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Hong Kong Disneyland Trip Report - Part Two
DisneyDan  Sunday, July 31, 2011 4:01:43 AM
Hi all,

Welcome to part two of my Hong Kong Disneyland trip report.
In the previous part I talked about arriving in HK, our impressions, breakfast at the Enchanted Garden, and our first impressions of HK DL.

We begin our tour of the park where it always begins in the Magic Kingdoms, on Main Street USA.
Just like the other parks (except Tokyo) HK DL's main entrance sports a train station. It looks almost identical to the California one, except some of the roof tiles and other small cosmetic differences; but for all intents and purposes is the same.

HKDL July 2011 - Heading into the Park!

What sets it apart from the other entrances is the fact you can see large green mountains in the background behind the park.
This is the case for about 60% of the park, mostly on the right hand side and the back of Fantasyland.
It gives an interesting perspective and can seem really pretty, but does cause two problems. One, it really throws off the scale of the park, including the castle and Space Mountain. These two things are park icons, but are mere dots against the lush green mountains behind.
Second, I don't ever recall there being tropical vegetation towering high above any city in the mid-West where Walt based Main Street on!
But nonetheless it makes for interesting photos.
Entering under the train station into Town Square again it feels familiar yet different.

HKDL July 2011 - Heading into the Park!

There is a City Hall, a Fire House, an Emporium, an Opera House, and yet they all seem to have something a bit different about them. I'm not talking anything major, but they just look newer, fresher, and have slightly different colours or brickwork.
I certainly didn't dislike it, but I can't say I favour it over any others (Paris's is my favourite).
Like the street in Paris, it is tiled rather than flat concrete.

On Main Street there are two restaurants, plus a quick outdoor eatery and the bakery. We ate at one, and walked into the bakery and outdoor place, leaving just one we didn't see.
Main Street in HK is very short, and what is interesting is that there was nothing akin to Casey's Corner or an ice cream parlour. I have always felt that an ice cream parlour on the top corner of MS was somewhat a staple of the park.
The bakery was themed with cooking utensils and photographs on the walls. The counter was long but the store overall was very narrow and became quite crowded at peak meal times.

Market House Bakery

Overall the theming of the bakery was nice, certainly better than the Magic Kingdom in Florida, but not as nice as Paris's beautiful Cable Car Bake Shop.
The outdoor place was sandwiched into the space that is Center Street on the right hand side of MS.
It mainly sold Mickey waffles and snacks as far as I could tell, and wasn't much more than a covered counter with some seating, though it was very popular.
Center Street was also home to the locker rental room. Like California, the lockers were electronic, but the room had to be the smallest locker rental location I have seen at any park!
Back to the restaurants now, and the remaining two eateries were the Plaza Inn and the Corner Cafe.
We didn't eat at the Plaza Inn but from what I understand it is a Chinese restaurant with the Disney Characters. The restaurant also has a more distinct Chinese theme and feel inside, as opposed to a 1900's America eatery.
The Corner Cafe is where we ate dinner the first day, and I have to say it was quite nice.
In terms of theming it was fairly basic, but had that Main Street feel. Old fashioned wallpaper and wall lamps helped set the scene.

The Corner Cafe

The food was good too and mainly consisted of what I would consider a mix of traditional Chinese food with some Western influences thrown in.

The stores on Main Street were interesting because they were so tiny. They have to be the smallest Main Street boutiques ever, and there are very few of them too. I have to admit that what they did have was nice, and I liked the themes and design, but they were so small that it actually detracted from the overall feel of them. I realise that on all the Main Streets the stores generally tend to run into one, or multiple stores that are not accurately represented on the outside. The facades tend to make you believe that there are about ten stores when in fact there are say just three; but HK was in a league of its own!

HKDL July 2011 - Joining Mickey and friends as the Grand Marshals of the Parade!

The buildings outside were condensed to begin with, but on the inside instead of going with a running them throughout and having just one or two larger stores hidden behind the facades, they tried to actually squeeze in four or five different stores. This basically failed because the small individual spaces became super crowded, and also instead of making you believe you were in a 1900’s boutique, you just felt like you were in a miniaturised representation of what it was meant to be. Just because there are multiple facades on the outside, they didn’t need to cram the same number of stores into the inside to make it feel authentic – in fact, it achieved just the opposite.
In total there was I think five main stores on Main Street that were all very small. The merchandise they offered was good, but seemed somewhat limited compared to Paris. Much to my happiness HKDL seem to be bigger on pins than Tokyo are, and pins were easier to find and they had a wider selection than I was expecting. Still not as many as the US or Paris, but still a good amount. I think last year from Tokyo I ended up with about four pins, but in HK I managed to buy at least fifteen that I liked, probably more – and there were of course more on sale than that too.

Wandering up Main Street

They also seem to be big on those magic towel things that expand when wet, and had a large selection of those.
Main Street also features a number of attractions, much the same as the other parks. There are Main Street Vehicles, which consist of an Omnibus and a Paddy Wagon (I don’t recall seeing anything else, though there could be others), and the Disneyland Railroad. There are no Horse Drawn Street Cars (rails for them were never laid).
Paris was the first and only park to have a Paddy Wagon, but I guess they felt HK needed one too!
The Railroad in HK is very limited, and only has one other stop in Fantasyland. Also, as we discovered, they do not let you travel all the way around the park! You can only go Main Street to Fantasyland, or Fantasyland to Main Street. You have to exit the train and queue up again if you wish to travel the extra length.
There is also an Opera House that features a very small animation exhibit and models and information about the expansion project, as well as an Art of Animation Academy where you can learn to draw your favourite characters (much like at the Studios in bot Paris and Florida).
Finally, the hub does not feature a Partners statue.

Overall I liked Main Street but do feel like it lacked some of the basic concepts from the other parks. I realise that all the parks should retain some individuality, but in this case it definitely is in need of some more inspiration. That’s all for Main Street. My next report will go deep into the jungles of Adventureland!

Stay tuned over the next few days!

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