Last updated on February 17th, 2023 at 10:39 am
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Ah, Disneyland. A happy place for many people, including me.
Growing up, I was jealous of a family friend that would drive from Toronto to Florida every summer with their kids.
Now that I’m an adult, the idea is not as appealing but just like many others, Disneyland will always have a special place in my heart.
I wrote this guide to Hong Kong Disneyland for people who plan on visiting here.
Getting to HK Disneyland
Hong Kong is known to be an extremely convenient city. There is a subway station (over here, we call it the MTR) specifically for Disneyland Hong Kong.
The line is called the Disneyland Resort line. It’s the pink line and there’s only one stop so you won’t miss it. The stop takes you right to the park.
Many people might choose this route to go there via MTR because it might be difficult to find parking or parking can be really expensive. Hong Kong isn’t that big so it won’t take you too long to get there.
There’s always the option of someone dropping you off as well.
You need to book your trip to Disney in advance on their website. The park isn’t open every day because of COVID restrictions. There is also a quota on how many people they let in per day.
- General Admission (Age 12 – 64) – HKD 639
- Child (Age 3 – 11) – HKD 475
- Seniors (Age 65+) – HKD 100
I booked my Disneyland trip for Dec 20, 2021. There was a reason for that. As you may know, Christmas is one of my favourite holidays.
I wanted to go to the park while all the Christmas decorations were still up.
Some places take down their decorations right after Christmas while some wait until after the new year. I didn’t know when Disney would take theirs down.
All I knew was that Disney was going to go full out with everything and I wanted to experience the Christmas spirits with them.
I even took a day off work because I thought that the park was going to be empty that day.
I was so, so wrong.
It was crazy busy. The park opens at 10:30 am and closes at 8:30 pm. When I got there at 10:30 am, it was already super packed. I think it’s because students started their Christmas holiday already.
Everyone probably had the same idea.
Go early to escape the crowd.
Apparently, the staff was caught off guard because they also didn’t expect so many people to arrive at once.
My first impression already wasn’t great. How was I going to go about my day when I know how busy it will be? But hey, I’m at Disneyland. I’ll figure it out later.
There are a total of 7 Disneyland zones:
- Main Street (this is the section for shops and the zone you’ll be in as soon as you enter the main gate)
- Toy Story Land
- Mystic Point
- Grizzly Gulch
Main Street (I can literally stay in this area for the whole day) and Fantasyland are personally my two favourites.
Main Street gives U.S. small town, old school vibes and I love that.
Fantasyland just reminds me of the magical aspect. Fantasy is the perfect word to use it.
You won’t miss the other zones because Hong Kong Disneyland isn’t that big. I recommend going to all of them even if you’re not particularly interested in some of them. You’re there already so why not?
I only went on 3 rides and they were:
- Mystic Manor
- Iron Man 4D
- It’s a Small World
Waiting for the rides was pretty brutal.
You had to wait for at least 40 minutes for each ride.
For the Iron Man experience, I waited for more than an hour.
I don’t know about the wait times at other Disneylands but the wait time for HK Disneyland on Dec 20th was absolutely ridiculous.
I wish I went on more rides but I really wasn’t in the mood to wait so long in line just to experience a five-minute ride.
There was the FASTPASS option but I didn’t want to pay extra to skip the line for only a few rides. Coming to Disneyland was expensive enough. I didn’t want to waste any more unnecessary expenses.
It’s sad now that I think about it because it would have been fun to go on the Slinky Dog Spin, Ant-Man and the Wasp, and the Mad Hatter Tea Cups.
When I think of Disneyland rides, the first one that pops up in my head is always the Mad Hatter Tea Cups but for some reason, I don’t think I’ve ever been on that ride.
I have to go the next time I go back to Disneyland. It’s one of those classic, iconic attractions that I have to experience at least once.
Why I Didn’t Go On More Rides
On top of the long wait lines, it was cold, raining, and windy.
I didn’t mind getting wet much but I was worried about my Gucci Soho Disco bag.
It’s a soft leather bag.
I’ve been taking care of my designer handbags and didn’t want my bag to be ruined over a trip to Disney.
It was unusually cold compared to the weather for the past month.
It’s still better than going in the summertime though.
The nonstop rain was annoying.
I tried to carry my umbrella but the experience wasn’t as fun because my hands were full.
There was a reason I wore a crossbody bag.
I almost didn’t bring an umbrella but thank god I did. I didn’t expect the weather to be like that although I was kind of mad at myself for not checking before leaving the house.
1) Mystic Manor
This was the first ride I went on.
The staff suggested going to Mystic Point first because most people would be at the Main Street, Fantasyland, and Tomorrowland. AKA the ones that are closest to the main gate.
They were right.
Mystic Manor had less than a 5-minute lineup.
I LOVED the Victorian-era vibe. I’m a bit more old-school that way. I prefer classic architecture to modern and this was totally up my alley.
