My Perfect Day in.. Hong Kong Disneyland

I’m super excited to start a new little collab series, and today I’m collaborating with the lovely Hannah from Courage and Kindness, as she shares my absolute adoration of what is possibly Disney’s most underrated park: Hong Kong Disneyland. We both visited the park last year, and I’m so happy to have found someone who I can share my gushing about how much I love this little park, despite it being often overlooked or put down in the Disney community.

The concept is basically what it says on the tin – we’ll both be writing a play by play post on what would be our perfect day in the park, and for me, it doesn’t get any better than this..

A good and bad thing about HKDL is that the park doesn’t normally open til about 10am most days, so there’s no need for a crazy early start. After getting into the park at opening and a gentle stroll down Main Street USA, I’d get a few photos in front of the pretty little pink castle while the park is still quiet, then head right into Tomorrowland and get straight into the Hyperspace Mountain queue early. In most Disney parks I’m very clockwise minded, but HK is an anti-clockwise loop for me!

From Tomorrowland, I’d cut through into Fantasyland and hop on Its a Small World, and then get in line for the first performance of Mickey and the Wondrous Book at 11.15am. After the show, it would be Teacups, then Dumbo, meeting characters in Fantasyland Gardens, and maybe even Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, then I’d head to Royal Banquet Hall for a lunch of piggy pork buns and other delicious offerings, finishing just in time to head through the castle and back to Main Street USA to nab a spot on the route for Flights of Fantasy Parade at 1pm.

After standing in the heat, a sit down in some air-con would be needed, so from Main Street I’d head round into Adventureland for the 2pm performance of Festival of the Lion King, then round to Grizzly Gulch for a wild ride on the Big Grizzly Mountain Runaway Mine Cars and a further cool off in Geyser Gulch. Onwards, I’d take a tour of HKDL’s answer to Haunted Mansion – Mystic Manor – then through the Gardens of Wonder into Toy Story Land!

I love the Toy Story Land rides; it would be Parachute Drop first, followed by RC Racer and Slinky Dog Spin, then back into Fantasyland, stopping off to explore Fairy Tale Forest and meet Tinkerbell, before going back for the 6pm Mickey and the Wondrous Book performance – can you tell I love watching shows?

After another trip into the book, it would be back to Adventureland for a Jungle River Cruise, then back to Main Street USA to sit and wait for Paint the Night parade at 7.30pm. This is definitely my favourite nighttime parade ever, and while it kills me that its left Disneyland CA, it makes me happy knowing that it still lives on in HKDL. After the parade, I’d grab dinner in Starlight Diner in Tomorrowland, then saving the galaxy in Buzz’s Astro Blasters, and back to Main Street for the closing fireworks!

Quite a lot to fit into a day in a little park! Be sure to go and check out Hannah’s perfect day here!

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Chef Mickey’s, Hong Kong Disneyland

Even if you’re not staying at Hong Kong Disneyland’s Hollywood Hotel, its definitely worth making the trip to visit Chef Mickey’s!

Chef Mickey's Hong Kong Disneyland

The restaurant is open for breakfast and dinner, with lunch available during peak times, and Mickey visits during breakfast every day, and lunch and dinner during weekends and public holidays, but you can understand his absence when he must be so busy in the kitchen preparing the multitude of food that’s available!

Chef Mickey's Hong Kong Disneyland

Chef Mickey's Hong Kong Disneyland

Chef Mickey's Hong Kong Disneyland

All meals are done as buffets, but there is quite literally something for everyone, with dinner dishes ranging from traditional cantonese to sushi, curry to pizza to salad, and an incredible range of dessert options, including an ice-cream bar, and just as many options available at breakfast!

We ate here for both breakfast and dinner, and everything was perfect both times, and with it being one of only two character dining experiences in Hong Kong Disneyland, you’ve gotta try here!

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Hong Kong Disneyland Hollywood Hotel

There is nothing that makes a Disney trip more special than staying in a Disney hotel, and Hong Kong’s Hollywood Hotel is pretty special!

