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Trip Report Want a stress free Disney vacation? Go to Hong Kong!

Discussion in 'WDW Trip Reports' started by Kiwiduck, Mar 10, 2017.

  1. Kiwiduck

    Kiwiduck Well-Known Member

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    In June 2016 I went with my father to Hong Kong Disneyland for two days/three nights following my brother’s wedding in Koh Samui,Thailand. I thought I would put a trip report here in case people were tossing up making a trip and were wanting some information, or even for those who are just interested in hearing about the non-American parks. I found the whole experience to be fun and so much easier than either Disneyland or Disneyworld and I would recommend any Disney parks fans who are travelling to Asia to pay a visit. We spoke to a few Australians who were breaking up the long-haul to and from UK/Europe with a quick stopover in Hong Kong Disneyland, so for people from my part of the world it is an especially convenient option.


    Arrival Day 22nd of June 2016

    On this day we flew from Koh Samui to Hong Kong via Bangkok. Here is a gratuitous shot of the wedding venue which was stunning. My brother and his new wife were blessed with the only dry, blue sky day we had while there.

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    We arrived in Hong Kong at around 6pm and took a quick and cheap taxi ride from the airport to the resort. It was extra cheap for me as Dad paid for it as I had no Hong Kong money yet!

    We were staying at the Hollywood Hotel, Hong Kong’s 2nd tier hotel (there are only two, soon to be three). The cost of the room fell somewhere between a moderate and a low level deluxe resort at WDW and I thought it was beautiful and great value. There were lots of Disneyfied art deco details around the property and rooms.

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    The wifi was good, the beds were comfortable and the room was quiet. I didn’t take any photos of the room as I didn’t want Dad to think I was a weirdo! It included 4 bottles of water a day and 4 pairs of slippers as well as nice soaps and shampoos. There were also these lovely cup sets which included three cups and well as a variety of toiletries. These got squirrelled away in the suitcase and replaced each day.

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    The only area in which the hotel fell down was the availability of food options. The “quick-service” style place was closed at night so there was only a full service expensive lounge and the buffet restaurant. We waited in the lounge to be served for such a long time that we actually just got up and left.

    We had a quick look around the grounds. It was shockingly hot and humid despite the late hour and we were tired from travelling so we didn’t wander too far. We ended up watching the fireworks display from the carpark. I bought some hugely overpriced ($25 NZ/$18 US) seven dwarves tsum tsum style hair bands in the little shop in the hotel as I was still in the mentality of thinking in Thai Bhat which is 25.5 to 1 NZ$ rather the Hong Kong dollar which is 5.5 to 1 NZ$. They are a cute way to tie up your hair in the parks but definitely not worth $25.

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  2. Eckert

    Eckert Well-Known Member

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    Excited to see this develop!
     
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  3. Kiwiduck

    Kiwiduck Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    1st park day

    Thankfully we got to sleep in this morning as the park didn’t open until 10.30am (and closed at 9pm). We started the day with a quick bite to eat at Hollywood and Dine, the quick service place that was closed the night before. The meal was fine but I regretted not getting something in the park instead. The custard tart and mango pudding were both average, although the pudding had the advantage over the tart due to being Mickey shaped.
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    I raced through breakfast as I realised the park would be opening in only 15 minutes and I had no idea how long we would have to wait for the bus from the hotel. I needn’t have worried as there seemed to be more buses waiting to take people to the park then there were people to be taken to the park. In fact, we never waited for a bus from the hotel the entire time we were there, even when we returned to the park after our afternoon breaks.

    Once at the park you walk past the public transportation centre and down a long esplanade with lots of lovely landscaping, a welcoming sign and a beautiful fountain starring Mickey surfing on the water from Monstro’s blow hole. It would be a great addition to the esplanade between Disneyland and DCA or my front garden!
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    This is Dad acting goofy!
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    Actual surfing Goofy
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    There was no wait to go through the turnstiles or security so we managed to get from sitting having breakfast to standing in front of floral Mickey in only around 20 minutes and that included time taking photos of the fountain.

