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Trip Report Well...this is different. Shanghai Disney trip.


Well-Known Member
Original Poster
So, it's not WDW, but we tried something different this time. A little backstory: I live in Belgium and my first Disney experience was when I visited Disneyland in 1989... this was quite a trip and since that first visit I was sold. I was so happy when DLP opened in 1992, because now I could visit a Disney-park within a 3 hour drive! We visited DLP about 13 times untill the place started slowly falling apart... and DLP started to lose it's charm. We were fortunate to be able to visit WDW (our honeymoon in 2000.. again in 2004/2006 and with our 2 year old son in 2012... again in 2015 and 2016.) and Tokyo Disney in 2008. WDW really stole our heart. We stayed at Carribean Beach and loved it. We decided to skip a year (so that next year we can experience pandora and toystory land) and we took the challenge to make a trip to china to visit Hong Kong Disney and Shanghai Disney.

I'm not very good at trip reports... so it will be 'quick and dirty' :)
I'll handle Shanghai Disney first, as this was the most intense experience...and maybe I'll tackle Hong Kong Disney later.

We first stayed for 4 days in the center of Shanghai to do some sightseeing and after that we moved to The Shanghai Disneyland Hotel. We took the subway (with all our luggage) which wasn't too bad. The trip took about 40 minutes.

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When we arrived at the Disney resort metro station we walked to the nearby bus stops and asked a staff-member which bus we had to take for the hotel and this was the first time we realized that language (english) could be a problem sometimes. He didn't understand us but he did understand the word 'Disney' and managed to show us the correct stop for the resort shuttle. When the bus arrived the bus driver did a better job of understanding us. We put our luggage in a special luggage compartment in the front of the bus and off we went...we were the only ones on the bus (my wife, son and me). After a few stops we arrived at the Shanghai Disney hotel.


The cast-members were really friendly and offered us to assist with the luggage. Check-in was really quick. As we arrived early, our room was not ready yet, but they already did a pre-register and we were able to store our luggage with bell services. This was also when we realized that you need your passport for a lot of things. Hotels scan your passport (all of them) for security reasons. The cast-members at the hotel desk spoke and understood english reasonably.

The first impression of the hotel was amazing. It looks really great. It has an amazing art-nouveau style and looks very luxurious. It also smells amazing :) . There was a person playing live piano. We checked out the lobby and nearby restaurant/shop and were amazed by the nice details and little Disney touches. If you have to choose between the Toy story hotel and this one and you can spend the extra money... then I would recommend to do the upgrade and go for this one.



The cast-member at the front desk explained us the transportation options. You can take the bus (every 10 minutes) or the ferry (every 20 minutes) or you can walk (don't). We went outside through the garden to the ferry stop which would take us across the lake to the park. We took the resort shuttle once but the long walk from the park to the bus stop, the waiting for the bus and the drive to the hotel took longer than the ferry. So from then on, we decided the ferry was the quickest way to get to the park and back.


We walked to the entrance of the park... (around 1 pm) stood in line for a bag check... and went to the turnstiles to enter the park. I had to give my passport which they scanned. They found the tickets I had purchased. (1-day ticket for the day we arrived and 2 day-tickets for the next 2 days). They took our picture (it's linked to your ticket to prevent scams) and printed the tickets. Everything went smooth and we were in!! yey! But things wouldn't keep going smooth.... :)


to be continued.
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Well-Known Member
Can't wait!
I look forward to reading your thoughts! I ended up with an extra day in Shanghai on a work trip, and ventured to the park last fall. It was quite the experience. The whole checking the passport for tickets process was so clumsy. I must have waited in line to get through the turnstiles for almost half an hour... and I was maybe the 20th person in line at park opening! Glad that part at least went smoothly for you.


Well-Known Member
I am definitely following along.
The plan is to make it to both Shanghai and Hong Kong before next spring so I need some inside info on this park



Well-Known Member
I can't wait to hear about these two Disney Parks! I hope to someday make it over to them and Tokyo Disneyland but I have a feeling that if I ever make it over to the other side of the world there will be a lot of other things to see and do that aren't Disney and I'll have to make a difficult choice.

