Top 8 Tips on planning your first trip to Hong Kong Disneyland


I have been asked by few friends to share tips on how to plan the first trip to Hong Kong Disneyland. Here are my Top 8 tips I crafted from my experience for planning a Disneyland vacation, and related link to assist you:

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1. Read information about the resortHong Kong Disneyland is located on reclaimed land in Penny’s Bay, Lantau Island. The park consists of six themed areas: Main Street, U.S.A., Fantasyland, Adventureland, Tomorrowland, Grizzly Gulch and Toy Story Land. There are two themed hotels in the area: Disneyland Hotel and Disney’s Hollywood Hotel.

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Disneyland Hotel.

2. Where to stay – It is advisable that you stay at either Disneyland Hotel or Disney’s Hollywood Hotel for easy access to the parks. Shuttle bus is provided free to the parks. Click on hotel link to find out more about the room rates.

 

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3. How to get the tickets – If you stay at the above hotels, you can get the Room and 2-Day Ticket Package. Check out hotel offer to learn more. Else you can book 1-Day or 2-Day tickets online.

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4. Disneyland Transportation – Hong Kong Disneyland is located on Lantau Island, and is accessible via an array of convenient transportation options. From the airport you can take taxi for HKD100 (four passengers). If you want to experience the MTR, take the Airport Express. Buy tickets for four at a discounted rate of HKD150. Get down at Tsing Yi and take the orange line to Sunny Bay. From SunnyBay, take the pink line to Disneyland. Alternatively you can take a bus from the airport to Tung Chung for HKD3.80 for adult and HKD1.50 for a child (concessionary). Buy tickets to Disneyland at Tung Chung station at HKD13.50 for adult and HKD6.00 for a child (concessionary). From Tung Chung you have to get down at Sunny Bay and take the train to Disneyland.

You do the math and see which is cheaper.

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5. Disneyland Dining Plan – For Muslim,  Halal food is available at both hotels upon request and if you are not around the hotel, look for Tahitian Terrace located at Adventureland. Tahitian Terrace serves Singaporean Laksa Rice Noodle Soup, Black Lentil Set, Roasted Lemongrass Chicken Steak with Rice, Penang Fish Curry with Rice and Penang Fish Curry with Rice. All food served here are certified by The Incorporated Trustees of The Islamic Community Fund of Hong Kong.

Alternatively, you can also opt for fish, fries, tofu or vegetables at some of the restaurants available in the park. For buffet breakfast, the hotels normally have international meals like baked bean, bread, rice porridge, scramble egg, pancakes, waffles, etc for you to choose from.

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6. Best Disneyland Attractions – Disneyland has a ton of attractions, and it is advisable that you take 2 days to explore all the theme parks. But if you have a 1-Day pass, here are some suggestions of what not to miss:

a) Flights of Fantasy Parade: Begins in Fantasyland, near the entrance of Storybook Theatre 3:30PM

b) “Disney in the Stars” Fireworks, Sleeping Beauty Castle, Main Street, U.S.A. 8:00PM

c) “The Golden Mickeys”, Fantasyland 12:30PM 1:45PM 4:00PM 5:00PM 6:15PM

d) Character greeting and photo opportunity: Main Street, U.S.A Town Square 10:00AM – 5:30PM, Fantasyland Fantasy Gardens 12:00PM – 6:30PM, Sleeping Beauty Castle 10:00AM – 5:30PM, Tomorrowland 10:30AM – 5:30PM, Toy Story Land 10:30AM – 6:00PM, Grizzly Gulch 10:30AM – 5:30PM.

e) Disney’s FASTPASS attractions: Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters, Space Mountain, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. Use your ticket to get a FASTPASS ticket located outside the attractions.

Please check the Daily Calendar to see if the timings are the same.

Please check the park map and print it out for your guide beforehand. Alternatively, you can get the park map from hotels or from the City Hall situated at Main Street USA.

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7. How much to bring for shopping – I spent about HKD1011 (Approximately RM405) to buy merchandise as below and hope this can be your guide of how much to bring for shopping:

a) Buzz Lightyear Sword – HKD125

b) Mickey Original T-shirt for adult – HKD205

c) Mickey T-shirt for kid – HKD195

d) Mickey T-shirt for baby – HKD168

e) Mickey 3D Pen – HKD38

f) Disneyland iPhone 4s casing – HKD150

g) Minnie Mouse Hair Clips – HKD50

h) Mickey Acrylic Keychains 4pcs – HKD80

 

8. What’s the weather like – It is important that you know the weather before packing for this trip. Here are list of seasons and the average temperature:

a) Spring (March to May) – Temperature and humidity are rising. Evenings can be cool. Average Temperature: 17oC – 26oC

b) Summer (June to August) – Hot, humid and sunny, with occasional showers and thunderstorms. The temperature can exceed 31°C but high humidity levels can make it feel even hotter. Average Temperature: 26oC – 31oC

c) Autumn (September to November) – There are pleasant breezes, plenty of sunshine and comfortable temperatures. Many people regard these as the best months of the year to visit Hong Kong. Average Temperature: 19oC – 28oC

d) Winter (December to February) – Cool, dry and cloudy, with occasional cold fronts. The temperature can drop below 10°C in urban areas. Average Temperature: 12oC – 20oC.

