I went to HKDL on Monday, January 26th (Gong Hei Fat Choi!)
First some notes, this is not a full report as I did not experience every attraction. I would have liked to, but I was with 2 friends from the local area and we started at about 1PM, with Chinese New Year crowds to contend with. Also, after my wonderful experience in HK, I am definitely planning a return trip in the near future!
In a way, I enjoyed the fact that the park was busy, albeit very cold (to a Floridian who's been in baking hot Manila for several weeks). It was about 50 degrees with a bad wind chill. The crowds made it seem more like a real park experience I think than if I would have gone on a slow day with no one around. I did find it interesting that my HK friends I was with noted that most of the people they saw were mainlanders, not sure how she knew besides the language, but I trusted her judgement.
There have been many discussions about HKDL being "small", and to me, seeing the park, it is a bit of a misnomer. Although size-wise it may in fact be smaller than some of the other Disneyland parks, it does not feel small, but it does feel incomplete. In other words, it has enough space to immerse you in an area without feeling like you're right next to another land.
Adventureland is very good, however it's also the one with IMO the most glaring lack of attractions. There's plenty of great immersive theming, but not much to back it up with. You're going on an Adventure, but only a treehouse, jungle cruise and a stage show to satisfy you. It's not enough. A Pirates or Indy attraction is really needed here, or even a tiki room done properly could help. The jungle cruise was fun, but other than the new scene at the end, I wasn’t overly impressed by it. It seems like it should have more since it does seem to cover a larger area. The skipper (English speaking) was also a disappointment, not very funny and a bit boring.
Tomorrowland does have enough of attractions to keep you occupied for a while but my issue with this land is the lack of a cohesive theme. It feels much more thrown together than the other Tomorrowlands. It doesn't scream futuristic or retro-future like the others. It's difficult to explain, but I think I'd call it just a generic futuristic land, nothing that stands out as special. Space Mountain and Buzz are very good, so much better than currently at WDW.
Fantasyland is nice, although it feels odd with the placement of everything. It seems like they went out of their way to make Small World a very important looking attraction, complete with its own special area. It was however nice to see everything looking brand new and operating properly.
One note about those things missing, such as the "mountains". IMO, one look at the landscape surrounding the park and it's easy to see why that may not be a good idea. There are very real, and very, very high mountains (at least to a Floridian) surrounding HKDL which would inevitably give a different perspective to whatever "mountains" Disney would want to build. Space Mountain is a different kind of mountain and doesn't fit into the same criteria to me.
I do enjoy the area that it is in. There are definitely things you can notice here that you won’t see at any other parks, the surroundings give it a much different feel.
For example, I really like climbing up through the treehouse and getting views like this:
I love that picture. When you're standing there, it truly looks like the jungle cruise has a massive jungle to go through. This also takes me back to several years ago when I heard that Universal may have considered building a park in HK. Somehow I was thinking that would have been the perfect area for an "Isla Nublar" Jurassic Park theme, but this is a Disney report, so I'll stop there
We watched the fireworks which I thought were very well done, different, but still what I've come to expect.
I am excited for what may be coming next for the park. I've heard they are starting to see more crowds and hopefully in a few years we can call it as good as any other Disneyland park in the world.
Here's a link to the rest of the pics:
Pictures by techno9991 - Photobucket