I hope you took lots of pictures!


Well-Known Member
Original Poster
ok. let's do this... part 2:

The first day entering the park (we arrived after 1 pm) , we decide to take a stroll around the whole park to get to know the layout. As you probably know, the design of the park is pretty unique. no real 'hub'... no railroad around the park... tomorrowland is to the left of the castle.. lot's of paths and park like area's.... and the place is huuuuuge. You can't quickly go from one end of the park to another because it's quite the walk. You enter the park through Mickey avenue which is a fun take on Main Street. I liked how they approached this area... it's fun to see the characters have their own store fronts.

I thought I would miss Main Street, but this area worked pretty well. It's also not so big and opens up to the area in front of the castle. We entered Remy's Patisserie to grab something quick to eat and drink. Ordering was pretty easy, most of the time, because they have a card with the food/drink options so you can just point at the thing you like (if they don't understand you). This is were we learned our first lesson: If there's a seating area at a restaurant, chinese people use it to rest.. even without ordering at the place. Finding a table to sit with your tray of food is a real challenge. People rest their heads on tables to take a nap..or just sit there to beat the heat. Cast-members rarely say something about this. There are signs saying that "seating areas are for restaurant guests"...but people just seem to ignore it.

After our quick bite..we continued to Adventure Isle. The giant rocks and waterfall look really amazing and al the winding paths make it a great area to discover.



We traveled through the caves alongside the back of the giant waterfall. it's a really great themed area... but we quickly learned lesson number 2: It get's really really really hot and humid in the summer. We knew this beforehand and I have been to Florida in the summer before so I thought I would be prepared...but I wasn't. The humidity is brutal and I didnt know a person could sweat so much. (luckily a water bottle is not that expensive: about 1.5 US dollars). To beat the heat a lot of chinese people just take a break wherever there is shadow. They just sit down alongside the paths. We had to watch our steps in the caves because people were sitting everywhere. In one of the restaurants there even was a roped off area were people were allowed to sit on the floor to cool off. Pretty strange sight.


We went further to Treasure Cove...which is also very big and amazingly detailed. There's a lot to discover in every nook and cranny. This is also were the famous Pirates attraction is. And our next lesson: It gets insanely crowded in the summer. (don't know if this is also the case in other periods of the year... but if you think you know what 'crowded' means...think again). The wait times for Tron, Roaring Rapids, Soarin' were about 180 to 210 minutes. Wait times for the carousel or Dumbo are around 60 to 70 minutes.



The wait times for Pirates was 70 minutes...and 60 minutes for single riders (no fastpass for this) but we decided to go for it. They especially keep the single riders wait times long as otherwise people would just use this with the whole family. We at least wanted to do this ride so we entered the standby line and started queuing. There were some weird decisions by cast-members were they opened up a second line (eliminating the single rider line) which let us bypass a lot of people and then the 2 lines just merged again. very weird...but nobody complained. I knew of the stories of 'line skipping' etc... and yes.. it happens a lot. Some chinese people are just not that great in waiting in line, and yes, personal space is something they don't really care about. If you leave some room then somebody will casually walk past you. We made a sport of it to walk next to each other to make sure nobody could pass. But it's something you have to get used to...it's difficult, but don't let it ruin your experience. If the line doesn't move for a while, then people will just sit down on the floor.


It took about 50 minutes (instead of 70) but we finally made it to the ride. The ride itself is pretty impressive. It's a perfect combination of real sets and screens and the first screen really made me say "wow" out loud. It's some amazing eye-candy.

