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Hong Kong Disneyland vs Shanghai Disneyland

Better park?


  • Total voters
    40

J4546

Well-Known Member
ive never been to either, but I feel like shanghai is way bigger. and it has treasure cove, which on video looks like the greatest area in any disney park.
 

Robbiem

Well-Known Member
I’ve not been to Shanghai but I was disappointed by videos I’ve seen. The park looks like it has some impressive rides but a hit too big and soulless

hong Kong was great. The park and the setting with the mountains are beautiful and the cast were so friendly. It was so laid back and less stressful than other resorts. If it was built out it could well be my favourite resort
 

PiratesMansion

Well-Known Member
Shanghai is more unique and impressive, and there's very little there that's outright bad (Crystal Grotto being the notable exception). There was clearly a level of ambition and consideration that doesn't always register in Hong Kong.

That said, the fact that it's such a departure from the other Disney parks, often marketed as a selling point, can also make the park feel soulless, or at least like it's not a "real" Disney park. It doesn't feel like anything else, for good or ill.

Hong Kong Disneyland has gotten a lot of flack over the years for being undersized and (for a long time) having nothing original, but there's a certain something about it that doesn't register until you're there that makes it easy to underestimate. It is perhaps the most beautifully landscaped resort of all of them, and I love the way they do Halloween, totally different from anywhere else. I do worry about the long-term viability of the resort, but to their credit, their financial struggles have never been as obvious to the guest as it was in, say, Paris.

Shanghai has a better roster of headliner attractions, but Hong Kong has a better supporting lineup. Neither are perfect, but they each have their advantages. I'd rather go back to Hong Kong, so I suppose I will call it the "better" of the two, but really they complement each other and there's very little experiencial overlap. If you had the best of Hong Kong and Shanghai in one park (as both are undersized, attraction-wise), it'd really be something special.
 

Robbiem

Well-Known Member
To people who have been to both do the local guests affect the feel in the park? When I visited Hong Kong there was a definite difference between the attitude of Hong Kongers and mainland visitors
 

steve76

Member
I’ve been to both (HKDL a few times and SDL once, for two days). On paper SDL is the clear winner - much, much bigger, more attractions. But honestly I prefer HKDL. It is beautiful, has an amazing natural setting, is utterly charming, almost cozy, and definitely has that Disney magic. It now also has a couple of really good, unique attractions (Mystic Manor and Grizzly Mountain among the best in the world).

SDL, by contrast, is so big that it takes forever to get anywhere, and it means that there are large areas of the park that are more or less empty. The parts I was most excited for leading up to the opening (the gardens in the centre, the Voyage to the Crystal Grotto) are completely underwhelming and don’t add much charm, which is what the park is sorely lacking. I missed Main Street and the train. Fantasyland is uninspired. The park does have some fantastic rides, like Pirates (amazing - although I would have preferred if they had left in an animatronic-heavy town scene), Tron (so much fun, but far too short) and the ropes course (great fun, very different to anything else, lots of options, soaks up a decent amount of time). But as a complete package it felt to me like it lacked something essential. It’s fun, and worth seeing, but it’s lacking in magic and charm. The master plan is also odd - with their version of Downtown Disney off to the side (the opposite side of the entrance from the train station, where most people would enter from) so it’s perpetually dead. And the Toy Story hotel off to one side.

However I will say that my view is probably influenced in part by the crowds. My non-holiday weekdays at SDL we’re absolutely heaving, and, despite having an impressive roster of attractions, there is not enough there currently to absorb the crowds, so it did feel like hard work (even after forking out for the paid fastpasses). (Their opening procedure was an absolute mess as well). Every time I’ve gone to HKDL it’s been quiet, so I never had to worry about attraction strategy or Fastpasses or anything like that. It felt like an intimate experience. If HKDL was busy then that might affect my view.

The attitude of visitors hasn’t really been an issue for me at either park - I’ve seen much better and much worse at the other parks around the world (OK maybe I haven’t seen worse at Tokyo!).

