acp's "better late than never" HKDL thoughts

Planning a trip? Just get back? Talk about it here.

Moderator: Moderators

Post Reply
acp
Davy Crockett's Explorer Canoes Guide
Davy Crockett's Explorer Canoes Guide
Posts: 1006
Joined: Mar Sun 14, 2004 7:17 am
Location: Formerly Disney-MGM Studios, now Cheshire, England.
Contact:

acp's "better late than never" HKDL thoughts

Post by acp » Dec Sat 03, 2016 4:53 pm

So it's been a while since the trip now. Here's some random thoughts. And yes, this is quite a long post. I originally had a much longer one written which went through pretty much everything I did, but it was quite boring to read, so I've cut it down quite a bit.

Going into the trip, I didn't really have much in the way of expectations for Hong Kong Disneyland. I knew it was the smallest of the Disneyland-style parks and that I probably wouldn't need anywhere near the two days I had planned for it. Aside from the usual bits of planning how to get there and what the opening hours were, I was going into this visit mostly blind. I'd not even really studied the park map properly other than a quick glance during my planning.

The journey to Hong Kong was fairly uneventful. For a change, I didn't need to get up early for the flight out as the first flight was at lunchtime. The first flight (which was a British Airways flight) took me from Manchester to London Heathrow and the second flight which took off in the early evening took me from Heathrow to Hong Kong (and was a Cathay Pacific flight). The second flight was delayed by an hour due to an unspecified technical issue, but still arrived at the originally scheduled time.

Image

I arrived in Hong Kong on the Saturday at around lunchtime. After a 25 minute train ride and a short bus ride I checked into the hotel and was greeted with a floor-to-ceiling window covering an entire wall with this view:

Image

Not bad.

The afternoon and evening were spent wandering around a few places in Hong Kong. I ended the evening in Tsim-Sha-Tsui where the plan was to watch A Symphony of Lights - the nightly light show along the waterfront. I found a spot along the waterfront and waited. Eventually, there were a few lasers and searchlights and building lights blinking, but it seemed that the music wasn't working in the area I was standing (which also confused other people around me). After a while, I wandered back up to the other end where the music was working (and there was a much bigger crowd). Honestly, it didn't make much sense with the music either.

I was a somewhat underwhelmed with A Symphony of Lights. I don't entirely know why, but I think I just expected something more than what it was.

I started the Sunday by heading up to The Peak on the tram. I'd read about how busy the tram up to The Peak gets, especially given it's a Sunday, so I arrived at around 8:30. When I arrived, there was one family in front of me at the ticket counter, and only a few people waiting for the next tram. It wasn't the clearest of days, but the view was still pretty good. When I went back down again, the queue for the tram wrapped around the building. Arriving early works well.

Image

For the afternoon, I headed over to Hong Kong Disneyland Resort for the first time to have a look around the resort outside the park. I started by wandering along the resort promenade, past the park, to the hotels. I decided to have lunch in the Studio Lounge at Disney's Hollywood Hotel.

After spending a couple of hours walking around the hotels and resort, I returned to the hotel for a short break. Four hours later, I woke up. Whoops.

In the evening I went for a walk around again and ended up at the waterfront again (although after the Symphony of Lights to avoid the crowds a bit) to take some photos. The Hong Kong skyline is quite something to look at.

Image

Monday arrived, which meant it was Disneyland time. I wasn't expecting large crowds, but I arrived around 45 minutes before the park opened. The queues at the turnstiles weren't at all long but it was a very hot and sunny morning. 30 minutes before the park opened, Main Street was opened. I spent the next half an hour lurking around in the Emporium with its glorious air conditioning.

Image

When the time came, the park was opened in stages. Most of the park opened at 10:30 with the exception of Toy Story Land, Grizzly Gulch, Mystic Point and it's a small world which all opened at 11:00. The only real plan I had in mind was that I wanted the first ride at HKDL to be Mystic Manor, so I wandered around the park getting my bearings while I waited for that and headed over there when it opened (and I think I was actually the first guest on it that morning as a result, since most people who went that way when the area opened stopped at Big Grizzly Mountain).

