Hong Kong Disneyland – Recommendations & Travel Tips

After reading my two long posts on Hong Kong Disneyland (Part 1 and Part 2), I bet you need a summarized version that highlights all the must-see, must-do, must-try and must-eat. So, here goes my Top Six Recommendations in Hong Kong Disneyland, along with some useful travel tips.

Top Six Recommendations in HK Disneyland

1. Must-Eat: Magical Afternoon High Tea Set at Main Street Corner Cafe

I stumbled upon this Victorian-styled restaurant in the Main Street USA that serves the most beautiful high-teas that I’ve ever had.

The cakes, pastries and fruits are tastefully decorated, mostly in Mickey Mouse shapes, on a nice tea set stand. The moment I looked at it, I was like “WOW, I think I’m in love!” They are oh-so delicious too!

This high-tea set is available from 3pm to 5:30pm, at HK$298 and it’s good for twin-sharing.

High Tea Set

Corner Cafe

2. Must-See: Flights of Fantasy Parade

Don’t miss this interactive sky-high celebration that starts at 3:30pm. It begins in Fantasyland, near the entrance of Storybook Theatre. Do arrive early to get the best seats with unblocked view.

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3. Must-Try: River Jungle Cruise

Among all the rides in Disneyland, I think River Jungle Cruise is the most family-friendly ride that you must try. This big boat adventure has no height limit, so you can bring your entire family to come face-to-face with the hippos, elephants, cobras, orang utans, etc. The funny boat captain will make you laugh with her jokes during your ride. I’ve posted a short video of the cruise in Part 2.

River Jungle Cruise

4. Best Breakfast: Enchanted Garden Restaurant

Where else? It has to be the Enchanted Garden Restaurant in Disneyland Hotel! Sumptuous breakfast with Disney characters meet-and-greet, as well as fun photography sessions. Our boy wanted to take pictures with every Disney characters that he met, so I’m busy taking pictures than eating actually.

Enchanted Garden

5. Best Lunch: Crystal Lotus Restaurant

A visit to Hong Kong Disneyland will not be complete, unless you try-out the cutest Disney-themed dim sum at Crystal Lotus Restaurant in the Disneyland Hotel.

Crystal Lotus Lunch

6. Recommended Dinner: Walt’s Cafe

After a long and exciting day at Disneyland, perhaps a little tiring too, nothing beats having a quiet and romantic dinner at Walt’s Cafe. This cafe is located in Disneyland Hotel, and it serves fine dining menu with Western and Asian choices.

Our set dinner for the day: Cobb Salad with Caesar Dressing; Cream of Potatoes and Leek; Grilled Sirloin Steak with Seasonal Vegetables and Potatoes; Pan-seared Salmon Fillet with Tomato Salsa, Fresh Vegetables and Boiled Potato; and White Chocolate Cheese Cake.

Walt's Cafe

Useful Travel Tips

1. Do some advanced planning

I would advise you to do some advanced scouting prior to your trip to HK Disneyland. Here are some useful links, with up-to-date information on the recommended rides, new attractions, show times, park hours, dining options and hotel room rates.

On the day of your visit, don’t forget to pick up your Disneyland Guidemap and Times Guide near the entrance! There are two important timings that you should take note:

  • Flights of Fantasy Parade: 3:30pm daily
  • “Disney in the Stars” Fireworks: 7:30pm from Mon to Sat, 9:00pm on Sun.

Guidemap and Times Guide

2. Rent a stroller, if you need it

When your kid is whiny, sleepy or tired of walking, go straight to the Disneyland Fire Department on Town Square to rent a stroller at a minimal charge. These strollers are in good condition, reasonably clean with padded seat and water-proof cover.

If you’re bringing your own stroller, please pack along a battery-powered fan, a storage portion to hold snacks and drinks, stroller hooks to lug your stuffs on the stroller, as well as an overhead canopy – especially when you’re travelling during summer! I’m a huge fan of stroller; seriously I don’t want to break my back carrying my 18kg boy along with my backpack.

3. Have your shopping items delivered

Shopping in HK Disneyland is fun; there is a mind-boggling array of merchandises that will surely delight you – canned biscuits, clothings, soft toys, watches, bags, hair accessories, key chains, magnets, photo frames and many more.

