Gung Hei Fat Choi! Xin Nian Kuai Le! Happy New Year of the Horse from Hong Kong Disneyland.
I'm lucky enough to visit Hong Kong Disneyland at least once a month. So when I go, I like to capture the details that are different each time. Chinese New Year is the perfect time to do this as there are many added details, decorations and even special kinds of flowers.
When it comes to documenting these visits, I like to record as much detail as I can … and this is where Disney Cast Members are fantastic. I noticed that the Mickey face out the front of Hong Kong Disneyland had different flowers to last time I visited. I wondered if the flowers had any special meaning for Chinese New Year. So after I'd taken my photos, I visited Guest Relations, showed them the photos and asked them what kinds of flowers had been used.
Disney Cast Members are wonderful all around the world and even though the woman I spoke to didn't know the answer, she said she would contact the Horticulture Department and get back to me. Later that same afternoon she called me. She let me know that the yellow flowers are chrysanthemums. With a little help from Google, I was able to find out that chrysanthemums are used as a symbol of good luck, long life and life of ease.
There were also some flowers in baskets all along Main Street. I climbed up onto a chair to get the flowers with the Castle in the background. I took four photos, climbing on different chairs (I ignore the strange looks I get) before I was happy with the first shot below. As it is Chinese New Year, Hong Kong Disneyland is a lot more crowded than usual, so I wanted to try to get a photo without too many people in the background (see the second photo).
The Guest Relations building was decorated with beautiful banners. Once again, I went inside and asked a Cast Member about the meaning of the characters. The first banner means “healthy”, the second one means “always smiling” (and note the Mickey!),
the third one means “energetically like a horse or dragon” and the last one means “always happy”.
Finally there is the opportunity to capture your favorite character all dressed up for Chinese New Year. As I mentioned earlier, crowd levels are really high at this time of year and I didn't want to line up for over an hour for a photo. I have discovered that if I can position myself behind the line of people (and at Hong Kong Disneyland the lines always have ropes), but towards the front of the queue (just behind the Disney photographer) I can snap some really good photos. Check out Duffy and Donald in their finery.