Posted by Amanda
Disneyland was great! The wait to get there was excruciating. First a bit of background about this leg of the voyage. We are docked in Hong Kong for two days. We sail to Shanghai for two days. Then we stay in Shanghai for two days. Almost everyone on the ship including Noah, all of the RDs, and the Director of Student Life are flying from Hong Kong to Beijing then on to Shanghai to meet the ship. There will be about 80 people on the voyage from Hong Kong to Shanghai. I'm pretty much on duty the entire time--tonight, gangway duty tomorrow, desk duty on Saturday, nothing on Sunday!, port duty on Monday, and gangway check in on Tuesday. The bottom line to this is that I have to be on the ship by 8pm tonight and by 7:45 tomorrow night. No chance to enjoy the nightlife of Hong Kong or Shanghai.
Because almost everyone is leaving the ship, almost everyone needs their passports. Of course all the RDs have to help distribute them. Normally the purser bundles all of the passports that are for SAS trips and only independant travelers need to pick their passports up. They usually do that at their convenience from the purser. For some reason they decided that everyone should get their passports at passport distribution before getting off the ship. So until 11:30 I was stuck on the ship doing this. The thing is that because people either expected their trip leader to have their passport or are planning to get it from the purser on their own, almost no one came to get it. We sat there for practially nothing.
Finally we got off the ship. Carrie, Noah, and I sped to the subway to get to Disneyland. It takes about an hour to get there. Oh, we are docked at an amazing place--we have to walk through a mall that has welcome signs for us to get outside and the Peninsula Hotel is right across the street. This is largely due to the fact that the founder of SAS, C Y Tung, was a wealthy Hong Konger. Noah and I have spent time in Hong Kong before hitting almost all of the big things so we didn't feel guilty about going to Disneyland.
When we got to Disneyland, it was amazing. The special subway that goes to Disneyland has windows in the shape of Mickeys and the straps for holding on while the train is moving are also Mickey heads. This is the only Disney park modeled after Disneyland rather than DisneyWorld. It really felt like we were back in Anaheim. The place was very similar with just a few differences. For example, there was no statue of Walt holding Mickey's hand in front of the castle. Also, the tea cups are under a canopy which actually makes them less fun. When they get wet, they are out of commission for the entire day so it makes sense that they'd be covered. They were just less beautiful without the flower vines over them. It was also so weird to hear Alice speaking Mandarin or Cantonese during the parade. Mickey and Minnie did too during the Golden Mickey's. It was also interesting to see which characters could be played by Chinese actors and which were Westerners.
It was really magical just like it is at home. I'd say more, but I'm sure Noah will have tons to say either here or on his blog about it. Sadly, I had to rush home before the fireworks so that I could be on duty by 8pm. Noah and Carrie stayed to see the fireworks.
Tomorrow Noah heads to Beijing while I stay on the ship. For the trip to Shanghai, I've got all sorts of plans for the 75-80 on the ship. I'm calling it MVE01 (all of the SAS trips have codes of three letters and two numbers). I'll bascially be the social director for those two days. Oh, and I'm inputting grades from the recent Global Studies exam.