November 24, 2023, 5:59 PM ·
Hong Kong Disneyland might be Disney’s smallest theme park resort, but it’s well worth visiting for Disney fans with the means to get there.
Indeed, the toughest part of visiting Hong Kong Disneyland is getting to Hong Kong. But once you arrive, getting to the resort and making your way around it is easy. In fact, the Hong Kong Disneyland resort can be a convenient base for exploring the rest of Hong Kong during your stay. You can find rooms at Hong Kong Disneyland’s three on-site hotels starting as low as under $150 a night. Our ticket partner has one-day tickets to the park starting at $76, with additional discounts available inside multi-day tickets and packages, so this is definitely an affordable Disney park to visit… again, once you get to Hong Kong.Getting to Hong Kong DisneylandStart by downloading the Uber and Octopus apps before you arrive. You can book taxis via the Uber app, and Octopus is a ubiquitous payment app around the city. You’ll find some places that take only cash and Octopus. There’s a Hong Kong Visitors Bureau stand in the arrivals hall at the Hong Kong airport where you can set up an Octopus account and get discount coupons for locations around town.Hong Kong’s MTR (Mass Transit Railway) runs to Disneyland, but it’s not a straight shot, so I recommend taking a taxi or Uber to save yourself some time if you are heading immediately to Disneyland from the airport. The cost is usually under HK$200. The value of the Hong Kong dollar is fixed to the U.S. dollar and is worth about 13 cents U.S., so your ride from the airport to Disneyland should cost you about US$25.
If you are visiting Disneyland from anywhere else in Hong Kong, take the MTR to Sunny Bay station, where you can connect to the Disneyland Resort Line. It’s a whimsically designed train, with Mickey-shaped windows and Disney decor. The Disneyland station is located at the park’s transit hub, where you can catch a bus to each of the three on-site hotels. It’s a short walk from the transit hub to the park entrance.If you continue past the large fountain at the park’s entrance straight down the same path, you will reach a largely empty boat dock. Turn right and follow a seawall path to get to each of the hotels. If you are staying at the hotels, this seawall walking path is my favorite way to get to the park. It’s about a 15-20 minute walk from the Disney Explorers Lodge, which in the one in the middle of the three.Where to stay?Hong Kong Disneyland has three on-site hotels. The Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel is the closest to the park (and most expensive) and styled like the Grand Floridian at Walt Disney World.The next hotel along the seawall path is Disney Explorers Lodge, which is look very familiar to fans of Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge in Florida.The third hotel is Disney’s Hollywood Hotel. It offers an art deco style, with a dash of midcentury modern. It’s the least expensive of the three and is – as one of my media colleagues brilliantly described – “if Superstar Limo were a hotel.”Staying at any of the three hotels gets you dedicated security check and entry lanes at the park, as well as 15 minutes of early access. The rooms are comfy and include one international charger adapter. Hong Kong uses United Kingdom-style Type G plugs, so bring adapters if you will be charging multiple devices.Remember to switch on your plugs after you plug in your device, and you will need to put a card into the slot just inside the room door to activate the lights. That’s standard in hotels around the world, but not in the U.S., so I’m saying this as a reminder to American readers. You could use your room key card for this, but if you don’t want to lock yourself out because you’re not in the habit of taking that card out with you when you leave, keep your room key card on you and just stick a grocery discount card in there. It’ll work.Tour plan for Hong Kong DisneylandHong Kong Disneyland will feel like a throwback to Walt Disney World visitors. Paper tickets. No need for advance dining reservations. There is a paid “Lightning Lane”-style line-skipping system called Priority Access, but it’s not often used and not really needed to enjoy the park’s attractions. You can find a complete list of those attractions in our Visitors Guide to Hong Kong Disneyland. Note that Grizzly Gulch, Mystic Point, and Toy Story Land open 30 minutes after the rest of the park. Use your first moments in the park to buy a freshly-made Mickey waffle on Main Street, then head over to Big Grizzly Mountain, followed by Mystic Manor. Unless you have little kids who must do Toy Story, skip that for now and head next to World of Frozen.Come with me on a walking tour around the park.Use the Hong Kong Disneyland app to find showtimes for the Festival of The Lion King show, as well as Mickey and the Wondrous Book, if you are interested in that Disney Cruise Line-style musical hits production. And I also recommend – as always, where it is offered – a trip to Animation Academy to draw your own Disney character. Here, you’ll find it often is Duffy, whose character friends dominate almost every retail location in the park.Pick up the rest of the park’s attractions at your convenience, but plan to save a space on the hub 30-60 minutes early for Momentous, which is an excellent nighttime spectacular.You easily can hit the best and unique attractions in Hong Kong Disneyland in one day. If you want to do everything at a super leisurely pace, take two. For more in-depth looks at Hong Kong Disneyland’s top attractions, check out our reviews of each:A few other notes: Hong Kong’s Tomorrowland is pretty much all Marvel now, with the exception of the Star Wars-themed Hyperspace Mountain. The old Buzz Lightyear ride is now Ant-Man and The Wasp: Nano Battle!, while the former Star Tours is Iron Man Experience, where you and Iron Man save Hong Kong from Hydra. Hong Kong’s It’s a Small World goes hard on the Disney characters, making it a, uh, unique version of the classic boat ride. Other than that, though, Hong Kong’s Fantasyland needs to be next on Disney’s US$60 billion to-do list. There’s only one dark ride, and it’s the Florida version of Winnie the Pooh. Sandwiched now between the expanded Castle of Magical Dreams and World of Frozen, Hong Kong’s Disneyland needs some love to match the new, better standard of those icons.In Adventureland, the park is no longer offering Jungle Cruise in your choice of three languages – which must have been an operational nightmare to manage. Instead, the skipper tells their jokes in Mandarin, Cantonese and English. Of course, with those walk-talkie mics jammed up next to their mouths, that makes this Jungle Cruise pretty much unintelligible in three languages. Still, this version offers a unique finale that’s well worth seeing.You can find more about the park in our Visitors Guide to Hong Kong Disneyland. And when you are ready to visit, see our partner for tickets to Hong Kong Disneyland.* * *
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