|In front of Sleeping Beauty Castle|
I got the opportunity to visit the Hong Kong Disneyland Resort during my time living abroad in Asia. Located on Lantau Island, Hong Kong Disneyland is a scaled-down version of Anaheim’s Disneyland Park, with three themed lands: Tomorrowland, Fantasyland, and Adventureland.
My Hong Kong Disneyland visit began at the Metro station aboard a Disneyland train that had a direct stop at Hong Kong Disneyland. The train is decked out with Mickey-shaped handrails and windows and features small figures of Disney characters throughout the train. I loved the theming!
Upon exiting at the Disneyland Resort Station, Guests are greeted by a large archway with Mickey stretching out his arms in greeting. As you pass under, you can spot a large water fountain featuring Mickey surfing on top of the spout of a whale and Minnie playing with a sea lion.
We grabbed our tickets and entered the Entrance Plaza, which was decked out in Halloween décor (as I visited in October.) There are some similarities to its Anaheim counterpart, though the floral arrangement isn’t quite as elaborate.
Hong Kong Disneyland has a replica of Sleeping Beauty Castle at the far end of Main Street U.S.A. It’s hard to miss the gazebo that lies where I am accustomed to the Disneyland flagpole being. Lantau Peak loomed in the distance behind the castle, reminding me that I was not in Anaheim anymore.
|Main Street U.S.A and Sleeping Beauty Castle|
Our first stop was Adventureland, home to the Rivers of Adventure (known to us as The Jungle Cruise) and Tarzan’s treehouse. The treehouse lies in the middle of the Rivers of Adventure and requires Guests to take a ferry across. Guests have the option of selecting Jungle Cruise tours in English, Mandarin Chinese, or Cantonese. We selected the English tour and our tour guide was phenomenal – the jokes are as you would expect them to be in the States. We took the ferry to Tarzan’s Treehouse and explored while enjoying the sweeping views of the park.
|Tarzan’s Treehouse & The Rivers of Adventure|
Afterwards, we took in “Festival of the Lion King” – a stage spectacle based on the Lion King musical that is meant for a much smaller stage but is elaborately choreographed and the songs are beautifully performed.
Then we headed over to Tomorrowland, where we rode Space Mountain and Buzz Lightyear Astroblasters. Space Mountain has not been updated to match with the Anaheim version, but the Buzz Lightyear ride is almost identical. We also went to Turtle Talk with Crush, which was made available in multiple languages as well.
Afterwards, we watched the parade and went to Mickey’s Philharmagic, a show featuring 3-D effects and a number of Disney characters. The show that is currently only available Walt Disney World and not at Disneyland.
Finally, we headed to Fantasyland – where you’ll find The Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, the Teacups ride, The Flying Dumbo Ride, among others. We also went into “Mickey’s Golden Dreams” – a musical revue show that awarded Disney films in categories a la the Academy Awards .
|Mickey’s “Golden Dreams”|
As the sun began to set, we ventured back out to Main Street to check out the snacks. I came across the snack cart, which offered buttered corn on the cob, hot dog, soya chicken legs, and deep fried pork buns – a far cry from the Red Wagon Corn Dog Cart! We also found Mickey Mouse mooncakes in honor of the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival.
When the Parks lit up for the night, we found a vantage point high above Main Street at the Main Street Station to watch the Fireworks show and to see the Halloween parade roll through.
Since my visit to the Park, The Hong Kong Disneyland Resort underwent an expansion to feature three new themed lands, including Toy Story Land, Grizzly Gulch, and Mystic Point – ready for completion by Spring 2013. The photo featured here is from my attendance at the 2009 D23 Expo, which showcased the plans for the Hong Kong Resort.
|2009 D23 Expo Exhibit: Hong Kong Disney Expansion|
For Disney fans, Hong Kong Disneyland is a must-see, if only to experience the Disney magic in a different country! I am excited to hear about the changes that have been made since my first visit and hope I get the opportunity to see it again.