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Photo TR: Divv's Chinese Adventure


Divv3k
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After our visit to Ocean Park it was time to do some sightseeing around Hong Kong...

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For some reason everyone trusted Larry with their money for our next activity. We’re dumb.

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We’re off to see Hong Kong from water level!

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Larry gives the secret signal that indicates he just made a decent profit on this boat trip.

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I’m special (so special) so I got to sit at the front of the boat.

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In Hong Kong you’ll find many a restaurant just floating out in the middle of the river.

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You’ll also see what appear to be peoples homes. Land apparently at a bit of a premium in HK so using water instead must somehow make sense!

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If you don’t want to live in a house on the water you can always go for a tower block like this!

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We might be out of Mainland China but there’s still factory tours to go on!

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Check out the excitement on everyone’s faces!

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Here you see some dude making pearls or something. I lost interest in here pretty quick. The next stop however, was pretty interesting...

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Victoria Peak!

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The view from here just prior to sunset was immense. Such a great spot to visit in Hong Kong.

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Getting up and down from Victoria Peak also means that you can get another funicular railway credit!

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This trip must be the TPR Tour record holder for most funicular railways. (I'm sure Larry ahs acoutn of thsi somewhere)

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Here’s our first Chinese meal in Hong Kong. It was excellent. Who knew it would take visiting Hong Kong to get some decent Chinese food.

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The Hong Kong pudding was a little questionable though. Still, at least I was more amenable to giving things a try here!

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Hong Kong is pretty well known for its evening lights show on the buildings. It looks cool to see them all lit up but the show itself is nothing special.

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Another awesomely cool thing about TPR trips – meeting friends that you went to school with on the other side of the planet! These are my good friends from school Lisa and Jonathan who now work out in HK and live pretty close to Disney. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to get a few drinks with them and expose them to some of the TPR madness!

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And that’s our day sightseeing in Hong Kong done! One more update to go and it’s a good one...

 

Yup, next up is the final update.... Hong Kong Disneyland!!!

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Awesome update from Ocean Park and Hong Kong, that place is definitely on my bucket list one of these days.

 

I'll never really understand why parks build powered coasters, I have no idea how much a powered coaster costs compared to a "regular" coaster but seems like it would be comparable with the only difference being a huge energy bill to pay every month. I get that maybe powered coasters can fit into smaller spaces with height restrictions and stuff but still. Heck seems like a traditional LIM launch would use less energy than a fully powered coaster and provide a similar experience r (I really don't know just speculating here).

 

This post has been a public service announcement brought to you by energy. Use less energy, don't build powered coasters......

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That dinner in Hong Kong was the best meal of the trip--nice Cantonese cuisine. The "factory tour" was more of an excuse to get you into a jewelry showroom, through.

 

I liked Hong Kong a lot--and you can't beat the location of Ocean Park.

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Great TR! Glad you guys liked Hong Kong.

 

Out of curious, were all the shopping stops like jewelry shop, tea show, silk factory arranged by your tour guides? Tour guides in China and HK usually get a very high percentage of profit at the shopping stops they take the tourists to because they have "special plan". The profit is basically what they earn for living. Not saying everywhere they take you are bad but in general, the products are poorly made and overpriced. The tour guides arranging Chinese food to the tour schedule might also because of this reason and Robb made a wise decision to go to Pizza Hut.

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Divv, yes I believe 3 funicular credits may be the record for a TPR tour. Knight Valley, Ocean Park and Victoria Peak.

 

The total China trip consisted of so many modes of transit. Bus, Train, Plane, Boat, Funicular, and whatever that wacky thing in the Shanghai underground was.

 

That Hong Kong meal was awesome, but the factory tour was also the most painful of the trip.

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Great TR! Glad you guys liked Hong Kong.

 

Out of curious, were all the shopping stops like jewelry shop, tea show, silk factory arranged by your tour guides? Tour guides in China and HK usually get a very high percentage of profit at the shopping stops they take the tourists to because they have "special plan". The profit is basically what they earn for living. Not saying everywhere they take you are bad but in general, the products are poorly made and overpriced. The tour guides arranging Chinese food to the tour schedule might also because of this reason and Robb made a wise decision to go to Pizza Hut.

 

I figured that the tour guides worked on commission. You see that in the U.S., too, at any restaurant that sports a sign reading "Buses Welcome."

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So the TPR China Trip comes to a close with the most anticipated park of the tour (for me at least!) and this one was extra anticipated for me as it meant that I was accomplishing a goal I had set for myself a few years previously of visiting every Disney park in the world!

 

I had read and heard a lot about this place since it had opened - there was a lot of criticism of the park for being too small and for the behaviour of the guests. Who could forget the tales of guests urinating out in the open in the park? I had also heard many glowing reports of the park so I was really interested to see how this compared to the other Disney resorts.

