Having visited Disneyland in Los Angeles and Disney World in Orlando, Florida, I was not sure what to expect when I had the chance to spend a day at Disneyland in Hong Kong recently. Sure it’s smaller than its US counterparts, but it’s every bit as entertaining and, as Disney people like to say, every bit as magical as its American cousins.
Hong Kong Disneyland got off to a slow start after it opened in 2005, with poor attendance figures. But today, as it celebrates its 6th birthday, business is booming with visitors numbers at record levels. And it’s now making a profit.
The boom in travel by mainland Chinese coupled with the growing affluence of Asia’s new middle-classes are fueling the explosion in visitor numbers to Hong Kong theme parks like Disneyland.
And a visit to Disneyland is certainly a treat for the whole family. It encompasses all that is essentially Disney the rides, the shows, the mascots, and of course, the world-famous parade.
And a quick look at tripadvsior.com, that worthy barometer of visitor opinion, shows that the vast majority of customers really enjoyed their time there. One British visitor commented that “Disney is all that is good about Hong Kong.” An Australian visitor asked “How can you not be happy at Disneyland.”
Certainly my family and I plus Tom Hall, a British friend from Taiwan, did indeed have a great day there. We went on a Tuesday which is a quiet day for the park. This meant lines were not that long so we were able to enjoy more attractions in one day than you would on a weekend.
Apart from the grand parade, which was very well done, we enjoyed the many attractions on offer. We especially enjoyed the 3D movie, Festival of the Lion King and the Jungle River Cruise. We also had a delicious Chinese lunch at the Crystal Lotus restaurant.
Robert Jr, my three year-old son was in the line to meet his hero Mickey Mouse. But, alas, by the time he reached Mickey and his girlfriend Minnie, the wee lad was fast asleep and nothing would wake him. Never mind, we’ll definitely go again one of these days.
So, if you are visiting Hong Kong then Disneyland is definitely a must-see. Whether you are traveling with children or not there’s something for everyone. And don’t forget to watch the Grand Parade and Firework Play after a whole day’s play.
If you do plan to visit Hong Kong and need a modestly priced, but good quality hotel, my favorite is the Ibis in North Point on Hong Kong Island. Stunning harbor views, very clean and a great location.