One of the best things to do in Hong Kong with kids is taking them to Hong Kong Disneyland. Here we not only share with you our Hong Kong Disneyland review, but we give you loads of insider Hong Kong Disneyland tips based on many visits to the park, to help you save money on your tickets and avoid the queues as much as possible.
With a whole host of Disney characters to meet, rides to enjoy, a Lion King show, the Fantasy Parade and fireworks, you are guaranteed a day of fun and much excitement from the kids with this Disney in Hong Kong experience.
There are seven themed lands to explore at Hong Kong Disneyland, including Fantasyland, Toy Story Land and Adventureland, with all the favourite rides such as It’s a Small World, Mad Hatter Tea Cups and Space Mountain to enjoy, as well as some that are unique to Disneyland Hong Kong.
A commonly asked question is “Is one day enough at Hong Kong Disneyland?” I think this depends on the age of your kids and how much of the park you want to fit in. We have always visited in one day – arriving at 10am, and leaving at around 4pm. My kids are just 6 and 4, and they have usually had enough by then, and sleep in the car all the way home.
However, if you have older kids – you will almost certainly want to watch the nighttime parade and see the fireworks, which aren’t until closing at 8.45pm. If that’s the case, you might want to spread your visit over two days rather than face a really long day. You could then choose to stay at one of the Hong Kong Disneyland Hotels to complete the experience (more on this below).
Hong Kong Disneyland is one of Hong Kong’s most popular visitor attractions, and it can get very busy. With this in mind, more than just being a Hong Kong Disneyland review, here are my best Disneyland Hong Kong tips to help you get the most out of your visit. Use our Hong Kong Disneyland guide below to create your own Hong Kong Disneyland itinerary and beat the crowds.
Buy Hong Kong Disneyland tickets online
Save time queuing for your Disney Hong Kong tickets when you get there and buy online before you go. You can buy these at the Hong Kong Disneyland website, and then collect your tickets from the automated machine on arrival.
Better yet, you can check the Hong Kong Disneyland ticket price and buy discounted tickets online here.
Visit during the week
As I have already said, HK Disneyland can get very busy. If you have the flexibility, the best time to go to this the Disneyland resort Hong Kong is during the week and not during school holidays.
Also try to avoid public holidays in China as a lot of visitors to Disneyland HK come from mainland China. These are typically over Chinese New Year, early May and early October, but check for others too.
Get there before opening time
The best time to visit Hong Kong Disneyland resort is at opening time. Check the official park calendar for the current Disneyland Hong Kong opening hours. The usual Disneyland HK opening hours are 10.30am-8.15pm, so one of my best tips is to aim to get there by 10am, as there will already be a queue to get through the turnstiles at the Hong Kong Disneyland entrance.
The good news is they do start letting you in before the park opens, but you can only access Main Street. If you make your way up Main Street and head towards the Sleeping Beauty Castle, you will then be there at ‘rope drop’ and be the first in the doors (and yes, people will actually run to get there ahead of you).
If you are the first people to arrive at the rope drop zone, your kids might even be asked to join in with the rope cutting ceremony!
Head straight for the Rides (and ignore the characters)
If it’s your first trip to Hong Kong Disneyland, it will be very very tempting to hang around Main Street and try to meet the characters, including Mickey and Minnie, who arrive here for photographs as soon as the park opens. My next Hong Kong Disneyland tip is “don’t do it”. You will queue for at least half an hour here, and will waste valuable riding time.
If you want to have the best chance to ride as many of the Hong Kong Disneyland rides as possible, you need to head straight to them. You have about an hour to ride the rides with virtually no queues. Once that clock hits 11am, the queues start to build. So do your research and find out which you think are the best rides in Hong Kong Disneyland that you really don’t want to miss, and head there first.
As my kids are still young, when we visit the Disney resort Hong Kong we head straight to Fantasyland, where the majority of small rides are. We follow the following Hong Kong Disneyland schedule:
First up, we head for Dumbo, as this is one that gets busy quickly. Our other favourites in Fantasyland are the Madhatter Teacups, “it’s a small world” (you can save this one ‘til last; it never seems to have a queue until much later in the day), Cinderella Carousel, and the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (you can use your Fastpass here).
