Hong Kong Disneyland Experience!
Disneyland was our major destination when we traveled to Hong Kong briefly. It was an adventure exclusively for me and EA. Today I will gladly share our experience and some helpful tips to make your Disneyland trip more exciting.
I am definitely not fond of waiting in long lines, so for Disneyland, we opted to buy our tickets online. Ooopppss! Before you rush to Disneyland website just now, I suggest that you canvass first the different ticket sources available. Here are some of my suggestions:
(1) Hong Kong Airport – I remember Little H’s pediatrician telling us before that tickets for major attractions in each country are much cheaper if bought from the airport. Unfortunately for us, Disneyland tickets were sold out by the time we attempted to purchase it in the airport. But yes, compared to the tickets sold via Disneyand website, prices indeed in the airport are cheaper.
(2) Hotel services – Most hotels, like ours, EAST Hong Kong, offers tickets for major tourist attractions. We were surprised to find out that next to the airport prices, it is the cheapest. I am glad that we explored this option because it saved us a lot.
What I love about having tickets online is of course, not getting into long lines. But of course in most amusement attractions, a proof of online purchase is yet to be converted to actual tickets. I am glad that Disneyland has DIY ticket converter which is like an ATM machine!
Just scan the bar code of your printed or scanned copy of purchase, .. and.. Viola! Instant tickets!
Tried and tested… Planning
As always, every time we travel, I do my assignment, which is to research. Especially for this Disneyland trip since it is just me and EA, I really took time to read and plan ahead to make sure that we make the most out of our entire day. Aside from the tickets and and transportation, I also checked blogs to get ideas on how we can best navigate inside Disneyland. EA is 7 years old, thus, I do not expect him to be patient enough to try all the rides and attractions so we just have to be choosy of the attractions to see. In that way, we will get to see the entirety of Disneyland before the day ends. But he made me so proud because he was such a trooper and was very patient in waiting as we lined up, even at times it lasted for 30 minutes.
Also, to make your trip more comfortable, check weather forecast for the day, Since it is December, air is chilly at this time in Hong Kong but sunny. We are on our jackets, but have caps ready for the sun. Wear comfortable shoes. There will be a lot of walking so your feet will be up for a big challenge for the day. Also, pack a couple of bottles water as it can be expensive inside Disneyland. Use a lightweight and easy to carry bag or backpack. Make sure it is closely zipped,as you do not want to get your things spilled as you get on the rides (or you might want to rent a locker).
Disneyland is located near Hong Kong Airport, which means it is quite far from the city and business districts. If Disneyland is your main destination in going to HK, Disneyland Hotel is the best place to stay so you won’t have to travel far. However, for us, since our hotel is in the city, several miles away from Disneyland, we will have to travel via train or MTR. But you know what, travelling to Disneyland was a breeze!
I am really in awe of how efficient the train system is n Hong Kong. Tai Koo, where our hotel is located, is several miles away from Disneyland but it was not such a hassle going there by train. In fact, in most blogs that I read, most of them are saying that the best way to get to Disneyland from different parts of the Hong Kong is via train. Halfway through our journey, we even have to switch trains but it was such a breeze because there are several signs scattered around the MTR stations to guide us.
When we got to Sunny Bay which is the station for Disneyland, a Disneyland train was waiting for us.
Excitement started to build up just be getting into the train! We can feel Disneyland already with all the Mickey Mouse silhouette windows, and several Disneyland character statues inside the train.
Time of Visit
I’ve read in most blogs that the best time to go to Disneyland is as soon as it opens, which is 10am. We got there at 10:30am and there were a lot of people already. Lines can be very long. Yes, Disneyland is relatively small compared to that in Florida, but if you plan to experience all (or at least the major) rides and attractions, you will need a whole day or more. Me and EA were at Disneyland from 10:30 am to 9:00pm, yup until closing time, and yet we only went to see the major attraction in each location.
Disneyland is a whole new world altogether. I am a kid at heart and there is no perfect place to unleash that side of me than to be in this magical place. With our maps on hand, and big smiles plastered in our faces, EA and I explored, first by riding the Disney train, which will go around the park. It will stop initially at Fantasy Land, but if you want to see the whole park, you may opt not to get off the train.
Most of the rides entail waiting time of 30-45 minutes especially in the afternoon wherein there are a lot of riders already. Mind you, the lines are moving fast. There is just a lot of people in it that is why waiting time is long.
Hong Kong Disneyland, I believe is catered to the young crowd. There is not much “thrill rides”. But even so, adults will still have fun. Since we only have a day to tour Disneyland, our strategy was just to pick two or three rides per location and move on to the next. It is EA who chose the attractions. Then, if we still have time after we’ve seen the entire park, we will try those rides that we skipped.
Our plan worked out just fine because by 4pm, we were able to see the entire park, and by then EA was already tired. I guess what just didn’t work out was that by the time we tried to line up for pictures with Disney characters, it was cut off already . So if taking family photos with Mickey and Minnie are your major “go to” in Disneyland, you might try to squeeze this is in your agenda middle of the day. But mind you, the lines can get very very long and waiting time can last for hours.
There are several shows throughout the day. If you are not fond of these musical shows or 3d theaters, then I suggest you skip those in your agenda. BUT, if there’s one show that I will encourage you to see, it is the Lion King Musical! It was magnificent! Even EA, who is not very familiar with the Lion King movie, liked it a lot and even gave it a standing ovation right after.
Just make sure that you check first the schedules time of the plays so you can consider it as you plan your day. Also, picture and video recording is allowed inside, provided that it has no flash so as not to distract the other audiences. Mind you, they do take this policy seriously.
While we are resting from our full day, we had a snack at the Cafe in Main Avenue. We no longer have to wait that long because the Christmas tree lighting was set at 6:15pm. We were settled in along the Main Ave as early as 5pm. It was worth the wait! The lighting ceremony featuring Ana and Elsa of Frozen was amazing and at the end of the ceremony, much in our delight, there was an improvised drizzle of snow all over Main Avenue!
After Christmas tree lighting it was almost time for the Lights Parade. Main lights were dimmed in the entire park.
After the Lights Parade, everyone gathered infront of the Fantasy land castle to witness the much popular Fireworks Display. One word to describe it is MAGNIFICENT! You can probably hear me gush in the video!
Of course, we can not go home without buying some pasalubongs for our loved ones back home. There was a lot to choose from! I was so tempted to go way over our budget! Hahaha!
It was indeed a wonderful experience being in Disneyland with my son EA. It was a good way for us to bond and spend some exclusive time together. I love Disneyland because it was such a smooth experience for a tourist like us, from buying tickets, going to and from it, navigating inside the park, etc.. I also think that we made the right decision of coming here this December because of three things: (1) the weather is cold. It saved us the hassle of getting uncomfortable from all the heat especially in the summer, (2) Disneyland HK is celebrating its 10th year anniversary which is why they had a special lights parade and fireworks, and (3) Since its is Christmas time, there was a Christmas tree lighting ceremony. It was indeed a fun, tiring but worth it trip! We went home with a big smile on our faces.
Have you guys visited HK Disneyland too? How was the experience? If you are planning to go, I hope my tips were able to help you. I would love to know how your trip went so feel free to share it with me!