To minimize the inconvenience of carrying your shopping items around the park, you can request for free delivery to your hotel lobby (if you’re staying in the Hollywood or Disneyland Hotel). Just check with the cashier staffs when you’re making payment, and they’ll be delighted to offer the service to you.

Toy Story Gun
Little Edison’s Buzz Lightyear Toy Gun

4. Get your FASTPASS

For the convenience of all visitors, HK Disneyland has installed FASTPASS Card at 3 major attractions – “The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh” at Fantasyland, “Space Mountain” and “Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters” at Tomorrowland.

To get your FASTPASS, simply insert your Park admission ticket into a FASTPASS Distribution Machine at the designated attractions – and out comes your FASTPASS! It’s free after all. You’ll find detailed instructions and your time of entrance on the Card. Now, you can visit other attractions first and return to the attraction on your Card at the instructed time. It really saves you the trouble of queuing.

Click HERE for more information on Disneyland’s FASTPASS.

5. Book your meals in advance

From my experience, I understand that some of the popular restaurants like Enchanted Garden and Crystal Lotus can be fully-booked on weekends and peak seasons. Thus, I would advise you to make your reservations in advance prior to your trip to avoid disappointment.

Hopefully, my recommendations and guide would be useful if you’re planning a trip to Hong Kong Disneyland soon. I shall end this post with two more pictures of the beautiful Hong Kong Disneyland.

Disneyland - Day
The Beautiful HK Disneyland during the day

Disneyland - Night
The stunning Sleeping Beauty Castle at night

To read all my posts on Hong Kong Disneyland (2012), please go to: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | ALL

Read more travel posts from Hong Kong!

Hong Kong Disneyland – Attractions & Hotel: Part 2

Let’s continue with the Part 2 of our trip to Hong Kong Disneyland! Click HERE to read the Part 1, with reviews on the two latest attractions – Toy Story Land and Grizzly Gulch, the amazing Flights of Fantasy parade and Festival of the Lion King show.

The experience in Disneyland is truly magical. A visit to the Hong Kong Disneyland will not be complete, unless you stay in the Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel or Disney’s Hollywood Hotel. This trip, we stayed at the Disney’s Hollywood Hotel.

Disney’s Hollywood Hotel

This is our room, with a beautiful garden view.

Disney's Hollywood Hotel

Garden View

Hotel Bathroom

Little Edison had a pleasant surprise from the hotel staff when we checked-in to our room on the first day. He received a birthday card signed by Mickey Mouse and a small gift! The hotel staffs are so thoughtful, even though it’s just a small gift, but it meant a lot to our boy.

He danced around the room, and said “Look! Mickey Mouse sent a birthday card to me!”

Birthday Card from Mickey

Breakfast on Day 2: Enchanted Garden Restaurant at Disneyland Hotel

Day Two of our Hong Kong Disneyland experience was even better than Day One. I guess the main reason is that we managed to recover from the exhaustion of waking up at 4am on our first day! Secondly, we started the day with a splendid breakfast at the Enchanted Garden Restaurant at the Disneyland Hotel.

Enchanted Garden Restaurant

It’s a fabulous international buffet in an array of sumptuous dishes, surrounded by Victorian elegance, with Disney Characters meet-and-greet at every table and memorable photo-taking sessions.

Edison with Daisy Duck

All of us with the pretty Daisy Duck

Edison with Goofy

Main Street, USA

When our tummies are filled, we head to the theme park. Our first stop was Main Street, USA. The time was about 12 noon, and the weather was sunny and hot. In this 20th century American town themed-land, the best thing to do is to SHOP!

There is an array of delightful shops offering every type of keepsake, from Character-themed toys, chocolates, cookies, soft candies, jewellery, crystal arts, to a variety of exclusive Disney merchandises. We bought all our souvenirs here and have them delivered to our hotel.

Shopping FUN!

Then, we hopped on to the Hong Kong Disneyland Railroad, a loving recreated antique train that chugs along while we relax and enjoy the wonderful view of the entire Disneyland.

Edison enjoying his marshmallow

Main Street USA

The above picture was taken by Little Edison. During this trip, he has been trained to take pictures for us, and he’s getting really good at it.

Tomorrowland

Coming up next is Tomorrowland – it’s all about the thrill of space exploration! My favourite ride has to be the Autopia.