Once we’ve done those rides, we head to Mickey’s PhilharMagic, a 3D concert-movie starring Donald Duck, which is really fun and often overlooked. After this we tend to play it a bit more by ear, and check the app to see how the queues are in the rest of the park.
If you have Star Wars fans with you, you will want to head straight to Tomorrowland where you can take part in Jedi training and meet Chewbacca and R2-D2. Tomorrowland is also home to Autopia, which seems to be one of the most popular Disney Hong Kong rides.
We have never done Autopia as there is usually a minimum 45-minute wait, so if you want to experience it, adjust your planned Disneyland Hong Kong timings accordingly and get there early. Other fun rides here include Orbitron and everybody’s favourite – Hyperspace Mountain (you can use your Fastpass here).
Toy Story Land also has some fun rides, such as the Toy Soldier Parachute Drop and the RC Racer, and these fill up super quick. If you don’t get to these rides early, you can expect a minimum 45-minute queue later on.
Use your Hong Kong Disneyland Fastpass
If it is busy when you are at Hong Kong Disney, you can use your Fastpass. The Hong Kong Disneyland Fastpass is included in your ticket for certain rides – although at the time of writing the only rides eligible for Fastpass were The Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Iron Man Experience and Hyperspace Mountain. However, it is worth knowing that you can save these rides for later.
To use your Hong Kong Disneyland Fastpass, put your ticket into the machine near your chosen ride, and you will be allocated a time to return, where you can access the ride via a fast track queue.
Note – sometimes when you purchase a Hong Kong Disneyland package through the hotels you can also get further queue jump passes included with your package. These allow you to jump the queue at even more Hong Kong Disneyland attractions. If you are staying at one of the official Disney Hong Kong hotels, it is worth asking about these.
Take a lock for your stroller
Ok this is a case of ‘do as I say, not as I do’. I have never locked my stroller during my Disney Hong Kong visits, and have never had a problem. However, I have heard many many cases of strollers being stolen when people are on the rides or in the Lion King show. So if you do take your stroller, either lock it with a bicycle lock or do your best to keep an eye on it. Alternatively you can rent a stroller at Hong Kong Disneyland.
Watch the Hong Kong Disneyland shows
Here is another of my best HK Disney tips: Do not miss the Festival of the Lion King show. It’s fantastic. This all-singing-all-dancing performance tells the story of the Lion King in a compact 30-minutes of entertainment. There’s fire dancers, acrobats, giant animals and plenty of dancing – plus of course everyone gets to sing along to ‘Hakuna Matata’.
Current show times are 12noon, 2pm, 4.30pm and 6pm but check the Hong Kong Disneyland website for updated information.
Another fun show featuring popular Disney characters and songs is Mickey’s Wondrous Book, located in Fantasyland. This 30-minute show runs several times during the day. Check the Hong Kong Disneyland information on their website or app for latest timings.
Where to eat in Hong Kong Disneyland
I find the food quality to be the most disappointing thing about Hong Kong Disneyland. You are not allowed to take your own food into the park, and they do check bags on the way in, although you can sometimes get away with homemade sandwiches for younger kids, and they don’t seem to mind snacks in a snack box.
For Western food your best bet for a sit-down fast food meal at Hong Kong Disneyland is the Starliner Diner in Tomorrowland, where you can feast on fried chicken and burgers. It’s also air-conditioned which is important in the summer months. For something lighter, check out Market House Bakery on Main Street for takeaway sandwiches, pizzas, pastries and cakes.
There are plenty of Chinese/Asian options – including noodles and Guangdong BBQ at Clopin’s Festival of Foods in Fantasyland, and Comet Café in Tomorrowland, or you could opt for Indian specialties at the Tahitian Terrace in Adventureland.
Most importantly, the best ice-cream stop is at Small World Ice Cream, in Fantasyland outside “it’s a small world”.
Meet the Characters
I have already advised against queuing to see the characters as soon as you enter Hong Kong Disneyland, but there are plenty of other opportunities to meet some of the characters. If you want to have your photo taken with Mickey or Minnie, be prepared to queue for at least 30 minutes.
And don’t overlook all the other Disney characters you can meet at various locations around the park, including Disney princesses, Winnie the Pooh, Goofy, Donald, Buzz Lightyear and Woody, and of course the Star Wars characters.
