign with some fun tribal masks! 

I just wanted to show the Adventureland lamps. Here they are complicated Bamboo structures. 

Here we are! Back at the Hub! This is the Adventureland entrance a very different entrance from Disneyland. Which I miss. 

Anyway that's all from Adventureland folks! Be sure to join us next time as we tromp through Town Square in Hong Kong Disneyland! 

Follow me on twitter at @mfeige or @goldenmickeys

Friday, April 2, 2010

Hong Kong Disneyland's Fantasyland

This is my favorite thing in Fantasyland!
HAHAHAH! Just kidding there are no Stich CD players in Fantasyland! But there are in Tomorrowland, which is just as bad. Moving on to actual Fantasyland! 

Mickey's PhilharMagic! This means that Disneyland is the only park that does not have PhilharMagic or a future PhilharMagic. Also I think it is interesting that this Mickey's PhilharMagic uses the same facade as Pinnocchio's village haus. 

Dumbo with Water Feature! I actually rode this Dumbo, it was the first time I rode dumbo in a very long time. Also I found it a little strange that as you leave the line area you get a boarding pass to make sure that no one tries to take an extra Dumbo. This is a surprisingly fun ride. 

Here is the Carousel! It's nice! I'm not sure I have anything else to say about it! It was fun!

I love the Disneyland castle. I love the colors of this castle. I just like this shot again. 

The Banquet Hall! and more pictures to follow! 

The Beast and Belle Dancing in the Banquet Hall. No one is eating here. 

Here is Cinderella and Prince Charming? Some people are eating here! 

Here is the center piece of the restaurant! Sleeping Beauty and Prince Charming(?). Sorry I really should know the names of the princes in Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella, but they're just so boring. Check out the interesting food options. Sushi and Dim Sum. 

Yay for Skylights! 

Here is a fun Mural that recreates the final scene from Sleeping Beauty, but instead of just Sleeping Beauty and her Beau dancing it's all of the Disney Princesses or at least a few of them, Mulan included. 

Here is Hong Kong Disneyland's Fantasy Gardens! This is exclusive to Hong Kong it's essentially just a character meet and greet area, but it is nice looking, more pictures to follow. 

I like wait time signs

the one in the center is definitely Mulan's pavilion, not really sure about the other one in the frame, maybe Alice in Wonderland. 

Look at that cute bridge! It's not even water it's just cute flowers! 

Interesting Fantasy Gardens Lamp post! 

People wondering why this wasn't open yet. I was wondering the same thing.

More of the Fantasy Gardens color palette! Pink and Purple for everyone! 

Now this Dumbo poster is actually in Town Square, but it is a for a Fantasyland ride. But what I love about this poster is that Dumbo is pink! This is awesome because originally Walt wanted the Dumbo attraction to have the Pink Elephants from Dumbo's Hallucination. Eventually it occurred to Walt that having a ride based on an Alcoholic induced hallucination might not be the best idea and hence it was turned into the actual Dumbo although it is hard to explain multiple grey dumbos. I just liked that they brought that idea back for the poster.

That's all I've got from Fantasyland in Hong Kong! 

Follow me on Twitter at @GoldenMickeys or @mfeige

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Plaza Inn Hong Kong Disneyland

This Plaza Inn looks just like the one in Disneyland! Which is awesome! Except the interior was a shock to my system. I also find it strange that the Plaza Inn looks just like it does in Disneyland when there is no Tiki Room attached to it in the back.
Yay! Here's where it starts to get strange or at least different. 

Here are the awesome Chinese lamps in the middle of the room. Those glowing things among the fake grass on Fish! I like the overall decor

Here's the ceiling, love the panels and shapes etc. 

A wide view of the restaurant. Check out the awesome Chinese murals in the left corner. The server is totally in the way though. 

Here's a great panorama including the center piece that's not blurry. Love the chinese atmosphere and decor. Just saying that again, because it is easier to get a feel for it here. Also note the fish in the grass. The lights and the fish change colors from red, to purple and blue etc. 

The Plaza Inn was where I went for the pre-park opening character breakfast! The first character to make the rounds was Mulan! Also Get ready for some pictures of me and my family and Disney Characters! 

