Hong Kong,Travel,Travel & Kids

12 Tips (and Secrets!) When Visiting Hong Kong Disneyland with a Toddler

Hong Kong Disneyland 2-min

Visiting Hong Kong Disneyland with a toddler is really a lot of fun, especially when your kids (or you) are big Disney fans! There is no shortage of things to do if you’re traveling with kids at Disneyland. I know we had an amazing time during our visit.

So today I wanna share some tips and secrets we discovered that helped make our experience unforgettable. I hope these also help you as you plan your magical experience at Hong Kong Disneyland!

1. Arrive via the Mickey-themed MTR

Hong Kong Disneyland 1-min

Begin your magical journey with a magical ride. To be honest, this wasn’t the most convenient way to arrive especially since we were carrying 2 suitcases with us. We were checking-in at Disney Explorer’s Lodge and it would have been a lot easier (albeit, more expensive) if we took the taxi. BUT we wanted Luke to experience riding the Mickey train and it was worth it!

Even after the trip, whenever we’d recount stories about our Disneyland trip, he would always mention that he rode the “Mickey Train!” At first, I thought he meant the train that goes from Main Street to Fantasyland because we rode that too, but he said “No, the one with Mickey windows!”  It was apparently so memorable for him.

2. Visit on a Weekday during Off-Peak Season

Hong Kong Disneyland 20-min

I know this is pretty obvious that this is the best time to visit Hong Kong Disneyland but it still begs to be said because we had an AMAZING experience visiting on a weekday during off-peak season! We visited on a Thursday and Friday during September when it was usually raining in Hong Kong. Actually, a typhoon just left that time when we visited, so, phew! We prayed doubly hard for it not to rain during our visit and thankfully it only drizzled a little a few times!

There were hardly any lines in ALL the rides. I repeat. In ALL the rides. Even in Space Mountain, the wait time was around 5 minutes only. We were also able to get a great spot during the street parade and we had no problems with lines whatsoever in any of the other places around Disneyland (bathroom, restaurants, shows etc.)

3. Download the HK Disneyland App

Hong Kong Disneyland 9-min

The really amazing HK Disneyland app gives you the following information:

  • List of all the characters you can meet and greet
  • Times when the characters will appear and where
  • Wait time for each ride
  • Schedules for the shows and parades
  • And of course, a map of Disneyland

Seriously, this app saved us a lot of time and we were able to plan our day accordingly!

Hong Kong Disneyland 21-min

I love it because we were seriously efficient! Haha. We were able to meet all the characters Luke wanted to meet and we didn’t have to go back and forth between “lands.”

In case you were wondering about the internet, there’s free wifi all around Hong Kong Disneyland but when the internet got a little spotty, I used my Roam Buddy pocket wifi.

4. Rent or Bring a Stroller

Hong Kong Disneyland 15-min

During our “trial run” for Disneyland, we concluded that we didn’t need strollers. But oh how wrong we were!

I still stand by what I said about carriers being so convenient but we failed to consider how much walking we had to do inside Disneyland compared to Enchanted Kingdom. Haha. So after day 1, our backs were hurting and our bodies were sore. We learned our lesson and rented a stroller for the next day.

Hong Kong Disneyland 37-min

The picture says it all.

Squizz 1-min

If I could do it again, I would have brought our own stroller instead. The Disneyland strollers were not only expensive but also rock solid.

We recently got a really good travel stroller called the Squizz 2.0 from Looping (as pictured above) and I wish I had it in time for the trip! Aside from the fact that it has a soft padding and reclines flat (which would be great for toddlers to take a nap in,) it also has a luggage type pull bar that lets you pull it like a carryon suitcase when you fold it close. Talk about a stroller perfect for travel.

More about that next time!

5. Familiarize them with the songs and characters for maximum enjoyment!

Hong Kong Disneyland 26-min

We don’t really let Luke watch cartoons at home but he loves looking at group photos of characters and asking one by one who they were and what their stories are. He also LOVES music so I introduced him to Disney songs and they easily became his favorites.

