So, have just finished my second and final day at Hong Kong Disneyland.
What an odd place.
First, they have built an enormous infrastructure here, with space for five hotels and three theme parks. When it's finished (in god knows how many decades), there will be two parks separated by an Esplanade just like in Anaheim, with three hotels within walking distance. (Oddly, at the Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel, the staff will NOT tell you that your hotel is a 10 minute walk down a lovely promenade to the theme park--they will only tell you about the bus, which is a big waste of time.)
Anyway, at the moment, there is only one park and two hotels. There is a very long walkway (Promenade) that leads from the entrance of the theme park down to the water and an ENORMOUS Ferry station that is completely built, but there is NO ferry service. The whole place is just deserted.
I arrived at the Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel about 7 pm on Tuesday night and it, too, was completely deserted. I've never seen a hotel in a Disney theme park without a single guest in evidence. Just a few castmembers in the lobby. Damn peculiar, like walking into an episode of The Twilight Zone.
The hotel is nice, and actually more like the Boardwalk and Yacht/Beach Club in Orlando than the Grand Floridian. Rooms are a good size and clean. The theme park is also very clean--not a piece of litter to be seen anywhere in two days.
The park is only open from 10 am to 7 pm at this time of year, but even with those short operating hours you'd be hard pressed to spend more than a day here. The place is very small and there simply aren't that many attractions. Of the attractions that are here, few have the repeatability that makes most Disney theme parks so enjoyable. (No Pirates, Haunted Mansion, Tiki Room, Big Thunder Mountain, Splash Mountain, Tower of Terror, etc.)
On Wednesday the park was totally deserted. Couldn't have been more than two or three hundred people walking in for the first hour. Every ride (of those that were actually open) was a walk on. If riding Space Mountain ten times in a row is your idea of heaven, then this is the place. What you're going to do after that is a mystery, but there you are.
The park is a pretty place, nicely designed, lovely graphics and signs, and all the rides that are here are blessed with good incarnations. The Jungle Cruise, in particular, is excellent.
There seem to be as many restaurants as attractions and the food is good.
But, this park is hurting for customers. When you stay at one of the two hotels you can buy a one-day pass and get a second day for free. An annual pass costs $650 Hong Kong Dollars--that's less than $100 bucks US for an annual pass! What you would do after coming here two or three times, I don't know, but at least it's cheap.
The souvenirs are lousy--every shop has the same stuff, and there are virtually no ride specific souvenirs. And no collectibles except high end gold and silver stuff that no one in their right mind is going to buy.
The cast members completely lack the special character that is exhibited in the parks in the US and Tokyo (I can't recall if the French were exceedingly courteous and helpful, but it seems unlikely). They're just not friendly enough.
Today, Thursday, there were more people in evidence, both in the hotel and the park. Tonight they had a tgruly excellent fireworks show and it snowed on Main Street. Then they kicked everyone out a few minutes after 7 and there sure as hell isn't anything else to do on Lantau Island at that hour!
Last night HongKongDisneyland was kind enough to make the 30 minute trip out here and we had an enjoyable dinner in the bar/lounge at the Hollywood Hotel. Tonight, there's nothing to do but hang out in the room and pack!