i. hk disney ’15
it’s been a long day, filled to the brim with strategic planning. it’s the middle of the schoolyear and the end of the calendar year, we’re currently on a break from both school and life. we’re at the entrance to disneyland, casually perched on the blocks surrounding the fountain, facing the park. the lights on the castle dim and the countdown begins. here is another strategic choice, made purely for the fun of it – watching the fireworks from outside the park so we can get to the train station before the crowd of people do. it’s not as enjoyable as it could have been, watching inside with music and commentary, but the post-firework run to the station makes it all worth it. after all, what is youth without stupid decisions?
ii. new year’s eve/ new year
it’s my first time out this late. it’s my first time watching the fireworks from this side of the city. it’s my first time spending new year’s eve with my friends. it’s crowded and it’s cold, but it doesn’t diminish the excitement and joy i’m feeling. we’re sitting on the edge of where the grassfields and tarmac meet, huddled together as the countdown begins. we’re yelling numbers into the sky until the crackling and booming begin. i can’t keep the smile off my face, awed and wonderstruck by the array of colours, knowing that my friends are scattered somewhere along the harbourside watching as well. i’m still riding off the high of having gathered with so many strangers just to do something together, individually, when we bump into our friends later on that night. 17 is a truly magical year.
iii. hk disney ’17
it’s been a good year and a half since i’ve last been here and so much has changed, and so much hasn’t. disneyland is still as magical and whimsical as ever, but this time i’m here with someone else and we’ve been going around the park much more haphazardly. there is no logic to the loops we’ve done around this lit wonderland except we’re just trying to enjoy ourselves. it’s been an incredible day and fireworks is the perfect way to end the disneyland experience and to end the night. as we’re standing a good distance away from the castle and away from the crowd and on the main street where there’s less people and the fireworks exploding above us, i can’t help but to think how sappy sweet and romantic this all is, except it feels completely normal and natural.
iv. grad trip – jp disneysea
nothing about this was planned – not splitting up into smaller groups, not bumping into each other at various parts of the park at various times of the day, not meeting up on a whim to go on rides together… neither was this: gathering back together as our whole trip, to spend the last few hours inside disneysea together. we’re sitting on the floor neatly, all 10 of us, in the slight drizzle, having watched the fireworks that were part of the water show, when the announcement politely tells us the hanabi are cancelled. these are not the fireworks nor the night i expected, but i think this is perfect anyway.