Oh Disney you get me ever time, I am an avid Disney lover whether by land or sea. Recently on a trip to Bali, Indonesia I had a 12 hour layover in Shanghai. I debated on what to do and see since it was my first time in China and I wanted to see some of the city. I originally wanted to see some of traditional China but on limited time I decided to stay local. Shanghai Disney is only a 25 minute taxi ride from the hotel so budgeting an hour round trip is perfect to get to and from. Not only is it very easy to get to but its only 360 Yen which is about $55 USD, which is much cheaper then either Disneyland or WDW.
What to Expect
Disney Shanghai grand opening was June 16, 2016 so it is a new park and I was there during their one year anniversary. One notable thing about the park is be prepared for some hot and humid weather. I visited during September and it was very humid and hot, so drink lots of water. Also Shanghai does experience quite a bit of rain so you will notice lots of locals at the parks with umbrellas. ( I brought one as well as the forecast predicted rain but I was very lucky my whole trip there was none!) Everything is in Mandarin but they do have a good amount of English speakers even though it may take a minute to find one.
What to Eat
Though limited on time I did get a chance to try two of the restaurants. I arrived at the park right at opening at 9:00am and deiced to try Remy’s Patisserie which is right on Mickey Avenue.
It is the cutest baker filled with yummy snacks and all types of pastries. I opted for the spinach quiche and cinnamon mickey doughnut. (I’m a sucker for Mickey shaped treats.)
Both were very good, the cinnamon doughnut was a lot thicker then traditional American doughnuts but was still super tasty. They do have sandwiches for lunch, pretzels and different drink options.
For lunch I wanted to have more “traditional” Chinese food, and went to Wandering Moon Restaurant.
It is located in Garden of Imagination. The outside of the restaurant is stunning, has gorgeous gardens and truly infuses local China traditions and Disney magic.
For lunch I had the Fujian Seafood Noodle and the Dim Sum Shao Mai. My favorite was definitely the noodle dish but the Dim Sum was also very good.
With limited time I only was able to ride a few things, if I had longer I would have loved to have explored more of the park. The park is 963 acres which is 11 times the size of the Disneyland in California. However there are some rides similar to those in California and Florida and others unique to Shanghai.
Pirates of the Caribbean Battle for Sunken Treasure
Hands down one of the best rides i have ever been on! It is completely different from any of the other Pirate rides and is truly an amazing experience. The ride is all in Mandarin but even not understanding what they were saying it was still amazing. This ride is like a combination of the Harry Potter Forbidden Journey, Indian Jones and the traditional Pirates ride. Without spoiling anything your boat will go backwards, forwards, side to side and utilize new technology you feel like you are truly in the middle of the ocean.
I really love the Tron movies and this ride felt like I was transported into the movies. This is considered a fast roller coaster and goes both inside and outside. The bikes feature two people in each row and you are strapped in by the back. You zoom off through what reminds me of Space Mountain but faster and with more twist and turns. This is a must do ride, it is not only fast and fun but so uniquely designed.
Peter Pan’s Flight
This ride is similar to the others but also very different. Located in Fantasyland it is a must do attraction. The line can get long and it is prone to breakdowns (happened twice while I was there) but it is still a great experience. You are whisked away by Tinkerbell for a magical journey through Neverland.
Unique to China
Although Shanghai Disneyland is modeled after the originals in America it has very unique touches. For one their castle is known as the Enchanted Storybook is 197 feet tall making it the largest of all the parks in the world. It is so big it has a ride, restaurant and shops inside. The food is also unique featuring traditional Chinese fare mixed with some Western food. It also has seven lands : Tomorrowland, Fantasyland, Treasure Cove – the first Pirate themed land, Adventure Isle, Mickey Avenue and Garden of Imagination.
Though my trip was short and unfortunately I had to leave before the firework show it was still an amazing day. I was able to see a foreign Disneyland ( my first one ever) plus ride some great attractions. I highly recommend it, if you have a long layover in Shanghai to visit Disneyland.
Keep a wandering spirit my friends and thanks for following along!