Rather than a fully list of everything I did and when, I'm going to put my thoughts on the park together into some highlights.

Crowds There weren't really any at all. I purposefully went during the week so it would be quieter, but I wasn't expecting it to be as quiet as it was. Every ride was walk-on the entire day. The longest I waited for any of the rides on either day was around 10 minutes. Shows had a little bit longer wait, but that's to be expected. I think the longest I waited for a show was around 25 minutes for the Festival of the Lion King.

Weather I was really lucky with the weather during my trip. It was the tail-end of the typhoon season, but the weather was hot and sunny all through my trip. The Tuesday at Disneyland was, according to the weather app on my phone, record-breaking temperatures. When even the Aussies are describing the heat and humidity as "brutal", you know it's a hot day. Both days were above 30 degrees all day. All of the indoor areas of the park are very well air conditioned, and so it was relatively easy to escape from the heat when I wanted to. There was one quick five-minute light rain shower on one of the days (I think it was the Monday), but that was all the rain I saw throughout my time in Hong Kong.

On the Tuesday, my phone did keep flashing up air quality warnings for central Hong Kong. As far as I could tell, the warnings were just for central Hong Kong and not for Disneyland, so I didn't really do anything with that information at the time.

Mickey and the Wondrous Book This is a fairly new show that opened earlier this year. I didn't really know what to expect going into it, but it's quite a nice show and I quite enjoyed it. The premise of the show is that Olaf has fallen out of the story book and Mickey and Goofy are trying to find the right story to put him back where he belongs. What follows is a selection of bits from various Disney films (including an interesting trio of Ariel, Rapunzel and Merida all singing each other's songs) before they eventually find the page for Frozen and put Olaf back in his place. The show is subtitled in both languages throughout with the subtitles appearing on the spines of the books that make up the set on either side of the stage.

Festival of the Lion King I went into this show expecting it to be near identical to the version at Disney's Animal Kingdom. Although the story is essentially the same as is the layout of the theatre, the way the show is staged is quite different. There's a few differences in the show itself too, and I actually found myself liking this version more than the version in Florida.

Image

Mystic Manor This ride is simply amazing. I've been on quite a few of the trackless darkrides now, and now sits at the top of my list of best Disney rides in any of the resorts. I was expecting something a bit Haunted Mansion-y, but it's completely different. There's a couple of minor nods to the Haunted Mansion, but it's entirely its own thing. After riding Ratatouille in Paris which is almost entirely projections, I half expected the same here, but was pleasantly surprised to find that almost all of it is physical props and animatronics instead (with the Chinese Salon room near the end being the notable exception to this and being mostly projected instead). I made many trips to this attraction during the two days and never saw a wait of more than a couple of minutes.

Image

Big Grizzly Mountain Runaway Mine Cars What do you get if you mix Big Thunder Mountain and Expedition Everest and then throw the launch from Rock 'n' Roller Coaster in for good measure? Big Grizzly Mountain. The attraction is fantastic. It's exactly what you'd expect Big Thunder Mountain would be if it were designed in the late 2000s/early 2010s.

Toy Story Land Toy Story Land is basically identical to Toy Story Playland at Walt Disney Studios Park in Paris. I didn't bother with it for most of the trip except for a quick ride on Toy Soldiers Parachute Drop, which actually had the longest queue I waited in during the whole two days (at around 15 minutes).

Jungle Cruise This was another one I expected to be like its Magic Kingdom counterpart but instead surprised me. The Jungle Cruise in Hong Kong is quite different. Firstly, it has a choice of three languages: Cantonese, Mandarin and Engilsh (Tokyo Disneyland take note - multiple languages would be helpful!). The ride has quite a lot of effects that aren't present in other versions, including a somewhat firey finale.

