If you’re visiting Hong Kong with kids, you must take them to Hong Kong Disneyland. We’ve been to every Disney Resort in the world and it’s our favorite park.
To give you a little bit of background, we lived in Hong Kong and still go to Hong Kong Disneyland (also known as HK Disneyland or HKDL) quite a bit. In fact, we have been there more times than many of our friends who still live there.
We’ve stayed in all three Hong Kong Disneyland hotels, eaten Disney dim sum, dressed up at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique multiple times, enjoyed character dining, and so much more.
In this guide, I will share insider tips for making the most of your visit including how to buy Hong Kong Disneyland tickets, how to skip the lines, what the upgraded experiences are like, hotel reviews, and more to ensure your visit to this fantastic Hong Kong attraction is absolutely perfect. A lot of this advice applies to normal times but I’ve tweaked it in places in anticipation of the reopening.
I also specialize in helping readers plan Hong Kong family vacations (my list of Hong Kong family hotels is a must-read) and may be compensated should you buy tickets through links in this post.
Note: Hong Kong Disneyland closed temporarily on December 2, 2020 and will reopen when permitted by the Hong Kong government.
Introduction to Hong Kong Disneyland
Hong Kong Disneyland opened in 2005. It is the city’s largest theme park, but the smallest Disney park in the world. Smaller size though is part of its charm as it has lower capacity limits and usually shorter lines (we’ll discuss lines later). Cast Members speak English, Cantonese, and Mandarin. Like other Disney parks, they are incredibly friendly and hand out stickers for the kids to collect.
The park was designed to adhere to principles of feng shui, incorporates Chinese culture throughout, and is built on reclaimed land in Penny’s Bay on Lantau Island.
The park has seven lands (themed areas) that we’ll go over in detail and boasts elaborate holiday decor during Halloween, Christmas, Chinese New Year and Easter.
Park Reopening Guidelines
When Hong Kong Disneyland reopens, you can expect the following to be in place. These are the measures they took when they reopened at reduced park capacity during the fall of 2020.
Guests must purchase Hong Kong Disneyland tickets in advance and make a reservation before entering the park. Part of the reservations process will include a Health Declaration to fill out and sign.
Face coverings are required except when dining. All park guests must agree to a temperature check at the park’s entrance.
In addition to increased sanitation measures, distancing markers are placed throughout the park to remind guests to keep space between each other. The majority of attractions, restaurants, and shops will be open though they’ll operate at a reduced capacity.
Some interactions, like certain character meet-and-greets, will temporarily be suspended.
With all of this in mind, let me tell you about the attractions spread across the seven lands as if they were all operating as usual.
The New Hong Kong Disneyland Castle of Magical Dreams
One of the park highlights includes the brand new Hong Kong Disneyland Castle. It’s the only Disney castle that pays tribute to all Disney princesses including Snow White, Cinderella, Aurora, Ariel, Belle, Jasmine, Pocahontas, Mulan, Tiana, Rapunzel, Merida, Moana and Anna, and Elsa — and the pursuit of their dreams.
When park guests walk around the castle, they’ll be able to see elements that may remind them of their favorite heroine’s storyline. A new Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique will open inside and a new fireworks spectacular will debut as well.
The castle opened on November 21, 2020 in honor of the park’s 15th anniversary. It was Sleeping Beauty Castle in its former life.
The Seven Themed Lands: Rides, Attractions & Dining
One of your best guides around the park is the Hong Kong Disneyland app. You can refer to its map but also check it for the park schedule and any attraction closures.
Main Street U.S.A
The buildings of Main Street U.S.A. at Hong Kong Disneyland are architecturally identical to those on Main Street U.S.A at Disneyland in California. The difference is that there are stories appropriate to the park’s Hong Kong location woven in.
It looks like 20th-century small-town America. This is where the best souvenir shops are located, like the Emporium.
Tsum Tsums and Ufufy plush stuffed animals are VERY popular in Hong Kong as is Duffy. In fact, you can see Duffy, ShellieMay, Gelatoni, and StellaLou inside the Main Street Cinema store here.
Rides and Attractions:
- Animation Academy
- Art of Animation
- Hong Kong Disneyland Railroad – Main Street U.S.A. Station (temporarily closed)
- Main Street Vehicles
Upon entering Main Street U.S.A., there is a grassy rotunda where a character greeting is usually in progress. Since it’s near the park entrance, the line here can be long, so we skip it and wait for other character greetings.