It’s the lower budget of the two Disney hotels at Hong Kong Disneyland, with another currently under construction, but oh my gosh is it beautiful!

Hong Kong Disneyland Hollywood Hotel

As the name suggests, the hotel is theme is old school Hollywood, from the art deco style of the building itself to the hotel reception and every other little detail from the piano shaped swimming pool and neons.

Hong Kong Disneyland Hollywood Hotel

Hong Kong Disneyland Hollywood Hotel

Hong Kong Disneyland Hollywood Hotel

Hong Kong Disneyland Hollywood Hotel

The hotel has two restaurants, Hollywood and Dime – a quick service style diner – and Chef Mickey, a huge buffet which the boss himself visits at breakfast, and there’s also the Studio Lounge bar which shows movies on a big screen in the evenings. There’s also, of course, a souvenir shop in the reception area!

The huge garden area is home to the outdoor pool complete with a slide for the little ones, and there’s a small playframe tucked away in the palm trees and greenery.

Hong Kong Disneyland Hollywood Hotel

Hong Kong Disneyland Hollywood Hotel

The Hollywood theme continues into the rooms – I love the wall art of Mickey and Minnie! – and the beds were so cosy! There’s a mini drinks area with a kettle and ice bucket (ice machines down the corridor!) and there’s an area for hanging clothes but no proper wardrobe, and depending on the side of the hotel your room is on, your view is absolutely stunning across the gardens and the bay!

The hotel has shuttle buses that run frequently to the park transportation centre, each one of which is decorated to reflect a ride or land in the park. Sometimes the buses are shared with the Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel, but they’re so close together that it doesn’t really take too long to get back from a day in the park!

Aren’t Disney beds always the comfiest?

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Walt’s Cafe

On our first night in Hong Kong Disneyland, we decided to venture across to the Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel for a little nose around and a spot of dinner, and we ended up in Walt’s Cafe.

Walt's Cafe

Like the hotel, Walt’s Cafe was incredibly classic in its styling, with wooden wall panelling and framed photos of Walt and his magical life on all the walls; it felt fancy and homely at the same time, like Walt could be sat at the table next to us. The waiting staff were so friendly and attentive, we were given stickers and our water glasses were never empty – we felt really looked after, it was lovely!

I ordered a sandwich – I can’t remember exactly what it was called, but I got to choose three fillings from a list of options! – and my mouth dropped when it arrived..

Walt's Cafe

Yes, those are double stacked sandwiches!! It was so delicious, but I could only manage about two of the monster sandwiches and a handful of chips before feeling ready to burst, and as we were determined to still order dessert, the best decision seemed to be to share!

Walt's Cafe

Yep, share the cutest dessert platter I’ve ever seen! Each of these little mousse type cakes was a different flavour: Pooh was mango, Mickey was chocolate and raspberry and Stitch was blueberry – yum yum yum! It was a really nice meal, and a definite must-do if you’re staying in the Disneyland Hotel, or have time to visit it!

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The Ultimate Six Park Comparison

I’m not gonna lie, the fact that I visited all six of the world’s Disney parks within a 13 month period is probably one of my greatest life achievements, and I’m fully aware of how lucky I am to be able to have visited them at all! That said, there is a question that comes with this achievement which I hate: ‘what’s your favourite park?’.

I hate picking favourites, end of, but this is one I will never ever be able to answer, because every park is different and there’s no way they can be judged on the same level, so instead I’m gonna break down the park pros and cons, and hopefully give a proper and fair analysis!

Disneyland, California

Disneyland California

  • Number of parks: 2
  • Park yays:
    • Compact area – its only about 100m between the two parks, with Downtown Disney right outside
    • Lots of nearby offsite hotels, and easily accessible on foot
    • Plenty of random character interaction opportunities
    • Large Downtown Disney area including branded stores like Sephora and Lego Store
    • While temperatures can vary, rain is very rare!
    • Current shows and parades include: Mickey and the Magical Map, Frozen the musical and Fantasy Faire, Soundsational Parade
    • Parades and nighttime shows in both parks
  • Park nays:
    • Not many direct transportation options from LAX
    • No dining plan
    • During off-peak times, some performances and parades get cut-back to weekends only
  • Why this park is special to me:
    • Disneyland was the first park I visited as an adult, so with the exception of vague early childhood images, all my first proper Disney memories were made in Disneyland. It also makes me so happy knowing that this was Walt’s park, and this is where he walked and where the whole Disney park legacy began.

