When we were visiting Hong Kong with our toddler the one place that we knew had to be on our Hong Kong itinerary was Hong Kong Disneyland. When we were in our planning stages of the trip we found that there was limited information out there on how best to organise and plan your day. In this Visiting Hong Kong Disneyland tips and tricks guide we have you covered from everything you need to do before your arrival to where to eat and how to plan your day on site to make sure you have a fabulous day in the park!
Background Information on Hong Kong Disneyland
Hong Kong Disneyland is one of the newer parks having only opened in 2005 and is the smallest of all the Disney theme parks in the world. As space is such a premium in Hong Kong generally you will find that the park doesn’t have the square footage of others around the world and even the castle is pretty small but this is currently undergoing refurbishment and I expect a radical transformation once completed (don’t worry this doesn’t impact any other attraction or character meetings – it should be completed in 2020).
Visiting Hong Kong Disneyland Tips and Tricks BEFORE your arrival
What is the Best Time to Visit Hong Kong Disney?
There is no bad time to visit Disney in my opinion but there are certainly better times than others.
Summers in Hong Kong are very hot and very humid and this can definitely make for a more uncomfortable Disney experience. If you can visit in the shoulder seasons then this is definitely a better idea.
We went in Winter and despite an occasional rain shower we found this a perfect time to visit. There were less crowds than are reported at other times and we didn’t struggle with the heat.
If you want to avoid crowds then I would also recommend visiting on a weekday as opposed to weekends and try and avoid school holidays. It is also worth checking Chinese Public Holidays to as the crowds can swell at these times. I certainly would try and avoid visiting during the Chinese New Year period too!
How Long Do I need at Hong Kong Disneyland?
How long do I need at Hong Kong Disneyland is such a tough question to answer and when we were researching our trip we saw guides that said everything from half a day to a couple of days. We spent one day at Hong Kong Disneyland and I would say that was pretty perfect for us but then I think this the answer to this question really depends on you as a visitor.
If you only have a half day spare in your Hong Kong itinerary I would definitely say go. A lot can be achieved at Hong Kong Disney in half a day and you can certainly get on a few rides and do a few character meetings.
However if you are a die hard Disney fan and want to meet all the characters, and do all the rides and shows then you could probably stretch to having two days in the park.
If I were going to Hong Kong again though I would still allocate one day in my Hong Kong itinerary to do this park justice.
Buying Hong Kong Disneyland Tickets
Now you have an idea of how long you want to spend in the park next we need to turn our attention to buying Hong Kong Disneyland Tickets.
My number tip for anywhere in Hong Kong is to buy your tickets in advance but this is especially true of Hong Kong Disneyland. When we went to Hong Kong Disney it was a Tuesday, in a rainy January when there were no public or school holidays and even then we found long queues at the entrance.
Any day at Disney is going to involve long queues so we recommend minimising your queuing time by at least having your entry ticket ready to go.
When I was researching buying our Hong Kong Disney ticket the cheapest tickets I found were via Klook (Klook is my favourite app/site to buy tickets for in Asia as it has amazing coverage of sites and also offers the cheapest tickets). Klook regularly has discounted tickets and actually offer quite a saving but be sure to check the terms and conditions of your ticket before you buy.
If you know you are going to eat in the park too then you can also purchase a meal voucher before arrival which offers you a discount on a meal and drink at selected food and beverage outlets. If there is a specific place you want to dine at while onsite (I will have more on restaurants later) check the voucher works there otherwise
Should I Stay At a Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel?
Wherever in the world you are visiting Disney probably one of the biggest questions you have is it it worth staying at a Disney Hotel on-site. And in truth I think this largely depends on your budget, time and time of year you are travelling to whether it is worth it for you.
There are three hotels on the Hong Kong Disneyland site
- Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel
- Explorers Lodge and
- Disney’s Hollywood Hotel
But should you stay at one of them?
The benefits of staying onsite at Hong Kong Disney?
- Attraction Priority Admission Pass
Unlike other Disney Parks around the World there are no early magic hours for guests staying on site. However you do get Attraction Priority Admission Passes if staying on-site. How many you get depends on which hotel you are staying at and in what type of room (the more expensive rooms obviously get more).
