In my previous post about Lantau Island I failed to mention one major tourist attraction also situated on the island…Disneyland! Hong Kong Disneyland opened in 2005 and is quite possibly one of, if not the smallest of all the Disney resorts. Its small size didnt prevent us from having a fantastic time, in fact it probably contributed to our magical day!
For starters there were literally no lines to any of the rides! Every ride we went on, apart from 2, had a sign saying wait time was 5-10 minutes, however more often than not we walked straight on. The longest wait I think was about 30 minutes, although being the last ride of the day it felt like a lot longer, sadly the ride, Autopia, was the least favorite (I didn’t actually go on this ride, I sat out with Clio which is probably why it felt like it took forever!). Later in the week a local told us that all the kids started back at school on the day of our Disney visit so this quite possibly attributed to the lack of crowds. Secondly, because the park was small we managed to fit just about all the rides in, if we had wanted to I am positive we would have been able to do them all. Lastly, all but 2 rides Eden was able to go on! I would say that if you are after more thrilling rides you may be a little disappointed by Hong Kong Disney, for us it was perfect!
We actually didn’t pay for our Disney tickets which was a definite deciding factor in choosing Disney over one of the other parks in Hong Kong like Ocean Park. We cashed in some credit card reward points and got 2 adults and 1 child private transfer to Disney, entrance into Disney and train tickets home. Since Clio is under 3 she didn’t require a ticket. Thank goodness because the rest of our day at Disney definitely took a chunk out of our Hong Kong budget! We arrived moments after the park opened and within meters of entering we made our first purchase…sunscreen, the smallest bottle of sunscreen you have ever seen which came with a pretty big price tag; $20USD, eek! That will teach me for leaving the sunscreen back at the hotel.
We headed towards Tomorrowland and did our first ride; Orbitron! This was Clio’s first ever ride and she loved it! Then came our next purchase, some much needed refreshments. We had arranged to meet some friends, also living in Okinawa, at Fantastyland so we wandered over there and happened to bump into the one and only Cinderella along the way, who was the one princess Eden had hoped to meet. It was so sweet watching her meeting her then favorite princess (it changes daily) until she got so shy and ended up rubbing the outrageously priced sunscreen into her eyes!
Clio fell in love with the teacups which we rode just prior to meeting our friends and then again later in the day. There were tears when we eventually tore her away but they didn’t last too long as she was mesmerized by Its a Small World! Our day pretty much followed a similar pattern, ride, refreshments, ride, refreshments until we finally sat down for a delicious but still Disney priced lunch.
All the kids thoroughly enjoyed playing and getting soaked at the Geyser Gulch which brought some much needed relief from the hot Hong Kong sun. Us adults used the opportunity to take turns at going on the Runaway Mine Cars!
Eden surprised us by asking to go on Space Mountain, which she shockingly meets the height requirements for. We warned her it would be dark and scary but by then she had caught the adrenaline seeking bug. Matt rode with her and she either covered her eyes the entire time or made Matt do it so she could hold on! While there were no tears I think she may be put off roller coasters for while.
Much later in the day, as we were preparing to head home, we came across Sleeping Beauty! We also realized that Mickey was close by too so we gave Eden the choice of who she wanted to meet knowing we wouldnt have time to meet them both. It was a tough one for her; while she wanted to meet Mickey again to recreate a moment they had back in Paris where she kissed him on the nose she had also never met Aurora. In the end Aurora won. She spent a good 5 minutes with the girls, playing hide and seek to get them to loosen up enough to pose for a photo, which of course we had to buy because I am a total sucker for souvenir photos!
We left before the parade but we did manage to fit in a Mickey shaped waffle before we hit the road. Disney was a success and while I knew Eden would love it I was so pleased that Clio enjoyed herself also.