When I was a kid I, like millions of other children, kept asking my parents if we could go to Disneyland and it was always the same response ‘we’ll see’. Well, HAH, because now I am an adult, I can take myself. It only took me thirty odd years, but I made it. Hong Kong is home to the smallest of all the Disneyland parks in the world- perfect for the short trip we were on as it was easily do-able in a day. Let me take you to (one) of the happiest places on earth.
Buy them in advance online so that you only need to collect them from a kiosk, skipping the queues. A standard Adult tickets costs HK$589 (about £59). Also worth noting that the day we went was the day the park was evacuated to prepare for the typhoon about to hit the city. We were allowed to redeem our tickets for another day at no extra cost.
The Hong Kong Disneyland park is the smallest of all the Disneylands. There are a few cultural changes too, for example, instead of the Haunted Mansion they have Mystic Manor- no ghost stories around here! There are less thrill rides too, but I didn’t feel I missed out on anything.
There’s a HK Disneyland app, which I would recommend downloading. With free wifi throughout the park, you’ll be able to navigate your way around the different lands and rides, as well as find out where shows are being held. To beat the crowds, go midweek- the longest queue time I experienced was 15 minutes!
One show that everyone says not to miss, and I agree, is the Festival of the Lion King, in Adventureland. It’s a 30 minute live show retelling the Lion King tale- there’s fire twirling and acrobatics and Timon and Pumba. There’s even an animatronic Simba, who did a great impression of my cat coughing up a hairball. Also in Adventureland is the Jungle River Cruise– it’s a 10 minute boat ride; its silly and good fun. You could also take a raft to Tarzan’s Treehouse, but one water adventure was enough for me.
My other favourite rides were both in Tomorrow Land, the Iron Man Experience and Hyperspace Mountain (an indoor roller coaster) It’s also worth experiencing the Mystic Manor tour- it’s cleverly done (and a nice respite from the heat!)
The classic Lands remain- Fantasy Land with the teacup ride and Dumbo the elephant. There’s also the enchanted forest where you can take photos with your favourite characters. Throughout the park, you’ll find queues of people waiting to take pictures of with Disney royalty- Mickey and Minnie.
Everyday (weather pending) there’s a parade down Main Street- the one here is called the Flights of Fantasy Parade. It’s a 35 minute show, starting around 3:30PM (or 4PM on Sundays)
People start sitting down along the pavement about 15-20 minutes before the parade starts. I think the best tip is to find a spot to sit that catches the air conditioned breeze from the shop doors. Failing that, bring a fan with you!
I sent a sweaty selfie to my friends back home with the Lilo and Stitch float- apparently Lilo and Stitch aren’t a thing elsewhere? My favourite to be honest! Hong kong Disney is also really into the Lion King and Toy Story as they seemed to get the most attention from the crowd.
And hands up- I will happily admit when I saw the Disney Princess float with Belle, Snow White, Aurora and Rapunzel waving at everyone I had a little cry inside. I didn’t even think I was that into Disney, but there you go. The happiest place on earth has that effect!
The nightly fireworks start at 7:30PM, but we had left the hour before to make our way to the airport. The special Disney MTR (with Mickey Mouse ear windows!) is one stop to Sunny Bay where you can connect to the Airport line in a couple of stops- very convenient. Hong Kong Disney was a good first foray into exploring Disneyland, and I’m already looking into Euro Disney breaks.