A Day in Hong Kong Disneyland

Out of 6 days that I had in Hong Kong, I decided to spent one day in the land of magic – Hong Kong Disneyland. I am not a super fan (more of ordinary fan) of any Disneyland Character, but I like themed park and or amusement park. The idea to enjoy a ride, be it in a carousel, riding a boat in a man-made “scary-unknown” jungle, riding a roller coaster is really fun. I mean, wouldn’t you want to be carried away from this earth for a while and enjoy being carefree and happy for just a moment?

My attractions to nature, landscape, and architecture will always win its place when it comes to concocting an itinerary. But, when I had a chance to experience amusement park, I’ve been on a roll as well. I went to Warner Bros Studio Tour in London on 2015, did bungee jump on 2012 in New Zealand, had a skydiving in Queensland Australia on 2014, had a Hot Balloon ride on Cappadocia on 2013, and this year I heard Disneyland calling my name.

In this post, i will share my experience and I will summarise the tips at the end of this post. So, make sure you keep reading (or just scroll down if you’re impatient and want to read the Tips already), haha…

Where is exactly Hong Kong Disneyland located in Hong Kong?

​As you know, Hong Kong is comprised of several big islands. Hong Kong Disneyland and Hong Kong International Airport (HKG) is located on the same island namely Lantau island. Meanwhile, the Hong Kong “central” where the concrete jungle resides is in Hong Kong Main Island. Luckily, there are very well-establish means of transportation, MTR (Hong Kong Metro/Subway lines) between these islands.

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Hong Kong Disneyland Location (source: Google Map)
If you stay in Hong Kong Island, which I’m certainly sure you will, or at least in Tsim Sha Shui area, you will need to hop on a metro, or a bus. But you can always go by a car and a boat even to reach Hong Kong Disneyland.

Things i prepared before going to Hong Kong Disneyland

1. Buying the ticket online
First, I bought the ticket online on Hong Kong Disneyland official website (https://www.hongkongdisneyland.com/book/general-tickets), I chose the 1-day special package with a HK$50 merchandise gift voucher or a free Mickey Waffle included on it for HK$ 619 per pax. I picked one day because I had another place to visit in Hong Kong and I thought one day is enough to get a taste of Disneyland. But now that I have gone to Disneyland, I would say that one day is DEFINITELY not enough. How foolish I was to think so. Between the number of attractions and the long queue, one day is certainly not enough. If I knew, I would have chosen 2-day special package for HK$ 689. I hope future will give me a chance to redo this in any of Disneyland Park in the world.
If you are still undecided and would like to buy on the D-day, you can still purchase the ticket in the entrance of Disneyland’s main entrance as early as 30 minutes before the park opens. You can also buy the ticket in the following place:

  • Any of Disneyland resorts
  • MTR Hong Kong station (Tung Chung line concourse). Open from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM Monday through Friday and 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM Saturday, Sunday and public holidays.
  • The Magic of Hong Kong Disneyland, Hong Kong International Airport (Terminal 2). Open daily from 8:30 AM to 9:00 PM.
  • Authorized Travel Agent available in Hong Kong Disneyland Official Website

2. Research on “How to get to Disneyland Hong Kong”
If you’re staying in Hong Kong main land or Kowloon, the easiest way to go to Hong Kong Disneyland is by MTR. Wherever you stay and whichever MTR line you ride (be it green or orange), it will terminate at Sunny Bay Station, and then from Sunny Bay station, you need to transfer to the Disneyland Resort Line (purple) which will take you directly to Disneyland resort.

The metro line that pass through Sunny Bay Station is Airport Express line (green), and Tung Chung line (orange). So, if you ride any MTR line other than those colours, you need to make another transfer first to those line. I stayed in a Hotel near to North Point Station – which is in Blue line (Island Line). So, I went to Hong Kong Central Station first to transfer to Orange line heading for Sunny Bay Station.

For other means of transportation, you can read it here.

