Edited by Mike Aquino.
Halloween in Hong Kong wasn't much of a tradition throughout its colonial history, but this world-famous city has belatedly embraced this creepy celebration. Today, Halloween is a major part of the city's tourism scene, a must-see in the month of October.
Although you won’t find many trick-or-treaters dancing around the city’s skyscrapers, you will find a host of Halloween events in Hong Kong.
Some of the most frightening are listed below, including:
- an American-style Halloween in Hong Kong Disneyland;
- Ocean Park Hong Kong’s Halloween that drinks deeply from local lore; and
- Lan Kwai Fong’s annual costumed Halloween parties.
We’ll end this article with a list of shops around Hong Kong where you can buy or rent costumes for trick-or-treaters of every age.
Halloween Time in Hong Kong Disneyland
Arguably the most American-flavored Halloween celebration in Hong Kong takes place at Hong Kong Disneyland from September 12 until October 31.
Expect all stops pulled, with Mickey, Donald, and Goofy all donning their favorite costumes, dancing to ever-present music throughout the park. With spooky decorations, cobwebs, and candy, it's an absolute must for those who packed the kids.
Let’s Get Wicked: a 25-minute musical show at the Theater in the Wild, featuring five major Disney Villains – Ursula from The Little Mermaid, Cruella de Vil from 101 Dalmatians, Dr. Facilier from The Princess and the Frog (pictured above), Gaston from Beauty and the Beast and Mother Gothel from Tangled.
The title song, “Let’s Get Wicked,” was created exclusively for Hong Kong Disneyland; each of the five villains’ signature costumes and songs have been reimagined for maximum impact. (Ursula’s dress, for example, takes up the entire stage.)
The performance is highly interactive: guests can help the Disney Villains complete their individual stories by lighting up their “torches” with their mobile phones.
Jack Skellington’s Villainous Gathering: Watch from the sidelines as a convocation of villains gather under Jack Skellington’s leadership at the Castle Hub Stage.
The stars of Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas—Jack, Sally and Oogie Boogie—will team up with Snow White’s Evil Queen, Aladdin’s Jafar, Sleeping Beauty’s Maleficent, Alice in Wonderland’s the Queen of Hearts, and Peter Pan’s Captain Hook to celebrate Halloween through some original songs created especially for the festival.
Trick or Treat Around Hong Kong Disneyland: “Journey to Halloween Town” is Hong Kong Disneyland’s signature Trick-or-Treat experience—here, kids can pick up candies when they recreate scenes from the Nightmare Before Christmas.
Over at Fantasyland, kids can share a meet-and-greet with Winnie the Pooh and his friends (all wearing Halloween costumes), beore going trick-or-treating and enjoying face-painting at Halloween Time Festival Gardens and Halloween Time Takeover Karibuni Marketplace.
Come in costume to get into the full spirit of the holiday—though Disneyland may disallow costumes and accessories (like hats, capes or wings) that might compromise guests’ safety; full-face masks are completely disallowed.
Other Halloween Specials: Halloween-only dishes, merchandise items, and hotel-stay packages are also available at the resort. Compare rates at the following Disneyland-attached hotel properties:
To stay up-to-date on every Halloween event in Hong Kong Disneyland, download the Hong Kong Disneyland mobile app (iOS/Android). Use its GPS-enabled map to navigate through the park or make reservations at park restaurants. The app also calculates wait times for each attraction, and alerts you where your favorite Disney characters will make their next appearance.
Visit the official Hong Kong Disneyland site hongkongdisneyland.com for more information.
Ocean Park Halloween Fest
Hong Kong’s biggest theme park will also host one of the biggest Halloween celebrations in town. Ocean Park boasts the biggest Halloween bash in Asia, with 400 costumed characters, over a dozen haunted attractions such as Halloween fright houses, street shows with scary characters walking about, and spooky entertainment.
Many of the holiday’s chief “scares” center around six themed “haunted zones” that occupy most of the property—creating a Park-wide scarefest.
