Hong Kong celebrates a decade of Disney
Hong Kong Disneyland turns 10 with new food items, fireworks show and a musical for the young at heart
Hong Kong Disneyland turns a decade old and the theme park is celebrating in a big way.
A new musical, revamped fireworks show, Disney character-shaped dim sum, themed hotel rooms and more are on the cards.
For example, themed rooms that come with a door sticker, window sticker, bed runner, greeting card, slippers and balloons are available at an additional charge of HK$1,099 (S$200).
The celebrations, which started last week, will go on for the whole of next year, with new attractions and merchandise added over the months.
M takes a walk inside the "happiest place on Earth".
MICKEY AND THE WONDROUS BOOK
This 28-minute musical combines seven classic Disney tales including The Little Mermaid, Frozen and The Jungle Book, with Mickey and Goofy leading guests at the turn of every page.
The idea is refreshing and the execution is flawless as one story segues to the next seamlessly.
With 70 performers from different countries such as China, Australia, the US and more, the live show - which features the resort's 10th anniversary theme song, Happily Ever After - will entertain both adults and kids.
It also boasts rearranged classical musical scores under a 63-piece orchestra, 23 original costume designs and a crew of 200 cast members.
DISNEY IN THE STARS FIREWORKS SHOW
By night, the popular Sleeping Beauty Castle comes alive with new video animation projected on its facade.
New Disney characters such as Joy and Sadness from Inside Out and Hiro and Baymax from Big Hero Six are featured alongside classic Disney characters.
The light show, choreographed to match the impressive fireworks, is bound to elicit "oohs and aahs" from the audience.
FAIRY TALE FOREST
Starting next month, guests can explore the enchanting Fairy Tale Forest where they'll encounter oversized mushrooms and clovers.
They'll also relive iconic scenes from five of Disney's princess stories, including Cinderella, Beauty And The Beast and Tangled.
The intricately designed maze took two years to build.
Hong Kong Disneyland is adding 10th anniversary-themed dishes and beverages to the menu.
Guests can indulge in dim sum shaped like cute robot Baymax, Minnie Mouse, Olaf the snowman and more at fine dining Chinese restaurant Crystal Lotus in Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel, or order the 10th anniversary high tea tier set comprising Mickey Mouse-shaped cookies and strawberry rolls at Main Street Corner Cafe in the park.
The goodies are almost too cute to be eaten and make for yummy Instagram pictures.
Hong Kong Disneyland executive chef Rudolf Muller said: "We come from an entertainment company, so that gives us inspiration to do a lot with the food. We always see what creative new dishes we can do with all these characters."
Mr Muller, who has over 40 years' experience as a chef, added: "Now we have the 10th anniversary and we have all these new (Disney) movies, such as Star Wars: The Force Awakens, coming up. So we are cracking our heads on what themed desserts or dishes we can make."
Masterchef Asia S'pore contestants back for anniversary
They have visited Hong Kong Disneyland twice within five months.
But for MasterChef Asia's Singapore contestants, Mr Lennard Yeong and Mr Woo Wai Leong, the circumstances surrounding both trips were worlds apart.
They were first there in June to film the ninth episode of the reality cooking show.
MasterChef Asia is showing on Thursdays at 9pm on Lifetime (StarHub TV Ch 514).
The Hong Kong Disneyland episode aired on Oct 29.
The group had been tasked to replicate Chef Rudolf Muller's award-winning dishes of roasted beef and veal tenderloin, salmon and cod timbale, five-spice veal and beef short ribs and slow-roasted lamb loin as part of their first Pressure Test challenge.
Last week, the duo was back but as invited guests of Hong Kong Disneyland's 10th anniversary celebrations.
Mr Yeong, 27, told M: "It's a bit nostalgic but it feels a lot better to be back as a 'normal' person and not a contestant.
"We have the freedom to use our phones and buy whatever we want, which we didn't have the luxury (of doing) the last time we were here."
The former engineer added: "Seeing Chef Rudolf when he isn't judging us... It's nice."
Former lawyer Woo, 27, said: "To set the context, we didn't have our phones and we didn't have money. We were being chaperoned around and we had to be accounted for at all times.
"So it's great being back here for the celebrations.
"We've seen the fireworks show once in June. Seeing it again with the new version (of the castle projection) is actually quite nice."
The pair joined Malaysian contestants Marcus Low, 24, and Jasbir Kaur, 54, as well as Filipino Lica Ibarra, 29, for the celebrations.
At a media conference in Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel last Tuesday, Mr Yeong and Mr Woo made Baymax dim sum at a culinary workshop.
Mr Woo said: "I do bake a bit of bread and pastries at home but something like dim sum is a lot more intricate.
"It takes years and years of experience and practice to get the sort of confidence and flow to your work."
Mr Yeong added: "I don't work with dough very often. If I do, it's usually pasta. However, I think we learnt quite a lot from the chef within a very short amount of time."
When asked to rate their own dim sum, a humble Woo said "three out of 10" while Mr Yeong laughed and gave himself a five.
Now that they are on television, the homegrown talents get recognised from time to time in Singapore.
Mr Woo, who is still in the competition as one of the final four, said: "I work in a bar now so I do get people who come and say hi and show their support."
Mr Yeong, who is working part-time at the same place as Mr Woo and has over 37,000 followers on his Instagram account, said: "I was eliminated in a recent episode and someone messaged me and told me she cried.
"Usually I just ignore such messages but she was obviously very upset, so I replied, 'It's just a show, it's fine, I love what I am doing now, so don't worry about me'."
He added in jest: "Don't cry for me."