Walt Disney World, Florida

Walt Disney World

  • Number of parks: 4 plus 2 water parks
  • Park yays:
    • The most advanced Disney parks, with features like Magic Bands, Fastpass+ and My Disney Experience
    • So many entertainment options – something for everyone!
    • Amazing transportation links, including Magical Express to airport
    • Dining plan is great value for money
    • Current shows and parades include: Festival of the Lion King, Finding Nemo the Musical, Beauty and the Beast, Fantasmic, Festival of Fantasy
    • So many resort options!
  • Park nays:
    • Parks can get really packed during busy periods
    • So many strollers..
  • Why this park is special to me:
    • WDW is the ultimate Disney experience. If you stay onsite, you are completely encased in the magic, and reality and problems disappear!

Tokyo Disneyland, Japan

Tokyo Disneyland

  • Number of parks: 2
  • Park yays:
    • Local guests are so polite and considerate
    • Hardly any strollers or scooters
    • So many unique areas (basically the whole of DisneySea!)
    • Best merchandise of any Disney park!
    • Designated train station for transportation into Tokyo
    • Everything is clean and well kept
    • Current shows and parades include: Happiness is Here, Electrical Parade Dreamlights, Fantasmic
    • No Downtown area, but has Ikspiari, a large shopping centre with restaurants and Disney Store
    • Monorail link between the two parks
    • Lots of rare character meeting opportunities
  • Park nays:
    • Not many cast members speak English, and most shows are done in Japanese
    • Rather than Extra Magic Hours, guests staying in Disney hotels only get to enter the parks 15 minutes before other guests
  • Why this park is special to me:
    • Tokyo was my first Eastern Disney park, and I was just blown away with how much I loved it. DisneySea is just such a unique park, definitely one of  my favourite parks of all time, and I live for the merchandise!

Disneyland Paris, France

Disneyland Paris Spring 2016

  • Number of parks: 2
  • Park yays:
    • Designated train station for links to airport and Eurostar
    • Good range of hotel options, both on and offsite
    • Current shows and parades include: Mickey and the Magician, Frozen Singalong, Disney Magic on Parade
    • Lots of seasonal events eg. Swing into Spring and Halloween
  • Park nays:
    • Guests don’t stick to designated smoking areas
    • Walt Disney Studios park doesn’t have as much going on as Disneyland
  • Why this park is special to me:
    • DLP is my local park, I’m an annual pass holder, and I’ve made so many recent memories here, including my 21st birthday and my first Disney trip without my family back in April. I think the park has come such a long way in recent years and I can’t wait to celebrate the 25th anniversary next year!

Hong Kong Disneyland

Hong Kong Disneyland

  • Number of parks: 1 (for now!)
  • Park yays:
    • Designated train station for easy access from the city
    • While still being fairly close to the city centre, the area feels very secluded
    • Most cast members speak English really well
    • Current shows and parades include: Paint the Night parade, Festival of the Lion King, Mickey and the Wondrous Book, Flights of Fantasy
    • Fun twists on classic rides
    • Depending on the time of year and day of the week, the park can be really empty!
  • Park nays:
    • No offsite hotels nearby
    • Local guests use umbrellas for shade, so it can be hard to watch parades
    • No Downtown Disney area
    • Fastpasses only available for a few rides
    • Merchandise was quite expensive compared to other Asian parks
  • Why this park is special to me:
    • Hong Kong was the last Disney park I visit on my six park adventure, and I fell in love with it. I love how similar the park is to Disneyland California; its so pretty and classic!