Welcome to Tomorrowland

Autopia

We tried it during our last trip here in March 2011, and Little Edison really enjoyed getting behind the wheels and drove along the futuristic streets with crazy corners. However, we had to give it a miss time as the waiting time was a tad too long for us. Not forgetting the blazing hot sun! You can see that almost every visitor is carrying an umbrella, and that’s including me for sure!

Do you know who is this?

Fantasyland

Fantasyland is our boy’s favourite, I would say. He enjoys the Cinderella Carousel, Mad Hatter Tea Cups and Dumbo the Flying Elephant. I bet younger kids will really enjoy Fantasyland, as the rides here are much gentle. The waiting time was about half an hour for each ride, and he patiently waited for his turn without any complaints.

Welcome to Fantasyland

Cinderella Carousel

Mad Hatter Tea Cups

Dumbo the Flying Elephant

Edison on the Dumbo

Adventureland

By the time we get to the Adventureland, the sun has set and it wasn’t that warm anymore. In this exotic world of a jungle, I highly recommend the Jungle River Cruise. You’ll get surprises around every bend in the river including an epic battle of fire and water. You’ll also see hippos, elephants, cobras and orang utans in the jungle.

Welcome to Adventureland

Jungle River Cruise

Here’s a short 3-minute video of the Jungle River Cruise that I took. I like to share it with you.

Toy Story Land & Grizzly Gulch

Signboard

Both parks have been pretty much reviewed in Part 1, and here are some pictures to share with you. Mystic Point is a new theme land that is still under development now. It’s located in between Toy Story Land and Grizzly Gulch, and it’s expected to be opened next year. Now, we have a reason to visit HK Disneyland again next year. Don’t we?

Grizzly Gulch was opened in July this year, and it is exclusive to Hong Kong Disneyland. Toy Story Land was opened late last year, and it is also Asia-Exclusive! Here are some of our recommended rides in these theme lands.

Welcome to Toy Story Land
Toy Story Land

Our recommended rides:

  • Slinky Dog Spin – a gentle ride suitable for younger kids (also Little Edison’s favourite!)
  • Toy Soldier Parachute Drop – high flying adventure, moderately challenging. It’s my favourite!
  • RC Racer – it’s the most thrilling ride in Toy Story Land! It is V’s favourite; I don’t dare to try it myself.

Welcome to Grizzly Gulch
Grizzly Gulch

Our recommended rides / attractions:

  • Big Grizzly Mountain Runaway Mine Cars – a must-try in this theme land! You’ll get to see the entire Grizzly Gulch theme land when you travel on these mine cars.
  • Geyser Gulch – check out the active and powerful geyser bed in this township.
  • Grizzly Gulch Welcome Wagon Show – enjoy the lively musical performance featuring singing and dancing from performers in Gold Rush-era outfits. Kids can participate in the show too!

A good two days together with lots of fun, good food and fond memories to bring back to Singapore, that pretty much wraps up our Hong Kong Disneyland experience. To be honest, just as we checked-out our hotel, V and I started to ponder over our next holiday spot.

Then, our boy turned to us and said “I love Disneyland! We’ll come back again, ok?” I chuckled and looked at V; the answer to our question is obvious!

Me and V

This picture was taken by Little Edison. I didn’t realize that the little girl was standing behind us when he took this picture. So cute.

In my next post – Part 3, which is also the last part, I’ll share with you my recommendations and travel tips to Hong Kong Disneyland. Please stay tuned!

To read all my posts on Hong Kong Disneyland (2012), please go to: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | ALL

Read more travel posts from Hong Kong!

Hong Kong Disneyland: Attractions and Food Part 1

We had a wonderful trip to Hong Kong Disneyland last weekend! I can’t think of a better way to start off my reviews on the attractions, but I’ve to say it again, I love Disneyland so much! It just doesn’t matter what age you are, a trip to Disneyland is always a magical experience.

We took a super early flight to Hong Kong at 6:30am. Waking up at 4am to go for a holiday is also our first-time, but Little Edison was so excited leaving the house when the sky was still dark. On our way to airport, he kept asking, “Where are we going, Mama?”

We arrived Hong Kong at about 11am, head straight to our hotel for a quick check-in and luggage-deposit, then lunch and into the park. Luckily, all of us managed to catch some sleep on the flight because that’s going to last us for the whole day!

