I have never been into material gifts ever since. Moreso, parties. In my younger days, I appreciated it most when my parents took me out for dinner, saw a movie with me, or played Game of the Generals with me. It was not a surprise to them that when I turned 18, I just treated some of my closest friends to a pizza party instead of having the usual grand debut. As their gift, they allowed me to travel — on my own — to Europe. One of the best gifts they’ve ever given!
I don’t have anything against parents who gift their kids with the latest toys and plan extravagant parties for them. I mean, good for you! I’m the worst at party planning (all the parties they had, my mom was behind them haha) and my kids are not into parties as well (thank goodness) so we just skip the parties and just give them experience gifts. If not a staycation, we take them on trips–which they absolutely enjoy.
During the months leading to my daughter’s seventh birthday, I was at my wit’s end attempting to plan a birthday party for her. Mermaids, unicorns, magical potions, arts, crafts–I tried to mix everything she loves in her birthday party.
Then, she asked, “What’s our adventure on my birthday?”
I realized she wasn’t expecting a party, but an experience gift!
We know she wanted to go back to Boracay, but since Boracay is closed, we booked a 4-day staycation at Azure for our family. That’s when we revealed that she’s going to Disneyland!
Hong Kong Disneyland with Kids
If you’re heading to Hong Kong Disneyland for the first time with kids, here are a few tips based on our experience:
What to Bring
- Bring a stroller. You will do a lot of walking in Hong Kong and your child will get tired. My daughter didn’t complain, pero nakakaawa kaya! If my legs were hurting, what more hers. If you don’t want to bring a stroller, you can rent one in Disneyland. Look for what looks like a fire station inside the park. That’s where you’ll find the strollers for rent. The daily fee is HK$120.
- Bring a bottle of water. Bottled water is expensive in the park. What we did is we brought a refillable bottle and just refilled it in water stations around the park.
- Bring your camera, of course!
- Go early to enjoy the rides without lines. The park opens at 10 AM. Our recommendation is to be there by 9:30 AM so you’re one of the first guests. Once the park opened, we immediately went for the rides in Fantasyland (since we have a kid with us). By the time we were done with all the rides in Fantasyland, we saw that lines have gotten much longer.
- Make use of the park map. If you don’t want to find yourself going back and forth, make use of the park map. You can find piles of it by the entrance. That way, you can ‘plan’ your way around the park. For instance, after riding everything in Fantasyland, we stopped by the Royal Banquet Hall for our lunch. After that, we went to Toy Story Land and Grizzly Gulch. Then, we proceeded to Adventureland, Tomorrowland, and finally back to Main Street to watch the Disney Paint the Night Parade. The map also has show times in their various theaters so you can plan that too as you go around.
- Better yet, download the mobile app! We didn’t do this because I totally forgot, but if you’re not a map person, use the Hong Kong Disneyland App instead. With the app, you’ll have a map of Disneyland plus wait times of their different attractions and show schedules.
Let’s talk money
How much should you prepare for a trip to Hong Kong? Our pocket money for two adults and one child is Php30,000 for three days and two nights. Where did we spend that on?
- Food (HK$20-$120 per meal per person – Tip: If you’re on a tight budget, you’ll find cheap microwaveable meals at Circle K or 711)
- Disneyland Park Tickets (HK$619 for adults and HK$458 for kids)
- Octopus Cards (For our whole stay, we loaded HK$200 per adult and HK$100 for my daughter)
We weren’t there to shop so we didn’t spend anything on shopping (save for the Minnie Mouse cap we bought for Kelly). We also didn’t go to too many places (we only went to Nathan Road, Disneyland, and Victoria Peak) because my daughter wants it to be a chill trip. But if you’re going to more attractions, expect to spend more on entrance fees and a bigger budget for your Octopus Card.
If you have any questions about our trip to Hong Kong Disneyland, just comment below so we can help you out!