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HK & MACAU DAY 2 - Macau&Disneyland!

Day 2: Holiday Inn Macau -> The Venetian -> Old Taipa Village -> Holiday Inn Macau -> Macau Outer Harbour Ferry Terminal -> Hong Kong Ferry Terminal (Sheung Wan) -> Disney Hollywood Hotel -> Disneyland Theme Park 

View from our level 18 room, 1821 @ Holiday Inn Macau
Rise and shine! That's the view we had from our room - some residential building at 7am.

We had a busy morning awaiting us as we will be exploring Cotai with the limited morning with have, and being back in Holiday Inn by 12pm for check out.

As our room package does not include breakfast, we decided to look for breakfast alternative along the streets near our hotel. Most of the food stores sell China cuisine. We decided to settle for this Taiwan food restaurant that we many people patron the restaurant yesterday night.

It was quite empty during our time of visit at around 7.15am. Yes you may ask why do we not have some local Macanese food as we do not see any :( We dont mind like pork bun or portugese egg tarts as breakfast but a pity we couldn't find them around our place of stay.

Our orders

The food was served shortly.

From left to right (Clockwise): You Tiao, Sauteed vegetables with meat slices, Hot Soy Milk (Savoury), Plain Porridge
1. You Tiao MOP 16 (SGD $2.80) per set. The picture above shows 2 set of you tiao. Oily but good :)
2. Sauteed vegetables with meat slices MOP 31 (SGD $5.45)/plate
We think this vegetable dish is the nicest of all. In fact it is really appetising to match it with porridge.
3. Hot Savoury Soy Milk  MOP 14 (SGD $2.50)/bowl
It's something unique as those soy milk we tasted in Singapore is sweet, but this is savoury. They included seaweed and some other stuff which we couldnt identify. Overall, we still prefer the traditional sweet soy milk though. It can be a little overwhelming towards the end.
4. Plain porridge MOP 10 (SGD $1.75)/bowl

From top to bottom: Seasoned mushroom and chicken, Xiao Long Bao
5. Seasoned Mushroom and chicken MOP 40 (SGD $7)
Extremely oily as you can see covered with the yellow oil. It took the longest preparation time. We had to wait for around 10 minutes even after the other food were served. There's too much bones in the chicken, when we thought its chicken slices. Not exactly worth the price we pay for. Regretted ordering this. 
6. Xiao Long Bao-4 pcs MOP 32 (SGD $5.6)
Good. tasted similar to Singapore's.

Overall, we thought the food is definitely 'edible' however we believe there's better options out there.
Doubt that we will be coming back to this restaurant any more if we were to set foot in Macau again.

After our breakfast we headed back to our hotel to do some packing and left our room at 8.40am. Holiday Inn was kind enough to provide us with their hotel cards for us to show the taxi driver just in case we do not converse well in cantonese.

Hotel name card
Due to time constraint, we did not want to spend too much unnecessary time on travelling between places in Macau, hence for day 2, we decide to get a cab to Venetian and back from Old Taipa village. The concierge staff was kind enough to help us flag and get a cab at no charge. Really thankful!

So off we go to The Venetian Hotel by crossing over the other piece of land - reclaimed land via the bridge!

In the taxi - crossing the bridge
Traffic was smooth at the start and we find ourselves on the bridge in no time. There is no stopping in the middle of the bridge so the journey was very smooth and fast, we took only around 5 minutes or less to cross the bridge and come to the other part of Macau. Initially we were afraid it will take a long time since from google map it looks a little far.

Though traffic was smooth, however once we reach the other side of Macau - Cotai area, there's traffic jam. Not too sure if it happens all the time or because its a weekday morning and everyone is heading to work.

Venetian !
Venetian Lobby!
We finally set foot at Venetian Hotel at 9am. The whole journey took around 20 minutes. However without the jam, it could have taken 10-15 minutes only. We paid MOP 70 (SGD $12) for the Cab fare which is similar to Singapore's taxi fare price so I guess its reasonable.

Grand lobby !
The lobby look so grand! look at all the paintings on the ceiling.

We went to its casino and oh my, the bets are almost three times higher than the ones at Wynn Macau in terms of the Jackpot machines. In Venetian bets goes from MOP30 which is SGD$5.30 equivalent. Every 1 time you click go (maybe you get entertain for only 10 seconds of your life) and SGD$5 is gone :( Very expensive bets if you are just playing for fun. Would recommend other casinos instead. 

But in terms of size, yes it is definitely larger and even though we went in the day, there's still many gamblers around. 

Thereafter, we head for the 'Grand Canal Shoppes' for its famous 'blue sky'!