 

Bearing in mind that this trip (for me at least) encompassed two Disney resorts in different continents I can report that I DID witness public urination in a Disney park - but NOT in Hong Kong Disneyland! HKDL makes Paris' clientele and operations look like a terrible Six Flags park. HKDL was the total opposite of all the negative stories I had heard. The staff were amazing, the people were really nice and the rides were really, really great.

 

Yeah, you can criticise the place for not having enough to do but I really don't see that being an issue for much longer. With Big Grizzly Mountain and Toy Story Land now opened and Mystic Manor imminently opening (at the time of our visit) the park seems well on its way to being a true Disney Resort.

 

So how were the rides? For me, Big Grizzly Mountain was fantastic! I had no idea about the "twists" in the ride. I really thought it was a simple Big Thunder type ride with some animatronic bears so it was a huge pleasant surprise to find all these extra elements on my first ride! It's very re-rideable and looks fantastic at night. The whole Grizzly area is a huge win for the park.

 

Space Mountain is also great here. We were lucky enough to visit at the start of their Halloween celebration which meant the Ghost Galaxy overlay was in effect, which was a really nice twist on the ride. Mark that four out of five Space Mountains that I really love! (Sorry, Paris - you really suck in the Space Mountain department too!).

 

Everything else was solid Magic Kingdom fare for the most part. Jungle Cruise offered some nice twists and even It's A Small World was more tolerable than most versions!

 

All in all I really liked this park. It kind of felt like a "Mini" Tokyo Disneyland in some ways and if they keep on expanding the way they are the place is only going to get better and better. I'm already desperate to get back to check out Mystic Manor!

 

With this update, my China TR is (finally!) over... Once again I just want to say a HUGE THANK YOU to Robb and Elissa for once again putting on an unbelievable trip. Even when China tried its best to derail things Robb and Elissa always had an answer to make for the most fun trip in the world. I say it every time I do one of these but it bears repeating - these trips are the best way to see the world and make great friends in the process. I guess I can pay no higher compliment to the trip than to say that when the next China trip comes around I'll be doing my best to make sure that I'm on it because there's no one I'd rather regain my Disney World Grand Slam with at Shanghai Disney than with TPR... And I hope to see many of you there!

 

Here's some photos from Hong Kong Disneyland and our departure day...

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At last! It’s Hong Kong Disneyland time!

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Hey look, a tiny castle! I think this one looks marginally better than Anaheim’s (mostly due to the hills and mountains in the background!) but I still don’t understand why they chose to clone the lamest of all the castles at this park.

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First stop of the day – Pride Rock... I mean Grizzly Gulch!

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Woohoo! You can’t beat Disney ERT in the morning!

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Watch out for bears, they could be lurking around any corner!

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Some cool theming in the Grizzly Mountain queue.

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BEAR!!!

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I had no idea of the layout or the gimiicks involved with this before riding so the “fake” lift hill thing was a lot of fun!

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Twisty!

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I LOVED Big Grizzly Mountain! It’s such a great combination of Big Thunder and Everest. I would go back to HKDL just to ride this more!

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This Toy Story Land is WAY better than the one I visited at the start of my trip.

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You know why?? Because it’s not in Paris!

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TPR Takeover of RC!!!

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Next in line for the TPR Takeover treatment was this Disney staple.

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I don’t know about you, but for me It’s A Small World is immensely improved by having Disney characters to look for throughout the ride. Doesn’t make the song any less irritating though!

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Final credit of the trip and it’s a good one... Space Mountain!

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Similar to the California version this is a really great Space Mountain. (Let’s face it, they’re all great, except Paris!)

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Here’s another Disney staple with a Hong Kong twist – Jungle Cruise!

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Oh my. This is a bit sinister looking for a Disneyland!

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This Jungle Cruise has fire. This automatically makes it the best Jungle Cruise in the world.

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Our visit in the park coincided with the start of the HKDL Halloween celebrations. For us this mean many a goofy (more than usual) photo opportunity.

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Brian, you’re doing it wrong!!

Philharmagic is a really fun show so I was really excited to see it in HKDL.

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How all of these coaster enthusiasts managed to fit into one elephant is a mystery to me too.

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Sigh... Every time I see a photo of a Winnie the Pooh ride that’s not Tokyo I get depressed.

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Really Hong Kong? You had to go for this sub-par version?? At least it’s better than the Anaheim one!

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I guess there are worse places in the world where one could perish.

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Chuck just totally kicked Buzz Lightyear’s arse.

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Who knew that Stitch Encounter would be the source of huge amounts of hilarity?!

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All because of Steven! Stitch had Scottish’s number and knew all about his criminal ways!

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Larry, that’s one smokin’ ride you’ve got there.

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I was a little surprised that they even included Autopia in this version of the park as it takes up so much room and seems a bit dated but it’s fun to ride and rounds out Tomorrowland quite well.