Eat: The Corner Cafe has a decent selection of pasta and salads, set menus, and afternoon tea. It’s just fine, nothing great. For takeaway, grab a tasty pastry or sandwich from Market House Bakery (which also has a Starbucks inside of it with Hong Kong Disneyland branded mugs, if you collect these).
If you would like table service Cantonese food, like very good dim sum, go to Plaza Inn which is run by a popular brand called Jade Garden. Inside you’ll also find Chinese comfort food by Cha Cha Room.
Near here is also a snack cart with waffles, turkey drumsticks, and more in addition to outdoor tables. We picked up the below egg waffle with cream a few visits ago.
A walk from Main Street U.S.A. (eventually through the new Hong Kong Disneyland castle) lands you in Fantasyland which is where young children will be the happiest, and the rides are near each other.
This is what the castle used to look like.
Rides and Attractions:
- Cinderella’s Carousel
- Dumbo the Flying Elephant
- Fairytale Forest presented by PANDORA
- Hong Kong Disneyland Railroad – Fantasyland Station (temporarily closed)
- “it’s a small world” (the line moves very quickly if there is even a line)
- Mad Hatter Tea Cups
- The Many Adventures of Winnie the Poo (Priority Special+)
- Mickey’s PhilharMagic (an adorable 4D show – recommend for younger kids)
- Sword in the Stone (Disney characters appear here sometimes; otherwise it’s just a fake sword in a stone)
Fantasy Gardens is where character greetings take place. It’s relatively shaded, and there are nice benches to sit on. Characters appear in pagodas that are spread out through the garden.
A photographer is on-site to take professional photos for purchase though they also will take photos using your camera.
Eat: Royal Banquet Hall has four stations: Grill, Japanese, Guangdong, and International. We ate here last time, and the kids enjoyed the dim sum, sushi and other foods on offer. I was pleasantly surprised by the quality.
I would choose this over Clopin’s Festival of Food, which is mediocre Chinese. Clopin’s usually displays mock dishes at the entrance to give you an idea of what the food looks like. (If you want Asian food, I would highly suggest you go to Mystic Point’s Explorer’s Club… but they do not have Chinese food.)
The ice cream stand near the exit of “it’s a small world” is also fantastic though recently not always open.
Toy Story Land
This land is themed after the popular Toy Story movies and conveniently located next to Fantasyland.
Rides and Attractions:
- Barrel of Fun
- RC Racer
- Slinky Dog Spin (a must for young kids)
- Toy Soldier Parachute Drop (one of the best rides in the park with a great view but the line does not move quickly)
You’ll be asked to put your handbags and belongings in a cubby before boarding Toy Soldier Parachute Drop. If you have a smartphone on a neck strap (a DSLR is too big) or a secured-to-you GoPro, the view right before the parachute drops is pretty great (weather permitting).
Eat: There is only Jessie’s Snack Roundup here which sells drinks and snack foods including soft serve with boba. The snacks seem to rotate but during our last time, we ordered the pineapple freeze drink with pandan and soft serve which is somewhat similar to Dole Whip. We always stop here for the fun desserts.
Mystic Point (Exclusive to Hong Kong Disneyland)
Mystic Point is the most recent land to open at Hong Kong Disneyland, and you won’t find it at any other Disney park.
The not-to-be-missed and only ride is Mystic Manor. It is similar in style to the famous Haunted Mansion ride but with an entirely different storyline and much more high-tech special effects.
This land is where mysterious forces and supernatural events occur in the heart of a dense, uncharted Papua New Guinea rainforest and where an explorer named Lord Henry Mystic lives (in Mystic Manor, of course).
Rides and Attractions:
- Garden of Wonders
- Mystic Manor (one of the best rides in the park with great special effects and music scored by Danny Elfman)
- Mystic Point Freight Depot (a place for kids to walk through and explore)
Eat: The Explorer’s Club Restaurant is the best Hong Kong Disneyland restaurant. Here, different counter-order stations feature Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, and Southeast Asian food. I usually order a very good Hainanese chicken rice, and my daughter’s recent bento box was also excellent.
The only complicated thing is that if you want Southeast Asian and your kids want Japanese, you’ll need to line up twice (I do sometimes, and it’s not too inconvenient). This Hong Kong Disneyland restaurant has five dining rooms themed after various part of the world. All food on the menu here is also Halal.