After this ride we decided to go back to the hotel because our room would be ready. We took the ferry back and went to check-in. Everything went pretty smoothly and they were very helpful in bringing our stored luggage to our room. The rooms are very nice and clean and very detailed. As you enter the room and put on the lights... a light effect displays on the head of the bed. (tinkerbell spraying pixiedust that transforms into fireworks above the castle). It's a fun little magical touch. Because the room is also art-nouveau themed, some things (curtains, wallpaper, bathroom) were a little too busy for my taste. You get a lot of nice accessories (robes, slippers, etc...) and there are new water bottles every day. The only thing that could have been better was the view from the first floor. The first floor is convenient because your on the same floor as the garden (to get to the ferry) the pool and restaurant... but if you view outside you mostly see grasses and bushes blocking your view. A room on a higher floor would have a prettier view.



So after unpacking and resting a bit we went back to the park. By now it was already getting dark. Re-entering the park was no problem with the tickets. We went to Tomorrowland to see it after dark and it looked amazing. The Tron building, all the surrounding lights and the fact that it has 2 levels really make it look futuristic, especially at night. It's quite the view. Because wait times were still through the roof and fastpasses were long sold out... we skipped Tron for now but decided to do Buzz Lightyear because it was a 10 minute wait.


Entering the queue we were ready for our next lesson: People just throw their garbage everywhere. The corners in this queue were full of empty bottles, paper, plastic etc... This was really shocking to see at a Disney park. There were garbage cans in the queue but they were completely full of garbage..even on top. A cast-member was putting everything in garbage bags. I guess that during the day they don't empty these garbage bins because it's too difficult to reach when the queue is crowded with people. It's something you start to see in every queue at the end of the day. If you are used to WDW... be prepared to be shocked.


At this point the Fireworks show was ready to start but we decided to skip this as well (we could view it the next day) and hoped that some of the wait times would drop. They did on some rides. My son really wanted to do the Challenge Trail obstacle course in adventure Isle..which is a pretty unique attraction. I saw on the Disney app that the wait time for this had dropped to 5 minutes (instead of 70 during the day)...so we quickly went to this part of the park. We managed to enter the attraction only to be told by a cast-member that we couldn't continue because we were wearing 'sandals'. (special walking/climbing Teva sandals). One of the rules states that you need to wear 'closed toe' shoes and no open heel as well. No need to argue...they won't let you in. We did see girls with nice shoes with heels walk in.. because they were closed toe shoes. It didn't make sense because those shoes were not made for this kind of attraction, but like I said: rules are rules. no need to argue.
We would do this attraction on one of the following days with our sneakers.

We decided to call it a day and head back to the hotel... the fireworks spectacle had just ended and most people were leaving the park. In the area in front of the castle and where Mickey avenue starts garbage was all over the place again. Never seen something like this. Park maps, empty bottles everywhere! I guess they have to work all night to clean this mess up.

To be continued. I'll combine our next 2 days and a fourth extra day we didn't plan (just to get to ride Tron) in the third part. The things I've seen :)
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Well-Known Member
Enjoying so far
For me it sounds like this is the polar opposite of Tokyo DL
I called it the 5 min rule
Within 5 min someone would come by and sweep up anything on the ground
A little guy spilled his popcorn bucket and the CM were all over it getting him a refill and cleaning up the mess



Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Enjoying so far
For me it sounds like this is the polar opposite of Tokyo DL
I called it the 5 min rule
Within 5 min someone would come by and sweep up anything on the ground
A little guy spilled his popcorn bucket and the CM were all over it getting him a refill and cleaning up the mess
Yep..it really is the opposite. It seems that some cast-members don't really 'see' the garbage... or they think it's not their job to do this. A great example is this:

This was in one of the waiting rooms for the snow white adventure in the castle. This empty bottle was sitting there in the pre-show holding area. A cast-member passes here every 10 minutes or so... but nobody took the effort to grab it and throw it away. In the end..I took it myselve and threw it in the nearby garbage bin. One time I saw a chinese teen receive a park times guide...he took a quick look at it and just threw it on the ground a few feet further. As a Disney-fan it sometimes could get very frustrating seeing some of this behaviour.


Well-Known Member
I really struggled with the cultural differences when I was traveling in China. I have been to many Asian countries but China is unlike anywhere I have ever visited. I actually said I had no desire to return and then Disney opened a park in Shanghai...


