Hong Kong Disneyland Celebrates: A New Year In A New Disney Park - PassPorter.com
Award-winning travel guidebooks

   guidebooks   |   news   |   podcasts   |   boards   |   blog   |   worksheets   |   photos   |   articles   |   updates   |   register   |   follow us on

Hi, Guest!
Globetrotting Planning Articles

Globetrotting Traveling Articles

Globetrotting Lodging Articles

Globetrotting Touring Articles

Globetrotting Dining Articles

Globetrotting Making Magic Articles

Globetrotting General Travel Articles
12 Tips to Hotel Bliss
Assateague Island National Seashore
Back To Barcelona
Bellagio of Las Vegas
Bonaire, Antilles
Cairo, Egypt
Cape Cod
Carcassonne, France
Carlsbad Caverns
Chateau de Chenonceau
Chincoteague, Virginia
Costa Blanca
Discovery Cove
Disney on Broadway
Disney's Magical Express
Disneyland Paris
Exploring Chicago's Museums
Flying Premium Economy
Geneva, Switzerland
Gloucester, Massachusetts
Grotte de Pech-Merle, France
Harvard University
Hastings, England
Hersheypark, Pennsylvania
Hever Castle
Hiroshima, Japan
Hong Kong Disneyland Celebrates
Kauai, Hawaii
Kennedy Space Center
Key West
Lake Constance, Switzerland
Lake Powell
Lake Thunersee, Switzerland
Learning the Language
London, England
Longwood Gardens, Pennsylvania
Making Your Way by Ferry to the Magic in Disneyland Paris
Managing Memories
Miami, Florida
Montezuma Castle National Monument
Montserrat, Spain
More of Hilton Head Island
Mount Fuji & Hakone, Japan
My Quest for the West
New Orleans Revisited
Nikko, Japan
One Place is Never Enough!
Palacio Real
Palm Beach, Florida
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Portsmouth, England
Rocamadour, France
Seattle, Washington
Serendipity 3 in New York City
St. Paul's Cathedral, London
Star Wars in Concert
Taking to the Road
The 'Other' Jersey
The Billie Swamp Safari Park
The Egyptian Museum
The Gardens of Versailles
The Green Heart of the Big Apple
The Manatee Tour
The Palace of Versailles
The Pyramids of Giza
The Walt Disney Family Museum
Tired, Tried And True
Tokyo Disneyland
Tokyo DisneySea
Tokyo, Japan
Traveling the Northern Oregon Coast
Valencia, Spain
Valley of Fire
Viewing Cities From Above
Visiting the French Alps
Willcox, Arizona
Wimbledon Tennis Museum
You Don't Have to Cruise to See Alaska
Zurich, Switzerland

View all PassPorter articles
Article Tools
Print Article
Download PDF

Hong Kong Disneyland Celebrates: A New Year In A New Disney Park

International Travel photo
by Cheryl Pendry, PassPorter Featured Columnist
Last modified 12/18/2008

Cool Tip: Click here to get a FREE PDF version of this article, fully formatted to print and put into your PassPorter Deluxe Binder!

Filed in Articles > International Travel > General Travel  

The start of a new year is always something worth celebrating, wherever you are in the world -- and let's be honest, Disney parks do usually tend to see the New Year in with a flourish.

We've only been at Walt Disney World once to see the New Year in and the version of IllumiNations that led up to midnight and the dawn of a new 12 months was quite something to see. It more than made up for the fact that Mother Nature had decided to play a cruel trick that New Year's Eve, with torrential rain for the previous five or six hours that had emptied the whole of Epcot out, with just a few foolish souls, like ourselves, left watching the celebrations. Fortunately, things were very different when we visited Hong Kong Disneyland during the Chinese New Year celebrations.

I think it's important to point out here that we weren't actually there for the moment when the New Year began, but that really didn't matter, as the celebrations go on for a number of weeks. The Year of the Rat had started on February 7, 2008 and we headed for the park just over a week later. As there's no mouse in the Chinese calendar, a rat was going to be about as close to Mickey as Disney would get, so unsurprisingly, they'd gone to town over the link.