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What’s this?! Non-regular Popcorn flavours! Sadly they weren’t on sale the day we visited so it was regular or nothing. Still glad to see that HKDL does offer this though!

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Mickey Sushi! How cute!

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I guess this must be Larry’s “excited for the Disneyland Railroad” face.

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I love that they add little details liek this to the train circuit at the point when you’re just passing the backs of buildings.

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Woohoo! I finally conquered all 11 Disney parks in the world. Mission accomplished! (For now...)

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Oh no! A parade!

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Owing a little to the relative lack of attractions at HKDL someone had the bright idea of checking out the Golden Mickeys show....

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It was not good. Not good at all. Who’s idea was it to go see this pish?!?!

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Damn you, Jessie. You’re the worst.

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It was simultaneously super exciting and super frustrating passing this!

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How awesome does this look? So excited to come back and ride Mystic manor in the future!

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The big treehouse in HKDL doesn’t belong to the Swiss Family Robinson as it does in Florida but rather Tarzan. Regardless of who lives there, getting the raft over the water to access it was pretty cool!

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OMG, Rosie O’Donnell is stealing that baby! Someone help!

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Larry took this opportunity to flash back to his skiffle days. We were not impressed.

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Did I mention that the version of Space Mountain we rode was Ghost Galaxy??? It was really cool, especially later in the day when your eyes were adjusted to the darkness and you could really appreciate all the effects in the ride.

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And then we finished our day at Hong Kong Disneyland as we started it, with Big Grizzly Mountain. This thing rocks. Especially at night!

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Thank YOU for having us, HKDL!

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After the park we all headed to Chef Mickey’s for awesome mouse shaped cuisine and then met the man himself! Good job, Mickey!

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The next morning a few of us headed out on the awesomely themed Disney trains and went to do a little more HK sightseeing.

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Woo, another cable car with awesome views!

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CULTURE.

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Here’s today’s super fun group of giant Buddha enthusiasts.

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what I’m really enthusiastic about though is Wasabi Shaka Shaka Fries! OMG, these were AMAZING!

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And with that it’s off to HK airport to bring this all to a close...

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Not before I finally receive my damned Golden Mickey though!

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And that’s it! I’d like to thank Robb & Elissa for organising yet another INCREDIBLE TPR tour. Seriously nothing comes close to the awesomeness of these tours. Even in the sketchiest of sketchy places in China you always have the most fun on these tours and I hope to keep doing them for years to come. I don’t think there’s much chance I’d ever have visited the likes of China, Japan or even the Midwest of the USA if it weren’t for TPR tours and so for that I’m eternally grateful to Robb & Elissa and all the awesome participants who make them so much fun.

 

Thanks for reading! Hope you guys enjoyed... Until next time!

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Concentrating on hunting for the Disney characters in IASW allowed me to actually block out the music. No Joke!

 

So glad you posted the picture of you with your gal Jessie.

 

I'm not a souvenir person but there were some excellently priced buys at the gift shops in HKDL.

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Awesome shots in HKDL and Ocean Park, Divv!

 

I loved Ocean Park, but was so overcome with the heat,

that's why I didn't do the ongoing harbor tour with you guys,

as well as the dinner, and went back to the hotel to cool off.

 

Looks like you all had a great time AND dinner, too!

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Grizzly Mountain was one of the best new Disney rides in years--a great addition to Hong Kong Disney. The park was very nice, and I agree that despite its rather small size, it's much more enjoyable than Paris Disney.

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Awesome trip report Divv. I really enjoyed following along and seeing all of your pictures from your trip. I was reminded how much I miss seeing everyone and doing TPR adventures . Congrats on conquering your Disney park quest. Thanks for sharing!

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Thank you much for posting this awesome photo TR. It definitely brought back a lot of great memories. Everything about this trip was just amazing!! I couldn't have imagined a better planned trip than what Robb and Elissa pulled out for us. And I actually enjoyed all the dilapidated parks off the beaten path with their questionable coasters. They were a huge highlight for me and gave us a taste of China few people ever experience. After three trips with TPR, two of them international, I'm convinced this is the only way to travel!

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Great TR, and I love seeing HKDL get some well-deserved love.

 

It may not be the best or biggest Magic Kingdom, but it's pretty great, and has some awesome, unique attractions now.

 

And then there's the Golden Mickeys - which makes more sense once you realize they borrowed the show from the cruise line. Hopefully now that the building spree is over, they'll take the opportunity to put a new & original show in that theater. That said, it is a very easy show to offer to a multilingual audience, so there's that I guess.

 

Also very thankful that I'm not the only guy out there who had visiting all the Disney Parks as a life goal. A life that is so empty and devoid of meaning now... or at least until Shanghai DL opens!

 

Thanks again!

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