We visited HKDL for 4 days after our Disney Shanghai trip. HKDL is small compared to other parks. It is around the same size as DLP.
(Updated March 2019)
Although on the smaller side, it is quite an intimate enjoyable park. It has had a few extensions since it opened and a few more planned, (Frozen land and Marvel land, no official names have been announced as yet). The castle is boarded up and under renovations to a larger castle inspired by all the princesses. Concept art shows it to be around the same size at The Enchanted Storybook Castle in Shanghai.
(The boarded up castle, it is hard to get a decent photo due to the construction wall)
(Even though the station building is under construction, the train is up and running)
First major thing I want to point out like I did with Shanghai, get in to registered taxis, blue taxis situated outside will take you right to the hotel, there are yellow and red all going to different parts of the island. They will give you a price before you leave and are all safe to travel in. Do not get in to an unmarked/ unregistered taxi.
We stayed at the new Explorers Lodge, it is similar to Disney Worlds Animal Kingdom Lodge. African and animal themes across the whole hotel. I would put it on par with a deluxe resort, but it is considered a moderate due to the mid ranged pricing, our three night stay cost us £400. Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel, looks like a carbon copy of The Grand Floridian, the third hotel is The Hollywood Hotel, a value resort. When we visited I felt as if I was in one of the Allstar resorts at WDW. Not to say it was cheap looking, just the vibe that I got from the music inspired decor. All these hotels were in walking distance to that park. All hotels offer a free shuttle to the park, do not waste your time with this, the walk is lovely, hardly anyone walks so the pathways are clear. There is a small park with topiaries.
HKDL park opens 10am daily and closes between 6-8pm depending on the day. The park hours are short however, you do not feel rushed to get everything done.
(This photo was taken on a Friday 30 minutes before that park opened, walking along the pathway from the hotels)
Entering HKDL is so much calmer than the main gate entrance of Shanghai Disney. Calmer queues, easier entrance processes and less people. Our tickets included $5 off merchandise or a free Mickey waffle. I love a Mickey waffle and I especially love a Mickey waffle when it is free. When you enter the park you are greeted by a train station, Main Street and character meet and greets. Unlike Shanghai everyone here rushes to meet the characters and the queues are shut of within minutes of being open. Certain characters only visit on certain days and in rotation. So Chip and Dale could be in one spot for 20 minutes, then Donald Duck for 20 minutes in the same spot after that, then back to Chip and Dale. Always ask the cast member who will be visiting that day and what time. You do not want to get in a queue for the wrong character.
HKDL offers paper fast passes for the two top ticket attractions. The Many Adventures of Winnie The Pooh always has a long wait. It is exactly the same as the WDW and Shanghai version, just different languages being spoken in each. On the subject of language there was no issue with having conversations with any of the cast members across the park. The third fast pass attraction is Hyper Space Mountain, Space Mountain with a Star Wars over lay. You can have as many fast passes a day as long as they are available. Your onsite hotel stay also includes one fast pass per person, per day for any ride.
The Iron Man Experience, as of February 2019, no long has a fast pass offered. I believe that when Ant-Man and the Wasp Nano Battle opens at the end of March 2019, the fast pass kiosks for The Iron Man Experience will change to the Ant-Man and the Wasp fast pass kiosk.
A huge fan favourite is Mystic Manor a dark ride inside Lord Henry Mystic’s Manor. It is light hearted and has no mention of the after life, unlike Haunted Mansion at WDW or Phantom Manor at DLP. This was by far my favourite attraction at HKDL.
Toy Story land was extremely underwhelming, it can only be described as a mess. It was not busy at all. it homes RC Racer and Slinky Dog Spin, both similar to the DLP version. It did not get me to excited to go and visit the WDW Toy Story land next month. We have visited Toy Story land in DLP, Shanghai and HKDL they are all the same idea, big toys in Andy’s back yard and Andy’s foot prints on the ground. Being such a huge Toy Story fan I expected more, all three disappointed.
We visited during Spring, egg shaped characters were dotted around the park, it was nice to find them and point them out. Characters dressed in their spring time outfits and there was even a spring time parade.
(Duffy, the Disney bear, my favourte character to meet, he stopped meeting in WDW in 2015 and relocated to the Asian parks. It was lovely to see him again)
If you only do one thing in HKDL, go and see the show Mickey and the Wondrous Book. English speaking guests should sit on the right hand side of the theatre to see the translations of what is being said on a little screen. It is spoken in a mix of English and Cantonese. There are songs from princesses, Aladdin, Jungle book and many others. The main song was the original score of the new Happily Ever After song featured in the firework show in WDW. People queue for an hour before a showing so get there early. It is not uncommon for the queue to close an hour before the showing. We missed the start of a show so we got ourselves some popcorn and sat on a bench near by waiting for the next showing to start. Popcorn here is great, better than WDW.
Snacks around the park were incredible, similar to Shanghai, great detail and lots of Mickey shaped items. One thing to note is the considerable price difference between the two Asian parks, a bottle of water in Shanghai costs around £1 after the exchange rate is factored, however the same bottle would cost £3 in HKDL. Same for food, we noticed a huge increase in prices. Ensure this is taken in to account when booking and exchanging money.
We missed the opening of Moana a Homecoming Celebration by about 2 weeks. This is a 30 minute show of Moana’s story which features songs and characters from the film. I was gutted to miss this but I did get to meet her and talk about her show and share tips on wayfinding.
Have you visited HKDL? Did you enjoy it? What were your favourite things to do? Let me know in the comments.