The second we approached the park entrance, we could see the decorations everywhere. That's not out of keeping with the rest of Hong Kong, with lanterns and decorations displayed in many shops and homes while we were there. What was out of place was the number of rats we saw on display, although entertainingly, they had been created so that you could clearly see a resemblance to another famous rodent!

Celebrating Chinese New Year with a dragon procession down Main Street.

I had already seen on the website that the main characters, such as Minnie, Mickey, Donald, Goofy, and Chip and Dale would be out in special Chinese New Year costumes, and that's exactly the sight that greeted us in Main Street. The costumes were all as beautiful and colorful as you'd expect and made for some wonderful keepsake photos. Mickey and Minnie were all dressed in red, a very traditional color, as the Chinese believe that it wards off bad fortune. It's also tradition for people to wear new clothes to symbolize the New Year and, although I've no way of knowing for sure, I would imagine that this probably was a new addition to both Mickey's and Minnie's wardrobe.

Chinese New Year has many traditions and one of those is the presence of a lion dance troupe, which is a symbolic ritual for evicting bad spirits from the home and welcoming in the forthcoming year. Of course, Disney also had one parading around Main Street, ensuring that the only spirits present were good ones. Another lovely touch was the decorations on the tree, with lots of red packets. At first, we weren't sure what they were, but we soon discovered that younger members of the family often receive these packets, containing cash, for Chinese New Year.

University of Cambridge photo
University of Cambridge

The beautiful campus of the University of Cambridge. - photo by Jennifer Marx

Our tour took us next to the hub in front of the castle, where mini Mickey statuettes had been added, with each representing the signs of good fortune, such as health, love, and prosperity that you want to usher in at this time of year.

With it being the Year of the Rat, Mickey certainly took center stage in these celebrations and even a version of his house from Toontown in Walt Disney World had arrived just for these few weeks. Walking through it, it was hard to believe that this was only a temporary addition to the park, but it is, although it does make appearances other times of the year, with the most recent one being as Mickey's Christmas House.

A Chinese New Year storyteller was also wandering around the Main Street area, spreading tales of joy, but one thing that wasn't specific to the New Year was the afternoon parade. I was surprised by that, given how Walt Disney World has its own special parade for Christmas, probably America's biggest celebration. The Chinese New Year is probably the biggest celebration in Hong Kong, so it was interesting to see them continue with their usual performance in the afternoon. Having said that, it was still unique, with a wonderfully Oriental feel to it, so we didn't feel deprived at all.

One of the main signs at the entrance to Hong Kong Disneyland

Chinese New Year turned out to be a wonderful time to visit Hong Kong Disneyland. The temperatures were lovely, with some beautiful weather while we were there and the added bonus of so many extras that really made the park stand out. As it's still the baby of the Disney theme parks, in all honesty, it is lacking in attractions, but what it lacks there, it more than makes up for in additional entertainment when the New Year arrives.

Norway, Playground Remnants photo
Norway, Playground Remnants

My children loved playing on the "Viking Ship" in the Norway Pavilion at EPCOT. They (and I) were devastated to find it is no longer available. This is part of the bow of the ship, now in a heap off to the side of the pavilion. - photo by Teresa

About the Author:
Cheryl and husband Mark live in England and love to travel, particularly to Disney, and they have made numerous visits to destinations across America and Europe. They recently completed their tour of every Disney theme park around the world, which culminated in their visit to Japan, including the Tokyo Disney Resort. Click here to view more of Cheryl's articles!

Related Links:
Hong Kong Disneyland Photos in the PassPorter Photo Archive
Serendipity 3 in New York City - A Dining Review last updated 12/29/2008
Valencia, Spain - Travel Tips last updated 11/27/2008
Bellagio of Las Vegas - Simply Bellissimo! last updated 1/08/2009
Hever Castle - Kent, England last updated 1/15/2009

Reader Comments:

So what do you think? Click here to share your comments, feedback, and experiences on this article and topic!

