Summer Staycation at Disney Explorers Lodge, Hong Kong Disneyland

When we arrived, the first thing that caught my eye was this striking tree in front of the hotel.

The lobby was cavernous! High ceilings and beautiful decor that reminded me of the Polynesian Resort at Walt Disney World.

I have a thing for antique looking world maps with fun details.

I love how immersive it is – something fun to look at everywhere you turn!

Finally, we reached our room, which was really spacious by Hong Kong standards.

The essentials.

No bathtub, unfortunately, but the shower area was quite roomy, with that special shower feature that I can’t remember the name of at the moment… Rainfall shower head?

Two Queen beds! We napped on separate beds in the afternoon, but at night I wasn’t used to having all that space to myself, and crept into Edwin’s bed shortly after. XD

Can you spot the Mickey motif?

Ending with the view from our window.

Alice in Wonderland Accessories

Hello! Just wanted to share a few pictures of my Alice in Wonderland accessories. I don’t know why, but something about the aesthetic just appeals to me.

Clockwise from top left: Disney pins purchased from Taobao, White Rabbit sticker (a little gift from doing a survey at Hong Kong Disneyland), Alice Tsum Tsum from Hong Kong Disneyland, wallet from Candy Wagon (amazing little shop in Langham Place that sells clothing and accessories inspired by fairy tales), Alice earrings from Hong Kong Disneyland.

Out of all these, the wallet has definitely been the most worthwhile purchase, since I’ve been using it everyday. 🙂

Everything purchased from Taobao except for the Tsum Tsum and the socks on the bottom left, which I got from a Dais0-esque store near my place.

The little details make all the difference. ❤

These photos were on Instagram sometime back, and my collection has since grown a fair bit. Maybe I’ll take more photos in the future, showcasing the new stuff!

Shopping in Taipei: Makeup, Skincare, and Disney Haul!

Hello lovelies! Yes, I’m finally back! Edwin and I were in Singapore last week to celebrate Mother’s Day with our families. I brought my laptop along, thinking I’d get to use it in the evenings, but boy did life have other plans. I somehow managed to schedule dinner dates with old friends every night, and while it meant that there wasn’t time to blog, I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Now that it’s back to the daily grind, I can’t wait to share with you all the various purchases that we made during our Easter getaway in Taipei. Picture time!

I probably got a little carried away… this isn’t even all of it! (You’ll see more in the photos below.) It isn’t all for me though – a good chunk of these were meant as gifts, and have already found their way to the intended recipients.

Also, I apologise for the poor quality of the images. I took these with my phone, and didn’t realise how grainy they were until I saw them on the computer screen just now. I promise to work on my photography skills, and hopefully you’ll get better pictures next time!

LLang sheet masks. It’s a Korean brand I hadn’t heard of, but the packaging was just too cute to resist. How adorable is the “Roman Holiday” reference (top left)?Most of the masks have been given to friends and co-workers, and so far I’ve used the “Seaweed from Jeju” mask on myself – works okay!

For those interested, the masks retail for TWD99 (~HK$25.60/S$4.50/US$3.30) each at Cosmed. It sounds rather steep, but you can buy ten masks for just TWD350 (~HK$90.50/S$16.10/US$11.60)! Not going to bore you with more numbers, just going to say that it’s a massive discount, and a great deal!

More sheet masks, this time from The Face Shop, also a Korean beauty brand. There were so many to choose from at the store, but I just picked the five “flavours” that appealed to me the most. Some of them have also been given away, and I plan on using the “Longan” mask next.

Makeup purchased from Cosmed. Solone is a Taiwanese cosmetics brand which I was really eager to try out, mostly because they had several products that were inspired by Alice in Wonderland. To my disappointment, many of the eyeshadow and blush colours featured on the website couldn’t be found in the stores (and I went to A LOT of them!), so the only Alice-inspired thing I got was a basic black pencil eyeliner (review coming soon).

The blush and mascara are from Integrate, which is a Japanese brand, and apparently Elite Models is a French brand, which I didn’t know. You can’t really tell from the photo, but the eyelash curler is rose gold in colour, and it’s gorgeous.

I don’t have the price of the Alice eyeliner, but the prices of the other products are stated below:

Solone stick eyeshadow     TWD259 (~HK$67/S$11.90/US$8.60)
Solone brow gel                   TWD350 (~HK$90.50/S$16.10/US$11.60)
Integrate blush                    TWD298 (~HK$77.10/S$13.70/US$9.90)
Integrate mascara               TWD272 (~HK$70.40/S$12.50/US$9)
Eyelash curler                      TWD139 (~HK$36/S$6.40/US$4.60)

I’ve listed the retail prices of the Solone stick eyeshadow and the brow gel for your reference, but I actually bought them as a set, and together they cost only TWD329 (~HK$85.20/S$15.10/US$10.90)! Another insanely good deal, and more reviews to come!

