Asia Disney Hong Kong International Travel Toddler Travel Trip Reports

Home for the Holidays: Hong Kong Disneyland with a Toddler

Hong Kong Disneyland
Hong Kong Disneyland

I’ve read reports that Hong Kong Disneyland can be pretty empty compared to the theme parks in the States. I totally believed that to be true, but I also knew we’d be visiting on a holiday (day after New Year’s) so I expected crowds.

My cousin gave me some pretty good advice, Hong Kong advice really since he has never been to Disneyland: “Get in when the park opens and leave before 3 PM”. So with toddler in tow, we struck out on our last day in Asia to go see the little mouse.

Getting to Disneyland

Disneyland is incredibly easy to get to in Hong Kong. You just hop on the Tung Chung line (or Airport Express) and alight at Sunny Bay. From there, there is a MTR line dedicated to Disneyland: it runs back and forth between Sunny Bay and Disneyland.

Unbelievable.
Unbelievable.

The first thing that struck me on the way to Disneyland was the empty MTR station. I mean, it’s practically unheard of in Hong Kong. So we enjoyed our relatively quiet trip to Sunny Bay. We hopped on the West Rail line at East Tsim Sha Tsui station and transferred at Nam Cheong to the Tung Chung line.

Mickey Mouse windows
Mickey Mouse windows

Once we got on the Disneyland MTR, things started to get a little more crowded, but still not so crowded that we couldn’t get a seat. Since the train is dedicated to Disneyland it’s definitely themed – Mickey Mouse windows, Mickey Mouse handholds, etc.

I guess I shouldn’t have expected otherwise, but when we got off the train it felt like a different world for a second. Something about the iconic Disney train station I guess. There was a crush of people (everything is stroller friendly by the way) and a line out the turnstiles so we waited it out. M of course was content practicing her escalator walking.

This never gets old...for her
This never gets old…for her

As we started walking up to the ticket counters, Jess finally started getting a little excited (she didn’t even want to go, come on!). Disney is obviously a master of marketing and something about the Little Mermaid banner just got her ready. Ha.

The line most people stood in
The line most people stood in

Anyway, the ticket counters looked like a mess from a distance, but people weren’t paying attention: there was a relatively empty ticket booth all the way to the left so I only had to wait behind two people. After shelling out $950HKD ($50HKG discount for being a HK resident), we were in!

The line I stood in
The line I stood in

Visiting Fantasyland

Entering the park
Entering the park

It felt like the park was filling pretty quickly so we made a beeline for Fantasyland, stopping to watch a little band along the way. We decided Fantasyland would be the best place to start because it seemed to have the most toddler friendly rides.

The castle looks a lot smaller in Hong Kong - the optical illusion isn't as well done
The castle looks a lot smaller in Hong Kong – the optical illusion isn’t as well done

Even thought we got in twenty five minutes after park opening, the line for Dumbo was already an hour long! So we took her on some of the rides with the shortest lines. We started on the carousel, the line was only ten minutes long. M was pretty happy riding the horse.

Whee!
Whee!

After the carousel, we took a ride on the teacups which had a super short line as well, about ten minutes. I guess M is too young to get motion sick because she had a pretty good time spinning around.

You spin me right round baby right round...
You spin me right round baby right round…

The last ride we hit before lunch was It’s a Small World. That song is like a virus – it’s still stuck in my head (well, M makes us listen to it all the time too). The line was super short again so we got on very quickly.

Let's look at the flying carpet!
Let’s look at all the different countries!

I must say, some of the stuff still seems a little racist (flying carpets?!), but I guess it’s fantasy. It doesn’t really bother me but it sure is fun to poke fun at.

Um.....
Um…..

At this point it was about 11:45. I’d say our biggest mistake on the trip wasn’t doubling up on rides at this point. We could have exited It’s a Small World and gotten straight back on – same with the teacups. We decided to eat lunch instead.

Eating at Disneyland 

I must say, lunch wasn’t that expensive. I forgot to take a picture but I think it was only about $12 for a meal and a drink. Eating at 11:45 actually ended up working out great, after 12:00 it got very crowded very fast. There are various options spread throughout the park, but Fantasyland had the Chinese food.

Nothing like a chicken leg in a vacuum sealed plastic bag!
Nothing like a chicken leg in a vacuum sealed plastic bag!

After lunch, we strolled M around to get her to nap. We also grabbed some snacks – a pair of Mickey Mouse ice cream cones and a chicken leg (gotta love Asia). She fell asleep straight away – too much excitement I guess. While she was out I went on Space Mountain, there is a separate line for single riders that takes half the time (20 minutes when I was there).

Did I abandon my family to go on a ride by myself? Um...yes?
Did I abandon my family to go on a ride by myself? Um…yes?