None of the food in the park is Michelin-star quality, but it’s improved over the years.
Mystic Point also has a frozen dessert snack cart. Beware that these treats melt quickly in the summer and, therefore, need to be eaten right away (and with plenty of napkins).
Grizzly Gulch is Hong Kong Disneyland’s version of Frontierland which mirror’s the 19th century Wild West. It is small, and the only ride is Big Grizzly Mountain Runaway Mine Cars, which is a roller coaster similar in style to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Disneyland in Anaheim.
This is my favorite ride in the entire park and an excellent intro to roller coasters for younger kids. We’ve taken several of my daughter’s roller coaster shy friends on it and they loved it.
It’s different because it shifts from a high forward speed to a high, but manageable, backward speed at one point. The ride’s launch is cool, too.
The rest of Grizzly Gulch is quick to walk through.
Rides and attractions:
- Big Grizzly Mountain Runaway Mine Cars
- Geyser Gulch
- Wild West Photo Fun
Eat: There is a popcorn cart and a snack outlet.
I recently learned that this is the largest Adventureland in all of the Disney Parks.
Rides and Attractions:
- Jungle River Cruise (signs indicate where to queue based on language)
- Karibuni Marketplace (characters tend to hang out here)
- Liki Tikis (it’s more of an interactive water play area, not a ride)
- Rafts to Tarzan’s Treehouse
- Tarzan’s Treehouse
Eat: There are two snack carts here that sell Korean squid, turkey legs, and other snacks. You can also find fresh-cut fruit here, too. The Tahitian Terrace offers quick-service Southeast Asian cuisine.
This is the land experiencing the most change and now home to the most popular ride in the park.
Turn right after leaving Main Street U.S.A., and you’ll land in Tomorrowland.
Rides and Attractions:
- Ant-Man and The Wasp: Nano Battle! (New)
- Hyperspace Mountain (Space Mountain, really, with a Star Wars twist)
- Iron Man Experience
- Star Wars Command Post
- Iron Man Tech Showcase – Presented by Stark Industries.
My daughter and her friends recently enjoyed Jedi training at Star Wars Command Post. At age 10, they are a bit old for it, but the theatrics are funny to them. The show is in Cantonese.
Iron Man Experience is a big deal because it is exclusive to this park and the first Disney attraction based on a Marvel property. It is awesome. I love how they feature prominent Hong Kong buildings during the ride (that, truthfully, might not be recognizable to tourists who just landed). Here’s the ride description.
The eminent innovator and pioneer, Tony Stark has selected Tomorrowland in Hong Kong Disneyland to host Stark Expo, where he will show off his latest high-tech creations in various exhibition halls – the Hall of Legacy, the Hall of Protection, the Hall of Energy and the Hall of Mobility. Guests will be among the first to explore Tony Stark’s latest innovations up close and fly in a gravity-defying Iron Wing flight vehicle in Iron Man Experience. He has also made Hong Kong the Asia headquarters of Stark Industries hereafter.
The park spent over three years designing and creating Iron Man Experience – complete with flight simulators, 3-D projection, surround sound, and other special effects that immerse guests in the Marvel story of a battle with the evil forces of Hydra.
Ant-Man and The Wasp: Nano Battle! is the first attraction to feature Ant-Man and The Wasp. It is also the first-ever Marvel attraction in a Disney Park to feature a female Super Hero as a title character.
This ride takes the place of Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters but is similar in that riders shoot at targets to try to reach the highest score possible.
Recent ride Tomorrowland closures: In addition to Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters, Autopia was removed to make way for Iron Man Experience. It’s a shame because I found the right drive cars a hoot as we drive on the left in the United States.
Eat: The Starlight Diner is the best place in the park for a burger, a basket of chicken fingers, and other similar American-style food.
They have a vast dining area, the counter ordering seems to move quickly, and kids will like the space-themed decor. There is also a BB-8 snack cart that sells some good ice cream and a very popular popcorn cart with multiple flavors.
