Hong Kong is my winter city. Each time I visit it’s been in December or January and whilst this does mean shorter amounts of daylight it means I get to experience Christmas here. With Christmas comes decorations, decorated Christmas trees sit in shop windows and hotel lobbys, ornaments adorn shop roofs and sometimes even a Santa hat will appear on someones head; but it isn’t these things which excite me most about visiting Hong Kong at Christmas. It’s not even the fireworks and Christmas lights on the buildings in Kowloon and Central – it’s all about Harbour City’s Christmas display.
Each year there is a theme and the entrance near the Star Ferry and bus terminus is lined with a display but it was this years display which lit up my face. 2011’s theme is Toy Story thanks to the new Toy Story Land having just opened at Disneyland Hong Kong. As a big Disney fan and Toy Story paying a big part of my childhood I was delighted to see the display full of all my favourite characters excepted the noted exception of Buzz Lightyear (his outline was featured on some of the baubles scattered through the display though.)
If you want to take photos and see the display then I recommend visiting during the middle of the day as the best option as many people will be at work or exploring other parts of the city. I went at around 5pm and the area was hectic with families trying to get photos & students and business people who have just got off the buses and ferries trying to get to where they want to go. I’ve also been told, but not seen personally, that the display at night is rather beautiful because the whole area lights up.
This year you can donate money to blood cancer research to have your photo taken in the supporter zone which is next to the Aliens and Woody the cowboy. It costs HK$100 which is about AU$12. Supporting a good cause and having your photo taken with cute aliens – heck yes!