Over the next few weeks on the blog, we have a whole series of posts about the Disney parks in Asia. I though the best one one to start with would be an easy one – a highlights post!
If you don’t already know, we recently visited all three Disney Asia resorts in one mega trip! It was on my bucket list to visit every Disney park in the world and I can now happily say that has now been completed and firmly checked off!
This trip was easily one of my favourite of all time and I know I am going to have a hard time beating it.
So before I ramble on too much, here are my highlights from Shanghai Disneyland, Hong Kong Disneyland and Tokyo Disney Resort…..
Pirates of the Caribbean
I have to start with this ride – it totally blew my mind! Honestly, I just sat there with my jaw dropped and my eyes wide open! Before our trip, I made a decision to not watch any ride through videos and I am so glad that I did. This is Disney Imagineering at its finest – maybe even Disney’s best ride ever! It’s like a mixture of Avatar Land’s Flight of Passage, circle vision and every other pirates ride. Worst description ever but such a good experience.
Like the rest of the world, I do love Chinese food. Especially on a Friday night in front of the TV. However, I was aware that what I call Chinese food is not necessarily real chinese food and was apprehensive about the food in Shanghai Disneyland. Well, my fears were completely unfounded and the food was excellent. We only ate at quick service locations but we had so many good meals. My favourite being the Wandering Moon restaurant. Oh my! I had a beef noodle dish (cant find on the menu now) and it was the best quick service Disney meal I have ever had.
Shanghai Disneyland Hotel
This was our only Disney onsite stay of the trip, a decision I regret, and easily the best hotel we stayed in. It had tough competition – we stayed in one with a giant Godzilla! The hotel was stunning, breathtakingly so! The lobby reminded me of the lobbies on the Disney Cruise ships. It was grand and elegant and really felt luxurious.
Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea
To be honest, this is going to be hard to put into highlights as the parks were just so good, but I will try.
I will start with an easy highlight and something that covers both parks – the food and more notably the snacks. In the American parks, snacks tend to be sweet but Tokyo seems more about the savory and there are so many! Every stand seemed to have something different with many having seasonal items.
Big Band Beat
When planning our trip, I had read many times about the ticket lottery and how if unsuccessful you need to get in the unreserved queue very early – some places suggested hours before the show. One afternoon we were walking through the New York Area of DisneySea and noticed they were letting in extra guests for Big Band Beat – essentially filling seats lottery ticket holders who hasn’t showed up. We chanced our luck and were actually the second last couple let it and had waited less than 5 mins!
You cant take pictures or video so I cant share what we saw but this show is out of this world good. The singers and dancers and the band were all so talented! The main man himself even shows off a few of his lesser known talents….
Poohs Hunny Hunt
This appears on everyone’s must do list and it would be firmly on mine too. It is so good.
Yeah a whole park is on my highlights. One of the things I love most is the attention to detail. Tokyo DisneySea takes this to a whole other level. Really I could have put every land in the park as a separate highlight. As we wandered round the park, it felt like each land was more immersive that the last and more beautiful. There are points where you could really believe that you were no longer in Japan but had somehow wandered off track and were now in Venice or Cape Cod. Truly remarkable place where Imagineering talent and limitless budgets meet.
Whats your favourite night time parade? Spectromagic? Main Street Electrical? Paint the Night? Well, no matter what you picked, once you have seen Dreamlights you are going to forget they even existed! Another experience in this trip where I just sat mesmerised.
Country Bear Jamboree
I can already feel your eyes roll as you read that Country Bear Jamboree is one of my highlights but its okay, I get it. Not everyone is going to be a fan. To me there is something so fundamentally Disney about Country Bear. Its so quaint and odd but heartwarming at the same time.
Just like everything we experienced in Japan, Country Bear was just like its remaining American counter part but easily better. Not only were the animatronics smoother, no clicking eyelids here, they were fluffier, cleaner, better dressed and sounded much clearer. Then on top of that, Tokyo Disneyland still does seasonal overlays. What more could a girl ask for?
Hong Kong Disneyland
Dim Sum Experience
After seeing the adorable dim sum available online at Hong Kong Disneyland, I knew it was something we would have to experience. The character dim sum is available at the Crystal Lotus over at the Disneyland Hotel. We booked the pre set menu just for simplicity and oh my was it good! The service was first class and the food was incredible. It wasn’t just cute!
This ride was a bit catalyst for our trip. I was so desperate to ride it an I knew I would love it. I was not disappointed. Albert is the cutest and he is so mischievous. Another ride that has joined my list of top rides.
Highlights from all Parks
Whilst all the parks are very individual, there were some elements that they all shared that I loved. Some of these were:
Duffy and Friends – Duffy didn’t really crack America but they love him over in Asia. Not only that they love all his friends and so do I. Hong Kong Disneyland has an exclusive character, Cookie, who I thought was pretty cute. For some reason I kept calling here Coco but in my defense she is pretty new. Gelatoni is my absolute favourite – he is a cat
Merchandise – Tokyo Disneyland is where everyone thinks the good merch is but honestly all three resorts had some wonderful pieces.
Cast Members – all the cast members we encountered we just lovely. We had a poor experience in Disneyland Paris and Disneyland so I had low expectations but everyone was so nice.
The Stage Shows – I think international guests may avoid due to the language barrier but there were some of the best things about our trip. Each park we visited had some great not to be missed shows – some of our favourites were Out of Shadowlands, Eye of the Storm and Mickey and the Wondrous Book.
Overall, we had an absolutely delightful time in Shanghai, Tokyo and Hong Kong. Each resort was full of the Disney Magic we all know and love but each was unique and full of its own local personality. Have you been to any of the Asian resorts? If so, what was your highlight?