By the time we visited Hong Kong Disneyland, he basically knew his Disney very well; all the way back from the classics like Snow White and the Seven the Dwarves (he can name all 7!) up to the more modern ones like Aladdin and Toy Story. He enjoyed singing during the shows and shouting the characters’ names during the parade.

Hong Kong Disneyland 25-min

He even knows all the not so popular ones. Believe it or not, his two favorite Disney songs right now are “Hawaiian Roller Coaster Ride” from Lilo and Stitch and “Touch the Sky” from Brave. Imagine his joy when he heard “Hawaiian Roller Coaster Ride” at the parade and “Touch the Sky” during The Wondrous Book show!

So proud of my Disney baby. Haha.

6. Show them videos in YouTube beforehand and find out which ones they’d like and those that they find “scary”

Hong Kong Disneyland 4-min

This is something I really recommend if you have toddlers who are not as fearless as other kids! I showed Luke snippets of a few shows and rides he can expect at Hong Kong Disneyland before we went and he really told me his preferences.

According to Luke: No to the Lion King show because it was dark and Scar was there. No to the Winnie the Pooh ride because he got scared when Tigger popped out of nowhere, not to mention the weird elephants. But yes to Dumbo, Mad Hatter Tea Cups and Small World.

I’m so happy we did this because I would honestly have brought him to The Lion King show AND The Winnie the Pooh ride and I don’t want him to have scary/bad memories about his Disneyland trip! (READ: 10 Attractions Your Toddler Will Love at Disneyland)

7. Ask for stickers from cast members

Hong Kong Disneyland Toddler Stickers

All cast members that are wearing bags have stickers and they give these out for free! It was a great way for Luke to practice not being shy as he asked cast members one by one for stickers. They’re also very generous with them. They usually give us more than just one at a time!

Hong Kong Disneyland Toddler Stickers

Luke’s sticker haul! Now, what to do with all of these… Hehe.

Hong Kong Disneyland Toddlers

HERE’S A SECRET: Did you know that they sometimes give out SPECIAL stickers? One of the cast members approached us and handed Luke an amazing set of Toy Story stickers! Then she told us that they only give this to certain kids that they picked. This time, they said they wanted to give it to Luke because he was so cute wearing his Woody costume and roaming around Toy Story Land!

Which then brings me to my next tip…

8. Make them wear adorable costumes

Hong Kong Disneyland 36-min

We spent two days in Disneyland and on the first day, Luke wore a Woody costume, complete with the cowboy hat, of course! And it was so much fun to take his photo around Toy Story Land as he just blended in perfectly! He was also so happy and kept saying that he was Woody so it was a win-win!

Hong Kong Disneyland Toddler Han Solo Costume

On our second day, Luke wore a Han Solo costume (super easy to pull-off, by the way!) In case you were wondering, yes, I intentionally scheduled Toy Story land to be on the first day to match Luke’s Woody costume and we really saved Tomorrowland for the second day for Luke’s Han Solo costume. That’s how I plan!

Hong Kong Disneyland 18-min

ADDITIONAL TIP: If your kids are game, have them wear costumes of not-so-famous characters! All the girls are in princess costumes already so try something else for variety. (Of course, like I said, only if they are up for it because they might insist on being Elsa like 5 million other girls then, of course you have no choice…)

If I had a girl, I might dress her up as Boo from Monsters Inc. or Lilo or other less popular princesses like Pocahontas or Mulan. Hehe. I already have some ideas for Luke’s next costume, but I’ll keep it a secret for now! Heehee.

9. You Might Want to Avoid Halloween Season

Hong Kong Disneyland 8-min

Disneylands all over the world transform when it’s Halloween season and the transformations are amazing. Villains take centerstage, there are Halloween themed pop-up attractions and even a Halloween parade. It’s interesting and cool for tweens and teens but most definitely NOT for toddlers. Unless of course your toddler is into that sort of thing (?!)

