Disneyland # 3 – Hongkong Disneyland

Kids has grown up since we visited Disneyland sorry Disney-world, Orlando in 2006, my son Ujjwal was 5 year old and daughter Navya was just 8 months that time. Now they are 12 and 8 respectively, Ujjwal still remember few things about his last visit, but Navya was not old enough to remember anything. She was asking since long that when she can see Mickey and Mini. Couple of years back I promised her that we will go to Disneyland soon and that too will be closest one which is Disneyland Hongkong. In my last post I mentioned that LA Disney is Disneyland and others are Disney-world, but my understanding changed again, Hongkong Disney is called as Disneyland and not Disney-world. So, after a long planning with my friend Amit Gupta and his family Palkein, Arsh and Pehel. We initially decided for April 2013 but we changed plan for October-13 and I think it was a good decision we realized after reaching their due to weather. We also planned for Macau and Hongkong visit during the same trip, I will write about Macau and Hongkong in separate posts.

We searched for hotels in Hongkong, found few but closest were Disney hotels in Disneyland resort only, Tariff was not much difference comparing to the tariff outside Disney, somehow pricing was coming better then outside hotels and it was convenient too as it hardly takes any time to reach the Disney park from these hotels and they have shuttle too to reach park. Disneyland resorts has 2 hotels, Disneyland hotel and Hollywood hotel, we booked our stay in for 2 nights Hollywood hotel, you also get 20% discount as early bird offer if you book 45 days in advance in both the hotels, not a bad deal.

We reached Hongkong in the afternoon and reached Disneyland resort around 3:00 PM after a 20 minute ride in the taxi. Hongkong Disneyland is situated on reclaimed land in Penny’s Bay, Lantau Island. Hollywood hotel and Disney hotel are inside the Disneyland resort and about 1 KM apart, it’s a huge area Disneyland has occupied on Lantau Island. Check-in was pretty fast, we booked for Park view rooms, but park was barely visible due to trees. Rooms were of decent size, family of 4 can stay comfortably in a room.  As we reached in the afternoon, we did not have any plan to visit the park the same day, so, we decided to go for a hotel tour and kids wanted to have swimming. Hotel is situated closed to South China Sea, and hotel has a very nice long walk along the sea, good for morning jog or evening walk if you are fitness freak. There are plenty of restaurants in both the hotels, they have some options like breakfast with Chef Mickey – Hollywood hotel and Dinner with Disney characters – Disney hotel. For any of these dining options, you have to book in advance and we had a booking for Dinner with Disney Characters.

After swimming, evening walk, pictures, ladies dressed in nice costumes, we took a shuttle from our hotel to Disney hotel for the dinner. Disney hotel is built on Disney theme and it is beautiful, from outside and inside as well. Dinner was in “Enchanted Garden” Restaurant, it’s a very up-scale restaurant with a huge variety of food items in the buffet. It’s a multi-cuisine buffet, Asian, Italian, continental, European and on top of that Indian food – “aur kya chahiye desi ko”. Huge variety of Meat items, variety of sea food, poultry, must say that it’s a fiesta for meat lovers, vegetarians can also find lots of variety but not comparable to non-vegetarian items, Indian food too had Lamb, Chicken and Dal, but it was well prepared. During the dinner, all Disney Characters were visiting each and every table, kids as well as adults were super excited meeting Mickey, Mini, Goofy, Pluto and having photographed with them. We enjoyed a lot there for about 2 hours, good food, nice ambiance and on top of that Dinner with Mickey, Mini and others and came back to our hotel with unforgettable memories.

