Hong Kong Disneyland visit
A Hong Kong Disneyland visit was mandatory for us during our spring break visit to Hong Kong. We’ve been to DisneyWorld and Disneyland in the United States more times than I can count. So this was our chance for something different. There’s only so much culture and wonton soup my teen boys could tolerate, so heading to Hong Kong Disneyland seemed like a great idea mid week.
The great part about visiting mid week in the spring time is the temperate weather and the lack of crowds. We took the metro the entire commute from our hotel in Kowloon to the gates of Hong Kong Disneyland. The short metro ride from the Sunny Bay metro stop that stops only at Disneyland is where the magic begins. From the Mickey shaped windows, subway hand holds, plush seats, and statues inside the cars, it was a welcome sight. After we disembarked, it was a short walk to the front to get tickets and enter the park.
SO WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HONG KONG DISNEYLAND AND THE DISNEY THEME PARKS IN THE UNITED STATES?
First, the price. Hong Kong Disneyland is one of the smallest of all the Disney parks and the price reflects that. The prices during our visit were $75/day per person. Since we rode the metro, we didn’t pay for parking either. And while there is a fast pass system for a few of the rides, we didn’t need it. Lines were non-existent. This might not be the case during the busy summer months, and it will be a lot hotter outside. My feet appreciated the short distances between all of the lands within the theme park too.
Secondly, the attractions. Some of the rides are only at Hong Kong Disneyland and nowhere else. Hyperspace Mountain is a lot like space mountain, however everything had been retrofitted with the Star Wars theme. So you’re coasting beside tie fighters and x-wings. We’re not sure whether that was a celebration or it will remain that way. The Iron Man experience is new ride exclusive to Hong Kong. It uses the same technology as the Star Tours simulator ride in the USA, however it is all Ironman. It was a new ride and should stay that way. They also have a small simulator game and meet and greet area dedicated to Iron Man.
On the other side of the park, the Big Grizzly Mountain Runaway Mine Cars is one of my favorite of all Disney rollercoasters. I don’t want to give too much away, but just when you think the ride is over, it’s not. Think California Screamin’, Big Thunder Mountain and Expedition Everest rolled into one ride. Mystic Manor is a unique ride too, although I like the Haunted Mansion in the United States better. There’s an entire Toy Story land with different rides, and our favorite of those was RC Racer.
The food variety is overwhelming. While they do have your familiar Mickey head ice cream sandwich, the food options are endless. It’s kind of like Epcot when you visit a food place inside the park. There was Indian Food, sushi, dim sum, americana, you name it. The popcorn was caramel or strawberry flavored, but the churros seemed the same. Hong Kong is known for it’s love of egg waffles, so Hong Kong Disneyland had a cart with Micky or Iron Man shaped waffles.
The parade technology was incredible and we didn’t have to save a spot for hours to see it up close. The night time parade before closing reminded us of an updated version of the Main Street Electrical Parade from Disneyland that was retired years ago. The technology and lights were amazing. The best part was that we had a waffle snack, walked down main street towards the exit and had a front row spot for the parade. And this was all minutes before it started. I even sat on a bench on a raised platform for a while during the parade to rest my feet and there was plenty of room.
While some people might think Hong Kong Disneyland doesn’t have enough high thrill attractions for teens, we thought it was great and wouldn’t have missed it. For those that love the Disney magic or have any nostalgic feelings about Disney, it’s a great park. If you are only looking for big thrill rides, you might try Ocean Park, but we didn’t. We got our thrills by doing the highest bungy jump in the world from the top of Macau Tower the next day. But that’s a whole other blog post.
PS. I maxed out the score on the Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters ride for the first time ever at Hong Kong Disneyland!! That might make this Disney theme park have an extra special place in my heart. Until we visit another one. Who’s up for Tokyo?