Well-Known Member
Original Poster

Let's continue with part 3:

The next 2 days we went to the park around 10 am. (the park opened at 8am). We immediately saw a difference in the time it took to enter the park. There were longer lines at the Bag-check points. It took about 10 minutes to get through bag check. A security guard was standing at the front of every line to guide guests to the left or right side (and metal detector). He let through about 5 people every time... and this is were you saw some of the problems. Guest would not go to their designated side but some would wander to the other side because they thought it might go faster there. Then the security guard shouted that they needed to stay on their site.. but people mostly ignored them. The security guards really don't have must authority.


When we went to the turnstiles we saw the same thing happening: clueless people wandering... people without tickets (although there's a recording playing that explains where to get tickets and to only go to the gates when you already have a ticket).
People need to show their passport/ID to get the actual ticket printed at the turnstiles... this slows things down and when there's a problem we saw a group of people standing at the turnstiles just arguing and discussing with the cast-member. Things slow down... lines start to form to enter the park. It took about another 10 to 15 minutes to enter. That's about half an hour to just enter the park.


From checking the app and from visiting the day before... we knew that it was very crowded and wait times go up extremely fast. From 11 am, wait times for Tron, Soaring, Roaring Rapids, Seven Dwarfs etc... are all around 180 to 210 minutes..and they stay there untill the evening. We also knew all fastpasses would be gone by11 am. I had read about the 'Disney Premier Access' set, which is a sort of paid fastpasses. You can buy one fastpass for one attraction... or a set of seven fastpasses for the 7 major rides. This grants you one ride on each attraction at any time of the day. (it's about 75 dollars for the 7 rides.) We wanted to buy these so we could at least experience these rides once...without having to queue all day. When you enter the park there's a temp queue at the left, in the beginning of Mickey avenue. A cast-member was standing there with papers in here hand. I asked about the Disney Premier Access set...but she didn't really understand me. She just said 'fastpass?'. After trying to get more info.. she managed to explain that there only was one fastpass you could bye: for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. No other fastpasses were available. It seemed the paid fastpasses were also high in demand and sold out pretty quickly. As we had done Seven Dwarfs at WDW and this is a carbon copy..we passed for this fastpass.

So lesson learned: free fastpasses are gone between 10am and 11am... as well as the paid fastpasses.


We decided to do some of the shows in the park. First we went to the Tarzan, call of the jungle show. This was a very entertaining show with great acrobats and performers and a great soundtrack. It's amazing/frightening to see some of the stunt-work where the performers are not attached to any harness for safety. We also noticed that chinese people seem rather reserved in applauding or cheering. After some of the big set-pieces and stunts..the applause sounded rather minimal. Probably a cultural thing. This was also something I noticed at the end of the night time fireworks show. When the fireworks ended... it was rather quiet. No clapping..no cheers.

After the Tarzan show we went straight to the Jack Sparrow Stunt Show. (yey Airco!) This pirate stunt-show was less interesting than the Tarzan show because it relies very hard on the chinese language. There's a lot of dialogue before the actual stunt part takes place... so it's about 2/3 talking and 1/3 stunts...which if you don't understand the language is not that interesting. Some sort of projected subtitles in english would be a nice addition here. When the stunt show ended and people went to the exit, it was storming outside. Just as in Florida you can have thunderstorms here...and boy they can get heavy. People wouldn't exit the show building and stayed in the exit doors. At first cast-members looked nervous because the next show probably needed to be prepared. But the rain was to hard for anyone to walk outside. After a few minutes cast-members came over and said that it was ok to go back inside and sit on the chairs to take a rest. This was a nice gesture and people went back inside to shelter. They probably re-sheduled one of the shows. A cast-member also showed up with Disney rain-poncho's. (3 dollars).

On these 2 days we also did some of the smaller rides like 'Honey Put Spin', 'Jet Packs', 'Snow White Adventure', 'Crystal Grotto'...
Our son (6 years), with blonde hair, was quite popular. People often just came over and asked if they could take a picture with him. Which was pretty funny to him... he kept asking 'Am I famous now?'.



In the evening we managed to do Soarin' (same movie but a much cooler queue than the one in WDW) and Roaring Rapids. This last ride was a bit of a disappointment. It's very nicely themed and it's pretty fast... but there's al lot of spinning going on. I mean A LOT of spinning. it's almost a combination of the tea cups and a water ride. I don't know if this was a coincidence and if we where the only ones spinning like this. The parts in the cave are nice but things go by very quickly. When you pass the giant croc monster (which was not moving) you barely even notice it because you fly by it. I also think the croc monster is becoming Shanghai's Yeti.


This time we also brought are closed toe shoes so we could do the adventure trail. It was a 20 minute wait. You put all your stuff in a free locker and then move on to the queue. You have a cast-member who helps you put on the harness... then you move on to a second cast-member who secures the harness...and finally a third one who fastens you to the beam above. And then you start the trail. This is the most unique attraction and it's really fun. Climbing over rope bridges 30 feet in the air... walking on rocks sticking out of the water... moving against cave walls and waterfalls... dangerous looking. It's a great experience that you cannot miss. Too bad that not all trails were available in the evening. We asked why and they explained that they didn't have enough cast-members to keep all trails open.


After this experience (could we sweat any more?) we went to grab something to eat at Stargazer Grill. This offers some of the more western styled food. While eating here we got another example of cast-members who try but can't enforce some of the rules. A dad was sitting at one of the tables with a baby in his arms. He wanted to start changing the diaper of the baby when a cast-member came over and said something to him. It was clear the cast-member tried to make it clear to the dad that this was not the place to do this. The dad started arguing with the cast-member and did not change the diaper.... yet. When the cast-member went away, the dad continued changing the diaper on the restaurant table. At one point the diaper was lying on the table. Pretty disgusting.


So now the only ride we hadn't been able to ride was TRON. The last day at a few minutes before 22pm... the wait time had dropped to 20 minutes. We ran across the park in hope of getting a last-minute ride (we could not have visited Shanghai Disney and not ridden TRON!). When we arrived at Tron we had to put everything in a locker, which had some problems and took some time. We went to the standby line but we were too late. Like 1 minute too late. They woudn't let us in. We pleaded with the cast-member a bit and said it was almost impossible to get a fastpass (or even a paid fastpass)... but like I said before: no need to argue. rules are rules. They would not change their mind.


So at this point I decided we would get an extra day in the park (our check-out day). Our plane would leave at 11pm..so we would have almost an entire day at the park. I was determined to get there at park opening and buy a fastpass for TRON and try to get a free fastpass as well. I bought the tickets at the hotel (175 dollars for a 1 day ticket for the three of us). We went to bed. I set my alarm clock. The game was on.

To be continued in the final part and epilogue...


Well-Known Member
Original Poster
OK... final part. Last day at the park. Hang on..it gets though.
We stored our luggage at bell services and went to the park early (7.45 am). The park opened at 8 am. This was the first time we saw the crowds at park opening. It was pretty intense. First we had to go through bag-check. We were in line for about 25 minutes just to have our bags checked.

It went really slow... most of the time due to clueless guests who - instead of going to their designated row - just wander to the other rows..obstructing other people. And of course also guests who bring things into the park that are prohibited and who start arguing with the security staff. After bag check it was on to the turnstiles. The lines here were even more insane. It went really really slow.

Because we were standing (still) there for quite some time, we started noticing some of the more shady stuff going on. I saw 2 older men who forced their way to the front of the line with some people between them. This happened 3 times while we were standing there (with the same 2 men bringing other people with them). It was obvious that these people were being payed to bring people to the front of the line or something like that. Other men were climbing through a planter and they installed themselves at the front of the lines... where they were calling on there cellphones the whole time. Now and then they called somebody in the back of the line who came over and then they exchanged some tickets or stuff...sketchy stuff. This happens while security is standing everywhere at the front of the lines.
I saw guys with shoulder bags and their hands full of tickets...now and then the same women came over and gave the man a bunch of money which he casually put into a pocket in his pants.

