PHOTOS, VIDEO, REVIEW: ‘Momentous’ Nighttime Spectacular at Hong Kong Disneyland

Spencer Lloyd

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PHOTOS, VIDEO, REVIEW: ‘Momentous’ Nighttime Spectacular at Hong Kong Disneyland

Last year, Hong Kong Disneyland debuted its new nighttime spectacular “Momentous,” a love letter to the memories we make throughout our lives. With travel restrictions lifting and costs going down, we finally got the chance to go see the new show for ourselves earlier this month.

You can watch the full show courtesy of our YouTube channel. Or you can keep reading for photos and descriptions, as well as our thoughts.

HKDL Momentous Creative Reveal Castle Night 2

“Momentous” is set over the span of six chapters, with about 150 Disney characters from close to 40 various Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar Animation Studios stories through different special stages in life. Starting with those precious first moments, to encompassing life’s greatest experiences, achievements, and difficulties. Through it all, guests are reminded to treasure those with whom they share the journey of life, and all the adventures along the way.

The spectacular takes place every night on the Castle of Magical Dreams and features pyrotechnics, fountains, and of course projections on the castle itself.

HKDL Momentous Creative Reveal Chapter 1 Time Begins

With a soaring overture, the Castle transforms into a beautiful, ornate timepiece. Its magic- infused fountains embody the ever-flowing “Waters of Time,” revealing meaningful moments from the beloved Disney animated films. The original song “Love the Memory” anchors the show.

As the sun rises on the first chapter “Time Begins,” guests witness tender moments of new beginnings with beloved Disney and Pixar characters, and celebrate the joyful innocence of tiny infants. A touching rendition of the “Inside Out” theme underscores the scene, later overlaid with the lyrics of “Baby Mine” from “Dumbo.”

HKDL Momentous Creative Reveal Water Fountains 2

After, we hear “You’ll Be in My Heart” from “Tarzan,” also with the “Inside Out” theme under. It’s surprising how well these themes weave together, but indeed adds an extra emotional grip.

In this scene we see Kala holding Tarzan, Fergus training young Merida in archery, Charlie and Jenny hugging a baby Dory, James playing with young Tiana, and Sina with young Moana. As the song comes to a climax, these figures appear as stained glass windows across the castle.

HKDL Momentous Creative Reveal Chapter 2 Time of Your Life

As the sun continues to rise, guests move into childhood with the “Time of Your Life.” Here, in a child’s mind, time is non-existent — only play, fun, and friendship matter. Disney characters brim with youthful joy as they celebrate this carefree stage of life, with plenty of toys, color and laugh-filled moments.

The Castle of Magical Dreams transforms into the London skyline, complete with Big Ben on its highest tower, as “You Can Fly” kicks in and we see Peter Pan, Wendy, Michael, and John flying across the skies before arriving in Neverland. Next we’re transported to the Pride Lands, where a young Simba goofs around to the tune of “I Just Can’t Wait to be King.” We also see Terk and Tarzan play-fighting, Tod and Copper playing in the forest, and Mowgli playing with the wolves who raised him.

The entire castle then freezes over as we see Anna and Elsa playing together to the tune of “Do You Want to Build a Snowman.” The music gets a bit jazzy as Dash from “The Incredibles” comes in, followed by some of the Dalmatian puppies along with Bambi and Thumper.

“Following the Leader” kicks in to show the power of friendship as kids, with characters from “Peter Pan” and “Winnie-the-Pooh” before we return to “I Just Can’t Wait to be King.” During the finale, Andy plays with his toys, Stitch imitates Elvis, and Russell flies by with balloons before it all comes crashing down.

HKDL Momentous Creative Reveal Chapter 3 Time to Change

As the sun rises high in the sky, we see Disney characters grow from children to young adults. They take their first steps on a bigger journey, leaving what they know behind, to find who they are meant to be. “Time for Change” celebrates the turning points in guests’ lives, reminding them of moments in their own journeys where they took a leap of faith to “Try Everything.”

“Try Everything” underscores another verse of “Love the Memory” before taking over the show entirely. In the sun, we see Judy Hopps, Hercules, Merida, Elsa, Mulan, and Tarzan all working through their struggles as they grew into themselves as heroes. This section is a little light on the projections, mostly focusing on pyro and fountains while the castle stays a timepiece outside of the sun.

HKDL Momentous Creative Reveal Projection Mapping 2

But it doesn’t stay that way, as the castle transforms into Mount Olympus to the tune of “Go the Distance,” then the island of Motonui with “How Far I’ll Go” from “Moana.”

The two songs eventually harmonize, weaving into each other seamlessly once again to wrap this sequence.

HKDL Momentous Creative Reveal Chapter 4 Time Stand Stills

Romance is in the air as the sun sets to twilight and guests watch Disney characters fall in love in “Time Stands Still.”

HKDL Momentous Creative Reveal Water Projection

We’re reminded how special a first love is, as Sebastian takes over with “Kiss the Girl” featuring Ariel and Eric in their boat. Before long, we catch Pongo and Perdita along with Roger and Anita, Aladdin and Jasmine, Lady and the Tramp, Hercules and Meg, and Simba and Nala. Throughout this sequence, the fountains sway back and forth as bubbles and fish swim around the castle.

