Thursday, April 29, 2010

All you need to know about The Hong Kong Disneyland Part I

Our family visited Hong Kong Disneyland during last Christmas. Due to our recent shift-over from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City, I didn't have the time to post this up much earlier.

Basically to sum up our trip experience to Hong Kong Disneyland, it was a visit worthwhile. Prior to the visit, I was a bit sceptical as I was told that the park is small and not as fanstastic as Disneyland in Japan.

It turned out fascinating I must say. Further, it was the Christmas month during our visit. Therefore, there were more to experience! Your kids will definitely leave Hong Kong Disneyland happily and wanting to come back again.

Hong Kong Disneyland hotels every now and then will offer "booking a hotel stay in Hong Kong Disneyland, you enjoy an extra day at Hong Kong Disneyland when you purchase a one-day ticket". Try to catch this!

This is definitely very very helpful because the crowd is just too great that you really need to spare 2 days to enjoy the park leisurely. One day is definitely not enough!!

If I am not mistaken, the promotion has been extended from 31 Mar 2010 to June 30 2010.

There are two hotels to choose from: Disney's Hollywood Hotel and Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel.

Disney's Hollywood Hotel is the cheaper option. For us, this hotel is good enough to stay. Besides, in order to enjoy the most out of the park, we didn't get to enjoy the hotel facilities much. 

Check this out if you want to find out more  about the hotels and any on-going promotions.

So, let me start from the day we arrived at the Hong Kong airport. As Hong Kong Disneyland is near proximity to the airport, we chose to start our journey to Hong Kong from Hong Kong Disneyland.

To travel from airport to Hong Kong Disneyland, there are a few options ie. coach, MTR or taxi.

If you have more than 2 travellers, don't waste time. Go straight for the taxi as this is the cheapest option. The rates are fixed. No tricks, no scams!

Just follow the direction sign, it will lead you to the basement level where the taxi stand is.

The taxi ticketing booth is right in front of you as you step out of the lift. Pick up a ticket and hop onto the taxi, and there you go!

For information, if you want to go to other places in Hong Kong from the airport, it is generally cheaper to travel by taxi as long as you have more than 2 travellers. Less time consuming too because the newly completed highway connecting the city and the airport has eased off the traffic a lot.

The Hotel

We stayed in Disney's Hollywood Hotel. I must say that Disneyland hotels are very very thougtful to children. They even have different sizes of slippers and bath robes to suit different age! You can bring home with you the slippers. Unfortunately, for the bath robe, you need to pay a small sum!

When we arrived about noon time, the crowd at the hotel lobby was tremendous. Fortunately, Hongkies are very efficient. It didn't take as long to check-in as we have anticipated.

At the point of checking-in, you can purchase the Hong Kong Disneyland tickets as well. Don't bother to sign up for breakfast package in Chef Mickey (restaurant in Disney's Hollywood Hotel) at the point of checking-in as you may not even get a seat and ended up strangled in the long queue. You can pay upon having your breakfast (if you are lucky to get a seat). Pre-booking is not allowed during peak days. Again due to huge crowd!

Not to worry, there is little fastfood shop just down the aisle.

You can try their famous Hong Kong's luncheon meat + egg noodle (餐蛋面) there.

It is delicious!

Once you have checked-in, they will direct you to leave your luggages at a designated area located on the left side of the entrance of the hotel as you entered (a temporary tent or something).

Pick up a tag, make sure the room number written on your luggages is correct. As soon as your room is cleaned, they will deliver the luggages to your room. No hassle!

Now, once this is done, you can proceed to Hong Kong Disneyland. Don't forget to grab a Hong Kong Disneyland Map at the hotel to start off with.

The park opens from 10 am to 8.00pm. Extended hours for the shops at The Main Street of U.S.A. upto 9 or 10pm depends whether it is a weekday or weekends or public holiday.

Going to the Park

They have free feeder bus very regularly connecting both hotels to Hong Kong Disneyland. The park is located about less than 10 minutes drive from the hotels. Walking there is not too advisable though.

Once alight from the bus, you need to walk approximately 5 minutes to reach the entrance of the park. If you choose to take a MTR from airport or any part of Hong Kong, pick up a ticket to Disneyland Resort Station.

Check out this MTR map for more details.

Entry to Park

At the entry point, all bags are checked. they do not encourage you to bring in too much food but as long as you travel with kids, they are not very particular.

Make sure you bring sufficient biscuits, milk, diapers, spare clothes etc if you have little young children as coming back and forth to hotel is not as convenient.

Drinking water is supplied free of charge near restrooms in the park. You just need to bring in empty drinking bottles.

Do you spot the Mickey? Spot them as you walk towards the entrance.

In the Park

Once you get into the park, head straight to the City Hall on your left, pick up the brochures and the performance schedule.

There are four park within the Hong Kong Disneyland - The Main Street of U.S.A., The Adventureland, The Fantasyland and The Tomorrowland. Once you get hold of the information needed, two important things to check :-

1. Performance schedule - use the information to plan the rest of your journey. Be at the spot at least 20 - 30 minutes before the show starts.

The shows you must not missed are :-

Disney on Parade @ The Main Street of U.S.A.

High School Musical Live @ The Main Street of U.S.A.

The Festival of the Lion King @ The Adventureland

The Golden Mickey @ The Fantasyland

Stitch Encounters @ The Tomorrowland

Disney in Stars Fireworks @ entrance to The Fantasyland
Click here for the Hong Kong Disneyland interative map

Click on the link below for the show time. This may be a guide however it is advisable to obtain the latest information from City Hall at the time of your visit.

2. Fast Pass

With such tremendous crowd, fast pass is extremely useful. Try to catch some fast passes as you move around. You can pick up fast pass at the entrance of the ride / performance.

The rule is you can only own one fast pass at a time.

The fast pass will state the exact time you should come back for the ride. With the fast pass, you don't need to queue. You enter via the express lane.

Save a lot of time!!

The trouble is some of the fast passes run out fast, that is why they call it fast pass!!

Unfortunately, not all rides have fast pass. You need to look at your brochures which rides offer fast pass. And, go for the pass!

By the way, this is the amount of crowd you should expect even on weekdays.

To know more about the parks in Hong Kong Disneyland, please click here.

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