Here the line also went really slow due to clueless guest who didn't have a working ticket and blocked the turnstiles while talking with the cast-member.


We entered the park at about 9.20 am... one hour and a half to just enter the park.
I immediately went to the 'Disney Premier Access' queue at the beginning of Mickey Av. This time they still had paid fastpasses. I ordered one fastpass for Tron. This gives you the opportunity for one ride on Tron during the day... (you can choose when). A Cast-member writes your choice on a paper and then you proceed to a checkout area. You pay the cashier (20 dollars for one fastpass) and then they give you the paper ticket and receipt. You proceed to the exit where you need to have your picture taken with a cast-member. They take the picture with your smartphone or camera. The cast-member has a sign with the date and time and is holding...the hat of the day :) . It was pretty surreal. When you enter the ride, you need to show the picture on your phone together with the printed fastpass ticket. This is to ensure it's you and to prevent abuse from scalpers. Only in Shanghai...


Now that we had a paid fastpass I also wanted try to get a regular fastpass for Tron...so we could ride it more than once. We went over to Tomorrowland to the fastpass kiosks. (there are 3 places to get fastpasses: fantasyland, tomorrowland and adventure isle. You can only get fastpasses for the attractions in that land). The line at the fastpass kiosks was also pretty insane... people were constantly trying to skip the lines. Cast-members and security guards were standing in and around the line. The security guard was yelling at some people because he saw that they had skipped the line. He lifted hats and sunglasses on people to see their faces and then he recognized them from trying to get past him and cutting in line. Then they had to wait there for a while and let other people in front. I saw one guy trying to cut in line. The nearby cast-member started yelling at him and yanked him out of the line by his shoulder bag (which broke). They argued and shouted at each other for a while and then the guy went off. (I saw the same guy later that day selling knock-off Mickey ears inside the park)


Almost at every fastpass kiosk there was a cast-member standing to keep an eye on people getting fastpasses. There was one kiosk where no cast-member was present and there were some people just scanning a bunch of tickets and getting a whole bunch of fastpasses. One shady looking person standing at the kiosks with a bunch of tickets in his hands was shouting and signaling at people in line and getting tickets handed over from people in the queue. (while this was happening a little girl needed to go to the bathroom. Her father pushed her out of the line and pointed her to a nearby grate in the ground where she could go to the toilet...which she did. It was chaos. With everything going on we just looked at each other and started laughing... this was so surreal.

We managed to get our fastpasses and tried to exit the fastpass location. People were trying to enter through the exit which blocked people trying to leave. My wife shouted "EXIT ONLY" which seemed to have some effect. A security guard next to her, turned to her and said "thank you".

So after all this insanity we finally got to ride Tron. We went over to the ride (got approached by some people who tried to sell us fastpasses) and entered the fastpass line. We used the paid fastpasses first. even the fastpass line had a bit of a hold up because a lot of people had illegal fastpass tickets. (They scan the ticket and your photo from your entrance ticket shows up. if this is not you then you can't enter). A lot of people were send back... confusion on their faces because they probably paid a lot of money for a fastpass that doesn't work. So finally we rode TRON. Is it good? Yes... it certainly is. I really liked it. The queue, the atmosphere, the Daft Punk score..everything builds the anticipation for the ride. When you sit on the bike and you get launched...it puts a smile on your face. It's a real adrenaline kick. My only complaint would be that it's a little short. But it sure is a cool ride and I'm looking forward to ride it again one day in Magic Kingdom.



The rest of the day we spent souvenir hunting and catching some parades and entertainment. We went through the special Disneytown exit (an exit near Tomorrowland which leads into Disneytown) to grab something to eat. Afterwards you can just enter the park again with your ticket through this special entrance.(so you don't have to go all the way to the front of the park to exit). Pretty convenient. You do have to enter the park a first time through the normal turnstiles at the front. You cannot use the Disneytown entrance to skip the lines and enter the park in the morning. Buying stuff in the shops was also an experience. You enter the line and a cast-member shows you to the first cashier who is free. I was standing at the cashier when some people just walked in through the exit with their souvenirs and money in their hand. They stood next to me trying to pay while I was still paying and finishing up.



