I love lists. I love ranking things. My brother and I rank and make lists all the time…more than I would ever want to admit. With this passion for lists in mind, I thought it would be fun to rank every attraction in Hong Kong Disneyland. However, to get a definite list of attractions, I visited Hong Kong Disneyland’s official website. I for one was surprised at the amount of things HKDL lists as attractions. I personally wouldn’t consider all of these “attractions.” But in a sense, they all are, and all items on this list offer up experiences for Guests, so please keep that in mind when reading this list.
This article will come in two parts. This week we will cover attractions ranked 33-19 and the next article will cover from 18 – 1 to save your eyes and build anticipation (hopefully!).
Note: this list will not contain any shows or parades (I will save that for a different article). But, if I was going to include them, Festival of the Lion King would be very high on the list, Mickey and the Wondrous Book would be in the top 10 and Moana: A Homecoming Celebration would be in the top 20.
Without further ado, let’s get list making! Yay!
N/A: Sleeping Beauty Castle
Well actually, it’s not quite ready just yet. Many people would consider Sleeping Beauty Castle as an attraction, and I would too, if it wasn’t under construction. But sadly, Sleeping Beauty Castle is slowly disappearing and a new shiny castle will be taking its place. Thus, I feel like it isn’t qualified to be counted in this list.
33. Mystic Manor Freight Depot
What’s the Mystic Manor Freight Depot? Well it’s exactly what it says on the tin. The Mystic Manor Freight Depot sits opposite Mystic Manor itself in Mystic Point. It’s an old depot where a lot of Henry Mystics artifacts are stored waiting to be organized.
Aesthetically pleasing the Mystic Manor Freight Depot is a photo opp. It adds to the atmosphere of Mystic Point and compliments Mystic Manor. But, it is quite limited in terms of interaction. Thus, finding itself at the bottom of this list.
32. Barrel of Fun
You will pass the Barrel of Fun at certain times of the day and wonder why people are in a queue to stand in a turned over blue barrel. Well actually, the Barrel of Fun is a Meet and Greet location for your favorite Toy Story characters. It is here where you can meet Woody, Jessy and Buzz. Meeting the characters is fun, but this location is definitely one of the least interesting Character Meet and Greet locations.
Once upon a time, you could meet Lotso here. If that was still the case, the Barrel of Fun would definitely be higher on the list.
31. Sword in the Stone
This is one of the ‘attractions’ that I was surprised to see on the list. I didn’t really see this as an attraction. Yet, when I thought about it, I changed my mind. I have passed the Sword in the Stone many times, and I have seen a plethora of Guests trying their hardest to become the new king of Fantasyland. Would I like there to be a show around the Sword in the Stone? Yes. But, it still provides plenty of magic to many Guests and is associated with Fantasyland.
30. Art of Animation
This is another attraction that would have been a lot higher a few years ago. The Art of Animation building used to be one of my favorite things to visit in the park. It was full of great art and cool models from Disney’s expansive history.
Alas, the Art of Animation building now houses the Magic Access Member (Annual Passholder) information desk and private lounge. There is still some great art in here and a display dedicated to legendary animator Tyrus Wong who worked on Bambi, but it is a shell of its former self.
29. Wild West Photo Fun
This is an attraction that I can safely say is not for me. Wild West Photo Fun is a series of stereotypical Wild West locations found in the center of Grizzly Gulch. There is a jail cell and an old fashioned store that Guests can enter for various photo opportunities. Although I am trying to get better at social media, I prefer taking photos of things rather than people taking photos of me.
Once again, when I walk past these buildings, many Guests are laughing, having fun and taking a multitude of photos around the Wild West Photo Fun stop
28. Liki Tikis
The Liki Tikis not only have one of the best names of any attraction at Hong Kong Disneyland, but they are a staple of Adventureland. However, they are also one of those attractions that you could be forgiven for walking past. The Liki Tikis are at the back of Adventureland just past The Jungle Cruise.
It is an area of several large tiki statues surrounded in mist. The area has a softer ground than usual and the tikis will squirt water at unpredictable times. When I think back to when I visited WDW when I was younger, it’s these types of play areas that I have fond memories of and the Liki Tikis are a great example of this type of experience. One that is sorely needed in the hot Hong Kong weather.
27. Rafts to Tarzan’s Treehouse
Disney resorts and boat rides go hand in hand. I would hazard a guess that most people reading this will have a strong memory of traversing one of Disney’s many water ways somewhere in the world.