From the outside, I thought Mystic Manor was a roller coaster but it’s not. If it was, I wouldn’t go on it.
Here’s a fun fact to know about me: I can’t do roller coasters.
Never liked them and doubt that I ever will.
People find these types of rides thrilling but it just makes my heart feel like it’s going to fall out and that I will die.
It’s a flat ride where it takes you to different rooms. You basically see everything coming to life.
The effects were pretty cool. There were moments when the car would make sudden movements before moving quickly along. That was fun although a little unexpected.
It was a bit loud for my liking. There were moments I covered my ears.
Some things would pop up randomly. I get scared easily so I flinched several times.
I’ve never been to a haunted house before and I don’t plan on it anytime soon but I guess it would be a kind of similar experience.
If you like being scared, Mystic Manor might be something you like even it’s on the low end of being scary.
For braver people, it should be an easy, breezy ride.
2) Iron Man Experience
For this ride, we’re JARVIS, Iron Man’s helpful assistant robot helping him to save the world. So you know, the usual.
We’re doing big things over here so you need to wear these glasses and buckle up.
It’s a bumpy ride.
The ride showed a sky bird’s view of Hong Kong.
Hong Kong Disneyland attracts many tourists around the world so it’s a creative way for them to ‘see’ the city.
I know we’re in Hong Kong but it was weird hearing Robert Downey Jr’s voice as Iron Man (he’s speaking in English) and then everyone else speaking Cantonese.
There were subtitles in Chinese and English for those who aren’t fluent in both languages but the exchange was awkward to hear.
It was one of those times when I truly saw the benefits of my LASIK surgery.
In the past, I would have to either wear these 4D glasses over my glasses or take off my glasses completely (I rarely wore contacts) where I can barely see anything.
I didn’t need to worry about any of that.
I could see everything clearly and it was so nice! To those who don’t need glasses, you’ll never understand the pain and annoyance of doing so.
3) It’s a Small World
This is one of the most iconic rides at the park and if you’re writing a guide to Hong Kong Disneyland, you can’t miss out on writing about It’s a Small World.
You take this boat ride that fits maybe 10 – 12 people (even more, probably) where you pass all these little moving dolls that represent different countries.
They divide the ride by regions so it’s Asia, the Middle East, and Europe. I got excited when we reached China and I took a few pictures.
This ride was visually the best in my opinion.
The view was almost too overwhelming because so much was happening at once. Everything was so colourful.
I didn’t know where to look because there was so much to stare at on my left and right side. I was sliding across my seat trying to get pictures of both sides.
Out of the three rides I went on, this is the most family-friendly ride.
I can see young children being scared of Mystic Manor (loud noises and fast-moving) and Iron Man (the glasses might be too much) but It’s a Small World isn’t scary at all.
It is a bit dark but it has to be this way or else how can we focus on all the bright lights shining on the colourful dolls?
This was the last of the three rides I went on. I was so relieved that I can just sit and let my legs rest for a few minutes.
It’s a ride I can go on again and again. It’s hard to take in everything at once which is why you need to go on it a couple of times.
The only thing I would say is that the song does get annoying.
They play the same song over and over again. It does get repetitive after a while.
Guide to Hong Kong Disneyland – Shopping
People all have different reasons why they love Disneyland but my main reason is that I love their Disney shops. The Disney stores in Asia cannot compare to the ones in the U.S. and Canada.
Here in Hong Kong, you see tons of adults shopping at Disney stores but the Disney stores in North America seem to mostly target younger children.
I’m always about cute gift stores as I’ve talked about many times in my blog. I doubt this will change even when I turn seventy. It’s just a part of me. Everyone close to me knows this.
I got a few Disney pins for my jean jacket and some other things (whoops, I forgot).
Where is the Best Shopping Area?
Main Street has the best shopping area.
You enter one store and it’s connected to three to four other stores.
You know you’re at a different store because the interior looks different but it’s convenient that it’s just one big space for you to keep walking.
It was jam-packed. I would have wanted to continue looking but there were so many people there that I didn’t stay at the stores for too long.
Tips for Shopping at Disneyland
There are stores all over the park and you should go in if you have a preference for certain characters.
For example, I went to the Disney store next to Mystic Manor and found some glow-in-the-dark t-shirts.
But I couldn’t find those same shirts at the Main Street stores.
You would think those big stores on Main Street have the same products as all the other little stores but that’s not the case.
I had to go back to the Mystic Manor store so it would have saved me some extra time if I had known.
It is Disney after all, so expect things in the store to be more on the pricier side.
Food at Disney
I wanted to include a small section about the food at Disneyland HK. Although I didn’t eat anything at the park, you’ll see many food stands and restaurants scattered around the park.
I was a bit hungry and thirsty but the lines were too long. Y
ou had at least 10 – 15 people waiting in front of you at those portable food carts.
