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Hitting Shanghai and Hong Kong on one trip in March

Discussion in 'Tokyo, Hong Kong and Shanghai' started by Buried20KLeague, Jan 31, 2017.

  1. WDW1974

    WDW1974 Well-Known Member

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    My first visit to HKDL was in August of 2008 (about a year after @Buried20KLeague if I am not mistaken) and I thought there absolutely was enough to do for one full day. That is all that was needed. I went out a second day to tour the hotels and have dinner at the Chef Mickey's supper buffet (one of the resort's greatest values!) Even now, I would be hard-pressed to tell people they should spend more than two days there. Two days would give you time to do everything multiple times, including shows and parades. Too much else to see in amazing HK to spend it at DL!

    Back to your original point, I think HKDL was incredibly weak when it opened and likely the first few years, but then they started adding both major attractions as well as incredible seasonal entertainment (no Disney park does Halloween like they do!)
     
  2. Buried20KLeague

    Buried20KLeague Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    No worries. I'm actually quite like you... I've been on this site very little over the past couple years.

    Things are well, thanks for wondering! I guess I can't complain if I'm still traveling and hitting multiple Disney resorts at a time! ;)

    I didn't know you hadn't been to HK since the expansion. You've got to get there. I've changed my opinion on it (as I'll cover in another reply to you!).

    EDIT TO ADD: I hope, too, that all is well with you. I think maybe I recall seeing that you now have a better half? Good for you, if so! I'm not sure what took so long... With your Patrick Swayze looks and Jon Bon Jovi personality, you should be beating them off with a stick!!! :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2017
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  3. Buried20KLeague

    Buried20KLeague Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    I think I've mentioned this before to you... But I always find myself noticing you've created a thread about 80 pages too late, and by then I don't want to sit and read all 80 to catch up, and I hate jumping into existing conversations without having all the background. :| Are you thinking about comments from me on the topics in the thread in general, or something specific? If it's a specific topic you think I can add to, I'd be happy to filter through it and catch up on the conversation and add my two cents. Or Yuan, as it were. :)

    The walking in Shanghai didn't bother me. Probably because of a combination of it being so new that there was so much to look at and take in, and also because of the clear understanding that it was new and those gaps would eventually be filled in. I DID find it crazy there was no train. Stops at Mickey Ave, Tomorrowland, Fantasyland, and over by the ropes course would have been PERFECT. And what's funny is... For a park with no train, it sure as heck was train obsessed. There was train-related stuff all over the place. It was odd.

    I never noticed the outside world from inside the park. Surprisingly. Because it really is surrounded.

    At Shanghai, we stayed at the Qube hotel, about 10 minutes from the parks. Because we're 5 total, it means two hotel rooms... So I was saving a few bucks. Rooms at the Toy Story hotel were $250 per night (so $500 a night for us total). I got the Qube for $85 per night (for $170 total per night for 2 rooms), plus the rooms were large and swanky... And there was a Starbucks and McDonalds on-site. Plus, at Shanghai, there are plenty of off-site options close (such as the Qube). As you well know, at HK if you're not on-site, it's a bit of a drive to the resort. That's just not the case at Shanghai.

    Disneytown was fine. I didn't feel like it blew me away. Frankly, we'd have likely spent more time there if it was warm. There seemed to be a LOT of nice places to eat there with fantastic outdoor seating... Even a couple with great views of the castle and fireworks... But with temps in the low 50's, we poked around the shops and that was about it.

    We did three days at SDL, and while that gave us the chance to do our favorites a bunch of times (Pirates and Tron probably 8 times each), we still didn't quite get to it all. We didn't see the Tarzan show, for example.

    You're correct that a lot had changed at HK since I was last there. My opinion on it is completely changed. I love that little park now. So much so we bought annual passes. We're thinking early next Spring we might try to hunt good airfare to pop over there for another few days. :)

    Last time I was there, Small World was a couple weeks away from opening. So yes, that plus Toy Story, Mystic Point, Grizzly Gulch, and Iron Man were all new, plus Paint the Night (I had seen that parade in DL already, but the family hadn't). The park certainly felt more well-rounded and complete. It will REALLY be something when the announced new changes are complete too.