Paint the Night I'd love to tell you what I thought of Paint the Night, but alas it wasn't running during my trip due to the Halloween entertainment taking its place. This was a somewhat disappointing thing to learn a few weeks before my trip as it's one of the things I was quite looking forward to seeing. Maybe it's just a good excuse to go back again... ;)

Disney in the Stars Disney in the Stars has been running since the park opened in 2005. It's had some changes in the last couple of years and now includes projections on the castle. I actually really liked this show. I'm not sure why, I just did. Hong Kong Disneyland also subscribe to the Tokyo Disney Resort style of crowd control. Everyone in the front half of the central plaza sits down to watch the show. It's much nicer watching shows where the crowd isn't all getting in each others way or hoisting kids up on their shoulders and blocking the view of people behind them. I didn't see any Cast Members having to enforce this rule either - people just.. did it.

Image

The resort in general As you'd expect, the park (and, indeed, the resort as a whole) was clean and tidy, the cast members were very good (although one or two did look slightly bored with the lack of people..). There isn't much of a language barrier in Hong Kong - English is an official language in the country, and so there was little need for the usual game of charades while there. All announcements at the resort were repeated in English.

Prices Mini-rant time. Drinks in Hong Kong Disneyland are somewhat expensive. A regular bottle of coke in the 7-Eleven next to my hotel in the middle of Hong Kong cost $10HK. In Hong Kong Disneyland, that same bottle of coke cost $30HK. And no, I didn't round those numbers - those are the exact prices.

Transport Getting to and from Hong Kong Disneyland from the centre of Hong Kong is very easy. It took around 45 minutes from the station closest to my hotel (Sai Ying Pun) and required two transfers (one at Central with a walk to Hong Kong Station), the other at Sunny Bay to join the Disneyland Resort Line. The MTR is super efficient and reasonably priced and takes you right to the resort.

Image

So, where would I put Hong Kong Disneyland in my ranking of parks I've been to? For now, I put it joint fourth (because I can't decide whether I like HKDL or MK more). The list looks something like this now:

1. Tokyo DisneySea
2. Tokyo Disneyland
3. Disneyland Paris
4. Magic Kingdom
4. Hong Kong Disneyland
6. Epcot
7. Disney's Hollywood Studios
8. Disney's Animal Kingdom
9. Walt Disney Studios Park

Finally, if you want to see the other photos I took during my visit, they're here:
Photos from Hong Kong
Photos from Hong Kong Disneyland

If you missed it at the time, you can go back through my Twitter Timeline and see all the photos I posted while I was there (although since Hong Kong it's been filled with Tokyo and Paris photos, so you might need to dig a little bit ;)). They're on https://twitter.com/acp

If you made it this far, well done. Hopefully it wasn't too boring a read ;) I'm sure I forgot something I wanted to mention, though... If there's something you'd like to know, drop a question in this thread and I'll try and answer what I can.

Maybe one day I'll also get round to writing some thoughts on Tokyo Disney Resort now I've been there on three separate trips (although I fear that would just turn into a lot of saying "Tokyo DisneySea is the best Disney Park in the world", which surely we already know... ;))

Late-breaking news Since my visit, Hong Kong Disneyland have announced a major expansion including a new Marvel themed land and a Frozen themed land as well as a new showplace in Adventureland and, most interestingly, building on top of their existing castle to make the castle much larger and more spectacular. It's sounds like it's opening in stages with something new opening almost every year between 2018 and 2023. See the announcement here. If that's not an excuse to re-visit in a few years time, I don't know what is.
Subsonic Radio Admin and former Walt Disney World Cast Member

Subsonic Radio Player for Windows (Latest version: 1.8.5 - More info)

Disneyland Paris: 2001, 2004, 2007, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
Walt Disney World: 2006, 2010, 2011, 2015, 2019
Tokyo Disney Resort: 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018
Hong Kong Disneyland: 2016, 2017
Shanghai Disneyland: 2018

Amy
Submarine Voyage Captain
Submarine Voyage Captain
Posts: 18465
Joined: Dec Wed 12, 2007 1:41 pm
Location: the flooded, flooded mitten