The castle slowly transforms into a beautfiul and ornate version of itself as seen above to the tune of “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” featuring cameos from WALL·E and EVE.

Then of course, “A Whole New World” begins as silhouettes of iconic Disney couples slowly pop up around the castle’s balconies. Couples dance together on the lower castle before things conclude with the end of “I See the Light,” and the castle disappears as lanterns float up.

HKDL Momentous Creative Reveal Chapter 5 Test of Time

Just when everything seems calm and steady, life throws challenges and obstacles into guests’ paths and they must face the “Test of Time.” Disney characters are tempted and pressured by villains to change their course and give up on their dreams.

Things get dark as Kaa slithers down the castle, urging guests to “Trust in Me” before the flamboyant and charming Dr. Facilier bursts in, fireworks firing into the air while he tempts us with a verse and chorus from “Friends on the Other Side.”

HKDL Momentous Creative Reveal Laser Lighting 1

His voodoo magic transforms the castle into a purple and green beacon for the pantheon of Disney villains. Maleficent, the Evil Queen, Jafar, and Ursula all release their evil magic to take over the celebration of life. “Poor Unfortunate Souls” underscores many iconic Disney heroes as they succumb to the temptations of these villains, from Snow White eating the apple to Ariel giving up her voice. Finally, Chernabog takes over in “Night on Bald Mountain” as we witness Disney heroes fighting back, like Simba battling Scar, Hercules fighting the hydra, and Aladdin trapping Jafar. The castle transforms into Notre Dame complete with the iconic circular window as “Hellfire” kicks in, covering the castle in projected fire as Te Ka is slowly revealed atop, along with Moana holding the heart of Te Fiti. She returns the heart, and the castle begins to restore itself to the tune of “Love the Memory.”

HKDL Momentous Creative Reveal Chapter 6 Time to Remember

The “Time to Remember” scene is a stirring, emotional moment for the audience to reflect on their own mentors and guides. We see the reunions of Disney pals and couples as their happily ever afters come, but we also get to acknowledge those who came before and got us here. The final tear-jerker in the show comes with Hector singing “Remember Me” to a young Coco before a sweeping orchestral rendition underscores other Disney characters with those who died in their films, like Mufasa, Hiro’s brother Tadashi, Moana’s with her grandmother Tala, Carl and his wife Ellie, and finally Miguel singing “Remember Me” back to his elderly grandma Coco.

HKDL Momentous Creative Reveal Projection Mapping 1

With our journey almost complete, we transition into a brilliant finale — a celebration of all the moments that define Disney characters’ lives. Filled with inspiration, we see characters empowered to live a life full of adventure, love, and friendship. The music and lyrics poignantly capture the journey guests have experienced and the moments they have shared, delivering an inspirational encouragement to “Live the moment and love the memory.” A life is the sum of all its many moments, each momentous experience living in their hearts and shaping them into who they are meant to be.


Out of all the nighttime castle spectaculars I’ve seen, “Momentous” is near the top of the heap. Perhaps only surpassed by the gold standard of “Happily Ever After” at Walt Disney World, the show weaves together moments in life through Disney films in a way no other show has before.

In a world of shows like “Disney Enchantment” and “Believe! Sea of Dreams” which focus exclusively on visual gimmicks and almost-exclusively modern IP from the past 10-20 years, “Momentous” shines as what every Disney nighttime show should strive to be. It has visual flair for sure, with projections perfectly suited to use the Castle of Magical Dreams as its canvas, and they’re crisp even up close which makes the show much more immersive. As well, the fountains and lasers act to enhance the show, with only certain moments where mist screens are used as an addition rather than the focus.

The slate of intellectual property used in the show also spans every generation. Nods to classics like “Cinderella,” “Peter Pan,” and “The Jungle Book” sit alongside sequences dedicated to “Frozen,” “Moana,” and “Tangled.” Some love is even given to more obscure films like “One Hundred and One Dalmatians,” “The Fox and the Hound,” and “Pocahontas.” It’s a show guests of all ages can enjoy, fully utilizing the vast library of Disney and Pixar animated films to make emotional connections to the events of our own lifetimes. Couple that with the brilliant “Love the Memory” theme song, one I wish could become as classic as “Happily Ever After” or “Live the Magic” but simply won’t due to many guests often overlooking Hong Kong Disneyland in favor of Tokyo or Paris.

Hong Kong Disneyland has spent the better part of 15 years trying to shake off the image that it’s a small half-day park which borrows so much from Disneyland that it may not be worth dedicating a trip. Since opening, the park has introduced four unique E-ticket attractions including Mystic Manor, often said to be the greatest Disney attraction ever created, transformed its cloned Sleeping Beauty Castle into a beautiful and unique Castle of Magical Dreams, and now performs this incredible nighttime spectacular. It’s a park so often shrugged off, but that just isn’t the reality of Hong Kong Disneyland anymore. If anything, “Momentous” should be among those top reasons you make the trip.

Are you excited about seeing “Momentous” on your next trip to Hong Kong Disneyland? Let us know in the comments below!

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