    Like everyone else, I can't say enough about Mystic Manor. Awesome. And we even rode it enough to notice some VERY cool details in the que... There are paintings everywhere of the collector's adventures and so forth... And one picture shows "The Society of Collectors"... And in the left of the picture was... Harrison Hightower, holding the Shiriki. And a few pictures later was one titled "Maestro of the Conservatory - D. Elfman"... Sure enough... It was a stylized painting of Danny Elfman, who did the music for the attraction. Just those typical Disney touches.

    They DID add FP for Iron Man. They were using the old Buzz machines for it. I thought it was a step up from Star Tours... But still such an outdated idea, IMO.

    Big Grizzly was a headscratcher too. For half the ride, it just sort of wandered... Like the beginning of Everest. Do Asians not enjoy extreme thrill rides? It has to be the case. Even the backward section wasn't very extreme. The launch at the end ratcheted it up, but that was a short segment. Still, a great ride. TRON was very similar. Not all that extreme. Made me wonder if it was really a cultural thing.

    We did 3 days at HK. Stayed at the Hollywood Hotel. I wanted to stay at the Disneyland hotel, but two rooms there would have been insane, especially since we just needed to sleep there. We liked the Hollywood Hotel, but weren't crazy about the rooms. They were SMALL, and fairly dated. Everyone agreed our rooms at the Qube were much better than the Disney hotel. We ate at most of the counter service places at HK, and also at Chef Mickey's, which really was probably the best meal we had on the trip!

    We didn't go to Ocean Park, although we saw it across a bay when we went to Stanley Beach and Village to shop and eat lunch on the beach. That place looks crazy... Just carved into the side of a giant cliff. I would highly recommend you take an afternoon to go to Stanley Beach and Village the next time you're in HK. Great shopping in a town full of expats and great restaurants. Totally worth the trip. Maybe 40 minutes total from Central station in Hong Kong. Not too bad.
     
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  4. Buried20KLeague

    Buried20KLeague Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    You know, I wanted to do Crystal Lotus and we just didn't. I had way more trouble finding stuff my 8 year old would eat on this trip than I thought I would. Not because the food was horrible... But because it was in her head. She would think it was different, and that would be it. She wouldn't eat anymore. So I didn't want to fork out a bunch of money and have her not eat. She wasn't going to get a pork bun, even if it was in the shape of a Toy Story character. :|

    I think our best counter service meal at HK was probably at the Royal Banquet Hall (or whatever it was called). I had a fish dish that was great, my little one got pizza, there was a soup deal one of my older kids got, etc... Something for everyone, no matter the palate. A few in the family loved the Festival of Foods... I didn't eat there as me and my oldest daughter went to Victoria Peak that morning instead.

    In SDL, we tried most every location. We LOVED the stands with the snacks. Tried most of them over three days and really enjoyed them. We did more snacking through the course of the day, and less stopping for full meals, actually. We also really like the specialized drinks they had in certain locations. They reminded me of the drink you can get in Adventureland in Tokyo that's mostly juice with mickey shaped tapioca in it... They were like that. There were 4 or 5 of them through the park. And only a couple bucks each. Worth it.

    If I were to recommend one specifically, it would be Barbossa's Bounty. I'm sure you know this... But it has seating similar to the Blue Bayou in Pirates, but it's a counter service place, which is great. And the food was pretty darn good. I had the ribs, which I thought tasted great. My oldest had the squid, and really liked it. Can't recall what the wife had. And my other two got chicken leg kids meals and thought they were good too.

    We also ate in the castle at SDL. Pricey... But worth it. We thought it was great food. But again... There were maybe 60 tables in the place, and we were one of maybe 5 that were full! But the place was still fully staffed, so we had probably 8 people standing around us, staring at us taking care of every need. Drinks, replacing napkins, taking and changing plates, etc... And the characters were spending an awkward amount of time with us as well, since there was no one there. It would be easier to spend a lot of time with face characters (and we DID), but you can only have a one-way conversation with a foam head for so long.
     