Shanghai Disneyland, China

Shanghai Disneyland castle

  • Number of parks: 1
  • Park yays:
    • So many incredible new rides
    • Located really close to Pudong Airport, and also has a designated station on the city’s underground tube system
    • Disneytown is ride next to the park, and you can use the second entrance at the end to re-enter the park by Tomorrowland
    • Current shows and parades include: Tarzan the musical, Mickey’s Storybook Express, Captain Jack Stunt Show Spectacular
    • Just the most beautiful castle!
  • Park nays:
    • Local guests aren’t very into queuing, and lots will push past
    • Quite a bit of rubbish around the parks
    • Queues for Fastpasses can be longer than queues for some rides at times!
    • Currently still very much in a trial stage, with some technical problems still occuring
  • Why this park is special for me:
    • Being able to visit a brand new park within a month of opening was so special for me, and the experience was totally magical.

Wow, I really struggled writing this; I hate finding negatives in things! I’ll probably come back to this a million times and change and add things when they spring to mind!

What do you love about the parks you’ve visited?

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Favourite Photos from.. Flights of Fantasy Parade!

Oh I just love doing these parade posts!

On top of loving getting to share these photos with you, it also gives me a perfect excuse to relive the magic, and today the magic is coming from the adorable Hong Kong Disneyland’s Flights of Fantasy parade!

Hong Kong Disneyland Flights of Fantasy parade

Hong Kong Disneyland Flights of Fantasy parade

Hong Kong Disneyland Flights of Fantasy parade

Hong Kong Disneyland Flights of Fantasy parade

Hong Kong Disneyland Flights of Fantasy parade

Hong Kong Disneyland Flights of Fantasy parade

Hong Kong Disneyland Flights of Fantasy parade

Hong Kong Disneyland Flights of Fantasy parade

Hong Kong Disneyland Flights of Fantasy parade

Hong Kong Disneyland Flights of Fantasy parade

Hong Kong Disneyland Flights of Fantasy parade

Hong Kong Disneyland Flights of Fantasy parade
Hong Kong Disneyland Flights of Fantasy parade

Hong Kong Disneyland Flights of Fantasy parade

This was such a sweet parade – they even stop the parade to let children out to dance with the performers which despite being baking hot in July, was really cute! To my surprise, the parade uses the same soundtrack music as Disneyland’s Soundsational Parade, just with different lyrics, but that just meant I could sing along easily (you know, to everything that wasn’t in Cantonese!) and the cast members were all loving guest interactions which was amazing!

What’s your favourite Disney parade?

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Hong Kong Disneyland Haul!

Yay another Disney haul!

I really loved Hong Kong Disneyland – a lot more than I expected I would – and I think I picked up some pretty great goodies..

Hong Kong Disneyland merchandise

I love a shopping bag, and this 10th anniversary one is huge! I obviously had to get a park mug, and although I think its a little ugly, it had to be the anniversary one too, and I snuck in a Baymax mug because he’s so cute! There’s also a set of 10th anniversary chopsticks and a Slinky Dog pen, and in the top left is a tsum tsum towel that was on promotion at only £10! I’m not a lanyard wearer really, but this reversible Mickey one caught my eye, and I can use it for my DLP annual pass.

Hong Kong Disneyland lanyard

Hong Kong Disneyland tsum tsum t-shirt

Hong Kong Disneyland t-shirts

So I bought the Finding Nemo tsum tsum t-shirt because I didn’t really like any of the other t-shirts in the store; it was a little pricey, but I figured I wouldn’t be able to get it elsewhere and didn’t want to regret missing out. And then I went into a different store.. We stumbled across a table of sale items, where if you bought 2 items they would both be 50% off, or 4 items or more would be 70% off – who can argue with that logic? I loved all three of these shirts, and my mum and sister also picked one each, so each top worked out at about £5! The middle one is actually a men’s shirt, but I love that the design includes all the lands in the park, and its so comfy, but I think my favourite has to be the Toy Story pea pod top; I fell in love!

Keep an eye out on my Instagram for a Hong Kong Disneyland giveaway coming soon!

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