Re: acp's "better late than never" HKDL thoughts

Post by Amy » Dec Sat 03, 2016 8:16 pm

Great TR ~ is there humidity along with the heat?
I've seen a few videos of Mystic Manor and it looks awesome. I hope to be able to see it in person someday.
I have to agree with Tokyo DisneySea being at the top of my Disney parks list. I loved it when I visited :D

acp
Davy Crockett's Explorer Canoes Guide
Davy Crockett's Explorer Canoes Guide
Posts: 1006
Joined: Mar Sun 14, 2004 7:17 am
Location: Formerly Disney-MGM Studios, now Cheshire, England.
Contact:

Re: acp's "better late than never" HKDL thoughts

Post by acp » Dec Sun 04, 2016 2:47 am

Amy wrote:Great TR ~ is there humidity along with the heat?
I probably should've mentioned that. Yes. Yes there was. I can't remember the exact figure and the screenshot I posted on Twitter doesn't show it. A chat log I found from while I was there said 65% for one day, though.
I've seen a few videos of Mystic Manor and it looks awesome. I hope to be able to see it in person someday.
Videos don't really do it justice. I'd seen videos before I went there, but there was still so much about that ride that surprised and amazed me. It really is Imagineering at their finest.

Hong Kong Disneyland isn't something I'd travel all the way there specifically for - it's only one park and only really needs a single day (if that), but if I were, say, travelling in the area or transferring at Hong Kong, I'd definitely look into whether I could extend the stopover to visit the park for a day.
I have to agree with Tokyo DisneySea being at the top of my Disney parks list. I loved it when I visited :D
:D
Subsonic Radio Admin and former Walt Disney World Cast Member

Subsonic Radio Player for Windows (Latest version: 1.8.5 - More info)

Disneyland Paris: 2001, 2004, 2007, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
Walt Disney World: 2006, 2010, 2011, 2015, 2019
Tokyo Disney Resort: 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018
Hong Kong Disneyland: 2016, 2017
Shanghai Disneyland: 2018

Wizzard419
Pirates of the Caribbean Buccaneer
Pirates of the Caribbean Buccaneer
Posts: 5531
Joined: Sep Sat 04, 2010 1:44 pm
Location: Southern California

Re: acp's "better late than never" HKDL thoughts

Post by Wizzard419 » Dec Mon 05, 2016 12:50 am

45 Min travel time? I am guessing you were not on-site? While it may be easy that is quite a bit of travel.

Also... no DLR resorts on your rankings? This list can go straight to hell.

Amy
Submarine Voyage Captain
Submarine Voyage Captain
Posts: 18465
Joined: Dec Wed 12, 2007 1:41 pm
Location: the flooded, flooded mitten

Re: acp's "better late than never" HKDL thoughts

Post by Amy » Dec Mon 05, 2016 8:55 am

Wizzard419 wrote:45 Min travel time? I am guessing you were not on-site? While it may be easy that is quite a bit of travel.

Also... no DLR resorts on your rankings? This list can go straight to hell.
:lol: He did mention that the list was of the parks he has been to so far. I'm thinking he just hasn't been able to go to the DLR resorts yet.
I'm not sure the savings from staying off property to staying on property at HKDL. I'm thinking from his pre-trip report he saved quite a lot in doing so though.

acp
Davy Crockett's Explorer Canoes Guide
Davy Crockett's Explorer Canoes Guide
Posts: 1006
Joined: Mar Sun 14, 2004 7:17 am
Location: Formerly Disney-MGM Studios, now Cheshire, England.
Contact:

Re: acp's "better late than never" HKDL thoughts

Post by acp » Dec Mon 05, 2016 9:35 am

Amy wrote:
Wizzard419 wrote:45 Min travel time? I am guessing you were not on-site? While it may be easy that is quite a bit of travel.

