The Complete Guide to Make Hong Kong Disneyland Your Best Trip Ever
Headed off to Hong Kong and to one of the greatest on earth? That would be Hong Kong Disneyland, by the way.
Though it is one of the smallest Disneyland’s in the world, the HK version is no less magical.
Plus, because it is contained into one park and only has 3 hotels on site, it is much easier to plan for and see the entire park than any other Disney resort.
Sure, there may be a language barrier, but the logistics can be easily overcome, so you and your family can have a wonderful time.
As of right now in 2017, Hong Kong Disneyland has passed its 10th Anniversary Celebration. There are new expansion plans in the process, including a new castle, Frozen Land, and Marvel Land! It is super exciting to know that when you arrive, there may be new attractions for you to discover that are not yet mentioned in this guide.
In this guide you’re going to learn important tips like Hong Kong Disneyland tickets, Hong Kong Disneyland packages, rides, hotels, food and more.
Even if you are not a Disney fan, Disneyland is a great attraction within reach of the fabulously popular Tian Tan Buddha and Hong Kong International Airport. In other words, it is very accessible.
Before You Go
Hong Kong Disneyland Tickets Price
Compared to other Disney theme parks around the world, Hong Kong Disneyland has some of the cheapest park tickets. The system is also one of the easiest to understand.
There are 1-day and 2-day park tickets. The other option is the 3 tiers of annual passes: silver (valid for 250 days per year), gold (valid for 340 days per year), and platinum (available all year). Annual passes offer a variety of discounts on food (up to 25%), exclusive gifts, merchandise, and even hotel rooms.
If you plan on coming back a second or third time, the annual passes are actually a great way to save.
Getting to Hong Kong Disneyland
A flight to Hong Kong, as well as navigating the region, is relatively simple.
If you decide to go directly to Disneyland, it is highly recommended to take a taxi.
Though Hong Kong has a great MTR (subway) system, you would have to do two transfers, which can be a huge hassle when you’re carrying luggage or are accompanied by children.
Since Hong Kong Disneyland is in such close proximity to the airport, a ride by taxi takes about 10-15 minutes depending on traffic and about HK$160 (US$20) to get there.
The Octopus Card
Funny name, right? The good news is that the Octopus Card is going to simplify pretty much every single money transaction you make.
Unless you have a credit card with zero foreign transaction fees, the Octopus Card is going to come in handy. You can use it in replace of credit cards and cash almost anywhere – even at the small businesses that don’t except credit.
Basically what the Octopus card is a reloadable tap-to-pay system that can be used for train tickets, bus fare, convenience stores, and yes, even at Disneyland.
There are three official hotels for Hong Kong Disneyland:
- Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel – the flagship hotel that has a grandiose Grand Victorian layout and interior, a Mickey Mouse-shaped garden, and is the closest to the park;
- Disney’s Hollywood Hotel – Art Deco style, cheaper than its predecessor but still high calibre and about 5 minutes farther from the theme park than the first;
- Disney Explorer Lodge – Though brand new (opened in April 2017), it’s relatively cheap and with a unique appeal: rooms designed according to four unique tropical locations in Asia, Oceania, South America, and Africa, as well as international cuisine.
These have shuttle buses, but you can easily walk to the front gate of the theme park, too.
For those on a tighter budget, resist the urge to get accommodations on Kowloon or Hong Kong Island, because the distance you have to travel back and forth doesn’t justify the savings.
Hong Kong Disneyland is often called a “melting pot” of sorts.
Hong Kong itself is quite an international place of late, and the trend has found its way to Disney.
You will see a fair share of Chinese visitors, for sure, but others include crowds of Southeast Asians (Japanese, Taiwanese, Thai, Vietnamese, Malaysians, to name a few) and Australians.
Because of this, the cast members speak in Cantonese, Mandarin, and English. Many attractions now have been converted to offer those 3 language options, making it easier for international travellers to understand everything.
How Long to Visit Hong Kong Disneyland
This really depends on how much of a Disney fan you are, and how much you see of the park in one day. Some people might tell you that HK Disney is a half-day park, but that’s not really true.
If you are merely looking to visit and see a general portion of the park, Hong Kong Disneyland should be completed in one day.
That said, if you want to spend more time, Hong Kong Disneyland can also be a two-day park. This means you can slow down a little, repeat some favourite rides, enjoy some meals, and just soak up all the Disney cheer.
If you plan on visiting other Disney parks in the area (like Shanghai Disneyland or Tokyo Disney Resort, don’t overdo it here. Spend more time at the more extravagant Disney parks.
When to Visit Hong Kong Disneyland
Basically, you can go anytime of the year except these three times:
- Summer tourist season, when the humidity and visitors are so rampant, it’s unenjoyable;
- Important holidays, like Chinese New Year.
