A DAY OF ADVENTURE AT SHANGHAI DISNEYLAND
We had one goal during our last trip to China, to visit the new Shanghai Disneyland and complete our quest to visit every Disney theme park in the world.
We wanted to leave our Disney Toy Story Hotel with enough time to get to the Shanghai Disneyland park by the 9am opening. However, we missed the bus to the park by just a few minutes so we had to wait another 20 minutes for the next bus.
When we got to the park, we walked through their version of Downtown Disney aka Disneytown, and made our way to the long lines of people waiting to enter the park.
We had already pre-purchased our tickets into the park, which cost 370 CN ($54 USD). There are days where the park will sell out of tickets, so it’s best to purchase ahead.
Upon getting into the park, we did what most people do, which was take pictures in front of the picturesque castle before the crowds took over the park. The best thing about this park is they have lots of different photo pass points where you know you are getting the best shots of the castle.
After capturing some amazing castle pictures there were a few key items that we wanted to accomplish while visiting Shanghai Disneyland. The top things we wanted to do were:
- Ride Dumbo – Who wouldn’t want to ride on a flying elephant?!
- Ride Pirates of the Caribbean ‘Battle for the sunken treasure’
- Ride Hunny Pot Spin – Equivalent to the Disney World tea cups
- Meet Chinese Mickey Mouse – THE MOUSE!
- Eat a Mickey Bar – We’ve had a Mickey Bar at every Disney park in the world!
- Eat a Mickey Pizza – Makes a great Instagram picture.
- Shop – Since every time we visit a Disney, I think we shop more than we see attractions
Since we didn’t know much about the park, we left time for anything else that we might come across throughout the day.
The rides were the first thing that we want to do since the lines for rides get longer and longer as the day goes on. Another thing to note is that there isn’t a Fast Pass system in this park yet, so you will be stuck waiting in lines all day.
We headed over to Dumbo and got in line. It’s exactly like the Dumbo ride at Disney World, which the exception of the instructions being written in both Chinese and English. There were also lots of people eating this yogurt drink in line for breakfast. I didn’t care about that, but what I did care about was the shockingly high number of people that would spill their drink on the ground. Nothing like stepping in yogurt.
When you are waiting the que to go onto Dumbo, you get a Dumbo Boarding Pass that is basically your ticket to get onto the ride. I don’t know what it is about Dumbo, but it’s one of the truly magical rides at Disney. It makes you feel like a kid again.
After getting off Dumbo, we headed over towards the Hunny Pot Spin, which, to our disappointment, was closed for service. So now 33% of the rides that we wanted to go on were closed.
We decided to make our way over to meet Mickey Mouse. While the line was quite long, it moved quickly. When you are waiting to meet Mickey Mouse, you go through different halls with picture frames on the walls. They look like normal picture frames until you see the pictures come alive and start playing different Disney Clips.
I’m used to most lines at Disney moving at a snail’s pace, but this line was moving at a rapid speed. We were in line for no longer than 15 minutes. As we waited to meet Mickey Mouse, they kept repeating instructions in Chinese and English telling us to have your cameras ready. As soon as it was our turn, we handed off our camera to a Photo Pass photographer, he snapped a few pictures, and within 45 seconds, it was all over. It was the most efficient Mickey meet and greet I had ever had.
By the time we had met Mickey, it was still before lunch so we decide we would try and get one more ride in before we started the hunt for Mickey shaped pizza. We headed towards the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, just like the Hunny Pot Spin ride, it was closed for service. So now, 66% of the rides that we wanted to go on were closed.
We noticed that seemed to be a common trend throughout the day. There were quite a few restaurants that didn’t open either. I have wondered if it was because we were there on a week day?
We started our search for the Mickey shaped pizza. We checked several restaurants and we couldn’t find anywhere that was selling the Mickey pizza. We found places selling pork bun, bean bun, chicken puffs, pork puffs, but none selling Mickey pizza.
We did try asking several cast members, but most of time we were just left with blank stares because of the language barrier. A lot of the staff members we encountered only knew a few phrases in English. They typically knew how to say ‘Hello’ and ‘Have a Magical Day’. For the record, I didn’t expect them to know any English seeing at the Shanghai Disneyland location is catering mainly to the Chinese people, so I was not upset that communicating was an issue.
We finally came across a restaurant that sold the InstaFamous Mickey Pizza. You can find the Mickey Pizza at Pinocchio Village Kitchen. Along with the Mickey Pizza, you can also find Rice Bowls and Noodle plates.
When you go inside Pinocchio Village Kitchen, you will walk over to the heat lamps and there will be different types of pizza. I went with the pineapple with sausage pizza, while Megan went with a margarita with soy sauce pizza.
The pizza was just ok. It is nothing close to a classic Chicago pizza, but for being Chinese pizza, we’ll say it was defiantly edible.
For desert, we headed to the closest desert cart to get to get our Mickey bar. This was the first Mickey bar I’ve had that has both chocolate and vanilla ice cream inside. The good news is between the Mickey Pizza and the Mickey Bar you don’t have to worry about going hungry if you’re a picky eater. It doesn’t get better than pizza and ice cream.
We didn’t plan on watching the mid-day parade, but it happened to be going on while we were eating our Mickey bars, so we decided to hang around and watch.
I’m glad we watched the parade, it was amazing. Even though none if it was in English, it was still a great experience to see a completely different Disney parade.
Another thing that we didn’t plan on doing was the Alice in Wonderland Maze. It is basically a maze where you go through shrubbery and get told the story of Alice in Wonderland (in Chinese) It’s definitely a strange experience, but it made for some great photo opportunities.
At the end of the maze, you end at the Mad Tea Party. Who doesn’t want to take a picture with a massive cupcake?
After spending some time taking pictures at the Mad Tea Party, it was time to stock up on souvenirs.
I typically don’t purchase many souvenirs, but I do like bringing home a coffee mug. I just so happen to be drinking from my Shanghai Disneyland Mug as I type up this post.
Megan in the other hand loves souvenirs. At every new Disney park, Megan always gets Mickey ears, magnets, pens, and of course the Dooney and Bourke bag that is exclusive to that park. I’ll be doing another post on all the cool souvenirs that we picked up during our time at Shanghai Disneyland.
We did end up leaving the park for a few hours to go walk around their downtown Disney, but we went back to the park to take some cool night pictures of the castle.
I was glad to have finally visited every Disney theme park in the world. Every Disney theme park has its own unique personality and the Shanghai Disneyland is no exception. Shanghai Disneyland still has that new park smell. I’m sure once they get all their rides up and running, the new park will exceed expectations of their guests for years to come.
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