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Hong Kong Disneyland – A family vacation & Top Tips

Family holidays can pretty much go both ways, but when everything falls into the right place, they become memorable.

Travelling together after almost a decade, this one was going to be quite the experience. My parents, my sister, my brother-in-law, my wife, my daughter, and I, boarded a Cathay Pacific flight to head over to the magical kingdom of Hong Kong Disneyland.

What exactly made this vacation different and oh-so-memorable from the many others?

There was the obvious fact that we were celebrating something special and that too along with the entire family. Then, it was Disneyland. The very name of this institution is bound to bring a smile on the grumpiest of dwarfs – see what I did there – let along humans. And then, at the end of it, we returned with no travel horror stories to complain about.

Now, Hong Kong is full of wonders, and there’s quite a bit to do here for all ages. Typically, a four day holiday in Hong Kong would be ideal to cover most of its attractions. However, we were here for a reason and thus stuck primarily with Disneyland.

Hong Kong Disneyland is recommended especially if you are travelling with little children. It is by far the most toddler-friendly Disney as my daughter, who was slightly taller than your average one-year-old at the time, was able to enter almost all the rides and attend most of the trademark shows and events at the park.

Over the years since there have been many additions to the park, my daughter has been lucky enough to visit again and again – Yes! That’s two times more – to experience the few rides she missed out on earlier.

When I was little – Oh! Those glorious days without the worries of the world – my parents took me all around the world, literally, two around the world trips.

But, as an adult, I have always complained that I hardly remember anything from those travels. Being a parent now, I realise the importance of travelling with a toddler. They might not remember much, but as my mother said, “the joy and happiness you experienced at that time, be it that you don’t remember it now, was worth the trip”, and that is something I wholeheartedly agree with now.

Call it living in the moment, or getting away with half-price air tickets, in the end, there is no denying that my daughter enjoyed the trip.

Hong Kong Disneyland proved to be the perfect vacation also because we decided to stay within the Disney complex at one of their two hotels. They are both kids friendly and be it playing “find the hidden Mickey among the architecture, furniture, food, basically everything you can lay your eyes on” or eating Mickey shaped food, or better yet my daughter dancing on the table in the lobby with Goofy, memories like these are hard to come by.

 

There’s more though.

Our trip to Hong Kong could not have been a success without one thing; Shopping in Hong Kong. My father and I decided to break away from the ladies (my brother-in-law was doing the touristy stuff as this was his first trip) because if there is one thing for adults in HK, it’s the fantastic array of shopping available for all budgets. Although, we did end up buying mostly for my daughter – who can be seen below in the photograph protecting her precious cargo.

Nevertheless, Hong Kong is an amazingly vibrant and safe place to walk, shop, bargain, and just enjoy.

 

After five days of fun we finally boarded the plane back home and even managed to get a sky-high, yet fabulous, glimpse of the brightly shining peak of Mt. Everest, which also was a little scary as half the plane suddenly rushed to one side at the same time in order catch a glimpse and click photos.

Down below I jotted some Top Tips from the time I spent in Hong Kong Disneyland. These are simple observations and suggestions that might help make your trip to the “Magical Kingdom” even more special.