10 Best Rides at Hong Kong Disneyland
Our favorite Hong Kong Disneyland rides are as follows:
- Big Grizzly Mountain Runaway Mine Cars (Grizzly Gulch)
- Hyperspace Mountain (Tomorrowland)
- Mystic Manor (Mystic Point)
- Ant-Man and The Wasp: Nano Battle! (Tomorrowland)
- Iron Man Experience (Tomorrowland)
- Toy Soldier Parachute Drop (Toy Story Land)
- it’s a small world (Fantasyland)
- Dumbo the Flying Elephant (Fantasyland)
- Jungle River Cruise (Adventureland)
- RC Racer (Toy Story Land)
On a typical day, you can manage this entire list and then some.
How to Minimize Ride Wait Times
Note: This advice is mostly applicable when there are crowds during times when the park is operating at full capacity.
Like other Disney theme parks, if you can go right when the park opens on a weekday that is not during a holiday season, this is your best bet. It’s what we do, and we’re able to more or less walk on and off of rides.
We did go in August recently which is the peak holiday season. It was miserably hot and crowded with loads of tourists from the mainland. The new Shanghai Disneyland has eased these crowds a little, but they are likely to still be there during school holidays like this.
When it was considered crowded during a recent Easter week, a wait for Dumbo (one of the most popular rides) was 25 minutes. Having just been at Shanghai Disneyland, where wait times exceeded 3 hours, 25 minutes is not a big deal to me.
It is considered “long” by Hong Kong Disneyland standards. The exception is that the Toy Soldier Parachute Drop can easily be an hour wait time during any season. In my opinion, this Hong Kong Disneyland ride has the slowest-moving line in the entire park.
Download the Hong Kong Disneyland App
The Hong Kong Disneyland app will tell you approximately how long the wait times are at certain rides, tell you where and what time certain characters will appear, show a GPS enabled map, make reservations, and provide a variety of other details. Downloading this free app is a must.
Priority Special Attraction Admission Pass
There are two types of Priority Special admission passes that you can choose to purchase online in advance or when you enter the park. Walk-up purchase locations include Main Entrance Ticket Booths, Pooh Corner, and Expo Shop. If staying at a Hong Kong Disneyland hotel, a discounted Priority Special price is available at the front desk.
These passes allow guests to enter rides via a shorter queue. It’s important to know that this queue for favorite rides like Iron Man can still be 20 minutes long, but this is shorter than the main line.
Priority Special (HKD 249) provides one-time priority access to:
- Big Grizzly Mountain Runaway Mine Cars
- Ant-Man and The Wasp: Nano Battle!
- Mystic Manor
- Iron Man Experience
- Mickey’s PhilharMagic
Priority Special+ (HKD 349 weekdays exclusive of public holidays and HKD 399 on weekends and public holidays) provides one-time priority access to:
- Big Grizzly Mountain Runaway Mine Cars
- Ant-Man and The Wasp: Nano Battle!
- Mystic Manor
- Iron Man Experience
- Mickey’s PhilharMagic
- The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
- Toy Soldier Parachute Drop
- Slinky Dog Spin
If one of these rides is closed, you do not receive an extra Priority Special admission entry or a discount on pricing. During our most recent visit, Toy Soldier Parachute Drop was closed. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to use the pass for it but it didn’t dampen our experience at all.
Hong Kong Disneyland FastPass
Two rides have a FastPass option:
- Hyperspace Mountain
- The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.
This is where you insert your ticket in a machine to receive a paper slip with a time to return to a designated expedited line. On crowded days, there will still be a bit of a wait even with a Fast Pass.
There is no limit to the number of FastPasses that you can pull in one day, but you can only have one FastPass per person at a time.
3-Hour Disney Spectacular Tour
Hong Kong Disneyland’s VIP tour is called the Disney Spectacular Tour. At the time of this writing, the price is HKD 5688 (about USD 728) for up to six people and does not include park admission.
This VIP tour provides direct access to rides of your choice, reserved seating at shows, reserved seating at the daytime parade and evening Paint the Night parade, should either fall during your tour time.
I have never needed this tour (but I have booked it the Shanghai Disneyland VIP Tour). It is worth considering during summer weekends, August, and Chinese New Year or for peace of mind if the possibility of crowds worries you. And, it will be helpful to avoid waiting in line during summer heat and humidity.
Stay in a Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel (More on These Below)
Guests who choose to stay in one of the three Hong Kong Disneyland hotels will now receive at least one Priority Admissions Pass. These passes are different from the FastPasses. How many and the type you get depends on the room you book.
