HONG KONG: HK Disneyland

HONG KONG: HK Disneyland
Hong Kong Disneyland castle
Sleeping Beauty Castle in Hong Kong Disneyland
As mentioned in earlier posts, we love theme parks. We want to visit every single Disney and Universal theme parks in the world. And as said before, we sometimes plan our travel around theme parks. This is one of those cases where we went to a place just to visit a theme park.

From our hotel, we can either take the MTR, public bus, or again Gray Line tour bus to bring us to Disneyland. We did the math and factored in the convenience and went with the Gray Line tour bus. Also, the Gray Line tour bus gets you there before opening time so it is definitely worth the few extra bucks.

Our first few minutes in the park was not so pleasant because we were greeted by a very aggressive survey-taker as we try to take cover from the rain. Don't get me wrong, she is as friendly as any other Disney cast member it's just that you can feel that she's a bit pressured to make sure she gets her survey form filled-up. It is really annoying to be asked a dozen questions if you are covering from the rain and trying to plan how to go with your visit.

At the time of our visit(September 2009), HK Disneyland was probably the smallest Disney theme park. They only have 4 areas and the 4th one being just the entrance hallway where all the souvenir shops are at. Just like HK Ocean Park, HK Disneyland are also currently expanding and set to have 3 additional areas.

Unlike Tokyo Disney, Hong Kong Disneyland doesn't really have a unique ride. In fact, you get the feeling that most of their main attraction rides are the ones that are cheapest to produce. Still, if this is the first Disney you get to visit, you can still feel the Disney magic that make people go back to Disney theme parks over and over again.

Hong Kong Disneyland parade
Giant Mickey Mouse in the Hong Kong
Disneyland parade. Some people were
saying that if Mickey Mouse was made in
China, this is what he'd look like =)
Hong Kong Disneyland Golden Mickeys
Entrance to the Storybook Theater where
they show "The Golden Mickeys" musical.
As per the locals, it could get crowded especially during the holiday season. For Disney theme park veterans, the only must-see is probably "The Golden Mickeys" which is like an award ceremony with musical performances from staple Disney characters. We said it's a must for Disney veterans since the only other place they can watch the said performance is at a Disney Cruise. Another thing that Disney park veterans doesn't get to see everyday is the giant inflated Mickey Mouse as a marching band conductor in the parade.

For Disney theme park first-timers, other that the Golden Mickeys and the parade, we would recommend prioritizing the rides/shows below:

Hong Kong Disneyland It's a Small World

It's a Small World - a Disney theme park staple. A boat ride with miniature animatronics representing different nationalities.

Festival of the Lion King - a musical with the same story line of the film featuring all the songs from the movie

Hong Kong Disneyland Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters

Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters - interactive ride where you get to shoot at alien targets

Jungle River Cruise - a boat ride thru an amazon-like river with a number of animatronics

Hong Kong Disneyland Space Mountain

Space Mountain - an indoor outerspace-themed roller coaster ride

Philharmagic - a 4D movie featuring Donald Duck being transported into scenes of different Disney flicks