This is the third part of our Hong Kong Disneyland series. Today we’re talking about the characters, the tips, and the food in the park. Scroll down for more!
Since it’s only one park, it’s easy to find the characters. Another option is to book a character dining option, though there aren’t many characters in the restaurants…
*we received free tickets to the park, but the opinions are 100% ours
The Characters in Hong Kong Disneyland
One of the BEST things about Disneyland Hong Kong were the characters. They are everywhere and they’re AWESOME.
Some of the best encounters we’ve had were just random: like when we were having a popsicle and the Troopers came around, rounded on Angelo and talked to him and the kids. It was great.
Some of them have the schedule and times of appearance on the website and/or on the app, and some of them, you’ll meet by sheer luck.
The best way to know there’ll be a character there is to look around. When you see a cast member putting up the line cords, you’ll know. Just ask them and they’ll tell you who and what time. This is how we found Moana and Buzz!
Characters stop appearing at around 6 pm, so make sure you visit all of them by then! Leave some rides for later, it’s worth it!
He was great. First of all, he actually speaks English so we had a nice chat with him. He’s a family favorite, so we actually searched on the app to find him.
It’s a shame there wasn’t Shuri, but oh well. It’d be hard, I guess.
He takes the time to talk to the guests, so it’s a great character to meet!
She’s energetic and great fun – just like the Moana from the movie. We loved her! Coral (6) was happy that she spoke English, hahaha.
Tinker Bell (Fairy Tale Forest)
We went there, but we didn’t find her. It’s a bit of a maze and, well, no Tinkerbell. Haha.
She appears sometimes but we couldn’t find her, so we don’t know how she is. She should be amazing, though. The one from Disney World was.
In Main Street, USA
Princess Anna, Elsa, Cinderella, Belle, Snow White, Princess Sofia and Aurora (Royal Princess Garden)
We missed Anna and Elsa completely. First, because we didn’t find the Royal Princess Garden, then after because we thought we’d get another princess we’d already met and we gave up. Too bad. I really wanted to meet them. They show up in alternate times, so check before heading there!
There’s usually someone at the beginning of the line to tell you which princess is there but we didn’t even go to check.
Baymax and Hiro (Annex)
It was a dream, seriously. I wanted to hug Baymax and I did. He actually just stood there moving from one foot to the other, but Hiro was great. He’s exactly like Hiro in the movie and lovely. He thought Joao was a girl and he was teased after that for a while, poor Hiro. We loved it!!!
One tip is that they appear before the park opens, so you can go earlier, visit them and then go to the park!
Duffy and Friends (Main Street Cinema)
Duffy is a bear, very popular in Asia’s Disneys. We saw the huge crowds to meet it and we decided to skip it.
Mickey and Minnie, Daisy, Donald (Town Square)
When Mickey and Minnie show up, you can bet it gets full. And it was a huge line, I believe it took around an hour. We gave up, as we’d already seen Mickey at Chef Mickey’s Breakfast, so… Don’t go in the morning unless it’s before park opening hours!
We didn’t see the others there but you can bet that if there’s a line, there’s a character!
Chip and Dale, Goofy, Pluto (Main Street)
We met Chip and Dale and it was, seriously, the longest line we had. They were lovely and fun but people took their time, taking photo after photo (we saw people taking, seriously, 20 photos of them – like asking them to do this or that for each photo) and it made the lines get really long and slow. Don’t be one of those people.
It’s a long line just because there’s a whole show (in Mandarin) before you get to meet him. But it’s fun to see him (or his shadow) flying and arriving. He chats with some pre-recorded lines to the people, and we had fun listening to them.
Chewbacca, R2-D2, and BB-8 at Star Wars Command Post
I don’t know about you, but this was also something we really wanted to do. R2 actually appears a lot less than Chewie, but when we went, both were there and it was great! Coral (6) loved meeting R2 and she was beyond happy after that!
BB-8 was nowhere to be found, but I guess it’s OK.
Groot was great! Music started playing and he came around dancing, all Groot-like.
He played with the guests, and it was amazing. We loved Groot.
(He didn’t say ‘I am Groot’, though)
Toy Story Land
Buzz Lightyear, Jessie, and Woody (Barrel of Fun)
We only saw Buzz, even though we were there for quite a while. Coral said she didn’t want to meet him but oh well. He was adorable and it was great.
They don’t fall to the ground when you say that Andy’s coming, though.
Hollywood Hotel’s Chef Mickey
We met Mickey at the hotel. He comes up at 8 am to Chef Mickey’s breakfast. We arrived every day a bit earlier, but it was a good thing as we saw him coming up and he passed through all the tables waving at everyone.
Then we just kept an eye on – whenever he was free, we came around for our photo.
During weekends or public holidays, you can also have character lunch (it’s Mickey and Donald) or dinner (just Mickey) at Chef Mickey’s.
