Dim sum with a magical Disney touch

Discussion in 'Hong Kong Disneyland and Shanghai Disneyland' started by See Post, May 2, 2010.

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    See Post New Member

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    Originally Posted By Malin

    We have seen a lot of negative discussion on Hong Kong Disneyland since its opening, and I have no doubt this will continue to be the situation in the years to come, but for today I wanted to point you all in the direction of something that the park does get right and thats in its fantastic food offerings. Take this article from Erin De Santiago who visited the Crystal Lotus Restaurant at the Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel to eat Seafood Glutinous Pancakes shaped like Mickey.

    <a href="http://www.cnngo.com/hong-kong/unique-hong-kong-dining-dim-sum-magical-disney-touch-320420" target="_blank">http://www.cnngo.com/hong-kong...h-320420</a>
     
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    Originally Posted By alexbook

    "Seafood Glutinous Pancakes"? There's gotta be a more appetizing name.
     
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    Originally Posted By tashajilek

    The mr potato head buns are hilarious!
     
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    Originally Posted By dl1956

    Does anyone else feel queasy about ordering "Three Little Pigs Barbequed Pork Buns"?
     
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    Originally Posted By tashajilek

    ^^^ Awwww, not queasy but seems wrong.
     
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    Originally Posted By dl1956

    Also brings to mind that in the original cartoon, there's a picture hanging on the wall of the pigs' house of a string of sausages, labeled "Father".
     
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    Originally Posted By tashajilek

    HAHAH thats hilarious.
     
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    Originally Posted By poohstraveler

    Just wanted to chime in since I am the one who wrote the guest piece for CNN. I'm a travel and food writer based in Asia, and a lifelong Disney fanatic who just picked up a new Worldwide Disney travel column online. I visit all the international Disney Parks at least 2x a year now and although I grew up going to DL California at least weekly, I am actually rather fond of HK Disney. Not sure about the negative talk you mention as it relates here on the boards obviously, so just providing a couple observation points based on my travels. HK is certainly smaller than the other parks, but much more cordial, really excited by "foreigners" visiting, and much more English friendly than Tokyo for example. Merchandise and seasonal events at HK are pretty amazing and most of the food puts the other parks to shame.

    In regards to the dim sum - seafood glutinous pancakes are popular Cantonese dim sum items, nothing special that Disney came up with name wise. The restaurant that serves these in the HK Disney Hotel is an authentic and pretty high end Chinese place, featuring delicacies like Peking duck (some of the best I've had here in Asia actually). The term glutinous refers to a type of rice flour here, often used to make sticky rice dishes and desserts. It's actually very good. And the three little pig bbq pork buns are just the very popular char siu buns found on dim sum menus - it is a sweet bbq pork meat filling inside. These buns just have the delicate detail work making them look like a small pig. And trust me, after the food I just ate tonite at a local night market, this dim sum is incredibly tame. Many Asian cultures are notorious for using every last bit of an animal like the pig or chicken, and I reached my quota of Andrew Zimmern foods today. LOL.

    Malin, thanks for posting a link to my guest piece here.
     
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    Originally Posted By SuperDry

    <<< Not sure about the negative talk you mention as it relates here on the boards >>>

    It's not just "here on the boards." Attendance has dramatically underperformed projections, and that's even after the first-year "ballot stuffing" that went on with tons of free tickets being given to CM friends and family and re-defining "year" to mean more than 12 months.

    As far as I know, I was the very first guest to ever buy a HKDL admission ticket from the HKDL Hotel, first thing in the morning on the day after Opening Day (that is, the first day that the park was open to regular paying guests). Even at that point, when I tried to buy a ticket for that day and the next, the CM advised me that "maybe it would be better if I waited" on that second day's ticket, as I may find that there's not a lot to do in the park.

    I'm glad that you enjoy HKDL, and wouldn't want to say anything to change your personal opinion. And of course it's more accommodating to English speakers than Tokyo, since English is an official language of Hong Kong. But I think that the notion that the idea that HKDL has problems is just a message board phenomenon is way off.
     
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    Originally Posted By tashajilek

    " the CM advised me that "maybe it would be better if I waited" on that second day's ticket, as I may find that there's not a lot to do in the park."

    Wow talk about being honest.

    I would love to visit HKDL when Mystic point opens. Whats your opinion on HKDL SuperDry?
     
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    Originally Posted By poohstraveler

    Superdry - I was not trying to infer the negative talk is just limited to the boards, my point was I am not obviously aware of the aspect or content of the negative discussions, since I had not seen any posts. I assumed the reference was to the boards, based on the use of the word "discussion" in the original comment. I was merely pointing out my lack of familiarity with the boards so I am sorry if I said something to offend you. I am definitely aware of the problems with projected attendance, although I will say the last couple times I went, the park was relatively packed (especially during the Halloween seasonal events). We could not get hotel reservations multiple times last year either as they were completely booked. It's interesting you bring up the point about English as an official language of HK, many times you certainly wouldn't realize it though - I've run into more issues with trying to converse with taxi drivers and restaurants (especially outside the tourist areas) then I do here in Taiwan often times. I just find HK and Tokyo to be in complete contrast with the ability (and perhaps willingness) to become multi-lingual friendly. I became very frustrated with TDR over the Xmas holiday, but going back again next month & will see how it is then during a less crowded time.
     
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    Originally Posted By SuperDry

    <<< Wow talk about being honest. >>>

    Isn't it? It was interesting to be there at opening. The CMs weren't fully in the swing of things as far as the "Disney Difference" and all of that. That CM was just being very direct with me (as people tend to be in Hong Kong, especially as compared to Tokyo). I already knew that I wanted to go the second day, as I went the first day without a camera to just enjoy it normally, and planned up front to go back the second day with a camera.