Also... no DLR resorts on your rankings? This list can go straight to hell.
:lol: He did mention that the list was of the parks he has been to so far. I'm thinking he just hasn't been able to go to the DLR resorts yet.
I'm not sure the savings from staying off property to staying on property at HKDL. I'm thinking from his pre-trip report he saved quite a lot in doing so though.
45 minutes isn't much. I've spent much longer than that getting from WDW resorts to the parks on the horrible bus system they have there...

Here, the main reason for it is that I was not staying on property. There was a massive price difference between the Disney hotels and the one I stayed at in the city centre. And the one I stayed at had a much better view :P

I much prefer a bit longer travel time to the parks than paying a hell of a lot more for the hotel room. It's the same story when I go to Tokyo. I was around the same amount of travel time away there. The trains in both Hong Kong and Tokyo are very efficient and super easy to use once you know how to navigate it and I have no problem with the time it takes to get to get from one place to another.

As Amy said, the reason DLR doesn't appear on my list is simply because I've not been there yet. It's on my list for a future visit, but I'm currently waiting for them to finish messing around with the whole Star Wars Land construction before I consider visiting. It also, from the small amount of research I've done, is the most awkward to get to. It's a pet-hate of mine regarding the US resorts - no decent public transport links...
Subsonic Radio Admin and former Walt Disney World Cast Member

Subsonic Radio Player for Windows (Latest version: 1.8.5 - More info)

Disneyland Paris: 2001, 2004, 2007, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
Walt Disney World: 2006, 2010, 2011, 2015, 2019
Tokyo Disney Resort: 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018
Hong Kong Disneyland: 2016, 2017
Shanghai Disneyland: 2018

cy1229
Country Bear Jamboree Greeter
Country Bear Jamboree Greeter
Posts: 2833
Joined: Jan Fri 21, 2011 8:47 am
Location: Greenwood, IN

Re: acp's "better late than never" HKDL thoughts

Post by cy1229 » Dec Mon 05, 2016 2:49 pm

acp wrote:...
As Amy said, the reason DLR doesn't appear on my list is simply because I've not been there yet. It's on my list for a future visit, but I'm currently waiting for them to finish messing around with the whole Star Wars Land construction before I consider visiting. It also, from the small amount of research I've done, is the most awkward to get to. It's a pet-hate of mine regarding the US resorts - no decent public transport links...
Well if I may be a butt-in-ski here... Getting to DLR wasn't that much of a pain for us. Hubby and I went July 2015 and I was there again, on business during the week, in February 2016. Both times I did not rent a car. We used a taxi from the airport to our hotels, and we used Uber from the hotels back to the airport. While in Anaheim we walked or used Anaheim Resort Transit (ART) buses. The multi-day passes are well worth it, and ART buses show up all along Harbor Boulevard every 20 minutes or so. The hotel I stayed at in February had its own shuttle at $5 a day, which I used. So getting into and out of DLR without having to rent a car isn't that bad. It's not nearly as convenient as having a train station right there, but it's not bad.

You should go to DLR. Don't wait for this, that or the other thing. Just go. I mean, don't get yourself into debt up to your armpits, but go.

I've only ever been to DLR and WDW and I like them both, but for different reasons. DLR is very charming and compact, so doing things is very easy. WDW handles crowds better with all of its wide open spaces, and has more variety, but DLR has a lot of nostalgia, plus a lot of the really fun things that WDW has. Throw in DCA and it's a really fun place to be. Plus, park hopping is as easy as walking from one building to another on a college campus. I really like DLR. I don't think I could rank DLR vs. WDW. There are things about both I like and dislike.
Polynesian 1980
All-Star Movies 2001
Pop Century 2008
Saratoga Springs 2010
Bay Lake Tower 2012
Hyatt Place Anaheim Resort/Convention Center 2015
Marriott Anaheim Suites 2016

horizons1
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 1702
Joined: Mar Thu 18, 2004 4:18 pm
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
Contact:

Re: acp's "better late than never" HKDL thoughts

Post by horizons1 » Dec Mon 05, 2016 3:21 pm

Great TR, acp, and thank you for posting it.