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    We didn’t linger too long on Main Street as I was on a mission to get to Mystic Manor. Main street was very much like Disneylands in scale and appearance but the green mountains backing Sleeping Beauty castle and the thick humidity really give the feeling of having stepped into an alternate universe. It reminded me a lot of the scene in Fringe (miss that show!) where they travel to New York in the alternate universe and things seem very similar but there are giant blimps in the sky.

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  4. Kiwiduck

    Kiwiduck Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    Thank you - I normally waffle on endlessly in my trip reports but because I am writing most of this one so long after the trip I will have no choice but to be more brief!
     
  5. Jess G

    Jess G Well-Known Member

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    looks amazing!
     
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  6. amjt660

    amjt660 Well-Known Member

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    Yeah!!
    Another Kiwi duck TR
    I am def following along
    Although I bet you knew I would

    Love the pics so far

    Max
     
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  7. Kiwiduck

    Kiwiduck Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    It really is an amazing park. Can't wait to go back one day.
     
  8. Kiwiduck

    Kiwiduck Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    Thanks Max. Are you still deciding between Hong Kong or Shanghai this year?
     
  9. Kiwiduck

    Kiwiduck Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    We found our way to a tunnel area that marks the entrance to the new areas of the park (Grizzly Gulch, Mystic Point and Toy Story land) and found ourselves being held there for a little while as those areas didn’t open until 11am. If you can spot the guy in the grey t-shirt you’ll get a good idea of how humid it was!

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    Despite official warnings to not “stampede” the cast members looked on as everyone stampeded as soon as the rope was dropped. Dad and I were too hot to join in so we just accepted that runners would beat us to the ride. But to my delight every single one of the people ahead of us turned into the mine car ride in Grizzly Gulch, meaning that we were the very first people to get to Mystic Manor. The mansion and surrounding area were breathtaking but we left the oohing and ahhing for later and headed into the ride.

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    We walked through an empty queue area that contained a few of Lord Henry Mystics artefacts.
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    We then enter the pre-show room which had rich wood paneling, velvet burgundy curtains and ornate lights. Here we meet Lord Henry Mystic and he tells us about his mansion tour showing the artefacts and antiquities he has found on his travels around the world. His new artefact is a music box which may possibly be magical and so is best left unopened. He also introduces us to his friend; Albert the monkey. Surprisingly the narration was all in English.

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    A few other parties joined us for the pre-show. A group of young girls who had obviously ridden before stood in the best spot to race ahead and be the first to ride, but Dad and I were still in the first lot of cars sent into the ride (they send 4 cars at each time). The first scene takes place in an artefact sorting room. Lord Mystic pops in and is confused about Albert’s whereabouts. We see that he is actually in the room with us and he mischievously opens the music box despite warnings that trouble might ensue.

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    Magic flows out of the music box and starts bringing the objects to life, delighting Albert. We begin our tour of the different artefact rooms in the Manor. The artefacts become more menacing as the ride progresses and Albert starts to realise he may have made a mistake opening up that music box; perhaps he should have listened to Lord Henry after all! Thankfully he is able to put the magic back in the box and all is well in the end.

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  10. ajrwdwgirl

    ajrwdwgirl Well-Known Member

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    Looks pretty awesome!
     
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  11. Kiwiduck

    Kiwiduck Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    Continued
    This ride exceeded my high expectations for it and would have made my trip worth it even if everything else in the park had been awful (which it wasn’t – it was great!).
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    It was as detailed and exciting as I expected but more importantly was charming and fun, mostly due to the antics of Albert the monkey. Albert just had so much character and adorableness and he is now favourite Disney character. I would have a hard time picking an absolute favourite ride, but it is at least equal in my view with the Haunted Mansions, Disneyland’s Pirates and Radiator Springs Racers which are my favourite rides.