Waterfront Plaza will suddenly find itself infested with two separate scare-attractions: the Hong Kong Hauntgrounds and the Old Street of Hungry Ghosts, both drawing from Hong Kong’s catalog of ghost stories and hauntings.
Hong Kong Hauntgrounds will become an undead haven after 5pm, with paranormal phenomena sprouting up everywhere. Use special ghost-detecting flashlights to find the spirits in the abandoned housing complex called the “Phantom Estate 2.0”; or watch a seance conducted by a ghostly medium.
The Old Street of Hungry Ghosts, a recreation of historic Hong Kong turns into a madhouse where ghostly attacks can happen around every corner.
The Summit will also have its own themed haunted zones: the dystopian Wasteland Warzone; the dead pirate-infested Deadly Seas; the weird psychedelic lighting of the Psycho Terror Zone; and the ominously creepy Temple of Sorrow.
Technology will play a big part in the Ocean Park Halloween experience – from a virtual-reality minibus terror ride taking the fast lane to Hell, to a laser-tag battle with high stakes, to ghostly selfies against augmented-reality devices.
For a less spooky Halloween Experience at Ocean Park, visit Ocean Park’s Whiskers Harbour, where a Halloween-only LINE FRIENDS Spooky Sweets Playland offers multiple opportunities to win trick-or-treat candies, from mini-games at the “LINE FRIENDS Trick or Treat Mine”; to hands-on candy-making at the “LINE FRIENDS Sweet Treats Factory”.
The Halloween Fest takes place on the following dates: October 4, 11, 18-20, 24-27, and 31, starting at 5pm and ending at 10:30pm. Visit the official site oceanpark.com.hk for more information.
Halloween Parties in Lan Kwai Fong
The top pick for grownups, the bars, pubs, and clubs in Lan Kwai Fong, the city’s premier party district, host their very own parties and Halloween celebrations. The celebrations reach a peak on the weekend immediately before (or occurring on) October 31.
If you’re eager to show off you’re shiny new costume, you won’t find a better stage than Lan Kwai Fong. Hordes of ghouls and freaks parade the streets, and due to the amount of imbibing that takes place, the police are usually out in force.
You don’t have to wear a costume to party in Lan Kwai Fong for Halloween, but wearing one helps! A strong drinking constitution is also required, as you make your way through the themed menus at the local bars and swig drinks with masked ghouls around every corner.
Visit the official site lankwaifong.com for the updated Halloween Calendar closer to the date.
Where to Buy Costumes in Hong Kong
Costumes are big business in Hong Kong, thanks to events like Halloween and the Rugby Sevens that call for outlandish outfits on the regular. You can visit the places listed here to find a Halloween costume that suits your personality – not just on Halloween, but all year round.
- Matteo Party (Room 03, 20/F, Shun Hei Causeway Bay Centre, 492 Lockhart Rd, Causeway Bay, matteoparty.com; location on Google Maps). Offering a well-organized inventory of costumes catering to Halloween-goers of all ages (babies included!), Matteo Party also offers party accessories and supplies. Visit their website to reserve your costume, and pick it up the same day.
- Fortune Costume (Room 202, 2/F, 23, Hillwood Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, fortunecostume.com; location on Google Maps) offers costume rentals in a convenient Kowloon location.
- Choi Chi Gift Shop (G/F, 33 Tung Choi Street, Mong Kok, facebook.com/choichigiftshop; location on Google Maps) caters to budget costume seekers with inexpensive mass-manufactured costumes and accessories in a surprisingly wide range of themes.
- Partyland (B/F, 51 Wellington Street, Central, www.partylandcentral.com; location on Google Maps) combines a hyper-convenient Pottinger Street, Central location (abutting Hollywood Road, and within easy access of Lan Kwai Fong). The “stone slab street” is itself a hotbed for costume shops and stalls, and Partyland is just the biggest of the lot. Partyland offers generic outfits and can custom-make a costume with enough lead time.
- Hong Kong Street Markets: Beyond the aforementioned 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, but can’t guarantee fit or the exact costume you want.