- Where was the "Mickey and the Wonderous Book" performed? In the theater next to IaSW or somewhere else?
- Bummer about not getting to see Paint the Night. I'd like to check this out too next time I am in HKG.
- You are right about the trains being fast, clean and efficient. It's really easy getting around Hong Kong in general, and the English thing sure knocks down a big barrier!
- Exciting news on their expansion and I have a mixed reaction regarding the plussing up of the castle. As I said in my own TR, I didn't think I'd like how small it is, especially with the mountain behind it, but I liked the intimate feel as it reminded me of the original!
No one's gloomy or complaining while the flatware's entertaining.
Image
Image
Image

Wizzard419
Pirates of the Caribbean Buccaneer
Pirates of the Caribbean Buccaneer
Posts: 5531
Joined: Sep Sat 04, 2010 1:44 pm
Location: Southern California

Re: acp's "better late than never" HKDL thoughts

Post by Wizzard419 » Dec Mon 05, 2016 4:36 pm

I was going to say the same thing, since DLR didn't create a geographic barrier around the park, hotels popped up, some offer shuttles direct to the park some are on the ART route. You wouldn't even be taking public transit at that point.

acp
Davy Crockett's Explorer Canoes Guide
Davy Crockett's Explorer Canoes Guide
Posts: 1006
Joined: Mar Sun 14, 2004 7:17 am
Location: Formerly Disney-MGM Studios, now Cheshire, England.
Contact:

Re: acp's "better late than never" HKDL thoughts

Post by acp » Dec Mon 05, 2016 4:57 pm

cy1229 wrote:Well if I may be a butt-in-ski here... Getting to DLR wasn't that much of a pain for us. Hubby and I went July 2015 and I was there again, on business during the week, in February 2016. Both times I did not rent a car. We used a taxi from the airport to our hotels, and we used Uber from the hotels back to the airport. While in Anaheim we walked or used Anaheim Resort Transit (ART) buses. The multi-day passes are well worth it, and ART buses show up all along Harbor Boulevard every 20 minutes or so. The hotel I stayed at in February had its own shuttle at $5 a day, which I used. So getting into and out of DLR without having to rent a car isn't that bad. It's not nearly as convenient as having a train station right there, but it's not bad.
I'm sure there's options - I just haven't really looked into it in much depth. The extent of my research on a DLR trip has been a cursory glance at the DLR website and some very quick Googling. Once I get to actually seriously looking at it, I'm sure plenty of options will come to light.
You should go to DLR. Don't wait for this, that or the other thing. Just go.
I thought about it, but if I'm going to go travel halfway around the world, I might as well wait until the somewhat large expansion they're building is finished.
I mean, don't get yourself into debt up to your armpits, but go.
Heh, that's why I don't stay in Disney hotels other than at WDW or DLP - they're way too expensive :P
I've only ever been to DLR and WDW and I like them both, but for different reasons. DLR is very charming and compact, so doing things is very easy. WDW handles crowds better with all of its wide open spaces, and has more variety, but DLR has a lot of nostalgia, plus a lot of the really fun things that WDW has. Throw in DCA and it's a really fun place to be. Plus, park hopping is as easy as walking from one building to another on a college campus. I really like DLR. I don't think I could rank DLR vs. WDW. There are things about both I like and dislike.
Oh, I get that DLR is supposed to be the most charming. It also has the historical factor of being the only park Walt ever saw complete. That's part of the reason I don't want to go while half of the park is behind construction walls (And yes, I'm fully aware that I say that having just returned from Disneyland Paris, where massive chunks of the park are behind work walls right now. One and a half hour flight to DLP vs thirteen hour flight to DLR, though ;)).

DLP is as easy for park hopping as DLR, but it does remind me of one of the more amusing aspects of Tokyo Disney Resort, where the parks were built back-to-back, which means to park hop you have to take the monorail all the way around the outside of the resort :).