Grand Canal shoppes
As we were there around 9.40am, that explains the lack of tourists. The gondola was not operating at that time too. However the architecture is still worth admiring. The blue sky ceiling is one of its famous feature as it was known to reflect the true weather outside. In another words, it will change to night sky when its night time.  the bridge, and 'street lamps' makes one feel as if you are in Europe ~

In conclusion, it is definitely worth visiting The Venetian just for a look around its architecture even if you are not staying here for a night! :)

We didn't wander long before we decided to head to the old taipa village. According to fellow travel bloggers, The old taipa village is actually within walking distance from the venetian and it is a very short distance if you know the right path. A few of them mention to exit Venetian from West Lobby. West lobby is where the bus interchange is at - where The venetian bus is and coach buses are parked.

We thought that shouldn't be too hard, since there's signs however we wandered around from the Grand canal shoppes, and couldn't find any signs that state 'West lobby'. We aren't too sure if there's any alternate names for it too. We ended up asking the security guard there, as we are unsure of the cantonese version of old taipa village, we translated and say 'tai-pa 村'. However the security guard say there's no 'tai-pa 村'. She desperately tried to help us, however we only know the Portuguese street name it wasn't of much help to us. We were confused, but decide to still stick to our judgment, and proceeded to ask the location of west lobby instead and we eventually found our way out. Later on, we realised that we should not translate it word for word from old taipa village to tai-pa 村. Instead if you want to visit old taipa village, tell them you are looking for 官也街 or Rua Do Cunha. That is the main street of old taipa village!

walk straight and turn left to west lobby
finally sign that mention west lobby!
Take this escalator down to west lobby!
Bus Terminal @ west lobby
That's the bus terminal area, where you can catch several major hotel buses to their hotels for casino hopping! once you come down the escalator, walk straight till you exit the building, then turn right an walk straight till you see lane 13.
bus lane 13
Then walk straight a little and turn left and head down.

Venetian macau bus terminal overlooking galaxy macau
You should walk toward the direction where the big screen is at / galaxy macau.

walk straight
When you reach the end, do not cross the road!
the end of the bus terminal
Galaxy Macau - DO NOT cross the zebra crossing over!
Instead turn right, and board the escalator up!

Escalator to overhead bridge
Overhead bridge
The Venetian should be on your right when you are on the overhead bridge.

The venetian on your right
Exhibition hall on your left
While you should be able to view this exhibition hall on your left side when you are walking on the overhead bridge .

Walk till the end of the overhead bridge and take the staircase down, where you will take the travellator!

overhead bridge and travellator
Unfortunately the travellator was under maintenance. So we had to walk on the pedastrian path beside it under the hot sun :( But we are really happy that we finally found this, cos accordingly to online sources, this travellator will leads directly to Old taipa village. In a way its right and wrong, read on to see.

On a side note, in a week time or so, its Macau's lotus flower festival, and we spotted lotus flowers towards the end of the travellator.

Lotus flower plantation
And... we see direction signage pointing towards Taipa old village!

Taipa old village sign!

Rua Do Cunha - main street of old Taipa village
Follow the signs, by heading up hill.

turn right, head up hill!
walk all the way to the end
And you will reach this place (see below). Take the stairs down and you will reach Old taipa village!

take the stairs down (on the left)
take the stairs down and you reach old taipa village!
Rua Do cunha 官也街
You will see traditional looking shophouses. Generally the shophouses here sells food/souvenir items. We went on a Monday morning, and most shops are still close. They open till night, and has more crowds during the weekend.

kok kei bakery
 Look at what we spotted! The famous dumbo restaurant that sells portugese food. A pity it is only open after 12pm.

Dumbo restaurant
Back to the main street - Rua do Cunha, we saw the prominently located famous Mok Yi Kei dessert. There isn't a lot of people queuing. We didnt get a chance to try, but looks like their famous dessert is the durian ice cream.

Mok Yi Kei
Further down on the street, we saw Fong Kei Bakery. A traditional looking bakery, where they occupy two outlets - for baking and retail purposes. It was a very busy morning for them with their helpers rushing across the street taking hot pastry out from oven and leaving it to cool.

Fong Kei Bakery
assorted macau pastry
freshly baked pastry
We bought 4 different pastry after recommendation from the shop helper.

1. 肉切酥
2. Almond biscuit
3. 鸡仔饼
4. 核桃酥

In general, it has a short shelf span of 1 month. In general we do not like traditional Macau pastry as we find them too hard and in terms of taste, it doesn't makes us want to crave for it again.

old taipa village
Everywhere in Macau, it's impossible to miss Kok Kei store and its advertisement with Edwin Siu being the face of Kok Kei bakery. He starred in this TVB 2013 Drama - Brother's keeper which shows the story of the founder of Kok Kei carving out a huge islandwide business from a small mobile almond cookie food business. 