- Show Ticket Reservations
If you are staying in at least a Sea View level room at the Explorers Lodge or Hong Kong Disneyland hotel you also receive seat reservations for the Festival of the Lion King Show. We tried but didn’t get tickets while we were there as we stayed off site. And for those staying at the latter hotel with a Kingdom Club Room will also get tickets to the first show of the Mickey and the Wondrous Book Show
- Dedicated Entrance
While there aren’t early hours for the hotel guests there is a dedicated entrance. However, please note that not all the onsite Disney hotels are walkable to the entrance and you may have to take the shuttle bus to this entrance.
- Character Meetings
There are special character events at the hotel that enhance any visit
- Saves Time Travelling From Central Hong Kong
When we visited Hong Kong we were using points for our hotel so we were staying off site but we wanted to get there for rope drop which meant an early start to get the park in rush hour on the MTR. This wasn’t my most favourite journey we have done but it was doable but it was difficult navigating the stroller unfriendly MTR and the rush hour commuters.
Why You SHOULDN’T stay on site?
There is no real reason not to stay at an onsite hotel at Disneyland Hong Kong. The main drawbacks are the expense – though you can sometimes find some really great deals on the hotels. The only disappointment compared to other parks around the world is the fact that there are no early magic hours to give you extra time on rides without the queues. However staying on site is convenient, and the extra character events are very special.
Overview of Each Hotel
- Disney Hollywood Hotel
This is the cheapest of all the on site hotels. It has the Chef Mickey Breakfast Experience and there are plenty of extra character activities and character meetings in the lobby. To book the Disney Hollywood Hotel click here!
- Disney Explorer Lodge
Exploration themed hotel with four distinct geographic themes. Breakfast and dinner character meetings available. To book the Disney Explorer Lodge click here!
- Disneyland Hotel
The most expensive of all of the hotels on site. There are breakfast and dinner character meetings and this hotel is home to the Bibbidi Boppity Boutique. To book the Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel click here!
Would I Stay on Site Next Time?
Although I didn’t stay on site during my first visit I definitely would next time mainly so I didn’t have to navigate the MTR during rush hour to get to Disney for the rope drop. On top of that I think my littler one would love the extra character interactions involved.
If you decide to stay off site or want to split your time between Disney and central Hong Kong why not check out our other Hong Kong guides for advice on hotels!
How to get to Hong Kong Disneyland
We actually found it really easy to get to Hong Kong Disney via the MTR. As we were staying centrally we took the MTR from Central Station and then at Sunny Bay Station transferred to the Disney Resort Line.
The most difficult thing about travelling to Hong Kong Disney via the MTR is dealing with stations that have accessibility issues. As we travelled Hong Kong generally on the MTR we found frequently that we would find stations where there were no lifts or ramps. If you are travelling with a stroller be sure it is an umbrella one that folds to nothing to make this easier. For more Disney stroller hacks check out this post.
We did consider taking the taxi on the day we went to Disney however our concierge told us the the taxi would take longer than the MTR as rush hour traffic can bring the city to a stand still.
What to Wear to Hong Kong Disney
For me the key to success at any Disney around the world is dressing for comfort rather than style! Hong Kong Disney Days can be hot and humid so make sure you have light layers and breathable fabrics and most importantly have shoes that aren’t going to rub your feet.
Last time I went I mistakenly wore flip flops – don’t do this – make sure you have shoes with an arch support.
What to Pack for Hong Kong Disney
When visiting Hong Kong Disneyland you may be wondering what to take with you. Please note that you are not allowed to take external food and drink into the park and there are bag checks in operation.
When we visited I did have a few packs of raisins for my toddler and a water bottle which they allowed but I can’t guaruntee that on another day this would be permitted.
If you are travelling to Hong Kong Disney while on a stopover please note that there are bag restrictions in place! You will need to use luggage storage off site if you have larger luggage with you.
Since you are not allowed to bring food and drink on site I would recommend packing just the following
- Sun Cream
- Just a phone for photos (please note no selfie sticks allowed)
- Additional camera batteries/charger as you will be using this a lot!
As for clothing whenever you visit a Disney wherever you are in the world I recommend
- comfortable shoes – there is always a lot of walking at Disney and waiting in line so comfy shoes are a must.
