Hey, fellow Explorers! Welcome to the continued edition of our winter trip report, which has taken us from Shanghai, Shanghai Disneyland, Macau, and Ocean Park! Now, it’s time to share our story from Hong Kong Disneyland — and I know some of you are thinking “finally!”
This is the first of 2.25 days at Hong Kong Disneyland. The theme of this post is “experience,” since I am terrible at planning (ironic, isn’t it) and visited the park on a day where Mystic Manor was closed. This was an experience in itself, and you’ll find out how we coped with not having Mystic Manor (I am being rather melodramatic.)
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Alright, enough gabbing. Let’s get to our experience at Hong Kong Disneyland without Mystic Manor! Don’t forget to pair this with our Ultimate Guide to Hong Kong Disneyland for the best advice in planning your trip.
Experience of Getting to the Resort from Within Hong Kong
The plan was to wake up around 07:00 and get to Hong Kong Disneyland around 09:00 to give us some wiggle room before the park opened. But, as everyone knows, things never go as planned. We checked out of the Ovolo Southside Hotel — which I recommend, by the way — and made our way to Hong Kong Disneyland.
It took about an hour and 20 minutes and was easy to navigate. I am a fan of the transportation in Hong Kong, as I don’t find it as overwhelming as Tokyo. The only downside is when you get to Admiralty Station, you need to walk a bit to Hong Kong Station. It’s not bad by any stretch, just if you have a lot of luggage, it’s a bit cumbersome.
During the peak hours — from what I can tell — they have people asking you to use the elevator if you have large luggage. So half our party (Bryson and Troy) had to use the elevator, which ate up a good 10 minutes.
But after our trip, we made it to Hong Kong Disneyland Resort and took the resort bus just outside the station to the Disney’s Hollywood Hotel. Our room wasn’t ready, but we dropped our bags and ran to the park to get the chance to ride Iron Man.
I recommend buying a preloaded Octopus card to use on the metro. That way, you don’t have to figure out how much your route is and buy a ticket each time. It saves you tons of time and reduces stress.
2-in-1 Meal Ticket Experience
Our affiliate Klook offers a 2-in-1 meal ticket for $HKD 138 ($18 USD), which is perfect for a day at Hong Kong Disneyland. You get a single meal with a beverage, plus another snack or drink from one of the carts anywhere in the park.
Once you get your voucher from Klook, you must redeem it at the ticket windows before entering the park. If you have multiple vouchers, you can have one person collect them all.
The voucher is only valid at the following restaurants: River View Cafe, Royal Banquet Hall, Explorer’s Club Restaurant, Clopin’s Festival of Foods, Tahitian Terrace, and Starliner Diner.
If you want your money’s worth, I recommend the Explorer’s Club Restaurant or River View Café, as the meals are more expensive here. Then get yourself a snack with the other part of the coupon. What you save depends on what you get, so go for the most expensive option each time, like popcorn or ice cream!
Iron Man Experience, Experience
Before visiting with our friend Tony Stark, we used the 2-in-1 vouchers at the Starliner Diner in Tomorrowland. Now, on average, I don’t care for the burgers in any Tomorrowland restaurant — I am speaking to Tokyo and Shanghai, as I don’t remember from the other Disney parks enough to comment.
But the cheeseburger at the Starliner Diner is quite good for a theme park burger. The fact that Iron Man’s face is grilled into the burger is also a plus.
The wait time for the Iron Man Experience was sitting at around 30-40 minutes by the mid-afternoon. Our first ride we used a FastPass (which is not used anymore. It was used for the opening).
We took our time to take in the painstaking detail of the queue (the FastPass line wasn’t moving that quick either). I am not a huge Iron Man fan, but I can appreciate the amount of effort that went into the queue. One of my favourite parts was a curved video screen explaining the technology behind the self-repairing glass (you’ll see why when you ride).
There’s a small-scale model of Hong Kong with an illuminated Stark Tower which has Tony Stark giving some snarky commentary. Halfway through the queue are multiple service vehicles, which make sense after you go through the entire experience.
The Iron Man Experience uses the same ride system as Star Tours, so if you’ve done Star Tours, then you know what to expect. I found the ride smoother but for a few points: you get thrown around a bit due to what’s happening on the screen. I became rather motion sick while on Star Tours, but I didn’t have any issues with Iron Man, for what it’s worth.
Overall, our Iron Man Experience experience was a positive one. It’s nowhere near the best attraction in the park (that crown still goes to Mystic Manor, followed by Big Grizzly Mountain Runaway Mine Cars). But it adds another much-needed attraction, and I think it’s fun to see what Disney will do with Marvel. I wouldn’t skip this one.
