Mickey greets guests to Hong Kong Disneyland
Hong Kong Disneyland has character! More precisely, it has characters - lots of them.
Now that the obligatory bad puns are out of the way, it's time to look at one of the things that Disneylands all over the world are famous for: the characters that roam the park. Today, the Disney Company is a multi-billion dollar empire covering virtually every entertainment medium you can think of. However, no matter how big the company grows, they still haven't forgotten that it all started with a Mouse.
Every park visitor has their own tips on how and where to find the characters. Finding the characters has almost become something akin to spotting birds in the wild - some characters have their regular habitats, while others are rare and great to snap when you do find them. While we won't pretend to know where every character is going to be at any given time - because we don't quite have GPS mapping technology here at HKDL Source (yet) - we can provide you with a number of general hints and tips as to where you might find some of the characters.
Mickey and Minnie are almost everywhere in the park, having struck a chord with local audiences. Some of the rarer characters - listed in part below - may only be spotted on rare occasions or in certain parts of the park. If you spot a character you've never seen before, be sure to rush over and get your photo taken with them! If you have a small child constantly tugging at your sleeve, or you just can't settle down until you've had a coffee and met Mickey, be sure to ask one of the friendly Cast Members for directions to the nearest character.
Hong Kong Disneyland has at least one dedicated area for meeting characters, and that is Fantasy Gardens in Fantasyland. Here you can meet your favourite characters and have your photos taken with them. This unique attraction allows you to find characters such as Mickey Mouse, Winnie the Pooh and many more all in one convenient snapping location.
Parades and Shows
A wide variety of characters can be seen during the various live parades and shows that are on display daily at Hong Kong Disneyland. Characters will often wave to spectators and perform 'mini shows' for people who seem keen (or have really big cameras). Visit our Fireworks and Parades page for more details. Likewise, the Golden Mickeys and Festival of the Lion King shows offer a look at some more familiar characters. Naturally, you can't interact with these characters, but it may satisfy some of the smaller children and adults alike.
Finally, at the Hotels, guests can enjoy character dining. A highlight of every meal at the Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel is that the Disney Characters will visit every table during the duration of their stay at the Enchanted Garden Restaurant. Food served there is American and Asian buffet style food.
In addition to the character dining, you'll also notice characters simply wandering around the grounds of the hotels and taking the time to sign autographs and allow you to have your picture taken with them. It's all part of the extra magical experience at a Disney hotel!
For Families with Children
They've seen them in their favourite animated shorts and films for year, but children - especially younger children - may not expect to see versions of those characters that are over six foot tall and have giant heads. If you are hoping to avoid tears and fears, you might want to explain to your kids beforehand that these characters may not be quite what they are expecting.
If your children 'MUST MEET MICKEY NOW!!!', then you might want to make a bee-line for Fantasy Gardens. You can get there directly by jumping on the Disneyland Railroad from the Main Street Entrance, and alighting at the Fantasyland Station. The Fantasy Gardens are right next door. This way, kids may be satisfied to go on with the day, safe in the knowledge that they have met Mickey and obtained his autograph.
Forgot Your Camera?
If you have gone to Hong Kong Disneyland without your camera, you are a silly person indeed! Never fear, you can pick up all your photographic bits and pieces at Main Street Photo on (you guessed it) Main Street. If you are a keen 'character collector', you are going to need a camera.
You'll also spot official Disney photographers wandering around the park. Usually found at key photographic locations, you'll usually find one not too far from a Disney character. For a fee, they will take your photo so that you can treasure an 'official' Disney memory forever. As a rule, after each photo you will be handed a receipt and give a collection time. At any time after this time, you can return to the Main Street Photo shop and collect the snaps in a variety of hard copy and dgital formats. If you choose not to collect the photos, then you are no worse off than when you started and you will not be charaged for them.
Marie, from The Aristocats, is another of the many unique characters at Hong Kong Disneyland
So happy hunting for character photos and autographs. Remember: characters are people too. While hugging and gentle patting is ok, kicking Mickey is not. Likewise, be aware that some of the characters don't have peripheral vision in their suits...er...bodies (they are real, kids!), so always approach them from the front to make your presence known.
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