Available Priority Admission Pass attractions include Big Grizzly Mountain Runaway Mine Cars, Hyperspace Mountain, Iron Man Experience, it’s a small world, and Mystic Manor for all room types. Guests staying in Sea View or above room category will have also have Slinky Dog Spin, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh and Toy Soldier Parachute Drop to choose from.
We stayed in a Sea View room at Disney Explorers Lodge and did find the Priority Admissions Pass valuable even on a not-so-crowded day. You’ll enter rides through a Fast Pass admission or a special gate with nearly no line at all.
Read on for more information about the Hong Kong Disneyland hotels.
Miscellaneous Hong Kong Disneyland Tips: What to Bring, Amenities & More
Arrive Before the Park Opens
Guests may enter the park through the turnstiles at least 15 minutes early (probably earlier but I’ve never tried) so that you can get to the end of Main Street U.S.A. before the park officially opens. One reason to do this is to see the opening ceremony where a pre-selected child/family will cut the ribbon with scissors.
The main reason though is that being this far into the park will put you in prime position to get to your favorite ride first. It used to be that everyone headed to Autopia. I would suggest you head to Toy Story Land for the Toy Soldier Parachute Drop or to Tomorrowland for Iron Man or Ant-Man.
What to Bring and Rules
Be sure to pack sunscreen and bug spray. The latter is especially useful if staying until nightfall.
If visiting in summer, bring a travel umbrella for shade and a hand-held fan (the latter will be sold at a premium in the park if it’s hot, but it will likely be a cute, Disney-branded fan). I’ve recently been using a USB fan that plugs into my phone though fans that mist water are super handy during a Hong Kong summer.
You are not permitted to bring in outside food or drinks. Adults over the age of 16 are not allowed to dress up. Selfie sticks are not allowed. Read the rest of the park’s rules and regulations.
Leaving a Stroller
I brought Bugaboo stroller multiple times and never had an issue with leaving it anywhere in Hong Kong Disneyland while I went on a ride. However, I never left anything valuable in it, and this is something to be done at your own risk. Stroller rentals are available at the park, too.
Disney Character Greetings
Character greetings are possible throughout every land in the park. The Town Square greetings in Main Street U.S.A typically have long lines because everyone enters here and gets overly excited to see Mickey, Minnie, and friends.
I would say to skip this greeting area. Use the Hong Kong Disneyland app to find other characters to meet. The Disney Princesses are usually at Royal Princess Garden, for example.
Characters commonly sign autograph books, which you can buy in the Emporium on Main Street. It is a nice souvenir for your kids to have from their fun day in the park. They can put the stickers they receive from staff around the park in this book, too.
Character Dining and Princess Dress-Up
Character Dining occurs at the Hong Kong Disneyland Resort Hotels. Here is where you can normally see them.
- Enchanted Garden (Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel): Character dining dinner and breakfast buffets (lunch buffet on weekends only) featuring Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and other characters. This is the most upscale of the character dining options.
- Dragon Wind (Disney Explorer’s Lodge): The Chinese restaurant offers character dining breakfast buffet (regional and Western options are available) and a character dining lunch buffet on weekends and public holidays.
- World of Color (Disney Explorer’s Lodge): Donald and Goofy in Explorer’s outfits at breakfast accompany an international selection of breakfast buffet dishes.
- Chef Mickey (Disney’s Hollywood Hotel): Mickey Mouse puts on chef gear and poses for photos at the breakfast buffet.
Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel is also where the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique is currently located. If you use the Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, the kids will want to visit the park afterward so plan for this.
In the past, we’ve also used this Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique followed by character dinner at Enchanted Garden and made it into the park for some evening fun and fireworks.
- Little Girls Become Princesses at Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique
- Cute Disney Dim Sum at Hong Kong Disneyland
- Should You Book Hong Kong Disneyland Character Dining
In between the park entrance and the Disneyland Resort Station (where you catch the MTR to Central and Kowloon) is a luggage storage area where you can stow bags if need be.
Here’s how to find it. From the MTR station and Disneyland Resort shuttles, walk through the big Hong Kong Disneyland Resort sign toward the park. You’ll pass the luggage storage area on the right.
Some major expansion plans are underway at the park. These include a Frozen land called Arendelle: World of Frozen, dedicated to all things Elsa and Olaf. It is supposed to open in late 2021, but may be delayed due to park closures.
How Much Time to Spend in the Park
You can absolutely spend a full day or even multiple days, especially if you’re a Disney enthusiast. However, a half-day in either the morning or afternoon is worthwhile, too.
