For the winners of Jet Set Go it was a dream come true. A visit to Hong Kong Disneyland to meet their favourites — Mickey, Minnie, Goofy and many more.
It's a whole new world and beautiful too. You step into the world where Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and Simba inhabit, and it is sheer enchantment. Heart warming stories we've grown up reading/hearing, fairytales brought to life — it is the magical land of Disney in Hong Kong. Peopled by the irrepressible Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald, Pluto and the gang who touch basic human emotions and provide entertainment that's uplifting.
I just can't wait to be king, sings the Lion King prince as he prances about in a whirl of action, dance, great lighting, magically appearing stage and superb live singing to boot. The infectious rhythm, ballerinas, and acrobats and the high voltage energy soon begin to cast a spell on the audience during the half an hour show “Festival of Lion King”, based on the animation classic. The Scar-Simba encounter and Hakuna Matata, a la Broadway show, pump up the fun quotient.
Time for magic
Time was nearing 4 p.m. The air was crackling with excitement. The Mickey Waterworks parade was about to start. The massive throng of kids and parents lining the route of the parade hoot and holler as Mickey and company playfully squirt water on them. Dubbed splashtacular extravaganza, cameras by the hundreds go flick-click as the fans try to capture the magical moment as Tinker Bell leans close and blows kisses your way. The resort staff in fluorescent rainwear gently get the squealing kids behind the barricade even as they alert you to take care of your camera from the splashy fun!
“It's a dream come true,” says Arzit Singh, a postgrad student from Chandigarh. He's here in Hong Kong with his kid sister Avnee and their parents. Avnee is one of the 37 winners of Jet Set Go contest held recently by Disney channel. All the 37 winners and their families together with a media group of 15 chalk up a grand total of 175 of us on the two day trip to Hong Kong Disneyland.
The 3-D show, Philhar Magic of Mickey, is a huge hit. Donald Duck and the Mermaid cosy up and popular songs from Disney hits like Aladdin are highlighted. Sparkling gems like rubies come wham-bham zooming on to you and you just stretch out your hand to grab them! An array of mouth-watering pastries zip across from the screen right up to your mouth, backed by appetising aroma as well! A pleasurable assault on the senses and everyone in the audience goes ooh-ahh! In a dramatic finale, Donald Duck whistles past over you and crashes into the back wall with his leg dangling from it. What is make-believe, what is reality, the lines blur, honestly you don't care.
Normally a bunch of cynical individuals, including self, even the media friends from India were keeping rhythm and singing and swaying to the favourite tunes. Veena Pradeep, a fellow journalist, admitted, “The lovable Goofy and Donald bring out the kid in you.”
You come away from the fairytale magic wondering, “Why do we have to grow up?” Oh, if only we could be kids always…if wishes were horses beggars would fly. To Disneyland again perhaps!
ARSHAN SHAIKH, Std VI, St.Xavier's School, Ahmedabad.
I won the Disney contest twice over. The first time I was chosen winner we were turned down as we, that is my parents, didn't have a passport. Dad is in Government service and he applied for one. The second time when I made it again to the top, we were lucky and here I am, hearing impairment and all.
DEVAKRITA DORA, LKG, Indian School, Dehra Dun
At four, I am the youngest winner of the contest. I enjoyed the Parachute Jump the best although my parents were afraid!
KEITH ALMEIDA, Std II, Podar School, Mumbai
It was a birthday treat for me as I turned seven on July 8 and here I am with mom. I liked the Space Mountain ride and went on it twice, you know. Awesome.
ADISRI SWAIN,V, DPS, Kolkata
I am here with my parents because I am one of the 37 winners of the contest. I am missing three exams because of the trip but my Principal has agreed to let me take the exams on my return.
Last year I came here with my parents as I had won a similar contest conducted by a different company of course and so this is the second time I am enjoying Hong Kong Disneyland
DIVIT MAHIPAL, II, Aryan School, Hisar, Haryana
My kid brother Pragun studying in UKG and my parents are happy to be in Disney world. And so am I, it's great fun.
Disney Channel India ran a summer campaign for over a month beginning on April 29. A record six million entries came in. The competition open for kids below 15 only required them to watch the channel for a day and make missed calls that fetched them points by the hundreds. For instance Keith Almeida, one of the winners, said he'd made about 30 missed calls on the day he won having totted up 7300 points. There was a winner every day. The best part was beside the participant, the sibling and parents too got the grand prize of an all-expenses paid trip to Hong Kong Disneyland. Disney Channel together with Jet Airways and Hong Kong Disneyland took about 175 of the winners with their families from Mumbai to Hong Kong. Thirty of the 37 winners hailed from 22 different cities including disparate places like Chandrapur, Hisar and Dehra Dun, said Bikram Duggal, director, Marketing, Disney Network.
(The writer was in Hong Kong in Disneyland at the invitation of Disney Channel India)