- Disney branded t shirt and some Disney themed items such as mouse ears
- layers – just in case the weather changes
- waterproofs – just in case it rains or if you choose to go on a wet ride.
Should I take a Stroller to Hong Kong Disney?
As we were travelling with a toddler we decided to take our stroller to Hong Kong Disney with us. I had read online that some people had had some problems leaving strollers with theft however we decided that is was worth taking it with us and we were glad we did. We used the stroller parking at every ride and didn’t have any issues.
If you are concerned however but do still need a stroller then there are strollers to rent on site. Taking a stroller around the site was very easy as the site is flat so easy to navigate with a stroller. If you are contemplating whether or not to take one my suggestion would be to factor in how your child will deal with the heat, excitement and long day which inevitably will involve queuing.
I saw a lot of people using strollers at Hong Kong Disney had stroller fans which if you are travelling with a little one not used to the heat seemed like a great idea.
Visiting Hong Kong Disney Tips and Tricks for your Day In the Park
Download the Hong Kong Disney App BEFORE Arriving
This app is a life saver when you are in the Park. This is the go to place for knowing the up to date ride queue times, ride closures, and where and when to meet characters.
There is also a handy park map.
Get There For Rope Drop and Have Your Tickets ready
One of my biggest tips for any Disney Park is be there for the rope drop and have your tickets already (you can book them here). The crowds and queues tend to get worse as the day progresses so getting there for rope drop can help you beat the crowds.
Most of the year Hong Kong Disney doesn’t open until 10am so it isn’t too early to get to.
As you walk through the Main Square there will be all the usual Disney characters for a meet and greet but this can get busy quick. I would avoid these and come back later in the day for these character meetings and prioritise rides first thing in the morning.
Grab Your Fast Passes
If you aren’t staying at one of the Hong Kong Disney Resorts and have Priority Passes you may want to grab these as soon as you can. There are only two rides available for the fast pass service at Hong Kong Disney and there are no restrictions to how many fast passes you can have but there are restrictions on time between fast pass collections.
The rides that you can use a fast pass on at Hong Kong Disney are:
- The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
- HyperSpace Mountain
You can also purchase online directly from Disney or at certain Kiosks and Disney hotels extra priority passes. For more information check out the Disney website
What Should Your First Ride be at Hong Kong Disney
There are lots of choices for what your first ride at Hong Kong Disney should be. The best advice I have for which ride you should choose first is choose one whose queues get longer as the day goes on.
Rides at Hong Kong Disney that fit into this category are:
- Toy Story Toy Soldier Parachute Drop
- Iron man
What Rides are Best For toddlers and smaller children?
If you are travelling with smaller children to Hong Kong Disney there are plenty of rides that they can go on that don’t have height restrictions. The best lands for those travelling with children in this age bracket are
- Toy Story Land
For other Disneyland toddler guides check out the below:
Where to Meet Characters at Hong Kong Disney
If you are looking to meet characters at Hong Kong Disney then I would advise making sure you have downloaded the Hong Kong Disney app which will tell you who is available where and when.
There are characters in the main square throughout the day so don’t get distracted by these when you first enter the park.
Highlights for my little girl included the Royal princess Garden which is home to the Disney Princesses.
What Shows are there at Hong Kong Disney?
There are currently four shows on at Hong Kong Disney
- Festival of the Lion King
- Mickey and the Wondrous Book
- Moana – Homecoming Celebration
- Jedi Training
If you are staying on site and dependent on the room grade you are staying in you get tickets to either the Lion King or Mickey show. If you want to see one of the shows I would recommend getting there early to be sure you get tickets.
Don’t miss the Parade
Although the park has a small footprint don’t under estimate the parade and be sure to add this for your days to do list. Go to the parade route early to make sure you get a good spot on the route.
Hong Kong Disney has two parades the afternoon and an evening parade and both are worth a visit.
But if parades aren’t your thing this is a brilliant time to go on some of the rides with longer queues as most people will head to the parades like we did.
What Are the Most Unique Things to do at Hong Kong Disney
Whenever I visit a Disney site outside of the USA I want to try things that are unique to the site and there are loads of unique things to do at Hong Kong Disney.