Since the FastPass distribution was temporary for this attraction, I suggest making this your first stop of the day, as the queue can reach up to 30 minutes even on the slower days.
Mickey and the Wonderous Book Experience
A visit to Hong Kong Disneyland is not complete with at least 2 viewings of Mickey and the Wondrous Book. Since Bryson is a Platinum Magic Access Member, he is able to reserve our seats ahead of time online, which eliminates the need to queue at least 30 minutes before the show. It does fill up, though, so get there early.
Each time I watch this show, I can’t help but smile (and maybe shed a tear or four). The dancing, singing, and Disney movies they chose are top-notch. It’s the type of show that is similar in quality to Big Band Beat. For the record, nothing beats Big Band Beat, as that is one of the best shows at any Disney park.
I get goosebumps when I think of Tiana and her “Almost There” musical number. Seriously, if you want to have the complete Hong Kong Disneyland experience, then you have zero excuses to not see this. Check the times, and I suggest to try to get into the afternoon shows after you complete all the must-do attractions.
Hong Kong Disneyland Snacking Experience
Hong Kong Disneyland isn’t well-known for its snacks, but they do have some diamonds in the rough. My goal this past trip was to try as many snacks as possible and document it for your viewing pleasure.
After we finished up with Mickey and the Wondrous Book, we wandered over to Toy Story Land and rode R.C. Racer, followed by a short break to try this pineapple slush and vanilla ice cream with churros. The slush itself is quite nice and perfect for the hot and humid weather of Hong Kong (even in the spring it was around 22°C or 72°F).
In my infinite wisdom, I didn’t record the ice cream with churros in it. But I did manage to take a photo, so that’s better than nothing, right? The flavours are nothing special, but the packaging sure is themed appropriately. Both of these are available in Toy Story Land. I was disappointed that my taste buds could not relive the experience of that delicious Mango Dole Whip Soft Serve — it wasn’t available when we were there.
My First Lucky Nugget Experience
This was the only day out of the trip where Mystic Manor was closed. Let me tell you, walking through Mystic Point and knowing I was unable to bask in the glory that is Mystic Manor is tough (I may be a tad dramatic). That didn’t stop us from having a wonderful time on Big Grizzly Mountain Runaway Mine Cars, Hyper Space Mountain, and once again, the Iron Man Experience. I had to keep myself busy so I didn’t get upset about my favourite attraction being closed.
Someone out there must have heard when I said, quite loudly for some reason, that I never see the Lucky Nugget open. The past two visits it’s been closed. Well, as luck would have it, it was open! So I had to get something to eat there to see what it’s all about.
The main three items they serve with chips (french fries for those of us from Canada and the US) are fried shrimp, fish, or chicken. They also have bottled drinks and two salads (caesar or pasta salad with Italian dressing). As you can guess, it’s nothing special, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t good. If you’re in need of a chicken nugget and fries experience, then the Lucky Nugget is the ticket.
Reserved Viewing Experience
Another vital experience at Hong Kong Disneyland is Paint the Night, which is always a brilliant time. Whenever I hear the song I get a tad bit emotional from all the good memories of my visits to Hong Kong Disneyland. Once we finished painting the night, we went to our reserved viewing area for the “Disney In The Stars” fireworks show. Again, since Bryson is a Platinum Magic Access Member, he has the privilege of booking a reserved spot for the fireworks show.
The experience of having a centre view with plenty of elbow room is wonderful, and if you’re able to do this, I can’t recommend it enough. Of course, you can still get a great view outside of this reserved area. It’s quite easy to get a good spot along the side of the hub area. To view in front of the castle, you’ll have to get there a good 30 minutes early.
Pizza and Drinks at the Studio Lounge Experience
Our first day at Hong Kong Disneyland wasn’t complete without a pit stop at the Studio Lounge at Disney’s Hollywood Hotel — shoutout to my Studio Lounge brethren. I think it’s the perfect way to unwind after a long day at the park. While it’s a bit on the pricey side, the cocktails go down easy and the pizza I tried was quite delicious. Plus, there was a hidden Mickey in the pasta. Being in Japan for so long, you tend to crave halfway decent pizza, and this delivered.
Overall, the day was long, but even without Mystic Manor, it was still a fantastic experience.
Planning your trip to Hong Kong Disneyland? Read our Ultimate Guide to Hong Kong Disneyland to learn everything you need before your trip. Including how to get discount park tickets, where to eat, and where to stay! To learn more about the Disney Parks in Asia, sign up for our weekly newsletter to get the best in advice and updates sent right to your inbox!