Ultimate Theme Park Trip overview report

Hong Kong

Tour Highlights
Cool weather
Being in HKDL for the 1st Anniversary (including getting a birthday hat, birthday cake and birthday badge)
Being interviewed by Associated Press
Seeing the Rainy Day Parade
Character breakfast at the Disneyland Hotel (Enchanted Garden)
Being picked as a Space Criminal (Keith, Wayne and Gerard in separate sessions!) during the new Stitch Encounter attraction
Staying at Disney’s Hollywood Hotel
Swimming with Goofy in the hotel pool
Cast member remembering two of our party from a previous visit 6 months earlier

Must See Attractions
Jungle Cruise (probably the best Jungle Cruise of any park)
Space Mountain (the best of the normal Space Mountains – see also the Paris comments)
Stitch Encounter (unique to Hong Kong and uses version 2 of the Talk Turtle with Crush technology)
Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (best of the normal Winnie the Pooh rides – see also Tokyo comments)
Buzz Lightyear Astroblasters
Tarzan’s Treehouse (best of the treehouses)

Must See Shows
Disney on Parade (daily parade, replaced by Mickey’s Magical Rainy Day Express if wet)
Disney in the Stars (fireworks)
Golden Mickeys
The Festival of the Lion King

Flight Times
Approximately 9 hours from Sydney. Hong Kong airport is very efficient in clearing immigration and customs and queues are generally short and baggage claim is good. Airport is approximately 20 minutes from the resort. A bus service is available which can be pre-purchased in Australia as part of your holiday package, or alternatively, a ticket can be purchased in the airport terminal for around $80 HKD per person. Taxis are also available.

Theming Highlights
Aliens from Toy Story make a surprise appearance during the Disneyland Railroad trip around the park.
Character greeting is of high quality, with expressive characters and well organised character handlers.
Excellent cast members throughout the resort (very close second to Orlando’s).

Resort Transport
Disney resort shuttle bus service from Disney’s Hollywood Hotel and the Disneyland Hotel to the transport interchange centre.
Approximately 15 minute walk from Disney’s Hollywood Hotel or 10 minutes from Disneyland Hotel, to Disneyland through landscaped trees, fountains, music and lights.
Easy access to Hong Kong from the HKDL Transport Centre via MTR (train service). Excellent MTR day pass is available for $50HKD, or for multiple day stays, get an Octopus Card – a stored value card that you swipe when getting on or off public transport. HKDL is approximately 20-30 minutes from Hong Kong or Kowloon via the MTR.

Accommodation
Disney’s Hollywood Hotel has great Disney theming and is the preferred hotel to stay at for Disney fans due to its relaxed atmosphere and hidden mickeys – it is a fun place to stay. It has a number of restaurants, characters in the lobby and swimming pool, cable TV including an Australian channel provided by ABC. There was no on-site internet service provided.

The Disneyland Hotel is more formal and luxurious, and is modelled on the Grand Floridian hotel at Walt Disney World. This hotel is home to the Enchanted Garden which hosts the daily character breakfast that is excellent.

Weather
During our stay, the temperature was around 28-29 each day with high humidity and partly cloudy. We were at the end of their summer and typhoon season and this temperature was below normal (should have been around 35!). On our first day, we observed a violent thunderstorm and monsoonal rain for a couple of hours. On our last day, a typhoon warning was issued for Hong Kong, although it did not eventuate.

It is recommended that visitors see Hong Kong in November to avoid the extreme heat, humidity and typhoons of summer and the fog and rain of winter and spring.

Resort Surrounds
Inspiration Lake is part of the resort and is a large manicured garden and lake area which includes paddle boat and bike hire.

The whole resort features lush green gardens and is an oasis from the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong city areas.

The resort is nestled in a mountain bowl on three sides, and water on the third. The mountain backdrop makes for spectacular photos.

This resort area is regarded by our members as a close second only to the extensive Orlando resort area.

Other things to do
Shopping in Hong Kong.
Ocean Park – pandas, water rides.
Big Buddha on Lantau – catch bus or cable car from Tung Chung.
Day trips to Macau and mainland China.

Food
Starliner Diner in Tomorrowland – excellent quality western fast food (great cheese burger)

Royal Banquet Hall in Fantasyland – cheapest meals including three course dinner of soup, main and salad for $30HKD.

Corner Cafe in Main Street USA is a full service restaurant with al carte menu. Staff will even cover your meal during the fireworks so you may go outside and watch. Food is excellent and inexpensive.

Pros and Cons
Disneyland Hong Kong is a great resort. It is small, clean, inexpensive and well looked after. It has some of the best cast members in the world and its two hotels are 4 and 5 stars-and it really shows in their amenities. It offers great growth opportunity and is only 9 hours from Sydney. A number of our members have been there twice in its first year of operation! The two live shows are equal to the best at any Disney Park.

On the negative side, there is only Space Mountain for thrill seekers and the Jungle Cruise is the only other major attraction – a few more e-tickets could really improve the overall value of this resort.

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KeithS

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