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Old 28 Apr 19, 03:02 PM  
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NatsyNoo
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Completing the Six Castle Challenge (Hong Kong, Shanghai & Tokyo) / Sept-Oct 2019 / Pretrippie

I’m baaaaack!

But this time in a separate section of the Dibb, because this adventure is a bit different to those we have taken before…in fact, a little bit in the opposite direction of the globe!

Whilst counting down the days to our amazing Disneyland and Panama Canal Disney Cruise last year, Tim Tracker rather annoyingly visited Tokyo Disney Resort, and ThemeParkWorldwide also annoyingly visited Hong Kong Disneyland, Shanghai Disneyland and Tokyo Disney Resort. I say annoyingly, because this was supposed to be a cheap holiday year, and we were suddenly, hooked and obsessed – we had to complete this trip, and soon.

So that was suddenly set in stone – we were off to the Far East for the first time.

Our amazing cruise, and then Christmas, came and went, flights were booked in the sale, and the planning really commenced.

I have pretty much soothed myself through the winter months with the knowledge of this impending trip, and we’re pretty much there.

So given that this finding information on this type of trip is quite difficult, and I’ve had a few requests, I thought I’d start a pre-trippie!

This edition will just be our headline plans, and over time, I’ll add details of our Disney and non-Disney days!
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Old 28 Apr 19, 03:04 PM  
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Travel

So firstly, travel…

We fly to Hong Kong on Friday 20th September with Cathay Pacific, and we land at 7am on Saturday 21st September.



We will be in Hong Kong for 3 nights before heading over to Shanghai for 4 nights, and then Tokyo for 6 nights, with a final night at Haneda airport before our 6.30am flight home, with Cathay Pacific, on Saturday 5th October.

Our internal flights will be with China Eastern. I suspect our plane will look a lot like this…



But wouldn’t it be awesome if it looked like this!





We will be using taxis to get to and from Hong Kong & Shanghai airports, but in Tokyo, we’ll use the Limousine Bus as taxis are insanely expensive.

When visiting the cities, we’ll take the subway/metro, but might revert to a couple of taxis in Hong Kong & Shanghai if we want or need to.
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Old 28 Apr 19, 03:10 PM  
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We’ll start our trip at Gatwick with a freebie night at the Hilton – we don’t fly Virgin frequently/committedly enough to build up the miles for flights, so I converted some into Hilton Honours points, and booked that way.

In Hong Kong, we’ve decided to splurge on 3 nights at the Disneyland Hotel (it wasn’t much more than the Explorers, which was our original choice, and so we decided to go for it).





When in Shanghai, it had to be the Toy Story Hotel, which just happens to be their budget’ offering (at £150 per night though, it’s hardly budget)





In Tokyo Disney, while not booked yet, it’s our intent to stay at the Hilton or Sheraton Tokyo Bay. Tokyo Disney hotels are crazy expensive, and we just can’t justify it. The Hilton and Sheraton are both considered ‘official’ Disney hotels, and while not offering all the perks, do have some, plus are pretty close to the parks. However, I just know I can get them cheaper than their current advertised rates, so am biding my time before booking.





Finally, since our flight home on 5th October is at 6.30am, I have booked us a night at the Keikyu Ex Inn at Haneda (airport) for our final night, after our second day exploring Tokyo, so we’re nice and close to the terminal.
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Old 28 Apr 19, 03:25 PM  
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High Level Plans

I’ll delve into each day in more detail through this pre-trippie, but at a high level, we will be spending:

2 days in Hong Kong – one will be the day we arrive so mostly covering Central, the second will be Big Buddha/Lantau and Kowloon

1.5 days in Hong Kong Disneyland (the other ½ will be travel to Shanghai, and possibly Disney Dim Sum at the Crystal Lotus restaurant)

The castle is undergoing some renovations and as at now they haven't announced when it will be open.

This is what it did look like:



This is what it will look like:



This is what it currently looks like



So keeping our fingers crossed on that one...mostly excited about Iron Man Experience, Ant Man and the Wasp: Nano Battle, Big Grizzly Mountain, meeting Cookie (Duffy's pal exclusive to Hong Kong), and Mystic Manor

Ooh, and snacks

1 day in Shanghai - all the sights!

2 days in Shanghai Disneyland



Mostly excited about Tron, Pirates of the Caribbean, Voyage to Crystal Grotto, and Buzz Lightyear Planet Rescue.

