Knowing that we were heading to Hong Kong to visit a friend, I immediately started making plans for a visit to Hong Kong Disneyland! We decided to really take it all in and get a two day park pass and stay overnight in the Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel. Though I had been “warned” that it was smaller than our beloved classic Disneyland® and nowhere near the scale of Walt Disney World®, I would not be deterred, nor was I disappointed!
Hopefully this recap will you give a sprinkling of the pixie dust we found! Just getting there is magical…
You can arrive to the resort by train (MTR), bus, private car or even by ferry. We chose the train from Hong Kong Central and picked up the Disneyland Resort Line. You can imagine the excitement when THIS train appeared in the station!
Inside, it was just as magical, with Disney memorabilia and classic Mickey references. Let the magic begin! As we pulled into the Disneyland station, we were blown away yet again. The station was a grand train station with a few The Sorcerer’s Apprentice Hidden Mickey’s thrown in.
One of the first things we noticed when we arrived at the resort is that there is lots of room for expansion. It made me think of what Walt Disney once said about Disneyland, “It’s something that will never be finished. Something that I can keep developing…and adding to.” That vision seems to be strong in a place I wonder if Mr. Disney ever even dreamed of.
The Resort is very pedestrian friendly once you arrive, but there are Disney motor coaches at the ready should you need them! The bus depot looks strangely familiar to the one outside of the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World. That, we would soon discover, is not the only familiar site mixed in with a whole new world!
Walking right down the middle of Main Street, U.S.A…
Really for all we knew, we could have been in Florida or California as we passed under the Disneyland Railway and onto Main Street, U.S.A. But once we looked up and saw Sleeping Beauty’s castle with a mountain in the backdrop we knew there would be some surprises in store.
One of the highlights of the park is Toy Story Land, which has attractions unique to Hong Kong Disneyland. It was like walking into Andy’s room while he was away!
For such a small amount of space, this land is full of fun. Our favorite was RC Racer, a U-shaped coaster that gets your blood pumping and provides a great view of the park if you can remember to keep your eyes open!
There were two new lands in the works that opened not too long after our visit. Grizzly Gulch and Mystic Point, both unique to Hong Kong Disneyland. Grizzly Gulch is a wild west themed area, complete with a Big Thunder Mountain-esque coaster. Mystic Point’s big attraction is Mystic Manor, a dark ride attraction that uses the trackless technology (like Pooh’s Honey Hunt/Tokyo) and includes a few references to other Disney Parks attractions. One interesting note about these two new lands, and other Hong Kong Disneyland areas…there are lots of photo opportunities that are attractions unto themselves (even minus the characters).
There are many of the Disney Parks classics set against the mountainous back drop – Space Mountain, It’s a Small World, Dumbo the Flying Elephant, even the Adventureland Liki Tikis.
One of the classics that had an unwelcomed twist for us was The Jungle River Cruise. As we entered the queue, we could select from three lines based on language of preference: English, Mandarin or Cantonese, which was nice though it was a little difficult to understand our Skipper even in English, but hey, we knew most of the jokes anyway! The unwelcomed part came as we were nearing the end of our voyage and our trusty Amazon Annie was caught in the middle of a feud between the fire and the water god – complete with huge flames and a gush of water (think Catastrophe Canyon on the Studio Back Lot at Disney Studios). Every child on the boat was screaming and a few adults where, too!
Not to be discouraged, another of the classic attractions had a most impressive addition that we had not seen at other Disney Parks. While riding the Hong Kong Disneyland Railroad, as we passed behind Space Mountain a most wonderful surprise appears – the Alien Squeeze Toys from Toy Story complete with cameras and lots of “oohs” and “ahhs” as they play the role of tourist and took our picture. We loved it!
And never fear, there are plenty of Hidden Mickeys to be discovered throughout the park and we tried our best to spot them. This was one of our favorites in Toy Story Land. Here is a hint..”.look up, soldier, and that’s an order!” I’ve asked our friend, the Hidden Mickey Guy, to get over there and help us find them all!
And finally, one of the most curious and laughed about differences that we found at Hong Kong Disneyland was one of the “warnings” as you enter many of the attractions. See if you can tell what caught our eye.
Maybe they have added this warning in Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom since they started serving adult beverages and I haven’t noticed?
So there you have it. A spin through another magical and happy place on earth, Hong Kong style. Stay tuned for an upcoming post with a view into the Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel…which was in a word…Grand!
Note: All photos included in this post are the personal property of Shannon Dill.