Bought the May issue of Vivi magazine at the airport, and it came with a free general knowledge book and a picnic style guide!

We walked past a bookstore and thought we’d just take a peek. We ended up spending almost an hour, and almost all our cash as well! Bought the scores of our favourite musicals and Disney movies.

Biscuits for Edwin’s friends and ginger tea for his parents.

Fruit tea from Smith & Hsu! It’s a bit cheesy, but I really did fall in love with “Fallin’ in Love Again”. Some of it will be given away, as soon as I get some jars to put the tea leaves in!

And in case you were wondering when the Disney stuff was going to be featured, I saved the best for last!

There’s nail polish from The Face Shop featuring Pocahontas and Belle, two of my favourite Disney princesses. I got the Tsum Tsum tissues from a convenience store, and everything else is from (where else?) Cosmed. The Disney villains sheet masks are from Sexy Look, a Taiwanese skincare brand, and the Beauty and the Beast products are from Lovemore, also a Taiwanese brand.

Sexy Look sheet masks are available in Hong Kong as well, but I’ve only ever seen the Disney princess ones here. It’s quite unexpected and thus refreshing to see the villains being featured, and since there was a one-for-one offer (TWD299, I’m too tired to work out the rest of the math at this stage), I went ahead and got Ursula and the Evil Queen.

OMG the packaging is to die for! My Tsum Tsum plushies (from Hong Kong Disneyland) agree.

As though that wasn’t enough Disney madness, we also purchased jars of honey with Tsum Tsum packaging. The Chip and Dale pouch was a freebie from Gracegift because…

I BOUGHT TSUM TSUM SHOES!!!

*squeals with joy*

I’m not a sneaker person (give me ballet flats any day), but these were too adorable to pass up. Can’t wait to wear these babies – maybe on my next trip to Disneyland?

And… we’re done! Thanks for reading all the way, and I hope you’ve enjoyed it. There’ll be some reviews coming up, as well as one more “haul” post, because… I bought more Disney stuff in Singapore.

Ah.

Springtime in Disneyland (Part Two)

Took an unexpected trip to Disneyland last month, this time with my friend and co-worker Sonia, who recently purchased an Annual Pass to Hong Kong Disneyland. Woohoo, looks like there’ll be more trips to come!

During the previous visit, I’d managed to capture 54 of the Easter eggs on camera, and this time I was on a mission to find the rest of them. Gotta catch ’em all! (Different franchise, but the analogy still works.)

Duffy, Shellie May, and Gelatoni on Main Street.

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More of those gorgeous spring flowers.

Feels good to be home.

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Heihei and Pua in Adventureland, across the “river” from Tarzan’s Treehouse, which is currently closed for refurbishment. I suppose even the King of the Jungle has to keep up with the times.

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Baloo, King Louie, and Kaa the python in some corner of Adventureland.

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Two bears (do they have names?) by the entrance of the Mine Cars ride in Grizzly Gulch.

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Another bear chilling out close by. Are these THE three bears by any chance?

Albert the monkey in Mystic Point, flanked by what look more like Faberge eggs than Easter eggs.

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Little green aliens in Toy Story Land.

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A grumpy Lotso, also in Toy Story Land.

Howdy!

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It’s ALICE!!! Why oh why didn’t you show up while I was DisneyBounding as Alice?

Sigh, I’ll just have to make do with these photos.

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As much as I love Disney mugs (and Disney everything in general), I don’t buy them as there’s no need, not to mention no space. I’ve got a Stitch mug for home use, a Chip & Dale mug for work, and a Winnie the Pooh mug for guests. Any more than that would be excessive, but gosh, is this Scrump mug adorable or what?

Yes, another Disney afternoon tea set, this time at Corner Cafe on Main Street! The “Duffy & Friends Springtime Afternoon Tea Set” included mango and lobster salad cones, mini sandwiches (salmon and cream cheese, egg salad and cucumber), salmon spinach quiche tarts, chicken puff pastry, grilled Cajun beef skewers, tomato and parmesan tarts, a Mickey-shaped scone, Duffy and Shellie May cakes, macarons, and a tropical fruit platter.

The set cost HK$318 (~US$40.90/~S$57.10) for two persons. We didn’t want the beef skewers, and they were nice enough to replace them with more chicken puff pastries without additional charges.

Two drinks were also included. The available choices were the usual coffee, tea, soft drinks, and this seasonal special, which both of us picked. I couldn’t tell what flavour it was, only that it was way too sweet. Cute sticker though.

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While waiting in line for the Jungle Cruise.

