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What international park \ destination is better for someone with young kids?

What international park \ destination is better for someone with young kids?  

16 members have voted

  1. 1. What international park \ destination is better for someone with young kids?

    • Singapore \ USS
      3
    • Hong Kong \ HKDL & OP
      6
    • Japan - Tokyo \ TDL & TDS
      6
    • Japan - Osaka \ USJ
      1


31 posts in this topic

Starting to look at some overseas parks to take our son. He will be at least 4 before we travel (and we're watching his height closely for some of the e-ticket height limits) but we're tossing up several options.

I know i'm probably asking the wrong audience given the demographics here, but I know we've got some parents on the board - some of which have been overseas with them - so i'm looking for thoughts, suggestions, and ideas - first on where to go, and then - any hints and tips.

Each place has its own pros and cons. I've been to Singapore and HK, and my wife has been to HK, but this would be our first overseas trip as a family. We have considered HK & Singapore combined too, and likewise Tokyo & Osaka as well.

Not considering USA, or Europe, just due to the travel time - so something in Asia would be easier for us to manage right now. Open to other suggestions too, but if it doesn't have at least Disney or Universal, it'd be a hard sell.

 

So.... hit me with what you've got!

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Spending money on an overseas trip I wouldn't care much on what a 4 year would want to see or do.   In a few years your son will be lucky to remember it.  Do what I did over Christmas and leave the kid at home with the wife and go by yourself.

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Did Japan last year mate, did Disneysea Disneyland and Universal. Disneysea was myb4 year old boys favourite

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Japan Disney (And Universal) is no good with kids. WAAAAAAAAY TOO crowded. Not to mention stupidly expensive to stay close by the DL resort. Longest wait times of any Disney or Universal Park anywhere. The quality is amazing, sure but not worth the wait. Especially with kids.

With nothing new at USS since Transformers and Sesame st (and still won't be for years to come) Hong Kong seems like a pretty obvious choice. The new Antman ride looks pretty good with lots more on the way plus you have Ocean Park down the road.

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Apart from Universal Japan, all of those options have a great selection for young kids. If it was me I’d go for Hong Kong and save the Tokyo Disney trip until your boy is a little older. With a four year old the smaller Disney park will work in your favour and while Ocean Park’s ride lineup is just OK the aquarium and animal exhibits are excellent.

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4 would be borderline on remembering. 

You'll be visiting more than a park I assume, perhaps a region with something he will remember (cable car ride, zoo etc.)

Something big and/or unique, rather than rides similar to home that won't stand out in his memory or impress him when looking at photos when older. 

I voted Singapore, it's the only place I've been, plus you've got Gardens by the Bay, the cable car and Lego land. 

Edited by red dragin

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1 hour ago, joz said:

Why does a 4 year old care if stuff is new or not?

I dunno joz probably because a Holiday with a 4 year old is likely more about what the Parent's want to get out of it. 

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5 hours ago, MickeyD said:

With nothing new at USS since Transformers and Sesame st (and still won't be for years to come)

Not a minions fan, huh?

I think you’d avoid taking little kids to a crowded park with a new attraction. I do like how quiet USS and DLHK are compared to the others. Singapore also has all the zoos, the Science Centre, ArtScience Museum, the waterparks, aquarium and a bunch of other places to visit. It’s relatively safe, taxis are cheap  and most people speak English.

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Let’s look at this from a 4yr olds perspective. 

HKDL is going to blow his mind compared to Aussie park offerings. 

Given HK is about the same flight time as Japan and cheaper I would vote HKDL. It’s going to be a much cheaper trip and that money is better saved for when they are a big older and can experience one of the giant Disney parks and appreciate it more. 

Also once you’re there it’s much less of a hike from the airport into the city or Disney for a grumpy toddler. 

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10 minutes ago, Ash said:

Japan is so cheap though? Was there for just over 3 weeks. 

Cheap if you are eating in sushi bars and sleeping in capsules most of the time. Even basic accommodation that can barely squeeze 2.5 is at least 250/300 a night. And that is in somewhere like Shinjuku- miles away from Tokyo Bay. Let's face it. If you are going to Japan to Disney with Children you need to be close to the doorstep if you have any hope of experiencing some of the best attractions without having to wait hours at a time.. yeah, sounds like the perfect Holiday with small children to me🤔

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Yeah I really don’t think Japan and Cheap can be associated. 

