home > Hong Kong Disneyland Resort > Trip Reports > April 2015 Day 4
April 8, 2015 - Day 4- Hong Kong Disneyland

Started off the day spending some time in the room and posting pictures/videos from yesterday and then heading out to explore the Disneyland Hotel a bit.  Had a couple of false starts this morning…  had to go back to grab a camera battery and then rain gear but eventually got on my way walking by the dock and then over to Disneyland.  We arrived a few minutes before park opening and headed for City Hall to take a tour of the park.   We were booked on the Disney Spectacular Tour which occupied the next three hours.  We walked up and down Main Street talking about the park and the street a bit then strolled into Tomorrowland.  First stop was Buzz Lightyear.  Then went for two trips on the Autopia before moving on to it’s a Small World for a cruise.  Walked through Fantasyland and stopped by Winnie the Pooh then continued on into Toy Story.  Went on the Toy Soldier Parachute Drop and Slinky Dog Spin.  Continued on to Mystic Manor and then some went on Grizzly Gulch.  Stopped by the Jungle Cruise for a daytime voyage and then headed back to Tomorrowland and bid farewell to our tourguide and hello to lunch at the Starline Diner.  After lunch it was back to Adventureland for Festival of the Lion King.  Then back to Main Street for the Flights of Fantasy Parade.  After the parade made a quick walk back to the room to get some warmer clothes then returned to the park and walked through all the stores on Main Street USA and took some pictures.  Then wandered through Adventureland and was just about to board a raft to the Treehouse when it started to rain.  Since my rain gear was with the others and not me that meant a quick walk to a covered spot near Main Street.   My group showed up with rain gear for me and we set off to Fantasyland.  Paid a visit to Philharmagic and then walked through Fantasyland and into Tomorrowland.  On the way the announced Paint the Night was cancelled due to weather.   Ate dinner at the Starline Diner since it was not crowded and then went for a spin on the Orbitron.  At this point the returned to Main Street and the rest of the group headed back to the room.  I wandered around the hub and Sleeping Beauty Castle taking pictures then walked out to Mystic Manor for back to back rides before returning to Main Street for the Disney in the Stars fireworks.  About two thirds the way through the show the skies opened again.   I stuck out the show then walked back to the Disneyland Hotel to dry out and call it a night.

Thoughts & Observations
  • This morning I was up bright and early again, which meant a couple hours to do some posts then time to wander around the hotel before heading over to the park for a 10am opening.   We walked along the water and then through the park Promenade to reach the park this morning.  Again almost no people out and it was after 9am.  I guess most guests do not like getting up early? 
  • We arrived at the park about 15 minutes before opening and Main Street was open to walk around.  Mickey and Minnie were meting guests in Town Square too.
  • This morning we had the opportunity to experience a guided tour.  We did the Disney Spectacular Tour.  It is a private tour of the park for up to six guests and lasts approximately three hours.  They tailor the tour to fit your tastes and you are given direct access to most attractions, reserved seating for the shows and parades if you wish, as well as a pix set at the end of the tour.   Along the way your guide will answer questions and share stories/information about the park and attractions.  

    My goal on the tour was to learn more about the park, history, hidden nuggets, and unique aspects.   Attractions were secondary to me since we had several days to see them.  Also I opted not to do the shows since we had Magic Access passes and could see those any time.  I also opted not to use the reserved parade viewing location because of where it was at the very beginning of the route and I wanted to be where the show stops were.  

    In our three hour block we circled the park and visited 9 attractions,  due to me asking questions and taking pictures.  We could have pushed through several more attractions if that would have been our goal.   The wait times at most of attractions were minimal so instead of 10-15 minutes we were waiting a cycle.   It did save us substantial time on the Autopia (instead of 45 min we waited only a couple and I did back to back rides). 

