Hong Kong Disneyland
A Magical Day at HK Disneyland
If you're planning to go to Hong Kong Disneyland on a tight budget and enjoy it without the hassle of a group tour, (you'll have to wait for the company of others and you have to follow certain rules) then read this. Plan ahead of time and book your tickets online through the official Hong Kong Disneyland site.
There are many affordable Hotels near the resort that you could book in. One is the YMCA at Salisbury Rd. Tsim Sha Tsui http://salisbury-ymca-hong-kong.h-rzn.com. This is the hotel near Avenue of Stars (It's like walking in its Hollywood counterpart the Hollywood Walk of Fame). Usually, affordable hotel rates go for 500-700 HKD (check for your country's exchange rate) and sometimes you'll be surprised some of them give discounts.
Again, book online on their official website since some agencies posting cheap hotel rates are fakes so be careful. Google for “cheap Hotels in HK Central or HK Island” and when you get the hotel's name google for its official website so it's easier for you to ride the train going to Sunny Bay where the train to Disneyland will pick you. If you don't want the hassle then you could book at the hotels at Hong Kong Disneyland so that a shuttle from the hotel will just bring you to the theme park and after exploring will bring you back to the hotel. This service is for free.
You could either choose from HK Disneyland Hotel which is quite expensive and the HK Disneyland Hollywood Hotel which is quite affordable. The cheaper one is the Garden View of the Hollywood Hotel and it's subject to availability and change of rate. We got ours for 1,700 HKD (roughly USD) but the good news is if you will stay in these hotels for one night you got to use your theme park tickets for two days.
If you arrive there on the day of your booking (check in time 3 pm) then you could use the ticket first day of arrival (the park closes at 7-8 PM last attraction is the fireworks). You could still use your park tickets the following day.
Take note that food in the hotel is really expensive. Read the notes at their official website https://www.hongkongdisneyland.com. If you are on a budget you could eat in the park where food is much cheaper. Cost around 40-75HKD. TIP: We get to eat cheap at this restaurant in the park called Royal Banquet at Fantasyland just in front of Cinderella's carousel and the food there is delicious. We picked our food at KETTLE (bake foods, pasta) the kid's meal goes for 32 HKD while we adults chose the seafood bake rice (it's like risotto with crab meat, shrimps and muscles bake with rice and cheese for 48 HKD). For the drinks, bottled water cost around 16 HKD and other beverages cost around 20-25 HKD in the park. They also have snacks in carts like ice cream pops, (12-20 HKD) chips, (15 HKD) and popcorns (30+ HKD). They even have Korean squid snack.
The park has 4 themes. Main Street USA, Fantasyland, Adventureland, and Tomorrowland. The first is at the Entrance called Main Street USA. There is a train station to Fantasyland's place if you want to have a ride and go directly to Fantasyland. But if you want to get on foot then get a map at City Hall (guest relations) in Main Street. So you'll know where you are going.
I recommend on your first day to watch all the theater attractions first like the Golden Mickey (Located at Fantasyland NOTE: This is in Putonghua or Chinese Language but there is an ENGLISH translation at the RIGHT SIDE of the stage), Philharmagic (At Fantasyland. Show runs 20 mins) and Festival of the Lion King (Adventureland) so you could have time and enjoy all the rides and picture-taking the next day. Usually, theater show runs 45 mins.
If you're bringing along kids there are certain height requirements at Tomorrowland (Buzz Lightyear's place) so take note of it. Look at the guide map for this. The theme park also has novelty stores for keepsakes and shopping. You could buy 4 items for the price of 100 HKD.
It's just small as they say compared to other Disneyland theme parks it's not what some adults might expect because of the rides but it can make a kid really happy. You could explore it in just one day. It opens at 10 AM by the way. The hotels also offer a lot of activities. Just ask for a guide also from the cast members (staff).
NOTE: Be guided by the price of the theme park tickets. They are usually pricey during HOLIDAYS (i.e. Christmas season), and WEEKENDS considered as PEAK SEASONS. Refer again to the official website of Hong Kong Disneyland and browse their calendar. You could also look for the activities there so you could plan ahead.
The best months to go is when it's cool like November-April. Because it's cold, you'll enjoy walking around not feeling the heat of the sun. The months of June-August are pretty hot since it's summer, so you need to bring umbrellas, water (for hydration), caps, sunblock lotion with a higher SPF. Bring also an extra shirt to change since you'll get wet from your sweat if it's too crowded.
UPDATE: Since this blog was written a few years ago, the prices are not the same. Check Google for the changes in the park amenities and rates or the official sites I mentioned for their prices.
Samuel on February 20, 2015:
Hi Jesse, Thanks a ton for the detailed infoimatron. Very useful for budding photographers like me. Are any Specialised shops for USED SECOND HAND LENS (canon), I am planning to buy 600mm or 800mm Lens for my 5D Mark III. Can't afford to buy new lens.Is there any other alterations or suggestions for 800mm canon mount since i am interested in Bird Photography. Your help is much appreciated. Thanks
Eva on February 17, 2015:
Disney is too tiny but i think Ocean Park would be nice for kids.The museum is open for three on Wed. There is like aronud five of them .You can go to Stanley and Lamma Island, or like Sai Kung, Lantau those are typical place for tourist . You can buy a lot of nice souvenirs Hong Kong have nice nature too on suburban areas, you can swim, sail or rock climbing.There is a lor of shopping mall in the downtown and tons of exotic food you can try out .-Habour City i remember they have those really nice antiques and Persian Carpet. Like about a year or two ago-Time square are nice sorted out, you might like the HK hippness in here.-Causeway Bay to Wan Chai, YauTsimWong (Yau Ma Tei, Tsim Sa Tsui and Mong Kok) is where some of the nice store on the planet located.If you addicted to religion, you will find nice Cathedral, Mosque, and temple in downtown. Plus there is a huge statue of Budda, which is like the largest on the world or somthing:)Legislative Building is not bad too, the airport is just so nice.Ummm, the Peak, the Tram, Subway Double becker, the SumJengSiuNgo , the Ferry, the market, the goldfish street where is in Mong Kok,plus those mall big and small, and yea the one make HK famous, the night view acorss the houbor.Have a nice trip I guess it it depends on what you really want, personally i dont find it hard if you have a defined goal to do in HK.And yea, they speak pretty good English too, just ask gently and use simple words and you guyz will be fine there are't a lot crimes aronud.