  1. Travel – The best way to get to the theme park if staying elsewhere is by Metro. Although taxis are available from central HK, Metro serves as the quickest and easiest mode. Plus they have a special Mickey Metro train for the last leg of the journey which the kids will definitely enjoy.
  1. Stay – If possible, try and stay for a day or two at the hotels they have in the Disney complex. There are two, and both are excellent and something the kids can enjoy. It is also more relaxing, and you can stay till late at the theme park.
  1. Stroller – Make sure you take a stroller if you have a small child with you. You will have to walk a lot. Even the walk from the bus terminal/metro station to the entrance is tiring, and the last thing you want is to carry a baby with you.
  1. Umbrella – Carry an umbrella with you. Again since you end up waking in the open a lot, you will need an umbrella/raincoat if it rains. If it doesn’t then sometimes, it gets really hot and the umbrella comes in handy to save you from the sun. The weather in HK can be unpredictable. We ended up buying raincoats in Disney as a result of not being prepared.
  1. Fast Pass – As in every Disney, make the most of the FastPass. Besides your favourite ride, the shows get crowded really fast so I would suggest that use the FastPass on them. A FastPass taken in advance is a sure shot way to not miss out on anything.
  1. Shopping – There is an excellent chance you will end up shopping at the charming shops in Disney. Good news though, if you are staying at one of the Disney hotels, the shops will deliver your shopping to your hotel reception free of cost if purchased before 4:00 pm (or was it 2:00 pm? Please check), so you can carry on enjoying the park without having to carry bags.
  1. Parade – Make sure you check the timings of the Disney Parade that takes place twice during the day. You would not want to miss it. So, plan your rides/shows around that. During festivals and special days, they have special parades which are even more spectacular. Although, the downside is that the crowds will be in 1000s on those days.
  1. Fireworks – Each evening there is a fireworks display, so make sure you stick around for that. It’s always good to start heading back 5 minutes before it ends because you can expect a mad rush at all the transport channels once it finishes. If you are staying at one of the hotels in the complex then, by all means, take your time.
  1. Rest – Even if you are staying in a Disney hotel, don’t count on going back and then returning later in the day. It’s allowed, but it is more tiring. You would have to walk back to the transport terminal, take the bus back to the hotel and the same routine back. I would recommend just resting in the theme park.
  1. Divide – If possible divide your theme park activities over two days. Also instead of standing in line, head over to the rides that are free and save the popular ones for later or around lunch when people are eating. If you can get to the park early (another benefit of staying locally) head over to the popular rides first and get them over with.
  1. Click! – A camera is obvious and a must. Lookout for spots marked all around where you are guaranteed a rather nice photograph. It’s almost like a pre-planned Kodak moment.
  1. Yummy Food! – There is also a wide variety of food available in the form of food courts or proper sit-down restaurants. They are good to keep those stomach rats happy, but also necessary to sit in the shade and take breaks to get some rest.
  1. Pack light – It really is that simple. You will need that extra bit of space for the shopping you will do. We were lucky to be 6 adults travelling, so weight problems did not arise on our flight back – and I mean baggage weight for on a personal note most of us had gained weight by that time – but don’t let excess baggage spoil your trip.

I’ve been to Disney on a day trip and also stayed at their hotel for 5 days. Maybe 5 days was pushing it a bit, but try and take out 2 days for a more relaxing experience at Disneyland Hong Kong.

 

Enjoy!

31 Comments

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  • Sanne - Spend Life Traveling
    Posted December 5, 2016 at 3:48 am

    I really want to go to Hong Kong and visiting Disneyland would be great! I love your tips!

    Reply
    • Post Author
      Ticker Eats The World
      Posted December 5, 2016 at 9:42 am

      Thanks and yeah it’s quite good and they’ve made it bigger since.

      Reply
  • Trippindian
    Posted December 5, 2016 at 7:03 pm

    My aim is to visit all the disney parks in the world. 😀 Great tips bud 🙂

    Reply
    • Post Author
      Ticker Eats The World
      Posted December 5, 2016 at 7:45 pm

      Done that, well minus the one in China that just opened.

      Reply
  • Paula - Gone with the Wine
    Posted December 6, 2016 at 1:40 am

    Good tips! I have not been in Hong Kong but when I get to visit, I will see if we have time for Disneyland. We just visited Tokyo and we planned to visit Tokyo Disneyland but there was so much other things to see and do. We live in California, so we do have an access to Disney park when ever we want. 🙂

    Reply
  • Gokul Raj
    Posted December 7, 2016 at 12:28 am

    I am planning a trip there. Did you fly with an Indian Passport. I would like to know about the immigration and visa formalities

    Reply
    • Post Author
      Ticker Eats The World
      Posted December 7, 2016 at 8:29 am

      Yes, the visa isn’t a problem at all. Just the usual stuff – bank statement, flight, hotels etc.

      Reply
  • fouronaworldtrip
    Posted December 7, 2016 at 4:18 am

    awesome article and awesome tips! My kids would love sooo much to go there 🙂 We are living in Paris and they are quite used to “our” disney.. but Hongkong.. that interests even me 😀

    Reply
    • Post Author
      Ticker Eats The World
      Posted December 7, 2016 at 8:31 am

      I’ve been to the Paris Disneyland and from what I remember it’s quite nice too. Great that your kids can enjoy it.

      Reply
      • fouronaworldtrip
        Posted December 11, 2016 at 6:22 pm

        cool you liked it 🙂 I remember when being a kid, I would have given my left arm to be able to go there but my parents never took me; I am kinda jealous for my kids who go there frequently as it´s just next doors 😀

        Reply
        • Post Author
          Ticker Eats The World
          Posted December 11, 2016 at 6:24 pm

          They are lucky. My parents took us when we were kids but it was across the world in US then so couldn’t visit it that often.