    The cost is about $600 USD plus park admission.  To learn more about the tour or book it here is the official page - https://www.hongkongdisneyland.com/tickets/tours/

    I found having a cast member on hand to answer questions was a great experience.  She knew the backstories and some details about the attractions.  She also had some basic Disney history/facts.   We talked about the park and how it compared to others and I filled in some stories that I knew too.   From what I gathered most guests who take the tour really use it to visit the attractions.   I seemed to catch our hostess off guard saying I wanted to start on Main Street USA at the dedication plaque and walk the street.  She was already heading to Tomorrowland and we had to back track.

    The two questions I know many are thinking of asking… would I recommend it and is it worth the money.   The answer to both is it really depends.   If your time in the park is limited and you want to experience as many attractions as possible this would definitely be a way to do it.   Also if you want to know more in depth about the park/attractions this tour will give you some of that, but it is not as in depth/history specific as some of the WDW or Disneyland tours.  So it really depends on your situation and interests if this would be a good fit for you.
  • Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters is very similar to the Anaheim version of the attraction.  The space cruisers, guns, and many of the targets are the same and same locations.  I was able to score fairly well even though I was taking pictures and talking with our hostess.  Unfortunately due to the Iron Man work there is no Fast Pass right now.

  • Autopia consistently seemed to have the longest wait times in the park.  They have three tracks.  I experienced one track twice.  I choose to go on the track that has the elevated section over Tomorrowland.  I believe this is also the longest of the three.  The others seemed to curve around in the same area but they do not go out into Tomorrowland.    The electric cars were a fun change of pace.  They were so quiet to drive around in.  The ride was smooth from a drive train point of view but the track or car suspension made it rather “bouncy” as you will see if you watch my video.

  • It’s a Small World in Hong Kong is offset in the back of the park.  You go under the train track to get to it.  The façade is very similar to the Anaheim and Tokyo ones.  The attraction is completely inside, the boats do not sail around the garden outside.   Also interesting to note the exterior has lights year round.     The attraction itself was the first to be designed to have Disney Characters throughout and because of this I thought the integration was much tighter than in Anaheim where they were added after 40+ years.    I also thought the signage as you entered each room saying which region you were entering was a nice plus.    In terms of unique scenes the Americas section features the USA with the Golden Gate Bridge, Statue of Liberty, Pocahontas & friends as well as Canada with totem poles and a Mountie.    In Asia there are also more scenes including Hong Kong.    Length wise it was slightly shorter than Anaheim and I believe longer than Orlando.

  • The only dark ride in Fantasyland in Hong Kong is The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.  Also note it is one of two FastPass attractions that were in operation when we were there the other being Space Mountain).    The ride is very similar to the Orlando version of the attraction with the addition of an onride photo.

  • We experienced a couple of the attractions in Toy Story Land (opted not to do the RC Racer one).   The land is growing on me a bit.  The attractions felt like filler but are nicely done and the props, etc.. around the land are fun to see.  I usually avoid anything with a drop but forced myself to go on the Parachute Drop to get some pictures.  In the end I thought the pictures were decent but I was not going a second time.

  • I had some time to explore a mostly empty Explorers Club due to it just opening and the rest of the group taking a restroom break.  I was really impressed with the size and detail of the location.  The dining rooms had a lot in them and it was great to walk around and explore. 

  • Since we had a little time left in our tour we decided to give the Jungle River Cruise a daytime trip.  The skipper we drew was substantially better and the fact that you can see made the day time trip much more enjoyable and I would recommend it over a night cruise.

  • We decided to have lunch in the Starline Diner.. not sure why but we ended up there.  I decided to give a burger a try and I can report it was not very good, even by theme park standards.   I should have gone with the chicken as another in our party did, she reported it was not bad, so I made a note of that and did return for dinner and it was better than the burger.  Note: I discovered on a later day the burgers in Fantasyland were substantially better at the Royal Banquet Hall.

