We have had Hong Kong Disneyland on our “to visit” list for a while now, and realized a in November that if we didn’t go soon, we would miss all of the Christmas decorations. Since it was pretty warm it was challenging to feel like we’re getting in the Christmas spirit, and this seemed as good an excuse as any.
We took the MTR from our place and in just over an hour we arrived at Disneyland…pretty awesome! It was a perfect day to go – not too hot and surprisingly quiet for a Sunday. We were expecting crowds and long lines and found the opposite. This meant we made our way through the part much faster than expected. Even with a zig-zag route and plenty of doubling back we had seen everything we wanted to see in 5 hours. We didn’t worry about catching a parade, didn’t care to stand in lines to have photos taken with characters, and skipped a few of the rides (lucky for Braden, who hates the Dumbo ride…too much spinning for him!)
Good thing Braden’s an MTR master and has this transit thing figured out. We took the train to Central on the red line, transferred to the orange Tung Chung line, then transferred AGAIN to the pink Disneyland line.
It is the most surreal feeling, especially since we’ve both been to Anaheim Disneyland several times, to walk up to the gates and see Disneyland…but in Hong Kong! It really does feel like California with the palm trees, sunny sky and all the typical Disney details.
We thought we were pretty clever, and purchased tickets online while we were on the train. Skip the line and run right in, we figured! Nottttttttt quite. When we got to the “pick up your ticket” machine we got a message to see an attendant. Then we stood in line to see the attendant. Then we were told it takes about an hour for “the guy to process the order”. So somewhere in a backroom one person is processing all their online orders. Hmmmm….not the best system, I would say. So we waited a while and luckily it didn’t quite take that long and we got in.
Does it look just like Anaheim Disneyland? Is sure did to us! Fewer tourists, but still the familiar happy feeling as we walked through the gates and entered Disneyland!
There are FAR fewer rides in Hong Kong that California, but we still found a few of our favourites. The Jungle Cruise was pretty predictable (same hippos bubbling in the water, same man being chased up a pole by a rhino) until the end. The last thing we needed was a fiery hot volcano, complete with flames…but we survived!
First ride at Hong Kong Disney!
We made our way to Toy Story Land and thoroughly enjoyed the over-sized decor there. So fun to feel small while walk through tall grasses and enormous popsicle stick benches!
After a few pretty tame rides, it was time to get SERIOUS in Grizzly Gulch. We discovered our favourite ride, by far: Big Grizzly Mountain Runaway Mine Cars. It’s similar to Big Thunder Mountain; it’s fast, wild, and exhilarating. Even better though, halfway through the mine car cable ‘malfunctioned’ and set us hurtling backwards along the tracks. It was an awesome ride and we rode it at least four times!
Things get questionable for Braden when it comes to spinning rides…we’re talking about a guy who could ride roller coasters all day long but gets nauseated by the Dumbo ride. He emphatically opted out of joining me on the Spinning Teacup ride.
Everyone’s favourite song-gets-stuck-in-your-head ride, It’s a Small World, didn’t disappoint with its memorable tune or predictability.
Braden, lover of road trips, has fond memories of Autopia from when he was a kid. When else did he get to drive a real car?! Now, without cars once again, it was time for him to hop behind the wheel.
After four or five hours in the park (and a bunch of backtracking to go on the Big Grizzly Mountain ride a few more times), we called it a day. But not before soaking in the final Disney sights.
If you find yourself in Hong Kong with time to kill and money burning a hole in your pocket, there’s no reason not to go to Hong Kong Disneyland. However, it was a one time experience for us, and we’re in no rush to return.