Hollywood Hotel Vintage Car

Hollywood Hotel Vintage Car

Kids Swimming

Kids Swimming

Mickey Mouse

Mickey Mouse

All family with Goofy

All family with Goofy

Disney Hotel

Disney Hotel

In the morning, we purchased 2 Day ticket for Disney park, why 2 Day ticket, can’t we cover it in 1 day, we can, but you have to rush for everything and it should be a weekday. For us it was weekdays, but we did not want to rush, 2 Day ticket price was not high as well. Disney Hongkong park opens from 10:00-8:00 PM daily, we took the shuttle from the hotel and reached the park around 10:30. Disney Hongkong entrance is same as other Disney, it starts with the main street, and then you reach different theme parks. We first reached “Tomorrow land”, the main attraction is the “Space Mountain” roller coaster ride, this ride supposed to be one of the best roller coaster since very long, all the kids in our group were eligible to take the ride, everybody was thrilled in this ride as it was all dark and you do not know what turn or dip roller coaster will take. Kids liked it so much that they went couple of more times, we were visiting on a weekday, so there was hardly any queue. There are couple of other rides in tomorrow-land and you also get a chance to meet bud-light and other characters. There is an interactive show of “Stitch”, this show is in Chinese and English so you have to wait for English timings. This show runs like a movie, but it is interactive, how? Answer is interesting, somehow Stitch picked my wife and started interacting with us, he made fun of me, my wife’s name, it was enjoying.

Space Mountain

Space Mountain

Budlight

Budlight

Entrance to Disneyland Park

Entrance to Disneyland Park

Disneyland Entrance

Disneyland Entrance

Next we went to Fantasy-land, no roller coaster ride here, but you can meet Disney characters, Carousel, museum of dolls- dolls from around the world, couple of shows and I should mention about both the shows, “Mickey’s Philarmagic” and “Golden Mickeys” where you see all the characters dancing on Disney Music, this is a stage show and very beautiful. This show was in Chinese but they were running English subtitles on a big screen. It was about 2:30 PM and we were hungry, we searched for the food and managed to get some Vegetarian, don’t ask me if it was eatable or not but it can fill your empty stomach. After food, it was time for the Disney Parade, we rushed towards Main Street, manage to get some space on the street to sit and enjoyed the parade from there.

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DisneyMacauHkg_Oct13-1363

 

After that we moved to Adventure Land, this is based on African / Jungle theme with Tarzan tree house, Lion King Show, Jungle River Cruise, Jungle Drumming etc. Jungle River Cruise is a 15-20 minute river cruise with commentary in English and Chinese but I must mention about Lion King show, which is wonderful and no one should miss it. This show has a live performance narrating the whole Lion King movie in 30 minutes. After spending about 1.5 hours in Adventure land, we moved to Grizzly Gulch, this is actually a roller coaster ride, it looks scary, but very exciting. Best part was when roller coaster was going up and suddenly a rope gets broken and roller coaster start moving backward in a high speed and then you reach a place where a loud dynamite blast and roller coaster moves with much higher speed. Boys enjoyed it a lot and then we convinced the girls that this is not as scary as Space Mountain, they agreed and result was they took this ride 4 times in a row – thanks to the weekday. It was almost 7:00, we found one restaurant in Adventure land who was serving Indian Thali, veg and non-veg, we settled down there. Thali had “Chhole”, “Paneer”, rice, daal, chicken, mutton and a soft drink. I must mentioned that Indian food was awesome except the bread, much better then some of the restaurants in Bangalore. By the time we finished the dinner it was almost 8:00 and time for the fireworks. Disney firework you can watch it from the main street, it runs for about 30 minutes and formations over the Princess castle is awesome.

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Grizzly Gulch Roller Coaster

Grizzly Gulch Roller Coaster

Fireworks

Fireworks

 

End of Day 1 and we moved back to the hotel in the shuttle with start planning for Day 2 to spend in “Toy Story Land”, “Mystic Point” and repeat the Space Mountain and Grizzly Gulch ride and anything kids want.

Next day we reached sharp at 10:00 as we had planned to leave Disney by 3:00 so that we reach Macau early. We first went to see Tarzan’s house as we missed it previous day, a 5 minute bamboo raft ride takes you to the tree house. We then moved to Toy Story land, first thing we wanted to do “RC Racer”, a Toy Car U-Shaped roller coaster which was very thrilling, but bad part is that the ride is too short and that is why everyone ended up taking up the same ride 4-5 times – weekday again. Next we did “Parachute drop”, it was ok and followed by Dog spin which is a small kids thing. Kids then had some picture time with characters like Woodys, Soldiers etc. We then moved to “Mystic Point”, you don’t have any ride or show here, few mystry things you can see in pictures below. It was about 1:00 PM in the noon, they were preparing for Halloween celebration for evening but we did not have time to participate in that. Kids then wanted to go again in Grizzly Gulch and Space Mountain, they again did both the rides twice. I think taking Space Mountain as the first ride the previous day was a good decision as it sets up the benchmark of the rides and it was easy to convince my daughter that this ride is less scary then space mountain.

