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So I just came back from Shanghai Disney Resort, yes be jealous haters!

 

First of all, I would like to say a huge thank you to all the cast members and everyone working behind the scene. When I was inside of the park today, I was the one saying “Thank you Cast Member Chris and have a magical day” hundreds of times and make everybody happy.

 

The weather today was not really nice, It was rainy and extremely humid. But Disney handeled the bad weather pretty well.

 

First thing I can clearly tell about this park is that it is engineered to hold huge crowd. Walkways are massive and there are small paths separated by trees in main walkways so that people can still move around during parade. The park seems well prepared for the grand opening as all the cast members seem to be very confident about their roles in the park while there are still some of them not really used to being called “Cast Member” and called themselves staff because Chinese society is so used to the word “Staff” and “waiter”. I think the opening team did an excellent job.

 

Guests wise, since it is opening day, there were a lot of American and Japanese Disney fans. I almost had a Tokyo Disney flash back because I was camping outside of the park since 7:00 am and everybody around me is either Japanese or American. Chinese guests are significantly better behaved then those I saw at say Wanda and Happy Valley because whoever try to get opening day tickets is a fan of the Disney culture to each of their own levels. Aside from a really rude guest that almost got into fist fight with a cast member when he was trying to walk through the restricted area during firework, it is generally more acceptable than I expected.

 

Ride wise, I am leaving full reviews till later because I will be leaving for the park again in 2 hours (yes, no sleep between two Disney park days and camping outside 3 hours earlier). But let me just say I would take out Journey and Tower of Terror at Tokyo Disney Sea in exchange of something like Pirates at Shanghai Disney. I am more shocked than impressed. And Soarin’s new movie is a lot better than the old one, especially the new scents.

 

Operation wise, certain rides are going much slower than how Disney should be like, such as 7DMT and the seriously pointless canoe ride. But Soarin’, Tron and Pirates are running as fast as possible.

 

Please keep in mind that I don’t think this park is English friendly enough. There is no English on Fast Pass tickets, the subtitles for the pre-shows most rides are pretty hard to see and there is no English subtitles during shows. I’ve seen quite a lot of confused international guests. Cast members all speak enough English for their positions but sometimes very heavy accent might get in the way a bit.

 

Overall, Shanghai Disney feels like somewhere in between HongKong’s Disney Discount Edition and Tokyo’s Disney Deluxe Edition. Some of the rides are truly incredible but there are definitely some things to improve on as of now. I personally think for grand opening, it is already as good as it can be. It will be much better when the park gets to warm up a little bit more.

 

Shout out to the guy born in Lafayette, IN sitting next to me on Soarin’!

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Subway to Disney!

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This photo was taken on the first train to Disney resort. But later I found out only 3 of us were not cast members. phew!

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Shanghai Disneyland Resort Station!

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Here I am outside of the security check area. The group in front of me is from Tokyo and they've been camping out since 2:00am!

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4TH GUEST OF Shanghai Disneyland! Thank you cast members for taking this picture!

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Look at all those people that's gonna be behind me!

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First stop! Actually second stop. I ran to 7DMT for a 5 minutes stop and finished that thing because Pirates eats people like 3 B&M combined.

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Park is still empty as of now.

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Pirates station. The queue line is ridiculously long but one of the most detailed I've seen, especially the part closer to the loading station.

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Theming!

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The mountain with the adventure trail that does not allow any loose articles including phones and hats.

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Roaring Rapids is opened but without single rider line so I'm leaving it for tomorrow.

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Tomorrowland!

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Nice sign with Jet Pack back there.

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By the way, the Soarin' FP is the first official fast pass of Shanghai Disneyland. I almost wanted to keep it but I still remember how painfully slow the line was at EPCOT.

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Yes they have Corn Dog, now please bring Dole Whip here!

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Back to Adventure Isle.

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Soarin's queue is outside of the waiting area now.

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Bye baby :(

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OK While EPCOT's Soarin' queue line has games and DCA's Soarin's queue has a photo of Amelia Earhart (BOILER UP!!), I think this is the best queue line of them all.

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So much nicer than metal boxes!

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New video without Patrick Warburton.

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Detail

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This Kimchi and roast beef wrap tastes so good!

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Yea still no

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Most pointless Disney ride in the history

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Yeah feels like I need a bottle of those after that ride.

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Pirates is over there

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Walkway designed to deal with huge parade crowd.

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Alice! This maze has more than just hidden Mickeys!

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This is the way to the new Toy Story expansion behind Tomorrowland. They already started construction.

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Tomorrowland from another direction

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TRON!!!