Hong Kong Disneyland 16-min

When we went, they were still fixing up the streets for Halloween so it wasn’t full-blown yet, but we had to avoid sections like this one because, I know my son, and I know he’s going to freak out. I have friends who brought their kids during Halloween and according to one of them, her daughter had a traumatic experience and didn’t want to go back to Disneyland after. 

Hong Kong Disneyland 7-min

I know it won’t be the same for all but I know that there are also lots of toddlers (like my son haha) who are not as brave when they see scarecrows so, just be careful when it’s Halloween season!

10. Let them participate in the parade!

Hong Kong Disneyland 27-min

The Flights of Fantasy parade happens daily at 3pm (better check the official website/app for update schedules though) and they ask for the audience, particularly the kids, to participate. There’s Mor being a super proud stage dad. Haha.

Hong Kong Disneyland 22-min

Luke was a little shy during the performance itself but when it was time to march near the end of the parade, he happily joined (tugging daddy along, of course!)

Hong Kong Disneyland Toddler

I’m sure it will be a memorable experience for the kids as it has been for Luke. Whenever we’d talk about the Disneyland parade after the trip, he would always mention proudly that he was part of the parade! Awww…

11. Put name stickers or bands in case kids get lost

Hong Kong Disneyland 10-min

It’s a lot harder when younger kids get lost because they usually couldn’t communicate well yet so I highly suggest putting “labels” on your kids. I thought about this too late so I had to make do with what we had at home and just used stickers. Not as good but better than nothing.

I would recommend getting one of those safety ID tattoos (can be ordered online, abroad) or safety ID bands so that they don’t easily fall off and so they’re waterproof.

On our sticker, I wrote down “In case lost, please call…” and then we put our numbers. Don’t forget to put the correct country code! I also wrote it into Mandarin in case the one who finds him can’t read English. My brother suggested that we also install WeChat (the messaging app they use in Hong Kong/China) in case the people who find him don’t wanna an international number.

12. Stay at a Disney Hotel

Disney Explorer's Lodge Hong Kong Disneyland Toddler

Staying at a Disney hotel is pricey but it has its perks: You get to crash easily after a long day at the park and you get to go early as well the next day. But the real reason we stayed at a Disney hotel (Disney Explorer’s Lodge to be exact) was to experience character dining, which also has its own perks in itself.

Disney Explorer's Lodge Review Hong Kong 3-min

Meeting Mickey and Minnie for breakfast meant we didn’t have to line up at the parks for these two most popular characters. I heard lines for Mickey and Minnie could take up to an hour, depending on the season, so I’m super happy we didn’t have to do that.

If you wanna read more about our stay at the Disney Explorer’s Lodge + our character dining experience, read this.

And there you have it! Hope you picked up a thing or two that you don’t usually read in other blogs. If you’re up for some more, here’s a countdown to the best attractions at Hong Kong Disneyland for toddlers!

READ MORE ARTICLES ABOUT HONG KONG HERE

(NOTE: THIS POST IS ABOUT OUR EXPERIENCE LAST SEPTEMBER 2017.)
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32 Comments

  • Reply
    GlossyU
    October 11, 2017 at 4:08 pm

    Wow! It’s seems that your tip was magic. Lovey pictures and great tips for families. Thank you for sharing this!!!

    • Reply
      Sheena Sy Gonzales
      October 11, 2017 at 8:45 pm

      Yes it was such a fun trip. Thanks!

  • Reply
    Cris
    October 11, 2017 at 5:34 pm

    Wow! Amazing post. I have visited Disneyland with my children and your tips are spot on. Your photos are great! Have a beautiful day. xoxo Cris

    • Reply
      Sheena Sy Gonzales
      October 11, 2017 at 8:45 pm

      Thanks Cris and happy to hear feedback from a fellow parent!

  • Reply
    Quinn
    October 11, 2017 at 6:33 pm

    These photos are just the cutest! Traveling with a toddler seems exhausting, but fun :)

    • Reply
      Sheena Sy Gonzales
      October 11, 2017 at 8:45 pm

      You said it! Exhausting but fun!

  • Reply
    The Gluten Free Guide to Everything
    October 11, 2017 at 8:08 pm

    Disneyland looks great! And that app is so handy!

