May 7, 2013
Memories or It Didn’t Happen
Screw the pictures. I’m making a new rule for myself: if I don’t remember a particular instance in full detail, I won’t consider it valid. This automatically voids1 all acquaintances made as a Pampers-pooping pre-preteen, all the movies I’ve watched before 2011, all the books I’ve read before last week, and all amusement parks I’ve visited – even those I’ve #tbt’d about recently.
That said, my Hong Kong 2013 trip marked my not-so-very first time in Disneyland.
Unscrew the pictures. Heads up, PAG-ASA: here’s a calamity-scale photo flood for ya.
As I’ve previously mentioned, I tend to get freaky-deaky uh huh uh huh3 with control. Disneyland was no exception. With me being the alpha to Apol’s male, I got him to join me in cramming two accordion brochures’ worth of data while munching on overpriced lunch. This had us mapping out the day’s itinerary on, well, maps – scribbles we followed religiously throughout the day. Quick tip: look for shows with pre-set slots, then plot the quicker attractions around them. In our case, the closest showing we had was…
Nants Ingonyama Bagithi Baba
Or the Festival of the Lion King
Or “ahabengya dabadi dabada,” as sung by the child Pilar in her delicate Zulu accent. Disney’s The Lion King is a perennial favorite among everyone who matters4. More so for me5, topped only by Aladdin in my list of Films I Have Technically Watched As A Child So I Remember Squat And I’m Unable To Carry A Conversation About It (FIHTWAACSIRSAIU2CACAI). Its Disneyland musical rendition was, for a lack of a better singular word for “raging emotions,” overwhelming. I was overjoyed with my childhood friends6, overpowered by the music and acrobats and effects. I was in tears from the very start, singing every song and giving the innocuous non-Englishers around me the watery version of the look I give Apol when he wears his British Sea Power shirt7.
Enjoy this post-show pwet-swishing, too
Rafts to Tarzan’s Treehouse
I’m one of those people who can bring Hawaiian Tropic oil to a pool and say “Tan is my middle name” and mean it literally. I’m proudly part Chinese. That means I’m part shameless penny-pincher, and I get to drag Apol to pointless attractions like the rafts to the Treehouse for the sole purpose of getting to say “We tried the rafts to the Treehouse.” So here goes: we tried the rafts to the Treehouse. At wala siyang kwenta.
Since my past, non-existent9 Disneyland trips were with my mom and uncle both 40+ years my senior, I’ve never been on any rides that didn’t tackle the Earth’s smallness (after all). Space Mountain used to be, to me, one of those rides that reminiscent of prom – you’d never want to go, but everyone can legally torture you unless you do. So we did, and it was a blast! Surprisingly not scary at all!10
You get to shoot at things!
Main Street Parade
At this point in the day, we thought we were just having the best of luck. There weren’t any lines to any of the rides – we were on our third shoo-in one by then – until it finally hit us. The parade was happening, and we were missing it for granny-speed UFOs. Rushed through infinity, beyond, and half the theme park before making it to Main Street for the last part.
Nightmares, I tell you.
It’s a Small World
The only vivid childhood memory I have of this attraction was the song13 – all visuals were a blur. Seeing it again as a grown-up, however, I’ve gotten to appreciate the bigger picture. It’s not simply a ride. It’s a huge warehouse filled up with puppets and colors and details unique to each nation. It’s a change in instrumentation per continent, a shift of wind for the climates, an effort to have the kids sing in native languages. It’s bringing exotic locations within reach, and even further, bringing fictional places into reality. It’s our world – and a small one at it. Big surprise: I cried here as well.
Maliit Lang Ang Mundo
Toy Story Land
This movie too falls under my considerably lengthy FIHTWAACSIRSAIU2CACAI list. So I did in this area what any self-respecting charlatan would do: pose.
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
A bit of cheese-mis16: A.A. Milne’s Winnie The Pooh was one of the earlier books17 Apol and I bonded over. I have the unDisneyed Pooh collection at home and I used to read them to him when he came over. So yup, I was poking him nonstop during this ride, squealing ”yiheeeeeee” every chance I got.
Lights in the skies, tears in my eyes indeed. There’s something gut-wrenching, in a mostly good way, about hearing all these anthems you’ve grown up with. Feeling them again, after all these years, with the melodies swelling through the trees and a plethora of colors dazzling the skies. It’s seeing that iconic castle scene come to life – better than 3D, better than infinity D, because it’s actually there before you. Suddenly you’re a kid again, watching the Return of Jafar on your dad’s Brand New VHS Player With A Built-In Rewinder, wondering if you could bully your yaya for another packet of Pritos Ring.
It was a busy walk back, the other parts of the park were already roped off by this time. I had just rubbed my face dry and was now leading Apol into all the stores on Main Street because I was bored. He coerced me into pocketing a pamphlet18 that common sense told us was more a prop than a freebie. I mentioned earlier what my favorite movie was, and in the end he did get the girl + the money + the magical slavefriend + the living room décor that doubled as a car.
Art of Animation
The building asked for it.
A Thrilling Chase, A Wondrous Place
Bid tearful farewells, then stopped over for dinner at West9’s Karkar after leaving the park.
And that’s it, my first Disneyland19 experience, all summed up + wrapped up with a pretty Minnie Mouse bow. Second-to-the-last day, over.
1 Including but not limited to
2 Ones leaning towards the octogenarian variety, methinks
3 Digital Get Down, another Nsync reference you probably did not get
4 Your move, favorite mo rin ba o hindi?
5 A proud Leo, to my King I must bow
6 Although two additional monkeys were mixed in with the cast, repeating the entire play in Cantonese. Epalz with a capital Zey. Sila, ‘di ko friends.
7 “Sooooo, you’re a fan huh……..?” sabay both kilay akyat-bahay.
8 Meaning his kilikili makes direct contact with my face, if the gods are in a Punk’d kind of mood
9 If I were to take my first paragraph to heart
10 Says the girl who had to watch Insidious via clips on Youtube because the whole movie would render her paralyzed for weeks
11 They tasted panget, for the record
12 Well, I am a Scholastican
13 Eng-eng ka nalang kung ‘di mo pa maalala ‘yun
15 Fistbumpage all around, yes yes
16 Thankyou, thankyouverymuch
17 The first being Chuck Palahniuk’s Haunted. Read Guts, friends!
18 Of which there exists no actual photographic proof, for my general safety
19 Hong Kong!!!!! Of course our other trips count, Mothergoose!