This review is part of a two part series covering my family’s stay at the Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel from May 14-17, 2014.
- Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel Review, Part 1 (Overview, Cost, Rooms, Dining)
- Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel Review, Part 2 (Resort Amenities, Transportation, Critiques, Comparison to Hollywood Hotel, & Final Verdict)
Last week, I detailed the cost, rooms, and dining options at the Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel. But there is much more…
The Resort Amenities
I was a little surprised to discover that Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel is a true Disney resort with lots to keep you busy even on non-park days. We didn’t have time in our three night visit to explore everything, but we tried our hardest to get a good overview. Here are the amenities and activity choices on-site.
Pools & Sports
If you are Disney fans like us, you should spend most of your time at the park, but I think it is also worth it to make a little time to enjoy the hotel pool. The outdoor pool was truly beautiful and was much more of a resort-style pool than we expected. Tables with umbrellas and nice cabanas lined the deck. The pool itself had a sloping entry in the shallow end that was perfect for babies and toddlers. Our daredevil 5 year old daughter enjoyed the water slide on the other end. We were pleasantly surprised to find two lifeguards manning the pool the entire time, and were especially impressed to find lifejackets for the little ones to borrow free of charge (just like our experience at Disney’s Aulani).
Next to the large outdoor pool was a small indoor pool that was great for lap swimming and/or rainy days. We spotted a playground near the pool, a medium sized gym facility, and a multi-court. And, of course, the hotel has a famous hedge maze for kids to explore.
The hotel also has an inside play area for kids called the Storybook Playroom. It offers story time, arts and crafts, and some cute themed play spaces. We even spotted Snow White paying a visit on one occasion. Kids ages 5 and under have to be accompanied by a parent, but older kids 6-12 can be dropped-off with one of the staff buddies. Since our daughter is 5, we just stopped in for a quick visit on our way to the park one day. The Storybook Playroom would be a great choice for rainy days on longer visits.
Stores & Shops
Disney knows how to do merchandise. And this is Hong Kong, so shopping is a priority. As a result, the hotel had a very nice shop with lots of Disney souvenirs right in the lobby. The selection is pretty impressive for a store its size. It obviously won’t have as large of a selection as what you’ll find in the park, but we were amazed at what they managed to pack into a pretty medium-sized space.
The other place you can spend some cash is at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique on the lower level of the hotel. If you’ve vacationed with a young girl at any of the US Disney parks before, you probably are familiar with this name. The Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique is a salon where little girls are transformed into their favorite Disney princesses – gowns, hair, makeup, and more. Our 5 year old had a magical appointment during our visit, so stay tuned for a separate review.
The Transportation: Getting to the Hong Kong Disneyland Park from the Hotel
If you are staying at the Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel, you have two ways to get to the park entrance. First, you can take the free Disney shuttle. It starts at the Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel, stops briefly at the Hollywood Hotel, and then drops you at the transport stop near the Disneyland MTR (subway) line.
The second option is to walk. I’ve already mentioned why I think walking from the Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel to the park could be preferable if you are traveling with older kids, especially at park opening and closing when using the shuttles can result in a long wait.
Our (Very Few) Critiques
Our stay was extremely nice overall, so it is hard for me to even include a section of this review called “critiques.” But no hotel is perfect, and I’m sure readers want to know about even the little flaws.
The only thing we thought was glaringly missing from the hotel was a true grab-and-go food option. We are the kind of travelers who like to hit the park early. We didn’t want to do a sit down breakfast on the mornings we weren’t doing our full-scale character breakfast. It also would have been nice to have had a place to grab a quick snack during an afternoon break back at the hotel too. Interestingly, the Hollywood Hotel does have a grab-and-go cafe, so Disneyland Hotel guests could make use of that in a pinch (the shuttle from the Disneyland Hotel stops at the Hollywood Hotel on the way to the park, so you could jump off, grab food, and jump on one of the next shuttles to come).
There were no real major complaints we had other than the minor things that can go wrong nearly anywhere (e.g. broken hairdryer in our room). Our room did smell faintly of smoke, but it’s a hotel in Asia – what can you do? I’m pretty smoke sensitive, and it didn’t bother me.
Comparison to the Hollywood Hotel
We did get a look at the “competition” – the Hollywood Hotel – during our visit. Until Disney completes the third hotel property currently in planning for completion in 2017, the Hollywood Hotel is the only other Disney hotel at Hong Kong Disneyland. It is the more affordable option, but not by much. We found the atmosphere at the Hollywood Hotel to be a bit busier and a tad more chaotic – more young families, more activity. We thought the atmosphere was a step up at our hotel. And, of course, the Hollywood Hotel is not within walking distance to the park. We were glad we had coughed up a tad more cash for the Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel.
We had a great stay and would definitely recommend the Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel to families visiting Hong Kong Disneyland. It is a great value when compared to other Disney properties worldwide and still manages to offer the same Disney magic.
Liked this post? Don’t miss Part 1 of the review or my other Hong Kong Disneyland posts: 10 Tips & Tricks for Visiting Hong Kong Disneyland and Why We Travel With Our Kids: A Heartwarming Hong Kong Story.