Ultimately HKDL is intended to be primarily a locals park - somewhere you go on a day off, or on a Sunday afternoon - and for that, it’s perfect. SDL is clearly looking to emulate WDW so when it’s more built out, with a second park it should be much better.
 

mandstaft

Well-Known Member
I’ve been to both (HKDL a few times and SDL once, for two days). On paper SDL is the clear winner - much, much bigger, more attractions. But honestly I prefer HKDL. It is beautiful, has an amazing natural setting, is utterly charming, almost cozy, and definitely has that Disney magic. It now also has a couple of really good, unique attractions (Mystic Manor and Grizzly Mountain among the best in the world).

SDL, by contrast, is so big that it takes forever to get anywhere, and it means that there are large areas of the park that are more or less empty. The parts I was most excited for leading up to the opening (the gardens in the centre, the Voyage to the Crystal Grotto) are completely underwhelming and don’t add much charm, which is what the park is sorely lacking. I missed Main Street and the train. Fantasyland is uninspired. The park does have some fantastic rides, like Pirates (amazing - although I would have preferred if they had left in an animatronic-heavy town scene), Tron (so much fun, but far too short) and the ropes course (great fun, very different to anything else, lots of options, soaks up a decent amount of time). But as a complete package it felt to me like it lacked something essential. It’s fun, and worth seeing, but it’s lacking in magic and charm. The master plan is also odd - with their version of Downtown Disney off to the side (the opposite side of the entrance from the train station, where most people would enter from) so it’s perpetually dead. And the Toy Story hotel off to one side.

However I will say that my view is probably influenced in part by the crowds. My non-holiday weekdays at SDL we’re absolutely heaving, and, despite having an impressive roster of attractions, there is not enough there currently to absorb the crowds, so it did feel like hard work (even after forking out for the paid fastpasses). (Their opening procedure was an absolute mess as well). Every time I’ve gone to HKDL it’s been quiet, so I never had to worry about attraction strategy or Fastpasses or anything like that. It felt like an intimate experience. If HKDL was busy then that might affect my view.

The attitude of visitors hasn’t really been an issue for me at either park - I’ve seen much better and much worse at the other parks around the world (OK maybe I haven’t seen worse at Tokyo!).

Ultimately HKDL is intended to be primarily a locals park - somewhere you go on a day off, or on a Sunday afternoon - and for that, it’s perfect. SDL is clearly looking to emulate WDW so when it’s more built out, with a second park it should be much better.
This is exactly what I've sensed when comparing the resorts.
 

amjt660

Well-Known Member
Hello
I visited both in 2017
HKDL reminds me of Anaheim in being smaller and an easy quaint one day park
SDL was only 1 year old and was big / bold/ and wanting for more attractions to fill it out.

I enjoyed going to both and would go back to either if given the opportunity

No poll pick from me - and apple and an orange in my opinion.

Max
 

DisneyDean97

Active Member
Not to get political or anything, but Shanghai Disneyland just doesn't feel like a Disney park because it lacks the Americana that Disneyland was built on... and this was 100% done by design. China obviously doesn't like the west or our ideals, so they wanted to cleanse the park of that, hence no Main Street USA, no train and no Frontierland. To me, without those elements it just doesn't feel like a Magic Kingdom park.
Mickey Avenue lacks the charm and motion Main Street USA captures. Perhaps the idea of a Mickey Avenue would have been better suited in a second gate.
And yes, Hong Kong Disneyland also doesn't have a Frontierland but they added Grizzly Gulch, which checks off the Frontierland box, albeit its basically Frontierland lite.
 

egg

Well-Known Member
Not to get political or anything, but Shanghai Disneyland just doesn't feel like a Disney park because it lacks the Americana that Disneyland was built on... and this was 100% done by design. China obviously doesn't like the west or our ideals, so they wanted to cleanse the park of that, hence no Main Street USA, no train and no Frontierland. To me, without those elements it just doesn't feel like a Magic Kingdom park.
Mickey Avenue lacks the charm and motion Main Street USA captures. Perhaps the idea of a Mickey Avenue would have been better suited in a second gate.
And yes, Hong Kong Disneyland also doesn't have a Frontierland but they added Grizzly Gulch, which checks off the Frontierland box, albeit its basically Frontierland lite.
No train, but a train station. The park isn’t supposed to appeal to us primarily, and I think the problem is that it’s not creative enough to do it’s own thing. Mickey Avenue is not distinctly Chinese, it’s distinctly mediocre.
 

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