As most of the stores were closed and in general there is nothing much to see since they sell roughly the same food - jerky, macau pastry... We left at around 10.30am. Since we did not change any MOP and due to time concern, we got a cab back to Holiday Inn Macau. We crossed the zebra crossing and there is a there is a taxi stand at the end of the street.

We also caught a glimpse of the galaxy macau!
taxi stand and glimpse of galaxy macau
There was a taxi there waiting when we reach the taxi stand. On the way back, we took the same route - bridge that connects old Macau and Cotai. This time round MGM is on our right side.

MGM and various casinos on Old Macau
We spotted the Kwan Yim Statue too!
See if you can spot the Kwan Yim Statue
We reached Holiday inn at around 10.40am. The ride back was jam free and we took only around 10 minutes. We went to our neighbourhood supermarket to walk around - San Miu Supermarket.

In general, it looks like any neighbourhood supermarket. One interesting note is that canned luncheon meat in Hong Kong and Macau tend to be placed at a prominent place as compared to in Singapore.

We bought a 5 L bottled mineral water for our drinking needs in Disneyland thereafter as we reckon it is gonna be expensive on the tourist island hehe.

5L bottled mineral water
We checked out of Holiday inn Macau at around 11.15pm. The van to the Macau harbour terminal comes every half hour starting from 8.30am.

Holiday inn Macau
Lift area @ Level 18
Check out was hassle free. We returned the cards and produce the deposit receipt. Once they confirmed that we have checked out, we get our HKD 500 deposit and we can just proceed to wait for the van. There is no verification needed to board the van. There were plenty of people at the lobby - but mostly were people waiting to check in.

Last few glances of our surroundings while waiting at the lobby for the van!

opposite Holiday Inn Macau (on the right)
There are a few eateries and mostly sell chinese dishes.

Opposite Holiday Inn Macau (on the left) - Public security Police force
Police van and cars entering and exiting. Don't you feel safe staying near the police station ~

Macau Taxi
Macau public bus
Macau public bus
Sports car
The Holiday Inn Van to terminal left on time at 11.30am and we reached the Macau Harbour terminal at 11.36am. Close approximate distance to the ferry terminal!

We purchased our tickets on Grayline about 1 week before. We chose Grayline travel agency because there is a visa promotion where visa card holders can enjoy HKD 15 (SGD 2.6) off each ticket. On top of this offer, since they tie up with such a big global company - VISA, it must be of some credibility hence safe? There is still ongoing offer till Dec 2015 and no limit on the number of tickets you are allowed to purchase.

Ferries depart on a frequency of 15 minutes from the Macau Harbour. We initially wanted 12.45pm ferry however it was sold out, and they gave us the next best which is at 1pm.

We booked via Grayline on 1st June and they send us a booking confirmation letter within 1 working day. On the day of boarding, you just need to present the confirmation letter at least 30 minutes before departure to exchange for actual physical tickets at Turbo Jet ticketing office - 2/F Departure Hall, Macau Maritime Ferry Terminal. 

We strongly recommend people to purchase from Grayline if your departure timing from Macau to Hong Kong is fixed i.e. not subject to schedule. As buying earlier will guarantee you a seat and its cheaper too. When we board the ferry latter on, we realise that there's people still queuing up near the boarding area as back-ups. Waiting for people who back out from this sailing, and they will hence have vacancy to board. This is how packed the ferry is! Different from departure from HKIA.

Turbo jet ticket (Macau -> HKG)
The sticker labelling 23N is the seat allocated to you. There will be a personnel standing near the boarding area and you have to show him your ticket before entering into the waiting area. He will then proceed to label the seat sticker on your ticket. But dont worry, as long as you tell him you and your friends/family are travelling together, he will give you the seats beside each other. In contrary to boarding at HKIA which was free seating, this was fixed seating as the whole ferry is at full capacity.

There was no queue when we reach the ticketing counter hence we got our actual tickets fast. Thereafter we proceed to send our checked baggage to the luggage service counter - Room 2618 (right side of the ticketing counter. Do note that luggage check in service is available 45-20 mins before your ferry departure. Checked luggage of 20kg and below requires a fee of HKD/MOP25 (SGD 4.40) per piece. They only allow one hand carry luggage each FOC and there's size restriction too. You may refer to Turbo Jet web for more details.

