Hong Kong Disneyland: Main Street, U.S.A.

Gateway to HKDL

Hong Kong Disneyland is still one of my favourite theme parks. It’s not as large as Tokyo Disneyland, but still has Disney’s magical atmosphere. There’s an abundance of great theming, suitable area music and a lot of things for guests to see and do.

With the crazy amount of photos I took at Hong Kong Disneyland, I will write a series of features called Hong Kong Disneyland – 2012 Photo Tour. Each themed area will have its own entry, so you won’t need to sift through hundreds of photos in one post. For the first (or actually second, if you count the Mystic Point post), we’ll get to Main Street, U.S.A.

Gateway to HKDL 2

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City Hall

Upon entering the park, guests find themselves in Main Street, U.S.A., the “entrance themed land” for this Magic Kingdom-style park. This Main Street is very similar to the one at Disneyland (Anaheim). Set in the 1900s, this bustling street feels like part of a small town in America, filled with excitement and spirit of travel.

Main Street, day

My sister and I did the most unorthodox thing in the morning. You see, we were handed out this square leaflet at the park turnstile – stating that there’s a 10% discount for merchandise in the park (see details below). We found out later that this unannounced discount campaign started the day we visited the park (7th December). Anyway, the deal is quite hard to resist, so we spent quite a bit of time at the Emporium at Main Street.

Emporium

Inside Emporium 4

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Special Discount for Merchandise in the morning

Guests can enjoy a 10% discount for purchases at merchandise shops, from the moment the park opens until 11:30am. All stores in Hong Kong Disneyland are participating except Midtown Jewelry. Shops at Resort Hotels and Airport Terminals are not having this promotion.

The period for this promotion is from 7 December 2012 to 1 January 2013.

This promotion is not applicable to purchases of photos, limited/special edition merchandise, co-branded merchandise, electronic products, non-Disney / convenience items, SD cards, one-time use cameras and media products (Video CDs, DVDs) and selected items specified by the park.

Terms and Conditions apply. Refer to the leaflet handed out at the park turnstile for more information.


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Inside Emporium 1

While this promotion is said to not apply to limited edition items, I was able to get 10% off my Jumbo Grizzly Gulch Limited Edition Pin (I’ll show you photos in the Grizzly Gulch entry!)

Emporium Display 3

Duffy corner

Emporium Display 1

While the Emporium is the best place to get gifts and souvenirs, it doesn’t have everything. It’s perhaps the best place for last minute purchases (or if you already know what each individual store offers around the park). I really appreciate the effort that went into the design of this store. It doesn’t even feel like a store, but multiple shops with its own character.

Castle, centered

Sleeping Beauty Castle, viewed from the hub at the end of Main Street. With the mountains in the background, this castle looks incredible, as if it really belonged there.

(Of course, viewing angles and perspective matters. If you stand further away, the mountains would overwhelm the castle’s height)

Main Street band

There are a number of cast members here interacting with guests. They are not Disney characters, but characters of the themed land itself. Add that to the list of things I wished USS had.

After the early morning shopping, we sent our big bag of items to Package Express. This is a complimentary guest service that allows guests to pick up their purchases at park exit at the end of the day.

Despite describing how Big Grizzly Mountain is a more interesting rollercoaster, my sister insisted on the “Space Mountain as the first thing” tradition. So we ran to Tomorrowland for that. After that (and Buzz Lightyear Astroblasters!), we went to Grizzly Gulch. On the way, we made reservations at Main Street Corner Cafe. We wanted to dine there after we saw photos from another blogger (who shall not be named) and realized that we should give the usual fast food a miss.

Corner Cafe - taking orders

The park’s restaurants don’t really do reservations, but something called Priority Seating at Hong Kong Disneyland (and other Disney parks, actually). This is more accurately, FastPass for restaurants, to provide guests with minimal wait for a table. You return at the chosen time and will be put on a priority waiting line. Usually you’ll be the next to go unless someone else is also doing the same thing. It makes sense to just leave your name for Priority Seating, because if you don’t do so, you will have to join the standard (Stand-by) line, which can get really long.

Corner Cafe - diners

The Main Street Corner Cafe is split into 2 areas, an ordinary dining room and another one “outside” that’s set in a “greenhouse” for some psuedo al-fresco dining. It’s fully covered and air conditioned, though and offers view of Main Street and part of the Castle Hub.

Wagyu Burger
Wagyu Burger

Waffle platter

Waffle platter 2
Mickey Waffle Platter

Corner Cafe - setting a table

Corner Cafe sign

Time for some night photos!