Sure like anywhere there is a way to visit there cheaply (just like anywhere) but not in any way you want to do on a family Disney holiday. 

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Certainly possible to get 3-star hotels near Tokyo Disney for under $200 AUD with forward planning.  Look around the Shin-Urayasu area.  Anywhere on the monorail circle of the parks is obviously expensive though.

If you want to ride Toy Story Mania at DisneySea that'll be difficult generally or involve waiting a long time.  But DisneySea is awesome as just a place before adding in the rides etc.  If you're looking at June-August though crowds and humidity will both be bad generally.  There's plenty of blogs/crowd calendars that can help with that aspect of planning.

Another aspect is language-the default in Japan will be Japanese.  Most shows/presentations etc will be in Japanese primarily although sing songs in English and will make important announcements in English.  I believe USS and HKDL both default to English for shows/presentations(?).  You'll be able to get around perfectly fine using English in Japan-probably not yet as breezy as Singapore or HK but that's part of the experience.

It also depends how long you want to go for.  If you want to spend more days in parks then Japan is probably better, if you want to only spend one day then HK or Singapore are probably better.

I'm biased but Japan probably also has more that you can do outside of the parks including kid friendly activities-train museums, amusement centers, public parks/gardens etc

I don't have a kid though.

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I’ve not been to any of the Asian parks but have been to DL & Universal in the US and Paris.  At the age of 4, my kids absolutely loved Disneyland Paris.  Also, they also loved Legoland in Windsor which was always voted best theme park for 4-11 year olds. I’m not sure what other attractions are around Legoland Malaysia but I’m sure some online research might help you decide.

Edited by Adam C
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Stayed in a 2 bedroom AirBnB near Tokyo Disneyland that was very affordable (you could see the fireworks from our balcony). Whilst I adore the Japanese parks, they’re always chockers - HK and Singapore’s parks are much quieter. The Japanese people are lovely and will attempt to speak English at every opportunity.

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Compared to singapore, uk and Dubai I found it cheap. And we stayed at Osaka Shinjuku, hotel and penthouse air bnb which was the most expensive part of our trip. Bullet train was well priced for the amount of times we used it. We would arrive at every park by 730 then sprint to the fast pass we want. Longest wait without fast pass was Toy story mania 3hrs with a 4yr old kid....

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You can get a respectable budget chain hotel like Ibis Styles in Tokyo Bay which has 2-bunk beds + queen, breakfast and shuttles for under $200 a night in change and you can go even lower than with something like MyStays Shin Urayasu which is actually even closer. Alternatively, you can stay in the Miracosta for a cool $900 a night for one of their cheaper rooms. That's the beauty of Tokyo - with a city ten times the size of Sydney brings you a lot of choice.

As for crowds - i'll just say that the Japanese know how to do order and flow very well. It's not like Australia where everyone only thinks about themselves - their culture is very hyper-focussed on the society and less on the individual, so you'll find whatever over-analysed excuse for not visiting a country like Japan e.g. too many people - to be at best, trivial.

If you hate crowds, want a cheap motel and like Disney, I say stay at the Coomera Motor Inn and stare at Dreamworld's Ice Cream Parlour facade for a few hours.

Edited by Slick
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Thanks to all for the input so far.

I'm going to throw a spanner in the works and say - we're leaning away from Japan, but now also have Shanghai on the radar...

does this change your opinion \ advice?

...and.... GO.

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Save for an extra year or two and go to the states. 

we were throwing up the same ideas as you now are this time 18 months ago and decided to wait until our son was 6-7 and do it the “proper way” (Disneyland). We’re heading to LA mid next year when he can appreciate it a little more and keep the memories outside of just photos & videos. 

Funnily enough my earliest vivid memory from childhood that is still retained is Disneyland when I was 6 and a half. 

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Nope. States are reserved for when he is older. i want to hook him on Disney, not sell the farm on something he isn't going to be able to experience to the fullest - hence why you decided to wait until your boy is 7 (7 is our minimum for USA). the states aren't on the agenda at present, and for several reasons - i'm sticking with Asia.

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Hong Kong Disneyland Resort is probably the best for young families in my opinion. I know you've both been, but I think with kids it'd be new again.