    The ride discharged into the gift shop which was actually a big disappointment. I had read that there was a lot of unique Mystic Manor and Albert merchandise but there was next to nothing. About half of one stand had Mystic Manor merchandise most of which were just key rings (one of which I ended up buying the next day due to the lack of any other options) and a few small cheap looking plushes. There were a few mystical music boxes hidden away in the side of the stand but the one they had on display was plasticy and broken. I would happily have spent good money on a book, poster, print, quality plush, gift tin or whatever, but was forced to keep my credit card in my purse for lack of anything to bankrupt myself with.

    I would have loved to buy copies of either of these:
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    We immediately re-rode again with no wait and I lost count of how many times we rode this over the next two days. This contributed to the fact that despite the park being small and apparently not having enough to occupy even 1 day, we did not get everything done in two days. The photos are all from one of the later ride-throughs after I had ridden often enough that I felt I could “waste” a ride through looking through a camera lens.

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    After taking some photos of the manor we back-tracked to Grizzly Gulch to ride the Big Grizzly Mountain runaway mine cars (I had to google the name of this attraction!!!). Again we waited only a few minutes, the crowd of people who had headed here at opening had now dispersed. This ride was another home run. This is like a new and improved Big Thunder with bears. I really enjoyed the banking turns and the backwards portion. It was very smooth, we weren’t jostled around in our seats at all. There were lots of great details to look at while riding but I wasn’t able to photograph any of them as I was too busy hanging on for dear life.
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    Dad found the ride a bit overwhelming so we only rode it the one time but it was a definite win even for him. I had been a bit scared that the backwards section of the ride would make me feel sick as I felt nauseous and faint after riding Everest last year but it was absolutely fine. I think from memory that Everests backwards section is followed immediately by quite a long section in the dark and I think that is what caused my issues on Everest.

    The grizzly gulch area was amazing as well, I loved the geysers it but took me until my second visit to the area to realise that the mountain was actually shaped like a bear!!
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    After this we back-tracked again and headed back through Mystic Point to Toy Story Land. It was OK; It didn’t really offer much of a sense of being in some kids bedroom like it’s supposed to, but it had some fun details when looked at in isolation.
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  12. amjt660

    amjt660 Well-Known Member

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    Yes I am still deciding
    My business travel is not finalized.
    I have a 1.5 week trip in May but it only allows for 1 "free" weekend so I will probably stay in Japan
    Sept - Dec could need 2 trips of 2-3 weeks so those are the ones I will target.
    Not sure if I will use a weekend (perhaps HK) or tack a few days onto the end of a trip (Shanghai).

    Max
     
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  13. amjt660

    amjt660 Well-Known Member

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    I agree that I would love to have this fountain in my front garden
    It would take up my entire patch of grass but it would be cool

    I speak for all of us Dads out there - what he did in that picture is mandatory - he is just following the Goofy Dad Rules !!!

    Max
     
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  14. amjt660

    amjt660 Well-Known Member

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    Mystic looks amazing!!
    Great pics and explanation of the ride

    Max
     
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  15. Mrhappyplace

    Mrhappyplace Well-Known Member

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    I'm skeptical I will ever make it to Hong Kong so thanks for letting me look at the park with you!
     
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  16. Kiwiduck

    Kiwiduck Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    My dad takes his goofiness obligations very seriously! A non-stop stream of puns. I was pleased to see him enjoying himself though, he is vision impaired and not that into Disney so it was a good thing he was having fun.
     
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  17. Kiwiduck

    Kiwiduck Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    Thank you for following along, hope you enjoy the rest!
     
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  18. MySmallWorldof4

    MySmallWorldof4 Well-Known Member

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    That is a beautiful view of the castle. I am amazed that there seems to be so few people there!
     
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  19. PacNWTigger

    PacNWTigger Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for sharing HKDL with us. I would love to be able to visit ALL of the parks one day. I have WDW, DLR, and DLP under my belt so far...I just have to travel East next time. :D
     
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  20. amjt660

    amjt660 Well-Known Member

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    Kiwi
    I went back and checked your arrival date and it looks like your park days were mid week
    Does HK have the same pattern as TDL - less busy mid week and packed on the weekend?

    Max
     
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