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Stumbled upon the Mad Hatter in his sad little corner somewhere in Fantasyland. So this time I managed to find 25 more Easter eggs, bringing the grand total to 79. Not bad, I guess?

~It’s a Small World after all~

That’s it for now! Given that it’s the start of the month, I’ll probably have more energy/motivation to do a new post soon. Hoping to cover the various bits of the Taipei trip before going away again. Wish me luck!

Royal Afternoon Tea at Walt’s Cafe, Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel

After spending a glorious day at Disneyland, we headed over to Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel for an afternoon tea at Walt’s Cafe, and to take a much needed rest!

While we were on the Disney shuttle bus, I caught glimpses of the newest hotel, Disney Explorers Lodge, which is due to open at the end of the month. I’m so excited about it, and you can bet that I’ve got every intention of staying there in the near future!

Situated in the stunning Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel (I believe it’s modeled after Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa), Walt’s Cafe is similarly themed with elements of Victorian architecture, paying tribute to Walt Disney himself. The menu comprises mainly of Western dishes, with a few items from various Asian cuisines to satisfy a range of palates.

As mentioned earlier, we were there for afternoon tea, and since there were four of us, we decided to try two different sets – the regular Leisure Tea Time set, and the limited edition Beauty and the Beast themed Disney Royal Afternoon Tea (available till 28th May 2017).

Pictured here is the Royal Afternoon Tea, presented by Pandora, in case the yellow pastries haven’t already given it away. The set comprised of Boston lobster and mango salad on toast, smoked salmon and ricotta cheese sandwiches with caviar, cherry tomato and beetroot mousse on wild pork rillettes, lemon cookies, rose-flavoured strawberry mousse, and mango passion fruit mousse cakes.

As usual, I preferred the savoury elements to the sweet ones. You can’t really go wrong with classic flavour combinations. I’ve yet to meet a mini toast/sandwich that I didn’t like. The mousse + rillette combo was the most interesting, taste-wise. The little brownie base underneath the strawberry mousse was a pleasant surprise, and gave me the chocolate kick that I craved. To me, an afternoon tea isn’t really complete without chocolate.

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The Royal Afternoon Tea set also included scones (with clotted cream and jam) and what I can only describe as a Chinese-style soup, which contained Alaskan crab meat, steamed egg white, maitake mushroom, and crab roe. The soup was the only hot dish out of the lot, and we enjoyed it the most. I could definitely finish a much larger bowl of the stuff!

The scone, on the other hand, was a bit too dry, and I didn’t like the taste of the accompanying clotted cream. Loved the Mickey shape though.

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The Leisure Tea Time set was served in the classic three-tier stand. Can you spot all the not-so-hidden Mickeys?

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More scones.

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There was a different assortment of mini pastries, including a vegetable quiche tart with braised crab meat cream sauce, caviar and sour cream on dark rye pancakes, mini sausage rolls with onion marmalade and sun-dried tomatoes, poached quail egg and sauteed spinach on a filo tart with cheese sauce, a ham and cheese sandwich with mango, and a smoked salmon and cream cheese roulade with black truffle.

I do apologise for the poorly taken photo, which makes it hard to make out the various items mentioned above. In any case, they weren’t as memorable, and nothing really stood out.

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Les desserts! There were macarons, a lemon tart, Stitch cookies, a Swiss roll, a crunchy chocolate cake and a blueberry cheesecake. I wanted to fall in love with the Stitch cookies, given that Stitch is one of my all-time favourite characters, but the cookies were rock hard. 😦 The others fared better, though I didn’t taste the cheesecake, as I generally dislike cheesecake and didn’t bother trying.

I didn’t get to taste the lemon cookie as well, as we were all stuffed towards the end. I kept it in my bad (wrapped in tissue of course) with the intention of photographing it while at the park. Naturally it was later forgotten, and when I got home it was all crushed.

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The drink on the far right was honeydew green tea, which came with the regular tea set. The other two drinks were called Rosy and Fancy Dress, though I don’t know which is which! These were part of the Royal Afternoon Tea set.

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This is what one of the drinks looked like after pouring in the pink soda. Despite the champagne and martini glasses, these drinks don’t actually contain any alcohol.

Do note that the Royal Afternoon Tea has to be booked at least 48 hours in advance, and it’s advisable to make a reservation at Walt’s Cafe over the phone. The Royal Afternoon Tea is HK$558 for 2 persons, HK$488 for 2 persons if you’ve got the Magic Access Membership. The Leisure Tea Time is HK$378 for 2 persons, and Magic Access Members get a 25% discount.

Cheers, till next time!