I didn’t feel like lining up so I held in my hunger or thirst. If that was the case, I can’t even imagine people who want to get a table at a sit-down restaurant.
Since it was drizzling, I guess I can drink rainwater? I joke, I joke.
There is a wide variety of foods at the park. It’s not all corn dogs and fries. There’s curry, pizza, burgers, dim sum, etc.
It would have been such a bonus if I could write a restaurant review at Hong Kong Disneyland.
It could have been another blog post idea.
My last restaurant review was about Yat Tung Heen and that was a few months ago.
I saw pictures of cute dim sum shaped like Disney characters. I would have wanted to try those, but oh well.
Meet and Greet with Disney Characters
I saw a few Disney characters like Mickey Mouse and Pluto.
If I was younger, I would probably line up to get a picture with them and collect everyone’s autographs.
The lines weren’t long. I heard a few people trying to line up but the staff said no more.
Due to COVID restrictions, everyone had to keep their distance while taking photos with the characters. I don’t know if you were allowed to go near the character for autographs.
I once read somewhere that Disney staff does character meet and greets when the lines for rides are too long.
It’s a way to distract people’s attention but I don’t know if this is true.
How Long Should You Spend at Disneyland?
I would suggest spending a full day there on a weekday.
The reason I said a weekday is because like all other popular tourist attractions, the weekends are the busiest. Parents are off on the weekends and so are the kids/students.
Holidays are even busier but if you like to shop at Disney, there’s seasonal merch you can buy at the stores.
Otherwise, it’s best to go on a weekday when it’s less crowded.
You can enjoy the park more.
If Hong Kong Disneyland was bigger, I might even suggest two days but it depends on what you want to do.
It also depends on how many people there are at the park and who you go with.
If you want to go on every single ride and you go on a day like when I did, forget about it. I can guarantee you won’t be able to go on most rides.
Since I was told the day I went was an exception, I assume that if you go on a regular day, a full day will be enough time.
Originally, I wanted to stay until the fireworks but due to the crowd and the weather, I really couldn’t take it anymore. I left around 4 pm and felt free as I was leaving the park.
After hours of seeing people everywhere, there were finally fewer people. I felt that I could breathe properly.
Guide to Hong Kong Disneyland – Hotels
For the full Disney experience, you can also book a hotel to stay at. There are 3 hotel options:
- Disney Explorers Lodge
- Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel
- Disney’s Hollywood Hotel (currently closed as of Dec 2021)
Disney has a free shuttle bus that takes you from each hotel to the park. You have to wait about 10 – 20 minutes for a bus to arrive.
There’s always an option of walking from the hotel to the park but I didn’t see many people doing this. They were probably all tired by the end of the day.
After I left the park, I decided to go quickly to both hotels to see what it was like inside.
The Explorers Lodge gave me more winter, cozy, cabin vibes while the Disneyland Hotel gave me more majestic, grand vibes. Two totally different interior designs.
There’s also a Disney store inside each hotel for guests to do some more shopping.
Download the Hong Kong Disneyland App
Okay, you can tell I’m old-schooled because I expected there to be paper maps after you walk inside.
Instead, the cast members told me to download the Hong Kong Disneyland App.
The app will tell me how long to wait for each ride, when the shows and parades start and finish, etc.
I did download the app towards the end of my trip but I found that I didn’t really need it.
It would have been nice if I could have seen a Christmas parade but eh, whatever.
However, maybe the app could have helped me organize my time more efficiently and I could have gone on more rides.
I would recommend people to download the app before going (there is WIFI at the park).
You can always figure out where the rides are and what you want to do when you’re there.
But if you want to make the most of your time, especially on a busy day, you should download the app early to form a plan.
Would I Recommend Going to Hong Kong Disneyland?
That’s an absolute yes! There’s so much to do within the city but it’s nice to go on a day trip outside the city center.
There’s visiting Tai O Fishing Village but it might not be everyone’s cup of tea. With Disney, you know what to expect because they have parks around the world.
It is smaller compared to the other Disneylands in the world but there’s something so intimate about it (which you can probably tell after reading my guide to Hong Kong Disneyland).
If a park is too big, it’s hard to do everything you want to at once.
You can go to Disneyland with your family, and friends, or even solo. If you’re even a slight Disney fan, you’ll probably enjoy your time there.
Final Thoughts – Guide to Hong Kong Disneyland
I was contemplating whether or not to write a guide to Hong Kong Disneyland because my experience this time around wasn’t super positive.
But looking back in 2021, I realized not all experiences have to be positive and that it’s just as important to share the not-so-great times.
The weather and crowds could have been way better but I still had some fun times during my time there.
Coming around Christmas time was a good idea. I adored the Christmas vibes and was glad that I wasn’t sweating buckets.
Now to You – Guide to Hong Kong Disneyland
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