Hong Kong Disneyland Resort Travel Guide

Travel

Hong Kong DisneylandFrom Tokyo to Hong Kong!  Next in my international Disney park travel guides is Hong Kong Disneyland!  Some of these photos are from a few years ago, so please pardon the lower quality photos (they’re iphone 5 photos).😅  BUT the advice and tips are still solid.👌🏼  So here’s what you need to know about the quaint park nestled in the mountains!

Transportation

HKD is located on Lantau Island, so depending on where you stay, the transportation time may vary.  I’ve stayed in both the Mong Kok area and in Discovery Bay on Lantau Island.  If you’re not staying on Lantau Island and not too strapped for money, I would suggest just getting a taxi to the park.  Taxis are pretty affordable for the most part (from Mong Kok, I believe it was less than $30 to taxi to the park).  But if you do take the metro, Disneyland has its own stop near the gate entrance making it easy for guests to find their way.  From Mong Kok, the metro ride was around 45 minutes to an hour outside of rush hour.

If you stay on Lantau Island, most, if not all, hotels should have complimentary shuttles that can take guests to the parks.  Just be mindful of the departure times!

Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel Hidden Mickey ShoefieWhere to Stay

Where you stay should be determined by how you are structuring your visit.  I would say if you are only doing HKD, then a hotel on Lantau Island might be best. Hotels on the island are surrounded by lush greenery and if you’re visiting during the hot season, it’s almost like a mini tropical vacation!  However, that kind of natural beauty isn’t necessarily cheap. 💸

But if you’re planning on exploring and visiting HK on your trip, then I would suggest finding a hotel in Hong Kong proper or on the north side of Hong Kong Island.  And for an easier commute to the park, try finding a hotel that is close to a main metro hub!

Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel Crystal Lotus Disney Dim Sum Olaf Baymax Toy Story Little Green Men AlienFood

Probably the most infamous food at HKD isn’t actually in the park.  Located at Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel is Crystal Lounge, where Disney Dim Sum is served!  The hotel is walkable from the park entrance, so if you’re doing multiple days at the park, you could easily have dim sum in the morning at the hotel and then walk over to Disneyland for a fun day at the park. The menu changes slightly every season and I believe you’ll need a reservation at least a few days in advance to tell the restaurant what dishes you’re wanting to order.  So be sure to call if possible!

 

Can you spot the Mickey head boba?!🐭

Inside the park, probably by far the best food find is…MICKEY SHAPED BOBA.  Not Mickey shaped jellies…BOBA.  This flavored soda boba drink is sold at various places around the park and is served in a souvenir sippy cup! (Yes, they call it a sippy cup!😆)  The boba itself isn’t especially flavorful, but the novelty of it is worth it!

Also stop by Clopin’s Festival of Foods!  Cleverly named after “Festival of Fools” from The Hunchback of Notre Dame, this cafeteria style “restaurant” in Fantasyland is where you can find more Asian influenced dishes that are great for lunch or dinner!

Hong Kong Disneyland Baymax Disney MugMerchandise

Merchandise in HKD is pretty similar to the parks in the states.  I excitedly bought this Baymax mug a few years back without knowing it was available stateside.🤦🏻‍♀️  The other souvenir I was really excited about finding at HKD is a Mickey face watch that was sold out when I visited Disneyland Paris that same year.  But if you are compelled to bring back a souvenir, I would suggest picking up an umbrella! HKD sells tons of umbrellas because of the unpredictable tropical rains. I especially love the compact umbrellas because they’re easy to pack for rainy travel destinations!

Hong Kong Disneyland It's A Small World Disney ParkPeople

Guests and cast members are for the most part, friendly.  However, efficiency is their M.O., so cast members can be a little short with guests.  But I think that’s the nature of Hong Kong communication and culture in general — not necessarily rude, just efficient and to the point.  But similar to my advice about communication in my TDR travel guide and Shanghai solo travel tips, just be sure to carry a park map in both English and Chinese.  Even though most cast members in HKD understand a fair amount of English, it’s always smart to have a map in a cast member’s primary language to help make communication easier!

Hong Kong Disneyland Mystic Manor Disney Dark RideUnique Rides/Attractions

Hong Kong Disneyland feels smaller than Disneyland, but there are some unique park rides and attractions that you definitely need to do when you’re there!

Ride Mystic Manor!  Albert, the monkey is all you need in life.  Also the building is GORGEOUS and reminds me of SF’s Victorian houses.  It’s a tracklass dark ride and is HKD’s “Haunted Mansion” if you will.  Guests embark on a tour of the house and watch Albert get into all sorts of fun trouble.

Hong Kong Disneyland Iron Man Experience Disney MarvelThe Iron Man Experience is probably the newest attraction at HKD and it’s definitely a great addition to the park!💥  It’s the same ride format as Star Tours, but instead of touring the Galaxy and saving the rebel spy, you soar around Hong Kong with Iron Man and help him save the world!

