Disney Explorers Lodge
Disney Explorers Lodge
For our vacation to Hong Kong Disneyland we stayed at the Disney Explores Lodge. This is one of three hotels at Hong Kong Disneyland and we highly recommend it. In this post, we cover all of the benefits of staying at the Disney Explorers Lodge. We also highlight some things to be aware of it you stay at this hotel.
What Are The Benefits Of The of Disney Explorers Lodge?
We visited all three Hong Kong Disneyland Hotels during our vacation. While we only stayed at the Explorers Lodge, we ate at the other two and explored the hotels. This allowed us to get a pretty good feel for all three of the Hong Kong Disney hotels.
There are a lot of benefits for staying at a Disney-owed hotel. There are also a few benefits specific to the Explorers Lodge. We go through all of the benefits in detail below. At the bottom of this post we discuss the downsides of this hotel.
Also, below is our travel day vlog which includes our arrival at the Explorers Lodge. The video includes a hotel overview and a room tour. If you want to skip right to the hotel part, start at minute 16 or minute 23 for the room tour.
The Disney Explorers Lodge is the largest of the 3 Disney hotels at Hong Kong Disneyland. The resort has 750 rooms, a variety of dining options, and excellent theming. We highly recommend a Disney-owned hotel when visiting Hong Kong Disneyland. The location is great (more on that later). There is a variety of onsite dining options. This includes character dining. When staying at a Disney-owned hotel, you also get a couple of theme park benefits.
Book Through the Disney Website
We booked a Special Offer directly through the Hong Kong Disneyland website. With the offer, we were upgraded to a Sea View room. Be sure to check for offers before booking your stay. The Hong Kong website is very user friendly and is similar feeling to the Walt Disney World and Disneyland website.
Having booked directly though Disney, the check-in process went very smoothly. The cast members had all of our information waiting for us. Booking directly through Disney also give us priority admission passes and seat reservations for the Lion King. We will definitely book directly through Disney when we go back to Hong Kong Disneyland.
Priority Admission Passes
Guests staying at a Disney hotel get priority admission passes. This is a Hong Kong version of a FastPass. Currently, general rooms get 1 priority admission pass per guest. Guests staying in a Sea View room at any of the 3 Disneyland hotels receive 3 priority admission passes per person. The Kingdom Club Rooms at the Disneyland hotel receive 4 passes. At check in, we received 5 priority admission passes for our two-night stay. We still aren’t 100% sure how it came to this number, but because the parks were so quiet during our visit, we only ended up using one of the passes. The only reason we used one was just to test how they work, not because it helped up skip the line.
Hong Kong Disneyland does have regular free FastPass stations that distribute paper FastPasses and are available to all theme park guests. You can also purchase priority admission passes in the park.
Show Seat Reservations
In addition, if you stay in a Sea View room at the Disney Explorers Lodge or Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel, you get seat reservations to the Festival of the Lion King show. One thing that caught us off guard is that you have to pick the day and show time that you want at check-in. For our Lion King showtime, we showed up with the pass about 15 minutes before the show started. We got amazing front row seats. The pass was not necessary to see the show, but it was definitely a nice perk. If you stay in a Kingdom Club Room at the Disneyland Hotel you get seat reservations to the first show of Mickey and the Wondrous Book.
Designated Park Entrance
Guests of the Disney hotels get a special theme park entrance. During our visit, the parks were very quiet. However, one morning there were school kids arriving at the park when we were going in. It was nice to have the designated entrance, so we could go in without a wait. This line would be especially helpful if you visit Hong Kong during a busy time of year.
Everyone at Hong Kong Disneyland spoke English. This included the hotels. Do not have concerns about language barriers here. In addition to everyone speaking English, signs and menus are also in English.
Of the 3 Disney hotels, we felt the Explorers Lodge has the best theming. Throughout the hotel, you find Mickey and friends in outfits exploring the world. There are a ton of amazing details. For example, the elevator is themed after a hot air balloon. There are also more subtle details such as lights made from binoculars (see the photo below for an example).
If you are familiar with Disney World resorts, the hotel felt very similar to Animal Kingdom Lodge and Wilderness Lodge. For Disneyland it’s similar to the Grand Californian. While the theming is similar to these US hotels, it still is unique.