Incidentally, I do actually have a version of my list of Disney park rankings that include the ones I've not visited with a prediction of where I'd put them. And no, I won't tell you where they come :P


horizons1 wrote:Great TR, acp, and thank you for posting it.
:) I don't normally write TRs outside the posts I make to Twitter/Facebook while I'm there. I thought it'd make a change to actually get round to writing one this time. Taking that into account, expect the next one in.. 15 years time? :P
- Where was the "Mickey and the Wonderous Book" performed? In the theater next to IaSW or somewhere else?
Yep, Storybook Theatre is the one next to "it's a small world".
- Bummer about not getting to see Paint the Night. I'd like to check this out too next time I am in HKG.
Yeah, it was actually one of my main reasons for visiting (along with Mystic Manor and Big Grizzly Mountain), then a few weeks out I find out it's not running during Halloween. Not ideal, but oh well. I might be tempted to look into flights that go through Hong Kong and see if I can stopover for a day or something to see it next time I'm travelling in Asia. We'll see.
- You are right about the trains being fast, clean and efficient. It's really easy getting around Hong Kong in general
For some reason, the spiel as you leave HKDL sticks out in my mind. I don't know why, but I like that it just says "We now bring you back to the modern city of Hong Kong" rather than the usual Disney spiels about having a magical day or "Our next stop is...". It has a nicer ring to it. Or maybe I'm just weird :)
and the English thing sure knocks down a big barrier!
<mini tangent>People often cite the language barrier as a reason they don't visit the non-US parks and to me that makes no sense. I've been to all the non-US parks apart from Shanghai and I've never had a problem with it. In my experience, almost every Cast Member I've interacted with at any of the non-US parks has either spoken enough English to be able to do their job or is able to produce a card with common phrases or menus on it for you to point at. To an extent, that also extends to the cities around the parks.

A perfect example of that, actually, is the Disney on Classic concert I went to see in Japan. There was exactly one announcement a few minutes before the concert started that was in English. Everything else was entirely Japanese (As far as I could see, I was the only non-Japanese person there). My method for working out what you're supposed to be doing (particularly when there are announcements telling you what to do that you have no idea what they're saying) is to just watch what other people do and follow suit. When I arrived for the concert, I had no idea where I was going or what the people at the door were telling us to do, so I just did what everyone else did and it wasn't a problem. Of course, your mileage may vary and the further out of the tourist areas you go, the less likely you are going to be able to find English speaking people to help you, but in my experience it's not as much of a problem as people make it out to be or worry that it'd be.

That said, don't travel to somewhere like Japan and expect to be able to communicate in English - after all, the language in Japan is Japanese, not English.</mini tangent>
- Exciting news on their expansion and I have a mixed reaction regarding the plussing up of the castle. As I said in my own TR, I didn't think I'd like how small it is, especially with the mountain behind it, but I liked the intimate feel as it reminded me of the original!
I didn't mind the smaller castle, myself. That said, I'm also not against the idea of "upgrading" the castle. It's pretty clear that the nighttime shows are all heading towards massive parts of them being projected onto the castle (for example Disney Dreams at DLP or Once Upon a Time at TDL, both of which I think are - at the risk of people throwing things at me - way better than Wishes at MK), and the upgrade will provide a bigger surface for it. It also gives them something a bit bigger to promote the park with - specially now it's got some competition from Shanghai and it's mahoosive castle which makes HK's castle look even smaller than it already is.

Not having visited Hong Kong Disneyland before Shanghai's announcement/opening I don't know how its opening has affected crowds in Hong Kong, but I can't help but think with how quiet the park was when I visited that it must've had at least some effect on the crowds there. Hopefully the new expansions in Hong Kong will draw some of the crowds back.
Subsonic Radio Admin and former Walt Disney World Cast Member

Subsonic Radio Player for Windows (Latest version: 1.8.5 - More info)

Disneyland Paris: 2001, 2004, 2007, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
Walt Disney World: 2006, 2010, 2011, 2015, 2019
Tokyo Disney Resort: 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018
Hong Kong Disneyland: 2016, 2017
Shanghai Disneyland: 2018

Post Reply