Nineteen sixties era rock music plays in the background as families cool off in a piano themed swimming pool under palm trees after a day at Disneyland. No we are not in California, we are in Hong Kong, and most of the families that we met at the Disneyland Hollywood Hotel which celebrates nostalgia for a bygone American age were mainland Chinese.
The lurid aqua coloured Disney Hollywood Hotel is one of two Disney Hotels adjacent to Hong Kong Disneyland giving guests the convenience to come and go from the park at leisure, and to readily spend two days exploring Disneyland. Slightly more modest than her sister, the extravagant Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel, Disney’s Hollywood Hotel forgoes some luxuries such as room service but doesn’t skimp on stunning decor or facilities. Art decor in design the interior Disney branded decor invites old and young guests to be swept up in Disney excitement from the moment of arrival. If there is any doubt who the star of the Disney brand is that is lost by the prolific Mickey imagery both in the room and around the hotel, including hidden Mickeys that the kids loved looking for.
We had booked interconnecting rooms for our family of five. These were a standard hotel size and comfortable enough. There was no mini-bar but a vending machine is located on each floor. The hotel does not guarantee interconnecting rooms and we had to wait until check in to discover if they were available for us. Some nice Disney touches in the room, mum and kids Disney slippers, Mickey decor and all day Disney Channel on the television, with bed-time.Disney Movies scheduled nightly.
The star of the resort for us was the pool. It was huge with a gentle sloping entry for toddlers and was never crowded. The piano theme aligned perfectly with the background soundtrack of the pool area. My boys loved the waterslide. They both can swim so I could relax, letting them slide while I watched my toddler. Life jackets were on hand to borrow for any guests that couldn’t swim. A giant jacuzzi is open until 10 pm every night and was a cozy place to warm up after a few hours of swimming.
Visitors to Disney’s Hollywood Hotel who have experienced Disney hospitality elsewhere may be disappointed by the interaction with service people at the hotel. The warmth of the front desk staff for example is not on par with that experienced in North America. It was however the ancillary service staff, cleaners, security guards and bell-boys that charmed our family by stopping to give the children Disney stickers at every opportunity. Somehow this deliberate tactic works well, and covers the difference in welcoming warmth that is most likely representative of varied cultural norms.
For families wanting a character dining experience a booking is necessary at the nearby Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel. This very international buffet breakfast featured plenty of Mickey themed fare, Indian breakfast, dim sum, Western Breakfast and Chinese breakfast. The character interactions themselves were a little disappointing, two out of my three kids found them terrifying. A character breakfast though is a good option for avoiding the queues for character interactions in Disneyland (for those that are not character phobic) as the character meet and greets have occurred before you even arrive at the park.
The food at Disney’s Hollywood Hotel is probably the only aspect of the resort that Western guests will find disappointing. The American nostalgia of the hotel does put you in a mood for American dining, and while the standard options feature on the menu they still cater to the Chinese palate. The picky eaters in my family did struggle.
The kids were excited about the ever-present Disney tones at the Disney Hollywood Resort. My husband and I actually loved the nostalgia for past Hollywood. Yes, the giant Hollywood sign and Hot Rod car outside were a bit tacky, but there was a joyousness about them, and about the Chinese families that were visiting that made it all fun. The Art Deco interior of the hotel and marble floors were nothing short of stunning.
In terms of visiting Disneyland itself, there is no early access for guests, and access to the park is a short shuttle bus ride away. The cost of staying onsite bears considering as this is not a budget hotel. For families that can afford it though, it is a great option for extending the Disney experience.
© Copyright 2016 Danielle, All rights Reserved. Written For: Bubs on the Move