Weekdays are the best. Aim for October to April to avoid the terrible humidity. For an incredible experience, Halloween at Hong Kong Disney is highly recommended. Though the humidity will still be high, the days are cooler than the summer months, and the park goes all out with decorating.
How to Pack
Hong Kong has a jungle-like climate, so plan for hot, humid weather throughout most of the year. You will want to bring moisture-wicking clothing, shorts, UV-resistant shirts and hats, as well as sunglasses and sunscreen.
That said, you shouldn’t worry about overpacking. Hong Kong is an international city, so you can purchase a large variety of goods, like toiletries and clothing from a number of department stores or grocers for relatively cheap.
Hotels around Hong Kong Disneyland are also known to provide a large volume of toiletries. You needn’t worry.
What to Do at Hong Kong Disneyland
The theme park is divided into “lands” that immerse you in a full thematic environment. You will not be able to see or hear the other lands, and the passage from one to the next is seamless. All the lands from start to finish are:
- Main Street, USA – resembles an early 20th century North American Midwest town;
- Adventureland – jungle-themed;
- Fantasyland – Disney-related places and characters;
- Tomorrowland – futuristic;
- Toy Story Land – from the world of Toy Story;
- Grizzly Gulch – “abandoned” mining town;
- Mystic Point – supernatural rainforest;
- Frozen Land – from the movie “Frozen.” Opening 2020.
- Marvel Land – Marvel superheroes and supervillains abound. Opening 2030.
Top Rated Attractions
Here are the attractions that you must see when in Hong Kong Disneyland:
- Big Grizzly Mountain Runaway Mine Cars – The name is long but the ride on this rollercoaster is just right. There are animatronics and even a section that rides backwards. The ride itself is rather mild, so even children can handle it; but the detail is what really makes this ride pop.
- Disney in the Stars Fireworks – the nightly fireworks display is one of the best around. The soundtrack is amazing, and the fireworks are timed perfectly.
- Mystic Manor – designed like a music box, you walk through this show filled with a mind-blowing story, beautiful music, engaging characters and much more. It is probably one of the most popular attractions because it is just so well done.
- Disney’s Flights of Fantasy Parade – this was originally for the 5th anniversary celebration but was such a hit that it became a daily daytime parade. Highlights include the Mickey Mouse balloon float and energetic acrobatic performances in tune with the festive music. It lasts around 30 minutes.
- Festival of the Lion King – If you ever saw Lion King on Broadway, this show is kind of like that. There’s acrobats, singing, dancing, brightly coloured tribal attire, and the most awesome reimagining of Lion King ever. It’s quite abstract, giving you a new perspective to a classic story. There are also two versions: Cantonese and English.
- Hyperspace Mountain – Scared of the dark? Then you may want to think again before jumping on this Star Wars Tomorrowland attraction. The projections and laser effects that take place during the ride are really something. You will want to make use of the FastPass (see below) to jump the long queues for this one.
- Disney Paint the Night – Having debuted in September 2014, this full LED display has captured the hearts of many. There are seven floats with over 740,000 individual lights. It took 2 years to develop, but it is now a daily event that is sure to please.
To avoid excessive queuing (although, let’s be honest, even crowded days don’t have long queues like at other Disney parks): be sure to make use of the FastPass. This lets you cut lines for popular attractions. Otherwise, just go during the weekday.
What to Eat
Simple seems to be the theme at Hong Kong Disneyland, because even finding places to nosh is easy.
The restaurants are all fairly rated, have a decent selection of options, and even cater to various dietary needs. Some of the restaurants are even Halal-certified for Muslim guests.
The recommended stop would be Crystal Lotus restaurant at Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel. Order the dim sum meal. It needs to be booked in advance, but it is well worth it. The dim sum comes out shaped like your favourite Disney characters!
Also, Hong Kong is a place to have some afternoon tea, since it was a former British colony.
There is Victorian style tea at the Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel, but within the actual theme park, you can check out the Corner Café on Main Street for delicious tea and pastries. Again, the Corner Café is quite popular for its desserts, so you should make a reservation just in case.
There is also a selection of traditional Hong Kong delights throughout the park. You can find stalls with a number of must-try goodies, so simply keep your eyes open!
Hong Kong Disneyland is a small park with a big heart.
There are a large number of attractions that bring together some of the best characters and stories Disney has to offer. You will enjoy the vast amount of entertainments, rides, and merchandise throughout the park, as well as the immersive environment each “land” creates.
Just be sure to purchase your tickets beforehand and go on a weekday to miss the crowds and enjoy ride after ride!
Check out the Hong Kong Disneyland ticket price and packages now.
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