Shanghai Disneyland is mainland China's first resort and is only about 2 years old. It opened in the New Pudong area of the city in June 2016 and is the largest Disneyland as it sits on over 900 acres.There are tons of great places to take photos and you can really feel the Chinese culture at this park. The cost? A whopping 5 billion dollars! This park also has the largest Disney castle. It was seriously AMAZING! As a Disneyland first-timer I was amazing by the castle and just wanted to stare at it forever. Throughout the park you will see signs in Mandarin, Cantonese and English, so it is fairly easy to navigate.The park is aesthetically pleasing, with so many beautiful flowers, buildings and overall aura. There are lots of attractions for people of every age to enjoy.
Tickets & Fastpass
The best thing you can do is to buy your Disneyland ticket online ahead of time. That way you don't need to think about it or waste time buying a ticket at the gate. I didn't reserve a fast pass because I honestly did not think I would need it and quite frankly I was being lazy. I didn't want to figure out where it was in the park so that I could sign up. BAD IDEA! I spent a lot of time waiting in lines while people with fast passes went right up to the front of the line! However, since I was alone I went in the single rider lines so it went a bit faster. Although families and groups also go in those lines so they don't have to wait in the longer lines which was quite annoying. The best piece of advice I can give is to get a fast pass, which are free btw! You can get them from various kiosks in Adventure Island, Tomorrowland and Fantasyland. Or you can download it through the app if you have access to internet.
Food & Drink Options
There are plenty of places to eat for every budget. Disneytown, located right outside of the main entrance, has a ton of great restaurants both Western and Eastern. They even have a Cheesecake Factory with a full bar menu, so you can cool down with a mojito! Needless to say, that is where I ate! I also ate at Wolfgang Puck. Unfortunately, they only had a set menu which came with a drink, but I was not impressed with the meal. I also saw a noodle bar that looked pretty good, but since is was around 35 degrees outside I didn't want to eat a hot meal. There are also lots of restaurants in the park as well. Mickey & Pals Market Cafe has four kitchens under one roof so you can get snacks, Chinese or Western foods. There are also lots of cold drinks in the fridges by the cash registers. If you are looking for some cheaper options there a tons of snack kiosks throughout the park where you can get hotdogs, turkey legs, etc. If you have the app it will tell you where all the dining options are, what they serve and how much it would cost per person. Every restaurant I went to I never had to wait to be seated and got my food very quickly.
Attractions & Entertainment
The first section you will see after you enter the park is Mickey Ave. Here is where you can possibly meet Mickey and friends. If you are lucky, you can catch some characters in this section but there will be a long queue for pictures. I was lucky enough to catch a live band playing a medley of Disney songs. There also tons of shops and restaurants as well.
Gardens of Imagination
You'll probably want to head to Gardens of Imagination because it is next to the Enchanted Storybook Castle. Here you can ride the Fantasia Carousel, meet Mickey Mouse, go on the Dumbo the Flying Elephant ride and see the Garden of the Twelve Friends; which is based off the Chinese Zodiac.
The Enchanted Storybook Castle is located in Fantasyland. Here you can meet some of your favourite Disney characters and wait in line to get your photo taken with them. There is also a fancy restaurant where you can eat like royalty and meet more Disney characters. Make sure to take a boat ride to See Ariel and friends on the Voyage to the Crystal Grotto. Get lost on your way to the tea party with the Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland Maze. You can actually take photos sitting at the Mad Hatter's table here. The most popular attraction in this section is the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. This ride is thrilling and has tons of big drops! You can also checkout the Winnie the Pooh Hunny Pot Spin and Peter Pan's Flight rides.
The next section is Treasure Cove, on the Far East side of the park. This is a Pirates of the Caribbean themed section. You can wait for a ride on Explorer Canoes and sail around pirate territory. On this ride you actually have to do some work and paddle! You can also explore a real pirate ship at Siren's Revenge. Make sure to visit the main attraction, Pirates of the Caribbean--Battle for the Sunken Treasure, which takes you on a thrilling boat ride! There are other numerous activities including a live show with no other than Captain Jack Sparrow.
This section is located right beside Treasure Cove. Here you can try obstacle courses at Camp Discovery, if you are not afraid of heights. You can Soar Over the Horizon in a thrilling flight over the Great Wall and other famous sights. On a hot day Roaring Rapids is a great way to stay cool as you will get wet. This ride is great for people who like water rides and big drops.
If you cut back across Garden of Imagination you will get to Tomorrowland. If you have see then movie it wis all about futurism. So they have a lot of Star Wars attractions, Buzz Lightyear and Stitch. Make sure to look out for Darth Vader and the Stormtroopers. However, the most popular attraction here is TRON Lightcycle Power Run, which was also my favourite ride at the park. It is dark, fast and scary with tons of big drops and turns.
The parade was AMAZING!!! It was the most energy I saw all day and it was awesome. The parade was definitely the best experience at the park! The costumes were perfect and the crowd looked so happy. Although, I would have liked to see the classic Disney characters like The Lion King, Jungle Book, Snow White, Cinderella, etc. The parade consisted mostly of the newer characters from movies like Frozen, Tangled, Zootopia, etc.
As I first-timer, I was so excited to visit the resort, as to be expected, but in my eyes it wasn't the Disneyland experience I envisioned for so long. However, since this was my first visit I don't have anything to compare it to. The park is huge! It took about 15 minutes of walking just to get to the park entrance. There was a lot of pushing and butting in the lines, also as to be expected. Having a fastpass would've been beneficial. Shanghai gets very humid in the warmer months, so having to wait in line, especially in the sun is very draining. Also, the staff was not overly enthusiastic like the commercials I've seen for Disneyland... Maybe this is a cultural thing? Nonetheless it just didn't give that feeling of Disneyland, it felt like any other amusement park. I laid eye on one princess, who was in the castle with a long line for photos. All the other characters I saw in the parade for a good 15 minutes which was disappointing. However, the attractions did not disappoint, I found there was so much to do it could keep you busy all day and you would not be bored! I was impressed with all the interactive activities and even how the people selling balloon would help you to get the perfect picture by waving the balloons up and down behind you.