Disneyland or Ocean Park – which is better?

Family Travel Blog - Travelling with Kids

Hong Kong Disneyland or Ocean Park, which is best suited for your child. This is the questions many of you will want answered and is the question I was asking myself before I went to Hong Kong. Which would be better suited for my kids, their age group, their heights. Here’s my opinion after visiting both in 2014 with our 3 kids aged 9, 7 & 5. I have also written more detailed post on Hong Kong Disneyland and on Hong Kong Ocean Park .

My opinion as always will be that if you can afford it, I suggest you visit both. We visited both and I am really glad we did. But there are a number of differences that you need to consider before making your decision if you are only able to visit one park.

Hong Kong Disneyland

Hong Kong Disneyland was perfect for our kids, the reason being our kids fall into the younger age group, this Disneyland is smaller and focused for this age group. They were able to go on just about every ride and they got the thrill of meeting the Disney characters.  The day we went the queues were not huge, an average 20 minute wait for rides and the most we waited for one ride was 40 mins.  Photos with the characters took about 40mins.

hong kong disneyland or ocean park

The entrance to Hong Kong Disneyland

As this park is focused on the younger kids it meant that they were able to go on every ride. This was great as we could go as a family instead of me having to stay back with either one or both of the younger ones if they didn’t meet the height restrictions. This is what usually happens when we go to theme parks.

The park is fairly compact, easy to get around for the kids. There’s food and drink stores everywhere which at first you think is just in your face to make purchases but when its 35 degrees I was quite thankful that I didn’t have to walk far to get drinks. The thing I loved about Disneyland (and Ocean Park) the toilets were spotless! After 2 weeks in Asia I came to be very thankful for clean toilets with toilet paper!

Merchandise is everywhere, at the end of each attraction there is a merchandise store. There’s no need to buy stuff as you go as everything available in the park is also available in Main Street. Saves you lugging it all round all day!

Ocean Park Hong Kong

Ocean Park Hong Kong in my opinion is focused for teenagers. Its a great park for kids that meet the height bracket of 132cms. Only one of my kids meets that restriction. Unfortunately that was for most of the rides. If you have young kids like mine you would be better of giving it a miss until they are a little older. I found it difficult as I had one that’s 9 that was able to go on a lot of rides, minus the crazy roller coasters, and 2 younger ones 7 & 5 (small for their ages) that spent most of the day waiting around whilst the others went on rides. It was especially upsetting for Keira who is 7 and fits the age group but due to her height had to miss out. This was particularly upsetting when we all wanted to go on the river rapids which she has had a go on at another theme park in Australia but this time she was too small. This was really disappointing and harder for me as I’m left with the miserable child that gets left off whilst daddy goes on all the rides (my choice, I don’t do fast, spinning or upside down rides which cancels me out of most!).

hong kong disneyland or ocean park

Entrance to Ocean Park, Hong Kong

Having said all that the animal enclosure are amazing and it is worth going to just for that. If you had young ones you could easily spend all day  just wandering around and seeing all the animal exhibits. Don’t miss the penguins and the arctic foxes its pretty impressive, we were in there for a good half an hour and only left because we were getting cold. Try and find out all the feeding times upon arrival and time your visits around this as this is when the animals are most active.

The pure size of the park is surprising and you can only really understand the size by riding on the Ocean Park Tower and this ride is open for all heights and age groups. There is a small area that is focused for the younger kids which has a ferris wheel and so forth but its a bit lame if the kids are 7-10 years old. There was food and drinks readily available at Ocean Park also as with merchandise, I purchased along the way here as I was unsure if there was a central place at the end to get things.

All photo’s have to be purchased separately at Ocean Park and they’re $198 each ($10AUD). Disneyland was much better organised with a once off payment of $60AUD and all photos would be available on a website that you could access later. I found this a much better options both economically and we didn’t have to cart them round for the day and also carry them for the rest of our holiday. Down side obviously you cant print them off until you get home.

Verdict – Hong Kong Disneyland or Ocean Park

Do both if you can as they are both awesome, if you cant visit both I suggest Disneyland for 10 years and under and Ocean Park for 11 years and older!

Have you been to either Hong Kong Disneyland or Ocean Park Hong Kong, what was your thoughts? Leave your comments in the section below, would love to hear other peoples opinions and experiences.

While in Hong Kong we stayed at an Airbnb on Granville Rd, just off Nathan rd in Kowloon. It was very cost effective and in a great location. There are so many things to do in Hong Kong with families, the kids loved it and I would happily return with them another time.

Safe & happy travels

Sally.

 

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8 Comments on “Disneyland or Ocean Park – which is better?

  1. Sally, thanks for sharing your experience with the theme parks in Hong Kong. We also have the height issue – with children aged 10, 8 and 6 years old we are in the ‘bridging the gap’ category…

    • Hi Anne, thanks for your comment, its very frustrating for those in the middle age group that are old enough to know their missing out but not tall enough to ride. Keira really struggled watching her sister go on all the rides whilst she had to stay back. Some of them were justified but there were a few that I felt the height restriction could have been a bit lower. Oh well not to worry, might just have to return for another visit! Glass is half full in my eyes!

    • Yes, they would probably get more out of Disney. Problem with Ocean Park is that most of the ride they won’t be tall enough for. Having said that, the animals are really interesting, its a cross between a zoo and an amusement park! Take your own USB for photos at Disney too, put them straight on your own USB and save yourself some money.

  2. Great feedback. I was unsure of which one to visit out of the two. I have a 2 yr old and a 7 yr old. But I’ve been to Disneyland in Paris and was preferring ocean park because of the zoo. But I can always visit the zoo (peak) separately. Thanks for this page I will stick with disneyland. It would be a waste of time and money if my kids can’t go on most of the rides.

    • You can’t go wrong with Disneyland but remember that most Disneyland’s are pretty much the same. We have been to HK Disney and LA Disney (last week) and they were hugely similar.

      I’m just confusing you now aren’t I…..!

      Thanks

      Sally.

  3. Hi. I need help in choosing either ocean park or Disneyland as I’m in Hong Kong for just 5 days. I have a 7 yr old and 2 yr old. I have been to Disneyland Paris before. I love animals. But I hear toddlers can’t go on most rides. I dont want to waste time and money. Which would you say is better choice for me.
    Thanks

    • Hi Lee,

      That’s a really hard one, if you hadn’t been to a Disneyland before I would certainly suggest HK Disneyland. It is perfect for kids the age that yours are and would be able to ride every ride.

      As you have been to Paris, that makes me lean towards Ocean Park. The animal attractions are pretty spectacular but there will be a number of roller coasters the kids won’t be able to participate in. There are a number of other rides that the kids will be able to ride but any of the bigger ones will be a no. They have panda there and a great seal show. I will link in both posts I wrote on them and you can have a look at the photos and see what you think.

      Ocean Park – https://www.our3kidsvtheworld.com/my-review-of-ocean-park-hong-kong-october-2014/

      Disneyland – https://www.our3kidsvtheworld.com/my-review-of-hong-kong-disneyland-october-2014/

      If the kids love animals I think they will enjoy Ocean Park but hey Disneyland is Disneyland, they have a certain magic!

      Have fun in Honkers, I love that city and make sure you visit the Peak Tram, its awesome. Let me know what you decide, I will be interested to hear!!

      Thanks

      Sally.

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