  • The Festival of the Lion King show takes place several times a day  in Adventureland in a theatre in the round setting very similar to Disney’s Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World.    We had a Magic Access Platinum Pass (Annual Pass) which entitles priority seating at the shows.  Basically a FastPass so you can bypass the line and have first choice of the seats.  This was a great perk!   All you do is when you show up at the theater show the cast member your card and they direct you to a separate place to wait then into the theater.

    The show itself was very well done with similar floats and costumes as the Orlando version.   This version focuses more on the story of the Lion King and has more narration to that effect.  Interesting the primary singing and narration are in English but they do have some monkeys speaking Chinese for those who do not know English to fill in the gaps I assume (I do not know Chinese so no idea what they were saying).  Also this show had more dance routines and less of a variety show feel than the Orlando version.  

    Overall I really enjoyed the show and I kept saying I was going back for a second showing but the timing never lined up.. I always seemed to be somewhere else or have something else I wanted to see.

  • I waited for the daytime Flights of Fantasy Parade in the hub with a backdrop of the castle and mountains.  It had been a long time since I had seen a parade from curb level.. I tend to stand usually and after seeing my pictures and video I wish I had for this one too.  The parade itself features two show stops.  The first has the lead unit about the Castle and the last unit at the beginning of the route then the second is on Main Street.    I thought the parade itself was about average for a Disney parade.  The music reminded me of Soundsational with the rhythm and feel. I am not a huge fan of show stops and this has one. They always seem chaotic to me and just break the flow of the parade to do guest interaction in the middle of a parade.

  • I spent some time roaming around Main Street USA and taking pictures.   Overall they felt very much like their counterparts in other parks.  Nothing jumped out to me.  The only general  merchandise note is the lack of hats, shirts with the resort name/logo on them.  There were only a couple of choices.    There were some Mystic Manor and Paint the Night offerings but not a lot of Hong Kong Disneyland Resort ones.

  • Went and saw Philharmagic, the show is the same as Walt Disney World.  The theater seemed smaller to me.

  • In the mid afternoon the cool weather turned cold and rain blew in.  This made for a damp evening and the cancellation of Paint the Night Parade again.  So I am zero for two now.

  • In the evening I had some time to kill before the fireworks so I went out to Mystic Manor and went for several rides.  I found it funny on my first ride through the Cast Member remembered me from yesterday and asked how many time I had been through (at that point only 3 or 4).    For my last ride through of the evening I had the Manor to myself.  No one was in the queue, preshow, or on the ride with me.  It was just me and the cast members.  Kind of an odd feeling but made it easier to get some pictures and video.  The time before there was another couple with me.   I found this odd given it was only 8:30pm and not really that late.  But I guess the rain and cancellation of Paint the Night caused many to leave already and those who remained were on Main Street waiting for the fireworks. 

  • After my second ride I took a couple exterior pictures then had 10 minutes to get to Main Street and find a spot.  I ended up in the hub with a great view behind those that were seated.. I showed up less than 5 minutes before show time.   The show started right on schedule and all was going well.  I was recording it and taking some stills then about 2/3 the way through the show the skies opened and everyone in front of me stood up and I had to quickly put up an umbrella.. so there is a several second gap in my video.

  • I walked back to the Disneyland Hotel in the pouring rain on the deserted walkway at 9:30pm..  it felt substantially later with the lack of guests and the cold/rainy weather.

Pedometer Stats
Miles 10.2
Steps 27,154
Moderate Steps 16,271
Moderate Steps/Time 146
Part I: Morning Tour of the Park

This morning we tour the park visiting all the lands and a good number of attractions.

Part II: Afternoon/Evening at the park

We pay a visit to the Festival of the Lion King, catch the Flights of Fantasy Parade and dodge the rain this afternoon/evening while visiting several attractions plus a more in depth look at Mystic Manor.

Autopia Spotlight

A closer look at my first Autopia Experience in Hong Kong including pictures and then a video of my second ride through.

Related Links From This Trip

Daily Summaries & Pictures: