Hong Kong Disneyland, as one of the most popular theme parks in Hong Kong, is always a dreamland for kids as well as adults like me. There are three Hong Kong Disneyland hotels. The first one is Disney’s Hollywood Hotel, opened in September 2005 along with Hong Kong Disneyland. The 2nd one is Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel, which was opened in December 2005. The latest hotel Disney Explorers Lodge opened in April 2017.
So the question is which Hong Kong Disneyland hotel you should choose? What are the differences or which one suits you or your kids better?
If you are interested to know what you can do in Hong Kong Disneyland or the related questions, you can check from “Hong Kong Disneyland review“. Here I will only discuss and compare the three Hong Kong Disneyland hotels to help you make a better decision.
Why staying in Hong Kong Disneyland hotels?
Planning a family trip to Hong Kong Disneyland can be quite exhausting. Is it necessary to stay in the Disney hotels? What are the benefits ? Are there any other hotels near Hong Kong Disneyland ?
Although Hong Kong Disneyland is not as big as its counterparts in the USA (Hong Kong Disneyland has 7 theme parks now), there is still plenty to plan, see and do. To my experience, one day, even staying for the complete opening hour, is only sufficient for a superficial visit and can only cover parts of the park. So staying in one of the Hong Kong Disneyland hotels nearby is not only distance convenient. It also brings lots of other benefits.
1) Convenient choice for big travel/family group
Especially for those who travel with the whole family and kids and are huge fans of Disneyland, staying at the Hong Kong Disney hotels can be considered as adding the icing on a cake. It is a must for many fans to experience the full Disney Magic, which I will discuss this “Magic” part later. Besides, most of the hotel rooms in Hong Kong can only accommodate maximum 3 persons while Hong Kong Disneyland hotels allow 4 person per room.
2) Hotel guests can have priority pass to save time
As a hotel guest, you will be entitled with a fast pass for all the lines in the Disney resorts. It will save you tons of trouble and time.
3) No worry for fireworks and night parade
Besides, if you stay for the fireworks and Paint The Night Parade at night, imagine how many people will travel together on the public transportation after the show. You don’t need to fight with the crowds for a place in the train traveling back all over the city to your accommodation.
4) Can start late and take a rest easily if tired
Hong Kong Disneyland is located a little bit far away from downtown and it takes one hour to travel from downtown. If you would like to beat all the tourists before opening, feed your kids with breakfast before entering, you may have to start really early in the morning. If staying in one of the Hong Kong Disneyland hotels, you would not have such stress. You can easily get a relaxed breakfast and take a free shuttle bus to the entrance of the resort.
Traveling with young kids has always unexpected situation. You can easily get back to hotel to change clothes or take a shower if needed. Just remember to keep your ticket for re-entering.
However, if all you want is only to have a quick look of Disneyland and hurry back to downtown area, you may consider to stay in other hotels in Hong Kong. You can check the following review to find out better hotel options.
More to Know
Hong Kong has over 200 hotels and three major regions. This review shows you where the best location to stay for businessmen, for tourists, for relaxing or other purpose are.
Comparison of 3 Hong Kong Disneyland hotels:
Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel vs. Disney’s Hollywood Hotel vs. Disney Explorers Lodge
All the three Hong Kong Disneyland hotels are located near Hong Kong Disneyland. All of them have their own themes and designs. It is a bit confusing to decide which one you should choose. Let’s compare them step by step.
Hotel Location and Shuttle Service
Apparently location is the first priority of choosing Disney hotels. Disney’s Hollywood Hotel, Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel and Disney Explorers Lodge are all located near the main entrance of Disneyland. Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel is a little bit closer to the entrance than the other two hotels (see the map below).
All hotels provide 24-hour free shuttle bus service, which leave every 10-20min (from 6:00am to 1:00am). Between 1:00am till 6:00am, hotels will send out shuttle bus on request (you can call 35105000 asking for service during this period).
Shuttle bus will start from Disneyland Hotel, pass Disney Explorers Lodge, stop at Disney’s Hollywood Hotel (the blue line on map) and then drive to the entrance of resort (the red line on map). However, since all the shuttle buses are big coaches, you don’t need to worry if you stay in Hollywood Hotel the buses will be full. Alternatively, you easily can walk the few minutes to the entrance yourself what is a nice stroll if it is not too hot and humid.
Hotel Theme and Style
Many people think Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel is definitely better since it is a 5-star hotel but Disney’s Hollywood Hotel and Disney Explorers Lodge are 4-star hotels. I personally don’t feel much difference on service between these three hotels. To me, it all depends on what your princess fantasy or Disneyland dream is about.
The Disney’s Hollywood Hotel is a 4-star hotel and is a little bit further away from the park entrance. However, it is bigger than Disneyland Hotel, providing 600 rooms on 8 floors.
Unlike Disneyland Hotels’s Victorian style, Disney’s Hollywood Hotel is decorated with a Hollywood like theme as its name implies. Movie buffs, Hollywood fans as well as car lovers will love the manifold decorations and photos opportunities around this hotel.
Stepping inside this hotel you will feel a combination of the golden era of Hollywood’s 1930s and 1940s mixed with the Disney Magic. The exterior of the hotel is held in a classic and elegant Art Deco style with the iconic Mickey’s head.
I would rather call it a Mickey themed hotel than Hollywood hotel. Hotel logo, the walls, the pillars, the lobby, the restaurants, the elevators, the tables and chairs, you can easily find Mickey everywhere in the hotel.
Be careful of the big TV and comfort sofa in the lobby, because it plays Mickey’s cartoon all day long that you hardly can drive your kids away once they sit down.
The Victorian themed Disneyland Hotel is a 5-star hotel and the theme park’s flagship hotel with about 400 rooms spanning over 6 floors. It looks like a huge palace and fulfills the dream of fairy tale lovers.
Not only the outside, but also everything inside of the hotel brings you back to early 1900s. The elegant Victorian style interior and decorations made me feel like walking into an European castle.
A huge chandelier is hanging on the 4-floor high ceiling and stairs are winded up to the 4th floor. Since the Disney movie “Frozen” became extremely popular among girls, you can see kids standing on the stairs and singing “Let It Go”.
If you are lucky, you may meet some of those princesses in the lobby and signing names for the fans.
Cinderella Ball Room, Sleeping Beauty Rom, Snow White Room, Prince Charming Meeting Room ! Don’t you feel like dropping into a complete fairy tale ?
The Victorian princess style even shows in the toilet.
Don’t miss the most popular photo spots – the Mickey and Minnie statues. You can find their statues in Hollywood Hotel as well.
The 4-star hotel Disney Explorers Lodge hotel is the largest one of the three. As to its name, you already can guess what its theme is about.The hotel is designed to celebrate the golden age of exploration in the early 1920s with 750 rooms on 7 floors. Like its lodge latin motto of “ad explorare et somniare” (means “to explore and dream”), it aims to inspire the guests exploring and enjoying the different culture of the world.
Not only the inside, but also every wing of the Disney Explorers Lodge has featured to four themed garden : Asia, Oceania, South America and Africa. Each garden is named after the characters and stories from Disney movies : Hathi JR. Garden (The Jungle Book), Little Squirt Garden (Finding Nemo), Kevin Garden (Up) and Rafiki Garden (Lion King).
The design of lobby is also matching the theme “exploring”. Even the tables in the lobby are designed to be vintage leather suitcase.
Hotel and Mickey Exploring Team also collected the art-crafts and collectables from 4 continents to fulfill the theme of exploring.
Hotel Rooms and Price
All the three hotels sit close to the ocean and all of them provide sea-view room type (with/without balcony).
Most of the hotels in Hong Kong allow maximum 3 persons (adults + children) in one room. However, since Disneyland is a place for family activity, all the three Disney hotels have rooms for 4 persons (two double beds in one room).
Last but not least, all the hotels offer free wi-fi access in all their guest rooms, hotel lobby and dining locations. All the hotels have a check-in at 15:00 and request a check-out at 11:00am.
The rooms of Disney’s Hollywood remains its classic, elegant but modern design. The rooms are equipped with all the necessary amenities, such as mini bar, bathroom, hair dryer, in-room safe, flat-screen TV, etc..
Get ready for the “WOW” surprise when you step in the rooms because all the rooms are completely filled with Mickey elements. It’s like a Mickey themed rooms and Mickey is on the wall, the carpet, the bed as well as the table.
Don’t ignore the lovely towel animals on the bed. Same to Disneyland Hotel, if you happened to spend Birthday in the hotel, you will get a nice birthday card and birthday towel cake as presents.
Don’t forget the bathrooms amenities, slippers and bathrobes which are all featured with Mickey’s iconic head.
The Disney’s Hollywood Hotel offers just three types of hotel rooms (with Garden View, Sea View and Park View) ranging from HK$ 1,700 to HK$ 2,950 per night which could be considered as the budget option out of the two Disney hotels and easily can accommodate a family of four.
