We headed off to HK Disneyland for the long weekend, and it was a memorable trip filled with lots of firsts for us! It was our first time to travel abroad with kids without a nanny (shoti stayed at home). It was also Albert, Mati and Hannah’s first time to HK Disneyland!
And because we all know that magic comes with a price tag, I wrote some easy ways how you can save (and stuff worth spending for!) during your Disney vacation.
Savings at HK Disneyland (…and Free Stuff!)
1. HK Disneyland Savings: Park Admission via KKDay
If you haven’t tried it yet, KKDay offers substantial discounts for travel tours, packages and admission tickets around the world. For example:
PRICE COMPARISON (Php)
Disneyland HK Website
1-day pass (ADULT)
1-day pass (CHILD)
Note: Official Disney website rates are in Hong Kong dollars. If paying via credit card, you will be subjected to a higher foreign exchange rate (HKD to PHP), and a 3.5% convenience charge by your bank
Time-Saver : You also save time when purchasing through KKDay. We skipped the first queue and immediately got inside the park with our e-tickets. The staff just scanned the QR code and we were off to our magical day!
2. HK Disneyland Savings: Kids under 3 enter free of charge.
When I was booking our tickets, I was pleasantly surprised that kids under 3 enter the park for free! Hannah was able to ride with us on all rides (except for when she was sleeping hehe!)!
It was so fun to see her explore Disney grounds and just take in all the rides and sights!
3. HK Disneyland Savings: Save on Shopping and Rentals
Super grateful that Mati’s ninang Sheena is a Disneyhead and advised us to let the kids wear costumes at the park for a more Disney-ful fun experience.
For our first day, Mati and Hannah were LGM’s from Toy Story. I also bought some Mickey headbands here in Manila before our trip, just in case their LGM costume headpieces got a bit too stuffy for them.
Disney costumes are sold for 5-10x the price you can buy them for at Manila’s malls or online stores. So if you’re on the practical side like me, best to do some early preps and have the benefit of washing them beforehand, too!
We did allow Mati and Hannah choose one souvenir each, and it was a blessing that Mati has already been taught to accept “No” for an answer when he wanted more than one.
Going back to savings, you can also save on stroller rentals by bringing your own stroller for each child. Stroller rental per day at Disney costs $140 HKD per day.
I don’t recommend it for two reasons. First of all, they aren’t designed for smaller kids. Secondly, you can only rent and use strollers inside the park. It’s a bit of a walk from the shuttle buses/ MTR station to the main park entrance, so having your own stroller is super handy.
4. Free For First Timers and Birthday Celebrants
If it’s your kids’ birthday or their first time to HK Disneyland, head over to City Hall and get a special button for them to wear. It’s free! We got the First Timer button for Mati and Hannah, while Albert refused to wear one haha. A lot of the crew members and mascots pointed to the kids’ buttons, gave them a hug and stickers!
5. Sort-of-Free: Join in the Pin Trading Tradition
When you buy a pin at the park (around 59-79 HKD), you can trade pins with crew members anytime you see them. It was a fun interaction for the kids. Crew members have a variety of pins attached to their sling bags, telling them the names of each character on the pin.
Spending At Disneyland: What’s Worth Splurging On?
1. Stay At A Disney Hotel
We stayed at the Disney Hollywood hotel for two nights, and the kids had a blast!
The room was big enough to comfortably accommodate the four of us, our luggage and assortment of accessories we had to pull out of our bags – nebulizers, humidifiers, breast pump, milk bottles, bottled water, etc!
Nearby non-Disney “neighbor hotels” take at least 20 minutes to reach via taxi. Factoring in time, energy and cost of transportation, made booking Disney hotel a more practical (and fun!) choice for us.
Plus, all Disney hotels each have their own free shuttle buses to the park, which made it easier for our weary bodies to get to bed after a long day of exploring Disney.
Surprise Hotel Savings!
I was about to book our Disney hotel directly on the official site, when I Googled to check from other options. Turns out Agoda offered the same room for 35% less the official website price!
Bonus: FREE Priority Passes for the Group
All hotel guests get a minimum two (2) priority passes to use at the park’s most popular rides. The receptionist gives them to you along with your hotel key card upon check in.
Priority Passes are different from Fast Passes. Priority Passes immediately let you go to the front of the line as soon as you present your Priority Pass. Fast Passes give you a designated time to go back to the attraction for priority access.
Bonus: No Long Lines For Character Appearances
Disney hotels also let you meet your favorite characters at the hotel lobby! This is great if you’re like us who you don’t have the patience to line up for character photo-ops at the park. (The queues take as long as 2o minutes to an hour).
Pluto was at the lobby one afternoon and Mati and Hannah took so many photos with him! We were the only family there so it was photos to sawa.
2. Spend on Fast and Reliable (but uber cheap) WI-FI
I highly recommend getting your own 4G wifi rental from KKDay. It’s a bargain at P168/day compared to what local telcoms charge for their roaming plans.
Plus, the free wifi at the park was very slow…because what else can one expect? Everyone is logging on! Having our own internet connection also proved invaluable in checking the Disneyland HK app for how long the lines were (in real time!) and checking for show and parade times! Such a great deal and time-saver.
3. Spend on Food (coz no choice hehe!)
Even if I knew it in advance, there was still a slight disbelief on my part for the over-inflated prices of Disneyland food. Albert and I are the type of people who totally don’t mind paying a premium when it comes to eating, as long as it’s delicious (and good for you!)
Disneyland unfortunately doesn’t specialize in catering hehe. But just roll with it!
It’s part of the Disney experience to have your mickey-shaped carrot on top of your meal($139 HKD) and have a mickey-shaped ice cream bar ($50 hkd) hehe. Plus, if you’re planning to stay at the park til the evening (we didn’t), you can get 2-in-1 or 3-in-1 discounted meal vouchers at KKDay.
You can also pop over to Citywalk Mall (15 minutes via taxi) for lots of good restaurants. We had dinner at Paradise Dynasty) and headed to the grocery to do some shopping and grocery pasalubong. Posting our HK itinerary soon!
4. Splurge on Capturing Memories
At Disneyland HK, you have the option of doing it yourself, availing of the Disney Photo Pass or hiring a professional photography service like Sweet Escape. This photo above with Andy’s alphabet board and below photo (carousel) are some of my favorites from our shoot with Sweet Escape. I write more about my experience with both services in the next post.
A Price Tag for A Priceless Experience
So there you have it! Undeniably, going to Disneyland Hong Kong is an expense in itself, but you definitely can’t put a price tag on Mickey and his friends!
Plan your day well, be money-wise and go for some smart savings, don’t be a Scrooge and just have fun!