Day 13: Hong Kong Disneyland

Hong Kong Disneyland is 10 years old and has a daily capacity of 34,000 visitors — the fewest of all Disneyland parks.  The park was also constructed very quickly, taking 2 years and opened early, with additional lands such as Mystic Point, Grizzly Gulch and Toy Story Land opening later.

It’s funny looking at the reactions of people who asked if we were going to Hong Kong Disneyland.  Ranging from “Oh cool” to “Don’t go there, only Mainlanders go!”  Funny, given most of the people who visited the day we were there, were mainly people from Hong Kong. I think Hong Kongers are afraid to admit that they actually like something as kawaii as Disney, maintaining the British-influenced stiff upper lip.

To get there, you can easily get to Hong Kong Disneyland via MTR from Sunny Bay.  There is s dedicated line featuring a subway with Mickey Ear windows.  Inside the train has statues of Disney characters.  Seating is very similar to the monorail at Tokyo Disneyland.

Hong Kong Disneyworld is a small park, and it can be done in half a day, especially if the park attendance is lower, which it was.  Scott and I had no problems getting on rides within 5 minutes of joining the queue.

One question we get asked is, “Are the rides big enough for big people?”  We can say, without a doubt, yes.  It’s not like Canada’s Wonderland where Scott and I have problems getting on rides.  Both Hong Kong and Tokyo Disneylands fit big people.

The park is gorgeous, and the lands around the park just add to the stunning scenery – the green hills and mountains.  Local foliage used.

When you arrive at the park, check out the fountain at the entrance, especially the Mickey riding on top of the Whale’s blow spout.

Main Street is uncovered, different from Tokyo and Paris, and refreshingly does not feature a Starbucks! You will notice that Sleeping Beauty’s castle is even smaller than the one at Disneyland.  Funny thing is, the first time I went to any Disney park, which was Disneyland in Anaheim, I thought Sleeping Beauty’s castle was really quite small and I was disappointed.  For the record, Shanghai Disneyland’s castle will be the biggest in the system, bigger than the one at Magic Kingdom at WDW.

We started out in Tomorrowland which seems more futuristic than than it’s retro-futuristic brother at WDW.  Not a criticism, just different and they both have their charms.

Definitely check out Space Mountain and Autotopia.  Space Mountain is definitely different and has some very cool visual effects.  Autotopia features electric vehicles!

I really would love to return for the Iron Man Experience which opens in 2016.  Beyond Stitch, Iron Man is my next favourite Disney, uh, Marvel character.  Yeah, that’s it.

The parades at Hong Kong Disneyland are fantastic- Flights of Fantasy is the 3pm parade, and Paint The Night is the night parade.  During both of the parades, the people actually in the parade REALLY ham it up, getting into their character and interacting with the crowds in a big way.

For Flights of Fantasy, they pull people into the parade to dance at one point.  With Paint the Night, if you have the Hong Kong Disneyland Magic Brush or one of the colour wants from WDW, you can change colours of some of the dancers and a massive electronic wall that’s part of the parade.  It’s quite something. Also if you have the Made with Magic Mickey Glove, Glow Ears or Glow Headband with bow, those will change colour with the parade too.

I’m torn between Tokyo’s or Hong Kong’s night parade being my favourite.  Both have amazing night time photography opportunities, but I think Hong Kong’s wins out for the interactive nature.  If you can’t get to Hong Kong, you can see the Paint the Night Parade at Disneyland in California, so be sure to check it out.

If you don’t have a glow brush to interact with the shows, you can get a package of a glow brush and a glow hand or a glow band for CAD$25.  That’s cheap and a great deal!

It’s fun to have colour change duels with staff selling the brushes at the park. *GRIN*

Admittedly, I’m not one for parades.  The thought of standing in the heat of the sun drives me nuts.  I will say, for both Tokyo and Hong Kong, I’m glad we stuck around for the parades.  They blew me away.

It’s a Small World, always a classic to go on, features characters singing in their native language as well Canada has a significantly bigger presence in the ride than it does in other Small Worlds I’ve been to.  It’s refreshing to see.

Toy Story Land is fantastic!  I am a huge fan of Pixar films and I’ve always wanted to visit Toy Story Land.  Be sure to go on the RC Racer coaster.

Mystic Point is where you’ll find the Mystic Manor which features Disney’s new GPS ride system.  It is AMAZING and a must-do ride!

Big Grizzly Mountain Runaway Mine Cars in Grizzly Gulch is an awesome rollercoaster and almost a combination of Expedition Everest and Big Thunder Mountain. That’s all I will say as I don’t want to ruin any surprises.

Food-wise, Hong Kong Disneyland caters to local tastes.  We found restaurants that offered Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Indian, and Singaporean, in addition to some North American favourites.  We didn’t actually eat at the park due to the huge lunch we had at Crystal Lotus, but did have a snack of curried fish balls which were tasty!

In Tomorrowland you can even get a Mickey lunch box with your meal!

We stayed at the Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel, which is almost a mini version of Grand Floridian.  Such  gorgeous hotel with a great view of Discovery Bay.  If you stay at the hotel, it includes entrance to the park.  Not a bad deal.

Crystal Lotus?  I’ll let the pictures below speak for themselves.

All in all, a nice ending to the holiday.  Tomorrow  we get up at 4:50am to start our 24 hour journey back to Toronto.

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