So with Korean thanksgiving coming up again we decided we'd fly out and have a quick visit to Hong Kong Disneyland. I had always heard from others who visited about 5 years ago how small it was and how it was the kiddiest of the Disney Parks, however with Mystic Manor, Grizzly Gulch and Toy Story Land since then I was extremely keen on seeing how much had been expanded. I'm glad we went we found the park phenomenal, however I think my girlfriend liked it too much though, she actually would rather return here than Tokyo
I will still claim to my dying breath that Tokyo will always be the disney for me no matter how busy it is and she openly admits it's the best one just not the one she wants to visit the most
She did give some reasons though:
Maybe we've just been lucky with the days we went but she just really loved the fact that it wasn't too difficult to stroll up to see a parade or get a good spot for the fireworks, the lines never seemed to hit over 30 mins (except autopia and the parachutes), actually got to see the shows and generally if you wanted to meet 1 of the characters in their pavilions in fantasy land or a princess was spotted around the park you could easily stroll up and meet them within 10- 15 minutes. I think she was just also really sold on how instead of a mad fastpass rush with crazy crowds and shoving like our last trip to Tokyo, you could stroll around the park in the opening hours book up a reservation for the retaurant and get in half the park before the lines started to get anywhere near higher than walk-on. She thinks that when we have a child it would be best to return here over any of the others. She just found Hong Kong as a park where we could take the day as it comes whereas when we did Tokyo even when we were just enjoying the park we still were constantly being stuck on tight schedules to optimize flashpasses or beat crowds. She openly admits it's not the best Disney (that still goes to Tokyo) but she just found this the only one out of all of them where she just felt she could be "washed over by the atmosphere" just stroll around the park and do rides as we pleased and bump into disney characters (they still had meet and greet areas but the lines were so tiny it really did feel like you'd just stumbled out of a restaurant and bumped into Buzz as opposed to the 30min-hour waits we've encountered on most other trips for princesses/greetings).
I get what she is saying since between us we've done all the Disney parks and this is the first one where on one of our days we have just done the whole park as we pleased but I don't think anything will ever knock Tokyo my must return to spot (although who knows how Shanghai will turn out
Since the park was so quiet, I took a lot of photos. I'll break them into 4 parts with parts 1 & 2 today and parts 3 & 4 tomorrow.
Part 1 is Toy Story Land & Mystic Manor.
I really enjoyed these lands, Toy Story Land was the first place we hit since most of the crowds seemed to be not heading there, although I wanted to do Mystic Manor first I had no idea how quiet the park would really be and was worried RC Racer would have a long line later in the day since it was the only credit without single rider.The area is stunning with all its bright colours and Rc Racer was a lot of fun but there generally wasn't that much reason around the land for us, we rode the flats although the 45 minute wait for Sarges parachute drop wasn't worth it when we revisited and when we rode we got a view of not much.... I'd love to see a Toy Story Mania go here just so Hong Kong has the Toy story set. It was really weird seeing the coaster and flat going round half empty but all the people standing in a full line for the parachutes.
Mystic Manor was an incredible dark ride, I rode this so many times and all the effects where incredible. However though its one of my favorite dark rides I wasn't as fascinated by the trackless parts of the ride as I thought i'd be. Even when the cars joined up for the chinese tornado room at the end your eyes are so focused on the effects that except for the first and last room and when another car came to join up with us before heading to the tornado room I completely forgot about it, that's not a bad thing since I'm sure that's the point but there was never that insane how on earth is this possible moment like the Pooh disco room or most of Aquatopia. I just like moments where those two rides really show off what the trackless system could do but then I'm the guy who dreams of seeing a Radiator Springs indoor ride where all the trackless cars share one giant main room of the town with the main road and then divert off into rooms of the different shops before coming back to the main room between each one. Basically i'm just hoping for an indoor giant version of aquatopia where there are trackless cars everywhere
Maybe one-day we'll start to see trackless animatronics driving around or interacting with the riders on these trackless rides.