  5. WDW1974

    WDW1974 Well-Known Member

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    I disappear for weeks and sometimes months and just tune it out, even if I have information that people might be interested in. I just need a cleansing period before jumping back in.

    I really want to. It is the only Disney resort in the world that I won't see between May and October. I do love it, but it isn't close by. And I just can't do three Disney resorts on an Asian jaunt. Too much.

    For quite a while I've been having an illicit relationship with a high level German official I call 'Angie M' here (you should read the crazy crap on Disney Twitter about this factoid!) Weird that you mention Swayze as I am watching an old Tonight Show from May 17, 1989 and he is one of the guests, along with a favorite in Garry Shandling. ... And I'd like to have Jon Bon Jovi's musical talents!
     
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  6. WDW1974

    WDW1974 Well-Known Member

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    The Spirited Valentine's thread is a veritable chocolate sampler for all my loves here in MAGIC Land. I wouldn't try and catch up. But we are talking the foreign parks, mostly the Chinese right now, so if you said you recently took this trip and dropped a few of these exact posts in, I think you'd get some action (no, not hot fanboi loving action ... ) I think a lot of folks would be interested in reading about your trip and it won't happen down here. Trust me on this!

    The popular online community babble is that trains are not a big deal in China (I must have imagined all the amazingly modern and efficient lines over there that I rode for work and pleasure) and that since Chinese laborers died when building our western expansion in the 1800s that it would have been culturally insensitive to build one. I find this theory as ill-begotten as the "Chinese don't think ghosts are funny, so you can't do a HM over there", which I've had Chinese friends literally ROTFLTAO over. The other story says it was to be included originally, which might be why you see all these train nods (or not, this is WDI, they never explain why they do what they do), and Bob Weis himself vetoed it. I find this hard to believe. Bob Iger took a very hands-on role in what was going in this park from the start. So ... no answers, just more questions.

    We will be staying at the Toy Story Hotel. We thought, seriously, about the SDLH, because the price difference really isn't much more and one hotel sure looks classier than the other. But, ultimately, this is going to be an on-the-go visit and I always talk about the idiots who spend $700 a night for a room at WDW that they use for six hours of sleep, refilling a mug twice a day and maybe one visit to the pool in a week -- I didn't want to be one of those, even though the SDLH is less than half that for our dates. ... I have heard very good things about the Qube and the Courtyard by Marriott. My guess is a lot more hotel development is on the way soon to the resort area.

    Yup. Been studying my map of the place and it does look like they have a lot of nice places to hang out and dine and drink.

    BTW, what did you think of Ignite The Dream? No one seems to love it ... and now 90% of it is DLP's new Illuminations. Lucky me, I get to see them both within a short window!

    That's a lot of days! We are doing two. No way can I commit to more when I haven't ever been to Shanghai. And while I expect to love Pirates and Tron, I think I'll be fine if I do them each four times! Definitely want to see Tarzan. Very highly regarded. Want to see all the entertainment really (I even have a perverse desire to see the Frozen singalong show to see how it translates culturally). But 'Angie' may put her foot in my backside and not allow that! (Sometimes, she can be colder than Olaf!)

    I am so glad you see what I already saw happening soon after your first visit. In less than a decade, that park added FOUR E-Tickets and smaller attractions from the Toy Story offerings, which I hear are actually very popular, to that little Fantasyland walk-thru ... and now the Season of the Force Tomorrowland Takeover offerings.

    I don't think it's cultural, especially having been to Ocean Park and ridden its coasters and other intense rides. But no one has ever told me BG was supposed to be extreme. Is Space Mountain? Not really. On that subject, what did you think of the SW overlay of Space Mtn and the land in general?

    We toured a room out there ... back in ... I think 2010. It didn't feel small. And I liked the art deco look (although I can get in my car and be on SoBe with the other beautiful people in about 40 minutes). But thinking that it opened in 2005, it probably is getting close to needing the total hard goods redo. ... Love Chef Mickey's Supper Buffet. They take (or did when I ate there) the filet of beef and lobster off the buffet, cut the price by 60% and give you everything else starting at 9 or 9:30 p.m. The locals know this and it is quite the scene. You do want to get there early because you will sometimes see families go up and remove all of one item (no, this isn't 1977 under Mao and food isn't being rationed ... and even if that were the case, you're in HK!)