 

Fantasy Garden is unique to HKD and has LOADS of photo spots, which I guess shouldn’t be too surprising as it’s sponsored by Kodak.📸  But here is where you’ll find lots of fun whimsical places to get “not so basic” park photos!

HKD also has Toy Story Land!  But now that we have Toy Story Land in Orlando, it isn’t as much of a novelty.  But it’s still worth walking through if you don’t find yourself in Orlando often!  I especially loved seeing Toy Story Land during Halloween!  Many of Sid’s toys make an appearance to make the area feel spoopy!  And if you love Toy Story merch, make sure to shop at Andy’s Toy Box!

Hong Kong Disneyland Disney Mickey MinnieOverall Thoughts & Suggestions

HKD is probably the smallest of all the Disney parks.  Therefore, I wouldn’t advise making a trip out to this park unless you intend to also visit and explore Hong Kong or fly to the other Asia Disney parks afterwards. But HKD definitely has it’s gems that are worthy experiencing!

You could do most of the highlights in a single day, but if you want to thoroughly enjoy every aspect of the park, I would suggest visiting for at least a day and a half.  For me, one day is usually enough!  And pro tip, try to visit the park during a “holiday” season!  I’ve visited during the Lunar New Year and Halloween seasons, and both times the park had extra decor up to celebrate. I guarantee it makes the park visit that much more magical and special, so definitely try to go during a fun time of year!

I hope this short guide helps you plan your first (or next) visit to Hong Kong Disneyland! Tag me @abitwong so I can live vicariously through you!😆

ABW

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Tokyo Disney Resort Travel Guide: Tokyo Disneyland & Tokyo DisneySea

Musings, Travel

Tokyo disney resort disneyland disneysea style travel outfit mickey international

In 2016, I had the amazing opportunity to visit all 6 Disney parks within a year thanks to a close friend who encouraged me to do it with her.  And even though it’s been a quick (read “LONG”) minute, I’ve heard your cries on Instagram and am finally writing up reviews of each international park and hopefully answering your questions on accommodations, transportation, food, and more!  To kick it off, I’m starting with Tokyo Disney Resort!

japan tokyo disney resort mickey mouse disney style

Transporation

Transportation to the parks from on property and nearby hotels is easy and convenient.  Many hotels provide a shuttle that will either take you to the park or take to your closest monorail station. Disney-sanctioned hotels will even have the cute Mickey shuttle buses!

The monorail, unlike Disney World’s monorail, charges a fee.  But tickets are fairly cheap and if you know how many days you will be using the monorail, then you can buy multi-day passes which are a better value.  The monorail tickets can be bought at kiosks at the monorail station and they usually have cute seasonal Disney designs!

If traveling to the parks from Tokyo, you can take the metro (called the JR or Japan Railway).  It usually takes an hour to travel to the resort depending on where you are staying in the city and how many transfers you need to make.  But find the Keiyo Line or the Musashino Line, which both lead to Maihama Station.  Maihama Station lets you off at Ikspiari, which is like Downtown Disney or Disney Springs.  You can then board the resort monorail that takes you to the parks!

More info here: https://www.tokyodisneyresort.jp/en/tdr/access.html

tokyo disney resort celebration hotel alice in wonderland disney style japan

Where to Stay

I’ve stayed both on and off resort and depending on how you want to spend your time in Tokyo, that is how you should plan where to stay.  If you are planning on visiting the parks for three days, I would suggest finding a hotel “on property.”  And I say that with quotes because similar to other Disney resorts, there are hotels within the vicinity of the parks, but aren’t necessarily associated with Disney. And these are great for those looking for cheaper rooms! But if you only have one chance to visit, I would recommend the Celebration Hotel! It’s one of the more affordable Disney hotels if you’re able to split the costs with a few people. I LOVED it! There are so many cute decor details (like bread and butterfly decals outside the room doors) and our room had the Joey Chou Alice in Wonderland mural along the wall.  SO MANY PHOTO SPOTS!

If you plan on visiting the parks for only one or two days and seeing Tokyo the remainder of your stay, then I would suggest finding a place in the city.  Even better, if you can find a hotel or airbnb near the Keiyo or Musashino JR Lines, it will cut down the number of transfers you have to make and get you to the magic that much faster.😉

japan tokyo disneyland resort mickey mouse disney food eats style cape cod

Food

TDR food is on another level.  Most, if not all, things are adorably cute.  However, I will say some of the food tastes a little processed.  Whether that’s good or bad is a different question, but do not expect to find fresh sashimi.  It still is after all, a theme park.

