Hong Kong Disneyland turns up the adventure with Disney Explorers Lodge

Earnest Mangulabnan-Zabala
Hong Kong Disneyland turns up the adventure with Disney Explorers Lodge
And they have a promo exclusively for Filipino guests, too

I imagine that every time Hong Kong Disneyland thinks of a new attraction or a new hotel, it is a chance for Mickey Mouse and company to be part of an exciting new story and an occasion to put them in new costumes. Isn’t that a big part of Disneyland’s charm? To be able to see these iconic Disney characters in various outfits and situations: Goofy as a tai-chi instructor, Pluto as a chef’s assistant with his lily white apron, and Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse in their Halloween best.

EXOTIC TABLEAU. Disney characters greet you at the entrance of the hotel.

So picture the excitement when HK Disneyland finally unveiled its latest hotel, the third one, early this year. The first adventure-themed hotel in all of Hong Kong, Disney Explorers Lodge is filled with design and architectural details that highlight the cultures of Asia, Oceania, South America, and Africa.

Not only does the whole property boast of exotic Disney elements, it also gives 4 Disney characters a great opportunity to show off their exploration outfits: meet Mickey the Explorer, Minnie the Adventuress, Goofy the Pilot, and Donald the Bird Watcher. Finding out their accompanying back-stories vis-à-vis the lodge is part and parcel of what makes staying at the hotel an immersive experience.

LOBBY. Parts of the lobby come from the 'Dreamfinder' dirigible once flown by our intrepid adventurers. The airship's structure now serves as the ceiling, along with the chandeliers.

Divided into 4 wings, the hotel boasts of 750 rooms. Each room comes with two queen-size beds, perfect for a family of 4. More than 500 of these rooms are also interconnected, so there’s no need to go out of your room to kiss lola good night. The rooms are spacious and comfortable, exactly what one needs after a day of adventure at Disneyland.

There’s even a story time feature for the little ones who may need a bit of help with calming their stimulated brains. Just press the relevant button on your room phone, choose from the 3 stories provided, and off the children go, hopefully to slumber land soon.

THE OFFSPRING. Squirt is waiting for you by the Oceania garden.

Outside each hotel wing are 4 meticulously designed themed gardens. Named after characters from Disney movies, they are a natural extension of each wing’s overall tone. The Oceania garden, featuring little Squirt from Finding Nemo, is a laidback outdoor space that simulates the feeling of being on a Pacific Ocean island. Rafiki’s garden, meanwhile, presents a slice of the African savannah.

HAKUNA MATATA. Fancy a campfire with family and newfound friends? Head to the Lion King-inspired setup at the Rafiki garden.

The Asian wing has the Hathi Jr garden, named after the baby elephant that appears in the animated movie The Jungle Book. It’s filled with sculptures and artifacts that evoke the Asian landscape.

The South American garden has bright and bold distinct lines as inspired by Kevin, the giant tropical bird from Up. It even has its own herb garden composed mainly of rosemary, lemongrass, and lavender, located just outside one of the hotel’s restaurants, the World of Color.

SPACIOUS AND CALMING. Each room comes with 2 queen-size beds.

A hungry explorer is a no-no at the hotel. Here you are spoiled for choices. You may opt for international cuisine at World of Color or try out the excellent Chinese dishes at Dragon Wind Chinese Restaurant. (The lemon chicken is highly recommended.) If you want it more casual, you may eat at Chart Room Café. Do try some of their lovely cakes and pastries.

CHOCOLATE EARS. Mickey Mouse tiramisu, available at the Chart Room Café.

MINNIE'S DELIGHT. Chocolate mousse with strawberry cream, also available at the Chart Room Café.

Staying true to its exploration theme, the hotel also offers various activities that stimulate the creativity of guests. Kids can join an arts and crafts workshop where they can create one-of-a-kind Disney projects. The hotel is also proud to host its own “Find the Hidden Mickey” tour with about 12 hidden gems carefully scattered around the common areas of the hotel. Spotting these Mickey figures has quickly become a favorite among hotel guests, young and old alike.

DIVE IN. The raindrop pool and a view of the sea.

Of course, a visit to Disneyland isn’t complete if you don’t take a photo with your favorite Disney character. At Explorers Lodge, you may find them welcoming you at the lobby, hobnobbing with you during breakfast, or hanging out at the outdoor pool.

EXPLORERS LODGE. Welcome to a world of adventure. All photos by Earnest Mangulabnan Zabala

Explorers Lodge lives up to its motto of ad explorare et somniare (“to explore and dream”). All over the property are details, small and big, just waiting to be unearthed. Whether finding all the hidden Mickeys or realizing that the lamp that adorns your room’s hallway is made from binoculars, discovering these hidden treasures is a delight in itself.

HIDDEN MICKEY. Are you up for a challenge? Find this and 11 more scattered throughout the hotel.

There is an ongoing promo at all HK Disneyland hotels including Explorers Lodge. The Advanced Purchase Room offer saves you up to 40% on any room reservation. This promo is exclusively for Filipino guests and is valid until December 31 this year. – Rappler.com

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