A couple of pros:

  • The park is basically never crowded but still has all of the magic that you expect from Disney. 
  • The resorts are within walking distance / very short shuttle trip so you can rest during the day without missing anything.
  • You don't need to wait long for shows, entertainment and parades so you don't really need to worry about the kids getting restless.
  • Character meet and greet experiences aren't insane so you've always got the opportunity to meet the fan favourites.
  • Flights from Australia are SUPER cheap if you can score a good deal.

If anybody asks me this same question, I always direct them to Hong Kong Disneyland.

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I hope you don't mind me throwing a non-Disney/Universal curve ball, but for young kids I can recommend going to Seoul, South Korea. This is a good (cheaper) trip suggestion for everyone that isn't AlexB as well.

First, the country:

  • It's much cheaper than Japan, Singapore, or HK.
  • Seoul is very English Friendly (subways and buses all have English announcements)
  • Korean Air have direct flights from Brisbane, Asiana have direct flights from Sydney.
  • Cathay have really cheap flights if you don't mind stopping in HK for a few hours.
  • There are 3 theme parks in Seoul.

Lotte World - http://adventure.lotteworld.com/eng/main/index.do

  • The world's largest indoor amusement park.
  • Dozens of rides, (mostly moderate thrills), but there is a lot for small kids as well as adults, and some good family attractions
  • They do 2 Parades each day (lunch time and evening).  The evening parade is pretty incredible (Disney-level good).
  • It is literally in the middle of Seoul (Jamsil) and attached to Lotte World Mall, so there is plenty of cheap food and accommodation nearby.
  • Discounts for Foreigners (a bit of research to find the right deal and you can get in for as cheap as $15-20)
  • Has an Ice skating rink in the middle of it (with free skate hire for foreigners).

Everland - http://www.everland.com/mobile/english/

  • Samsung's Theme park.
  • About 1-2 hours just outside of Seoul
  • Is a resort, so you can stay on-premises if you want or stay closer to Seoul and get the bus.
  • Has a water park called Caribbean Bay
  • Is also a zoo with safari-style attractions
  • The park is massive with great theming and really good attractions (including T-Express an Intamin Woody)
  • Very family friendly
  • Beautiful scenery in the Spring/Autumn if you can go then.
  • Tax Free shopping for tourists

Seoul Land - http://eng.seoulland.co.kr/eng/index.asp

  • A much older park (built for the Seoul Olympics)
  • Very family friendly (really cheap food, great rides for kids and families)
  • Only a short 15-20 min train ride from Central Seoul
  • In the middle of Seoul Grand Park (which itself is really nice)
  • Really cheap entry - and some websites give discounts if you enter after 12.
  • Not as English friendly as the other two parks (really made for locals), but still easy enough to navigate.

To be honest, you could take the kids to Korea when they are any age and you'd still be able to get a lot of value out of it.  You could also do all three of these parks in Seoul and still have a cheaper trip than going to Japan.

It's not Disney or Universal, but it's a great holiday option that a lot of people don't think about.

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On 12/04/2019 at 3:51 PM, wikiverse said:

I hope you don't mind me throwing a non-Disney/Universal curve ball, but for young kids I can recommend going to Seoul, South Korea. This is a good (cheaper) trip suggestion for everyone that isn't AlexB as well.

 

I agree that Korea can be a good trip if you're looking for a cultural experience but none of these parks really come close to USS, USJ TDL or TDS (don't know about HKDL but assume it is also better).

I visited all three of those parks in 2015. 

Lotte World is probably the pick of the parks for having a massive indoor section but the rides outside were old.  It really has a lot of very average rides/simulations.

Everland is decent but it is a long way from Seoul, a good two hour trip with a bunch of transfers but I'd take Fuji-Q or Nagashima Spa-land over it although Everland is probably more kid-friendly than either of those parks.  They make a decent effort of a night parade as well.  Everland prices at $69 AUD vs Tokyo Disney at $92 AUD-it isn't really that much cheaper for something that is nowhere near the same experience.

Seoul Land to me is below average but props they gave me the foreigner discount at the gate with me knowing nothing about it.  But it is a run-down park in my experience.  On par with Hirakata Park in Japan, or Hakkejima Sea Paradise or Tokyo Dome City or Toshimaen and more like that which would price out as not more than twice the price on admission as Seoul Land I would think.

And you can generally get tax-free shopping for tourists in most countries at certain places-not really a unique selling point.

Edited by RossL
posted before finished

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