Ooh, and snacks

2 days in Tokyo - all the sights (or lots of them anyway)!

2 days in Tokyo Disneyland



Mostly excited about Enchanted Tiki Room with Stitch, It's a Small World, Pooh's Hunny Hunt, and Monsters Inc Ride & Go Seek.

Ooh, and snacks

2 days in Tokyo Disney Sea



Mostly excited about Toy Story Midway Mania, Tower of Terror, Aquatopia, Raging Spirits, and Indiana Jones.

Ooh, and snacks ... spot the theme there!

And souvenier shopping of course...have you seen the merch in the Asian parks?!

But Journey to the Center of the Earth will be closed

Some people will think we’re crazy going all that way and not seeing more of the countries themselves, but for us, this trip is about Disney and completing the 6 Castle Challenge (hence the name of this pretrippie/trippie), and experiencing some of those new cultures. We will squeeze as much as we can out of our city days, but if we like what we see and experience, we can always go back. We have already said that we’ll likely go back to Tokyo because there is so much more to see there, e.g. Osaka, Kyoto. This trip will certainly give us a taste though.
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Old 28 Apr 19, 05:04 PM  
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So happy you are doing a pre trippie Natalie, can't wait to read all about it. Your plans sound great. I'm sure it will be a trip you'll always remember.
Like I said to you on Instagram, we are hoping to go to Tokyo in 2021, not sure if it'll be feasible to combine Shanghai with it yet... I have lots of planning and questions first!
We went to HongKong in October 2017 and it was brilliant. If you have any questions let me know. Happy planning.
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Old 28 Apr 19, 07:33 PM  
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Originally Posted by nickyjw View Post
So happy you are doing a pre trippie Natalie, can't wait to read all about it. Your plans sound great. I'm sure it will be a trip you'll always remember.
Like I said to you on Instagram, we are hoping to go to Tokyo in 2021, not sure if it'll be feasible to combine Shanghai with it yet... I have lots of planning and questions first!
We went to HongKong in October 2017 and it was brilliant. If you have any questions let me know. Happy planning.
Thank you! I know it'll be one to remember for sure, feels a lot more real now having those hotels booked!

Fire away any questions, I've spent a lot of time planning so happy to share the knowledge

I remember the photos of your Hong Kong trip and you guys being family of the day, what an amazing experience!
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Old 17 May 19, 03:03 PM  
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Thankyou... We loved HongKong and being family of the day made it!
Is there a limited amount of time you can stay in Shanghai over visa's? I've only read snippets and not looked into it properly. Am I right in thinking you have to arrive and leave from different places?
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Old 17 May 19, 03:46 PM  
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Sounds exciting. Have been watching a vlog on YouTube where L & R dreaming stayed at the Toy Story hotel looks fun especially the lifts.
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Old 17 May 19, 04:47 PM  
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Um how did I not know you had started this?

The parks really are amazing each so unique but so familiar!

Although I loved the Shanghai Disneyland hotel I do wish I had stayed at the Toy Story Hotel sometime - I looks like the cutest hotel ever!
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Old 19 May 19, 12:39 PM  
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NatsyNoo
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Originally Posted by nickyjw View Post
Thankyou... We loved HongKong and being family of the day made it!
Is there a limited amount of time you can stay in Shanghai over visa's? I've only read snippets and not looked into it properly. Am I right in thinking you have to arrive and leave from different places?
I bet!
The Chinese Transit Visa is 144 hours and you have to fly into China from one airport and out of China to another different airport, e.g. London > HK > Shanghai > Tokyo > London
Going from Shanghai to Beijing, for example, would need to still be within the 144 hours
Hope that helps!

Originally Posted by disneypars View Post
Sounds exciting. Have been watching a vlog on YouTube where L & R dreaming stayed at the Toy Story hotel looks fun especially the lifts.
Those videos were fab and made us even more excited!
Oooooh lobby!
Thanks for reading!

Originally Posted by MissVincent View Post
Um how did I not know you had started this?

The parks really are amazing each so unique but so familiar!

Although I loved the Shanghai Disneyland hotel I do wish I had stayed at the Toy Story Hotel sometime - I looks like the cutest hotel ever!
Haha it's pretty new to be fair and you have been on holiday yourself!
We're so excited!
Yes Shanghai Disneyland Hotel was never an option, it had to be Toy Story, as I have wanted to stay there since it opened!
Hong Disneyland Hotel will give us that fix and Matt's first time staying in a 'Disneyland Hotel'!
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