Today, what’s a Hong Kong trip without Disneyland? When we visited Hong Kong almost 20 years ago, there was no Disneyland yet. Today, almost everyone I know who’ve been to Hong Kong had planned for and visited Disneyland, even just for half a day. So during my wife and I’s Hong Kong trip, we made sure to visit Hong Kong Disneyland. And surely, we weren’t disappointed at all.
First off, Hong Kong Disneyland is located in Lantau Island, to the west of Kowloon/Tsim Sha Tsui area. It’s also very near Hong Kong International Airport. You may take a bus that goes to Disneyland or take a cab from whichever point in Hong Kong you may be coming from. You may also take a ride on the MTR, but make sure you transfer MTR lines correctly. There are MTR maps around to guide you. In our case, we included the Disneyland trip in our packaged tour so they gave us a ride to and from Disneyland. Once you arrive at Hong Kong Disneyland, you’ll see the arch then the entrance to the theme park.
It’s a long walk from the parking area to the actual entrance. Please refer to their website for prices as it may vary. Once you’re inside, you can grab all sorts of maps and guides. Don’t worry, they’re free. Park attendants are here as well to help you if you have questions and some of the park offices are by the entrance. Once inside, you can roam around to your heart’s content, or at least until the park closes.
There are many great rides, and some of them are common to other Disneyland theme parks such as Space Mountain and it’s a Small World. My wife really loved Space Mountain and we went back a few times, even though I felt really dizzy the first time. Had we stayed the whole day, we probably would have ridden on it more. We actually loved the cars at Autopia as well. Although you can’t steer freely, you have a fair bit of control with its acceleration and narrow-angle turns. There’s the Jungle River Cruise where you ride a huge boat and travel along the river. There are animals, waterfalls, and even explosions. It’s great, especially at night.
We even rode some of the cutesy ones like The Adventures of Winnie the Pooh and the more futuristic Orbitron. They’re all nice and relaxing rides. We even had a chance to stay under a rocket filled with presumably dry ice vapor, simulating smoke while launching. There’s also Mickey’s 3D show, well it’s probably 4D, as many might call it, since you’ll experience water sprinkles and air blown at you. As you can tell, the theme park is subdivided into different themes, much like the other Disneyland theme parks around the world. There’s Tomorrowland, Fantasyland, Adventureland and so on.
Aside from the rides, there are other great attractions as well. There are mini-museums like the ones for Toy Story. You can also catch the parade by the street near Cinderella’s castle and a band will greet you after you enter the park. The park is also somewhat near the mountainous area of Lantau Island, and we loved the lush environment and the cool breeze. Each area of Disneyland is themed accordingly like space or jungle. Too bad, the Toy Story Land was closed when we visited.
There will most likely be a point when you get hungry and thirsty. There are restaurants and food stalls around the park. They serve great food, but of course, they are usually a bit more expensive than the food outside the park. They also have this restaurant where you could have Disney characters visit you and take pictures with you while you’re dining.
Picture taking with Disney characters is one activity that you should not miss. One of the best things here in Hong Kong Disneyland is you need not wait for them to show up on the streets, they have their own area where you all line up and take a picture with them. This way, everybody gets a chance.
Before the park closes, there’s the fireworks display. I must say, it was one of the best fireworks displays I’ve seen thus far. It is complemented by a story and it’s by Cinderella’s castle. The sky is literally lit with vibrant colors. The sequence is quite long. If I remember correctly, it was around 15-20 minutes. It’s the best way to end the day in Hong Kong Disneyland.
As with some of the other theme parks, it could get really crowded. But that’s a given. When we went there, it was the middle of the week. It wasn’t peak season, no holiday, no special events and there were times when it rained. But still, there were a lot of people in the park. Some ride queues were estimated to be 20-minute wait times, but we were told that on a peak holiday weekend, it could go for as long as 2 hours. It was a good thing as we were only there for half a day. The lines weren’t long and some where there were no lines at all. We should have opted for a whole-day stay at Disneyland from our tourist guides.
So there you have it. If you plan on having a vacation in Hong Kong, in addition to your shopping plans, why not spend a day of your trip to Hong Kong Disneyland? You can even stay at the Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel or Disney’s Hollywood Hotel to keep that Disney magic even while you’re resting comfortably. With great rides, great food, great overall scenery, it will most definitely be a wonderful and magical Disney experience with your family and friends.