    • Reply
      Sheena Sy Gonzales
      October 11, 2017 at 8:46 pm

      Yes it was a really great app. Very useful.

  • Reply
    Amy Arnold
    October 11, 2017 at 8:17 pm

    Oh my goodness what fun!

    • Reply
      Sheena Sy Gonzales
      October 11, 2017 at 8:45 pm

      It really was!

  • Reply
    Mariann Yip
    October 12, 2017 at 3:58 am

    Great tips! It’s hard to keep young children having fun in the Hong Kong heat, but it looks like you had a great time!

    • Reply
      Sheena Sy Gonzales
      October 12, 2017 at 8:31 am

      Disneyland is always a good bet!

  • Reply
    Caitlin | Beauty & Colour
    October 12, 2017 at 8:14 am

    That is so cool! Would love to visit Hong Kong

    • Reply
      Sheena Sy Gonzales
      October 12, 2017 at 8:31 am

      It’s a great place to visit!

  • Reply
    Atsuna Matsui
    October 12, 2017 at 3:07 pm

    Aww I don’t have a toddler but your tips are all so cute! I’ve never been to Hong Kong Disney before but definitely, want to.

    • Reply
      Sheena Sy Gonzales
      October 12, 2017 at 3:35 pm

      Thanks Atsuna, hope these tips will be useful for when you get to have a toddler someday! Hehe 😀

  • Reply
    TOUCH OF GS
    October 12, 2017 at 5:54 pm

    All these Disney pics are incredible! Makes me miss Disneyland SO much! x

    • Reply
      Sheena Sy Gonzales
      October 13, 2017 at 12:07 pm

      Disneyland is the best. <3

  • Reply
    DEMELER
    October 12, 2017 at 9:03 pm

    such a cute post!

  • Reply
    Nikki Living Life
    October 13, 2017 at 5:32 am

    Firstly you have a beautiful family. Your son is such a cutie and a fashionista just like his mom. Love all his outfits. His toy story costume is the cutest. Thank you for sharing all these help tips and taking us along on this magic journey through your beautiful pictures.

    • Reply
      Sheena Sy Gonzales
      October 13, 2017 at 12:08 pm

      Nikki thank you so much! <3

  • Reply
    Benita James
    October 13, 2017 at 5:59 am

    These are really great and useful tips especially going there with a toddler.

    • Reply
      Sheena Sy Gonzales
      October 13, 2017 at 12:08 pm

      Thank you Benita! Glad you found them useful!

  • Reply
    Swisstwins
    October 13, 2017 at 8:08 pm

    Great Post Darling<3
    so a lovely familiy
    we wish you a nice day.

  • Reply
    Glowyshoes
    October 14, 2017 at 2:45 pm

    Your son is simply adorable… a visit to disneyland is so on my places to visit list.. you have a detailed and self explanatory style of writing

    • Reply
      Sheena Sy Gonzales
      October 16, 2017 at 12:07 am

      Thank you! Disney is the best!

  • Reply
    MONICA SORS
    October 16, 2017 at 6:44 pm

    Great tips, thanks for sharing!!

  • Reply
    Mica
    October 16, 2017 at 8:43 pm

    Oh thanks so much for sharing this! We are just back from a Sydney trip with the boys and I’m thinking I’d love to take them to Disneyland soon, so I read all of this with interest! Lots of things I hadn’t thought about before like dressing up – that would be so fun to do! :)

    Hope you have had a great weekend! :)

    • Reply
      Sheena Sy Gonzales
      October 17, 2017 at 8:34 am

      Yay! Excited to see what your kids will dress up as! Enjoy Disneyland!

  • Reply
    Jennifer
    October 17, 2017 at 3:22 am

    So cute! Looks like you had a great time!

    • Reply
      Sheena Sy Gonzales
      October 17, 2017 at 8:34 am

      We did, thanks!

  • Reply
    mahryska
    October 17, 2017 at 6:21 am

    such a great post and love love the photos!!

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