So there you go. Happy planning your visit to Hong Kong Disneyland!

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Disney’s Hollywood Hotel

This is the continuation from previous post.

Waking up Yassin was easy as I promised him the night before that he gets to go to swimming pool if he wakes up early. After taking shower, we went to Chef Mickey to have our international buffet breakfast. We had the usual; bread, eggs and what not. Chef Mickey was not in sight, we guess he was busy preparing breakfast.

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After breakfast, we headed straight to the swimming pool. The water was warm and Yassin had a blast swimming and playing on the slide.

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After Yassin finished swimming, we went to the garden area to get some shots. And let me take this chance to show you around the hotel.

Disney’s Hollywood Hotel is one of two hotels at Hong Kong Disneyland Resort and it is themed to 1930s Hollywood. The hotel has 600 guestrooms each with the “garden view”, the “sea view” or the “park view” that overlooks the Hong Kong Disneyland Park.

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Decorations around the hotel include classic cars from the 1930s, a pavement decorated as a strip of film, names of roads and highways in California, the El Captain sign and even the ‘world famous’ “HOLLYWOOD HOTEL” sign.

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The hotel itself has a very art deco style, and is themed to the 1930 golden age of movies.

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There are five restaurants in the hotel. Chef Mickey (the main restaurant) has an international cuisine buffet, while Hollywood & Dine has quick-service food and beverages. Studio Lounge is a full-service bar with specialty drinks and snacks. The Sunset Terrace opens seasonally, with outdoor BBQ cuisine. The Piano Pool Bar sells drinks to guests sitting around a piano-shaped pool. The Piano Pool also has a side toddler pool, with a slide.

There’s a gift shop called Celebrity Gift that sells plush, toys, pins and stationeries near the lobby area.

As for its accommodation, Disney’s Hollywood Hotel offers A-List rooms. There are three captivating room types, each designed for the comfort of a family of four. Room types are according to outside view: Garden View, Sea View and Park View.

Amenities include one king-sized bed or two double beds in all rooms (non-smoking rooms available), flat-screen LCD TV, in-room high speed internet access, free wireless internet access at hotel lobby and dining locations, guest parking spaces, guest limousine service, in-room safe, cribs upon request, laundry and valet.

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Before we left the hotel, we did some shopping again at the Celebrity Gift shop. We took the shuttle bus and headed to Disney train station. We waved to the trees, the people, the hotel and everything we saw on the way to the station.
‘Goodbye Hong Kong Disneyland…until we meet again’ was our last words before setting our foot on the Disney train that took us to Tung Chung station.

Next post: My tips on how to plan for your trips to Hong Kong Disneyland!

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Fun in Hong Kong Disneyland II


Continuation from last post about HongKong Disneyland.

I told my son that he will meet and greet Disney Characters at Enchanted Garden, Disneyland Hotel during breakfast and before I could say ‘go to shower’, he had already disappeared into the shower. Good boy.

We took the shuttle bus to Disneyland Hotel and headed to Enchanted Garden. But since our reservation was at 9.30pm, we had to wait for our turn. While waiting, we went to the promenade area and Yassin got to play inside Mickey Maze.

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Later, we walked along promenade area by the sea. The weather was cool, breezy and fresh.

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Sea-front promenade overlooking South China Sea.

When it’s already 9.30am, we went inside and our table was ready for us. We were ushered through the conservatory-like setting of the lamp-lit Enchanted Garden Restaurant to our table. This restaurant offers huge exquisite international buffet-style meals.

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We’re not a big-eater so our choice was quite typical; bread, eggs, vegetables and baked bean.

While having our breakfast, Daisy came into sight! And then Goofy and then Pluto and then Mickey!

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It was a fantastic opportunity for Yassin to see some Disney characters up-close and personal and got some photos taken with them. It was a very happy experience and Yassin was so proud.

Later, we went to the theme parks again to discover a part that we missed the other day; Tomorrowland. Tomorrowland features an emphasis on metallic trim, dominated by blue and purple hues. Since the opening of the park, unique attractions have been added into the Hong Kong’s Tomorrowland, such as a new Autopia and Stitch Encounter.