The park is relatively small and home to rides that are similar to the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort, Disneyland Paris, and Disneyland Resort in Anaheim. The park tickets are less costly than most Disney theme parks so if you choose to visit for a half-day, your wallet won’t suffer too much.
Consider how much time you are spending in Hong Kong. If the answer is just a few days, a half-day at the park will allow you to explore the rest of the things to do in Hong Kong with kids (the list is long). Ocean Park is another Hong Kong theme park that we like to visit, too.
The time of year that you visit definitely matters. Summer heat and humidity in Hong Kong are brutal. If you are not used to this kind of weather and need to visit during the summer, it would be wise (especially with young kids) to break the visit into two half-days.
One half-day could be first thing in the morning, and another could happen in the evening. I have written a guide for visiting this Disneyland in the summer.
Hong Kong Disneyland Tickets, Annual Passes & Add-Ons
You can buy general admission Hong Kong Disneyland park tickets as follows.
Adults are HKD 639 HKD (USD 82), and children are HKD 475 (USD 61). They also offer 2-Day Hong Kong Disneyland tickets and promotional packages throughout the year.
Hong Kong Disneyland offers the ability to upgrade your ticket to include meal vouchers in advance. Right now, through Hong Kong Disneyland, the only available option is the 3-in-1 Meal Voucher or Park Lunch Plus Hotel Dinner 3-in-1.
To enjoy the benefits, you’ll need to plan to spend the entire day on the resort. Klook also offers a variety of Hong Kong Disneyland Meal Vouchers that you can consider.
In the park, the voucher needs to be scanned on your smartphone (or a printed copy) when ordering your food.
I usually don’t buy meal plans, but these can save you money especially if you are ordering meal combos on the higher range of what is allowable. The participating restaurants are my favorite anyway, and I find it easy to use.
Magic Access Annual Passes
Magic Access annual passes (prices start at HKD 1238 for adults) are available to all guests, regardless of country of residence. There are various levels of Hong Kong Disneyland annual passes.
If you plan to go for two days and stay in the hotel, it is worth considering an annual pass. They include a 10% discount on food outlets and shops within the park, discounted hotel stays, discounts on hotel dining, and more. Some passes have a few blackout dates that you’ll need to check.
The top tiers of Magic Access are more suitable for Hong Kong residents and extended stays, but it’s worth comparing the options.
Where to Buy Hong Kong Disneyland tickets
Right now, again, you must purchase admission in advance in order to make a reservation to visit the park. You can do this at:
- park ticket booths (this has temporarily been suspended)
- Klook: If you can wait one day for the ticket to become available, Klook is a top-rated discounted ticket source in Asia. You simply show a mobile or printed QR code at the gate, and each Klook purchase gives you credits to redeem for other tickets.
- Disney’s Hollywood Hotel
- Disney Explorers Hotel
- Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel
- most Hong Kong luxury hotel concierge desks
Even during normal times, I would highly recommend purchasing tickets in advance so you can skip the ticket booth line at the park. Note that the Hong Kong Disneyland kiosk in Central Station is closed so you can no longer buy tickets there.
Benefits of Staying in Hong Kong Disneyland Hotels
There are now three Hong Kong Disneyland hotels, and they are all entirely different from each other. I wouldn’t necessarily say that one is better than the other. Which you choose depends on the experience you’d like and your budget. We have stayed in each one so I can accurately review their benefits.
Extra Perks for Hotel Guests
It didn’t use to be that, Hong Kong Disneyland hotel guests had perks but they do now! And, they’re valuable.
Hotel guests use an exclusive “Disney Hotel Guests Entrance” at the Main Entrance of the park. Hotel guests do not receive early entry to the park.
Hong Kong Disneyland hotel guests receive at least one Priority Admission Pass. The exact number of passes received is based on the type of hotel room booked and, frankly, the details online are a little murky.
Sea View Room guests will receive three Priority Admission Passes, and guests staying in a Kingdom Club Room of Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel will receive four Priority Admission Passes. Each room guest gets an entry with the same pass, up to four per room. These Priority Admission Passes can be redeemed at the attractions listed on the pass. This is what ours looked like.
Remember that guests staying in a room category lower than Sea View will be able to use the pass at four attractions (Runaway Mine Cars, Hyperspace Mountain, Iron Man Experience and “it’s a small world”) instead of seven.