Walt’s Cafe
Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel, Lantau Island
Tel: 3510 6000

Springtime in Disneyland

Finally got to make a trip to Disneyland with my Disney soulmate Natasha! Hopefully it’s the first of many. Can’t wait for us to hit Anaheim or Orlando someday!

Brought along our respective dates for a group DisneyBound. From left: me as Alice, Edwin as the Mad Hatter, Derek as the Caterpillar, and Natasha as the Queen of Hearts.

I’d always thought that Disneyland looks its best during the Christmas season, but the spring decorations are seriously lush!

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Colourful flowers everywhere!

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Seasonal pastries: Donald Duck and Winnie the Pooh doughnuts.

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Can we just take a moment to appreciate the beauty of these flowers?

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Yep.

Gorgeous!

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As you may have noticed from the first picture, there were Disney Easter eggs making an appearance for spring. Literal Easter eggs, strewn all over the park. There were supposedly currently over a hundred of these eggs, but I only managed to find and photograph 54 of them.

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Hiro and Baymax on Main Street.

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Mike and Sully, also on Main Street, I believe.

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Darth Vader and Stormtroopers in Tomorrowland.

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One of these is not like the others.

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Iron Man outside the Stark Expo Shop in Tomorrowland.

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BB-8, C-3PO, and R2-D2. These are the Easter eggs you’re looking for!

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Edwin and I met Chewie and R2 at the Command Post last summer, but this was the first time we met BB-8. It was adorable!

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Mad Hatter meets BB-8.

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In Fantasyland, where I went on the teacups ride for the very first time! I had avoided it as I was afraid that it’d be too dizzying, but it wasn’t as bad as I thought.

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Why so serious?

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How do you get to Wonderland?

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I might have gone a little (or more than a little) overboard with the theme, but I don’t care. This is definitely one of my favourite outfits ever!

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I was in between poses for this picture, but since Natasha and her ensemble look especially fabulous here, you guys should see it.

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Eeyore loved Edwin’s hat! Even the people behind us in the queue were in awe, haha.

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Another picture where I wasn’t ready, but it’s the only one in which all four of us are looking to the camera.

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Rocket and Groot at the entrance of Tomorrowland.

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The cutest displays in front of the castle.

Obligatory castle shot.

2017 is turning out to be a good year so far!

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Olaf chilling out (pun unintended) in front of a store display in Fantasyland.

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Kanga and Roo in Fantasyland.

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Eeyore, Pooh, and Piglet, somewhere in Fantasyland as well.

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Ugh, get it together, Dopey.

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In all my visits to Hong Kong Disneyland, I’d never seen Aurora, who’s by chance Natasha’s favourite Disney princess. What perfect timing that we got to meet her during Nat’s visit!

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Stealing pose ideas from the expert. Also, I had to change out of my heels. After about 8,000 steps on uneven terrain, I was literally feeling the pinch. Luckily I had flats to change into, and a partner willing to carry my miscellaneous stuff.

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Nick and Judy in front of City Hall.

We had a glorious afternoon tea at the Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel, and by the time we returned to the park, it was fairly dark and we only managed to catch a couple more rides before watching the fireworks show.

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Woody and Jessie at Toy Story Land. PSA: The attractions at Adventureland, Mystic Point, Grizzly Gulch, and Toy Story Land close earlier than those in Fantasyland and Tomorrowland, so make sure you plan accordingly!

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Lumiere is a ball of light. How apt.

Et c’est tout, mes amis! I’ll blog about our afternoon tea at Walt’s Cafe in the next post, and until then, au revoir!

DisneyBound Outfits: Beauty and the Beast

Mesdames et Messieurs, it is with deepest pride and greatest pleasure that we welcome you tonight. And now we invite you to relax, let us pull up a chair as the dressing room proudly presents – your outfits!”

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Three outfits? She’s the star, so pourqoui pas?

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The tie actually has little Beast faces printed all over! I’m obsessed.

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My, what a guy!

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Suddenly craving cider in a mug.

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“We tell jokes! I do tricks with my fellow candlesticks, and it’s all in perfect taste that you can bet!”

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“If it ain’t Baroque, don’t fix it.” (chuckles to self)

Mrs Potts

In terms of aesthetics, I love the original Mrs Potts so much more. There’s just something especially endearing about her design and colour scheme.

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In other versions, the feather duster is called Babette or Fifi, but I like Plumette best. Similarly, this is one of my favourite outfits of the lot. Those lashes are lush.

C’est tout! I hope that you’ve enjoyed everything – which outfit was your favourite? I haven’t watched the live-action remake yet, so no spoilers (if any). My Disney soulmate Natasha will be coming up to Hong Kong next week, so we’ll be watching it together then. And yes, it’s going to be magical, so you can expect some of that Disney magic to feature on the blog in the near future!