Nobody Does It Better
No, not the Carly Simon song but, believe it or not, Disneyland.
I’ve done my share of Disney bashing but after visiting Hong Kong Disneyland yesterday, I must admit the Disney organization does some things better than anyone else.
I Love a Parade
I went to the park on a cold, blustery day with my family, including my four year old granddaughter. We had a wonderful experience in spite of my initial “Bah, humbug” attitude. I’ve been to Disneyland in Anaheim and Disneyworld in Orlando and I had forgotten the incredible attention to detail that Disney puts into every little thing at the park so that the guest experience is complete – metal railings made to look like bamboo or wood, public music appropriate to each area of the park, little touches like an abandoned old rusty Range Rover near the Jungle Ride, the Disney characters wandering around, etc.
Is everything perfect? Of course not. The park is very small, the smallest of all Disney’s parks with only 13 attractions plus the parade and fireworks. We were able to do the entire park and all the rides and shows in 8 hours – 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM. Granted it was a Wednesday and even slower because of the weather but if anyone is planning on two days at the park, forget about it. There isn’t enough to fill two days. If you’ve visited other Disney parks you won’t find much new or exciting, here. Disney admits they chose popular attractions from other parks to create the Hong Kong version.
It seems obvious, that Disney has targeted Mainland, Taiwanese and other S.E. Asian tourists who are unlikely to go to the U.S., Japan or Europe. For instance, almost all the restaurants serve Asian food at fairly reasonable prices and in Asian quantities. I found the basic entry fee of HK$295 (US$38.00) with concessions for children (HK$210) and Seniors (HK$170) to be an excellent value. I don’t know where in the world one can get a full day’s worth of professional entertainment for anywhere near that price. We spent more on dinner that evening in a casual Central District restaurant than the total entry cost for the five of us.
My granddaughter was often thrilled, even frightened a couple times and totally worn out at day’s end. When asked what her favorite thing was, she quickly answered, “The parade.” Her second choice was the Lion Kong Festival. Her least favorite was Space Mountain, just too much for a four year old. I was also mightily impressed with how my 43 year old son got into it. He has been to many theme parks, having been brought up in California, but he thoroughly enjoyed the day and at times reminded me of the little boy I took to Anaheim Disneyland 38 years ago.
You can access the Hong Kong Disneyland Website for much more information. Enjoy!