Receipt for Check in baggage
All in all, everything that we need to settle prior to entering the waiting area was quite convenient in that they are situated at level 2 and there was little people. Time check 11.50am. We went to have a quick lunch before boarding.

We went to this restaurant - Noodles and dim sum kitchen at level 3 of the ferry terminal.

Shredded pork in home made spicy sauce noodles - MOP/HKD 48 (SGD $8.40)
Congeee w/ pork & century egg - MOP/HKD 48 (SGD $8.40)

Shrimp Wonton noodles (Dry) - MOP/HKD 42 (SGD $7.40)
Shrimp Wonton Noodles (Soup) -MOP/HKD 38 (SGD $6.70)
One interesting thing to note in Macau and Hong Kong is that although they serve the same kind of wonton mee with the same number of wontons, but dry wonton noodles always seem to cost more than having it soup based. Not too sure why, maybe because of more effort?

Overall the noodles are nice. Can skip congee though.

Receipt @ Noodle & Dim sum kitchen
They accept HKD too, and in total 4 of us for a simple and last meal at Macau we spent HKD 194 (SGD $34).

We headed to the waiting/boarding area at around 12.30pm. There seems to be alot of locals. We did a survey for the Macau Tourism board too. At around 12.50pm, we are allowed to board the ferry!

Taking the escalator down to the ferry!
And a left turn, we are on the floating platform to where the ferry was docked!

On the way to the red Turbo Jet!
Turbo Jet!
Bye Macau! To be honest, we do not really find Macau a place where we will return again unless we become gambling addicts. Hopefully Hong Kong will be a much better place!!

So in an hour's time we reach Hong Kong Macau Ferry Terminal which is located at Shun Tak Centre in Sheung Wan. We chose this ferry terminal instead of Kowloon as its nearer to the MTR which makes it more convenient for us to board the train to continue our journey, especially when we are carrying big heavy luggages! You wouldn't want to keep walking around with that. Once you exited the ferry, clear the custom and you will reach Shun Tak Centre. From there, surprisingly we didnt see any directions to lead us to the MTR station. We had to ask one of the shop owners on the way to the MTR which is actually just keep taking the escalator down and you will soon see the MTR sign. One important thing to remember if its your first time in Hong Kong, is to remember their MTR logo as they seldom spell out the whole word but rather use the logo to signify.
Google images - HK MTR
The MTR station nearest to Shun Tak Centre (Hong Kong Macau Ferry terminal) is Sheung Wan MTR. Very crowded. Bustling with working crowds/people/tourists. Fast walking pace!

In order to board the MTR, and considering we will be in Hong Kong for the next 5-6 days, we purchased the Octopus card which is also known as our Ezlink card.

Octopus card
Back view of the octopus card
Not too sure why there's different back view but it works the same way anyway.

Basically, you have to pay HKD 150 (SGD $26.30) for each card where HKD 50 (SGD $8.80) is the deposit and there is a stored value of HKD 100 (SGD $17.50). The HKD 50 deposit and remainning amount is refundable in full if it is returned after more than 90 days from date of issue. Otherwise, a HKD 9 (SGD $1.60) fee will applies.

Octopus Card receipt x1
If your period in Hong Kong is short, you may want to estimate based on your itinerary, the rough cost on MTR transport to see if its worth to purchase the Octopus card. You may check out the cost of your MTR trips @   > Train trip planner.

MTR Train trip planner. Courtesy of MTR Hong Kong Corporation
We find this train trip planner absolutely useful as it let you know the estimated time, fastest route, cost to get from one point to another. A useful tool to use during your planning stage!

As you can see, the route from Sheung Wan to Disneyland will cost roughly HKD 25 (SGD $4.40), which will effectively wipe out 1/4 of your HKD 100 stored value. But dont worry, in general MTR trips are only costly if you travel cross the kowloon to Hong Kong island  or on the Tung Chung line (towards Tung chung - for Ngong ping cable car or Disney Resort for the happiest place on earth)

For sharp observers, you may ask why do we not want to take the ferry from Macau back to HKIA since HKIA is nearer to Disneyland than Sheung Wan. We contacted Disneyland and Turbo Jet, and both have advised us that ferries to or fro HKIA are only allowed for flight passengers! So for us with no valid flight departure or arrival on that day, we are strictly not allowed. So oh well :(

There's quite a few lines to change from Sheung Wan to Disneyland Resort.
1. Sheung Wan > Central MTR (1 stop)
2. Hong Kong MTR > Sunny Bay MTR
3. Sunny Bay > Disneyland Resort MTR

Do note that Central MTR and Hong Kong MTR are different MTR stations although they seem tgt on the MTR map. However they are both connected by the underground link and there will be directions to guide you. It is a 3-5 mins walk getting from Central to Hong Kong MTR depending on your speed of walking. But over there, commuters walk pretty fast. In order to get to Sunny Bay MTR, you have to hop on the train at Hong Kong MTR. As a tip, make sure you don't just know which station to get off, but know the ending stop of the train line that you will be boarding. For example, for Hong Kong MTR > Sunny Bay MTR, it will be the train line that is 'towards Tung Chung'. Similar to Singapore's MRT, they will tend to put like 'towards Marina Bay'. So by knowing the ending stop, will aid you in following the directions shown!