Lunch on Day 1: Crystal Lotus Restaurant at Disneyland Hotel
Crystal Lotus

[From top left: Fried Rice with Crispy Eel and Pickled Vegetables in Golden Nest; Double-boiled Sea Whelk and Stuffed Whole Dried Scallops in Mickey Winter Melon Soup; Combo of Chicken Little Steamed Lotus Seed Puree Bun, Chilled Mickey’s Red Bean Honey Pudding and Chilled Mickey’s Green Tea Jelly; Wok-fried Shrimps and Disney Root Vegetables; Little Pig Barbecue Pork Bun, Little Green Men Pork and Vegetable Bun and Mickey’s Seafood Glutinous Pancake]

Our first meal was at Crystal Lotus Restaurant (in Disneyland Hotel). Our boy was simply fascinated with the Disney-themed dim sum, like “Chicken Little” Steamed Lotus Seed Puree Bun, Little Green Men Pork and Vegetable Bun, etc.

They are too cute to put into our mouth, don’t you think so? But trust me, they taste even better! The restaurant also has a fantastic view overlooking the beautiful Disneyland Hotel.

View from Crystal Lotus

We entered the magical kingdom of Disneyland after we filled our tummies. The highlight of this trip is that we were invited guests for the Disneyland Tour Services. That is to say, we don’t need to queue up for all the attractions, we have reserved seatings for Theatre Shows, and we have exclusive viewing area during the “Flights of Fantasy Parade” as well as three wonderful Tour Hosts who are well-versed in English, Cantonese and Mandarin.

Disney’s Prestige Tour is available on all seasons, and it is charged at HK$3,888 for 3 consecutive hours for up to 6 Guests aged 3 or above. Child under the age of 3 can join for free. The tour content includes:

  • Direct Entrance to All Attractions, including new themed areas: Grizzly Gulch and Toy Story Land
  • Reserved Seating for Theatre Shows
  • Exclusive Toy Story Land Themed Pin Box Set (1 set for each tour, while stock last)
  • Exclusive Viewing Area for Disney Parade
  • Fun facts and stories of Hong Kong Disneyland by Tour Host
  • Concierge services to pre-arrange priority parking, dining reservations and park tickets

It’s pretty cool as we felt like a VIP during the entire tour. We were admitted to the rides immediately without the need to queue. We got the best seats for Theatre Shows and Parade, even when we were the last few to go in.

At the Disneyland Entrance

Flights of Fantasy Parade

Now, the Flights of Fantasy Parade has started! It’s a magnificent street parade with floats, a marching band, a group of fantastic dancers and their favourite Disney characters. Seated at the exclusive viewing area, all of us got a brilliant view of the entire parade! Happy!

It’s show time!

Flights of Fantasy Parade

Flights of Fantasy Parade

Flights of Fantasy Parade

Flights of Fantasy Parade

Flights of Fantasy Parade

After the parade, we visited the two latest attractions in Disneyland – Grizzly Gulch and Toy Story Land. Grizzly Gulch, which was just opened in July this year, is exclusive to Hong Kong Disneyland. Toy Story Land was opened late last year, and it is also Asia-Exclusive!

Grizzly Gulch

Let’s talk about Grizzly Gulch first. This western-themed park looks like an abandoned mining town set amid mountains and woods. The most exciting ride here has to be the Big Grizzly Mountain Runaway Mine Cars. It is an innovative multidirectional terrain-style roller coaster ride. The mine cars will race both forward and backward, suddenly speeding forward, making sharp turns due to the mischief of the resident grizzly bears, and racing backwards.

The mine cars travel around the entire Grizzly Gulch themed land, including the mine shafts of the Big Grizzly Mountain, Geyser Gulch, and all around the township. Can you see the mine cars going up the slope in this picture?

Grizzly Gulch

Grizzly Gulch

Grizzly Gulch

This is the Grizzly Gulch Welcome Wagon Show, a lively musical performance featuring singing and dancing from performers in Gold Rush-era outfits, that gives visitors a rollicking welcome to this town.

Grizzly Gulch

Toy Story Land

Next, we walked to the Toy Story Land – which is right next to Grizzly Gulch. I’ve to say that this is my favourite park among all. It’s a themed land based on the Disney-Pixar film series Toy Story. Remember Buzz Lightyear and Woody? Yes, you can find them here!