Sadly, there are no major vessels at HKDL. But, we do have the Rafts to Tarzan’s Treehouse. These rafts are square in shape with standing room only. Not my favorite Disney boat ride, but still fun, and they are a good way to build atmosphere for the Tarzan’s Treehouse attraction.
26. Cinderella Carousel
The first real classic Disney attraction on my list, some people might think this is too low, and I understand why they would think that. The Carousel is a not only a Disney classic, but a classic in amusement park history. If it disappeared, there would definitely be a hole in Fantasyland. That being said, there are better Disney carousels. Yes, it’s a nice visual to see in Fantasyland, but there are better attractions that deserve to be higher in the list.
25. Fairytale Forest
Another relatively new attraction. The Fairytale Forest is definitely unique and a new staple of Hong Kong Disneyland. The Fairytale Forest is effectively a maze. Guests traverse the paths of the Fairytale Forest into several different clearings. Each clearing is themed to a classic Disney princess. The story of that princess is told through cute mechanisms and interactive play.
I really enjoyed the Fairytale Forest the first time I experienced it. However, over time, this is one attraction that I tend to bypass. A cute idea, but lacks repeat value.
24. Geyser Gulch
Geyser Gulch is a lot of fun. It is similar to the Liki Tikis, but on a much larger scale. Geyser Gulch is a fun wet play area in Grizzly Gulch with geysers that shoot water and mist at unsuspecting Guests.In addition to the geysers, there are also water guns that Guests can use to try and soak their friends. Perfect on a hot day, Geyser Gulch is a popular attraction for Guests of all ages with no queue!
23. Star Wars Command Post
Star Wars Command Post is not Star Wars Launch Bay. I am saying this to temper your expectations. I love the Launch Bay at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. I even like the smaller Star Wars Launch Bay at Shanghai Disney Resort. What makes these great are the amount of things to see and experience.
The Command Post is not that. The Star Wars Command Post is a Meet and Greet location for your favorite Star Wars characters. Currently housing Chewbacca and R2-D2, the Command Post is still a lot of fun and a must do for any Star Wars fanatic.
22. Dumbo the Flying Elephant
I’m kicking myself for putting Dumbo in the bottom half of the list. It almost feels like sacrilege. I have an old VHS tape of my first time in WDW and a big part of that video is us riding Dumbo for the first time. Thus, I hold a lot of nostalgia for this attraction.
However, on my last visit to WDW, I was blown away by the “dueling Dumbos” upgrade that the attraction has received. It definitely is on a much bigger scale now, and I love the unique queuing system. This is something that our Dumbo lacks causing queues to be pretty hefty. It’s for this reason that Dumbo is as low down it is.
21. Garden of Wonders
The Garden of Wonders is one of the most unique attractions that HKDLhas to offer. Once again situated in Mystic Point, the Garden of Wonders is a garden area full of optical illusions. It is quite reminiscent of the 3-D museums that are quite popular in Asia, with a rustic twist.
Not only does the Garden of Wonders add to the atmosphere of Mystic Point, it also has an old school Disney vibe with a large focus on play and exploration.
Orbitron is the cousin of the Astro Orbiter at Walt Disney World on a slightly smaller scale. Like Astro Orbiter, Orbitron sits in the middle of Tomorrowland acting as the first “weenie” into the land of tomorrow.
Unlike its Disneyland Paris counterpart, HKDL’s Orbitron has a flying saucer ride vehicle instead of rocket ships offering guests a unique look at Tomorrowland. The attraction places a little higher than Dumbo due to the fact that the queue time is relatively shorter and you get some very nice views in the evening.
19. Mad Hatter Tea Cups
This is quite possible my fiancé’s favorite attraction. It was also my younger cousin’s favorite attraction when I took them to Disneyland. I think I take it for granted. When we think about a great attraction, we think about something that has all of the bells and whistles. Where a great attraction doesn’t really have to be too complicated. It just has to be fun. For a lot of people, that’s what Mad Hatter Tea Cups is… fun.
I’m going to stop there for today. The next article will cover attractions 18-1. I hope you are excited. I am too!
What do you think? Do you agree with my list so far? Did I place something too high? Too low? Let’s continue the conversation in the WDW Radio Box People Facebook group.
(All photos from the author’s personal collection.)
To learn more about Daniel and read his recent posts for the WDW Radio Blog, visit his author page by clicking the link on his name at the top of this post.