    It is a great, funky park. And really a must. It is not Disney or UNI quality by any stretch. But it is a fun place to spend a day. And one day the MTR link to Aberdeen will be completed. They also are supposed to be adding an onsite Marriott Hotel. Just to ride the gondolas (like the ones coming to WDW!), its worth the price of admission. The animal exhibits, especially the pandas and the fish and sea life, are also quite worth it.
     
  7. Buried20KLeague

    Buried20KLeague Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    I'll try to wade in over there. It really is a bummer that there's no good place to talk the Asian parks that's popular. It makes sense, obviously... So very few Westerners get there, and only some smaller fraction of those people post to message boards or enjoy discussing online.


    I hadn't heard of the possible reason being lives lost in Westward Expansion. I tend to agree with you though... That can't be it, considering all the other Western train references all over the place. There are so many that it really did have the feeling that they just sort of... FORGOT to put the train in. And the simplest solution is often the correct one... Budget cuts would make plenty of sense.

    That was our theory... We were going open to close at the parks and were just sleeping... Plus the killer for us is we needed two rooms. Hard to pass up two at the Qube for $85 a night! I have to say... I'm a little disappointed in you! I know you well enough to know you don't overpay on a hotel room. You're slipping!!


    Disneytown was a ghost town the entire time we were there, but like I said, I partially chalk it up to weather. I could really see it as being a nice place to hang out for an evening were it warm. But even then... I do wonder about locals paying top dollar for high end dining experiences, considering the fuss with paying $10USD for a meal inside the parks.

    But it's funny... The ONE restaurant that had maybe 20 tables filled? The Cheesecake Factory. I believe I read it's the first one in Asia. It seemed that locals were just hungry for that Western Experience. But it almost seemed a tentative move... It is located in the center of the Mall, with no views, and a VERY small outdoor seating area. Were it me, I would have taken the risk for one of the more prime locations with outdoor decking with views and so forth. I didn't check to see how the prices there stacked up to the ones in the US... That would have been interesting. That's not a cheap meal, by any stretch. I also don't know if it's the same exact (HUGE) menu or if it's paired down... Or if they have the same ingredients shipped over so it has the exact taste of the states, or if it's like almost every other food over there that just tastes a bit "different".

    My thoughts on "Ignite the Dream".

    eh.

    It's clearly what the new show in WDW is going to be like. HEAVY on projection, a bit of fireworks, yadda yadda. We didn't really like it. There were huge dead spots. A few sequences were pretty cool, but by and large, we enjoy Wishes more. I think people are going to miss that show much more than they think they will if the new show is similar to Shanghai's. And Shanghai even has the mini World of Color fountains in front to add to the show.

    I said this in the thread about the new show... But it drives me nuts when the castle shows are book reports on Disney movies. I just don't get it. The castle shows should be about what you just experienced in the park. It should be a sentimental moment about the memories you just made on vacation with your family (in most cases). It should be Pirates. HM. Splash. Space. And even some nods back to attractions of the past. So much of most everyone's day at the MK is about nostalgia. Why does that stop when the castle lights come up?? I don't get it.

    The "Remember" fireworks show at DL was perfection. Absolute perfection. It was exactly what the end of a day in a castle park should be.

    So yeah. Wasn't crazy about Ignite the Dream.

    Not only is it a lot of days, but I got push back from the wife and two of the three kids to even leave one full day to see the city in HK!! They just didn't want to leave the park. Me and my oldest daughter (20) went and did some things around the city I knew our youngest wouldn't care about doing the next day. They definitely drank the Kool-Aid there. But having said that, we were all out in the city together the next day and had a great time.

    We also spent one full day in the city in Shanghai too... Although that day started with a 3:30AM visit to the hospital in Pudong for my oldest who got strep throat and scarlet fever (for real), and ended with my youngest projectile vomiting in the back of a cab as we pulled up to The Bund to check out the skyline. :hungover: She wasn't sick... The cab just reeked badly of cig smoke, and after the long drive, she said it just hit her wrong and she instantly got sick. I paid the driver extra and we hopped out. Not much else we could do! But that was the only rough day we had.