Guests staying in a Sea View room of Disney Explorers Lodge or Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel will receive seat reservations to “Festival of the Lion King,” while guests staying in a Kingdom Club Room of Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel will receive seat reservations to the first show of “Mickey and the Wondrous Book” on the day of their visit.
Notes about the hotels: A convenient shuttle runs between the hotels and the park. You can walk from the Hong Kong Disneyland hotels to the park but most people do not.
The hotels are both busy so, in my experience, they lack that white glove experience one might expect in a similarly-priced hotel in other parts of Hong Kong. That being said, my daughter loves staying at Hong Kong Disneyland, so we usually do for at least one night during our Hong Kong trips.
Reservations: I’ve included links so that you can check the prices on Agoda, a major booking engine in Asia.
Disney’s Hollywood Hotel
Art Deco in style, Disney’s Hollywood Hotel is the least expensive option. However, I found it good value for money. Kids will love the piano-shaped pool, relaxed vibe and expansive grassy areas to run through.
Character breakfast and dinner happen here (dates and times for the latter vary) and the food is honestly not bad. Standard rooms are quite colorful though comfortable. You can read our full Disney’s Hollywood Hotel review for more details.
Disney Explorers Lodge
The 750-room, resort-style Disney Explorers Lodge opened in April 2017. It’s furnished according to the four different tropical climates of Asia, Oceania, South America, and Africa and priced in between Disney’s Hollywood Hotel and Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel.
Learn why this is our favorite Hong Kong Disneyland hotel in my Disney Explorers Lodge review.
Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel
This hotel is the luxury option though it pales in comparison to the fabulous five-star hotels elsewhere in Hong Kong. Victorian in style, similar to Orlando’s Grand Floridian, the rooms are fine and a bit nicer than Disney’s Hollywood Hotel though I wouldn’t classify them as luxurious.
This hotel is where Crystal Lotus (the excellent Cantonese restaurant that offers Disney dim sum), Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, and more elaborate character dining is located. There is a pool, a fun hedge maze kids love, and nice South China Sea views from the rooms. I haven’t written a review of this hotel yet but will shortly.
If you’d like to immerse in all things Disney and enjoy the perks resort hotels offer, then, by all means, stay at the resort.
The park is so easy to get to (details below) that you could very easily stay in Central or Kowloon in a nicer hotel for the same or less money. We usually stay at the Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong and the Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong. Both are kid-friendly and well-located in Central, but Hong Kong is full of wonderful hotels—truthfully, some of the best in the world.
Don’t Forget About Inspiration Lake Recreation Center
This neat area of Hong Kong is an overlooked gem, especially in temperate weather. It is indeed a lake with a woodsy park next to it. Admission to Inspiration Lake is free, and it’s a beautiful place for exercise, walking, and a change of pace. Surrey bikes and pedal boats are available to rent. There is also a snack shop.
How to Get to Hong Kong Disneyland
From Central Hong Kong: It’s easy and inexpensive to get to Hong Kong Disneyland park via the MTR. Take the Tung Chung MTR line to Sunny Bay station (all Tung Chung MTR line trains from Central head in the same direction because they start in Central). At Sunny Bay, switch to the Disneyland Resort Line. It’s an effortless ride that takes about 20 minutes.
Other MTR lines from across Hong Kong navigate you to Sunny Bay and then to the Disneyland Resort Line. The MTR is an easy subway system to understand because of English signage and maps in each train car. The trains “speak” in English too. And, they’re clean, probably because you’re not supposed to eat or drink on them.
Taxi from Central: Don’t do it, if you don’t have to, because Hong Kong traffic can be brutal. However, I took a taxi midday on a weekday from the Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel to Central Hong Kong once and it was fine and not too pricey.
From Hong Kong International Airport: Even though the airport is also on Lantau Island, it takes about 15 minutes or so with no traffic to get to Hong Kong Disneyland. Be sure to take a blue Lantau taxi. Red taxis go to Central, Kowloon, and a few other parts of Hong Kong. Green taxis go to the New Territories. Expect to pay about HKD 140.
You can also take the Airport Express to Tsing Yi station where you will transfer to the Tung Chung line. Take Tung Chung to Sunny Bay station where you will board the Disneyland Resort Line to the park. The fare for adults is HKD 70 and it will take about 35 minutes.