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Such a beauty!

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Don't even argue with me, this is the best roller coaster station.

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It looks simple but the lightings are changing all the time!

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Yes!

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Time for Buzz!

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I GOT LEVEL 6! I usually suck at shooting dark rides but not this time!

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Hidden Mickey #1

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More detail

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Waiting to see the Pirates show at Fandango Theater

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This is where I had dinner. I love Tangled!

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Mongolian beef rice with blueberry grapefruit Slurpee and mango cheese cake

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Tron again because this is the coolest coaster I can think of.

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More TRON!

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This is the beautiful castle. The lighting changes slightly with When You Wish Upon a Star.

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Turkey leg! People are lining up for an hour just to get turkey legs because the Anaheim ones went viral in China a while ago.

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Tomorrowland at night

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Who waits till the end of the firework and leave the castle when you can watch it with a super lit (get it?) Vekoma flying above your head every 25 seconds?

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Stuck at the brake run for a while

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Yes!

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Leaving Tomorrowland now

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Went to the bottom of the castle to see the whole thing.

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Hidden Mickey #2

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Leaving the park after purchasing some grand opening souvenirs.

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Bye Shanghai Disneyland, see you in a few hours!

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Yup gotta take a selfie.

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This was my 10 hours at the park summary today. Much more to come later when I can actually catch a breath.

Edited by gerstlaueringvar
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Super cool that you were one of the first visitors. Looks like the park is simply amazing. Pirates and Tron definitely are rides I want to ride one day. Great Trip Report.

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I love checking my Fitbit when I go to parks. I've never hit 30k though. The closest I've had is about 27k at Cedar Point.

 

Awesome update by the way! That park looks insane.

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Awesome TR! I'm surprised that the park wasn't more packed for opening day... but perhaps the crowds were spread out due to the size. The wait time for Soarin' was still long, but it seems like some in the press were expecting mass hysteria on opening day - seemed very reasonable.

 

Any word on the AA for Roaring Rapids? Waiting patiently for video to see if it's fixed, and if it's as cool as the concept art made it out to be...

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Thanks for taking the time to post the photos of your adventure!!!

 

And as I think everyone else is thinking....

 

Tron, Tron, Tron, Tron, Tron, Tron.....

 

It truly looks spectacular and I'm glad it appears to be getting off on a good note.

 

Have fun on day 2

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Yin, dude, I like you. You're a good guy. But I gotta be honest with you here, see, I can't respect you now. Not because you got to Shanghai Disney, no, that's not the reason. The reason is because you said you'd happily rip out Journey AND Tower at Tokyo to replace it with Pirates AKA Spider-Man On Water.

 

Now, nothing against this Pirates as I'm sure it's great, but c'mon, really? Disney's best ever ride (Journey) and (probably) second best ever ride (Tower) in exchange for that? Naw, dude, naw. You crazy.

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Yin, dude, I like you. You're a good guy. But I gotta be honest with you here, see, I can't respect you now. Not because you got to Shanghai Disney, no, that's not the reason. The reason is because you said you'd happily rip out Journey AND Tower at Tokyo to replace it with Pirates AKA Spider-Man On Water.

 

Now, nothing against this Pirates as I'm sure it's great, but c'mon, really? Disney's best ever ride (Journey) and (probably) second best ever ride (Tower) in exchange for that? Naw, dude, naw. You crazy.

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Good lord that park looks excellent. I'm moving soon to somewhere where I may well be able to take regular(ish) holidays to the Shanghai area, so here's hoping. Though I'm unsure I'd want to go on TRON unless it's dark. Just seems wrong somehow.

 

Does Shanghai Disney have anything like the "hidden" areas Disneyland Paris has, like the galleon that you can find your way onto (though it's pretty boring), the caves and such?

 

EDIT - unsure whether I like the look of the Pirates ride, I have a fondness for the animatronics. Mind you, I do like Spiderman at IoA, and surely this is just "Spiderman in a boat". Spiderboat, Spiderboat...

 

Also, how similar is TRON in its bike design and restraints to, say, Velocity at Flamingo Land (or Motocoaster at Dreamworld)?

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^ They have a huge adventure trail and a 3-stories pirate ship with tons of things to explore.

 

Pirates does have some similarities to Spider-Man but pirates definitely made 80% of the guests wow at least three times during the whole ride based on my observation. I think Spider-Man is very good but Pirates is at another level of impressive.

 

Tron's leg restraint system is a brand new design that can improve the speed of loading and unloading a lot. I calculated last night, Tron was running at 1624pph and that isn't even close to its full capacity.