Meet Duffy and Friends
If you haven’t heard of Duffy you will have by the time you leave Hong Kong Disneyland. Duffy is a handmade teddy bear that was made by Minnie for Mickey Mouse! Duffy is a big deal in Hong Kong and your will find lots of Duffy merchandise and character meetings. Duffy also has friends you can meet such as ShellieMay, Gelatoni, StellaLou and Cookie – completely unique to Hong Kong Disney. They tend to hang out on the Main Street for character meetings. There is even a Duffy Themed afternoon tea, dim sum and other assorted food stuffs.
Mystic Manor – a Hong Kong Disney must do
Mystic Manor is a unique ride to Hong Kong Disney and is quite different to the haunted house experiences at other parks. Due to Chinese Culture this isn’t a traditional ghost filled haunted house but offers a more fantasy based experience with a great story to boot where the explorer Henry Mystic (who will be familiar to those that have been to DisneySea in Tokyo) acquires a magical music box which brings everything in the explorers house come to life led by a mischievous monkey! This is an absolute Hong Kong Disney must do!
Collect the Stickers
On top of the usual autographs kids and Disney fans alike will enjoy collecting the stickers that the cast members will give out.
Other Tip: If you collect Starbucks mugs there is also a Starbucks on Main Street that sells collectable mugs.
Where and What to Eat At Hong Kong Disney?
There are lots of great food and drink experiences at Hong Kong Disney especially if you are looking for a unique dining experience.
If you want to save money on dining experiences at Disney then you can repurchase a dining voucher but this can only be used at select outlets. Be sure to check this before booking but if you are budget conscious this might be a good option for you.
However if you want a more unique experience there is the
- Duffy themed afternoon tea
- Duffy Dim Sum
If you are travelling with a fussy eater and want to make sure you have traditional Western fare then I would recommend heading to the Starlight Diner in Tomorrowland.
There are also several character dining experiences on site and in the Disney Hong Kong resort hotels. If you want a character Dining experience you can have them on site at:
- Royal Banquet Hall
Also while there you must try the Asian parks favourite snack – popcorn. This is no ordinary popcorn and comes in flavours such as sweet caramel, honey mustard and my favourite curry!
What are the Lands and Highlights of Hong Kong Disneyland
Main Street Rides and Attractions
- Disneyland Railway
- Disney Paint the Night Parade
- Flights of Fancy Daytime Parade
- Art of Animation
- Animation Academy
- Royal Princess Boutique
Fantasyland Rides and Attractions
- The Many Adventures of Winnie the Poo – Fast Pass Available
- Cinderella Carousel
- It’s a Small World
- Mad Hatters Teacups
- Dumbo Flying Elephant Ride
- Fairytale Forest
- Mickey’s Wonderous Book
- Mickey’s Philharmagic
Tomorrowland Rides and Attractions
- Iron Man 3D Ride
- Hyperspace Mountain
- Antman and the Wasp
- Jedi Training Show
- Star Wars Command Post – meeting BB-8 and r2D2
Toy Storyland Rides and Attractions
- Slinky Dog Spin
- Toy Soldier Parachute Drop
- RC Racer Ride
- Barrel of Fun
- Toy Soldier Boot camp
Adventureland Rides and Attractions
- Jungle River Cruise
- Raft sto Tarzan Treehouse
- Festival of the Lion King
- Tarzan’s Treehouse
- Liki Tikis Waterplay
- Moana Homecoming Celebration
Grizzly Gulch Rides and Attractions
- Big Grizzly Mountain Runaway Mine Cars
Mystic Point Rides and Attractions
- Mystic Manor
- Mystic Point Freight Depot
- Garden of Wonders
FAQs About Visiting Hong Kong Disney?
Is English spoken at Hong Kong Disney?
Yes we found that English and cantonese was widely spoken by cast members and rides such as It’s a Small World and the shows have both English and Cantonese.
Is Wifi Available?
Wifi is largely available at Hong Kong Disneyland.
Other Hong Kong Disney Tips 2019
Please note that in 2019 The Castle is under renovation. While this means you can’t get your iconic Disney photos the good news is that is has no impact on rides or character meet and greets.