Once upon a time, little Annetjie from Calitzdorp went to Disneyland …
That time we went to Disneyland
Early morning, we board the subway to get to our final destination: Disneyland Hong Kong. It’s our second to last day in this magnificent city that moves and changes as you traverse through it. We stop at a bakery inside the train station where I buy a ham and cheese croissant for the road and cold milk tea. How have I not tasted the sweet, strong flavour before? I’m in heaven, touch wood.
In Hong Kong, of all places!
I still can’t believe it: We are in Disneyland in Hong Kong of all places. Never in her wildest dreams did little Annetjie from Calitzdorp think she would visit this shiny place. Everything sparkles in the sun and would you know it? I can feel my problems evaporate.
There’s an extra spring and a half in our steps as we tigger through the gates; our tickets held aloft as if to declare — we belong here!
Stark Tower is in Hong Kong, actually
We make a beeline for the Tomorrowland section of the park, most notably the Iron Man ride. Children and adults gawk down the main street at the vintage bakeries and post office and sundry buildings from another era. We’re dead impressed, too, but we’re on a mission: to meet Tony Stark aka Iron Man!
This time of the morning the queue is not long yet and besides, the prelude to the main event is half the fun. The line snakes through the Stark Expo and you feel like you’re really walking through the inventions of Stark Enterprises and that Stark Tower has been in Hong Kong all along!
Strap me in, Jarvis!
The ride is the most fun I’ve ever had while strapped into a chair. Even Jarvis makes an appearance. It’s like being inside a 5D movie, if there is such a thing. We fly, we scream, we get cold and wet; we lurch through the air and duck just in time to escape the evil clutches of the Hydra monster. At the end of the day we go back for another turn, and we scream in exactly the same places and laugh at the same jokes. It’s that good.
In a galaxy far, far away …
Next up is the Star Wars roller coaster. Set in a galaxy far, far away. I am a coward when it comes to heights but this ride takes place mostly in the dark so I can’t see that which I’m afraid of. We soar between planets; we scream our lungs into space. At the end of the day we also return for this ride, and it’s super fun. I wish I could do it right now!
Lights, camera, bears, mountains, aaaaah!
Disneyland swallows us whole. We spend 10 hours in her loving embrace. I kick Sean’s butt in the Buzz Lightyear ride where you have to shoot down aliens. In Adventureland we go on a clever roller coaster through a mining town while grizzly bears growl at us from below. I get beat down by Johnny Law for starting an honest brawl. The rides in Toy Storyland are high and too visible in the daylight for me to handle, so I keep my eyes shut the entire time.
A whole new world (don’t you dare close your eyes)
The Philharmagic Orchestra enchants and beguiles, and makes me want to go home and watch all my Disney favourites: The Lion King, Alladin, and Duck Tales. The Mad Hatter’s Tea Cups spin round and round with us inside it; the world a blurry streak of colour and sound.
When the clock strikes eight, we’d been there for over nine hours, closer to 10. It was a magical day, a whole new world, and as we walk through the gates we wish we could live in Disneyland forever and a day.