Look out for the character-meeting symbol on your Hong Kong Disneyland map. Better yet, stay the night at the Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel and you can meet all the characters over breakfast, with no queues at all! See below for more information.
Watch the Parade
The Hong Kong Disneyland parades are fun for everyone, and a chance to get a good look at all the characters and get caught up in the feel-good Disney vibe, as everyone smiles and waves and dances their way past you.
Our favourite is the Flights of Fancy Parade, which takes place at 1.30pm every day along Main Street. Get there early to get yourself a good spot at the front.
If you can last till evening, the “Disney Paint the Night” Nighttime Spectacular is at 8.15pm and has all your favourite Disney characters drifting past on glowing floats. Don’t forget to wear your own Minnie Glow-Bow!
Check the website for the latest Hong Kong Disneyland parade schedule.
Download the App
The Hong Kong Disneyland app is a great weapon to have in your arsenal as it allows you to keep an eye on queue times for all the rides around the park at any given time. Hong Kong Disneyland is relatively small, so if you are in Fantasyland and see that there is only a 10-minute queue time at the Hyperspace Mountain ride in Tomorrowland, you can get there quickly enough.
It also has a Hong Kong Disneyland map showing nearest dining options, shops and restrooms, plus showtimes for all the entertainment. You can download it at the iTunes store here. Click here to read our other top picks of Hong Kong apps.
Hotels Near Hong Kong Disneyland
To complete this Hong Kong experience, you can choose to stay at one of the three Hong Kong Disneyland hotels and start the day with breakfast with the characters. Following is a brief roundup of the three Hong Kong Disney hotels:
Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel
The more upmarket (ie expensive) of the three hotels near Disneyland Hong Kong is the Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel. This beautiful faux Victorian hotel has large grounds, comfortable bedrooms and a choice of restaurants. It is also in walking distance of the Hong Kong Disneyland park.
As you would expect, there are plenty of family friendly facilities and activities at this HK Disneyland hotel. There are two swimming pools – both indoor and outdoor, including a 40m waterslide in the outdoor pool. There is also an outdoor playground and indoor kids playroom.
One of the best things about staying overnight at this Disneyland Hong Kong hotel is having breakfast in the morning with Mickey and some of his friends at the Enchanted Garden restaurant. Here, everybody has plenty of time for photo-taking opportunities with their favourite Disney characters, and it means you can save time queuing in the park.
Disney Hollywood Hotel Hong Kong
Dining with the Disney characters is also available at Disney’s Hollywood Hotel in Mickey’s restaurant during breakfast and dinner. This Disney hotel Hong Kong also has a fun grand piano-shaped outdoor swimming pool with a waterslide, and Malibu Games, filled with arcade games for the kids.
Guests at Hong Kong Disneyland Hollywood Hotel can also use the Storybook Playroom at the Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel.
Disney Explorer’s Lodge Hong Kong
The newest Hong Kong Disneyland resort hotel is the Explorer’s Lodge. There aren’t really any cheap hotels in Hong Kong near Disneyland, but the Disney Explorer’s Lodge is a more wallet-friendly option than the main Disney hotel HK.
The Explorer’s Lodge is divided into four tropical themed zones: Asia, Oceania, South America and Africa with rooms furnished accordingly and four corresponding themed gardens to explore. There are fun games and activities organised every afternoon at the outdoor pool.
Getting to Hong Kong Disneyland
The best way to get to Hong Kong Disneyland is either by MTR or by taxi. A taxi from Central will take around 30-minutes, if you don’t get stuck in traffic.
To go by MTR, take the Tung Chung line from Hong Kong Station or Kowloon to Sunny Bay and switch to the Disneyland Resort line. It will also take around 30 minutes.
Getting from Hong Kong airport to Disneyland is easy. A taxi will only take around 15 minutes and there are also direct coach services available.
Can’t decide between Hong Kong Disneyland and Ocean Park Hong Kong? Read all our tips for visiting Ocean Park with Kids here.
Buy Before You Go!
It’s always fun to dress up at Disneyland. The stormtroopers in Tomorrowland paid special attention to my son when he was wearing his stormtrooper t-shirt, and Minnie Mouse made a real fuss over my daughter when she was wearing her Minnie bow! Make sure you look the part at Hong Kong Disneyland and dress up for the occasion with these fun outfits!
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