We reached Sunny Bay MTR at 3.15pm. Do note that they do not allow passengers with huge luggage to take the escalator for safety reasons, so do look for the lift!

Sunny Bay MTR
Airport express train
And finally, the Disney express to the happiest place on earth! ~

Disney Express
The train ride from Sunny Bay to Disneyland Resort was about 4 minutes long even though its only 1 stop. But it is a short ride because there's plenty of things to be awed by and plenty of photo moments if you are a fan of Disney and Mickey!

Inside the train
Mickey Hand grips
Disney character
Disney character - Donald Duck
Sights along the way
The whole train trip totally puts you in the mood for Disneyland!

We love the ride and even the train platform looks very 'Disney-like'!

Train platform
Stairs/Escalator up to Disneyland~~~
Yup! The MTR really brings you straight to the doorstep of Disneyland! Super convenient!
Disneyland Theme Park!
*Screams* At the sight of Disneyland Theme Park entrance. But we are heading to our accommodation first - Disney Hollywood Hotel!

There is the Resort Hotel shuttles which operates at a frequency of 10-15 minutes between 8am-midnight. You can catch the shuttle bus at the Public Transport Interchange which is right opposite the Disney themepark, or rather make a left turn when you come out of the MTR gantry. Not to worry also, as there's plenty of helpful signage.

There are a few buses, some to China and some within Hong Kong. So make sure you are at the right bus terminal.
Resort bus terminal
Not to worry, you can ask the friendly park rangers too! They can converse in English, cantonese and chinese!

Basically there's only 1 bus so it does not matter whether you stay at Disney Hollywood Hotel or the more atas Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel. It will first stop at Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel, and thereafter at Disney Hollywood Hotel, then lastly back at the bus terminus for the Disneyland Theme Park. It is like a loop service.

Interior of the bus
The bus was quite empty, not fully filled.

The bus left at around 3.30pm and in around 4 mins time we reach Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel and in the next minute we reach Disney Hollywood Hotel. In general, it was only around 7 minutes ride to Disney Hollywood Hotel from the Bus terminus. Oh, and the shuttle bus is free! :) No verification needed. So perhaps even if you are here for a one day stop over at Disneyland Theme park, if time permits do head over to the hotels to check it out  :)

sights along the way
Even the metal fences have the signature Mickey design on it.

Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel
See the bluish building towards the right? That's Disney Hollywood Hotel!

Glimpse of Disney Hollywood Hotel

Entrance of Disney Hollywood Hotel
Check in is open at 3pm. Our check in time is around 3.45pm.
We purchased the Disneyland deluxe room online in February. It is an early bird package that consist of a Deluxe room and 2 2-day park admission tickets. One mistake that we made is that we purchased too early :( We were afraid that it is during the Singapore's school holiday and there will be many families heading to Hong Kong and it will be fully booked by then. But when we checked back around April, we realise they have much more promotions and it is so much cheaper then! By comparing to the promotional price, we would have paid the original price for the 2 days tickets :( 1 day park ticket is sufficient for us but we did not choose the 1 day ticket selection as there wasn't any during our booking period in February. We were also confused by what's the difference between deluxe and standard room as there's no noticeable difference in the description. But from our trip this time round we learnt that:

1. Deluxe room = fireworks view room.
Your room will be high floor and facing the park hence guaranteed the fireworks at night @ sleeping beauty castle.

2. Do not book too early like us. Afterall June is not Hong Kong's school holiday, coupled with it being summer, it is not the peak season. So wait for the promotion. However if you are visiting during the peak season (eg. December) then our advice may not work for you.

Reception area
Check-in Room card
Our room is at level 9 which is also the highest floor. We were given 2 room cards and during check-in, we were given....

welcome badges!
As two of our birth dates falls on the week of our stay there, we were given 'Today is my birthday" badge! While the rest of us got the 'Welcome back' badge!
Receipt for 4pax for 1 night stay @ Disney Hollywood deluxe room
HKD 3417 (SGD 600) for 1 night stay and 2 2day admission ticket is not exactly cheap. But we thought its worth it, especially when we get the 'best room'! You shall see why we say that we get the best room'... Hehe

Lift lobby!
Even inside the lift, you can hear donald duck/mickey talking. Totally makes you feel young again ~

And soon we reach 9th storey - room 9674! Ta-da!