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I was there on the 16th and 17th and agree largely with this trip report! Opening day was really exciting and so much fun, especially the first hour or two where it was really quiet still as everyone was slowly being let in (I was also in the first group to be let in).

 

A few notes - I think the fast pass machines know what language you used to book your tickets, because I definitely had fast passes with english on them, and a friend of mine from China who was with me on the 17th had hers in Mandarin I believe.

 

And for those talking about Pirates being like Spiderman on water... this is simply not the case. It's not just about the use of screens that make this attraction. You still have some really great animatronics and effects added in, and the ride vehicle feels very smooth and the way it interacts with the screens and the rest of the ride is quite interesting and different. The real difference, and something you don't really get to see in the videos, is the scale of the ride... I've seen NOTHING like this at any theme park, Disney or otherwise. These rooms are huge, and have such height in the real-world elements. The ships in the battle near the end rise so far above you, it's quite intense, and the underwater scenes totally engross you. The way that the screens are mapped to the ride vehicle is more effective than I've witness before and give a very good illusion of depth into the videos. I definitely feels it's on the same level as Journey and ToT.

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At the beginning of this TR, I would like to say that this TR is very long! And the ride reviews are separated into two sections. I strongly suggest that if you are going to the park somewhere in the future, DO NOT READ THE SPOILER VERSION because some of the rides at this park are so impressive that I don’t want to ruin your experience. So the spoiler version of the TR would be at the end of this TR with a different text color. And if you are commenting about the ride with spoilers, please either put “Spoiler Alert” at the beginning of your comment or change the text color.

 

Let the magic begin!

 

I was finally able to catch my breath from two days of insanity at Shanghai Disney Resort. I had a total of around 12 hours of sleep in 4 nights and walked 75k steps within the 2 days at Disneyland so basically I’m dead.

 

My second day at Shanghai Disneyland is a lot more exhausting that I expected. I got up at 4:30 am, after just a bit below two hours of sleep, and camped outside of the waiting area since 5:30 am. I was the first at one of the security check lines. The security cast members told us the entry area for us will open at 7:30 and then we can get our tickets scanned at 8. So everybody waited in line very orderly and I stood about 6ft away from the gate because that’s about the clearance of the gate. But at 7:00 am, 8 security cast members went to 4 of the far right lanes to check the metal detectors and the crowd waiting outside thought those 4 lines are opening so everybody rushed over there like Justin Bieber is about to show up. I stood at my spot the entire time but after the crowd was calmed down a few minutes later, there were 6 people in front of me and they didn’t know where they need to return to. I had to explain that I’ve been camping out since 1.5 hours ago and ask them to move backwards into single file lines so the gates can open.

 

When I was managing the crowd, I met Lucie. She is a Shanghai local and she’s a hard core Disney fan. (Traveling to Tokyo Disney Resort 4 times a year level). We chatted for a bit and then the park opened half an hour later. I was the first one to go to the FP distribution center at Adventure Isle, then I found out my two-day ticket does not work for the FP machine and I have to go back to the entrance to rescan it to activate FP function. FML! So I decided to do Soarin’ first since the area is empty and that basically saved me a FP. On my way to Soarin’, I met Lucie again and she had the same issue. So we decided to go to guest service to rescan the ticket since we didn’t want to bother the cast members at the entrance. Long story short, the new FP system does not recognize two-day tickets and the cast member at guest service gave us a really good fix that made us love Disney even more. Lucie and I became friends and we hung out together most of the day.

 

I reserved a table at Royal Banquet Hall weeks ago and invited the team from Ocean Park for lunch. It was quite an experience as all of my previous Disney park dining experiences were street food and food courts marked with one dollar sign. June 17th was the first day of opening for Royal Banquet Hall and it is quite obvious that the team isn’t fully prepared for opening yet. Food taste great and look beautiful though!

 

After lunch I walked around the park with the Ocean Park team and met quite a lot of people in the industry because IAAPA’s Asian Attraction Show just ended and everybody wanted to be at Disneyland opening day. To be honest I’m still processing the things they talked about because it was a huge amount of brand new information and insights of the industry.

 

Later that day I met up with Lucie again and we did Pirates, Soarin’, Roaring Rapids, Voyage to the Crystal Grotto and Jet Pack together until the park is about to close. We said goodbye to each other and then I entered the line for TRON to wrap up my Shanghai Disneyland grand opening experience.

 

Great things about this park:

1. Completely different from the other Disney parks I’ve been to, but sometimes you would notice there are little details that are variations of the other Disney park details, those really make you smile.

