hotel questions - HKDL

aschwarz

Mouseketeer
Joined
May 21, 2013
hi friends! I'm planning a mega-trip for myself and my husband in mid-November to all three Disney parks in Asia, and the first leg will include 5 days in HK, with plans for two of those days spent in HKDL and the other three sightseeing/doing basic tourist stuff.

I have a couple of questions regarding where to stay and which hotel to choose.

First, should we do a split stay where we stay in the city of HK for the first part of our time there and sightseeing, then transfer to an on-property hotel for the HKDL part, or would it be fine to stay within Disney the entire time and travel out?

Second, we are torn between choosing the Disneyland Hotel and Explorers Lodge. Initially, I wanted to stay at the Disneyland Hotel since it may be our only opportunity (unless we win the lottery, ha!) to stay at a "flagship Disney hotel." For ref, I used to stay at the Grand Floridian with my family as a kid, but in all our Disney trips together, my husband and I have never been (and likely never will, but who knows) able to splurge on staying at either the GF, GC, DLP hotel, or the Tokyo Disneyland hotel.

I had my heart set on staying here, but have been reading reviews that the rooms are dated/nothing special, and that the Explorers Lodge is the far superior choice.

Assuming that we will never be back in Hong Kong (although we assumed that when we went to Tokyo in 2016 and we're already going back...) which hotel would you choose?

And any recs for off-property hotels are also welcomed, too. :) Thank you!
 

Nick6300

DIS Veteran
Joined
May 3, 2017
We ended up staying at the Hollywood Hotel last May simply for budget reasons and it was nice, equivalent to at least a moderate at WDW. The several reviews that we found also had Explorers as the top choice; we'd pick that one being the new hotel. For HKDL itself, we looked at several off site resorts that were cheaper and had good reviews but decided it wasn't worth it, for the convenience of being onsite. We didn't have the days to explore since we were going to Tokyo and Seoul and this was just a layover stop... but most people seem to stay closer to the city for the touring part of their stay. I think I'd stay off site for the days touring as the 1st leg and then stay at Disney for the last 2 days. Even though it's a small park, as everyone said... I really enjoyed having very low waiting for most everything. If I were to go again, I'd make sure to have a full video for Mystic Manor. Think I rode it 3-4x in a row one day given the low wait times and being the flagship attraction.
 

aschwarz

Mouseketeer
Joined
May 21, 2013
We ended up staying at the Hollywood Hotel last May simply for budget reasons and it was nice, equivalent to at least a moderate at WDW. The several reviews that we found also had Explorers as the top choice; we'd pick that one being the new hotel. For HKDL itself, we looked at several off site resorts that were cheaper and had good reviews but decided it wasn't worth it, for the convenience of being onsite. We didn't have the days to explore since we were going to Tokyo and Seoul and this was just a layover stop... but most people seem to stay closer to the city for the touring part of their stay. I think I'd stay off site for the days touring as the 1st leg and then stay at Disney for the last 2 days. Even though it's a small park, as everyone said... I really enjoyed having very low waiting for most everything. If I were to go again, I'd make sure to have a full video for Mystic Manor. Think I rode it 3-4x in a row one day given the low wait times and being the flagship attraction.
thank you for such a speedy and helpful response!! I'm definitely looking forward to being in such a low-crowd park, relatively speaking, since the last time we went to WDW (during a "slow period") in 2018, the average wait was nearly an hour for even the low-priority rides.
 
  • Nick6300

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 3, 2017
    thank you for such a speedy and helpful response!! I'm definitely looking forward to being in such a low-crowd park, relatively speaking, since the last time we went to WDW (during a "slow period") in 2018, the average wait was nearly an hour for even the low-priority rides.
    Especially when going from HKDL to TDL/TDS... going from the least visited Disney park to the ever popular Tokyo ones, it's a stark difference. I spoke to people who were "underwhelmed" by HKDL, not having as many attractions. I may be in the minority, but I enjoyed being able to go on everything with ease... not much pressure for planning or fastpasses. Really dining and character meet and greets were where we saw the most lines. Parachute Drop in Toy Story Land got to an hr. at peak times. I'm not sure we waited more than 20 min for anything. It was a slight bummer for photos, having the castle being under construction, but we knew that going in.