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HK MTR Map (source: https://www.travelchinaguide.com/cityguides/hongkong/transportation/metro-subway-map.htm)
3. Prepare for the outfit
At first, it may be a simple thing and easy to ignore. But, I think it is very imperative to dress comfortably especially in Hong Kong Disneyland. Hong Kong humidity level is known very high (humidity is measurement of water vapour in the air, with 100% is the maximum). On April-May 2018, Hong Kong humidity level in average can reach 85-90% and this is very serious. Even when you do nothing in daylight, you can sweat as if you have run a 10K marathon. So, I picked a very comfortable T-shirt and a dress, in the hope that I can be comfortable to move. And it was proven so. I still felt sticky and sweating heavy though. But, it could get worst if I chose to dress differently. Also, bring along water bottle (stay dehydrated!), apply sunscreen, and bring a hat with you. It won’t hurt if you bring a shirt or two for a change.


That D-Day in Hong Kong Disneyland

Hong Kong Disneyland Opens at 10 am, so we (me and my mom) went from the Hotel in North Point around 8 am since it takes about almost 2 hours to get there. Soon as we arrived at Sunny Bay MTR Station, the Train that we hopped on to the Hong Kong Disneyland arrived and I could not be more excited!!

​I mean…the carriage is designed all out so as to make you feel you’re no longer in this cruel world, but you’re about soon to embark the unknown, FUN, exciting world where everyone is 7 years old. I just could not help staring at the mickey-shaped window, mickey-shaped hand gripping, and everything that screams Mickey and FUN!! Suffice to say, you wouldn’t get lost and getting on a wrong carriage once you’re in Sunny Bay MTR Station. Whaddaya say?

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You can’t hop on the wrong train (Source: http://www.allenfamadventures.com/)

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Can i have this carriage for myself, please? (source: http://bettyandlingshing.blogspot.com/)

Reality sunk in when I stepped out of the Carriage in HK Disneyland. Rain started to pour as drizzle at first intermittently. And there were SO many people and I started to feel sticky. Welcome to HK Disneyland!

The main gate started to appear and LOTS and LOTS of people scrambling to take picture in front of the entrance gate (while it was still drizzling) while me, I took care of my camera (read: kept it inside not wanting to risk any droplets of rain touching it – my DSLR is not weather sealed). Once I broke it when i was in Iceland. It was also drizzling when i was in Jokulsarlon and I was adamant to take it out and took as many pictures as I could despite of the weather. I went home only to find it could not be turned on – and the rest of the journey was history. Anyway, back to welcoming gate of HK Disneyland, Yeah, it was pretty much packed with no chance of taking picture of yourself sweetly posed without anybody on it. So, I moved forward. My mom was excited though, I took pictures of her (with many other tourists inside of the frame).

As I marched in, few stores started to appear, I went in to one to get my Mickey hair band (YAY!!!) since I think it’s the single most important accessories to have when you’re in Disneyland (you may check my age, but last time I check, Mickey head band is for every age). Next, i will discuss each attractions, how long it takes to explore and how long did i waited (queued) to enjoy the attractions. Please be noted that this waiting time is based on my experience, and may vary for each person, depends on what day you visit the park, how many people visiting the park, and many other factors. But, i hope it gives you clue on how long to wait for each attraction and what to expect.

Main Street USA

If you haven’t been to HK Disneyland, this is the main street towards the Disney theme park (adventure land, toy story land, Tomorrowland, etc) or in other word: Money stealer. I mean it in good way and bad way. In good way, both side of the street are sweet, cute houses selling foods, meal, and Disney Merchandise. And this is where the bad way comes, they are selling so cute  Disney merchandises that make you want to buy things you don’t actually need. It also makes you want to buy food and meals while you’re feeling full. I guess that’s the magic of Disneyland, am I right?

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Pretty houses along the main street USA

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Alluring storefront

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Inside the Disney merchandise store

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I picked it up only to put it back again 😀

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This store indeed money maker for Disney

I managed to pose in those several houses as the sky started to clear, and I was thankful for that. It wasn’t until late afternoon that It started to rain again, but it didn’t matter since 80% of the time I was there the sky was clear –  as my consciousness to stay clear off Disney Merchandise store.

There was also Fantasyland Station where you can hop on the train along the park for 20 minutes. Soon as I spot the queue line, I decided to pass since the queue was impossible!

Click here to view map of Hong Kong Disneyland.