2 double beds!
Classic Mickey and minnie wall decoration mounted on the wall

a small table and tv

'Kitchen area'
Apparently our room is like a connecting room to the room beside us. So dont fret if you are travelling in big group, as you can always continue your night conversations about Disney in Disney Hollywood hotel connecting rooms ~

'bar area'
There is also a ice bucket for you to get your ice from the corridor area if you need some cool refreshing drinks after your hot day out in Disneyland Theme park!

Disney disposable cups and shampoo/shower gel
Not too sure if we are able to bring them back with us, but apparently we saw online that we are allowed to bring them back with us to continue with our disney dream ~ Look at how cute they are! Who can resist the temptation to bring them home!

But there is one thing for certain you can bring along with you, bathroom slippers!
Thick padding at the soles! And with the classic disney head printed on the slippers make it soo memorable!

Just awhile after we settled in, a Disney staff rang the doorbell, and presented 2 towel cakes and cards for us! Such nice and warm gesture from Disney even though it wasn't the actual birthdate!

Birthday towel cake & card from Disney
Birthday towel cake & card from Disney 2
Thank you Disney!! We feel so much love from you!

Enough said, time for scenary from our room window @ 4.45pm.

View towards the left 
The shuttle bus stop is near the left side of the photo. The shuttle bus can bring you directly to Disneyland theme park.

Centre view
See the white and orange protruding things out of the 'forest'? That's Disneyland Themepark!

The white protruding thing is actually the tip of the Sleeping beauty castle where fireworks will be!
If you are viewing the fireworks from your room, do tune in to the Disney hotel official channel for the music when it starts to get both the ambience and view right at your own comfort.

view towards the right
There's still some ongoing construction, and towards the far right - you can see the more pricey Disneyland Resort!

So earlier on, why did we say we got the 'best room'? Because
1. We got a fireworks view room (as you can see, we are able to view the sleeping beauty castle)
2. It is the highest floor - 9th floor
3. We are right in the middle of the hotel (refer to the emergency evacuation floor plan)

emergency evacuation floor plan
Our room - 9674 is right in the middle! Feel so pampered! Haha

We lazed around our hotel room - to ensure we make full use of it haha, before we set out for dinner at Hollywood and Dine @ Disney Hollywood Hotel Lv1. 

We left at 6pm for dinner.

glimpse of the construction site from our level 9 lift lobby

Hollywood and Dine is the 'cheapest' place we can find for a meal at Disneyland (excluding meals in the theme park). The rest of the restaurants generally has a price of SGD 50 and more per pax. You will pass by Chef Mickey (buffet restaurant) before reaching Hollywood and Dine which is at the end of the hotel, near the pool area.

Chef Mickey
Hollywood and Dine Restaurant
Hollywood and Dine is a fast food restaurant. There's plenty of seats there and during our time there, we didnt see many people patronising the outlet. Apparently, most of it is still vacant.

It has only 8 items on its menu, and all comes with soup of the day or cream of pumpkin. 

view of the 'garden' within Disney Hollywood hotel from our seats in the restaurant
We ordered 1 Pan fried fish Fillet with Mashed Potato and 3 Hollywood baked pork chop rice for the 4 of us. There was only cream of pumpkin available at that point of time. Ordering is simple, since the staff understood English/Chinese and not just cantonese. You have to go to the cashier and order, thereafter collect your meals at the preparation area which is just opposite the cashier. However as some of our food took a little longer (since they are baked rice), the server was very nice to volunteer to bring it to us.

We didn't have to wait long - at most 10 minutes for food to be served.

Cream of pumpkin soup
Cream of pumpkin soup that is too creamy for our liking. Gets overly gelat when we are halfway through it.

Hollywood baked pork chop rice @ HKD 128 (SGD 22.50)
Must order if you dine there. Although it is quite pricey for a plate of baked rice, but the taste is good. The tomato sauce isn't too gelat. And the pork is nice. Worth ordering if you don't mind the price!
Pan fried fish Fillet with Mashed Potato @ HKD 128 (SGD 22.50)
Regretted ordering this as it is too creamy probably because of the mashed potato. Wouldn't order this again, especially for the price paid for.

Receipt @ Hollywood and Dine
It is quite a pricey dinner given the food we get, but oh well, you are at a touristy place, what's more can you ask for?

