This was our third and last full day, and we only had one item on the list. No stay in Hong Kong would be complete, especially if you have your child in tow, without a visit to Disneyland. We checked out of L’Hotel Nina at around 9AM, transferred to the Disney’s Hollywood Hotel, and then got to the gates of Hong Kong Disneyland at 10AM, just after it opened.
Our whole Hong Kong trip was a story of long queues, and even with our early arrival at Disneyland, we were not spared from the long line of people waiting for their turn to have their pictures taken with Mickey and Minnie, right infront of Main Street USA. If it were just me, I would just have skipped it, but we wanted to have a picture of our little boy with the two mice, so we persisted.
It’s my third time in a Disney, my first two were at Disney World in Orlando, Florida. The Hong Kong Disney, at just around 20 hectares, is currently the smallest Disneyland. I would roughly guess that it’s just the size of one of the parks in the Disney World complex in Orlando, but despite its size, I think it still has enough in it to keep a kid happy for one whole day. And you still get that genuine Disney feeling of leaving the real world behind, once you enter.
We didn’t really go into any of the rides and spent most of our time watching shows and shopping for souvenirs instead. The line for Mickey took such a long time that by the time we were done, it was almost lunchtime. After stopping for lunch, we headed for our first show, the Golden Mickeys.
We just lined up at the Golden Mickeys, inspite of me not knowing what the show was all about. It turns out that it’s actually an Oscars-inspired musical, with segments showing the most popular Disney cartoons. I’m no theater buff, so I don’t know what’s good theater or not, but for sure the Golden Mickeys would be a treat for most kids. I was pleased by the performance too.
The next show on the schedule was Lion King over at Adventureland. This one feels a bit more mature, though not by too much, compared to the Golden Mickeys. Simba and hakuna matata boy Timone are running the show this time, with uncle Scar as the antagonist. It’s actually the theater version of the cartoon, and the plot and story is very similar to the movie with Young simba and Scar played by real life actors (I mean, actors not hiding beneath mascots’ costumes). The show had a lot of singing and dancing, and I thought the choreography was impressive. I’ll give this show 1 star more (or perhaps 2), than what Golden Mickeys would get. I was impressed.
These shows do take time though, especially since you have to line-up half an hour before it starts. All we did so far, for the entire day, was line up for a picture with Mickey, have lunch, do some shopping, watch two shows and have a snack break, but by the time were done, it was almost evening. We spent our remaining time just strolling around the park (and some more shopping), as the sun slowly got lower on horizon.
An then of course, no Disney evening is complete without the fireworks display.
The park closes right after the fireworks, though some shops still open for a bit more time to give the visitors a last chance on souvenirs. We were tired after a whole day of walking, so we went straight to the bus station instead and skipped last minute shopping.
We were staying, for the evening, at the Disney’s Hollywood Hotel, which is just within the Hong Kong Disneyland compound, though a bit far from the main gate that you need to take the shuttle bus that goes around the resort. The hotel has an American vintage art-deco theme, peppered all over with the Disney personality. Our room was a bit small by high-end hotel standards (that in no way means the room is small, just not as spacious as you’d hope for the price), but it’s clean, well kept, and well appointed and has hidden mickeys to delight the kid in us. Good luck trying to find cheap, good food though, although to be fair, cheap food is unheard of in any Disney. They have a full service restaurant, and a buffet restaurant, though the price range may put off budget travelers. They also have a “fast-food type” outlet that sells cheaper food (although I still think it only deserves half the price), but their food selection is limited (could be a problem for picky people).
The hotel grounds is large enough, and kids can still have fun even when just staying inside. It has an interesting looking pool that’s patterned after the piano, there’s a playground, and there’s lots of open space to run around. It’s definitely not a bad hotel (and it shouldn’t be, no Disney hotel comes cheap after all). Whatever can be said about Disney Hollywood, no Disney hotel is an ordinary hotel, and I wouldn’t mind staying again on this one.
* The Hong Kong Disneyland can be reached through the MTR’s Disneyland Resort Line. To get there, take the MTR’s Tung Chung line to the Sunny Bay Station, where you can then transfer to the Disney line. For more info about the HK MTR, please visit their website: http://www.mtr.com.hk/eng/homepage/cust_index.html
* This trip was taken November 2010. All pictures were taken with Olympus E-420 and Zuiko 14-42mm f3.5-5.6.