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The park was full and most of the rides were having long queues, so we opt for Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters. We validated our tickets to get Disney’s FASTPASS® and skipped the long queue. We teamed up with Buzz Lightyear and spin the Star Cruisers 360 degrees. Equipped with fire hand-held laser cannons, we blasted enemy targets and got points. Yassin points was 5000+ while mine was 2000+. Hehe not bad eh for a mother?

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Yassin was hungry and we later bought fries and fish burger at Comet Café and took a break at the Town Square at Main Street USA.

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It was around 3pm and Yassin was already tired from the day’s walking as well as from previous day. He had blisters on his feet, so we decided to return to the hotel and rest. On the way back, we took the chance to snap more photos around Main Street USA.

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Yassin playing ‘knock, knock, who’s there’.

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Last but not least, we did some shopping, yay!

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I asked Yassin whether he would want to explore some more but he was already tired and just wanted to rest. So we headed back to the hotel and took our rest and later had our dinner at Walt’s Café. We had pumpkin soup, salad, fish and great dessert.

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And that wrapped our night.

Next post: last day at Disney’s Hollywood Hotel before checking out at 11am.

 

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Fun in Hong Kong Disneyland


Disneyland. Disneyland in Hong Kong. Hong Kong Disneyland.

Finally, my son and I can say that we were here!

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OK, maybe Hong Kong Disneyland needs no introduction at all but I still want to write about the general information.

Hong Kong Disneyland is located on reclaimed land in Penny’s Bay, Lantau Island. Hong Kong Disneyland offers a world-class, unique family entertainment experience inspired by the original Disneyland in California. The park opened to visitors on 12 September 2005 and consists of six themed areas: Main Street U.S.A., Fantasyland, Adventureland, Tomorrowland, Grizzly Gulch and Toy Story Land. Since its opening, Hong Kong Disneyland has hosted over 25 million guests and according to AECOM and TEA, Hong Kong Disneyland is the 15th most visited theme park in the world in 2011, with 5.9 million visitors. The park opens from 10.30am to 8.00pm daily.

Now, let’s take a walk with us to the theme parks; chronologically from the hotel where we had our lunch earlier (link to first post). You might want to make a hot chocolate and have some biscuits to dip in coz honey, this gonna be a lengthy post and you ain’t gonna leave anywhere until the end of this post; except for the loo of course.

So…, we took the shuttle bus back to the train station area where the entrance to Disneyland Theme Parks is situated. We were super excited as we approached the green arch with a big Welcome and Hong Kong Disneyland Resort sign.

After entering the arch, we were welcomed by a lush landscape of garden-like promenade where a musical fountain is located. The fountain features Mickey Mouse surfing on a whale spout, surrounded by dancing fountains, all accompanied by a medley of Disney music.

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While looking at the fountain, I couldn’t help but ponder about the mechanism and how does Mickey Mouse land safely without falling and breaking to pieces when the fountain stop. After looking closely, I think the flat-headed whale makes a good landing base for Mickey Mouse when the water stops gradually and slowly.

After taking more pictures here for our album, we went inside through a gate to the Main Street Station. At the gate, we had our bags checked before we could enter another gate where our tickets were validated. Some visitors were too excited to enter and overtook others without consideration. But the guard would nicely tell them to queue. Thank you, Mister, we love you!

First area we visited was Main Street U.S.A.

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Yassin at the Main Street Station.

According to Disney Imagineer Tom Morris, Main Street U.S.A. at Hong Kong Disneyland is a close reproduction of the Disneyland original as a tribute to Walt Disney’s original park and his approval of the design. Main Street USA features a small American downtown at the turn of the century 1900, just before gas lamps were being replaced by electric lights and the “horseless carriage” was a new invention. Walt Disney’s childhood hometown of Marceline, Missouri served as an inspiration.

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We were here just about the right time as Flights of Fantasy Parade started. We were amazed by its grandeur. Mickey’s Magical Airship leads the way later followed by Winnie the Pooh and friends, Dumbo the Flying Elephant, and many more. It was so colourful!

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Mickey Mouse.

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Dumbo the Flying Elephant.

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Chipmunk.

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Jessie and female version of Buzz Lightyear.

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Yassin was pulled-in to participate and he joined in the fun without hesitation!

After the parade was over, we walked to Toy Story Land. Toy Story Land has larger-than-life toys where we automatically shrunk to the size of a toy! Interesting!

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Honey, they shrunk our kid!

Attractions here include Slinky Dog Spin, RC Racer, Toy Soldier Boot Camp, Barrel of Fun, Toy Soldier Parachute Drop and Cubot. Yassin wanted to try out the parachute drop and I had to overcome my fear of height to accompany him. So off we went to join Andy’s troops for a high-flying adventure. Weeeeee!

