A trip to Hong Kong will not be complete without visiting a theme park.
Considering the weather, we actually almost gave up on the sun shining during our stay and were ready to make a detour in our itinerary; but on the second day, we were blessed enough by the sun and made the tough choice of choosing which one to go to!
In the end, we headed to Disneyland. One very particular reason: Chase has motion-sickness.
In addition to boycotting zoos and parks that display animals in cages, the other reason that compelled me to not visit Ocean Park was because I found out how bad my partner’s motion sickness is. He even gets dizzy when the camera movements in video games are at high sensitivity, so I eventually learned to be careful and help out when I can. I enjoyed my first trip to Ocean Park years ago, considering I love the adrenaline rush that comes with floorless rollercoasters and 200-ft drop rides. I would always go back to riding their rides. But not this time around.
LESSON #3 FOR TRAVELING COUPLES: BE WILLING TO COMPROMISE.
Being alone during travel means you can be spontaneous and do whatever you want. Being with friends means there’s a consensus of schedule and chances are 1 person out of the group will not be happy, but it doesn’t mean the decision will not push through.
Traveling as a couple is a lot more different, I learned. There is no consensus; there is only compromise. Compromise in terms of not necessarily giving up what one wants but more of meeting halfway where the two will be equally given parts of the pie. There is no room for selfishness; there is no room for sulking. You both have to be happy at the end of the day.
In our case, I really wanted to go to a theme park; Chase had motion sickness. I gave up the extreme rides in Ocean Park and he agreed to go to a more child-friendly place, Disneyland.
Look at all that merchandise! I never really saw the gloves until I wrote about the trip.
Someone in front of us actually wearing one of the headbands found in the stalls.
It was a win-win situation in the end. I got to go to a theme park, Chase’s motion sickness didn’t have to suffer, and we both created a brand new memory for the trip. Although we shall not speak in details about how dizzy he was after we rode the fast Star Wars ride, Hyperspace Mountain. Oopsies.
Speaking of Star Wars, we watched a Jedi Training program for kids in the afternoon. Kids! In Jedi robes! Thankfully, there was no turned Anakin in sight, otherwise the entire park would’ve been devastated.
The howls and cheers at Darth Vader’s appearance was thunderous! Even I was excited to see a costumed Darth Vader in person; being in Disneyland makes it a bit more legit than conventions.
Darth Vader having a go at it with one of the kids.
Fun fact: She’s supposedly the Asian version of Rey in Hong Kong Disneyland. Look at her dueling Kylo Ren!
Star Wars souvenirs from the shop. Theme parks have figured out the perfect marketing plan when it comes to character memorabilia — they make sure you see everything right after you offload the ride and before you exit the attraction. You’ll never miss any of the merchandise.
Chase using two plastic gloves on one hand because I refused to use one during lunch. Look at that goofy smile on his sly face as we were about to dig in some fish and chips.
Looks familiar? My featured header for the website was taken in Disneyland. This is one of my favorite photographs in the history of my amateur photography. There’s just something about nature and its amazing colors that never fail to draw me in.
Toy Story Land is probably one of my favorite places in Hong Kong Disneyland. It’s fun, colorful and brings so many good childhood memories about the film. That being said, I’m not the only one who loves this part of the park; lines are almost always a blockbuster hit for the limited number of attractions.
Slinky! This one is right in front of the RC Racer, where riders are jutted at an almost 90° angle at its most extreme. Probably one of the best rides in the entire park, in my opinion. And yes, Chase survived it!
LESSON #4 FOR TRAVELING COUPLES: FOLLOW EACH OTHER MORE THAN YOUR SCHEDULE.
People who know me in college know that I’m almost always late for class. In reality however, I’m quite neurotic about time. I remember one of my best friends running to a date we scheduled beforehand and the first thing she told me when we met was about how much I hated waiting for people. Partially true, but not all the time. I think this was developed because of the client and event management jobs I had, where time was a sensitive topic.
But I digress.
There was a time during this trip that I almost had a panic attack because we weren’t on schedule. Yes, I can get neurotic like that. It bothers me when I should be doing something but am not doing it. Most especially, I don’t like wasting time when I paid for a trip. It always feels like I’m racing against time — or maybe I’m just really crazy like that.
Schedules during vacation are important because your time is limited, but understand that your relationship is more important than anything. Missing one bus won’t be the end of the world but unnecessarily egging on your partner could spell disaster in a snap. Always learn how to compromise and meet halfway your preferences, and things should work out fine while staying respectful towards one another. Letting 20 minutes pass because you missed the tram is relatively better than wasting 20 minutes arguing or pointing fingers. Enjoy spontaneity and enjoy each other’s company, regardless of whether or not you are meticulously following a schedule.
Here, strollers are parked instead of cars. Colorful contrasts everywhere.
Perfectly manicured landscape.
If you know this lovely family in the foreground, please let them know I accidentally took their photo and would willingly give it to them.
We visited during Christmas season so the decoration was a bit more festive than usual. Trees were laced with lights and the nighttime parade was a lot more colorful than I last remember seeing it. They even had fake snow in the form of soap foam.
The best part about an Asian theme park? Authentic Asian food. This was probably the best HK$~200 we spent on food during the trip.
LESSON #5 FOR TRAVELING COUPLES: MAKE YOUR MEMORIES COUNT.
Whether you are cynical or affectionate, I think it’s important you document significant memories you make together. Actually, even insignificant memories are fun to document; it’s always a good source of laugh and unexpectedly insightful talks.
When you’re a little too old for theme parks, you are the champion of benches. Seats are your favorite things next to water fountains and washrooms.
Chase and I get teased that we love to take selfies. But we don’t really mind. At the end of the day, we have something to look back to, and that’s a significant factor of how we can always have something better to look forward to.