It is no big secret that my little family and I have been traveling quite a lot lately (my Instagram feed shows you where we’ve been). And though things like jetlag, packing/unpacking, getting out of our routine still bug me, I really cannot complain. My husband Carlos, three-year old son Tristan and I are incredibly blessed to be able to see the world as a family, and be open to new and wonderful experiences that we will remember forever. I’ve been a fan of traveling for some decades now, and as much as I can, I try to carve out time and money to plan family bonding trips for everyone to enjoy. I’ve found that Carlos and I learn so much not only about our destination and its food and culture, but about ourselves, how we are as a couple and as a family. I imagine Tristan too is learning so much from our trips, and it seems the world has become his classroom/playground.
One place that always makes me happy (even just thinking about it) is Hong Kong Disneyland. If you’ve been reading my blog for awhile you will know that Hong Kong has a special place in my heart as I’ve lived and worked there for some years (circa 2004-2008, and again in 2011) as a model (I did a lot of commercial and catalog work). And funnily, though Disneyland was around during the time when I was living in Hong Kong, I never really went there with my friends or family. It was only in 2011 when I went with Patty Laurel-Filart and her then boyfriend-now husband, Pat and his friends that I finally got to see Hong Kong Disneyland. It was indeed an enjoyable day for us (we felt like kids all over again), but nothing can compare to seeing the place through the eyes of my son some years later.
The first time we went to Hong Kong Disneyland as a family was in 2016 (Tristan was only a year old). And although he was very young, we could see that our little guy was amazed with all the lights, music and movement. Carlos and I couldn’t help but take it all in as well–it was like seeing everything for the first time, and because we wanted our son to enjoy, we did too! We went on all the baby-friendly rides, ate the ice cream and popcorn, and sang to all the familiar Disney songs we heard. That’s why when we had the opportunity to come back to Hong Kong late last year, we dedicated a day to Disneyland. We had made the best decision, because by then Tristan was a little older and he could interact, play and enjoy himself more. We made him take the lead and allowed him to dictate where to go and what to do, and we all had such a great time!
We have such happy and fond memories of Hong Kong Disneyland that I am very tempted to plan yet another trip, but for Christmas! So, okay, I recently learned that Hong Kong Disneyland Resort will be celebrating two special events this year: a classic Disney Christmas, as well as the “World’s Biggest Mouse Party” for Mickey Mouse’s 90th anniversary (I did not believe it too–yes, Mickey Mouse is hitting that big milestone this year). If you can imagine, the park will be transformed into a stunning winter wonderland from November 15, 2018 to January 1, 2019, with highlights like Mickey and Friends Christmastime Ball, an all-new Fantasy Gardens Wintertime Market, and a new, gorgeous Christmas tree adorned with beautiful ornaments and lit to the max with LED lights against the backdrop of a magical snowfall. Seriously, if that doesn’t make you want to book a ticket right now, I wont know what would. I have been going crazy planning a trip for our family so I won’t miss this. To the point where I’ve written 10 reasons why we should go to Hong Kong Disneyland for Christmas, to remind myself why we need to go on this trip! I thought I should share it with you, so I can at least convince more people to come along with me on this trip.
1.) The annual ‘A Disney Christmas’ theme will be more elevated and refined this year.
Since there is so much to celebrate this year, Hong Kong Disneyland is pulling out all the stops to make this Christmas a Winter Wonderland, infused with Disney magic. So, okay, guests will see festive decorations at every step, culminating at the new Castle Hub stage, where the daytime musical extravaganza, Mickey and Friends Christmastime Ball will return on a brand new stage. There will be energetic dancers and quartet singers before Mickey and his friends take the stage in their finest holiday costumes for a perfect snowfall moment!
2.) There will be a festive holiday market, for the first time, ever!
Over in Fantasyland, the whimsical Fantasy Gardens will be transformed into an enchanting Christmas market! Here, guests can find gifts for their loved ones and enjoy seasonal treats. Beautifully decorated with oversized holiday ornaments and sparkling lights, the holiday-themed market makes the perfect backdrop for Christmas photos with family and friends. Plus, while guest explore the market, they may even catch glimpses of the magical snowfall! So exciting!
3.) The brand-new, gorgeously decorated Christmas tree is a must-see.
It won’t feel like Christmas without a Christmas tree, and because this is Hong Kong Disneyland, you can expect only the most spectacular tree, ever! This tree will be adorned with beautiful new ornaments and embedded with LED lights to brighten up our Christmas season. And you should be sure to be around the tree during A Magical Twilight Snowfall, as festive performers will parade into Town Square with illuminated lanterns to welcome the first flurry of snowflakes with Mickey and friends (I still can’t get over the fact that there will be snow in Hong Kong–amazing). Oh, and apart from that the A Holiday Wish-Come-True Tree Lighting Ceremony must not be missed! This will be such a joyful moment as sparkling lights illuminate the majestic Christmas tree and Train Station, transforming the park into a breathtaking Winter Wonderland.
4.) You can’t miss out on the “World’s Biggest Mouse Party”, to celebrate Mickey Mouse’s 90th anniversary, of course!
To kick off the milestone celebrations of the most famous mouse in the world, Hong Kong Disneyland will be throwing a limited-time global celebration “World’s Biggest Mouse Party”, with a rich line-up of exuberant resort-wide offerings. It started already and will end in February 2019. To complement the celebration, 4 new designs of park admission tickets, featuring Mickey Mouse, Donald and Pluto, will be available, and guests will receive special birthday stickers as well starting from November 18, 2018 (while stock lasts).
