Hey, Explorers! Welcome to the continuation of our winter trip report to Shanghai and Hong Kong Disneyland! Yeah, it’s late spring now and almost summer; no one said I was quick. If you haven’t already, you can read the past days for Shanghai here, here and here. Also, you can check out my write-ups for Ocean Park in Hong Kong and Macau.
In my last write-up, I didn’t plan well and had to do a full day in Hong Kong Disneyland without Mystic Manor. But we made it work and survived the day (I am being melodramatic, of course). You’ll be happy to know that this next day Mystic Manor was in full operation and we rode it many times (it’s a rite of passage for first timers).
The theme for this day is “PhotoPass+,” as we took full advantage of their simple-to-use system. I’ll explain how the system works as I take you through our day.
Now, let’s get to our day at Hong Kong Disneyland! Don’t forget to read our Ultimate Guide to Hong Kong Disneyland to start planning your trip.
Whenever I share a hotel room with anyone, I am almost always the first person to wake up. Not sure why this is, but it may be something to do with the fact that I want to get myself ready to go before everyone else. Since there were 4 of us in the room at Disney’s Hollywood Hotel (watch our room tour), it’s nice to have the first shower and relax instead of rush.
I told the boys — who were still laying in bed half asleep, may I add — that I wanted to take photos and video in and around the hotel and I would meet them at the park. (I ended up being taking photos of the Disney Explorers Lodge from afar since it wasn’t opened by this point).
A PhotoPass+ Type of Day
Bryson swears by the PhotoPass system, and I have always been “whatever” about it. We got the PhotoPass+ option, which allows us to download unlimited photos from the Hong Kong Disneyland PhotoPass App.
The price of PhotoPass+ is normally HK$398 (~$51USD), they had a deal on which gave us a discount (I can’t recall the price but it was worth it). There are other options available, so check out the PhotoPass website.
How it works is you get your photo taken by a Cast Member and have them give you a PhotoPass card. For the rest of your day, you can have other Cast Members scan your card to add any new photos they take to it. This is also valid for attraction photos (Hyperspace Mountain and Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh). You then scan the card into the PhotoPass app and voilà! It’s that easy.
We took a variety of photos throughout the day, some of which turned out well, while others not so much. Since they are all digital, it doesn’t really matter.
Overall, if you can get it at a discount then the PhotoPass+ is worth the price (especially if you split it between everyone). It’s a fun way to capture the memories without having to use your own camera (the Cast Members will use your camera, too, if you prefer). The app is simple to use and downloading your photos is easy.
My only complaint is the poses get repetitive after a while. There’s only so many times you can “hold” Tinkerbell in your hand. A larger variety of poses would make this worth it even more. But if this is a once-in-a-lifetime trip, then it’s worth the splurge.
Clopin’s Festival of Foods
It was a late start to the day, so we met at the park around 12:00 and rode RC Racer and Mystic Manor. We decided on lunch at Clopin’s Festival of Foods. The past few visits it has never been open, so I wanted to give it a try.
It serves a variety of rice bowls that is heavy on the seafood side, with a few other items that feature pork and chicken. I had the BBQ Pork and Marinated Chicken Leg, which was less than stellar. The flavour was bland. Don’t feel bad if you skip this place; you aren’t missing much. The theming doesn’t feel “Disney” in the slightest to me either.
While we were eating, a Cast Member came to our table and asked us if we wanted to order a drink or a salad (she had a couple caesar salads on a tray, ready to go). I thought this was an interesting tactic. It worked, as two of us bought caesar salads (which were miles better than the rice bowls).
It’s something I haven’t experienced at another park before. I don’t mind it as if we forgot something we didn’t have to go back and order it. She also mentioned we could order other small items from the menu. I never thought to ask if we could use a credit card to pay, but we did use cash.
An Afternoon of Entertainment
After lunch, we ran from one show to the other. First was Festival of the Lion King, followed by the Flights of Fantasy Parade, and topped off with another viewing of Mickey and the Wondrous Book.
While the light was still in our favor, we took more photos in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle (who knows how long we will have the chance to get these photos before its transformation). The Cast Member who took our photos was excellent and made for a fun mini photoshoot.
It’s Not All Fun and Games
If you’ve been following along on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, you’ll notice that it’s not all Mystic Manor and relaxation. There are times throughout the day where I record videos, take photos and research for our planning guide. I don’t usually share this aspect of our trips, but I figured I would just so you can get an idea of what goes on behind the scenes.
While everyone took a short break, I went into “work” mode. I made my way over Main Street U.S.A. to record a couple of merchandise videos. Then I made everyone become my cameraman and give me a bite of their ice cream so I could talk about it on camera for you all.
An Evening of Entertainment
For the rest of the evening, we rode the Iron Man Experience (about a 30-minute wait), Big Grizzly Mountain Runaway Mine Cars, Jungle Cruise, Space Mountain, and finished off the day with Paint the Night and the fireworks show. I stopped counting how many times we rode Mystic Manor (it was a good 4-5).
Late Night Buffet at Chef Mickey
In an odd turn of events, none of us had dinner while in the park (not sure why). Chef Mickey over in Disney’s Hollywood Hotel offers a late night buffet exclusive for Hotel Guests after 21:00 at a reduced rate (Silly me forgot to take note of the price).
The buffet offers a large variety of food and you’ll be sure to find something you’ll enjoy, from chicken nuggets and french fries to sushi to Iron Man-themed desserts. You can’t go wrong. If you’re okay with eating late (I don’t eat this late on a normal day) then this is an excellent option.
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