|Hong Kong Disneyland Trip Report - Part Three||
Monday, August 1, 2011 11:39:04 AM
Welcome to part three of my Hong Kong Disneyland Trip Report.
In this part we venture into the jungles of Adventureland to see what it has to offer.
You approach Adventureland on the left hand side of the Hub much the same way you would at all the other Magic Kingdom style parks.
Adventureland in Hong Kong is the sole land on the left hand side of the park. No Frontierland, no Critter Country… Just Adventureland.
You enter under a sign that is similar to the one in Florida and Tokyo, find yourself in an area completely surrounded by trees and vegetation. Adventureland in HKDL takes a lot of its inspiration from DLP’s Adventureland with the tree filled more intimate and winding walkways.
There are several major differences with Adventureland in HKDL though compared to the other parks. For a start, much like the rest of the park, it has an extremely limited number of attractions, boutiques and restaurants. In fact, there are just three attractions, two restaurants and one store (this is compared to DLP that has five attractions plus the new Peter Pan show, four restaurants plus two window locations, and five stores).
What is rather sly of HKDL is that they list on the map things that are simply not attraction-worthy. This is also again echoed across the park. For example on Main Street City Hall is listed as an attraction! Here in Adventureland the Liki Tikis are listed, despite them being no more than a glorified fountain (also, the Magic Kingdom has the same Liki Tikis and are not listed on the map!). They also list the Rafts to Tarzan’s Treehouse and Tarzan’s Treehouse itself as separate attractions. I count them as one. The rafts are the sole transportation method across the Rivers of Adventure, and the only way back again. The only attraction on the island is the Treehouse. Therefore logically they are one attraction. Does anyone count the elevator up to the Astro Orbiter in the Magic Kingdom as a separate attraction? No. Do they count the movie at the end of the Maelstrom in EPCOT as a separate attraction? You get the idea. Unless someone plans to swim across the River, then it is one attraction.
The one single boutique is called Professor Porter’s, and I have to say it is a nice store. Well themed and sits well within the land. It shares a doorway to the left with the Tahitian Terrace counter service restaurant. The Tahitian Terrace again is a really well themed dining location, and one of the best I saw in the park to be honest. The food looked good, which mainly consisted of Chinese dishes and there was shaded outdoor seating. I just liked it and thought it was a great place.
The only other dining location in Adventureland was further round the River and nearer the Fantasyland entrance. River View Café faces the Jungle River Cruise and is perched higher up to give good views, albeit through the dense jungle, over Adventureland. It is a table service restaurant and to my knowledge (we didn’t eat there) offers Chinese and other South East Asian food. It was covered but had an open air feel to it. There were no windows, but instead the sides were all open. It looked nice, but I think they cut the theming back in favour of just allowing the surrounding vegetation to give that wild feel.
Moving onto the attractions now, and we begin with the Festival of the Lion King. I was actually expecting this show to be the same as the one in the Animal Kingdom.
In fact, it was completely different. The sets were more interesting, the story flowed better and was more of an accurate retelling than Florida’s is, there were more interesting animal performers and there wasn’t the stupid audience participation that they have in Florida.
Sadly we did not get to go over to Tarzan’s Treehouse, but from afar it looked fairly similar to its counterparts, except I suspect the views over the park would have been neat.
The last attraction for Adventureland is the Jungle River Cruise (Jungle Cruise for easiness).
As you know by now, HKDL lacks a lot, and one thing it lacks is a Frontierland. When the Imagineers designed the park though they still wanted a Rivers of America like area, where traffic moves and it gives more of a sense of depth and reality to the land. So they came up with the Rivers of Adventure.
The Jungle Cruise and the Treehouse were to be integrated and be the centrepiece of this new concept.
The Jungle Cruise in HK is a different take on the classic US attraction. I have to say that overall I thought it was interesting, and had some cool new special effects, but it wasn’t better or worse than the US versions. I felt that maybe given how new it was it maybe could have been better, but like I said, it was at least on par with its predecessors.
For those wondering about the language barrier, well they have actually got three lines that you can enter, one I believe is Chinese, one a variation such as Mandarin and the other is in English.
Depending on the guide’s command of the English language, you sometimes might feel as though you were better off on the Mandarin boat. Listen carefully and you may hear some classic jokes from the US attraction, but otherwise just sit back and enjoy the slightly new take of this much loved ride.
What makes Adventureland and the Jungle Cruise a little more interesting is that there seem to be a lot more vantage points from which you can see the boats going round the Rivers of Adventure. In the US the attraction is completely hidden away, but in HK is a lot more visible. Nothing spectacular, but interesting nonetheless.
Thrown into the mix there is a secluded area right before Fantasyland that has some cool looking drums for the kids to bash to their heart’s content, as well as a waterfall with a back viewing area (the idea being your friends stand behind and you can take pictures of them behind the waterfall).
With a few other random walkways and lush greenery Adventureland in HK DL is neat, and has some cool things, but again as with the rest of the park, definitely needs more.
I would probably rank their Adventureland above the Magic Kingdom’s, for the lushness, the neat integration of the Treehouse with the Jungle Cruise, and the Lion King show.
In my next part I shall move onto Fantasyland.
That’s all for now,