Authentically Disney, Distinctly Chinese: Shanghai Disney Turns One
By: Hayley Dean, ellaslist.
How time flies. Shanghai Disneyland has been open for over a year now. For those of you thinking of paying a visit to the newest (and one of the nearest to us!) Disneyland on the planet, here are some tips and some points about the good, the bad and the ugly.
Stay on site and plan your visit
Staying on site at any Disneyland has lots of pluses and Shanghai Disneyland is no different. Within the Shanghai Disneyland resort area, there are 2 hotels – Toy Story Hotel and the Shanghai Disneyland Hotel. Kids staying at the Disneyland hotel have special meet-and-greet opportunities with the Toy Story characters and kids staying at Shanghai Disneyland can enjoy a special breakfast with the Big Mouse himself. Both hotels offer a free shuttle bus service which runs all day to and from Disneyland and Disneytown (there’s some more info about Disneytown below) and its also possible to purchase your Disneyland tickets from the concierge desk at both hotels, which will save you lots of time.
The night before your Disneyland adventure begins, spend ½ hour or so familiarising yourself with the layout of the park, which rides you really want to go on, and which of these rides offer the “Fastpass”. The Fastpass allows you to scan your ticket and effectively be allocated a specific time later in the day to come back and take the ride (no queues!) but there are only a certain number of Fastpasses allocated per ride each day so you have to get in quick, especially at Shanghai Disneyland!
Get there early and use the Fastpass system
Shanghai Disneyland is not dissimilar to pretty much every other Disneyland on the planet in terms of long lines at the park entrance, so following on from (1) and (2) above, arrive that little bit earlier (with admission tickets already purchased from the hotel) and as soon as you get through the entrance to the park, make a beeline to your selected Fastpass rides ASAP.
Disneytown is located right next door to Shanghai Disneyland. It offers many family-friendly dining options and shops, including the very cool “World of Disney” store, and – wait for it – THE LARGEST LEGO STORE IN THE WORLD!
Do not visit Shanghai Disneyland on a rainy day
This might be somewhat unavoidable, but check the weather before you arrive at the park. If it looks as though it might rain – take a raincheck. If you can’t do that, definitely pack the ponchos as there is nowhere near enough sheltered walkways and indoor areas to keep you and dry.