​Plaza Grounds – Royal Princess Garden

On the end of the main street USA, where we supposed to see the famous Disney castle, I found out that the entire castle was closed for renovation and it was blocked with construction barrier. I couldn’t even take any picture in front of it. That was a sad, sad moment though. At that point, I felt a bit down by my high expectation of the park. I mean, what does it mean going to Disneyland Park without seeing the Magic Disney castle? But anyway, my disappointment soon healed by other attractions in the park as I managed to continue walking on a clockwise direction to further explore the park.

Few minutes later, we arrived at Royal Princess Garden and we marched in. If you have a daughter that love princess-thing, this castle is for you!!! I just checked on its web that it’s a place where you can meet Snow White, Anna, Princess Aurora, Elsa, Cinderella, and Belle. Someone who dress just like them. But if I remember it correctly, I found no one dress like that, instead me and my mom queued for taking picture with someone who wearing masked/outfit instead. But, we also did not go to the entire castle, just out in the front part. Maybe all the queens were available further inside of the castle.

Remember me saying that I’m not a super fan of Disney? I could not even tell whom I took a picture with. Please let me know if you recognize this princess. Thanks for the help!

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Plaza Inn restaurant near the princess castle

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Beautiful fountain/ lighting

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Who is this princess ??


Adventureland

My journey continued and brought me to Adventureland. I must admit I did not do research on what attractions were there and which one I wanted to explore. I began to look once I was given the map, and it was such a bad idea let me tell you. I think if you can do a research a bit, you can select and or avoid attractions that you want / do not want to experience and would save a great deal of time.

But surely, my stumble upon Adventureland was a great one. Me and my mom queued (again) for a “jungle” river cruise. And that was the first-best part that I really love. The jungle river was about 10-15 minutes with commentary, where you met with man-made elephant, hippo, tiger (but looked real), and they splash the water towards you. The narrative from the skipper indeed helped you feel like you’re in a real danger in the jungle. Yes, I exaggerate it, but it was fun though. I think this is the one everyone must try in Disneyland.

Experience Length: The ride is about 10 minutes
Waiting time: about 15-20 minutes


Tarzan’s house

Make sure you also visit the Tarzan’s house and climb to the upstairs. I did not though, for I was afraid of the queue. If there are things you should worry about going to Hong Kong Disneyland, they are weather and Queue. They are absolutely insane. Never going if you can’t stand Queue on a humid daylight. But, I also must say it was worth it, hahaha. Anyway, I love Tarzan’s house.

Experience Length: Take a good 15-20 minutes to explore the Tarzan’s house
Waiting time: The waiting time is for the boat ride to get to the Tarzan’s house, and it was about 10-15 minutes


Toy Story Land

My stop next was Toy Story Land. I love how colourful the park area is. Different with Adventureland where the situation mostly full of mystery and danger (not quite), it was colourful and hype.

I took picture in the barrel of fun, Hopped on Slinky Dog Spin, and Toy Soldier Parachute Drop after passing horrific Queue.

Experience Length: The ride was 3 minutes tops for each (Slinky Dog Spin and Toy Soldier Parachute Drop), but the queue definitely took longer than that especially the Toy Soldier Parachute Drop.
Waiting time: I think it was about 30 minutes of queue (​Toy Soldier Parachute Drop)

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Cute eggs in the entrance toward Toy Story Land


Mystic Manor

Going further, we arrived at Mystic Point. Love, love, love the house from the outside, looks like a haunted mansion. We took the Mystic Magneto – Electric Carriage that carried us throughout chambers inside the house. It was such a fun and refreshing experience. Again, it’s a must try in Disneyland.

Experience Length: The ride was 5-7 minutes
Waiting time: I think it was about 10 minutes in moving queue (it kept moving forward slowly)


​Grizzly Gulch (Just passing by)

When we arrived, the big Grizzly Mountain Runaway Mine cars was closed, so what we did just circling around the area and go back to the main road and headed to the main road where there was Dumbo the flying elephant and Cinderella Carousel.