Same with its architecture style, the hotel rooms are designed accordingly to the Victorian and Snow White theme (It wouldn’t be Disney if the Disney magic wouldn’t be spilled everywhere !). The rooms are equipped with all the necessary amenities, such as mini bar, bathroom, hair dryer, in-room safe, flat-screen TV, etc..
When you walk in your room, don’t forget to look for the lovely towel animals placing on the beds. If it happens to be your birthday during your stay, you will also find a lovely towel birthday cake on the table with a sweet birthday card.
The cuteness does not stop at the room amenities and the small details. The toiletries feature the 7 dwarfs and even mini room slippers and bathrobes for the little ones are taken care of.
Keeping Hong Kong’s standard hotel rooms (with their limited space) in mind the room sizes of the Hong Kong Disneyland are actually quite big and spacious. It is one of the few hotels, which truly can accommodate a larger family with 2-3 kids and/or families traveling with a nanny. Hotel prices range from HK$ 2,400 to 7,500 depending on the room type (sea view, balcony etc.).
Same with its motto, the hotel rooms are designed accordingly to the adventurers’ fantasy. The rooms are equipped with all the necessary amenities.
Unlike other two hotels full of cute elements, the rooms of Disney Explorers Lodge are a little big vintage style.
Like always, don’t forget to check out the surprise in bathroom. The vintage style Mickey Mouse amenities tin box is so cute. Guests are welcome to take it home as souvenir.
Hotel prices range from HK$ 2,200 to 3,800 depending on the room type (sea view, standard, premium etc.).
Character Dining and Restaurants
Disneyland is located far from the downtown area of Hong Kong. It means if you stay in the Disney hotels, dining in the restaurants of the hotels or inside the park are the only dining options.
You don’t need to worry about starving since all the hotels have plenty of restaurants that provide one-stop solution to their guests. Besides, all the three hotels have Disney-themed restaurants where you can enjoy your meal with Disney’s characters.
If you are staying in Disney hotel because you are a huge fan, then you will love Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel’s arrangements the most. This hotel has four dining options (Enchanted Garden Restaurant, Walt’s Café, Crystal Lotus and Sea Breeze Bar ranging from European to Chinese cuisines. The other two options Grand Salon and Kingdom Club Level have been already closed.
One of the highlights (also my favorite moment of a day) of the Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel is to have buffet in the Enchanted Garden Restaurant. Why? Because you can meet your favorite Disney characters.
Dining with Disney characters in Enchanted Garden
The Enchanted Garden serves breakfast, lunch and dinner buffet, covering both Asian (Chinese) and Western food. Be prepared that Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Pluto, Donald and Daisy will walk to you, hug you and take a photo with you while you are having your meal. The most popular buffet is the breakfast session. There is no better way to start a wonderful day in Disneyland.
If it’s your birthday, you will get a special birthday badge. All the characters will delight you first and wish you a Happy Birthday.
The hotel also arranges professional photographer to take picture for you in case you forget your camera or would like to have a framed picture or keychain as souvenir.
If you decide to have buffet in Enchanted Garden, it’s better to book when you book the hotel because it’s always fully booked. Although the buffet is quite pricey (starting from HK$ 328/breakfast to HK$ 518/dinner) and maybe does not offer anything too special, it is a great experience for kids.
The breakfast buffer starts everyday 7:30 till 11:00. There are two sessions : 7:30-9:00 and 9:30-11:00. You need to inform the hotel which session you would like to join.
The dinner buffer lasts till 22:00 (weekdays) and 22:30 (weekends). So it is still possible to have dinner after you watch the Disneyland fireworks. Remember to keep an eye on the booking status from their official site (check here).
Other dining options
Besides Enchanted Garden, Disneyland Hotel also serves cute gourmet in Crystal Lotus and Walt’s Cafe.
Although every Disney restaurant is quite pricey, I would like to point out the Walt’s Café to all of you who might want to save a few dollars. The Walt Café can be a good choice to grab something to eat and save for souvenirs.
Disney’s Hollywood Hotel also has plenty of dining options. There are three restaurants in this hotel. Similar to the Enchanted Garden Restaurant at Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel, Disney’s Hollywood Hotel offers a meet-and-greet with Mickey and Donald at the Chef Mickey Restaurant.
Dining with chef Mickey and sous chef Donald at Chef Mickey
The restaurant is actually a Mickey-themed restaurant, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner buffer. As a Mickey-themed restaurant, Mickey related food is apparently expected.