(Note: You must be a member of our PassPorter Message Board Community to leave comments. Join today for free!)

Updated 12/18/2008 - Article #5 

Read additional articles from PassPorter.com

Subscribe to our free e-mail newsletter, PassPorter News, published for more than 58,000 opt-in subscribers worldwide. As an added bonus for subscribing, you will receive a 20% discount coupon for the PassPorter Store -- no catch!

E-mail Address:

First Name:

E-mail Format:
-Text/Don't Know  



We respect your privacy and never sell or rent our subscriber list. Subscribing will not result in more spam! We guarantee it.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Copyright 1999-2014
by PassPorter Travel Press, an imprint of MediaMarx, Inc.

Learn More With Our Award-Winning Guidebooks


RSS General PassPorter Community - Boards & Forums on Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, and General Travel - Globetrotting: General Travel Planning
PassPorter Community - Boards & Forums on Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disn...
Planning a trip around the globe, or just away for the weekend? Ask questions and share experiences! Forum Sponsored by CruisingCo.com

Copenhagen ?
by Pris
23 Jan 2015 at 6:29pm
DH and I are sailing on our Disney cruise out of Copenhagen. We will be there 1 1/2 days before the cruise. I'm looking at possibly the canal tour...
(click title above to view replies)

Debating..... any advice?
by Alaskan Mom
22 Jan 2015 at 4:55pm
Am deep into planning Europe trip for DD's high school graduation trip and am trying to decide whether to take 4-5 out of 11 days in UK to travel on...
(click title above to view replies)

savings support group?
by Coreada
6 Jan 2015 at 3:37pm
We're saving up for a trip to Disneyland Paris (and possibly Hong Kong), and on my fixed income, the prospect is *daunting*. Is anybody else in this...
(click title above to view replies)

Hawaii Input Appreciated
by SheLovesAriel
3 Jan 2015 at 11:21pm
It looks like our next major trip will be to Hawaii for 2016 - thinking summer time frame; I guess this is a low crowd time of year? We are just...
(click title above to view replies)

What are your 2015 travel plans?
by chezp
1 Jan 2015 at 5:33am
As we're just starting a new year, what are your travel plans, big or small, for the next 12 months? We're making three trips to America this...
(click title above to view replies)

looking for hotel in Chicago
by oldmom
30 Dec 2014 at 12:50pm
We will be taking the train into Chicago and are looking for a hotel that is close to Union Station, possibly close walking distance. However, I...
(click title above to view replies)

Airfare to Hawaii
by Salty
30 Dec 2014 at 12:26pm
Not sure where to post this but on Thursday we can book Aulani for August! I've started looking at airfare from NY and I'm wondering if $856 round...
(click title above to view replies)

First time to London/Paris
by WDW1102
27 Dec 2014 at 9:46am
We are starting to plan our first trip to London/Paris. I am looking for a planning guide similar to Passporter. It helped me so much when I planned...
(click title above to view replies)

Total Visits: 5635

PassPorter ~ 1998-2015 ~ 17 Years of Making Dreams Come True!
Publishers of bestselling travel guidebooks and proud recipients of 13 national book awards
About PassPorter
About Us
Site Map
Privacy Policy
Images & Artwork
News & Updates
Message Boards
Concierge Desk
Books & E-Books
Customs Office
Register Books
Book Updates
Help & Info
Finding Answers to Questions
Help Desk
Using Your PassPorter Forum
Store Customer Service
E-Mail Us
Follow Us
PassPorter.com Front Page (Updated Daily!)
PassPorter Newsletter (weekly and free)
Latest Posts
YouTube Channel
Questions? Check our Site Map and visit our Help Desk to learn how to contact us online, by e-mail, and by phone.
Please feel free to link to this page so that other vacationers can find it.