If you’re traveling from North America to anywhere in Asia chances are you have a long layover in Hong Kong. Why not go to Disneyland?
Hong Kong is a bustling island metropolis on the coast of mainland China and the easiest gateway to Asia and Southeast Asia. Hong Kong airport is a huge flight hub for the region, which makes flights into the city cheaper than to other Asian areas. You may find yourself with a long layover in Hong Kong and no idea how to spend your day.
Do you go out to see popular tourist sights like Victoria Peak or Kowloon? Recover from an interrupted sleep schedule in one of Hong Kong’s 5-star hotels? Spend a few hours shopping for your favorite international brands at one of Hong Kong’s many upscale malls?
If you have a Hong Kong layover of 8 hours or longer you should definitely go to Disneyland.
Commonly referred to as the Happiest Place on Earth, Disneyland isn’t actually just one place. You can find regional Disneyland parks around the globe which offer the same trademark magic and joy the original in known for in California.
Experiencing the magic of Disney worldwide is one way for die-hard fans to keep the experience fresh and fun, and it also provides an opportunities for guests living in different regions of the world to visit a nearby park for the first time.
Whether you’ve been to Disneyland California 100 times or have never set foot in a Disney theme park, you’ll find Hong Kong Disneyland a beautiful, fun place to spend an afternoon.
Here are 5 reasons why you should go to Hong Kong Disneyland if you have a long layover in Hong Kong:
1. It’s easy to get to Hong Kong Disneyland from the airport.
Hong Kong has amazing public transportation, which includes a clean, fast, reliable train system. If traveling from the airport to Disneyland you don’t need to worry about catching a Taxi or bus to get anywhere. Just roll right onto the subway system and be on your way!
Here are directions to get from the Hong Kong airport to Disneyland by train:
Step 1: Buy metro cards (called Octopus cards) from the 7-11 or MTR station inside the airport. (Note, both will charge cash for the cards, and only the MTR station will issue children’s discounted cards.)
Step 2: Leave the airport by taking the Airport Express Train to Tsing Yi Station (the next station)
Step 3: From Tsing Yi Station find signs for the Tung Chung Line/ Disneyland Resort Line. Take this train towards Tung Chung and ride until the Sunny Bay MTR Station.
Step 4: At Sunny Bay change to the Disneyland Resort Line. This train only has 2 stops: Disneyland park and Disneyland Resort. If you’re only going to the park you’ll get off at the Disneyland Station.
Even though you ride 3 trains, which can be frustrating and take time, the train from Hong Kong airport to Disneyland still only takes around 30-40 minutes. It will cost around $60 Hong Kong Dollars per person.
To return to the airport from Hong Kong Disneyland just reverse these steps and then return your Octopus card for a refund of any remaining funds at one of the various MTR return kiosks.
2. You can check your luggage at the park.
If you’re checking into another airline for your next flight you don’t have to worry about staying with your luggage at the airport: just bring it with you!
A luggage storage facility is available to visitors coming straight from the Hong Kong airport before you even enter the park. Drop off bags of any size with a concierge who will take great care of them for you!
3. Hong Kong Disneyland doesn’t open until after morning flights arrive.
Hong Kong Disneyland opens at 10:00 a.m. It takes around an hour to arrive from the airport and walk in from the station, which means you don’t miss any early morning fun if you wait until 9:00 a.m. (at the earliest) to head in. So if you’re flying on a red-eye into Hong Kong and arrive in the morning you can head straight to the park and still make it in time to run to each ride as they open! (Don’t tell me we’re the only amusement park addicts who wait for the park to open then run from ride to ride to be the first ones on…)
If your flight arrives mid-morning or in the afternoon, you still have plenty of time to enjoy the park before it closes at 9:00 p.m.!
And if you find yourself getting tired after a few hours (since you were on a red-eye from who knows where and, presumably, human) don’t worry about missing stuff when heading back to the airport because of point 4!
4. There’s lots of space.
We visited Hong Kong Disneyland the week before Christmas, which we hear is the absolute busiest time to be in the park. The longest we ever waited for rides was 25 minutes, which many more being available after only 5-10 minutes. Good friends of ours were there just a few days before us, though, and practically walked on to every ride. Sounds too good to be true, right?
Others tout the space of the park as one of the biggest selling points of visiting Hong Kong Disneyland, and, after spending a ton of time at other Disney parks, I’d have to agree. The beauty of a clear Disney park is twofold: you don’t get claustrophobic from being shoulder-to-shoulder with angry tourists and impatient kids, and you don’t waste time waiting in lines.
When you’re on a long layover in Hong Kong you’ll want to make the most of every minute, which Disneyland allows you to do!