          Reply
          • fouronaworldtrip
            Posted December 11, 2016 at 6:48 pm

            lucky you 🙂 I think it might be nicer if it’s a central event within your childhood rather than a casual thing you can do on a weekend .. but it all depends on where you live anyway 🙂

  • 8duffels2mutts
    Posted December 10, 2016 at 6:52 am

    We have been loosely planning to take our kids to Disneyland someday. We’ve never considered Hong Kong though and we’ve always thought that we should wait until the kids are much older to go so they can actually go on the rides. I had no idea that Hong Kong Disney was the most toddler friendly one. This sort of changes everything…and maybe we can go sooner than we thought, and to place a little more interesting than Orlando!

    Reply
    • Post Author
      Ticker Eats The World
      Posted December 10, 2016 at 6:59 am

      Yeah I was surprised too. My daughter being a little taller than the average one year old was pretty much able to enjoy most of the rides. When she went around age 6 she even did the roller coasters.

      Reply
  • TogetherInThailand
    Posted December 10, 2016 at 3:40 pm

    I never thought men liked shopping, but I’ll trust you! great tips here! How exciting that your flight gave you a chance to see Mt. Everest!

    Reply
    • Post Author
      Ticker Eats The World
      Posted December 10, 2016 at 3:43 pm

      Yup! It’s a myth that we don’t 😂 Thanks and yes got a nice view of Everest

      Reply
  • Agnes
    Posted December 11, 2016 at 12:28 am

    A child’s happiness is always worth the trip even if they won’t remember it. How sweet! One day you can show this blog to your daughter so she can see her happy childhood, even if she doesn’t remember 🙂

    Reply
    • Post Author
      Ticker Eats The World
      Posted December 11, 2016 at 8:31 am

      Yes and she’s 9 now but I have a three year old ready to experience the world the same way. We took them to Switzerland this past summer

      Reply
  • Sarah @daydreams of summertime
    Posted December 11, 2016 at 5:36 am

    I didn’t even know there was a Disneyland in Hong Kong! I haven’t been to any of the Disney parks but it is my goal to see them one day – I love Disney!

    Reply
    • Post Author
      Ticker Eats The World
      Posted December 11, 2016 at 8:30 am

      Yeah and the latest one to open is in China. That’s the only one where I haven’t been.

      Reply
  • Maria
    Posted December 12, 2016 at 12:19 am

    Great tips for people with kids wanting to go to disneyland. My son never wanted to go, so I guess one of this days must go alone 😉

    Reply
    • Post Author
      Ticker Eats The World
      Posted December 12, 2016 at 8:08 am

      Oh really! Why? I’m sure it’s just a question of reaching there and then he’ll enjoy it

      Reply
  • hairtothereblog2
    Posted December 12, 2016 at 10:30 pm

    Two round the world trips when you were just a toddler!? That must’ve made for some great stories around the holiday dinner table! I encounter enough calamity just traveling as a single adult, never mind with a toddler in tow! Both you and your parents are brave! I haven’t been to a Disney property in upwards of 20 years, so I can’t imagine all the has changed over the years!

    Reply
    • Post Author
      Ticker Eats The World
      Posted December 12, 2016 at 10:31 pm

      Yeah we’ve always been a family of travellers. My daughter who just turned 9 has already done about 18 countries (but who’s counting 😜). Disney is fun both for adults and kids so yeah maybe it’s time to head back there 👍🏼

      Reply
  • Aleks F.
    Posted December 13, 2016 at 3:46 am

    What a fun and enjoyable family trip!! You have a gorgeous family! I loved seeing your photos and seeing you make the most of Disney Land in Hong Kong. I think it’s a great idea to take advantage of those parks in other countries as they eat have their own experiences and versions.

    Reply
    • Post Author
      Ticker Eats The World
      Posted December 13, 2016 at 9:13 am

      Thank you and yes I agree, all of them bring something new even if the rides are similar there’s a bit of local culture infused.

      Reply
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  • Marcie
    Posted February 15, 2018 at 3:49 am

    We might be heading to Hong Kong for Christmas this year. I was thinking of taking our boys to Disneyland Hong Kong. Now I’m even more sure this will be a fun getaway!

    Reply
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