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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Shanghai Disneyland – Solo Travel Tips

Travel

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Forewarning: This is not necessarily advice on how to see the whole park in one day.  It is just some helpful solo travel tips.

So as I mentioned in my last post, I was fortunate enough to visit Shanghai Disneyland this past summer.  And navigating a Disney park alone isn’t new to me.  But navigating an international park is an entirely different situation.  Now, I’m not usually a solo traveller, but in case you ever find yourself wondering Shanghai Disneyland alone, here are a few tips that I hope will help make your visit a great and easy one!

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1. Use the single rider lines if possible and/or strategically plan your fastpasses.

This is actually a good tip for both solo travelers and groups.  I totally played it wrong this last visit as I didn’t take advantage of the fastpasses.  But when you first arrive to the park, find one of the fastpass stations and see what rides you’d like to get a fastpass for.  And some rides have single rider lines, that usually have shorter wait times than the regular stand-by lines, so take advantage!  Especially for Pirates of the Caribbean and Tron!  For more tips on how to beat the lines, search google!  There are tons of helpful blog posts from avid park goers floating around.

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2. Ask younger park-goers to help take your photo.

If you don’t get a castle photo, did you even really visit a Disney park? 😏 jk.  But I’ll be honest, I wanted at least ONE castle photo with me in it.  I found I had the best luck when I approached younger visitors that were dressed more stylishly.  Let’s face it, if they’re dressed in street fashion, they’re most likely wanting a good photo of themselves too.  And they’ll actually know how to use a camera phone or DSLR.  Sure there’s lots of people you could ask, but the majority are families with young kids and I just felt guilty burdening busy parents.  Especially since I didn’t speak Mandarin.  So find those street style, hipster looking visitors!  And of course, return the favor and offer to take a photo of them and their group afterwards.

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3. Or make sure you have a portable tripod of your choosing (gorilla tripod, selfie stick, phone back stand, etc.)

Before I found a pair of stylish friends that were willing to help me out, I actually used my camera on a gorilla tripod and had it clung to a nearby rail.  Did I look a little insane?  Yes.  But here’s the secret — no one knows you!  So what if older grandparents sitting around the park look like they’re judging you.  “Maybe I’m just trying to take some photos to show my own grandma, mister!”🙄  Anyways, having my gorilla tripod came handy when I wanted to take photos of myself.  If you’re savvy enough, you can also use it as an impromptu selfie stick.  Or even an arm extension for us shorties out there who just want a better glimpse of a parade.

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By the look of that bunny, I’m thinking this is a noms spot.

4. Learn basic words and phrases in Mandarin.  And don’t be afraid to charade your way through a conversation!

You should at least know hello (ni-hao, pronounced knee-how) and thank you (xiè xiè, pronounced sheh sheh).  This at least softens up the person you’re talking to because you’re at least trying to speak Mandarin.  And sometimes, that’s all they want to see.  Effort.  If you’re looking for a certain attraction, restaurant, or bathroom, have your map handy.  If you just point to what you’re looking for, the cast member will most likely understand, and point in the direction you should head.  And if you’re like me, you might be searching for specific kinds of adorable looking food and merch.  In that case, try to screenshot a photo of it on your phone BEFORE you get to the park.  Later, you can easily bring it up on your phone and ask a cast member.  And if all else fails, try your best to charade through your conversation.  It’s actually fun to be kind of goofy and cast members usually find it endearing and were more willing to help.

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Peace out, Shanghai! ❤

There you have it!  Just a few tips to help make your solo trip to Shanghai Disneyland a little easier and more enjoyable.  And I am by no means an expert of this park or solo travel.  There are tons of people out there on the interwebs that know this park inside and out and could probably give you so many more great guidelines and tips.  But these are just a few things that I found to be super helpful during my solo visit.  And honestly, part of the experience is not knowing what the hell you’re doing sometimes.😆  So here’s to hoping we can all be a little braver to be more adventurous!💪🏼

ABW