Shanghai Disneyland: Magic Comes to China!

Ever since I heard Shanghai Disneyland has opened up in Shanghai, I was eagerly waiting to get a chance to visit the magical kingdom and it wasn’t a long wait as I was soon able to find some time to visit this place where supposedly magic happens with my family.

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Location:

Shanghai Disneyland is situated in the outskirts of Pudong District and is fairly far from the City Centre. It takes about an hour or more from city centre to the park, given there is no traffic.

 

How to Get There:

I found two good options to visit Shanghai Disneyland if you’re staying in Shanghai City Centre. One option is taking a taxi, it takes a little more than hour if there is no traffic. I started at 7.45 from my hotel in downtown and reached Disneyland just before 9. It cost me 190RMB though which is nearly $30. On my way back we took the Metro. There is a new Metro station purposefully built for Disneyland visitors at the end of Line 11 and it’s very convenient to take subway to the park provided you have a metro station nearby your staying place.

 

Tickets:

There are 2 tiers of tickets, as the price on weekends and special holidays are higher than that on weekdays. You can find ticket prices on the following link:

https://www.shanghaidisneyresort.com/en/ticket/

I suggest purchasing the tickets online because the queue to buy tickets is pretty big. When buying tickets online you need to give your passport number and when collecting the tickets from the resort entrance you just need to show your passport and they will give you the tickets.

 

Attractions:

The atmosphere and level of detail is fantastic as you will expect for a Disneyland. They have gone all out here. The area is pretty big and the Disney castle here I believe is bigger than the ones in USA. There are 4 signature rides, Tron: The big Roller-coaster, Roaring Rapids, Soaring Over the Horizon and Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle for the Sunken Treasure. There are also some other cool rides that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. There are also some very cool shows, I visited the Tarzan show which was a 30 minutes rendition of the movie with many acrobats giving a vibrant performance. There are 2 other shows, one by Captain Jack Sparrow and the other is 2.5 hours show of The Lion King Musical for which you have to buy separate tickets. The Disney parade here starts at 3.30 PM and it’s a pretty neat parade with many characters bringing alive the very best of Disney. The laser light show at the end is probably the best part of the whole Disneyland experience, it’s by far the best laser/fireworks/water show you will get to see in Asia.

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Pros:

Technology has changed the experience of amusement park rides to a whole new level and Shanghai Disneyland is no exception. They use the very best of modern visual technology to take you through a thrilling adventure across many beloved Disney platform. The detailed decoration makes you feel like you are actually on board the Flying Dutchman or visiting Pooh Bear in the Hundred Acre Wood.

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The Chinese community is new to the Disney exposure and they are still not very fascinated or cannot relate that much with the Disney characters. So do not need to stand in a long queue to take pictures with the characters.  In fact there was not a single person in line to Meet Darth Vader or R2D2 when I visited the Star Wars Galaxy Pod which is unthinkable in other Disneyland. Also you can easily take pictures with Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Daffy and the others without much hassle.

 

Cons:

The park has opened in June, 2016 and so the crowd at the moment is huge no matter what day it is. I visited on a very hot and sunny Friday hoping the crown would be thin, yet it was full of people of which 99% were Chinese. So the queues for the rides were huge. For our first ride, we had to wait 80 mins in queue which saps the morale. If you don’t dig Chinese girls, you are sure to be bored after all the waiting. But as the day went past, queue time became a little less, still it was more than 40 mins for all major rides. We couldn’t visit Roaring Rapid because the queue was more than 2.5 hours! The price of Food is also very steep inside the park and the taste is average, but there are many options for food and drinks across the park. Another big let-down was Chinese behaviour. They litter a lot leaving empty bottles, plastic bags everywhere and they let their kids pee on the streets!!

 

Tips to Improve your Disneyland Experience:

1.       Plan your journey ahead. Download the map from the internet and point out the rides you want to visit first. It’s always better if you move from area to area. That way are sure to cover most of the rides. There is an app as well, it shows the present waiting time of different rides and also shows all attractions and food joints.

 

2.       Start Early. I started at 7.45 and reached at 9 which is official park opening time. But it turns out, they open the gates at 8. You can beat a lot of queue if you can go there before 8.

 

3.       Disneyland provides Fast Passes for some of its attractions. You will find the fast passes inside the park. Once you get a fast pass for a particular ride, you will be able to visit that ride at an exact time without any queue. Fast Pass is free but it runs out pretty quickly, so better get in queue for that too!

 

4.       After every ride, they will guide you to the souvenir store. Don’t but anything then, as you will need to carry the shopping bag for the rest of the day. In the main souvenir store in Mickey Avenue you will be able to buy all those souvenirs from under one single roof.

 

5.       The parade starts at 3.30 PM and follows a designated route. Make sure to get a good space on that route before 3:15 as soon there won’t be a single inch to stand on.

 

6.       Wait till the 8:30 Laser Show. Believe me it is worth it!!

 

Verdict:

It’s Disneyland! Any chance you get to visit one just go for it!

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