Time Board

The Time Board at the Castle Hub area displays wait times for all attractions and show timings. It was upgraded with an electronic display, but instead of going the Universal way (unthemed LED boards), it preserves the same look as the earlier version (where cast members had to change the numbers, individually, using small magnetic cards).

Main street, night 2

Main Street looks amazing at night. There’s a lot of decorations, and they feel “right”, you know, as if the stores were real and they decorated it themselves. It’s not just about hanging random decorations in the middle of the street.

Centennial Hall, night

Main street, night

There’s also a strangely thin Christmas tree at Main Street.

Main Street, night 3

Sometimes, it snows at Main Street. I think it happens during and after the Christmas Illumination event, which happens daily around 6:45pm. Snow falls at the “Main” street, as well as around the City Hall area. The effect feels more magical than in USS (New York zone) because of the open air design of the street. It creates the illusion that the snow is falling from the sky.

Railroad Station, night

In the next Hong Kong Disneyland 2012 Photo Tour, we will travel to Toy Story Land and meet Andy’s toys.

Hong Kong Disneyland - Photo Tour series

Mystic Point (under construction) | Main Street U.S.A. | Toy Story Land (Day)
Toy Story Land (Night) | Adventureland | Fantasyland | Grizzly Gulch
Grizzly Gulch: Big Grizzly Mountain | Tomorrowland | Flights of Fantasy parade
NEW: Mystic Point | Mystic Manor (Pre-show) | Mystic Manor (The Ride)
Disney's Hollywood Hotel | Frozen Village (Summer 2015)
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4 Responses to Hong Kong Disneyland: Main Street, U.S.A.

  1. Mike December 15, 2012 at 9:26 pm #

    Lol my family was at Main Street Corner Cafe at the same time! We should be sitting directly across your table.

  2. SWW December 17, 2012 at 11:53 am #

    Thanks for these detailed pictorials. They provide a thorough overview of the design of the park. Look forward to coming back and seeing further lands.

    A question about the Mystic Point pictorial. Most of the pics are facing the Manor or Grizzly Gulch, but not Toy Storyland. How intrusive is the Paratroop Top when in Mystic Point and facing that direction (pics from earlier in the year showed it looming over the land, damaging the ambience).

    Thanks!

    • Dejiki December 17, 2012 at 12:49 pm #

      Hi SWW,

      I did not actively photograph from those angles – on hindsight they would be great for discussion. Anyway, here are two photos from my library that might answer your question.

      TSLfromMP

      Parachute Drop is visible from Mystic Point, but not really prominent when standing near the manor (Top photo). If you look at the park’s layout plans, the pathway from Grizzly Gulch to the manor makes it so that it’s hard to photograph or see both the Drop Tower and Mystic Manor together while standing along that section of the walkway. The vegetation does help.

      The shop and restaurant buildings are also placed close to the walkway, limiting guests’ vertical field of vision. There is a slight change in elevation (gentle decline) from the manor leading towards Toy Story Land. Of course, the tower becomes more prominent as I move towards Toy Story Land (Bottom photo, taken near the “Adventurers’ Club” building), but it’s not really because of its height and colour. It’s actually the loud sounds from the ride: soldiers yelling, guests screaming.

      In my opinion, the general effect is that I am aware that the Drop Tower is nearby, and that Toy Story Land is just down the path. But I am too captivated by Mystic Manor and its nearby buildings to be bothered with it. (I’m very tolerable about this because the theme park in my country, Universal Studios Singapore, is a trainwreck of themed zones.)

      While it would be best that the tower is placed elsewhere, it was a good compromise to switch the RC Racer with the Parachute Drop. That big orange slide would be too distracting, overpowering Mystic Point’s muted colour scheme.

      Personally, it would be best if this attraction was not built. While I enjoyed it and loved it, it reveals areas that guests “should not see”, especially the Mystic Manor show building and numerous backstage areas.

      The tower is more prominent at night for now, because Mystic Point only has essential street lighting, while the Drop Tower has several bright lights at the top.

      By the way, I’m a long-time follower of your website! Your work is fantastic and I wish Disney would adopt some of your ideas. My personal favourite is your concept for Tokyo DisneySea 2025.

  3. SWW December 17, 2012 at 1:48 pm #

    Thanks for the detailed reply and pic. Pics like the ones you just posted are what I remembered so I was curious if additional trees had been put in (or will be planted) to help alleviate the sight-line issue. It is pretty harsh from that open area in front of the AC. Oh well.

    Glad you’ve enjoyed IdealBuildout and glad I’ve discovered this site. I plan on going over the new Sentosa water park pictorials as there appears to be some excellent design work done there, which I was not aware of until coming here.

    Cheers!

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