Halloween never warranted much revelry throughout Hong Kong's colonial history, but this Eastern Asian metropolis has in recent years begun to embrace the pagan tradition. Today, the holiday is a major part of Hong Kong's tourism scene. You won't necessarily see trick-or-treaters dancing around its skyscrapers, but you will find a host of costume parties and festivals happening throughout the city.
In 2020, many events have been altered or canceled. Check the websites of organizers for updated information.
Halloween Time in Hong Kong Disneyland
Arguably the most American-flavored Halloween celebration in Hong Kong, Disneyland's Halloween Time is similar to the holiday programming you'd find at Disney institutions in the U.S. It features the familiar characters—Mickey, Donald, Goofy—and, of course, no shortage of evil villains.
Among the Halloween Time highlights is Let's Get Wicked, a 25-minute musical show centering five major Disney villains (Ursula, Cruella de Vil, Dr. Facilier, Gaston, and Mother Gothel) at the Theater in the Wild. The performance—exclusive to Disneyland Hong Kong—is highly interactive: Guests can help villains tell their stories by lighting up their “torches” aka mobile phone lights.
Additionally, Jack Skellington’s Villainous Gathering is essentially a convocation of villains at the Castle Hub Stage. Characters from Tim Burton’s "The Nightmare Before Christmas"—Jack, Sally, and Oogie Boogie—team up with Jafar, Maleficent, the Queen of Hearts, Captain Hook, and the Evil Queen from "Snow White" to celebrate with original songs created especially for the festival.
Journey to Halloween Town is Hong Kong Disneyland’s signature trick-or-treat experience in which kids can pick up candies while recreating scenes from "The Nightmare Before Christmas."
Over at Fantasyland, kids can meet Winnie the Pooh and company before collecting candy and enjoying face-painting at the Halloween Time Festival Gardens and Karibuni Marketplace.
Guests of all ages are encouraged to come wearing PG-rated (i.e. not too scary) costumes. 2020's Halloween Time event will take place from September 12 to October 31.
Ocean Park Halloween Fest
Hong Kong’s biggest theme park also hosts a Halloween extravaganza (and the biggest in the region, at that). Ocean Park—an oceanarium and animal-themed attraction—actually holds Asia's largest Halloween bash, with 400 costumed characters and more than a dozen haunted attractions. It features Halloween fright houses, street shows with scary characters, and copious generally spooky entertainment.
The park's chief scares center around six themed “haunted zones” throughout the property. Waterfront Plaza will suddenly find itself infested with ghouls via two special attractions: the Hong Kong Hauntgrounds and the Old Street of Hungry Ghosts, both drawing from Hong Kong’s catalog of real-life haunts.
The Hong Kong Hauntgrounds becomes an oasis for the undead after 5 p.m. Guests can use special ghost-detecting flashlights to seek out spirits in the abandoned housing complex dubbed Phantom Estate 2.0 or watch a medium-led seance.
The Summit has its own themed haunted zones: the dystopian Wasteland Warzone, the dead pirate-infested Deadly Seas, the psychedelically lit Psycho Terror Zone, and the ominously creepy Temple of Sorrow.
Technology plays a big part in the Ocean Park Halloween experience—from a virtual-reality minibus terror ride to Hell to ghostly selfies against augmented-reality devices. For a less spooky experience, visit Ocean Park’s Whiskers Harbour, where a Halloween-only Spooky Sweets Playland offers multiple opportunities to win trick-or-treat candies.
Ocean Park reopened on September 18 and makes no mention of the annual Halloween Fest on its 2020 calendar.
Halloween Parties in Lan Kwai Fong
A top pick for grownups, the bars, pubs, and clubs in Lan Kwai Fong—the city’s premier party district—host their very own Halloween functions. The celebrations reach their peak on the weekend leading up to or of October 31.
You won’t find a better stage than Lan Kwai Fong to show off a shiny new costume. Hordes of ghouls and freaks parade the streets in a sort of block party, hitting up bar after bar for themed menus and drink deals. Although the official Lan Kwai Fong website makes no mention of the area's Halloween revelries, nightclubs like Volar, Dragon-i, and Rula Bula typically hold all-night events.
Where to Buy Costumes in Hong Kong
Costumes are big business in Hong Kong, thanks to events like the Rugby Sevens Series calling for outlandish outfits on the regular. Thus, the city has an abundance of costume shops bursting with Halloween-worthy attire.
- Matteo Party: Offering a well-organized inventory of costumes catering to Halloween-goers of all ages (babies included), this Causeway Bay costume shop also sells party accessories and supplies. You can reserve a costume online and pick it up the same day.
- Fortune Costume: This Kowloon institution offers costume rentals in a convenient location, so you don't have to pack butterfly wings or a clown mask back in your suitcase.
- Partyland Central: This store is a stone's throw from Hollywood Road and has easy access to Lan Kwai Fong. The “stone slab street” is itself a hotbed for costume shops and stalls, and Partyland is the biggest of the lot. It offers generic outfits and can custom-make a costume with enough lead time, too.
- Hong Kong Street Markets: Beyond Pottinger Street in Central, you can also venture out to other markets like Wan Chai Market in Wan Chai and Ladies Market in Mongkok. These places offer budget costumes for the open-minded.