Hong Kong Disneyland

Why life won't be complete without experiencing Hong Kong?

Hong Kong has long been a favourite destination for travelers, either for a stop over on the way to Asia or Europe, or for a fully blown holiday. Famous for its vibrant mix of Chinese and Western culture and buzzing with energy, it really does have something for everyone. From bustling Hong Kong Harbour to the views from The Peak, from the high-end fashion shops of Admiralty and Central to the electronics emporiums of Mong Kok, from the crowded street stalls with their steaming bowls of noodles to the finest in international cuisine - Hong Kong has it all.

Given that Hong Kong has for some time been natural magnet for international visitors and is so conveniently located on the southern tip of a booming China, it seems an obvious choice for a major Theme Park. In September 2005 Hong Kong Disneyland threw open its gates for the first time and it has been a hit with tourists ever since.

Location - Hong Kong Disneyland has been built on reclaimed land on the north of Lantau Island, the largest of Hong Kong's so-called 'outlying islands'. It's location makes it ideal for quick and easy access from the Hong Kong International Airport, which is situated on more reclaimed land at Chek Lap Kok, also on the North of Lantau. The North Lantau Highway links the island to the New Territories and there are plenty of buses and taxis available in the main tourists areas to take you to the park. Hong Kong also has a wonderfully efficient rail system, which can deliver you safely to Disneyland's doors.

Whilst it may be the smallest of the franchises worldwide, Hong Kong Disneyland has loads to offer its guests. The park is currently divided into 4 main sections, though recent announcements from the Walt Disney Company indicate that that could be expanded to 7 themed areas by 2011, if the Hong Kong Government approves it's plans. At present, the park is divided into:

Fantasyland - Fun for all the family, but especially the young. In Fantasyland the magic of fairy tales is captured in rides and entertainment for adults and children alike. One of it's most popular attractions is "It's a small world". A mainstay of many of the Disneyland parks, it combines a gentle fairground ride with automated figures and beautifully constructed backdrops to transport you around the globe. Little girls who dream of one day meeting their handsome prince will love the thrill of walking through Sleeping Beauty's Castle. For boys, the Sword in the Stone is their chance to see if they are strong enough to take Excalibur from her rock and become king! Dumbo the Flying Elephant is the inspiration for a flying roundabout and The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh takes you on a journey with everyone's favourite bear as he hunts for one more pot of honey!

Adventureland - Enter this jungle kingdom and take a log Raft to Tarzan's Treehouse. Alternatively, hop on a boat and be amazed by your captain's stories of the wild on the Jungle River Cruise where you never quite know what will be lurking in the water! If you're feeling hot, take a visit to the water spurting Liki Tikis or follow the Lucky Trail and see if you can find and recognize all 7 of the lucky symbols.

Tomorrowland - The future comes alive in this area of Disneyland. If you're looking for excitement, Space Mountain with its roller coaster ride through deepest, darkest space should get your heart pumping! Toy Story fans will love the interactive fun of the Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters where you get to test your shooting whilst enjoying the ride. Perhaps you'd like to twirl above the sites and sounds of the park on the Orbitron or create watery havoc at the UFO Zone.

Main Street, U.S.A. - This is the home of Disney on Parade, where all of Walt Disney's best-loved characters come out to meet and great their fans. Meet, Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck, Snow White, Buzz and Woody. Maybe you'll even get your picture taken with one of your heroes! Get caught up in the global phenomenon that is High School Musical: Live! And sing along to your favourite hits from the movies. Ever wondered where the characters live? Well why not check out Mickey's House. Or maybe you'd rather take a trip on the Hong Kong Disneyland Railroad, which will take you on a loop of the park, including a stop in Fantasyland.

Other Attractions - These are just some of the entertainment that Hong Kong Disneyland has to offer. Another of the major event is the Fireworks that take place in each section of the park. Remember, the Chinese invented gunpowder, so they know how to make things go with a bang! Disney also has a tradition of making holidays and festivals extra special wherever it is in the world, and the Hong Kong Park is no exception. Chinese New Year, Christmas and various other local holidays are all marked with special events at the theme park.

Accommodation -If you wish to stay inside the magic kingdom, you have 2 options: the Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel, which offers 5-star accommodation based around a southern state cotton plantation, or there's the 4-star Disney's Hollywood Hotel which, as it's name suggests, it themed around Hollywood. Outside of the park complex, Hong Kong is blessed with dozens of hotels to suit all tastes and budgets.

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