5. Hong Kong Disneyland is still an awesome Disney park.
Just because it’s in Asia doesn’t mean Hong Kong offers any less Disney Magic. Hong Kong Disneyland features the same classic rides you’ll find in California such as Mad Hatter Tea Cups, Cinderella’s Carousel, and It’s a Small World. You’ll also walk down Main Street U.S.A. (Main Street Hong Kong?) with it’s trademark gift shops, snack foods, and hanging flower baskets on your way to Hong Kong’s version of Cinderella’s Castle.
While there is plenty to remind you of other Disney parks, Disneyland Hong Kong offers a few special attractions you’ll only find here.
Grizzly Gulch, Hong Kong Disneyland’s Wild West-themed section, features a new roller coaster, the Big Grizzly Mountain Runaway Mine Cars. Similar to Disney World’s Everest roller coaster, Grizzly Mountain carries passengers on mine cars in and out of a cave (backwards and forwards!) as raucous animatronic bears control the mine tracks. We found the ride smooth, thrilling, and very well decorated! With only a 5-minute wait, it was even worth riding multiple times.
The Iron Man Experience in Tomorrowland was the other Hong Kong standout. Up to 50 guests fit onto an Expo Edition Iron Wing, which then takes passengers on a 4-D trip around the Stark Industries headquarters and it’s home city, Hong Kong, as you fight enemy Hydra’s in pursuit of your Iron Wing’s arc reactor.
The ride isn’t even the best part of the Iron Man Experience. This is one of those attractions where the waiting queue is as interesting as the experience, itself. While it was great to walk onto the Iron Wing as many times as we wanted, I actually wished our wait was a little longer so I could spend more time ooooooohing and ahhhhhhhing over the Stark Industries toys (including a full-sized Iron Man suit!) on display inside the building.
Buy tickets to Hong Kong Disneyland before arrival here.
What you should know before visiting Hong Kong Disneyland:
1. Hong Kong Disneyland general tickets:
A 1-Day Single Admission Ticket costs $619 Hong Kong Dollars ($79.05) for ages 12-64.
A 2-Day Admission Ticket costs $699 Hong Kong Dollars ($89.27). The 2 entrances can be used any 2 days within a 7-day period.
Tickets can be purchased online through Hong Kong Disneyland’s official website or in-person at the park. If bought in advance, an e-ticket will be e-mailed to you with a barcode which you’ll need to print off or show at the turnstiles for admission to the park.
2. Park Hours:
Hong Kong Disneyland is open from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. daily.
HK Disney offers a variety of attractions and parades with individual schedules. Download the official Hong Kong Disneyland app to see a complete schedule of attractions to help plan your day.
3. What’s allowed and not allowed at the park:
-Selfie Sticks are not allowed at Hong Kong Disneyland. You will be asked to check it at the luggage valet if found in your possession upon bag inspection.
-Nothing which resembles or could be used as a weapon, including toy guns. This is important if you’re traveling with a little cowpoke who wants to bring his Woody gun inside the park.
-No masks can be worn by anyone over the age of 16. Sorry, this is not the time to dress up like your favorite Monsters Inc. character.
-No food, alcohol, cans, or glass containers.
-No strollers over 92 cm.
-Cameras and small tripods
-Strollers, wheelchairs, and service animals
-Children’s dress up
4. Using the Hong Kong Disneyland App
We highly recommend downloading the Hong Kong Disneyland app before entering the park. Look over the map and attractions on the train as a way to get familiar with the park and plan your day.
The app gives a lot of helpful information! Use it to find a map of the park to help you find each of the 7 sections easily, to see a list of attractions and shows, find out which attractions may be closed, wait times, and height requirements.
5. Disney Character Sightings
Use the app to locate where different characters are stationed throughout the day and when they’re available for photos. In general you’ll find:
Adventureland: Moana and African Disney Friends at Karibuni Marketplace,
Fantasyland: Tinker Bell at the Fairy Tale Forest
Main Street U.S.A.: Anna and Elsa at Royal Princess Garden, Chip and Dale, Pluto, and Goofy at Main Street, Daisy and Donald at Town Square, Mickey and Minnie at Main Street, Princess Aurora at Royal Princess Garden, Sofia the First at Royal Princess Garden, Snow White at Royal Princess Garden
Tomorrowland: Iron Man at the Iron Man Tech Showcase, R2D2, BB-8, and Chewbacca at Star Wars: Command Post
Toy Story Land: Buzz Lightyear, Jessie, and Woody at Barrel of Fun
6. Languages Spoken at Disneyland
The main language spoken at Hong Kong Disneyland is English. Signs will be written first in English, then in Chinese and Japanese. Music on rides (such as It’s A Small World) is in English, and dialogue in shows is in English (with secondary characters re-telling the story in Chinese.)
When walking around the park employees will wear a badge indicating if they speak additional languages.
Planning a trip to Hong Kong Disneyland during your long layover? Pin this article for later!
*This article was sponsored by Hong Kong Disneyland. We received complimentary tickets in exchange for promotional consideration, but this does not influence our opinions.*