Here's the type of awesome Dim Sum you can get at the Plaza Inn. I loved it. I actually ate here both days I was in Hong Kong Disneyland

Here is how you get your food. They push around carts which have signs on the front telling you what food items the cart is carrying. It's fun. 

My family with Mulan! Mulan spoke English, Japanese and Chinese. It was amazing. She had a lovely conversation with us. Also notice that the lights in the background are now blue! 

Chip & Dale are pretty much my favorite Disney characters ever or at least the ones I find most amusing and subversive. If you don't know what I'm talking about just think about it for a while. 

Anyway That's it from the Plaza Inn in Hong Kong Disneyland! 

Follow me on twitter @GoldenMickeys or @mfeige

The Tahitian Terrace at Hong Kong Disneyland

I love Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room at Disneyland. It might even be my favorite attraction at Disneyland. It is the theme, its unique sense of place and comedy. Behind the Tiki Room at Disneyland in the current location of Aladdin's Oasis used to be a wonderful restaurant called the Tahitian Terrace. The Tahitian Terrace was a restaurant with an accompanying dinner show and achieved much the same sense of place as the Tiki Room. IT also had an awesome logo and posters. In one of the Disneyland TV shows that is part of the Walt Disney Treasures set there is a scene featuring the Tahitian Terrace where we see a couple watching a performance by a young scantily clad lady dancing. The man, who is slightly overweight and balding is entranced by both the chicken he is eating and the woman dance, his wife on the other hand who looks like a teacher, wearing thick glasses and a frumpy top is merely staring at her food and looking entirely bored. For some reason this scene helped me fall in love with the Tahitian Terrace. Currently Adventureland in both Disneyland and Walt Disney World are in dire need of more restaurants and so I constantly hope that they will reopen the Tahitian Terrace.

So you can guess I was extremely excited when I saw the Tahitian Terrace on the map in Adventureland at Hong Kong Disneyland. I'm convinced that my pictures of it have been lost as I could only find two, but remember walking around and taking many of the small details.
Here is the main building that comprises the ordering area and kitchen for the Tahitian Terrace. One of the problems with this restaurant is that there is no Tiki room for it too complement. While it is clear Disney thinks that the Tiki Room in its original form is outdated as they have replaced two out of the three in the world with horrible abominations featuring newer characters shoved in, the truth is Hong Kong Disneyland does not have nearly enough attractions so anything would've done it some good. None the less the Tahitian Terrace plays tribute to the Tiki Room in some fun ways.

Anyone who has ridden the Tiki Room in any of its incarnations should recognize this at the Tiki Gods who line the columns of the Tiki Room and chant with their audio animatronic eyes and mouths. Here they are just decoration sprinkled around the exterior. Here you can see the outdoor seating area for the restaurant. I desperately wanted to eat here so that I could experience a version of the Tahitian Terrace but it was closed throughout my stay. 

Sadly these two pictures are the only ones I can find at this time of the Tahitian Terrace, but on the other side of the Tahitian Terrace the shrubs are lined with Birds of Paradise the followers which are referenced in the Enchanted Tiki Room song and appear as singing animatronics in the original line. While the logo for this Tahitian Terrace is similar to the original it has discarded the exact lines of the early sixties and embraced a more rugged styling albeit reminiscent of the original. 

If you'd like to learn more about The original Tahitian Terrace I highly recommend you check out Warner Weis' wonderful site Yesterland

Alain Littaye's site Disney and More: The Artwork Collection has some great photos of Hong Kong's Tahitian Terrace about mid-way through the page here in his interview with Imagineer Tom Morris.

Feel free to follow me on Twitter at @mfeige or @GoldenMickeys 

Hopefully I'll be able to dig up more about Hong Kong's Tahitian Terrace in the future

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Jungle Cruise at Hong Kong Disneyland

Every Magic Kingdom style Disney park has had the Jungle Cruise and Hong Kong was no exception. But this Jungle Cruise is completely different from any other for many reasons. This park had no Frontierland when it opened and hence no Rivers of America giving the Jungle Cruise and Adventureland a lot more room. The Jungle Cruise in Hong Kong is formatted much like the Rivers of America a large circular body of water. I was extremely excited about the Jungle Cruise having more room for new gags and animals. I was sorely disappointed, but we'll get there.
This sign got me really excited because one of the Jungle Cruise's classic gags involves an Elephant spraying water and then coming up as if it were going to spray again right when the boat goes by only to scare the passengers. I thought that on this ride there might be some meta joke for imagineers and visitors to different parks that here the elephant would actually spray you. It does not. Also an awesome sign directly above this one which I neglected to take a picture of shows the three lines and the three versions of the Jungle Cruise. Here in Hong Kong the Jungle Cruise is offered in Three Languages: English, Cantonese and Mandarin and hence has three lines. 