    We've been tracking WDW times for our upcoming Thanksgiving trip... more for fun than actual info for FP prioritizing. Wait times seem pretty high to me. I keep seeing posts on how shocked people are with low waits. But I just don't get it. I know the 2 hours for HM yesterday w/ thunderstorms is not normal, but outside of EP, there have been some very high wait times this summer at WDW. I think it's safe to say that there's going to be some crazy crowds for our stay that runs through opening days of Rise of the Resistance.
     

    Zemba

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    May 23, 2013
    I’ve never stayed in property at HKDL, but in the city, I really like Cordis in Mong Kok. The rooms are gorgeous and spacious for Hong Kong.

    I’ve also stayed in the SoHotel in Sheung Wan, which is nice if you want to be on HK island, but the rooms are very small.

    I’ve also stayed club level at the Royal Plaza Hotel in Mong Kok east, which was nice, but the location is not as convenient.

    In my opinion, staying on HK island is overrated. It is so easy to take the MTR or busses wherever you want to go.

    As someone who lives in Hong Kong and has a 1+ hour commute every day, I would just stay in HKDL and take the mtr to wherever you want to go, but that seems to be an unpopular opinion on this board.
     

    taylor3297

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 31, 2009
    We stayed at Explorers Lodge for a week this past April for Spring Break. We lived the hotel and since there is an MTR station close by, we didn’t bother moving to another hotel in Hong Kong. It was so easy to get where we needed to go.
     

    indoshakespeare

    Reach out and find your Happily Ever After
    Joined
    Jun 7, 2011
    If you want the experience of staying at the GF without paying that much money, HKDLH can be a good choice. You can even splurge for the Kingdom Club level and still pay less than GF's standard room.

    For me, the biggest negative about HKDLH is it doesnt have a quick service restaurant. Im not a heavy breakfast eater so i prefer grab n go. The only way to have a grab n go breakfast is to stay in the kingdom club (the lounge has pastry you can grab n go. Of course you can always walk to the Explorers / Hollywood and have breakfast there.

    I think it all comes down to what theming you want. Disneyland Hotel is like Grand Floridian, Hollywood Hotel is like Contemporary, Explorer's Hotel is a mix between Poly, Wilderness Lodge and ALK
     
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  • gelatoni fan

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 18, 2018
    Normally, I would recommend staying off site but given the current political climate in Hong Kong and that the elections are in November, I would advise staying away from places in the city pending further news of the protests. This is especially the case during the weekends when protests cause certain roads and stations to be closed.

    You can go onto the website to take a virtual 360 tour to see which of the Disney hotels you prefer.
     

    PiratesMansion

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jun 14, 2013
    I would stay in the city while you're sightseeing. I think being in the city is part of the experience, although perhaps I'm biased because I love Hong Kong and it's my favorite of the international cities that happen to have Disney theme parks! But Hong Kong normally has a vibe I love that simply does not exist on Disney property over there (IMO), plus you'd be closer to all of the attractions you'd want to see.

    For the Disney leg I'd do Explorer Lodge all the way. I totally get the desire to stay in the "top hotel," but IMO the Hong Kong Disneyland hotel is the most boring flagship hotel in the world, like a GF with the details filed off (disclaimer: this impression is entirely from touring the public areas of the hotels and not from staying there). I really liked the vibe of the Explorer Lodge, however, so that would be my choice.
     

    Nick6300

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 3, 2017
    If you want the experience of staying at the GF without paying that much money, HKDLH can be a good choice. You can even splurge for the Kingdom Club level and still pay less than GF's standard room.