Other Disney Character Dining options at Disneyland Hong Kong
- Dragon Wind (Explorer’s Lodge) also has character dining. Ask for appearance times when you book!
- World of Color (Explorer’s Lodge) has character breakfast daily with Donald and Goofy!
- Enchanted Garden (Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel) is also famous for the character dim sums! But you’ll find the characters there too! Ask which and the appearance times when you’re booking!
Reservations can be made by phone +852 3510-6000 .
A few tips for the character meetings in Hong Kong Disneyland
- You can meet some characters before the park opens. When we were there, that meant Baymax and Hiro, Mickey and Minnie, Chip and Dale, Pluto, Goofy, Daisy and Donald, and maybe a princess. You can enter the park a lot earlier than the actual open hours (around 1 hour before) but you can only stay in Main Street USA, so take your time meeting the characters then! It’s emptier than it will be later!
- If you find a cast member putting up a line, ask. It’s probably a character. They put the line up from 30 minutes to 10 minutes before the character comes up, so see if it’s worth the wait!
- Some characters talk to you whereas others don’t. Mickey, for instance, only make gestures and Iron Man only speaks the pre-recorded lines. There’s no use taking your kid to talk to them if it’s going to break their hearts.
- Hong Kong Disneyland’s character meetings are actually great and well organized. We thought Tokyo Disney’s meetings were a total disaster and we were pleasantly surprised then.
- Some characters have their times of appearance on the website and/or the app, but some don’t. Ask a staff member if you really want to meet one of them!
- To avoid lines, Character dining is a good option but don’t expect Disney World’s variety of characters in each dining restaurant. There are, tops, 5.
- The Disney Photopass+ is good BUT there isn’t a photographer in most of the characters meeting spots. Seriously sad.
- On the other hand, cast members are happy to use your camera or phone to take photos of the encounter. Just hand it to them!
Food in Hong Kong Disneyland
Well, food isn’t really great in any of the Disney parks, is it? The best one we’ve had was in Tokyo Disney, but still, not good.
Not even the popcorn was fun – we only found caramel popcorn and trust me, we’ve wandered around quite a bit.
There are more options than Disney World (there, all we had was pizza, burgers, and hot dogs) but the food wasn’t good.
What I recommend you do is eat well for breakfast – really well – so you can just eat snacks during your day at the park. You know, popcorn, a dim sum, a popsicle.
We had decided on having breakfast only once at Chef Mickey’s because otherwise, it’d be very expensive but we ended up eating there the 2 mornings we had park scheduled because the food was good and it kept us filled for a really good part of the day.
There are some really cute foods that, yeah, you should try.
- We tried the adorable (and huge) donuts at the Bakery on Mainstreet. They’re good but very sweet and you should be able to share it between 3 or 4 people.
- The Mickey waffles were a huge hit and we ended up having it more than once. They’re everywhere.
- The egg puffs, although not as good as the ones we ate on the streets of Hong Kong, are good.
- There should’ve been an Iron Man burger, but we didn’t see it on the menu and completely forgot about it.
- The popsicles are adorable. The orange one, even though isn’t cute, was the favorite.
- The Crystal Lotus, at Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel, is the famous one with the cute Disney dim sums. You do need to order at least 24 hours before your reservation.
So, yeah, don’t expect some exquisite meals in the parks but know that the hotels have pretty good restaurants.
Parades in Hong Kong Disneyland
While we were there, there were 3 parades happening throughout the day: Disney Friends Springtime Festival, ‘Disney Paint The Night’ Parade, and Flights of Fantasy Parade.
We missed the Flights of Fantasy on both days but we saw the other 2.
- For the Springtime Festival, I recommend you go to Town Square. That’s where the parade ends and that’s where we saw Judy Hops and Nick Wilde. And all the characters took a moment there to pose for the photos we were taking, it was lovely.
- For the Paint the Night, the spot right in front of Command Post (where you meet Chewbacca and R2-D2) is an amazing place. It was relatively empty and pretty easy to get to if you, like us, enjoy Hyperspace Mountain.
- There was also the I Love Mickey projection show, which was cute, but nothing compared to the other Disney’s projection shows, to be honest. For this one, you’ll want to be at Mainstreet USA.
Hong Kong Disneyland shows
There are many shows in the park. The schedule is available on the official website and they change according to park opening hours and season, so check out closer to your visit.
Festival of The Lion King
This is so very much like the one from Disney Orlando, with the animal carts, the music, and all the effects.
It lasts for around 30 minutes and it can get very crowded, so try to see it in the first session, which is the more empty. It’s also usually when the sun is high up, so it’s a great break.
The best seats are right at the back, where it’s emptier e easier to see – unless it’s too crowded.
It’s on Adventureland and it’s great for kids of all ages. It gets a bit dark and there is a fire in some parts, which can scare the smaller kids sometimes.
