January 17, 2014

Disney with Bear

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More than eight years after opening, I still hadn't been to Hong Kong Disneyland.  I never felt to urge to fight with the Mainland Chinese crowds that I was bound to be surrounded by, and my last visit to a Disney theme park was back in 2001 at Tokyo DisneySea - where I stood in line for hours just to get on a ride for a few minutes.

But I have a godson now, and he's a HUGE fan of Mickey Mouse.  So on a car ride back to his house last December, I told the little fella that I'd go to Disneyland with him to see Mickey.  To which he replied: "ARE YOU OK?!"

I was left speechless while his mama laughed her ass off.

Today I made good on that promise, taking a day off from work so we can go on a "weekday".  Tigger had a meeting in town, so we didn't get under way until a couple of hours later than initially planned.  We did manage to get their before noon, though...

We figured it'd be easier for us to grab lunch first, so we stopped at the Main Street Corner Cafe, where I took a simple Reuben for lunch.  I kinda enjoyed this ginger and pomelo Coke, and that popcorn milkshake thingy Tigger had would just have to wait for my next visit...

With our bellies full, we set off to do the things the Bear usually enjoys.  A visit to Disney wouldn't be complete without saying hello to Mickey, so we took that off our list first by visiting the Fantasy Gardens... Oh and he also said hello to Goofy.

We then spent some time waiting in line to ride the Cinderella Carousel, followed by Dumbo the Flying Elephant.  I gotta say it's been a loooong time since I was last on a ride...  Bear also wanted to see Mickey's PhilharMagic, but I decided to stay outside and watch the stroller...  Yup, part of them godfather duties...

Then it was almost time for the Flights of Fantasy Parade, so we made our way to the roundabout and waited for it to start.  I gotta say... after seeing the parade and how many children and adults it entertained, I understood why Disneyland is the "Happiest Place on Earth".

After watching the parade, we finished off by taking one last ride on the Orbitron.  Bear was in charge of the joystick that controlled our altitude, and we had a few bumps along the way...  Unfortunately our schedule was kinda tight, so we left Disney and headed back.  I still had 3 stops to make for the rest of the day...

So.... after my very first experience here, I gotta say it was about what I expected.  Tigger decided not to pull his usual strings, so we didn't bypass the lines and got to have the "real experience".  I dutifully lined up patiently, but I had to fend off Mainland Chinese parents who were cutting in line.

Their kids would cut in line first, then they followed suit.  When I confronted one mother about her cutting in line, she verbally apologized but said that it's because she needed to follow her child.  Huh?  WTF?!  Shouldn't you be teaching your child some manners?!  You should be telling your child that it's wrong to cut in line, and physically restraining your child and go back to where you were.  Oh and this mother knew she couldn't cut in front of us, but of course she didn't go back to where she was, either.  She just stayed right behind us.  I wonder why other people in line don't bother to tell her to go back?

And you keep finding kids and adults pushing past you to join their friends and family further up ahead.  Does a single one of them ever utter a word of "sorry" or "excuse me" as they shove you aside?  Of course not.  You are just an obstacle in their path, like a tree branch that they brush aside.  You don't apologize to branches and leaves, right?

So yeah, it's about what I expected.  A whole new generation of Mainland children growing up without being taught basic manners.  I suspects their parents weren't taught those manners themselves.  Of course I'm not saying it's true of everyone, but I'm seeing enough of it here today - and from my travels to China - to draw that conclusion.  I heard locals behind me complaining about the behavior of the Mainland Chinese, and there's no doubt that there is a lot of discontent.

But at the end of the day, my job was to accompany my dearest godson on his trip to Disney, and from that perspective my mission had been accomplished.  He had a reasonably good time, and that is all that matters.

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