You knew this post was coming. It’s Chinese New Year. It’s time to venture out to Hong Kong Disneyland and join in the festivities with Mickey and the gang.
It’s a sky high celebration. So C’mon, c’mon, c’mon… take a flight of imagination, so c’mon, c’mon, c’mon …
Ok – so maybe I’ve been to Disneyland a few too many times if I start breaking into the “Flight of Fantasy” Parade song …
but in my defence the parade hasn’t changed in THREE years!
After recent ‘festive celebrations’ in Hong Kong Disneyland I’ve attempted to lower my expectations. I’m glad I did, otherwise I once again would have been disappointed.
Normally we venture around the park from land to land finding a variety of different Chinese New Year displays to delight. This year … um … Main Street was it. The Cherry blossom tree was located in front of the castle and Main Street was adorned with New Year festive decoration. However once you ventured beyond that it was just the same park one sees every other time of the year.
There was a resin statue on Main Street but I couldn’t get close enough to take photos as the crowd and queues around it swarmed like an angry hive of hornets. Something to be expected when there aren’t any other Chinese New Year features to engage with around the park.
The sprogs and I decided we wanted a photo with Mickey and Minnie in this years Chinese New Year costumes, so I lined up and set a personal best record for waiting time to meet a Hong Kong Disneyland character of 90 minutes! Thankfully my kids didn’t mind the wait. I know compared to other Disney parks a 90 minute wait isn’t too bad. By Hong Kong Disney standards such a long wait is awful, however not unexpected given it IS Chinese New Year.
Speaking of lines, Hong Kong Disneyland is really NOT a place to go during Chinese New Year if your goal is to go on all the rides. My sprogs and I have the luxury of an annual pass, so we don’t have the urgency, however wait times for almost EVERYTHING in the park drastically increase. The roller coaster in Grizzly Gulch normally has a maximum wait time of 20 minutes (but averages closer to 10 minutes). The days we went it had a 75 minute (!!!) wait.
This years ‘lucky character’ for Year of the Horse is Bullseye. To celebrate Hong Kong Disneyland has a Bullseye plushie on sale (HK$68). Bethany couldn’t resist.
There were a few other quirky bits of Chinese New Year collectable memorabilia on display as well. Note, cute 6 year old model NOT for sale.
For Magic Access (Annual Pass) holders there were no freebie incentives for visiting the park during the festivities this year.
There were no special Chinese New Year parades, no dragon dancers, not even a lion!
Am I surprised? Yeah – I really am. The one time of the year Hong Kong could really stand out with absolute justification from the other Disney Parks and do something AMAZING has once again slipped by.
Whilst my expectations weren’t high based on the current trend the park seems to be following of doing a bare minimum to celebrate the festive season I can’t help but be disappointed. It leaves me wondering whether Hong Kong and Disney want the park to thrive or barely survive…
Like Disney? Like Collecting? Head over to The Disney Collectionary and see how much Disney you COULD have … Scarily enough, I actually have a few of the items on their list, INCLUDING baby dinosaur … “NOT THE MAMA” … remember that show?