    A side note... At the hospital... We went to the ER, saw two doctors, got a blood test, and a 10-day z-pack for... $17USD. :eek: I was trying to call my insurance company because I had no idea what to do in another country... And it was $17.

    I look forward to seeing what you think of the place after the next time you get out there. I stayed away from ride videos for Mystic Manor and BGM, and was happy I did. It's so rare that someone like you or I can walk into a Disney experience or attraction and have no idea what's really coming.

    My wife did the same thing for Pirates in Shanghai. I (along with the kids) watched a ride video right when it opened. I couldn't help myself. But my wife refused, saying "if we ever actually go there, I want it to be new". She didn't have ANY idea what to expect. Had no idea what the ride entailed. None. And I'm not kidding about this... At one point she had tears running down her face because she was so blown away and it was nothing like she expected. She said she might never watch another ride video again. And I tend to think that's maybe a smart way to go after experiencing Mystic and BGM fresh.

    I'm going to stay avay from ride videos for Pandora... But it's so funny... It's the closest resort to us (2 1/2 hours by plane) and I don't know when I'll be back. Ha.

    We actually liked the SW overlay of Space Mtn. The lazer effects were pretty neat. The downside was that some of the video and projections were so bright it lit up the tracks. I'll put it this way... None of us missed the standard version of the ride, or the soundtrack. We were all just fine with listening to some John Williams as we rode around in the dark. :)

    As for the area... It was fine. It really didn't feel like much. They had the stormtroopers walking around. Meh. And they had the Jedi training which our youngest did. It was nice to walk into the park and be able to reserve her a spot as opposed to the stateside parks where you have to fight to the death, and even then usually the shows are already full.


    There was no lobster, FYI. They had crab legs. But they were VERY small, and cold (which I don't prefer). Everything else was really great. Every night we would walk past there to our room and the place was JUMPING... I guess it was that 60% off deal!! I had no idea. Though I had our annual passes, so at least we got 25% off and were done eating quite a bit earlier.

    The Mariott is under construction. They had huge pictures and signs up against the highway. It looks like it's going to be really nice!! You're making me wish we would have gone there for a day. :banghead: Though my oldest informed me as we drove past that there was no way in Hades she would have ridden those gondolas. Not sure if you're familiar with the Ngong Ping gondolas that take you to the Big Buddah... But those are closed till June because they're getting new cables... She said she wouldn't have ridden those either. We took a bus there, which was the only option.
     
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  8. egg

    egg Well-Known Member

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    Just want to let you both know that I'm enjoying reading this thread. This section may be very quiet, but I appreciate you guys sharing your opinions/experiences anyway.

    One more question popped into my head for @Buried20KLeague . Did you visit the outlet-type place on the other side of the lake that looks like this?:

    image.jpeg

    It looks really nice (at least on the internet), way nicer than I expected. But as far as I know, Disney's not affiliated with this in any way. The whole SDL thing is a joint venture between Disney and Shendi, and a big square of land was set aside for the resort. But Shendi gets to use part of the land for their own purposes? Seems unfair to me, but I guess it's China, and worse could happen. The gov't could technically take back the land whenever they want to. "Whoops, I must've thrown our contract in the garbage can by accident!"

    Maybe Spirit knows more about that.

    Yeah, that is the reason I've heard and read as well. But much like you, I call BS on this one. If it were true, you'd think maybe the parade floats wouldn't be... oh hey, what is this? A TRAIN?!?! o_O

    image.jpeg

    But even if it were true, absolutely true... it's still not a valid excuse to have NO transportation circling the park. They could've gone with a Peoplemover. They could've gone with a cutesy train sort of like the one above. I don't know. While those may or may not be good ideas, at least they would provide both kinetic energy (which many say SDL lacks) and a form of transportation around the large park. At least they would give purpose to the station. There is no reason that Disney couldn't have built a substitute for the classic MK, classic American train.