We also got an AMAZING meet and greet experience with Captain America at the 'Marvel Universe' part of the park. We were second to last in line for the meet and greet. Captain America said that he would first take a picture with the 2 chinese girls behind us, so he could give some more time to our son. Boy, what we didn't expect was that after the photo session was over he took our son by the hand and walked around the whole Marvel exhibit, while asking my son if he knew all the costumes and characters (he did...)..and he gave some fun trivia about his shield. This experience was something my son won't forget anytime soon. It made his day.


At about 6 pm we left the park... went back to the hotel and got our luggage from bell services. We changed some clothes (staff was very helpfull in showing us places to change...like for example the familty toilet in the pool area.). They called a taxi for us and helped putting our bags in the cab. The staff was really great at he hotel.


So off we went to the airport (about a 30 minute drive... cost: 17 dollars) and so our adventure ended. Thanks for reading this... hope you enjoyed it!

To end this report here's a recap of some things we found interesting, amusing, bizar and crazy. Maybe it can help you prepare for a future visit and soften some of the culture shocks you will encounter.

- during high seasons crowd levels are really really high and entering the park takes time. If you really want to enter the park at opening time, you have to get there an hour before. On some days the park opens at 7am which means be there at 6 am if you don't want to wait in line to enter the park.

- If you can spend the extra money...go for the Shanghai Disney Hotel. It's an amazing experience. It has a great view of the lake and park...and going to the park with the Ferry is fun. Staff is very helpfull and most of them speak English.

- If your going to Disney from the airport, take an official taxi. it's only about 20 dollars. You can also take the subway...but if you hahve luggage then a taxi is easier and quicker...and you get dropped of in front of the hotel. From the subway you need to take a shuttle bus to the hotel which also takes time.

- When going to a quick service restaurant, try to find a table first before ordering. Chinese people tend to rest in the restaurants and they take up tables without really eating there.

- an hour and a half before the night time fireworks start, people start to sit down in paths. sometimes it gets difficult to get around these parts of the park because whole pathways are blocked by people sitting down.

- Get to know the design and layout of the park. It is pretty huge and it takes a while to get around from one part to another. There are many little paths and winding roads which sometimes can get confusing.

- wait times get high pretty fast. at 11 am wait times were around 210 minutes for Tron, roaring rapids, soarin, seven dwarfs etc...
- fastpasses sell out between 10.30 and 11 am. Paid fastpasses can sell out as well. If you are limited in time and it is crowded: get the paid fastpasses. it's worth it.

- chinese people like to rest on the benches and in the areas with shadow. You often see one person sleeping on a bench...or people just sitting down in walkways. Or even sitting on the floor in roped off areas in the restaurants.

- wait times drop around the time the fireworks start. The park stayed open till 10pm... we managed to do a lot of rides in the evening. If a wait time is 40 minutes and it's 9.45 pm... they will still let you enter the ride.

- we visited the Shanghai Disney Store in the city...we saw a lot of Tsum Tsum's there. We decided to wait and not buy them. (because we thought we could buy them at the park or Disneytown's World of Disney) Big Mistakes. We found NO Tsum Tsum's at the Shanghai Disney Resort! Anybody know why? we don't. very strange.

- get used to people who (sometimes unintentionally) bypass you in shops, lines, restaurants. You won't get used to it, but don't let it ruin your holiday.

- enjoy the park. It's an amazing place with great details, rides, theming and a unique design and layout. The people who work there and some visitors need some 'work' :) but don't let that keep you from enjoying it.

If you plan a visit and have some other questions you would like answered... let me know. I'll help if I can.
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Well-Known Member
Thanks so much for posting a very eye opening report on Disneyland Shanghai. I'm most surprised on how much of a culture gap there really is.

I appreciate your candor and honesty. Many of the reviews I've read previously really sugar coated things.