Cultural Differences to Expect
Visitors are primarily from mainland China with Hong Kong residents sprinkled in. The ratio of adults to kids is much higher in comparison to U.S. Disney Parks.
Kids: If your child has light coloring, they may receive attention as this look is still not standard on the mainland. My daughter is a strawberry blonde with pale white skin and blue eyes. She is frequently stopped by very nice mainland Chinese who compliment her features or would like to take a photo of her or with her. I suggest deciding in advance how you would respond to this so that you aren’t caught off-guard.
Line cutting: Contrary to the polite behavior I mentioned above, there can be line cutting. Hong Kongers are quick to point out that the people who do this are foreigners. Instances of line cutting are becoming less frequent in recent years, but I would suggest you stand in line with purpose and a wide stance, if that makes sense, to prevent people from slipping through.
Food: When Hong Kong Disneyland first opened, I ordered a hamburger at Starlight Diner that was a bun, mayonnaise, patty, and raw cucumber slices that were supposed to be American-style pickles. The burger situation has since improved. My point is that it’s important to keep in mind that you’re in Asia, and Western food might taste and look a bit different than you’re used to.
Manage your kids’ expectations that they might see and taste snacks that aren’t normal to them but are completely normal to kids from other parts of the world. Encourage them to try something new—this is part of what I love about travel and visiting Disney Parks around the world. If you are looking for the most Western food options, your best bet is Starlight Diner.
FAQs About Hong Kong Disneyland
Feel free to ask a question in the comments, and if I don’t know the answer I can get it for you. These are the FAQs that families I help plan Hong Kong vacations for ask the most.
Do people at Disneyland Hong Kong speak English?
Yes, Cast Members speak English, Cantonese, and Mandarin. English speakers will have an effortless time navigating the park, reading guide maps, and interacting with staff.
What castle is located at Disneyland Hong Kong?
The Hong Kong Disneyland castle is called the Castle of Magical Dreams. It’s the only Disney castle to be dedicated to 14 Disney princesses and heroines. When they renovated it, this was the first time a Disney castle had ever fully closed.
How far is Disneyland Hong Kong from the airport?
The theme park is about 13km from Hong Kong International Airport. It will take about 15 minutes by taxi to get there without traffic. If you go by Airport Express train and MTR, this journey should take about 35 minutes.
How do I get to Disneyland Hong Kong from the airport?
The easiest thing to do is take a blue Lantau taxi to Hong Kong Disneyland from the airport as the theme park does not offer an airport shuttle.
Alternatively, you can take the Airport Express train to Tsing Yi station where you can transfer to the Tung Chung line. Take the Tung Chung line to Sunny Bay station where you will transfer to the Disneyland Resort Line.
Should I stay in a Hong Kong Disneyland hotel?
There are several advantages to staying in a Hong Kong Disneyland hotel. You’ll enjoy easy access to the park, and some additional perks reserved only for hotel guests, including Priority Admission Passes. These hotels can also sleep families of four in two-bed rooms, which is unusual for Hong Kong.
However, HK has some of the best luxury hotels in the world, just a short MTR ride away. So, if you like nice hotels, I recommend you stay in Central or Kowloon.
When is the best month to visit?
The best month to visit Hong Kong Disneyland is between October and April when the weather isn’t hot and humid. You’ll want to avoid visiting on public holidays, including Chinese New Year, because of the crowds. It is nice to visit around the holidays because of the festive decor and extra entertainment.
Are there Extra Magic Hours?
No. Hong Kong Disneyland does not have Extra Magic Hours. Early park admission is achieved through Priority Admission Passes given to overnight resort hotel guests or Priority Special Admission Passes that you can purchase.
Should I visit Ocean Park or Disneyland?
Families find that there is so much to do in Hong Kong that they only have time for one theme park. Deciding between Ocean Park and Disneyland is difficult, but here’s what to consider. If you are a Disney fan, do not have a Disney park near you, or do not have plans to visit one in the future, you’ll love HKDL.
Teens like the roller coasters and rides at Ocean Park, but little kids also have plenty to do. If you have kids with interest in sea life or animal interactions, this is your place. It’s neat to visit a theme park outside of your home country that is well-run, safe, and different from the ones you’re used to.
I hope that you enjoy your visit to this fantastic Disney Park that we love so much.
What do you enjoy most about Hong Kong Disneyland?