There were a few people who went to the single rider line together – not a bad idea (they sat separately but it’s so dark in there who cares). I must say, I felt pretty old, Space Mountain isn’t a hardcore rollercoaster by any stretch but I was totally burnt out by it!

Yo Stitch...we just want to get to It's a Small World
Yo Stitch…we just want to get to It’s a Small World

After Space Mountain we got caught by a parade – the crowds were definitely beginning to swell by this point. It was 1:30 PM and our goal was to get M on one or two more rides before calling it a day.

One Last Ride

While M was still sleeping, we decided to eat that chicken leg. Note to self: eat these while hot so it doesn’t start congealing, haha. The chicken leg came complete with a glove so you don’t get your hand dirty. Genius.

Dat chicken leg design!
Dat chicken leg design!

M finally woke up and immediately started saying “ride boat ride boat” in Chinese. I guess that long term memory is starting to kick in. We went back to It’s a Small World – 1 hr and 45 minute wait. Wow. We then had to go to Plan B.

Riding the jungle river cruise
Riding the jungle river cruise

Thankfully, the line at the Jungle River cruise was only 30 minutes at this point, so we waited in line for that. There was a warning that it might be a little too intense for children – I think it was a little bit too much for M at parts. At the end there is this gigantic wall of flame (fire gods fighting river gods or something). M didn’t freak out but did hold on to us pretty tight.

Wei shen me ni de bi zi zhen me chang?
Wei shen me ni de bi zi zhen me chang?

One note about the cruise, you can choose to take the tour in English, Cantonese, or Mandarin. We were going to take her to the Mandarin line but the English one looked shorter (they say all the lines take the same amount of time but I don’t buy it). Anyway, that kind of was a mistake, our guide was really tough to understand, but it is what it is. Something to bear in mind if you’re multilingual.

Fantasyland filled up very quickly after lunch
The entire park filled up very fast in the afternoon

At this point, the park was flooded with people. Disneyland in Hong Kong definitely feels smaller. We decided to hightail it out of there, though not before we bought a Tsum Tsum from the gift shop, which was also flooded with people (we could barely move our stroller around).

Her one souvenier
Her one souvenier

Final Thoughts

Anyway, I’m here to say you can do Hong Kong Disneyland with a toddler and be successful. M definitely enjoyed the rides and her time there, her eyes were as wide as saucers over half the time there. I’m pretty sure if it hadn’t been a holiday the park would have been a lot emptier, which would have been great.

If you’re looking for some tips on traveling to Hong Kong Disneyland, Trips With Tykes has some good tips and links. I got to fulfill my wish of taking M to Disneyland and it ended up being cheaper than if we had done it in the states – thank goodness this hobby makes the world small enough for us to travel after all! Okay that was bad…

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Other Posts in this Series

Introduction

United Domestic First and LAX Star Alliance Lounge

EVA Royal Laurel Class Review

Using Public Transportation in Taiwan with a Toddler

Visiting the Taipei Zoo

Eating in Taipei

Grand Hyatt Taipei King Suite Review

A Tough Flight with a Toddler

Public Transportation in Hong Kong with a Toddler

Typical Hong Kong Tourist Activities

Hong Kong Disneyland with a Toddler

Joe
Just an average joe trying to fly his family for less
http://www.asthejoeflies@gmail.com

6 thoughts on “Home for the Holidays: Hong Kong Disneyland with a Toddler

  1. First time I’ve ever posted a comment on Saverocity, but also the only time I’ve felt I had something to add! I’ve probably been to HKDL as much as anyone not living in Asia, and I’d give the following tips to anyone in the area:

    1) The park is very much a locals park (like Disneyland in California but unlike WDW in Florida). As such, definitely go on a weekday. It is practically an order of magnitude less busy.

    2) If you’ve ever been to DL or the Magic Kingdom in Orlando you’ve seen much of what HKDL has to offer. BUT there are two lands in HKDL that do not exist anywhere else in the world – Grizzly Peak and Mystic Point. Mystic Manor (a very not scary take on the Haunted Mansion) alone is worth the price of entry. It is quite possibly the best slow-moving dark ride in the world at this moment.

    3) There are very, very few Fastpass-able rides at the parks. As such you should make sure you always have an active Fastpass for one of them, since there’s no downside to doing so and it will dramatically cut down on the wait time.

    1. Thanks for the comment, glad to hear from you! Great point about the Fastpass I should put that in the post – it’s just Winnie the Pooh and Space Mountain for Fastpass.

  2. Great post and glad to hear your daughter enjoyed it! Like the park in Anaheim, there really is a lot for toddlers. We went to Disneyland in Anaheim with our daughter for the first time at exactly this same age, and she had the same wide eyed wonder.

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