    So to whoever made this decision, I think it was a rather poor one.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2017
  9. WDW1974

    WDW1974 Well-Known Member

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    Kids can be like that. I recently found out about that with my friend's six-year-old. Who knew that pickles on a grilled cheese were a problem?

    Hey, I've had pizza there too! ... I think I would have gone to the Peak Lookout for Brunch myself!

    Yeah, we are definitely eating there, although most of the menu doesn't appeal to me. But everyone I know who has dined there raves about it.

    I have heard mixed things, but even if it were great things I wouldn't want to waste time on my first visit with a character FS meal, let alone at those prices. But glad you guys enjoyed it!
     
  10. WDW1974

    WDW1974 Well-Known Member

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    I agree. But 99% (or more) of readers here won't ever be as special as us! :D:greedy:;):cool:
    They won't visit those parks, so they're drawn to News and Rumors, but when you discuss the parks there to compare and contrast with WDW, you do get lots of interest. They just won't look down here. Even the DLP forum is close to dead and Disney Business one and DCL etc. But talk about those things on N&R and people do enjoy the discussion!

    Yup. I am going to believe that until told otherwise.

    In more ways than one ... believe me!:cry:

    My anecdotal opinion is Cheesecake is doing well with ex-pats as well as visitors who have experienced Cheesecake Factory here. Almost every blogger winds up going there, so that's something.

    I agree on all of the above without seeing it yet. I am tired of the IP Parades in the Sky. My strong gut on this one says the brief came from Iger to showcase certain IPs. I wouldn't even be surprised if he made a list of 'must be included' ... the good thing is I can see it first largely at DLP and determine how much time I want to devote to it in Shanghai.

    Yeah, but they're Commies and you can't have affordable health care here because we have all out anything goes (you pay or you die) system.

    Sorry, you had that experience anyway. It is never fun to be sick, let alone on the other side of the world. But at least they'll save your life before calling your insurance company or bank and having them make the decision!

    I just flat out won't watch anything I might or plan on seeing. I am good at self-restraint (except when dealing with trolls here! or all you can eat deals!) I do know some details of Pirates and have seen about 15 seconds of video (not by my choosing). I know enough about the ride experience, but not seeing it still leaves my mind largely blank when riding. It also allows me to honestly rate something. So even if I don't get back to HKDL for another year or two, I'm not watching a ride-thru of MM or BGRMC etc.

    I can drive up now and be there just about when everything at DS shuts down, but I still would rather visit any other resort. That said, Pandora will be very, very good.

    I some how haven't experienced Hyperspace Mountain anywhere yet. It is the only thing I had some anticipation for. But ... looks like that will happen in Paris and I have grave concerns about overlaying an overlay of one of the best themed thrill rides WDI ever built.

    They must have swapped out crab for lobster or maybe it just depends on time of year? But, yeah. We just sorta discovered it and it is a phenomenal deal by real world standards, forget HKDL or even being in a foodie city like HK.

    You DO want to visit it. You just don't want to be comparing it to Disney and saying you'd rather be riding MM for the 22nd time of the trip. Just a different type of experience and a blend of everything from off the shelf iron rides to modern very themed areas to animals to dolphin shows etc. ... Yes, I have taken the gondolas to see the Buddah on Lantau and loved the experience. I'm not into heights at all, but that (or the one at OP) did not bother me at all.
     
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  11. WDW1974

    WDW1974 Well-Known Member

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    All I know is they built a giant outlet mall. Shopping is huge in China. I would guess it will do well, if it isn't yet.

    And, yes, not everything built 'at' SDL, will be Disney built or operated.
     
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  12. BrianLo

    BrianLo Well-Known Member

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    The one thing I'll say is that the DLR forum has gotten surprisingly busy. I wish the Asian ones took off a bit more than they have, especially with a third resort now on board, but c'est la vie.

