Friday, 26 December 2014

Day 1: Bobbidi Bibbidi Boutique

We arrived at Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel at 7.20am on the same day we departed from Singapore!
I was surprised and relieved that the hotel granted our wish for a super early check-in at 7.30am. The usual check-in time is 3pm and an early check-in is 2pm. I had emailed the hotel about my concern about our early arrival and was asked to check with the hotel upon arrival.

The Deluxe room was as quaint and beautiful as it was 4 years ago.
The comfortable beds made everyone reluctant to leave them, but Baby and I had an appointment at Bobbidi Bibbidi Boutique at 9am.

We were possibly the first customers at the boutique.
Bobbidi Bibbidi Boutique caters to girls from 3 to 12 years old. It dresses the girls up as princesses of their choices and allows them to go to Disneyland in a princess outfit and feel like a princess all day! It also includes a photography session which entitles you a picture out of the many pictures they have taken.
There were two packages, Crown and Castle packages.
The difference between these two packages is the absence of a princess costume in the Crown package. It is probably for girls who bring along their own costumes.
I had booked the Castle Package at HKD 1580 at the earliest timing so that we could go to Disneyland at 10am. Well, that was my original plan anyway.
I requested to try on a few princess costumes to see which one was the most suitable and comfortable, as advised by a mummy blogger.
She said,"No."

Many girls had chosen Belle for its comfort and beauty, but it didn't delight my princess.

She was eager to try on the Cinderella costume, but she thought it was a no-go.

She liked the Aurora costume the best.

I was happy that we found something she liked, but we spent the next 30 minutes finding the right Aurora fit.
It turned out that the princess costumes were made differently even though the sizes were the same. Baby noticed that at least 3 sets had necklines that were too low for comfort and one that had awkward-looking off-shoulder.
The Fairy Godmother in-training was a nice young lady by the name of Wini.
She was the most patient service personnel I have ever met! Despite our repeated requests of changing the costume, not once did she show signs of impatience or displeasure! By the third time I asked for a change, I was getting very paiseh. I actually asked Baby to settle for the one with a low neckline. Thankfully, Baby refused to, citing that her nipples would show!
Through it all, Wini demonstrated the best customer service I have ever experienced. Penning this post reminds me that I need to write in to compliment her service!
Making up and dressing up took another one hour!

The dressing room

Finally done!
There were at least 5 Elsas in the dressing room!
The photography session that took about 20 minutes

This is Wini!
By the time we left Bobbidi Bibbidi Boutique, it was 12pm! Other mother bloggers recommended a 1 to 1.5 hours allowance for the session, but ours took 3 hours!
Overall, the experience at the Boutique was fantastic. The only thing that marred the otherwise marvellous experience was the pushy aftersales for the prints after the photography session. I had read that they were not pushy and it was alright to just have the entitled picture that comes with the package, but that was not my experience at all. The lady who helped out at the photography section kept asking me to buy the whole photography package, which cost about HKD2388 if I remember correctly. She would not let me go when I just wanted my entitled picture. I was not impressed with the prints and was not keen on it, but Baby was delighted with her glamour pictures naturally and wanted a few more prints. We finally bought one more print at HKD168.
Would I recommend Bobbidi Bibbidi Boutique?
Hell yes! The magic lies in the impeccable service by the Fairy Godmothers-in-training and how your little princess feels like a real princess at Disneyland for the whole day!

The Best Budget Carrier: Scoot!

The not-so-great experience I had with Jetstar had deterred me from booking flights with budget airlines for my subsequent flights. The too-upright seats, the narrow leg room even for the petite, short-legged me and the awful chicken rice I had to pay $10 for were not a great start and end for a holiday. However, I had heard and read about good reviews on Scoot, so I decided to give it a try.

Scoot did not disappoint indeed!

I booked 'FlyEatBag' for the trip to Hong Kong and upgraded us to ScootBiz on the return trip as the upgrade cost just another $50 for four of us. The next day when I logged in to check the prices of the air tickets, the prices had changed and the upgrade price was a lot more per person.
I was prompted to choose the meals prior to the flight.

Coco had beef stew, a wonderful meal with unforgettable aroma.
She liked it so much that she had the same meal on her return flight.

William and I settled for soy sauce chicken rice. Not fantastic but edible. We are no fans of beef, pasta or thai curry with brown rice so this was the most comfortable option for us.

Baby chose marcaroni, but she was too soundly asleep for the meal.
Coco ate it instead, but commented that it was so oily that it gave her a queasy stomach.
So halfway through our trip, I amended Baby's return flight meal to croissant with ham and cheese.
'FlyBagEat' put us in the Economy Class seats. I was happy that the seats were comfortable with ample leg room. I didn't think the seats were any different from the ones in non-budget carriers.
ScootBiz seats had even bigger legroom that  I totally didn't need! I did a quick count and concluded that there were only 32 seats in the Business Class and we had 2 toilets to ourselves.
The best thing about ScootBiz was the luxury of priority boarding.
On return, there was a very long queue for Scoot Economy Class.
I suddenly remembered that we were on Business Class so I went in search of the counter for priority boarding. And there was no queue! Wow, wow, wow!
However, I must say that with everything in ('FlyBagEat' (to) and 'ScootBiz' (return) tickets, seat selection cost and insurance), Scoot was not the cheapest. It came up to about $2200 for 3 adults and 1 child for a Hong Kong trip.
But for all the great experience I had with Scoot, I will definitely check Scoot out for my next trip, or subsequent trips.

Hong Kong Again!

I went away from my blog for a while to feast and make merry whilst the holidays lasted.

I don't travel much. At best, I take a plane once a year. And I almost always do that in June, or latest, September.

December is a cold month for many countries, so I stay home most of the time.

However, given that the last time I boarded a plane was 1.5 years ago, my eyes started to turn green at the sprouting of Florida, Manhattan pictures on Facebook, my ears started to itch with envy when my neighbour mentioned that they were travelling to London and Paris. My ears continued to itch big time when Baby's ballet classmate's mother said that she would be going Hong Kong.

I decided that I would also be going on a plane, in December!

The destination was quickly decided: Hong Kong.

Hong Kong had been on my mind ever since my first trip there 4 years ago. Besides the food that had been on my mind for the past 4 years, I felt that Baby was old enough to appreciate Disneyland a lot more than when she was four and a half.

Baby had whipped out a photo of herself and Coco with Pinocchio at Paris Disneyland during a Show and Tell at school.

The moment the children saw the picture, they shouted in unison,"Hong Kong Disneyland!"

It took Baby by surprise. She clarified,"Paris Disneyland!" and surprised the rest of the children back!

When she came home and told me about what happened in school, my first thought was 'My poor Baby!', so taking Baby to Hong Kong Disneyland had been at the back of my mind since then.

I booked the air tickets and hotels on a Sunday and we flew on the following Thursday morning at 1.55am!