As a well documented Disney family, the Deal Kids and I were excited to visit Hong Kong Disneyland. However, most families aren’t as Disney-nuts as us and you might wonder if it’s worth losing precious days of your Asian vacation to get a big ol’ slice of Americana. My answer is absolutely yes: Hong Kong Disneyland is worth the visit. Making the decision easier are the ticket prices, which are at least 1/3 cheaper than in the states. However, I did find some parts of our Hong Kong Disneyland visit challenging and wanted to share with you some 14 Hong Kong Disney tips to make your visit easier.
Hong Kong Disney Tips: Plannning
- Consider splitting your visit over two days. You could definitely “do” Hong Kong Disneyland in one day, but I wouldn’t recommend it. Here’s why: One and Two day tickets aren’t that much different in price so the marginal difference in cost would allow you to pace yourself. Public transit to Hong Kong Disneyland is a breeze: from Tsim Sha Tsui the trip took about 45 minutes. And the heat and humidity get to you quickly! Two days allows you to do one morning and one evening: skipping the worst of the afternoon.
- Visit on weekdays if at all possible. We did a Thursday night and a Monday morning and crowds were definitely on the low side both days. We didn’t wait more than 15 minutes in any line ride. Annual passes are affordable and I wouldn’t want to visit on a weekend.
Hong Kong Disney Tips: Arrival
- Prepare the kids to be underwhelmed by the Castle. Coming straight from Tokyo (and having visited Orlando) the kids were shocked by the small size of Sleeping Beauty’s castle and at first wondered if the entire park would disappoint.
- Go left. This is good advice at any theme park as most people go right, but is especially good at Hong Kong Disney as the areas unique to this park are all on your left.
- Your manners might have to go out the window at times. I’m grateful for the slew of articles about Chinese Tourists behaving badly so I’m not on an island saying this: Chinese aren’t known for their manners in crowd situations. We got pushed, cut in front of, and generally run over at first. I finally told the kids to unlearn what they had been taught for their visit to Hong Kong Disney as they saw me push back when it got really bad. The parade was the worst as we had to hold our ground while folks tried to get around us in every way possible to get a better photo. I finally shoved the kids to the very front so they could see.
Hong Kong Disney Tips: Attractions
- Mystic Manor and Grizzly Gulch are not just unique lands, but also must do rides. Toy Story Land? Fun to see, rides are skip-able. Grizzly Gulch looks a lot like Thunder Mountain. Don’t be fooled. It’s SO much better. I thought the ride was over (and was great) and it took off again! Lines get long for this one, so go early or late: at closing we rode it twice in a row with no line. Mystic Manor looks like Haunted Mansion, but is nothing like it. It uses the magnetic technology found at Pooh’s Hunny Hunt in Tokyo and its theming is unique to any Disney park. Lines didn’t seem to get as long so we rode this one four times in two days! Mystic Manor is now my favorite ride in any Disney park worldwide.
- The night time parade is a must. Daytime parade? Nice, but also in the hottest part of the day.
- Don’t skip the shows, especially the Lion King. There’s no language barrier.
- FastPass isn’t going to help you much. It’s only used at two rides: Space Mountain and Winnie the Pooh. That said, you can get one every two hours so go nuts!
- What WILL help you? Single Rider lines! Grizzly Gulch and Space Mountain both have them and they never went over 10 minutes. Kids as young as 7 can go solo: you’re right there at the exit if you go first so the kids aren’t going to get lost.
Hong Kong Disney Tips: Shopping and Food
- Pin Trading is alive and well (with the staff). With guests, not so much. In two days we saw exactly one other pin trader. However, the staff was thrilled to trade with us and we picked up some amazing pins. Want a starter set? Here’s how I get them cheap.
- Don’t buy your souvenirs at the Emporium. In each smaller shop there’s a table with items for 50% off (70% off if you buy 4). Stock changes frequently so it’s worth checking each one.
- Food, even water, is expensive, and I couldn’t find any water fountains. Budget for it. Tap water in Hong Kong is technically potable but I didn’t risk it beyond brushing teeth.
- They have Dole Whip! It’s hidden in Tomorrowland at the exit of Space Mountain. The flavor is slightly different (passionfruit and mango with the pineapple) but it’s just as good.
Any tips I’ve skipped? Any questions? Let me know in the comments.
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