Hong Kong Disneyland is a vastly underrated park in my opinion. The park houses unique rides and experiences that any Disney fan (and many non Disney fans) would enjoy. Here’s my ranking of my favorites –Hong Kong Disneyland best rides and attractions, not to be missed.
Two notes. Obviously, this list details my subjective opinions so adjust according to your family’s needs and preferences. Secondly, there will be mild spoilers for these rides, so if you’re like me and like to go in with a fresh slate consider yourself warned. Also, even though I ranked these, you could pretty much rank them 1A, 1B, 1C, etc.
So here are my favorite attractions at Hong Kong Disneyland, ranked in ascending order.
7. Fairytale Forest
It might surprise some that this is on the list, but I think Fairytale Forest is a great place to visit, especially if you have young kids. The Fairytale Forest gives you a chance to walk through a magical garden filled with features from five different famous Disney stories.
Each section of the garden features a unique photo opportunity with some great framing (literally). There’s also a small diorama of a scene from each movie in each section. You also hear iconic music from each film in each part of the forest. Topping it all off, you can meet Tinkerbell. Overall, it’s a great little attraction that’s worth a look.
6. It’s a Small World
OK, OK. I know lots of people refuse to ride It’s a Small World for fear of getting that darn music stuck in your head for days on end. But I think the Hong Kong Disneyland version is well worth your time.
The rooms, room order, and many of the animatronics are different. Obviously, Asia’s presence looms much larger in Hong Kong Disneyland. But the real star of the show? Characters from Disney movies sprinkled throughout the ride. Not only that, but small bits from the iconic songs from these movies sprinkle themselves into the main It’s a Small World theme. Purists might not like the Disney characters being in there, but I guarantee your kids will. (A few days after I wrote this, my four year old daughter randomly volunteered that she did indeed prefer the Hong Kong version for this very reason!)
Bonus tip: Stick around to watch the clock on the Small World facade. It’s lovely to watch!
5. Hyperspace Mountain
I’d rank this higher up the list, but Space Mountain received this overlay in multiple parks (though it’s leaving Disneyland soon). As you queue, you’re briefed by Admiral Akbar on an important mission you’ll be undertaking for the Rebel Alliance. You also get some briefing in Cantonese and Mandarin – I really appreciated hearing Star Wars stuff in another language!
The ride itself features Star Wars overlays and speakers narrating what’s going on in the mission. Most of it is in Cantonese but you can get the gist without (bad guys blow up, etc. etc.) The ride is a ton of fun and honestly I prefer it to the original (I know many disagree). It surprised me at almost every turn and I walked out with a huge smile.
4. Big Grizzly Mountain Runaway Mine Cars
Out of all the rides on the list, I never managed to ride Grizzly Gulch Runaway Mine Cars, much to my chagrin. But if I had rode, it might be even higher up the list. I’m a sucker for rides that go backwards like these runaway mine cars. From what I could see, the track is long, and since this is the only true ride in Grizzly Gulch, it has to be a show stopper. Watching people ride and hearing friends’ accounts, I think it definitely fits the bill.
3. Mickey and the Wondrous Book
My first day in the park, I kept seeing loads of people coming out of an attraction called Mickey and the Wondrous Book. I had never heard of it so I looked it up when I got home. Turns out it’s a theater show, featuring Mickey and Goofy trying to get Olaf back into the correct pages of a magical storybook.
Along the way they meet characters from both iconic Disney movies (Frozen) and some of the smaller ones (The Princess and the Frog). You’ll love the music, dance choreography, and hearing Mickey and Goofy speak in Cantonese. Don’t worry, there are subtitles and half the show is in English.
The show also features some original songs which sound great, too (we’re still singing it). The show features great special effects and brings joy to kids and adults alike. Don’t miss it.
2. Ironman Experience
Walt Disney World in Florida has that weird rule where they can’t showcase the majority of Marvel characters. Since no such rule exists for Hong Kong Disneyland, they built a Star Tours type ride around Ironman called the Ironman Experience. In fact, this is the first Marvel based ride in any Disney theme park.
You board a tour vehicle at a technology expo in Hong Kong, but of course things go wrong and you get involved in some superhero action. The flight simulator holds over forty people at a time so they can move the line fairly quickly. It showcases some impressive shots of Hong Kong which add to the fun.
My only disappointment? They didn’t shell out the money for Robert Downey Jr or someone who even sounds close to him. I equate him so much with the character now it jarred me a bit to hear someone else. That bumped this ride out of #1 contention. Still, don’t let that deter you – Fastpass this ride a few times!
1. Mystic Manor
It’s been a week and I’m still thinking about Mystic Manor. Due to cultural reasons, ghosts couldn’t be included in Hong Kong Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion. What they came up with instead felt nothing short of spectacular the first time I experienced it.
The premise: an explorer offers you a tour of his mansion. Unfortunately, his mischievious pet monkey Marcus opens a magical music box that brings all the artifacts to life. I actually think Mystic Manor feels scarier than the original Haunted Mansion, because these live artifacts give the illusion of putting you in real danger. Well as much as you can in a Disney park.
Another neat feature of the ride – it’s trackless. The cars give the illusion that they move on their own. It’s probably magnets or something but it looks really cool. Finally, the ride makes excellent use of color and effects. It’s absolutely my favorite attraction at Hong Kong Disneyland.
Hong Kong Disneyland features a lot of the classic Disney rides, but 5 of my 7 favorite attractions can’t be found anywhere else. Best of all, lines generally are shorter than in other Disney parks around the world, so you could probably hit all seven of these attractions in one day with plenty of time to spare.
If you’ve been to Hong Kong Disneyland, what rides do you enjoy the most? Let me know in the comments!
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