Disneyland. The most magical and happiest place on earth. Regardless of your age, gender or background – there is no question of a doubt that Disney has had some influence in your life. Having visited Hong Kong Disneyland when it first opened in 2005 and then on it’s 5th anniversary 8 years ago. This time, we came back with a toddler in tow and a bump on show. Having visited a few times after it’s opening, we have compiled a list of things you should know (pre and post family) to make your visit even more magical!
But before I start, you should really visit NOW! Why? Because this year between 15 November and 1 Janurary 2019, Hong Kong Disneyland are celebrating 2 special events. The annual classic Disney Christmas and Mickey Mouse’s 90th anniversary!
Download the Disneyland app
This app is your weapon of the day! Not only does it show you a map of the park, but it also shows you exactly where you are so that you can better utilise your time ensuring you know exactly what is around you. Ride informations such as queuing times and descriptions – if you have a toddler under 100cm, this is very important! You don’t want to waste time queuing for a ride that they eventually aren’t allowed on because of height restrictions. Hungry? Not to worry, you can make reservations within the app. As Chinese and locals run at a later schedule, aim to eat lunch and dinner slightly earlier and you will avoid large queues. Can’t find your favourite character? This app will magically show you exactly where and when each character will appear! Bibbidi-bobbidi-boo!
Start early and consider visiting on a weekday
This is a no brainer, wherever you go, always try to choose non peak hours and days. And this applies to Chinese holidays as well. I am specifically talking about Mainland China holidays as although the city draws a smaller Mainland crowd now, they still form a majority. Not so much so on Hong Kong specific holidays such as Easter, as locals tend to leave Hong Kong during these dates.
Hong Kong Disneyland opens at a relatively later time of 10am, so this should give you enough time to get yourself to the park bright and early before the gates open. To avoid the initial crowd, head to the furthest part of the park – Toy Story Land, specifically the Parachute Drop which has the longest loading time in the park.
After this, you can head to Fantasyland where the rides are more concentrated. It will get pretty busy early on in this area, so have drinks and snacks prepared. If it is very busy, make your way to see the live musical theatre show of Mickey and The Wondrous Book before noon (check times on day, as these may change). Be sure to get to the queue early as the shows are very popular and get full very quickly. We arrived half an hour before the show started and managed to get seats a few rows from the front.
If you see characters along the way, ignore them! Trust me, they come out fairly often, but the queues are so long that they eat into your ride times. Not worth it.
Don’t miss the Parades or Shows!
I mentioned it above, but really – don’t give these a miss! They are truly magical. There are a few daily theatre shows and parades and chances are, you won’t be able to see them all in one day. So plan ahead and choose the ones you really want to see. Or if you have a 2 day pass, conquer the rides on day 1 and then the shows on day 2.
However, if parades and shows really don’t tickle your fancy. Then this is also the perfect time to head for rides that usually have considerably longer queuing times, such as the Big Grizzly Mountain Runaway Mine Cars. (Height Restriction: 112cm). Best times are definitely during the street parade on Main Street.
Collect free stickers
Almost every staff member at Disney carry stickers and they are more than happy to give them away. During holidays and festive seasons, there are some unique and special ones as well. Don’t be shy and start asking. The most they will do is ask you a few questions or request a sing along.
Iron Man Experience and Mystic Manor – Don’t skip these two. They are unique to Hong Kong Disneyland and will not disappoint. However, if you have a toddler under 102cm, then you can rule out Iron Man or sneak off and experience it yourself.
I mentioned above not to miss the shows and this is true of Mickey and The Wondrous Book, which is also a show unique to Disneyland Hong Kong. It is presented in both Cantonese and English, with subtitles for both showing throughout the 30 minute show. If you’ve only ever watched Mickey, Goofy, Olaf and a few other characters speak in English, then this is a real treat as they all speak in Cantonese.
Try the food stalls and restaurants
3D food models, Disney inspired dim sum or some Western pop? Yes please! Not only are the food easy on the eyes, they are actually quite delicious and good quality. And much more affordable than we initially remembered. So don’t skim on the food and bring some extra cash (or your Octopus card). However, we do recommend bringing your own water bottles as these can be around the HK$25 mark.
Buggy/Stroller: If you bring your own stroller, there are plenty of parking available all over the park. I would also consider taking a bike lock, as a “just in case”, not because I have had any issues with buggy theft. However, if you would like to be stroller free, you can also rent one of their lockers for the day. Forgot your stroller and wished you had it? Don’t fret, for HK$120 you can rent this for the entire day (HK$100 refundable deposit). However, be aware that they are first come first serve and are only available in limited quantities.
Luggage: So keen that you have come straight to Disneyland from the airport? Again the peeps at Disneyland have this sorted for you. For HK$110, you can stow your luggage away for the day.
ATM and currency exchange: Didn’t bring enough cash? There are numerous ATM’s available within the park and if you have foreign currency, they can change this for you too. Although you may not get the best rate, so make sure you have what you need for the day.
Younger guests: If you have a baby who still requires nursing, you can utilise the 2 baby care centres on Main Street. The nursing room has chairs, highchairs, a kitchen with a fridge, microwave and sink and a separate area for changing diapers and feeding! Of course, if you’re not near the Main Street, there are also 6 other companion restrooms located around the park.
- Selfie sticks are banned.
- If visiting during the summer, remember to pack sunscreen, a handheld fan and umbrella. You can buy these at the park, but expect to pay a premium.
- If you plan to stay into the night, don’t forget the bug spray.
- Anyone over the age of 16 are not allowed to dress up (boo!). Character hats and mouse ears are ok and can be purchased at the park.
- Fastpass – if the park is busy, definitely consider these. We didn’t get these this time, as the park was fairly doable with just 10-20 min waiting times per ride.
Are you ready to book your magical journey? When we visited, the Disney Castle was closed for renovation and isn’t ballmarked to compleiete until some time in 2019 or even 2020. There are also a few new lands (Frozen and Marvel) announced. So I’m definitely looking to come back with baby #2 soon! If you have visited, be sure to share your experience with me in the comments below!
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Thanks for reading and until next time…
Love, MsMamaBean x
Disclaimer: We were provided with complimentary tickets into the park in return for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own and not influenced by the developing company and/or its affiliates, in anyway.