Dinner was quick as we are going to go to Disneyland theme park to catch the night parade and fireworks since we have 2 tickets. But of course the other 2 of us stayed in the hotel room to catch the fireworks from the comfort of the room.

exit from Hollywood and Dine to the garden

Disney Carpet! Everything is Disney-themed!

We left the fast food restaurant at around 6.50pm. But first, we took a quick tour to the hotel swimming pool.

Piano Keys swimming pool
Not sure if there will be music playing if you swim over the piano keys, but yeah that was one of its main highlights about the swimming pool. Other than that, it is just any other pool.

overlooking Disney Hollywood Hotel

mickey themed benches and building decorations
It is actually quite a nice stroll in the garden in the evening since it wasn't too hot. If you walk further down the path, you will spot the Hollywood hotel sign. And even further down, you can reach a 'sea side' (look towards the left of the hollywood hotel sign from the photo below).

Hollywood Hotel sign
We split and the 2 of us left to continue our journey to Disney Theme park! On our way to the shuttle bus stop @ 7pm, we spotted from outside the Chef Mickey's restaurant. Looks like a lot of people were having dinner!

view of Chef Mickey from the shuttle bus bay
We didnt have to wait for long, and soon we reach back to the bus terminus in 10 minutes time. 

Disneyland @ 7.10pm
The top right hand corner of the photo, is actually the Disney Resort MTR station.

It is quite a walk in from the Hong Kong Disneyland Resort entrance. 

moving mickey on a whale/fountain
have to walk further in to reach the gantry!
Guide to ' Auto Magic Machine'
We bought 2 online 1 day park passes for the next day admission and we had to redeem them at the 'Auto Magic Machine'. We wanted to redeem them in advance (today) instead of tomorrow morning for we fear of queue. Unfortunately the machine is not 24 hours in operation, and it has closed for the day.

Gantry to Disneyland theme park!!! One step closer to the happiest place in the world where all magic begins ~

Apparently at 7+pm, we only see people exiting the theme park instead of entering like we do. Oh well, yeah it is a little of a waste of money by entering at 7+ since the park close at 9/10pm.

flower bed of Mickey
Main street, U.S.A in the evening

Sleeping beauty castle @ 7.30pm
Sleeping beauty castle is situated at Fantasyland. The area in front of the castle is VERY VERY crowded as people are waiting to get good seats to view the fireworks. Apparently as you can see from the photo there are already people seated along the streets of Main Street USA waiting to see the Paint the Night parade and also the fireworks later on @ 9pm. (subject to themepark schedule)

Do always take their programme booklet or check with the park ranger the time of the fireworks/parade for more accurate up to date timings so you do not wait in vain.

'Disney Paint the night' Nighttime spectacular is a night parade, where there will be disney themed characters/floats parading through Disneyland Theme park.
If you are not afraid of splurging for your kids, kids can also join in the fun with the purchase of 'Mickey Magic paint brush' whereby with this 'magic paint brush' they can change the colour of the performers costumes. The whole parade lasts about 40 minutes and in our opinion, A must see!!! Indeed spectacular. 

The night parade route is the same as the day parade - Flights of Fantasy where it will start from the 'Space Mountain' @ Tomorrowland, and passing by the Sleeping beauty castle to Main Street USA (Refer to the red arrow on the park map).
Park Map
The parade is due to start at 7.45pm. 

Prior to that we were roaming around Disneyland in search of possible food place for the day after and also to look around since we doubt there will be time to take any rides as we do not wish to miss the parade. At around 7.40pm we were near the space mountain and we see that part of it was blocked off and there were many crew members there. It was such a coincidental blessing, as we happen to be at the start of the parade! And it is an extremely good view!!!

1. Somehow there's lesser people here - as we believe most are at Main street USA/sleeping beauty castle
2. You get to view the parade first! Meaning you get to finish watching the parade first too!

In general, because the parade spans over a long distance, you will definitely be able to view the whole parade from wherever you stand as long as it s within the route. The only difference is the timing. For example, the person standing at Space mountain may start seeing the parade at 7.45pm, but the person at Main street USA may only start seeing at 8pm as it takes time for the floats/performers to move. 

So at 7.45pm sharp, they dim the lights!! "Anticipation" And soon in 2 minutes time, we spotted the first float and performers! It was so up close. The parade was a fantastic disney experience and it was better than our expectations! Enough of saying, let the pictures do the talking! Pardon for the poor quality photos as we took them with phone cameras.

First performers don in neon lighted costumes
Tinkerbell was performed by a real performer (human), and the stick supporting it will extend or retract back at times. The lights on the performers will change along with the music too!

stick man!
Monster Inc!!

