Shanghai Disneyland – one of the newest Disney parks located in Shanghai China. Super fun, definitely has a Chinese twist, and totally worth a visit!
This spring we visited China for my son’s spring break. We spent 4 days in Beijing and 5 days in Shanghai. Don’t miss Where to Stay in Shanghai for the hotel with the most amazing view and a great place for families.
A couple weeks ago I shared our Top 10 Things to do in Shanghai as well. Such a bustling city with so many great options. We absolutely loved it there.
My sister in-law works for Disney World in Florida, so Disney is always on our radar. We have been to the one in California and last year visited Tokyo Disney Sea when we were in Japan. So we just had to see how Shanghai Disneyland measured up.
Shanghai Disneyland is about an hour outside for downtown Shanghai. We took a taxi from our hotel for about $40. The subway would have been a lot cheaper, but would have taken about 90 minutes at that time of day. We did take the train back at the end of the day, and it was easy and took about an hour on the way home. I highly recommend a Hong Kong sim card for your phone. This way you can know the train times, where to go etc. But you can also use US websites. China blocks Facebook, Instagram, Google and more. With the Hong Kong card you can still access those sites without a problem.
Or purchase something like this Borderless Wifi Hot spot. You purchase data and you can use it as a hot spot all over the world, even if your cell phone doesn’t get service, this can. It was a lifesaver on the trip. And over time is way cheaper than $10/day per phone that is costs in some countries.
The park opened at 9am the day we went. We arrived around 8:30, because we still had to pick up our tickets. We purchased them online ahead of time, but had to get the actual tickets when we arrived. They had everyone in a line outside of the gate until exactly 9:00. When we got up to the turn style, we had to show our passports, and that was out they retrieved our tickets. They printed them and we were on our way!
You can download the Shanghai Disneyland app ahead of time to get wait times, show times, and a map of the park. We headed straight to get fast passes for Soaring over the Horizon because that had the longest wait all week when we were watching. While we waited for our fast pass time we went to Pirates of the Caribbean.
Pirates of the Caribbean has always been one of my favorite rides at Disney parks. But Shanghai has taken it to a whole new level. It is totally different than any other one I have ridden on, and very cool. We may not have understood anything they were saying, but it was still amazing!
Soaring over the Horizon is updated and different from the US versions as well. It still has the beautiful scenes and you get the smells of each area; the grasses the ocean etc. Such a cool experience.
Shanghai Disney has some of the classics like Peter Pan’s Flight, Hunney Pot Spin, Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Dumbo the Flying Elephant, Buzz Lightyear Planet Rescue, Seven Dwarfs Mine and more. But they have some that are unique to Shanghai as well. Like Explorer Canoes, Shipwreck Shore and the Tron roller coaster.
The feel of the park is just different too. Some of the rides might be the same, but the lines are themed differently, the castle is different, and when you walk around the decorations are just different. You can still meet the characters, but we didn’t see them everywhere like you do the in the US.
Tron is a ride that is completely different than anything I have seen before. It is a roller coaster that goes from 0 to super fast in seconds. There are twists, turns, and loops. All while sitting in something that is like riding a motorcycle. It is based on the Tron series, and is themed to the max. My son was so nervous the first time we rode it, but ended up loving it. I think we rode it 4 times during the day!
They were working on Toy Story World while we were there. We saw them testing some of the rides, but it was not open yet. It looks like it will be so fun for kids and adults. And the orange race track ride looked really cool. I wish we could go back to try out this area.
Now let’s talk food. We weren’t overly impressed with the food. We tried caramel corn from a snack cart and that was delicious. Some of the best caramel corn we have had in a long time. And the cookie I got was surprisingly good. But the lunch we had was disappointing. You can get burgers and chicken strips just like at any Disney park. But they don’t have nearly as many Chinese options, as I would expect. Tokyo was full of good food and unique options. This is an area I think Shanghai dropped the ball.
Food is over priced, like you would expect at any Disney park. But the good news is they have a version of Downtown Disney right outside the gate. If you are near the Tron area of the park, there is a side exit that goes right out to this area. You can re-enter here as well. The food options out there are much better, and more reasonably priced. Still a little high, but you get more and better quality food, so it is worth taking the time to go there for lunch instead.
Plus they have a huge Lego store there, so check that out as well. I think my husband said it might be the largest in the world? Lots of displays to look at there!
If you are a Disney fan, visiting Shanghai Disneyland should definitely be on your list. It was a fun day and we all loved it. If you are visiting Shanghai add an extra day to your trip so you can spend the day at Disney. It is great for adults and kids! We went on a Wednesday and the park was fairly empty. I think the longest we waited for a ride was 20 minutes. So look at the crowd calendar ahead of time to plan your trip!