Ever the wanderer, desirous of adventure, how could I ever resist such invitation to —
This is the unassuming signage that hangs above the main entrance of Hong Kong Disneyland theme park. And this line might as well sums up the magical experience of a Disneyland visit, regardless of age. No such thing as too old for Disneyland, if anything, one can be too young for Disneyland. For inside, I’ve only seen children cry and the big kids, delirious.
Hong Kong Disneyland 2005
Hong Kong Disneyland is phenomenal because it made Disneyland accessible to Southeast Asians. For many years, children in the Philippines (and neighboring Southeast Asian countries) whose parents could not afford to bring them to the US or Japan, could only know Mickey Mouse and the Walt Disney prince and princesses through Disney channels and videos. With its opening in 2005, it made many childhood dreams come true. While I had been to Disneyland in Anaheim, my sisters and I thought we’d like to pay homage to HK Disneyland one month after its opening.
Hong Kong Disneyland 2013
So eight years after, we find me back in Hong Kong Disneyland. It was a happy mixture of new and familiar feelings. Because I now have 2 full days to explore the theme park and that I am staying at one of the Disney Hotels in the Hong Kong Disneyland Resort, I am now apt to give good review and recommendation.
I have to say that eight years hence, the park looks as marvelous as ever. It still super clean, super new, all the signs and paint intact, there was absolutely no sign that it has been 8 years. I am super impressed!
It has in fact became even bigger and grander with the addition of 3 new themes: Toy Story Land (2011), Grizzly Gulch (2012), and Mystic Point (2013).
Mystic Point is the newest addition and a World Exclusive to Hong Kong Disneyland that only opens in May, 2013. Mystic Point theme consists of the Mystic Manor, the Garden of Wonder, Explorer Restaurant, the Archive Shop and Mystic Point Freight Depot.
I’m so glad that I waited until this year to go because the Mystic Manor is my absolute favorite of all.
A fictional Lord Henry and his pet monkey Albert, traveled around the world in search for artifacts and odditie. He has over 7,000 artifacts which are housed in his manor. When Lord Henry decided to open his private collection, guest are whisk into an enchanting magical ride around the manor where antiques come to life in a Mystic Magneto-Electric Carriage.
The Mystic Magneto-Electric Carriage is one of the most sophisticated rides ever built by Disney. The adventure is approximately five minutes long. Each carriage hold six Guests, and four carriages depart at a time to tour different scenes in the Manor. New state-of-the-art 4K HD cinema projectors are used to create 40 types of special visual effects. The soundtrack was composed by the Grammy-winning, Emmy-winning and Oscar-nominated composer Danny Elfman. Music Dust, the third character in the show, weaves its way through the rooms of Mystic Manor as the story progresses. The rotating guest compartment allows for positioning in any direction at any moment to bring you a mobile theatre experience.
I was so enchanted with this ride that I did it again the next day! If you have only 1 ride to take in Hong Kong Disneyland, make it this one.
Toy Story Land
Toy Story Land in Hong Kong Disneyland is an Asia Exclusive theme based on the Disney-Pixar animation movie Toy Story. Entering the themed park shrunk us to the size of Andy’s toy soldiers. Everything is huge including the larger than life rides.
(1) RC Racer – a U shape roller coaster that zooms full speed dropping you from 27m high. The best seat in the “house” I recommend you to take the last row of the car. As one of the blogger explains, it drops so fast it leaves your soul trailing behind.
(2) Toy Soldier Parachute Drop – It takes you up, and then drops you free fall, simulating a parachute drop (ergo the name). Part of the highlight is the nice 360 view of the park while above.
Grizzly Gulch is a theme set in an abandoned gold mining town up in a mountain. It reminds me of a wild, wild west movie with cowboy and bandits; saloon and sheriff. It even has a geyser. I’ve been to a mining town (Bolivia) and I’ve seen several geysers (Salt Flats) in my travels, but I’ve never seen gold nuggets as big as that! But, the attraction you shouldn’t miss here is the Big Grizzly Mountain Runaway Mine Cars!
For the love of the hilarious movie Monsters University, I cannot miss the first day of classes. Get your ID for HK$40 until end October, 2013.
Flights of Fantasy Parade
This is an all-star cast parade that begins in Fantasyland and ends on Main Street, U.S.A. We were sweating under what probably was 40 degrees heat, but once the floats carrying the Disney characters and performers came to sight, it just doesn’t matter all that much anymore lest you miss a second of the variety show.
Flights of Fantasy Parade features Mickey and friends; Winnie the Pooh and friends; variety of Disney Princesses (Cinderella, Snow White, Belle, Sleeping Beauty); the jungle characters such as Lion King, Tarzan, and Jungle Book; the Caribbean adventurers Lilo and Stitch; Peter Pan and Tinkerbell; and Toy Story heroes Andy, Jessie, and Buzz Lightyear.
Festival of the Lion King
Festival of Lion King is a live musical that portrays celebration in African savanna style. This is showcased using the story of Simba. The audience are seated on a circular stage and are treated to a musical bonanza filled with dance, songs, fire rituals as performed by lions, elephants, giraffes, birds, zebras, and men with tribal tattoos.
Tomorrow’s Land Space Mountain
Space Mountain ride is Disney’s signature space themed roller coaster ride. The ride environment is pitch black and the guests are taken into an unknown direction simulating travel to the galaxy and space.
Adventure Land’s Jungle River Cruise
This ride on board a steamer boat that cruises around the rivers of Asia, Africa, and South America. I must say that of all the river cruises and jungle tours I’ve been to around the world, I’ve never seen so much in one go. The river cruise is hosted by a guide with a humorous script. My guide though should learn to deliver her piece better.
Mickey Philharmonic Magic
Mickey’s Philharmonic Magic is a 4-D film attraction that runs for 12 minutes and engages the viewers to an impressive show of 3D effects, scents, and water sprinkles.
The Golden Mickeys
The Golden Mickeys is a musical revue-style stage show presented in the style of an awards ceremony with characters from Disney films being nominated for awards.
2 Day Disney Pass
To get the full Disneyland experience, I recommend getting the 2-day pass. The price is as follows:
|General Admission Ticket (aged 12-64)||HK$585|
|Child Ticket (aged 3-11)||HK$415|
|Senior Ticket (aged 65 or above)||HK$170|
How to Get to Hong Kong Disneyland?
Hong Kong Disneyland Resort is accessible via the Hong Kong MTR Disneyland Resort Line. It costs HK$26 per way from Central Station.