Location and Transportation
The hotel is also about a 20-minute walk or short bus ride to the Disneyland theme park. This makes it very convenient. There are two walking paths. One is along the water. This is very nice in the daylight. However, since there is little shade, we imagine it gets very hot in the summer. We walked the water path once at night. This path is not well lit and we would not recommend it at nighttime. The other path goes along the front of the hotels and along the street. This path isn’t as beautiful, but for us, it was the preferred option in the dark.
We prefer walking over taking a bus. However, we did take the bus once from the park to our hotel to see how it works. The bus stops are to the left when you exit Hong Kong Disneyland and the hotels are to the right.
There are plenty of signs to help guests find the bus locations. The bus was there when we arrived and it seemed brand new. The bus is very nice and a great way to get to the park if you prefer not to walk. The buses ran to all of the Disney hotels and seemed to come frequently. It is a short drive to the hotels and the buses make loops continuously. At check-in the cast member said the bus would arrive at least every 20 minutes.
At Hong Kong Disneyland, the Disneyland hotel is the most expensive. The Explorers Lodge is in the middle and the Hollywood Hotel is the most affordable. Standard rooms at the Explorers Lodge are around $230-$300 per night. A few things will impact the cost of your hotel.
First, the exchange rate. Everything is in Hong Kong Dollars, so the price will vary based on the exchange rate. As with the US hotels, the time of year also impacts the cost. We went close to Christmas, which put our nightly room cost closer to $300 per night, all in. There is a service charge that is added to the room, so be sure to factor that in when thinking about the overall cost. The overall cost is provided at the last step when booking online.
We booked our hotel room about 4 months in advance directly through the Hong Kong Disneyland website. We booked a room under a Special Offer. With the offer, we were upgraded to a Sea View room. It also gave us a discount on the room. I believe it was 20% off two nights or more. We highly recommend checking out the special offers prior to booking.
We booked a standard room at the Explorers Lodge. However, as we mentioned above the promotion gave us a guaranteed upgrade to a sea view room. We were in room 5544 in the African section of the hotel. This 5th floor room was awesome. The room is huge, has great subtle Disney details, and plenty of amenities. Also, the view out to the resort and the Hong Kong sea is stunning.
In the room, we received 2 complementary water bottles. The water bottles were huge and more than enough for our two-night stay. There was a refrigerator, amenities kit, and 2 queen beds. One nice surprise was that they provided 3 outlet converters that allowed for you to directly plug in devices from the US.
The room had more than enough space for the two of us. The room could comfortably fit a family of 4. The bathroom was extremely clean. A hairdryer, soap, shampoo, and conditioner were provided. If you want to see a full tour of our room, click on the video at the top of this post.
Explorers Lodge Versus Other Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel
After visiting all three of the Hong Kong Disneyland hotels, we were really happy with our hotel choice. We love the theming and rooms at the Explorers Lodge. When we go back to Hong Kong Disneyland, there is a good chance that we will stay at the Disneyland hotel. Mostly we will pick this hotel because we want to experience a new hotel. Jeff also likes the idea of a shorter walk (more on this below).
While the Hollywood Hotel is fun to explore, it is further from the parks. The Hollywood Hotel is definitely our least favorite of the three options. The best aspect of the Hollywood Hotel is that it has a fun bar that is open late. While the Hollywood Hotel is still a perfectly good option, we recommend the Explorers Lodge or Disneyland hotel over the Hollywood Hotel.
What Are The Downsides of Disney Explorers Lodge?
While the location of the Explorers Lodge is really good, it is not the closest hotel to the theme park. If you want the shortest walk, you should book the Hong Kong Disneyland hotel. The reasons we didn’t book the Disneyland hotel are the cost was higher and we preferred the theming of the Explorers Lodge. If a short walk is a priority for you, then the Disneyland hotel may be a better fit.
Our Overall Recommendation
We really enjoyed our stay at the Disney Explorers Lodge. If it is your first-time visiting Hong Kong Disneyland, we think the Explorers Lodge is a great option. The Sea View room is amazing and we definitely recommend it. We also strongly recommend checking for special offers directly on the Disney website to get the best deal available. If you have any questions, please leave us a comment below. Also, if you have been to Hong Kong or have anything else to share, please feel free to comment below.
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