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We also tried Slinky Dog Spin. This was not as scary as parachute drop. Hehe!

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Next, we walked to Fantasyland and watched Golden Mickeys show. This spectacular musical extravaganza is honouring favourite Disney films featuring its main characters such as Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy, Pluto, Belle, Beast, handsome Tarzan, Woody, Jessie, Quasimodo, Stitch, Mulan and Captain Shang.

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 Later we went to Adventureland and took that Jungle River Cruise. Here we experience dangerous waters of a mysterious river filled with thrilling surprises as the captain tells the tales.

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Tarzan’s Treehouse.

Oops, sorry. These are the only good photos from my camera. Other pictures were very blurry and most of the time I didn’t really take photos because I was cautiously preparing myself to back away if anything rises from under the water. Haha, scaredy cat. Where’s my Tarzan when I needed him most?

Later after that we went to Grizzly Gulch.

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Grizzly Gulch is a new addition to Hong Kong Disneyland last July 2012. This land reminisces an abandoned mining town called “Grizzly Gulch”, set amidst mountains and woods. The centrepiece structure is Big Grizzly Mountain, inspired by Grizzly Peak in Disney California Adventure Park. The town was set to be founded 8 August 1888 — the luckiest day of the luckiest month of the luckiest year — by prospectors looking to discover gold.

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Fierce enough?

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We had a tiring day and it was time to have dinner at Plaza Inn. Inspired by the movie “Mulan”, this restaurant serves Cantonese-style dim sum, signature shrimps, spring rolls, BBQ and other delicious meals. As for us we ordered fish, tofu, vegetables and vegetable fried rice.

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And to wrap the night, we watched the firework show at Sleeping Beauty Castle! It was splendid and we could never imagine that one day we will be able to see it for real. We went back to the hotel with a big smile.

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 Next; Exciting greet-and-meet with Disney characters and a little bit more on Hong Kong Disneyland.

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Hong Kong Disneyland: A Dream Comes True

“Mother, do you think Disneyland would look like this?” asked my son, Yassin, one day while taking a view of Kuala Lumpur city one night back in 2009. “Disneyland has Sleeping Beauty castle with fireworks, dear,” I replied.

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He was dreaming of visiting the magical kingdom of Disneyland and the only thing I could say was that I’ll bring him to Disneyland one fine day when I have saved enough money to take him.

Only after 4 years the dream came true; we visited Hong Kong Disneyland last month (14 – 16 March 2013). He was overwhelmed and excited. A week prior to our departure to Hong Kong, he would make a little ‘Yay’ scream few times a day. I can understand his feeling of excitement; it was too hard to hide.

The initial plan was to go together with his dad as family but as my husband could not take leave from work, so it was just the two of us.

The day came and as my husband was not around, I asked my BFF, Helmy, if he could help drive me to the airport at 3am. The flight was at 6.30am. I always like to be early for international departure. I can either have coffee or read books or sketch while waiting at the gate.

After a flight of about 4 hours, we touched down in Hong Kong International Airport. We took Airport Express train to Tsing Yi (turquoise line), later changed train at Sunny Bay (orange line) and then took another train to Disneyland (pink line). Alternatively, there’s other transportation like taxi and bus but we prefer the train. The train here is called MTR and it is regarded as one of the world’s leading railways.

After about half an hour, we reached Disneyland Station. We were very excited!!

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 Later we took a shuttle bus provided near the train station and checked in Disney’s Hollywood Hotel.

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We love the room!! I talk about this hotel later in other post but here is a picture of the room for you to look at.

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Yassin was already screaming hungry, so we went for lunch at Crystal Lotus, situated at Disneyland Hotel (not far from this one) as the reservation has been made earlier. We went there on the shuttle bus provided by the hotel.

Crystal Lotus is grand! And we bumped into a Malaysian family there! In fact we bumped into few others at the hotel earlier; one from Penang and the other from KL.

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The restaurant has won the Best of the Best Culinary Awards 2009 – Gold with Distinction Medal from Dim-Sum Category, so we don’t want to miss to experience the chef’s award winning culinary skills. We requested for fish and vegetables and here is all the great-tasting food for you to drool upon. Hehe.

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Steamed Vegetables Dumpling, Vegetable Spring Roll and Swan Vegetarian Taro Puff.

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Yassin eating vegetable spring roll.

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Clockwise from top: Pumpkin Soup, Sautéed Grouper Fillet with Asparagus, Braised Mock Abalone with Bean Curd and Fried Rice with Preserved Vegetables.

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We had a great Mickey Mango Pudding and Duffy Steamed Red Bean Bun as dessert.

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Last but not least, Jasmine tea to wrap our lunch.

The lunch was great! We were all fuelled up and ready to rumble. Next, Disneyland Theme Parks.

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