One of the more famed restaurants that is unique to TDR is the Queen of Hearts Banquet Hall.  It is a cafeteria style restaurant that surrounds diners with the intricacies of Wonderland.  The signature dish is the Queen of Hearts hamburger patty, which is a fun heart shaped patty topped with a cheese crown.  However, since beef isn’t a super common meat in Japan, unlike the US, don’t be surprised if it tastes more like meatloaf.

japan tokyo disneyland resort sea disney style food eats stitch lilo hawaii curry popcornSome of my favorite TDR foods include the Mickey hand bun (Disneyland, Toontown), chandu tailchandu tail (Disney Sea, Arabian Coast), and Mickey chicken nuggets (DL, Tomorrowland Terrace but I like getting them in DS at Cape Cod Cookoff in American Water).  Other TDR foods that guests love are the different flavored popcorn and the Mickey shaped churro!  PS: Disney Sea has wine at Cafe Portofino in the Mediterranean Harbor area.🍷 Gotta thank the Nakajima sisters (Ayano & Natsuki) for helping us tourists with that one!😉

jack skellington disney sea style merch japan tokyo disneyland nailart nail art nightmare before christmas
Merchandise

I feel like there really isn’t much to say here because I think most Disney fans know that TDR merch is THE BEST.  Everything they sell is so much better than any other Disney park.  But aside from the ears, sunglasses, and apparel, I also really love TDR’s snack souvenirs!

Japan loves little packaged snacks.  And at both TDR parks, you’ll find whole sections of stores devoted to snacks and candies.  Even better, many of the snacks are cased in souvenir tins or containers.  So after you’ve eaten everything, you still get a fun case or tin as a souvenir!  I personally like bringing back the snack souvenirs as gifts for friends and coworkers.  But I always buy some for myself because it reminds me of my childhood.  My family was frequently in SF’s Japantown.  Preschool, summer camp, basketball leagues, piano lessons…it was all in Japantown for us. So growing up, we loved going to the Japanese markets to pick out whatever snack we wanted as our afternoon treat.  And now seeing some of my favorite childhood snacks wrapped up in fun Disney packaging just makes the child in me scream with joy!

japan tokyo disney sea resort disneyland disneybound disney style
People

Part of the reason why this one of my top Disney resorts is because of the people.  Guests and visitors are not only polite and nice, but they’re trustworthy.  Japan in general has one of the lowest crime rates in the world and it’s because everyone respects one another.  Not saying you should leave your stuff around willy nilly, but if for some reason you left something behind, you have a good chance of getting it back.  Granted, there’s probably not much crime or theft that happens in Disney parks, you just get that extra reassurance that your belongings won’t be lost forever.

Tokyo DisneySea Disneyland Disney Resort Disneybound

Natsuki (left) & Ayano (right) 💖

Not many people there speak English.  So if you’re not knowledgeable in Japanese, be ready to charade your way through a conversation.  There are English maps and most signs have English translations.  Worst case scenario, have your map handy and point to what you’re looking for.  And better yet, also have a Japanese map with you so the cast member can read it in their own language instead of having to try to guess what the English map says.  But at least know “hello” (kon’nichiwa) and “thank you” (arigato).

japan tokyo disneyland sea resort disney style monsters inc university pixar

Unique Rides/Attractions 

Tokyo Disneyland is pretty similar to Disneyland and Magic Kingdom. But they do have some rides and attractions that are unique to Tokyo! And of course, DisneySea is a completely different park, so everything they have can’t be found at any other Disney park. But if you only have a limited time, here’s what I would strongly suggest you try to ride in each park!

Disneyland park: Pooh’s Hunny Hunt, Monsters Inc. Ride & Go Seek

DisneySea: Sinbad’s Storybook Voyage, Magic Lamp Theater, Aquatopia, Nemo & Friends SeaRider

japan tokyo disneyland disney style park sea resort walt mickey mouse international park

Overall Thoughts & Suggestions

TDR is by far one of my favorite Disney parks.  I love the mix of Japanese culture and Disney magic, but overall it’s just a well-rounded resort.  Fun rides, easy transportation, various hotels, instagrammable food, and of course amazing merch.  But what really captures my heart are all the small details in the park.  The soap in the bathrooms are dispensed as mickey shaped foam, ramen egg yolks are also mickey shaped, and one time we swore the camel statue in Arabian Coast smelled like actual camel poop smell. They’re THAT dedicated to details.

To fully experience the parks, I would suggest a three day stay.  However, two days will still allow you to enjoy most of what the parks offer.  And I would probably spend a little more time in DisneySea versus Disneyland.  Only because DisneySea is completely different from any other Disney park.

If you’ve been to TDR, let me know what you love most about it! Or if you have extra tips, leave them here to so others can learn more too! And stay tuned for the next international international Disney park travel guide!🐭✈️

ABW