Hong Kong didn’t have much good weather in store for us during our time there, but it more than made up for that fact by having a Disneyland in which we could play. We picked the most decent weather-day we could find, packed our rain gear, braced ourselves for the crazy high Hong Kong humidity and set out on our way. It was extra convenient that our host lived just two metro stops away, and the metro that takes you direct to Disneyland amused us with its handles.
Everything we read and heard described Hong Kong Disneyland as a “miniature” version of Disneyland, which was fine by me. Heck, I’ll go on each ride five times! We arrived nice and early before the park opened and got in line to have our photo with Mickey and Minnie, in front of the castle, which is in front of the mountains. It was super cool to see a Disney castle in front of actual mountains! But we waited a half hour and we still weren’t at the front of the line, so even though the park opened we waited another 15 minutes for our photos. The park appeared *Super* empty and we figured there’d be no lines once inside.
We got our photos taken and not only did we come out very dark, it turns out you can’t even see the mountain (or the castle for the most part) behind us! How disappointing.
We also learned a valuable lesson once inside the park about an hour later, as we passed line after line 30 minutes and longer, for the various attractions. *Never* assume a Disney park will be empty! We suddenly realized that since this week has not one but two national Hong Kong holidays, many Hong Kongers probably took the entire week off. Oops. We could always ride the train, around and around and around… and eventually we did. It’s no fun waiting in 80 minute lines.
We did have all kinds of fun though, so here is a list of some things that stood out:
- Space Mountain rocks here!! It doesn’t go up and down nearly as much as in California or Florida; here it goes round and round a lot. Maybe Disney felt Hong Kongers aren’t ready for steep drops? I’m not certain, but I am certain that the music on this particular ride kept us coming back again, and again, and again…
Hong Kong Disneyland Space Mountain Music! (coolest music begins at 1:22)
- It’s hysterical to listen to Mickey and Minnie speak Cantonese! Who knew? You too can hear their fantastic language skills showcased at “The Golden Mickeys,” a show modeled after The Golden Globes.
Mickey Sounds Funny Vidjo
- The teacups, my favorite ride (okay it’s tied with Space Mountain but it’s definitely my favorite ride in Fantasy Land… along with It’s a Small World), are also extra special here in Hong Kong. They let you spin faster than ANY OTHER Disney we’ve been to!! It was great for making Elliott really queasy.
Crazy Tea Cup Ride Vidjo
- Elliott’s toes, still pink from celebrating Holi back in Jaipur
- The toilets in Toy Story Land
- The menus!
- The drummers performing before the on-stage live show The Lion King totally rocked our world!
We did NOT have fun at the Haunted Mansion (known here as Mystic Point), since it isn’t complete yet! It will be opening sometime in mid-2013. What a tease! I wonder if Disney wasn’t sure how Hong Kong Disneyland would do, and so they built a tiny test version, and now that it is successful, they are adding on. This is purely speculation. But it was not nice to let us get so close and not get in. They did sort of make up for it with Grizzly Gulch Runaway Mine Cars which is styled a bit like Thunder Mountain, but rides more like Expedition Everest at Animal Kingdom in Florida.