Writing a one-day itinerary for Hong Kong Disneyland is a bit of an empty endeavor. This isn't a knock at the park it's just the truth about it's simplicity. For more on that, read our Hong Kong Disneyland review. The park is small enough to do the major attractions easily in a single day. With minimal effort, you can get all the rides done in a single day. And with good planning and a bit of luck, you could probably ride all the rides and catch all the shows in a single day.
This one-day itinerary outlines how we would suggest a first-timer spend a single day at Hong Kong Disneyland. While we avoid some classic, cloned rides with longer lines, particularly Dumbo the Flying Elephant and Orbitron, you could easily fit these in. Our focus is getting the major rides in and taking in much of the entertainment, the area at which we think Hong Kong Disneyland really excels.
Rolling Rope Drop at Hong Kong Disneyland
Rope drop at Hong Kong Disneyland occurs in stages. When we visited in November 2017, those stages were:
10:00 park gates open and Main Street, U.S.A. is open
10:30 Tomorrowland and Fantasyland open; some of Adventureland open
11:00 Toy Story Land, Mystic Point, Grizzly Gulch and the remainder of Advenutreland open
If you want to know when the lands will open on your trip, the best option is to download the Hong Kong Disneyland app and check the ride hours in the weeks and days leading up to your visit. This will also give you the opportunity to scope out wait times. This rolling open is great for fitting more rides into your day, as you'll have two opportunities to get to rides right as they open.
First Rope Drop - Fantasyland, Tomorrowland, Adventureland
Arrive at Hong Kong Disneyland thirty minutes before park open in order to enjoy Main Street, U.S.A. and to grab a snack. Since Hong Kong Disneyland opens a little later than other parks, a morning snack is a good way to push your lunch into the afternoon so you can get more early rides in.
If you really want to get Dumbo or Orbitron in, riding them at the first rope drop is a good option. Otherwise, head to Tomorrowland and ride Hyperspace Mountain and Iron Man Experience. Then head by Fantasyland and check the Fastpass times for The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. You'd like to have between one and two hours to spend in the second set of lands, so if the second rope drop is 11AM, grab a Fastpass that overlaps with the noon to 1PM window. If that time hasn't rolled up yet, just move on. If it's before 11:15, hop on Jungle River Cruise. The line gets longer as the day goes on, and Toy Story Land takes 30 minutes to really get going.
Second Rope Drop - Toy Story Land, Mystic Point, Grizzly Gulch
In Toy Story Land, we only think RC Racer is worth riding, but if you're interested in Toy Soldier Parachute Drop feel free to ride that too (via single rider line if you just want to get it out of the way). Either way, you should be done with Toy Story Land by noon.
Continue through Mystic Point and Grizzly Gulch, riding Mystic Manor and Runaway Mine Cars. At 12:30, either break for lunch, hop in line for Jungle River Cruise, or use your Fastpass or wait in line for Winnie the Pooh.
Afternoon - Great Shows and Ride Repeats
As it is at almost all Disney parks, your afternoon is really about balancing shows and parades with whatever rides you have left. Hong Kong Disneyland doesn't have much to explore, but you can fill some time taking in the park, with the gems of spots being found in Mystic Point and Grizzly Gulch. Typically we would give a sample afternoon, but it's not necessary here, so we'll just provide some quick thoughts on the attractions.
We suggest seeing both the Festival of the Lion King and Mickey and the Wondrous Book shows. If you can only fit one in, we'd go with Mickey and the Wondrous Book unless you're a Lion King fan who hasn't been to nor will be going to Walt Disney World, where the Lion King show is much better.
Besides the rides you may have missed in the morning, in the afternoon you'll want to target "it's a small world," Mickey's PhilharMagic, and Animation Academy (not a ride, but a 15-minute course on drawing a Disney character). We'd also suggest favoring re-riding your favorites from the morning rather than trying to fit everything in.
While the 3 o'clock Flights of Fantasy Parade is missable, Hong Kong Disneyland's "Disney Paint the Night" Nighttime Spectacular and (soon to be ending) "Disney In The Stars" Fireworks are definitely not to be missed.
And yea. That's it! Tarzan's Treehouse House is the most notable ride we haven't mentioned, and it's quite missable in our opinion. Hopefully you can see why we don't think you need to try too hard to see most of Hong Kong Disneyland.