This December we had the pleasure of visiting my fourth Disneyland Park, this time in Hong Kong! After growing up at Anaheim’s Disneyland, I’ve been told I’m quite spoiled when it comes to the parks, but I’ve found each one uniquely enjoyable and offering a little something the next one doesn’t. Known as one of the smaller parks, Disneyland Hong Kong was quite enjoyable and offered us two days of fun. Here is a guide to visiting Hong Kong Disneyland.
Public transportation is amazing in Hong Kong, and they haven’t forgotten about Disneyland, which is on Lantau Island. From the other islands, you can take the Tung Chung line train to the Sunny Bay station on Lantau island which will then allow you to hop aboard the Disney train to the Disneyland Resort Station. This train begins the magical journey with mouse head windows, Disney statues inside and Mickey hand holders.
Normally we stay off site when we head to any Disneyland Park; however, my husband splurged and let us stay at the Disney Hollywood Hotel. This retro Hollywood styled hotel was the perfect place to lay our heads after two full days of Disneyland exploring. This hotel boasts a piano shaped pool, expansive gardens featuring
vintage cars and landmarks and overlooks the beautiful bay. We love posing with the Hollywood sign and sharing a special breakfast with Mickey.
Get there first thing for something special…or two
Have you ever been to Disneyland first thing in the morning, right when the main gates open, but only to Main Street? Did you know there’s a ribbon cutting ceremony at the end of Main Street to open up the rest of the park? This was pretty cool to see…a completely empty park in front of you, just waiting to bring joy to everyone. Another reason to get to Hong Kong Disneyland first is for your ticket to meet Anna and Elsa. Yes, the Frozen frenzy is alive and well here and you have to claim your reservation time ticket to meet Anna and Elsa. Tickets are given out, first come-first serve, from opening till gone. It was a mad and chaotic dash to get in line and grab one of these prized possessions. I hope this changes in the future.
While you’ll find many similarities to Anaheim Disneyland, it’s the differences that made my kids smile! There are fewer rides in Fantasyland, but the addition of Toy Story Land makes up for the lack of not having Toon Town. In Grizzly Gulch, you’ll ride the Big Grizzly Mountain Runaway Mine Cars, which while reminiscent of Big Thunder Mountain, has a MAJOR surprise part way through the ride! You also won’t find New Orleans Square and the Haunted Mansion, but you will find Mystic Point, which has the Mystic Manor ride which was one we rode twice!
Waiting in lines…or avoiding them
I’m not sure there’s really a “good” time to visit Disneyland when trying to avoid lines. The summer is really hot and draws people from all over the world in large crowds.Christmas break is nice and cold, but it’s a holiday as well. Spring break? Hmmm. I’ve come down to this…if you’re a Disneyland fanatic and get that
giddy, “oh my gosh we’re really going today” feeling, then anytime is a great time to visit Disneyland…you just have to deal with lines. The lines in Hong Kong were long on the Monday after Christmas, some 60-70 minutes long, but Tuesday was much better, with lines only 20-30 min. The only FastPasses available are for The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh and Space Mountain. Waiting patiently in line was one cultural norm we noticed was not practiced here, as we witnessed many who pushed their way through the lines to be first. Our tried and true trick to beating the line waiting game we’ve learned after so many visits? Ride the popular rides during parades throughout the day and fireworks at night! We were able to grab some rides on Space Mountain, Autopia and Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters doing this!
Looking for American food…or dare I say, a churro?
There were three places my children happily at in Hong Kong Disneyland, as much of the food is Asian inspired and, well, they were jonesing for American food as they live in Asia now. The first was the Lucky Nugget Saloon where they could get fish and chips, shrimp and chips or nuggets and chips along with a fruit cup salad. Just like the Village Haus Restaurant in Anaheim Disneyland, the Royal Banquet Hall offered a nice juicy burger for the kids and some corn on the cob. Now, the real treat we all seek out at Disneyland and savor with a giddiness that’s indescribable? The churro. You’ll find the churro in Toy Story Land at Jessie’s Snack Roundup.
I hope you have as much fun reconnecting with your Disney spirit at Hong Kong Disneyland as we did! It just goes to prove that no matter where Disney builds a park…they will come.