The park itself is very colourful, it’s made of many themed props and characters from the Toy Story movies such as a giant Woody, a giant Rex, an oversized paper plane and also a large ball from the first Pixar short, Luxo Jr.

Toy Story Land

Little Edison’s favourite ride here is the Slinky Dog Spin, a gentle ride for the kids. It goes round and round, as Slinky the dog tries to catch his own tail.

Toy Story Land

I highly recommend the Toy Soldier Parachute Drop. You’ll go way up high in a stimulated parachute drop. When you’re up there, the feeling is awesome and you’ll also get a true bird’s eye view of the park.

If you like something more exciting, you can try the RC Racer. It’s a speedy toy car that will bring you along a 27 meter-high U-shaped coaster at full speed.

Toy Story Land

Toy Story Land

“Festival of the Lion King” show at Adventureland

We managed to catch a show on our first day – “Festival of the Lion King”. It is basically a musical show celebrating the movie “The Lion King”. It uses songs, dances, visual effects and puppetries to create an African savanna setting that is filled with lions, elephants, giraffes, zebras and birds.

Set in a theatre-environment, it retells the story of the Lion King, Simba from the Disney animated feature film ”The Lion King”, and his struggle to regain his kingdom. The dances and costumes are really amazing, I would say. There are also fire and acrobatics in this show, which I really enjoyed a lot.

Our boy enjoyed it too, particularly on the acrobatics part. Let’s just say that we were happy to give our feet a break after a long day of walking, with such a fantastic show.

Festival of the Lion King

Festival of the Lion King

Festival of the Lion King

Well, that pretty much summed up our first day at Hong Kong Disneyland. We wrapped it up with a splendid dinner at Plaza Inn and the “Disney in the Stars” Fireworks show at the Sleeping Beauty castle.

After Dinner

In my next post, I’ll share with you on the attractions at the other parks, pictures of our hotel room and more good food in Disneyland. Please stay tuned!

To read all my posts on Hong Kong Disneyland (2012), please go to: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | ALL

Read more travel posts from Hong Kong!

Hong Kong – Part 5: Ocean Park

Okay, this will be my very last blog post about our recent HK trip. And it’s gonna be a long one too. Hee!

It’s Day 4 of our trip. We planned to visit the famous Ocean Park before we returned to Singapore the next week. The weather was not too promising in the morning – light rain, moderately windy and the temperature dropped to about 12 deg C. It was quite cold.

To get to Ocean Park, we took the train from Disneyland Resort Line to Admiralty MTR and changed to Citybus 629. It’s about 20 minutes bus ride.

As an introduction, Ocean Park is a sea life and animal theme park offering more than 30 attractions including shows, exhibits and thrill rides for all ages. Prior to my visit, I had an impression that this theme park is rather small and old but I was completely wrong. It’s even more exciting that the Hong Kong Disneyland. The visitors were overwhelming too!

Ocean Park is indeed a nice day out for families. It’s small enough to enjoy in a day without feeling rushed but big enough that you don’t feel getting stuck repeating the same rides. It’s a little of many good things to see and experience here.

Here are some of the attractions that we like in this theme park:

  • Giant Helium Balloon – Marvel at the breathtaking view of the southern side of Hong Kong when soaring 100 metres into the air in this giant helium balloon. Little Edison loves it!

  • Cable Cars – The cable cars take visitors on a very pleasant ten minutes ride from the Waterfront to the Summit. Each car seats about five people. The views over the South China Sea are absolutely breathtaking but the waiting time was super long!
  • Ocean Express – This is another alternative to travel from the Waterfront to the Summit. Perfect for impatient visitor who doesn’t like to wait (just like me!). This train is designed to resemble a submersible vehicle and it travels between the park’s two main lands in just 4 minutes! Visitors with children and strollers are given priority to board at the front of the train.

  • The Grand Aquarium – Similar to our UnderWater World, visitors can experience the darkest depth of the ocean floor here. At the touch pool, children get hands-on experience with sea cucumbers, star fishes and other small fishes. For the adults, there is an inspiring 13m wide acrylic viewing panel where we can see 5,000+ fishes from over 400 species.