We wrote our review of the Disneyland Hotel in Hong Kong yesterday, and today we are going to review the actual Disneyland park.
The Disneyland Hong Kong park is the smallest of all Disney parks. It contains three themed areas, Tomorrowland, AdventureLand and FantasyLand, besides the ubiquitous Main Street U.S.A. Entrance is via a long corridor of vast open spaces, and is well connected to the Disney’s hotels (walking or by free resort shuttle buses). Public transport is also well catered for by a special extension of the MTR (Hong Kong Subway).
On the first day itself we decided to go to the TomorrowLand, which is perhaps the most exciting of all the worlds.
The main attractions here are the Buzz Light year astro blasters ride, Orbitron UFO ride, Autopia and Space Mountain. In the Buzz light year ride you hop on via a moving platform onto a ride capsule, while an animatronic Buzz Lightyear tells us to blast Zurg and it’s source of power. You and a co-rider get a space gun to aim at various targets. It is a lot of fun and you get scores to compare against a leaderboard at the end.
The Orbitron is a massive UFO based ride that allows the riders to make the ride go up and down. We didn’t try the Autopia ride as the wait times for it were massive. Space Mountain ride was pretty awesome and is the only real thrill ride at Hong Kong Disneyland.
In the next few days, we visited FantasyLand and AdventureLand. The main attractions at FantasyLand are the Cindrella Carousel, “It’s a small world” boat ride, Winnie the Pooh ride and the Tea Cup ride. This area also contains the Pixie Hollow, where you can meet and greet Tinker Bell, but also the Fantasy Gardens where different areas have different characters waiting to get photographed with you and your little ones.
This area also has a 4-D adventure movie in Mickey’s PhilharMagic which was a big hit with our kids and the Golden Mickey’s stage musical.
Finally, the AdventureLand area seems the most extensive, with an exciting river cruise, a Tarzan tree house, the festival of the Lion King stage show and an area called Jungle Drumming.
Parades and Street Shows
The best part of each day that we spent at Disneyland Hong Kong were the street parades. The floats and the costumes are magnificently designed and executed. It was fun for kids and adults alike and is a must see.
This being the Halloween season, HK Disneyland also has a Glow in the Dark parade scheduled for 7:30 each night. It is fun, but coming late at night with loud music and scary characters, you may want to avoid it. We had spent all day at the park and by 7:30, our kids were too tired to show much of interest in it.
If you stay till this time, you should also stick around to see the Tinker Bell illumination scheduled for 7:30 or 9:00 PM.
Food was generally very good if priced at comparable US or Australian equivalents. We tried several places, the highlight being the Plaza Inn – the Chinese themed restaurant in the park just at the end of Main Street U.S.A.
If you decide to eat here, you must order the character Dim Sim’s. These were such a hit, that people around us started taking photos and ordering the same things. Check out some of the images.
Mickey Mouse Gelatine Dessert
Very satisfied diners left the plates completely empty!
Besides sit down restaurants, there are simple carts all around that serve from Hot Dogs to chicken sticks, fairy floss and popcorns (caramel and normal). There is even a special section for Indian vegetarian food.
— It is a small park, the smallest of all Disney themed parks. You probably only need 2 days to go around the park on non peak days and seasons. Disneyland Hong Kong acknowledges this, and is opening three new themed areas. Toy Story Land is due to open in mid Nov 2011. Grizzly Gulch is scheduled to open in 2012 while Mystic Point is scheduled for 2013.
– Except for Space Mountain, there are no thrill rides. Unlike Disney parks in the US and Dreamworld in Australia, Hong Kong Disneyland is targeted towards kids aged 3-10. If you have teenagers or tweens coming with you, prepare them beforehand to expect kid rides.
– Wait times are a problem everywhere, but it is an even bigger problem with Hong Kong’s humid weather. Prepare your kids and always have enough water and other things to do while waiting. We had a terrible time while waiting for the “The Golden Mickeys” with two little ones as we were packed in like sardines and had to wait in a holding area for around 20 minutes.
— To alleviate the wait times, take advantage of the free FastPass option (available for a few rides). Essentially, using your entrance ticket, you are allowed to cut the queues for a particular ride to come back at a later time.
— Be prepared to hold you place in the line tightly.
— Do not miss the Lion King stage show, the Golden Mickey’s and the Flights of Fantasy parade.
— Entrance, food and drink prices are comparable to the theme parks in Australia and the US.
— Do buy some souvenirs, but check for quality. Something that we picked fell apart within minutes of the kids playing with them.
— Do get a photograph taken with a character. It is fun to get involved.
CraftGossip received complimentary tickets to the park and lunch at the Plaza Inn.