The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.” – G.K. Chesterton

Monday, 22 October 2012

Toy Story Land, and Riverview Cafe @ HK Disneyland

When I was recently asked what my favourite place in Hong Kong is, I answered "Disneyland". I know how corny and cliché that sounds, especially considering how bad my first Disneyland experience was; but everything inside Disneyland is so clean, cheerful and fun, which are all very important when going anywhere with a little one. And Disneyland is so much better when you bring along a little one. We recently went to Disneyland as part of our son's 4th birthday celebrations with my younger sister who was visiting HK for a few days. It was also a good opportunity for my sis to check out Disneyland since she hadn't been before although this was her second time to HK. We'd been to Disneyland twice before, so I didn't bother taking many photos during this visit.

One of the blooper shots, taken near the entrance in front of the Halloween-themed Mickey Mouse hedge decorated with orange pumpkins. My younger sister and I are often told we look alike, but we of course disagree:

Two new "themed lands" had opened up since we were last there for our son's 3rd birthday, and a couple of the new rides were pretty fun to go on. We didn't hang around the newly opened Grizzly Gulch very much, only long enough to ride the Big Grizzly Mountain Runaway Mine Cars. This new ride was thrilling enough with forward dashing, backward racing and plenty of sharp turns, however this is not for those prone to motion-sickness (or those who were already nauseated from previously riding the Space Mountain).

Just to give an idea of how Toy Story Land looks like with popping bright colours. Part of the RC Racer ride can be seen on the right (more about the ride below):

I personally liked the Toy Story Land better than the Grizzly Gulch, most probably because we've watched the Toy Story trilogy so many times already (thanks to our boy who had a bit of a Toy Story obsession a couple of years ago), and also because our dear son loves the characters so much. Everything was so brightly coloured, and most of the rides had a low height requirement which meant our son could enjoy them. He went on his very first thrilling ride (the Toy Soldiers Parachute Drop), and he wasn't even 4 years old yet! I am pretty sure I was much, much older than that when I went on my first thrilling ride! The minimum height requirement for the Parachute Drop ride is 81cm (our boy exceeded the requirement by at least 20cm), but don't be fooled into thinking that it's only a kiddie ride; we saw a college-aged girl reduced to tears during the ride. No kidding! Our boy's legs shook with every drop, but he came out of it grinning from ear to ear, so he must have really enjoyed the ride. The only ride our boy couldn't go on in Toy Story Land was the only ride in Disneyland that got me screaming until my voice was hoarse. The four adults in our group all unanimously agreed that the RC Racer was great fun, and my sister and I appreciated how it didn't make our motion-induced nausea worse.

Hubby, sister and her boyfriend were seated on the back row of the RC Racer in this shot (I was waiting outside with my son). This was hubby's second round; we'd gone on this ride together for hubby's round #1 while my sis took care of our boy, and we sat in the front row:

When it was lunch time, we headed to Riverview Cafe, the last of the three table-service dining options in Disneyland that hubby and I hadn't yet dined at. (We always opt for the table-service option whenever we are dining with our son, who has multiple food allergies, because food are (presumably) cooked to order, and we can make allergy requests.) We were thinking of going to Plaza Inn where we had a good experience previously (the best food we'd eaten at an amusement/theme park), but I wanted to try a different location. The verdict? Well, the service was good enough, the dishes were affordably priced, and the food came out in a timely manner, but the variety, quality and flavour were only average. Our experience at Plaza Inn was definitely a few notches higher than Riverview Cafe and Corner Cafe. Next time we need to eat a meal in HK Disneyland, we know that Plaza Inn is the place to go!

Futian Fried Rice - good flavour but the texture of the topping was a bit too gluggy:

Portuguese Chicken. The menu wasn't specific about this dish, and I had to verify with a waitress that this was the curry dish I was hoping for. The sauce was tasty enough, however the chicken and vegetables weren't up to standard (carrots weren't cooked, chicken too fatty and bony, etc):

Broccoli and Mushrooms - the simplest dish at lunch and probably the most enjoyable:

Pan-fried Fish with Celery - another average dish:

Despite the mediocre food, we had a great time overall at Disneyland. We were pretty tired by 6pm, and my sister wasn't feeling 100%, so we didn't stay for the 9pm fireworks. I would love to go on the RC Racer ride again!

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