    For me, the biggest negative about HKDLH is it doesnt have a quick service restaurant. Im not a heavy breakfast eater so i prefer grab n go. The only way to have a grab n go breakfast is to stay in the kingdom club (the lounge has pastry you can grab n go. Of course you can always walk to the Explorers / Hollywood and have breakfast there.

    I think it all comes down to what theming you want. Disneyland Hotel is like Grand Floridian, Hollywood Hotel is like Contemporary, Explorer's Hotel is a mix between Poly, Wilderness Lodge and ALK
    A good depiction of the 3 hotels
     

    aschwarz

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    May 21, 2013
    Thanks all! I have been keeping an eye on the protests but naively believed they'd be over by mid-November, although it makes perfect sense that they may not be with my trip landing so close to election day. I guess I will keep my eyes peeled and hold out for a bit - def planning for DEL though based on overwhelming praise for the new hotel! :)
     
  • DVC Doc

    Disney world traveller
    Joined
    Feb 26, 2011
    I just wanted to say that we have stayed at every Disneyland Hotel around the world and the Grand Floridian, and HKDLH Kingdom Club level may be my favorite! The views over the bay are absolutely stunning and we thought the room were beautifully appointed and comfortable. The breakfast in the lounge is also fantastic with plenty of Western options.
     

    bibbidibobbidibecky

    The Fairy Godblogger
    Joined
    May 12, 2009
    Hi! We just did a split stay in Hong Kong. We stayed at the Intercontinental Hong Kong (awesome hotel btw with the most amazing hot tub I've ever been in), and the Hollywood Hotel. As others have said it's pretty far between the two areas, so while doable, I wouldn't want to do it. To be out by the airport was really nice. We did HKDL at the end of our trip so we could then just fly out from Lantau. We visited the Big Buddha before our afternoon flight and while a little rushed, I'm still glad we did it.

    I thought the Hollywood Hotel was great! If we didn't need two rooms (family of five) I would have stayed at the Disneyland Hotel though. But the hotel was really great. Clean, the rooms were bigger than I expected, it was pretty, the pool was nice, and the buses were efficient. We even ate dinner in the lounge one night and while pricey, the food was good.

    A note about the protests: We were there over the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Establishment Day this month when the protests got pretty heated. We visited Hong Kong Island the day of the protests and never saw anything. One of our Uber drivers talked a bit about it, but we just stayed away from the area where they were and were not affect. The only thing it affected for us personally was we skipped taking the ferry over from Kowloon because it would have dropped us right near them. So while the rest of the world is being told the whole place is up in arms, in reality it was fine. And I think some roads even got closed while we were there, but, again, it didn't affect us. My point is, just don't go near where the protests are as a tourist and I think it will be perfectly fine.

    I really loved Hong Kong in general and HKDL. It is small, but the rides are done so well. We liked it better than Tokyo Disneyland.
     

    gelatoni fan

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 18, 2018
    A note about the protests: We were there over the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Establishment Day this month when the protests got pretty heated. We visited Hong Kong Island the day of the protests and never saw anything. One of our Uber drivers talked a bit about it, but we just stayed away from the area where they were and were not affect. The only thing it affected for us personally was we skipped taking the ferry over from Kowloon because it would have dropped us right near them. So while the rest of the world is being told the whole place is up in arms, in reality it was fine. And I think some roads even got closed while we were there, but, again, it didn't affect us. My point is, just don't go near where the protests are as a tourist and I think it will be perfectly fine.
    I guess if you were taking Uber and/or taxis, things are easier to avoid. Buses and trains will often not stop in various areas between Causeway Bay and Central on protest days. Even if they did stop, the amount of people passing through those areas would make getting to places like Ocean Park rather cumbersome. I would add to also avoid Mong Kok at night after a protest. Suspected triad members attacked protestors who were returning home to Yuen Long on Sunday night. Mong Kok has also had triad activity in the past and there were violent attacks on people occupying this area during the 2014 Umbrella Movement.
     

    aschwarz

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    May 21, 2013
    Thanks all! This feedback is all so incredibly helpful, and I'm very grateful as I continue making my plans.
     


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