    <<< I would love to visit HKDL when Mystic point opens. >>>

    I can't wait! Mystic Manor looks like it's going to be outstanding.

    <<< Whats your opinion on HKDL SuperDry? >>>

    Too bad the posts in this section from 2005 have aged off, as I talked about my Opening Day trip extensively back then. To sum it up, I think that what is there is done really well (for the most part), but there just isn't enough to do. Keep in mind that on opening day, there was no Autopia, no Stitch Encounter, and no It's a Small World. Subtracting those from the current roster of attractions, and I though there was something like 1 E-ticket (Space Mountain) in the whole place.

    Some would argue Jungle Cruise should be included, and perhaps they're right, but the major feature of the attraction - the skipper jokes - were based on a terrible script and just weren't funny. Speaking of English in HKDL, I noticed that the JC jokes were all of the simple, direct type, and didn't use any double-meanings or puns that make the JC in the US so funny. I suppose this may have been done on purpose since many of the HKDL guests that choose the English JC speak English as a second language. Perhaps the Cantonese and Mandarin scripts use humor closer to the US English versions, which is often of the type that only a native speaker would understand.

    Most disappointing was how much the park had been shrunk since the joint announcement in 1998 or so between Disney and the HK SAR government. In that presentation, they had several more E-ticket type rides that were to be included on Opening Day. Had they stuck with the original plans, I don't think they'd have the problems they've had over the past 5 years. If I had to, my guess as to what happened between 1998 and 2005 to cause the plans to be downsized so much is DCA: that turned out so differently than they had projected that I think Disney got spooked, or at the very least simply didn't have the money that had been projected to come in from DCA.

    In any event, HKDL developed a reputation of being a half-day park, or at least a park without a whole lot to do. And that amplified itself, as lower-than-expected attendance meant that most rides were walk-ons all day long, which meant you could rip through all the attractions in no time and run out of new things to do. And a bad reputation like that at the opening of a park is a gift that keeps on giving, as we've seen in the years since.

    I hope that in a few years, if they continue with the special seasonal events to draw back the locals and build out the park with the 3 new lands, it will be able to stand on its own.
     
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    Originally Posted By tashajilek

    Thanks for sharing all of that.

    " To sum it up, I think that what is there is done really well (for the most part), but there just isn't enough to do. Keep in mind that on opening day,"

    Well at least most of everything they have is quality, i would rather go on one good ride then 5 terrible rides.

    "many of the HKDL guests that choose the English JC speak English as a second language"

    Thats great to know that they have an english option on the jc. I like the idea that i would be able to go to HKD and not have to hard of a time communicating.

    "DCA: that turned out so differently than they had projected that I think Disney got spooked, or at the very least simply didn't have the money that had been projected to come in from DCA."

    DAMN DCA AGAIN!!! lol. If they would have put quality into DCA there wouldnt have had a problem. What a shame that DCA affected the outcome of HKDL. Now that they are expanding with the new lands, was this what the original plan was to be?
     
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    Originally Posted By SuperDry

    <<< I was merely pointing out my lack of familiarity with the boards so I am sorry if I said something to offend you. >>>

    No problem, and no offense taken. I just wanted to set the record straight in case someone misinterpreted what you said :)

    <<< It's interesting you bring up the point about English as an official language of HK, many times you certainly wouldn't realize it though - I've run into more issues with trying to converse with taxi drivers and restaurants (especially outside the tourist areas) then I do here in Taiwan often times. I just find HK and Tokyo to be in complete contrast with the ability (and perhaps willingness) to become multi-lingual friendly. I became very frustrated with TDR over the Xmas holiday, but going back again next month & will see how it is then during a less crowded time. >>>

    You'll find lack of English ability in Hong Kong among recent immigrants from mainland China (which might be disproportionately employed in lower-level service jobs) and the elderly, but among young adults and middle-aged people that grew up in Hong Kong, almost all of them will not only have some English ability, but will be more or less fluent in English as a second language. Things are totally different in Tokyo, where unless someone lived abroad, works in international business, or took up English speaking as a hobby of sorts, they're unlikely to be able to speak English very well.
     
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    Originally Posted By SuperDry

    <<< DAMN DCA AGAIN!!! lol. If they would have put quality into DCA there wouldnt have had a problem. What a shame that DCA affected the outcome of HKDL. >>>

    Just to be extra clear, the DCA comment is just my educated guess - I have no direct knowledge that DCA was the cause of the underinvestment in HKDL. But here's why I think that it was:

    I'm going to assume that Disney entered into good-faith negotiations with the HK SAR gov't, and that the announcements made in the 1998 press conference were also done in good faith. I also assume that since the park opened in Sept 2005, that decisions as to overall layout of the park, including what major attractions were going to be put in, were made no later than 2003.

    Based on those assumptions, something happened between 1998 and 2003 that caused Disney to make major changes to the plans for HKDL, and I believe that the first-approximation motivation for those changes was to reduce cost. As to the underlying causes, who knows for sure, but I think that DCA is a good a guess as any other. It fits perfectly with the circumstances. There may be other factors that also fit perfectly that I'm not considering.

    <<< Now that they are expanding with the new lands, was this what the original plan was to be? >>>

    From what I understand, no. The current three-land expansion is more or less "all new" planning that was done recently, and is not just completing what was originally announced or planned in 1998. One obvious sign of this is that the first new land to be completed, Toy Story Land, is based completely on a Pixar movie franchise. Disney didn't buy Pixar, and John Lasseter didn't become involved with WDI, until after HKDL opened.
     

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