Girls with Tinkerbell

Girls with Tinkerbell

Tarzan Tree House

Tarzan Tree House

U Shaped Roller Coaster

U Shaped Roller Coaster

Girls with Mellisa

Girls with Mellisa

Mystic Point

Mystic Point

Mystic Point

Mystic Point

Mystic Point

Mystic Point

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DisneyMacauHkg_Oct13-1749

DisneyMacauHkg_Oct13-1718

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DisneyMacauHkg_Oct13-1658

We again had the same Indian lunch and then moved to Disney store, not just kids but we also wanted to buy everything form there, but you can not. We bought few things some of the liking of kids and some of the liking of our pocket. There face not very happy and we compensated with another Disney parade and ice-cream. So, it was almost 4:00 PM and we left the park with great memories of Disney. This park is not big as Los Angeles and Orlando one, but memories will remain throughout our lives. We reached back hotel and took a cab for the Ferry terminal for Macau. Kids thing were over and now the time for Adults :)

10 Comments

  • Puru says:

    “Kids thing were over and now the time for Adults ” he..he.. nice post.

  • Nandan Jha says:

    Disney is pretty popular among young kids. With one available at HK, it becomes much more accessible for us. I think I have a bad memory because I do not remember seeing these rides at the LA one. We were there only for a day and that was our first time, so it didn’t register completely or may the Universal studio’s rides wiped up the Disney memory :). Though I distinctly remember the ‘Parade’, it was brilliant.

    Great tips around what to choose. Agree that it is always better to have 2 full days to make the most of it. Thank you Upanshu and hope to know/read more of you during this month’s interview. Congratulations once more.

  • Thanks a lot Puru and Nandan for liking the post and your encouragement. Nandan, I must say that Disney is not just popular with kids but with Adults as well and you can see that on Adult’s face while you are in Disney. I remember when I was visiting Orlando Disney, one of my 50 year old colleague was so excited that he told me several time to take Space Mountain ride which he took several years back. He even called me on my cell to ask if I liked the ride or not :) That is the excitement of Disney.

  • AUROJIT says:

    Hi Upanshu,

    Enjoyed reading the detailed description about HK/Disneyland.

    ‘ we purchased 2 Day ticket for Disney park, why 2 Day ticket, cant we cover it in 1 day, we can, …………………….’ – I am totally with you – rushing through the itinerary just for the sake of it; is something which is no different from anxiety filled life that we are trying to get away from during the holidays!!

    Nice to hear about availability of Indian thali out there.

    thanks,

    Auro.

  • Thanks a lot Auro for liking the post.

  • hemanth says:

    Hello Upanshu

    Very good post. Myself and my family had been to HK Disney in 2012. Really cool place to visit. We saw a family from Australia where the GrandPa was celebrating his 65th Birthday with the entire family. Isn’t that cool.

    We live in California. So, we have been to Anaheim Disney Land many times. HK Disney is lot less crowded as you had mentioned compared to Anaheim. Plus the Toy-Story Land is only in HK Disney (not sure about Orlando and other Disneys in Europe and Asia)

    Also, the character from Toy Story is not ‘BudLight’ its “Buzz Lightyear” :)

    Thanks
    Hemanth

  • Thanks a lot Hemanth for liking the post. Toy Story Land was not in Orlando as well.

    Thanks for correction on “Buzz Light”, I think I was having a beer while writing the post hence the Typo :)

  • palkein says:

    Good effort,Upanshu. This has brought back all the memories of the trip. I almost relived that fun filled visit to the Disneyland. Disneyland is a treat at all ages…..

  • Thanks a lot Palkein, more trips to come together :)

  • DRK says:

    VERY GOOD DETAILS OF HONGKONG & OTHERS

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