Monster Inc - James P. Sullivan
behind the float is Mike Wazowksi
Cars! - Lightning McQueen?
performers alongside with cars
Mack from Cars
the back of Mack
Little Mermaid?

Beauty and the beast dance
Princess in Beauty and the beast
Extremely pretty! And yes she is very high up! As the float moves along, the 'princess' will wave and give flying kisses to the audiences below!

More performers
Giant slinky dog with Buzz Lightyear and Sheriff Woody from TOY STORY on board!
Buzz Lightyear and Sheriff Woody from TOY STORY
Extremely bubbly pair - though their movements are repetitive but it goes along with the music!

Human Hamster ball
stick man!
Looks like Pixar (Disney) galore has come to an end, and the parade is coming to an end when we see classic Disney characters rolling out!

From front to back: Goofy, Donald Duck, Minnie, Mickey!
Love the many faces of Donald Duck!

pose 1
pose 2

pose 3 - or rather turning to the other crowd hehe
lovable minnie
And last but not least - the 'Guest of honour' of the parade - Sorcerer Mickey (Mickey with Wizard hat) !!
Mickey! *Waves*
The parade comes to an end at 8.05pm when you see kids being asked to hold on to the 'lightning rod'? and follow the parade throughout!

Kids to end the parade
What a magical parade. We love it entirely! Never a moment where we feel bored. A must watch!!!!

Seems like the night parade is more of Pixar movie characters. We thought that the parade will be similar to the day parade - Flights of Fantasy, but nope, they are different characters! Do look out for our Day 3 posts to find out about it!

Sleeping Beauty Castle @ 8.15pm
Fireworks starting at 9pm, and since we still have some time we decided to head to fantasyland (walk through the Sleeping Beauty Castle) to try out some rides. The queue was pretty short for 'The many adventures of Winnie the Pooh' so we decided to try it. It is basically a slow indoor ride. Gets a little boring after once or twice. More suitable for kids but adults worth trying out at least once.

Cinderella Carousel
By 8.30pm, when we were done, we were told to exit the other way, then we realised they have already block off the access to fantasyland from the sleeping beauty castle - perhaps for preparation of the nighttime magic (fireworks extravaganza). We also see many many people crowding and sitting in front of the sleeping beauty castle waiting for the fireworks. We decided to do the same too.

@ 8.59pm! 1 more minute to go!
And let the fireworks spectacular light the skies with the sleeping beauty castle in the background and disney songs like (A whole new world) playing in the background!

Disney nighttime spectacular Fireworks ~
More fireworks coming from out from the castle
These photos doesn't do it a great justice. The ambience you get when you are there is a truly magical feel somehow, it feels even better than New Year countdown fireworks!

Oh and if you are wondering how's the view from the hotel, here it is!

view from our hotel room @ Disney Hollywood hotel @ 9.03pm
Once again the photo doesn't do great justice. View from the room is good since you are viewing it from your own comfort zone, and you can get soak in the magical atmosphere by tuning in to the Disney hollywood channel from your tv. However do note that, high fireworks (plenty of them), you will be able to view them. But those fireworks/sparks that are low or from the castle, you wont be able to see them. And of course, viewing from the hotel room it is just 'fireworks' without sleeping beauty castle as backdrop. Thus there's pros and cons, but if the park ticket admission is too costly, night view from the hotel is definitely excellent but do remember to pay a little more and buy deluxe room package!

So the whole show lasted for around 10 minutes! Once it comes to an end, you turn back and the magical experience seems to disappear as you swim in a sea of humans moving along the same route as you - towards the exit.

flooded with people ~
exiting Disneyland theme park
If you only have 1 day admission ticket, and time allows, please plan it such that you reach Disneyland at the earliest time possible (10am when it opens the door) and stay till the night time fireworks! If you can make it even earlier, then please do reach earlier to queue, as there's hoardes of people already waiting to enter the park before 10am. Do look at our Day 3 posts for more details!

So we finally see the main exit entrance at around 9.20pm. There were mainly 3 groups of people. 1 heading towards the public buses (China), another towards MTR to get back to Hong Kong, and another like us - heading back to hotels.

There was a long queue but luckily we did not have to wait for long. Though the general frequency is around 10-15 minutes at that time, however it just keep coming till we all fully board the bus. Hence we did not have to wait for long!

bus terminus - for bus to hotels
We reached back at Disney Hollywood Hotel at around 9.45pm. Imagine if we still have to take the MTR back to Hong Kong. Yes the hotel is expensive, but for a truly magical experience you have to pay the full package price - hotel, park admission. Though its pricey, but we feel that it is money well spent :)


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