    If you ever have California specific news to drop I think you'd be better spent doing it in that section finally. You'll get enough eyeballs and uptake. I hate how run off the rails people make your threads or eventually just circle back around to WDW. Actually, I really hate how people essentially just turn your threads into self promotion. The other parks deserve there time to shine... even on a WDW board. :D
     
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  13. Buried20KLeague

    Buried20KLeague Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    I didn't visit the area. We stayed at the Qube hotel, so we would take a taxi there, walk from the taxi drop off to the front gate or through Disneytown to the gate behind there, and that was it. We didn't check out the hotels, or the lake, or the shopping area. Frankly we were quite happy with where we stayed and so forth, so my theory was that if we ever went back, we likely wouldn't stay on property, so there was no need to waste precious time checking all that out. We felt like there was just too much to see and do in the park.
     
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  14. Travel Junkie

    Travel Junkie Well-Known Member

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    Agree the DL forum has gotten busier lately. Of course with that brings in some of those who do nothing other than try to cause trouble.

    I leave for Shanghai and HK next week so this has been informative to read. I won't be spending a ton of time in the parks, so I always stay in the city as opposed to on site.
     
  15. Kman101

    Kman101 Premium Member

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    Thank you for writing the report! The more information shared the better ... but yeah, this is quite a dead forum at times.
     
  16. Travel Junkie

    Travel Junkie Well-Known Member

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    Recently returned from China and figured I would add my thoughts here. I don't have anything groundbreaking to add to what has already been said about Shanghai. The train station is just odd without the train. The entire opening land feels nice but disjointed to me. It along with several areas of the park are mishmashes of contrasting architectural styles. They simply did a copy and paste on many of their past projects and put them in regardless of whether they fit or not. The hub does not work for me at all. Again such a mix of conflicting styles and themes. The castle I thought looks fine in person, but the issue is the lack of anything else around it. It stands out there all alone with no trees or anything else.

    The large expansion pads are noticeable and hurt the ambiance of the park. Tommorrowland I found stale and uninspiring, Fantasyland I was not a fan of either. Adventureland and Treasure Cove are the most cohesive areas and I thought they were very well done for the most part. Overall though I see themeing to be underwhelming. They went for style over substance. Pretty looking buildings, but very little in the way themeing areas. I would argue they are more decorated.

    Pirates is a world class attraction although I found if you don't stare directly at what they want you to look at the immersiveness ends. There is little done to hide or theme lights or equipment in the attractions or lands. Tron is a lot of fun but short. The vehicles are not as uncomfortable as I thought they would be. The challenge trails in Camp Discovery are awesome and a must do.

    The pirates stunt show and Tarzan show are standouts. I was surprised some of those stunts would occur in a Disney park. Ignite the Dream fell flat for me.

    At HKDL Iron Man is mediocre. The projections on Hyperspace Mountain ruin the ride. You can see the entire track. Mickey and the Wondrous Book is excellent.

    I really didn't find any of the guest issues that have made the rounds in the news. On small word in HKDL there was a kid constantly standing during the ride and putting his hand in the water with Mom doing nothing. A CM was giving them a lecture when we returned.

    I saw no one trying to sell FP at SDL. They are now spot checking FP return tickets against your admission ticket to see if they match. I'm guessing that has stopped people trying to sell them. I saw no line cutting and no bad guest behavior. The only uncomfortable moment was the first part of the stunt show is everyone standing in a room. The lack of personal space the Chinese have made that part of the show tough for me with others around literally shoulder to shoulder the entire portion of that part of the show. It took a few days for me to get used to that while in China.

    Overall I found SDL's strong points to be the attractions (even if they are short on them) and the shows. The weak points are the lack of cohesive themeing and the general feeling of it being a corporate park without the coziness of Disneyland and HKDL. The lack of kinetics also hurt it.
     
  17. BrianLo

    BrianLo Well-Known Member

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    I did the wishing star park walk around the resort, but not to that outlet. There's a much closer outlet they built in front of the plot for the second gate that no one really is talking about. Just East of the metro station.

    Honestly, that might as well be an outlet across International Drive. It's really not connected to the resort in any meaningful way. You cannot walk there from the Wishing Star Lake pathway from what I could gather. Even if you could somehow it's considerably far away. Nor is it visible really from over by SDL.



    Actually, Val d'Europe is probably the best comparison. Except remove any metro access...
     
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