In everyday’s breakfast buffer (7:00-11:00), lunch buffet on Sat/Sun/Holidays (12:00-14:30) as well as dinner buffet on Sat/Sun/Holidays (17:30-19:30/20:00-22:30), Chef Mickey will wait the guests at the entrance of the restaurants and you can capture a photo with him. If you are a fan of Donald Duck, then don’t miss the chance to meet the sous chef Donald during lunch buffet.
It’s different with Enchanted Garden that Mickey will not step into the restaurant and walk to guest’s tables.
Again, the breakfast and dinner buffet don’t come in cheap (starting from HK$ 238/breakfast to HK$ 398/dinner) and offer nothing fancy. A nice plus is that they do provide some good vegetarian choices. However, it is a good opportunity to take some pictures with your favorite characters together with your kids without fighting with visitors insight the park.
Insider Tips: Check-out the Chef Mickey Restaurant website. Sometimes they have special discount voucher (Check here). If you prefer the Enchanted Garden and would like to meet other characters too, you also can make a reservation even you stay in Disney’s Hollywood.
Other dining options
Besides Mickey Chef, be prepared that the “Studio Lounge” as well as the “Hollywood & Dine” Restaurant only offer small snacks and drinks such as sandwiches, salads, congees, fruits, pastries and drinks. At the time of the writing of this updated article (Aug 2017), the two dining options (the Sunset Terrace as well as the Piano Pool Bar) have been closed until further notice.
Disney Explorers Lodge hotel has three themed restaurants : Dragon Wind, World of Color Restaurant and Chart Room Cafe.
Dragon Wind features Chinese and Cantonese cuisines. If you book the breakfast buffet in Dragon Wind, you may have chance to meet your favorite Disney characters.
If you decide to have breakfast in Dragon Wind, also try to book it along with your hotel booking in case it’s fully booked. The price of breakfast buffet (7:00-11:00) starts from HK$ 278 per adult and HK$ 178 per child.
World of Color Restaurant focuses on international food, including Asian, Halal, vegetarian cuisines. The price of World of Color is slightly cheaper than Dragon Wind. You also have chance to meet Donald Duck if you enjoy breakfast buffet here. Buffer prices start from HK$ 218 per adult and HK$ 138 per child. World of Color Restaurant can sit 120 guests and some of the out door table have the view of Kevin Garden.
Who can visit Disneyland and leave with empty hands ? If you don’t want to wait your precious time on shopping in Disneyland park or you are not satisfied on shopping options, all the three Disney hotels have in-hotel souvenir stores.
The souvenir store in Disney’s Hollywood is called “Celebrity Gifts”. It is located right opposite studio lounge and beside the lobby entrance. The selections is a little bit less than “Kingdom Gifts” in Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel.
The souvenir store “Kingdom Gifts” in Disneyland Hotel has a little more selections than the store in Disney’s Hollywood. You can find many Disneyland related items, from toys, t-shirts, stationaries to accessories, just like the stores in Disneyland park.
The souvenir store “Trading Post” in Disney Explorers Lodge is around 2,200 square feet. It offers not only around 1600 Disney souvenirs, but also the exclusive hotel themed gifts. It is probably the largest souvenir shops of the three hotels.
As a matter of fact, you can find more variety of Disney souvenirs inside the Disneyland park. So to me, the stores in the hotels are just for the last minute shopping.
Special Services and Facilities
Both hotels provide some special services that can entertain their guests, especially children.
Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique is a dream room for all the girls who have ever dreamt of being a princess. From hair styling, gown choosing, making up to finger polishing, photo shooting, here provides you a one-stop service to transform your daughter, niece or granddaughter to a Disney princess whoever she would like to be.
It is very popular among girls although it is quite pricey (the price starts from HK$ 650 to HK$ 1380). If you intent to give your kids an unforgettable memory here, do make a reservation in advance since it’s also usually fully booked.
For those who stay in Disney’s Hollywood Hotel, you also can book this service.
Mickey Maze is located right in front of the Disneyland Hotel. It’s a huge maze made for all ages.
It’s a great playground to have some fun with your kids.
All the in-house guests can have free fun time in the Malibu Games room where has many game machines. It opens daily from 9:00 to 22:30.
Prepare to get your adrenaline pumping when you engage in classic air hockey playoffs, slam dunk and bowling machines with your friends. You also can test your cowboy aim or battle with space invaders to demonstrate your heroic skills.
Cannot make decision yet? Check out next page with overall comparisons of these three hotels and more insider tips for a better deal