5.) Watch Minnie surprise her beloved with a projection show.
This happens during the night party, where Minnie invites her pals to a surprise celebration for the one-and-only Mickey, with the heartwarming “We Love Mickey!” Projection Show (Birthday Edition). This celebration features larger-than-life nighttime projections on the Main Street, U.S.A. buildings, paying tribute to Mickey’s major milestones, his full-color heyday, and a crazy kaleidoscope of Mickey in modern styles. If you can imagine it, these iconic images of Mickey will be played out over four chapters, and Mickey and Minnie will appear in person dressed in their new celebratory outfits!
6.) The holiday-inspired food alone should be enough to entice you to come.
With more than 80 holiday-inspired food and beverage options available across the resort, the family will be sure to have an amazing gastronomic time while enjoying all the sights and sounds of Hong Kong Disneyland. Christmas treats such as the new Mickey and Minnie-themed marshmallow and crispy rice lollipops are available for a quick bite. I’ve already written down what I want to try, and that definitely includes the Walt’s Cafe Christmas dinner set at Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel–a perfect fine dining option to celebrate the season with Carlos and Tristan.
7.) You can do your Christmas shopping in Hong Kong Disneyland!
I don’t know about you, but I always seem to bring something memorable and special home with me from Hong Kong Disneyland. This year is no different because they actually have over 100 seasonal items for Christmas on offer. Holiday-themed merchandise make the best presents because you can bring it out every year during Christmas! These include special items featuring iconic Disney characters in their Christmas attire, and Disney character-themed Christmas ornaments (a must for every Christmas tree). Guests can even create their own holiday cards with a new custom kit! So cool! And of course, since it is Mickey Mouse’s birthday, there will be over 30 special merchandise items dedicated to celebrating this momentous occasion. This includes a Mickey Mouse headband and keychains featuring Mickey celebrating his birthday. Also on offer is an 18-inch Mickey plush toy with a commemorative ‘World’s Biggest Mouse Party’ tag and the Hong Kong Disneyland logo. Of course, there is also themed stationery and apparel!
8.) You will feel the Disney holiday magic in their resort hotels, too!
My little family and I stayed in one of the resort’s hotels some years ago and we really loved the experience. The fun decorations and well-loved Disney characters are like old pals–remind you to have fun the entire time. This Christmas season, guests staying will enjoy a collectible souvenir set in each room, including an amenities box, Disney slippers and a door sticker. Plus, there are so many fun activities to keep you and the little one occupied: you can sing along with Goofy at Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel, head to Disney’s Hollywood Hotel for a Christmas journey filled with festive gifts, and make a Disney snowman cupcake at Disney Explorers Lodge. I love that you can also have fun options like, having your hotel room decorated with celebration theme (cost HK$ 1,090 or about PHP7,500), including Mickey’s birthday themed bed runners, slippers, door tickets, amenities kits, balloons and exclusive Mickey and Minnie plush toys. Also, for those of you who are absolute Frozen fans, well Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel now offers the Kingdom Club Frozen Suites! It has a picturesque snowy theme and Frozen-inspired decor, guests will be immersed in the enchanted world of Anna and Elsa as they enjoy an unforgettable vacation. Seriously, all you need to do is lower the temperature in your room and you’re practically in the Disney movie!
9.) Hong Kong Disneyland is the best place to celebrate any occasion, really (a birthday or anniversary, perhaps)!
I couldn’t think of a better place to celebrate a happy occasion than of course, at the happiest place in Hong Kong! Guests who celebrate their special occasions at the resort may find it even more memorable as there are complementary heartfelt services for their precious loved ones. You get a towel folded birthday cake and a birthday card that will be arranged at the guest rooms for birthday stars. And to double the magic, guests may consider ordering a birthday cake, or celebrate over food with Disney characters at designated restaurants. I can only imagine how special this celebration will be with all of these to cap of the happy event!
10.) Pinoys get special offers for Christmas staycations at Hong Kong Disneyland Resorts.
(a) Advance Purchase Room (only until February 13, 2018) – You can save up to 20% on guest room bookings at either Disney Explorers Lodge, Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel or Disney’s Hollywood Hotel if you book in advance. If you book online, you will enjoy a free room upgrade, plus an Attraction Priority Admission Pass! (b) Hong Kong Disneyland 2-Day Fun Special Package (only until December 31, 2018) – Get a 2-day ticket at only HK$699 (just HK$80 more than a 1-Day ticket) and receive HK$30 worth of merchandise discounts (2 x HK$15 vouchers) and one free popcorn.
There you go! 10 reasons why we should all visit Hong Kong Disneyland this Christmas. I could probably think of 100 more reasons, but let’s not get carried away (haha). I am already booking our plane tickets now as I type this. See you in Hong Kong Disneyland!!!
For details, please visit https://www.hongkongdisneyland.com/disney-christmas-intl/and selected travel agencies. Terms and conditions apply.
About Hong Kong Disneyland Resort
Hong Kong Disneyland Resort offers unforgettable, culturally distinctive Disney experiences for guests of all ages and nationalities. In the magical kingdom theme park — filled with your favorite Disney stories and characters — explore seven diverse lands that are home to award-winning, first-of-a-kind attractions and entertainment. Complete your adventure with stays at the resort’s luxurious Disney hotels. For information on attractions and vacations at Hong Kong Disneyland Resort, visit hongkongdisneyland.com or call (852) 3550-3388.