I have waited 14 years to finally go to Disneyland Hong Kong–a shining promise sworn to every kid. Yet, our feet have stepped on the park only this year, already married and with a child.
We would have wanted for Tikoy to grow up a little bit more before planning a trip to Hong Kong “when he can remember what he’s seen”, but since the opportunity to travel with family came, we said why not.
Our itinerary was to spend a whole day at Disneyland to be able to go through all of its scenes and hopefully, try most of the rides. Afterall, it’s a 27.5 hectare park. We weren’t really sure if we can actually do it, what with a baby and his grandmother with us but we didn’t want to regret not maximizing our day pass.
Atticus didn’t seem impressed when we entered the park. To be fair, he didn’t know any of the characters because of our no screen time policy but he does love the song “You’re Welcome” from Moana. It’s then that we learned lesson 1: the trip was actually for us–me, my husband, and in-laws who grew up watching and singing to Disney movies. I personally watched The Lion King and Toy Story on tape almost everyday of my 6 year old life and the magic will always be there. And until today, we’ll always be in awe of Disney films (so imagine our excitement for the live action versions of the classics, etc.) and hope to introduce the stories to our boy in the years to come.
So, off we went. We took our friend’s advise to download the Disney App which shows the map, queuing times, and show schedules, and started our tour counterclockwise (because most people will always turn to the right). It worked at the start, and our first encounters weren’t as crowded as we have expected but we somehow have lingered on the same area–Adventure Land–for 4 hours. This has included our lunch but still, that means we still have much to explore and the day is quickly closing.
We then started to get on some of the rides, and here came lesson 2: Bringing a baby can be limiting. First, there are only a number of rides you can try. Disneyland “casts” are quick to inform us if we can’t enter because our baby is too young as to not waste time lining up. Second, you have to move according to your baby’s pace. As much as we would have wanted to get around the whole park and try everything, we needed to stop from time to time to rest, feed, change diapers, and in our experience, clean-up after a throw up. Yes, Tikoy threw up his lunch while at the park, so we needed to give him an impromptu wash and change his clothes, clean the gear and more. At night, we weren’t able to see Toy Story land and Mystic Village in its glory because it was already too late when we went there.
Lesson 3: Eat. We had a total of 20,000 steps at the park alone. Naturally, we’d be hungry. It’s a good thing that we bought meal vouchers from Klook for lunch, snacks, and dinner because the food can be really expensive if you buy on site. With Klook, you get the meals at a discount, which we thought would be one of those “meh” food items. We were surprised that the servings are huge and tasty. We ordered different varieties and just shared them so everyone can get a taste of everything.
Lesson 4: Wear light clothes and bring extras. You can already spot who’s going to Disneyland at the MTR just by looking at what the kids are wearing–Disney characters, of course! It’s very cute and would be my goal if we ever have a baby girl but the attire won’t be too kind on the kids because of the heat (Yet if I was a little girl, I’d totally carry on with my Snow White costume, thanks). As for Atticus, we brought several types: a sweater in case it gets cold or if it rains, light t-shirts, and tank tops (sando). And since the heat that day was draining, we gave Tikoy a wipe off every now and then, and resorted to wearing a very presko sando after he threw up. He didn’t whine so much after this except for when he’s hungry. Uniqlo’s Airism would be great and also: bring a fan!
Lesson 5: Never do away with a stroller. For us, we brought 2 gears: a carrier and a stroller to respond to what he needs: The stroller for going around the park, and the carrier for when he needs to feed while walking (or when he just wants to be with me). The park is huge, and if your baby is like ours who doesn’t walk that much yet, the pram is your friend. I did hurt my back for carrying him too much. He was a little clingy than usual because 2 of his teeth were coming out and he didn’t want to come with anyone except mommy.
Lesson 6: Put on mosquito repellent. We only went out of the park after the famous Paint the Night parade. Our baby was already asleep by this time so we put him on his stroller to be more comfortable and changed him into his romper. Lo and behold, he’s got mosquito bites! I regret letting him wear a short romper, for not slathering him with the repellent all over, and for not fanning him.
They say that Disneyland is the happiest place on earth but when you have a baby you might want to re-calibrate that thought. All in all, bringing a baby to Disneyland may have some drawbacks but it’s definitely one for the books. And lastly, babies below three years old get free tickets to Disneyland Hong Kong!