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    Monday 14 September 2009

    Day thirteen – Wash out at Disneyland

    We set aside today to visit Disneyland. It’s a rather new park in Hong Kong opening some 4 years ago. Currently it’s the smallest Disneyland in the world, with Paris being the biggest outside of the original in California. This will be Vinnie’s first time to visit a Disneyland, last year we opted to visit DisneySea in Tokyo instead of Disneyland.

    The MTR Subway easily connects you to the Disneyland line, a specially decorated subway train with Mickey Mouse ears etc. It only cost €1.40 to get our apartment straight into the park taking the MTR.

    Beforehand we’re read information relating to weather and visits to Disneyland. The park runs as normal on a T1 signal, but all outdoor rides and attractions shut down during a T3. Unfortunately by the time we arrived, a T3 signal had been hoisted. We still had to pay full price and were warned that a T8 could be raised within the next few hours. A T8 means the Tropical Typhoon is approaching the city and for all services to shut down with everyone staying at home in-doors.

    It rained almost non-stop. None of the outdoor rides were open. Most of the restaurants were closed. It really was a depressing atmosphere at the magic kingdom, not ideal for Vinnie’s’ first visit.

    We did manage to ride the Winnie the Pooh and the It’s a Small World rides. The only indoor rollercoaster, Space Mountain was closed for refitting for the upcoming Halloween season.

    After almost 2 hours in the park, we were told the T8 had been raised and the park was slowly shutting down. The staff jumped into action tying everything down with string in anticipation for the impending storm. We were ushered out of the park. It cost us €70/HK$700/$90 for less then two hours and two kids rides. Not even a main street parade or firework. Not fun at all. We did manage to get a few pics with the characters. Upon leaving the park we were told our tickets where valid for reentry up to 6 months from now. Fine if we lived close by. Anyone want free tickets?

    We headed back into the city for a stroll along the avenue of the stars, a promenade with stars/handprints of famous Chinese movie personalities. It’s located along Victoria Harbor – perfect with an impending typhoon. It rained and the winds picked up strength. By 6pm, the T8 flag has been hoisted and the city was on shut down.

    We headed back to the hotel to follow the news reports. We had no option but to stay in. This city is well prepared for occasions like this. They taped large windows, shut down all stores. Taxi demanded premium too!

    It was pretty frightening up on the 20th floor with an exposed west window. The wind howled and fittings outside banged. The rain poured very heavily outside. Thankfully according to the Hong Kong Observatory, the path of the typhoon was take it south of Hong Kong, but wind speeds would still be very strong with inches of rain dumped on the city. A T8 does however bring a party atmosphere for the locals; as for them it means no work or school. They tend to head to the cinema or local bars to otherwise make the most of the enforced time off work!

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