Two Magical Days at Hong Kong Disneyland (Fall 2016)

Let me start by saying that we are not “Disney People,” or, at least, we weren’t. While we had talked about taking the kids to Disney before, it was never really a travel priority. When we were planning this trip, though, we knew that we wanted to incorporate some special activities for the girls, as traveling this far and for this long is a lot to ask of a 3 and 6 year old. So, C and I secretly made plans to go to Hong Kong Disneyland, and we kept it from the girls for months. In fact, we didn’t even tell them that we would be going to Disney until the night we left South Korea for Hong Kong. Of course, they couldn’t wait!

On our second day in Hong Kong, we slowly made our way over to the Sunny Bay Metro

Mickey Metro

Station, where we hopped on the special Disneyland metro line. As we were early (which never, ever happens with us), the train was almost empty and we were really able take in all of the Disney-related touches on board.

Since we got to the park early, we had to wait in a short line for it to open. While we were waiting, some of the staff came over to ask if we would like to be the family that opens the gates to Hong Kong Disneyland for the day. Um, sure! They ushered us to a special waiting area, and then we got to go inside the gates and wait for Mickey and Minnie to arrive for their morning meet-and-greet. We took zillions of pictures with them and then it was time for N and W to turn the magic key and open the park! This was a pretty amazing experience for the girls, and it made them feel sooo special. It was a great start to a wonderful day!

Once we got into the park, we continued to be impressed. Lines were short (no longer than 10 minutes) and with the exception of Space Mountain and another rollercoaster, for which W was too small, we were able to ride on all of the rides as a family. Even the rollercoasters accommodated families, allowing us to all wait in line together and then to do a “parent swap” so that C and I could take turns staying with W.

N was most excited about the rides, particularly the rollercoasters that her little sister couldn’t go on.  W was all about the character meetings, which came as a bit of a surprise to us. (She really, really wanted to meet Cinderella, but, alas, we never managed to catch her.) We met princesses and Toy Story characters and Star Wars legends. When W met R2D2, she got all giddy and told him, “I saw you in the movies and I have a water bottle with you on it!”  While the lines for the characters were sometimes longer than the lines for the rides, the characters took their time with each and every kid. They posed for pictures, asked questions and really let the kids enjoy their time with them.

The day ended with a fabulous firework display and a plan to return later in the week.

Our second day in Disney was just as “magical” as the first. We explored parts of the park that we didn’t get to see the first day, and we really focused on meeting princesses, since W was pretty adamant/adorably excited about meeting them, and N, although slightly less fired up about it, was also really enthusiastic about chatting with all of her favorite characters.

On our second day the girls also were invited to be part of two special events: a dance party and a parade. About a dozen families were invited to participate in these events, so fast forward to us “dancing” down Main Street behind Mickey and Minnie! Again, this was a really special opportunity and hopefully something they will remember fondly when think back on the trip.

Our two days at Disney were definite highlights of our trip, not just for the girls but also for C and I. From the shows to the rides to the general atmosphere, everything was meticulously orchestrated and the girls felt like they really were part of a magical world. While we weren’t Disney people when we started, we are definitely fans now.

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