We did a lot of research into hotels before travelling to Hong Kong. They’re expensive. And with the possible exception of AirBnB, most of the cheaper ones are in the kinds of area you wouldn’t want to stay with your family or else they’re a fair distance from anything of note (in as much as anything is a fair distance from anything else in a place the size of Hong Kong).
We’ve stayed at Hong Kong Disneyland’s Hollywood Hotel twice now, once during Halloween and again on a ‘3 Magical Days’ package, and it was during our second stay that the attention to detail for which Disney is renowned really became apparent.
I checked in with my son whilst my wife and daughter had a look around the merchandise store which is located in the main reception area. We’d booked a package and so were given ‘priority check-in’ which was as quick as the website promised; we queued for about 5 minutes. This was our second visit after our Halloween trip 6 months before and it was nice to be given a ‘welcome back’. Further to this, our son was also given a ‘welcome back’ badge and a certificate to say that it was our second visit. Small touches that go a long way, especially when travelling with small children. We were checked in quickly and as part of the package (package details, as well as pricing, available at the bottom of this post) the lady on the check-in desk gave us our room keys, park tickets and meal vouchers all at the same time. It was all very slick and well organised and neither of the children even had the chance to become bored of waiting.
Once all of the paperwork was completed, the receptionist leaned over the desk and handed my son a wad of stickers featuring ‘Tsum Tsum’ characters (simplified versions of favourite disney characters) for which he was very grateful. This became a tradition over the next few days with every cast member we passed handing both of our children reems of the little self-adhesive faces. When I met up with my wife and daughter in the gift shop, the lady on the check-out had given my daughter a similar handful of the brightly coloured stickers.
We left Disneyland 2 days later with more than 300 of the things. They’re still falling out of odd places whenever I open my bags.
As part of the ‘Three Magical Days’ package we were given a complimentary upgrade which saw our standard garden view room moved across the landing to a room at the front of the hotel that had a view of the fireworks later in the evening (a godsend after a long day in the park when you have angry, tired children but still want to see the firework display).
The room itself was nice. We arrived to find a bouquet of balloons on the bed and an excellent quality Mickey Mouse plush for the children to fight over. It was also during the parks anniversary so we were given anniversary branded slippers (2 pairs in adult sizes, 2 child sized no less).
In the bathroom the toiletries all came with Mickey ears on their caps and where the drinking glasses would normally be there were cardboard, Mickey branded soda cups with large black plastic ears on the lid.
The more standard features included a large window filling one wall, a TV complete with all Disney channels and some more standard Chinese channels, a fridge, tea and coffee making facilities and several bottles of water refreshed daily.
Out on the landing there was also an ice machine and a vending machine which was broken when we arrived and only sold drinks once it was repaired. These drinks were expensive, but not as expensive as the exact same drinks in the restaurants downstairs.
Dining Chez Mickey is expensive. Especially if you choose to dine in the hotels main restaurant ‘Chef Mickey’.
Chef Mickey is a buffet restaurant which serves passable food at a premium because, if you visit at the right time, you get to have a picture taken with Mickey.
We ate lunch here on the first day and although our youngest ate free, 2 adults and one child, plus 2 soft drinks, cost us just shy of GBP100. A Coke with Mickey was around GBP8 when we visited although that did include refills and because it included refills I left feeling like a soda dispenser.
Price aside, the food at Chef Mickey is ok. The selection is good and it caters for most tastes. But where Chef Mickey really comes into it’s own is the opportunity for a photograph with your favourite Disney characters. Mickey makes an appearance during each sitting and if you’re very lucky, Donald may make an appearance too.
To ensure everybody gets their turn, you are given a photo-pass at your table when you sit down for each character scheduled to appear and you hand this to the ‘minder’ when you go to have your picture taken. The queues can be tedious as we found that a Chinese family of four requires a picture with each individual alone, then in pairs, then as a family and then in any other conceivable combination of mum and son, dad and son, mum and daughter, dad and daughter, daughter and son, mum and dad, all four of them with the lady from the bar etc. The photo passes do ensure that everybody gets a turn however.
Cast members waiting tables will also be incredibly vigilant in making sure you get your picture with the cartoon superstars. During one lunch we couldn’t concentrate on eating for the constant procession of waiters informing us that Donald would be leaving in 30 minutes, then 25 minutes, then 20 minutes. They all but pulled the seats out from under us to stop us from eating so that we could have our pictures taken. It was all I could do to stop from screaming. ‘This is our third day, we already have 5 different pictures with Donald and but for the fact that we’re wearing different clothes, they’re all exactly the bloody same!’
If you’re staying more than one night, you’ll also find the attention to detail continues in the restaurant. We came for breakfast on our second morning and proceeded to follow a waiter who lead us to our table shouting ‘second visit’ to any other member of staff who would care to listen. This ensured that every meal time we sat down and the children were given a different ‘gift’. We started at lunch with a signed chef’s hat from Mickey, at breakfast the next morning it was a badge and then at breakfast the following day they were each given a balloon hat (‘Third visit!!’).
Whether you’re arriving, going home or just going to the park, transport from Hong Kong Disneyland Hollywood Hotel couldn’t be easier. The central transport hub, located just outside the park entrance, is connected to the rest of Hong Kong by buses, a cross border coach service and the resorts own dedicated metro station. From here, a shuttle bus runs to the resort’s two hotels every 10 to 15 minutes and the ride from the park to the hotel is no more than 10 minutes. On busy occasions (just after the firework display for example) shuttle buses do fill quickly and you may need to wait for another bus but, unlike many places in China, there are a fierce band of cast members to enforce queue etiquette and prevent queue jumping.
To travel from the hotel to the park, the bus station is just outside the hotel entrance. It couldn’t be simpler.
The package we booked is included below for reference only. It is subject to change (and, in fact, is changing in the next few weeks to include a price increase amongst other small details). When we stayed it was advertised as ‘3 Magical Days’ although I believe it has now been rebranded as the ‘Signature Package’. It covered everything for my wife and I and our eldest. Our daughter was 2 years old during our visit and so most things were free for her.
Hotel Accommodation x 2 Nights
2 Day Hotel Breakfast x 3
2-Day General Admission Tickets x 2
2-Day Child Ticket x 1
Park Meal Coupons x 6
Disney Character Plush x 1
Hotel Priority Check-in
Hotel Late Check-out