• It rained on our Disneyland parade


    We stayed at Disney Explorer Lodge in Disneyland Hong Kong for 4 days and 3 nights in July.

    It was raining intermittently. We are aware of the rainy season but the forecast when we booked the trip says otherwise.

    We were not able to do all the activities we planned to. We spent quite long hours sheltering from the rains rather than going for rides. We were not able to explore quite a number of areas at the park. Many outdoor shows were canceled. Literally, it rained on the (Disney) parade.

    We had to cut our Day 2 trip shorter to keep the kids safe from getting sick. Going back to Dubai healthy is the priority.


    So what to do when such things beyond our control happen?

    1. Take a deep breath

    Breathe in, breathe out. Not sigh. Just deep breathing. It helps the body and mind to relax even in the middle of chaos. It breaks the emotions. It tells the brain to calm down allowing us to think better options and make smarter choices.

    So on our first day at the park, we knew it won't be the best decision to go back to the hotel at just around midday - although our instinct tells us to do so. We thought of Aya, whom we had this trip dedicated to celebrating her 7th birthday. We sat down longer at a food court to relax and make up our mind. We ended up with a better plan - stay at the park and settle for the indoor shows only (so few of them). If the weather improves towards the night we'll stay for the main attraction of the evening - the light show parade.


    2. Focus on what you can control

    Let imagination reign over worry. You can only do this when you focus on things you can control.

    I thought we won't be able to go on the second day because the rains were so intense since morning. Eventually, we hopped on the bus around lunchtime bringing with us Plan A (for fairweather) and Plan B (for a rainy day) in mind.

    We were able to do more this time until the heavy rain poured down again. I was soaking wet at one point running in between shelters. Crowded inside a merchandise shop, at just around 5pm, we decided to call it a day.

    Plan B, although a less exciting option, doesn't necessarily have to be less enjoyable. We imagined fun things to do inside the hotel. After all, it's a Disney-themed hotel. We looked at it as a good break from the physical stress of the travel. We ended up taking more family pictures, checking out a kids activity that night, shopping for some merch, and having a proper dining experience.

    When we refocus our energy on things we can control, it gives us more comfort without compromise.


    3. Be graceful in defeat

    In sports, you win some, you lose some. You could lose your first game and be on a winning streak next.

    This Disneyland trip is the first for the family. There will definitely be more of this in the future.  We have no reason to feel bad over things we weren't able to tick off from the list. The fun overshadows the disappointments. We are thankful to able to experience this.

    So we happily accepted that our game plan came up short, while already setting our sight to the next family adventures.

    4. Always look at the bright side

    It's the journey, not the destination. Cliche as it may sound, we can pick up a lot of positives looking at how we deal with the experience in this journey.

    Our daughter had a magical experience strolling at the park in her princess costume and accessories. She had great encounters with her favorite Disney princesses and characters. Best of all, she had a memorable 7th birthday celebration for mix reasons.



    No one got sick.

    Thank God we made it through the rain. We were able to show teamwork, leadership, and followership. No tempers flying, no bickering. There were down moments of course but those moments became our opportunities to lift each other up and pray. There was always a proper conversation between me and the wife. I love how we grow every time we go through circumstances like this. I always find joy with Raqz every time we have "What do you think?" moments (Proverbs 5:18-19).

    As we made our way back to the bus terminal to the hotel, we are literally a picture of contented family dancing in the rain.

    --

    If there's one thing from this trip that took me time to get over, it's our planned family vlog that had to be called off. Haha.
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