I suggest you go watch the movie before watching the show so that the kids will know the storyline and the songs.
Guests of any of the Disney hotels have a seating area but we didn’t use them.
Moana: a Homecoming Celebration
It’s a 20-minute show where Moana retells her adventures after going back to the Island of Motunui. It’s full of music, dancing, and it’s perfect for all ages – if they liked the movie, even better!
Mickey and the Wondrous Book
It’s a half-an-hour show with music, many characters (with Mickey, Pluto, and Olaf being the main characters).
We missed this one but it should be the best show in the park, so try to get it!
We bought the Disney Photopass + for one day (they only have a one day option) and we thought: ah, we’ll do all the photo things today so we can use it. It costs HK$398 (around US$ 50) so we thought we’d give it a try.
The thing is: most character meetings don’t have a photographer.
We also found this little problem. One Photopass+ only gives you free access to ONE Photopass card. And every single time you meet a character, you’re given a new card. If you ask them to put on your other card, they won’t like it and mostly, tell you no. On the rides, it’s doable, but not on the character meetings.
So, at the end of the day, we had to go to the Photopass shop at Mainstreet USA and ask if they could join all our 20 cards into one. They did, but it took a while and it was another line to take.
All in all, the photos we took with our camera ended up being better, but it’s worth, even if for the very few ride photos. Very few indeed. Like in Hyperspace Mountain and Winnie the Pooh ride.
You can hand your camera to the staff on the character meetings and they will take photos for you.
Tips for visiting Hong Kong Disneyland with kids
We found Hong Kong Disney to be really good and fair. But, as with every other park, it has its ups and downs and a few tips to make it better!
- During summer, park opening hours are shorter due to the heat, I guess. Even during these days, parts of Mainstreet USA and Town Square will be open at least an hour before the park opening. Arrive early if you want a photo with Mickey and Minnie to avoid the long queues. Baymax and Hiro too!
- Bring something to cool you down – a portable fan, a hand fan, a cooling scarf. Anything helps. It’s really hot.
- Don’t forget your hat and your sun protection – the sun is really strong!
- Umbrellas: people seriously use umbrellas in the parks for shade. It’s really annoying and dangerous. I can’t even count the number of times I was stabbed by one of those umbrella spikes. And the worst is that after attempting to blind you, people will look at you disgusted and curse at you for defending yourself.
- Insect repellant is a must. There are many sandflies and mosquitos. It itches just by remembering them.
- We found Wednesday to be the best day. The longest line on the Wednesday we visited was around 20 minutes and it was for meeting Iron Man. On most of the rides, it was just the time it took to walk from the beginning of the line to the ride itself.
- Don’t miss the characters! They’re the best part of Disney!
- There’s a bag check at the entrance and you’re not supposed to bring food from outside, but we got on with a pack of Oreos and water bottles just fine.
- There’s a no selfie stick rule BUT people use it anyway. We used our tripod with a shorter leg and it was fine, but when we tried to use it longer, we got told off.
- Leave the indoor activities (such as The Lion King show) for lunchtime as they’re closed and have air conditioning.
- Arrive as soon as the park opens – that’s when the lines are shorter. But at night, the lines are short too. Just beware that some parts of the park (like Adventureland and Toy Story Land) close earlier than others! Check out the time at the Main Square!
- Use your Fastpass!
- Avoid weekends and public holidays, as usual.
- Avoid summer – it’s really really really hot. We were there in May and we nearly died. For real.
- People DO try to cut the line – and it’s not subtle, they actually push you to the side so they can pass. You’ll need to stand your ground and say no. It works.
- There is no early entry for hotel guests, so no use staying in a Disney Hotel for this.
- Leave all the shopping to the time before the park opens of the time after the park closes. Main Street USA is the place to grab a souvenir and it opens an hour before the park and closes around half an hour after the rides.
How many days do I need in Disneyland Hong Kong?
Well, it depends. It’s not a big park, so you can do a lot with little walking and the lines weren’t long. If you have your priorities sorted, your kids walk fine and you don’t need to see and do it all, one day is enough for sure.
If, on the other hand, you want to see everything, meet all the characters, ride all the rides, watch all the parades and shows, then you’d better get 2 days.
We had 2 days and we still missed one parade and a few characters (OK, we did ride Hyperspace Mountain and Grizzly Mountain Railroad around 20 times).
To finish it…
We loved Hong Kong Disneyland!
We were a bit scared after reading a few reviews, honestly, but it was such a good experience! We loved the characters and the rides, and even on Thursday, when it was a lot more crowded, the longest line we took was of around 30 minutes. We even used our Fastpasses in 15-minute-lines!
We found it to be a lot more cost-effective than Tokyo Disneyland.
Even though not all cast members speak English, it’s easy to understand and communicate. And most characters do speak English, so bonus point!
We highly recommend a trip to Hong Kong Disneyland to all families!