Hey all, finally back in HK. This time for the coming years so do expect my monthly HKDL updates to come back starting at the end of this month.
I visited the park after a year (thoughts and pics will all go into the July update at the end of this month) and was pleasantly surprised by how much it has improved since. But this post will focus ONLY on Mystic Point (and some other things).
The land itself is small. Very and painfully small. Painfully in that it leaves you wanting more - it's size is rather underwhelming for a land that feels of superior quality than any other land in the park save Grizzly Gulch. I don't know for what reason WDI decided to make HKDL an EPCOT of sorts with mini lands (assuming more are on the way) surrounding the "main" park within the berm but it simply doesn't work. Where Adventureland feels massive and empty, Mystic Point is tiny and crowded. An annoying realization when you think how many more quality attractions could have fit within a cleverly organized Adventureland. But oh well, what's done is done.
But that doesn't mean shoddy planning should continually affect the park in the future. This entire expansion was poorly planned - however good the attractions are - and it feels poorly planned. Don't even get me started on Toy Story Land and its place among MP, GG and AL.
Everything in Mystic Point is superbly detailed. Especially the main building itself. Up close it's breathtaking. Explorer's Club is of equal quality. It feels like a rich environment that is immersive as it is engaging. This sense of awe is immediately then eradicated when you see the ugly green parachutes rising high above the tree line that borders MM from TSL. Just like the park itself, you feel you're in a very tight and small place - it takes away the grandeur of the land.
There is however a minor problem. Every building is "too" polished and clean. Almost like the spinners in the Arabia section in TDS. You would assume that the residence of a lone man and his monkey in the middle of the forest would be at least slightly cracked or showing signs of wear and tear.
The ride itself is simply good. The level of detail is stunning and the rooms themselves are stunning aided by amazing technology. What stops it from reaching the heights of similar attractions like The Haunted Mansion or TDL's Pooh is that it feels empty. There's not enough in it. There's not enough to look at.
Maybe the rumored budget cuts had some part in this but there are definitely not as many artifacts as you all may have seen in the concept art. In truth, MM doesn't hold a candle to the HM. I would want HM instead of what we got in a heartbeat. For a ride that generated so much hype - it does okay. It lacks the depth you feel while you are in the HM.
It certainly doesn't underwhelm or overwhelm but it's a welcome addition to a park that needs quality rides. My final verdict would be a solid 7.5/10. That's still a pretty good score for a ride in HKDL. It is one of the best with the best being Grizzly Mountain (a 8.75/10). The ride might grow on me after I go on it a few more times. It is worth repeat visits.
Mystic Manor Ride - 7.5/10
Mystic Manor Exterior - 8.5/10
Explorer's Club Interior - 7.5/10
Explorer's Club Exterior - 8.5/10
Explorer's Club Food (some dishes are the same in other parts of the park) - 6/10
Archive Shop Items - 6/10 Most things are NOT exclusive.
Archive Shop Interior/Exterior - 8.2/10
The land itself - 3/10 You literally need to see it to believe how small it is. I do not exaggerate. The same comment I got from 4 of my family members and 3 of my friends.
The Mystic Point Expansion Overall - This grade takes a tremendous beating from the simple fact that the land is just stunningly TOO small. 5.5/10. It's like turning the Tower of Terror (along with its fountain court) at TDS into land of its own. Pathetic and truly sad. I hope we don't get more mini lands but alas it seems this is the path HKDL has chosen for itself.
Again it seems we have been shortchanged by HKDL. It is baffling still how small Mystic Point is (there is more to do in Toy Story Land for Pete's sake) and its transition into Toy Story Land. Grizzly Gulch remains the best part of the expansion - delivering an amazing ride with a good overall size and also letting us hope that it may be expanded (unlike Mystic Point which is stuck between two larger lands).
Stay tuned for a July update soon!