Saturday, 14 June 2014

Hong Kong Disneyland: a short getaway destination for lil' Disney fans

This travel post is written by Candice who blogs at MissusTay. She travelled to Hong Kong Disneyland with her husband and her petite travellers, master T (3 years) and missy T (2 years) in May 2014.

This holiday is suitable for parents who do not want to travel too far to give their kids a Disneyland experience.    

Hong Kong may not exactly be a child-friendly holiday destination, but Hong Kong Disneyland ain't too bad! 

Moving Around

There are plenty of transportation options available to get to Hong Kong Disneyland from the airport. We were advised by the nice people at the airport that cab is the way to go for the four of us, one huge suitcase and one twin stroller.

Resort shuttles are available for in-house guests from the two hotels (Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel and Disney's Hollywood Hotel) to the Disneyland Resort Public Transport Interchange, which is located about 10 minutes walking distance from the theme park.

Parents do not have to worry about how to store the strollers when using the resort shuttles. These resort shuttles are huge coach buses that have plenty of storage space at the bottom of the bus for luggage and big items.

The Park

Hong Kong Disneyland is probably the best Disneyland to start with for those who haven’t visited any before. The size of the park is definitely more manageable. We had about 1.5 days of time to spend at the park but were prepared to not cover the entire park should either of my difficult children try to be well, difficult. But surprise surprise, we managed to cover all the lands in less than 2 hours when we did a leisure walk through the park and even took a boat ride!

There is however, only one Baby Care Center located inside the park – next to the Main Street Corner CafĂ© on the Central Plaza. There are a few diaper changing stations and some cubicles for moms to nurse their babies in private inside this Center.

The Rides

Because my 3yo is not the adventurous sort (yet) and my 2yo is limited by height, we didn’t get to take many of the rides in the different lands. It may seem a tad wasteful since we were already there, but hey, it doesn’t matter as long as they were enjoying their time with us! And trust me, it is WORSE when they are overtired. So always go at their pace!

The Disney Characters

Besides the usual Disney characters located at different lands in the park for visitors to meet (and queue for photo-taking), there are surprise appearances of other Disney characters at any part of the park. We have seen Rapunzel appearing around Main Street and Tinker Bell around Fantasy Land.

Despite the long queues for interested visitors to take pictures with the characters, I love that the characters take time to interact with the visitors. I had a bad experience with one of the characters at Warner Bros’ Movie World in Australia when I visited years ago – he was nudging me to leave after taking a picture! Not impressed at all.

For Disney characters that can speak for themselves like Tinker Bell, they would chat with the group of visitors who are having their turn with her to take pictures. There was no hint of rushing through the motions and they made sure every one in the group gets to take a picture with her. I was blown away! 

For those who can’t quite speak like Chip & Dale, they would try to play with you and enthusiastically put up different poses! No hint of rushing through the motions either! Very professional, I must say. 

One of the best add-ons in our booking was the breakfast dining with Disney characters at the hotel we stayed in.  Similar to the experience at the park, the Disney characters at the restaurant would spend some time interacting with the guests at each table and ensuring everyone gets a nice photo with them. See, children of my kids’ age don’t do queues very well. So this worked out great as we didn’t feel compelled to queue to take pictures with the characters at the park and we could get pictures with some of the Disney characters in the comfort of an air-conditioned restaurant with plenty of food and drinks to fuel us up.

In conclusion, Hong Kong Disneyland makes a great destination for a short getaway for the little Disney fans without the pain of a long flight!

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