Mickey’s PhilharMagic

It was simple show, but somehow it reminds me of classic Mickey mouse movie, Donald duck and many more. It showcased famous Disney’s characters and combined it to a very interesting 10 minutes 3D movie. Love the show! A kid above me tried to catch things that feels like coming out from the screen (it’s 3D thing). Also, you can get air conditioner and seating for 10 minutes.

Experience Length: The show is 10 minutes
Waiting time: about 30-40 minutes.

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Queue to watch the 3D show


​It’s a Small World

This is another ride that I love, but not so much for the dolls. Small world is a boat ride throughout the man-made canal inside the castle that passes countries in the world that were clustered in areas inside the castle. We got to see dolls and Disney character along with serenades and lighting effects. The decorations, sound effects and lighting plays great part in this experience. It’s fun experience, really.

Experience Length: The boat ride is around 10 minutes
Waiting time: about 10-20 minutes in moving queue

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Walking towards the “It’s a small world”-Castle

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Getting inside to start the queue

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i think the ride is fun, but the dolls somewhat scary
After That, we did pass Tomorrowland but we ran out of energy, so we just took pictures in front of Tomorrow land and went back to the Main Street USA. At that time, people were already flooding the street as they waited for the parade to start at 16:30 pm. But, we took that time to sneak at the waffle store to exchange the free Mickey-shaped waffle instead.After that, we headed to the exit and took this chance to take picture under the entrance gate – while others waiting for the parade. That way we could get pictures with less visitors in the frame.

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Just posing, not getting in

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Tomorrowland

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Every visitors were waiting in the main street to watch the parade

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While me, getting to the Waffle Store

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Yummy!

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The parade everyone was waiting for

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The Disney parade in the Main Street of USA

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I used this time to sneaking out to the entrance gate

All in all, the waitings were worth the attractions and the rides. But, I don’t think we should have waited that long just to enjoy the whole experience. I don’t think the queue should be normal to visitors. Disney should be able to design its Amusement parks to meet its capacity and find a way to lean out the queue and waiting. Or maybe, it’s designed not to be enjoyed in one day?

​In conclusion, I would say that the whole experience is amazing. One of those I would never forget. But, at the same time, the waiting and queue were excessively unnecessary and could easily rip the fun away.

TIPS

By writing this, it does not make me Disneyland expert. However, I would like to share some tips that may benefit your visit to Hong Kong Disneyland, if you decide to go there (which I think you SHOULD).

  1. Buy the ticket in advance as I mentioned above. With the queue on each attraction, you don’t want to start entering the park by queuing.
  2. Unless you have other itinerary, I suggest 2 days to enjoy HK Disneyland. The price difference between one day and 2-day pass is HK 70. But, in 2-days you will definitely get to experience everything it offers.
  3. Although it opens at 10 am, try to arrive around 9 or 9:30. I do not know how the situation is, but it will buy sometime to explore the outer part of Disneyland Park, which includes taking picture on its entrance gate ahead of “busy” time without having other visitors in your picture. When the park is open, you can be the first in everything and it would be awesome (I think).
  4. Learn the map in advance and decide which attraction you want to enjoy, where to have lunch, and which one you want to skip. The only lunch that i had is the mickey-shaped waffle at 4 pm. My mom has special diet and brought her own meal. Although in most theme park has its own restaurant, the queue is exhausting. I think I got tired and lost appetite from looking at the queue I didn’t enter one of those restaurants. The idea to have lunch and to queue again stressed me out and I felt like saving my time for another attractions.
  5. Learn the height and age restrictions especially if you bring your children since not all attractions are for all ages.
  6. What to bring: hat, sunscreen, t-shirt for a change, poncho/raincoat/umbrella whichever you think practical to protect you from raining, sun screen, extra money.
  7. Beware of the merchandise store, they will allure you and it’s hard not to buy anything. Everything looks so good and cute 😉
  8. No matter how long the queue and how humid the air, Enjoy !!! cause it’s Disneyland, baby!

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Finally able to get the picture alone
Asana Kusnadi
I'm Asana Kusnadi from Semarang Indonesia. Some of my friends call me Mei, it is taken from my Chinese Name. I was born in Semarang, capital city of Central Java and lived there until I graduated from University. After graduated i worked in Sumatera island and it's been almost 9 years now i live in Riau Province

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