Say goodbye to the people at the dock, because you'll never see them again. 

At Hong Kong Disneyland in order to get to the Tarzan Treehouse you have to take a boat similar to the boats to Huck Finn island. We had to wait for this one to pass. 

Now the tricky matter of our skipper. I want to first say a few things. Out skipper whose name I didn't catch speaks english better or at least as well as I will ever speak another language and her superior gave her the job of Jungle Cruise skipper. She absolutely did her best. That being said, she was absolutely terrible. Speaking english as a second language makes it almost impossible to understand why or what makes the word play funny and hence our skipper memorized the content rather than the words. Although the silver lining is that this taught me I knew all of the Jungle Cruise jokes as I leaned over to my father and whispered the jokes in his ear. 


I thought we were going to get sprayed here, but we remained completely dry.

Here is the temple! Scary and mysterious. More flubbed jokes. Still the same as Walt Disney World's Jungle Cruise

Here we have Ganesh the indian god of beginnings and gateways, I believe that this is slightly different. 

Crocodiles! Aaahh

Apes destroying the camp!! AAHHH! Still nothing funny.

The scene with all the animals. 

The Africans getting the "point." In some versions these adventurers are white. 

I'm gonna take some time to talk about my general feelings about this ride now before we get to the one new scene. I mean the natives have abandon the place so it seems like a good time to talk. Because this Jungle Cruise area was so much larger I expected the experience of the ride to be larger, feature new scenes and new visual tableaux. It has one and we'll get to that next, but everything else is exactly the same. I was disappointed. Not only is the extra size not taken advantage of, it actively hurts the ride. It is not hard to believe you are in a new river in a new part of the world when you cannot see the stretch of river you were just on, but it is nearly impossible when your skipper yells, "now we're on the nile" and you can see the amazon directly behind you. It's ridiculous. While some of you may be thinking, but they still added an extra scene. Sure that's true, but they also took out the scene with the two jokes that never fail to make me laugh. The took out the water fall which is passed through twice thanks to the twists and turns of the jungle cruise. My favorite jokes are: "Here we have Schweitzer Falls named after Mr. Albert Falls" and "Ladies and Gentlemen the backside of water!!!!!" Classic. So essentially they destroyed a lot of what made the Jungle Cruise a semi-believable attraction, really what held it together. Let's hope this last scene is really great. 

Here is the Toad/Monster like face that we are stuck by. Previously the boat has attempted to go around the rock formation, but a huge water jet explodes about five feet in front of the boat. Oh this is what they were talking about when they said you might get wet. No one got wet. Then as we try the corridor between the rocks and the scary monster face another water cannon goes off directly in front of the boat (no one gets wet). After that . . . 

All of this fire is burning simultaneously and the groans are getting louder and louder excited for a serious fireball we get this:

A puffy cloud of smoke, albeit a rather large one. The idea is that the Water gods and the fire gods are fighting and our Jungle Cruise boat is stuck in the middle. While I understand that this situation is ripe for comedy absolutely none of it was conveyed by our skipper at all. Because this was the one new scene I had no idea what the jokes were supposed to be and took it completely seriously. Now stay tuned for my Japanese Jungle Cruise ride where I understood about 50% of what was being said and laughed more than almost any other time on the Jungle Cruise

One last straggling baby Elephant. 

I wanted to show a few pictures of the Jungle Cruise building because I believe they adequately show what the Jungle Cruise show building was like in 1955 Disneyland opened to the public. Also I just like it. 

Actually I take back what I said above, I'm almost 100% sure that the roof of the 1955 Jungle Cruise building was wood, although I do believe the overall structure is similar. 

Follow me on Twitter @mfeige or @goldenmickeys