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Days #6-7: Hong Kong

Note: as mentioned here, I’m only posting this over 3 years later w/ minimal clean up edits.

Well, sort of “Hong Kong,” if I’m being honest…

We spent these two days at Hong Kong Disneyland, which admittedly seems like a waste of at least one day. However, there are good and valid reasons for this:

  • The protests / riots in Hong Kong led me to want to avoid the city, especially on the weekend when an election was being held.
  • Our flights were originally scheduled to only leave Shanghai after noon on Sunday — so, we expected to have minimal time in Hong Kong on that day.
  • Disney was running an insanely cheap promotion that enabled us to get a two day ticket for almost no more money than a single day admission.
  • We planned to leave Hong Kong early on Tuesday anyway in order to enable us to visit Macau overnight.

So, my logic was: let’s just stay on Disney property, reduce any risks of getting caught up in violence, and take advantage of the cheap second day that evening.

Then our flights changed (a couple of times actually — not sure what was going on with China Eastern), which had us arriving in Hong Kong closer to mid-to-late morning. So, that’s how we ended up with two Disney days instead of one.

The park itself is small in scale compared to others. It’s also very well planned with good flow between areas (despite significant construction going on). Crowds were rather light on Sunday (little to no queue for most attractions) and nonexistent on Monday (when every ride was basically a “walk on” without a wait). The girls had an absolute blast, and I actually enjoyed myself too on both days (which pleased me, as I thought the second day might put me in a bad mood — I hate “wasting time” on vacation). We’ve also all now been to every Disney theme park in Asia (visiting them all worldwide has become a goal, especially for Libby).

Our hotel, Disney Explorers Lodge, was a bit more of a mixed bag. The outdoor and indoor public areas are very nice. The room was rather basic, not wildly comfortable (overly firm mattresses and no chair aside from one by the desk), and thus objectively the worst of our trip (which is a bit unfair given the quality of hotels). However, the accommodation was serviceable and a fair enough value (thanks to deep discounts to attract wary visitors).

My biggest complaint was the food at the resort. It too was generally serviceable (at best), but it seemed extraordinarily expensive relative to quality and portion sizes (more than any other spot on the trip). Disney dining options often strike me as poor value… though there are some notable exceptions (the breakfast buffet at Animal Kingdom, many of the small dishes / drinks at Epcot festivals, etc.). But, this was kind of a buzz kill… not because I can’t afford the meal… but just because I’m annoyed spending something like $9 for a bottle of still water in a place where you can’t otherwise drink the water.

By this point in the trip, we’d made it fully onto local time albeit with an “early to bed, early to rise” bias, which ultimately proved helpful given our itinerary.

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