February 15, 2019 – Hong Kong Disneyland

I’ve been here before. In 2014, I ran the Hong Kong Marathon as part of my Road To… series. I wanted to come back this year and bring my mom. One of the chief tourist draws was to get her to Hong Kong Disneyland.


When I was last here, I fell in love with the Mystic Manor ride that at that point was newly opened. As ghosts are verboten in China, or at least looked at askance, the Disney trademark Haunted Mansion was a no-go for Hong Kong. So they created an enchanted collection of antiquities in what was called Mystic Manor. Based loosely on the notion of Downtown Disney’s Adventurers’ Club (RIP), the ride focuses on a flighty adventurer who has brought back a legendary musical box. The adventurer’s companion, a mischevious monkey named Albert, opens the box and unleashes the magic throughout the house’s collected artifacts and artwork. It makes for a wild ride indeed as grin grinning suits of armor and Monkey King’s pulverize. Plus there’s a Danny Elfman soundtrack.

Mystic Manor used a then revolutionary magnetic trackless ride system, later reconfigured for Disneyland Paris’s Ratatouille ride (soon to be coming to Epcot Center!). So I’m not sure Mom was as blown away by the ride I was in 2014… but I think she enjoyed it. It’s fun to see a ride that is exclusive to a park — I think Disney has made some serious miscalculations in their recycling of rides at their various theme parks. Individuality of the parks should trump the synergy of multiple iterations.

But I digress.

We wandered around the park, a detour filled amble due to a transformation of Sleeping Beauty’s castle in the center of the park.  This central construction site is eventually going to make the HK castle an amalgamation of 13 fairy tale castles from the Disney ouevre.  I thought they had razed the structure but it’s still there.  Oddly, it’s been under transformation since January 1, 2018… and I don’t see much progress aside from making a mess of the park.

As it stands, it’s kinda neat to see it in this chaos, much like the birthday cake facade of WDW’s Magic Kingdom.  Still, if this is the only time you’re going to see the castle at a park, it’s probably a bit disappointing..

Again, I digress.  Here then are some photos of the day at play in the fields of the Mouse… Mickey Mouse.