How the magic of Disney comes to life at Hong Kong Disneyland
For many of us, Disney movies and characters are a big part of our childhood. I am one of those moms who are smitten with stories of happy magic and royalty, which has probably drawn me to the charm of the Old World and of course, Hong Kong Disneyland.
In my lifetime, I have been to Disney parks for nine times already (both in the United States and Hong Kong), not to mention the Disney resorts in Florida that I spent several days scouring. Nevertheless, the magic of Disney doesn’t fade.
So naturally, I would want my daughters to experience the magic of Disney. And where else could we easily achieve that but at Hong Kong Disneyland? Read below how we did it.
How to Experience the Disneyland Magic
Get a 2-day Pass
Hong Kong Disneyland is just too big to experience in one day. If you just aim to have a photo opp in every nook and cranny, then maybe one day should be good for you. But if you have kids, a two-day visit is a must. It will allow you and them to enjoy the park, its attractions, shows, and amenities without rushing too much (there will still be some rushing, though).
Get There Early
If you want Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse to greet you as you enter the gates of Hong Kong Disneyland, then you better get there early. The park opens at 10:30, but it is best to go there around 9am to 9:30am and wait until the gate opens. If you are not among the first ones, chances are, the line will be already be closed for the photo opp with Mickey and Minnie by the time you get inside.
Check in the Disney Hotels
Depending on your accommodations, you will experience the magic of Disney some more when you check in the hotels because of their thematic rooms. There are three hotels at Hong Kong Disneyland, namely Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel, Disney Explorers Lodge, and Disney’s Hollywood Hotel.
And since the hotels are just near the park, it only takes a shuttle bus ride going to the park. If you opt to have a breakfast buffet at the hotel, you will surely get a chance to have photo opps with the characters.
It doesn’t matter what age you are, you can always wear a costume. Kids to teenagers wear full costumes–meaning from head to toe. Meanwhile, some teens and grown ups wear shirts with Hong Kong Disney prints and/or Mickey Mouse or Minnie mouse head bands or tiaras. Wearing costumes has always been fun and it is twice as much fun if you are at Hong Kong Disneyland.
Photos with the Characters
You have seen the characters of Disney movies and shows on the screen. But it is much different if you meet them up close. The animated animals become life-sized mascots so they can act out with you, such as dance, curtsy, etc.
The best characters would be the princesses because they can interact with you. Our kids thoroughly enjoyed their time with the princesses. Since our kids are talkative, the Disney royals liked interacting with them. They exchanged stories and Tinkerbell even shared a joke. These are some of the kids’ best memories at the park.
Enjoy the Live Shows
There are several theaters around the park. These theaters have live productions of some of the most memorable Disney stories. Imagine your favorite stories come to life on the stage. We watched the Lion King show at the Hong Kong Disneyland entitled, Festival of the Lion King, and the Mickey and the Wondrous Book, where we got to see different Disney characters crossover with Mickey in a 30-minute musical.
You may also watch 4D show, Philharmagic, which our four-year-old said was, “Amazing!”
Watch the Parades
There are two parades–one in the afternoon called the Flights of Fantasy and one in the evening entitled, Disney Paint the Light. Flights of Fantasy is at 3pm and features many characters and princesses, dancers, a drum and bugle corps, and many more in an exciting and lively parade.
The Disney Paint the Light is an extravagant light show of a parade that you should not miss. Different princesses and characters are portrayed here and the grand parade floats have spectacular lighting design. Even the costumes of the cast are lighted.
The parades last about 15 minutes each and are shows by the themselves. They are both breathtaking, especially for the kids.
There are many shops and stalls around the park, selling Disney merchandise. Be sure to get something as a remembrance of your visit. You may also buy accessories and even costumes around here. The souvenir items can be pricey though. Just buy what you can afford.
Dine in Style
There are many thematic restaurants around the park that re-live the Disney magic. You may also dine with characters when you stay at any of the Disneyland hotels.
Ride the Rides
There are many rides around the park. Some of them are magical because they are Disney themed. These are recommended for kids of all ages. Special mention are the Cinderella Carousel, Dumbo the Flying Elephant, Hong Kong Disneyland Railroad, Jungle River Cruise, Mad Hatter Teacups, Rafts to Tarzan’s Tree House, and Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.
It’s a Small World is also a gentle ride that you shouldn’t miss. It is a water ride that will take you to the different continents featuring the dolls and toys from different countries. We even spotted the Philippines there. And of course, you get to spot the Disney characters there, too.
There are also thrilling and scary rides for the bigger kids and grown ups.
Learn to Draw
You may also go to the Animation Academy and learn to draw a Disney character under the guidance of a Chinese instructor. Don’t worry about the language problem, as her drawing is being flashed on the screen as she does it.
Take Photos and Videos
Re-create your experiences long after you have gone to travel with kids by taking lots of photos and videos. Take photos posing in front the different colorful ares, your experiences, and of course, of your time with the characters.
Wait for the Fireworks
The highlight of each day at Disneyland is the fireworks and light show entitled Disney in the Stars. During weekdays, it happens at 7:30 pm while during weekends, it’s 8:00pm. Enjoy a story projected at the Sleeping Beauty castle and enjoy the fireworks that highlight the show.
The talents at Hong Kong Disneyland make sure that everyone has a wonderful and magical time at the park. Even Goofy, who of course could not talk, curtsied and kissed my second daughter’s hand. What a sweet gesture that will surely be remembered by the little one.
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Sigrid - Bacolod Blogger
Sigrid is a work at home mom and Bacolod blogger who tries to juggle taking care of the kids, homeschooling in Bacolod, covering events, designing, writing, and blogging. After finishing her degree in Mass Communications from the University of St. La Salle, she went on to become a news reporter/writer for a local daily and eventually pursued a career in advertising as a copywriter and graphics designer. After her stint in the corporate world, she became a freelance writer, contributing to national and international publications covering a variety of topics. She was a contributing food writer to COOK Magazine before she became a food and mommy blogger. She blogs at: