A Mini-Disneyland In Singapore

The movie Frozen was released in 2013 by Disney to rave reviews. It became one of the most successful animated films ever, grossed US$1.3 billion globally at the box office and more than three times that figure in merchandise sales, and even won two Oscars.

Incredibly, with almost US$1.5 billion in receipts, its sequel Frozen 2 (which opened in Singapore on 21 Nov 2019) outdid it at the box office.

What made the series so mega-popular? Let’s ask a fan: “Frozen is one of my favourite recent Disney movies because it feels like new generation of Broadway musical brought to the screen through animation.”

This is no ordinary fan, though. This fan is Singapore’s No 1 Disney fan. This fan is the biggest Disney merchandise collector, from memorabilia to merchandise, in Singapore. This fan’s home is a mini-Disneyland. This fan is a 38-year-old Singaporean male, David Hilman.

Calling David a fan is a huge understatement. The man is hardcore: he lives and breathes the franchise, especially the classic Walt-Disney era. Evidence comes from his Instagram account, with close to 40,700 followers, which shows his massive Disney set of collectibles. Further proof comes from a Straits Times interview in which David revealed that he spent S$30,000 on Disney merchandise, S$6,000 of that going to Frozen merchandise alone! Then when Frozen 2 was released, he updated his collection because he wanted to stay current. He bought the limited-edition Elsa doll (only 2,500 pieces of which were made available worldwide) when Frozen was released — then ‘upgraded’ to a Hasbro doll of Elsa in her new dress as part of a general updating of his collection when the sequel came out in 2019. And in case you still had doubts: David memorised the lyrics of all the new songs in Frozen 2.

That kind of loyalty is hard to beat, and it began in childhood.
“Disney has always been a part of my life. I grew up watching all the Disney movies, from the short animations such as Mickey and Friends to full-length animations like Snow White, Cinderella, Peter Pan, and more.”

And then David visited Hong Kong Disneyland in 2005 — and was utterly and permanently captivated. There was something about Disneyland theme parks that brought him alive, that made him feel he wanted to live there.

And that’s how it began. From that day, David began to resolve that he would one day model his home on Disneyland. He began to find out everything he could about Walt Disney, the founder of Disneyland, and the concept behind the theme park. (Disneyland is based on Tivoli Garden in Copenhagen, Denmark; Marceline, Walt’s hometown in Missouri; and an idealised, turn-of-the-20th-century (c. 1910) American town.)

For him, the magic of Disney lay particularly  in Fantasyland and Main Street USA. The modern Victorian theme so prevalent in Disneyland, so widely present in every building at the resorts, grew on him. The wooden floors, the simple but modern cornices on the ceiling, the stained glass windows providing a charming and whimsical look to a space, the wide use of white and bright colours, etc … all these and more became his inspiration.

By the time he was ready to redesign his house and began speaking to interior designers and renovators he found on VEHS.com, he knew exactly what he wanted, from theme to colour to material. All he needed was someone reliable to execute.

“I still get goosebumps every time I enter my home, just like how I feel when I go to the Disneyland theme parks.”

Need inspiration for your upcoming renovation but not sure where to start? Check out VEHS.com, a home renovation platform. VEHS.com connects aspiring homeowners with local interior design firms with the click of a button. Genuine reviews by other homeowners ensure you get only the best selection of contractors, suppliers, and vendors for your dream renovation project.

VEHS.com is also launching, this November, Singapore’s first Mobile Showroom, a travelling showroom concept that brings the showroom to a neighbourhood near you! Spend at least $10,000 in renovations to receive free fire and theft insurance. What’s more, you stand a chance to win a Mercedes A200 with every $100 spent with participating merchants on the VEHS website! Contest lasts till 31 December 2021.


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