2. Incredible views everywhere, designers clearly tried their best with the park design this time and fully considered making this park as photogenic as possible.

3. Lots of details here and there to explore, definitely not the kind of park that you choose to hit a few rides and leave forever. You can spend hours wondering around Adventure Isle and Treasure Cove just to take in all the details and still find little things that make you go “dammit Disney!”.

4. This park is clearly engineered to handle huge amount of people, there are some really cleaver designs that showed WDI learned from all the previous experiences.

5. Bathroom are well-themed, very clean and at very visible spots, usually right outside of ride exits. Chinese people tend to ask CM where bathrooms are instead of looking for it themselves and I think this design is a cleaver fix.

6. Merchandises are definitely designed to suck all of your money away, great job Disney! Saw people spend money on ride and park merchandises like they have 10 sugar daddies.

7. Storybook Castle is a very complex structure and definitely an architecture and engineering marvel. Walking around and inside of the castle area alone is worth a visit!

8. Nothing at the park looks forced, every IP and attraction fits in very naturally.

9. If you slow down to appreciate the architecture, you’ll notice the designers incorporated lots of Chinese elements to the designs, especially at Fantasyland and Gardens of Imagination.

10. Guest Service center is VERY good at making unhappy guests satisfied yet stand firm when things get messy.

11. The grand opening event is very well done for a park built in such a rushed schedule, they have definitely had lots of training during soft opening.

12. CM’s service level beats the crap out of almost all the parks in China, not that I’m surprised but it’s worth mentioning.

13. Pirates and TRON are insanely high capacity. TRON was running at 1624pph when the operation is still improving on efficiency!

14. Food price is really cheap for Disney, I can’t believe a bottle of water is $1.6 and a bottle of Coke is $1.8. Even though the drinks are from Pepsi and a low-tier local brand.

15. Very good food options, no matter what major culture you are from, you will find familiar food and things you like inside of the park. Now please partner with Dole here and bring Dole Whip to Shanghai!

16. There are outdoors heating devices all over the park. In winter Shanghai is very humid and stays at around 32 degrees the whole time so those heating devices can turn a very crappy winter day to another magical day.

17. I didn’t see anyone urinating on the floor.

 

Park overall impression: This is definitely a re-imagined version of Magic Kingdom. First of all the familiar layout of Tomorrowland at the right, Adventureland at the left is gone and Dumbo and Carousel were moved in front of the castle. You can find lots of similar rides at different Disney parks but most of them are not exactly the same. Adventure Isle and Treasure Cove are simply breath taking during sunset, they are my favorite areas of the park even though Tomorrowland is absolutely badass with TRON flying under the lighted ceiling every 20 seconds or so. This park is definitely not the Discount Disneyland at Hong Kong. In fact, I think this would be a world’s top 3 park if it is in Tokyo or US. This park is definitely one of those “I want to like it much more than I actually like it” parks only because of the guests. Which brings us to guest behaviors.

 

Here is a list of crazy stuffs I saw during the two-day trip:

1. People pushing forward when the park is about to open like zombie apocalypse is coming.

2. There is an emergency lane during the firework so that if anything happens, the viewing area can be evacuated ASAP. The emergency lane is CM only but one guest is determined that he can cross the line. When one CM is trying to stop him, he literally threatened to punch the CM in the face and almost kicked the CM on his leg.

3. During the firework show, the couple in front of me has a huge balloon floating right in front of my face and they refuse to hold it down after I asked them twice so I offered to hold that balloon for them during the entire show.

4. People holding a spot in the line for other people to join later, but that happened like once or twice in one day so Six Flags is still worse.

5. It’s a cultural thing but nobody cleans up their table after they are done eating and there’s not enough CM to make sure the tables are clean, which reduced the capacity of the restaurants.

6. When I was waiting to get into the park the second day, guests all rushed to the gates that they thought were opening and they cut in front of me afterwards. Took me quite a while to explain to them that I was there first and they need to back off because the gates can’t open with them standing in the clearance distance.

7. After security check, it was a chaos behind the ticket line and people were yelling like they intentionally want to be more annoying than Taylor Swift. Had to ask everybody behind me to do single file line so we can all get through the gate faster.

8. When waiting for Frozen Singalong, there are two people trying to join their family way ahead of the line and a couple from Hong Kong is trying to stop them. Long story short, the line-cutting-piece-of-shit-man and the young man from Hong Kong got into a fist fight in front of all the kids.

9. Lots of people are straight up annoying assholes that opens the emergency gates and use that to get into other lines. I closed at least 5 gates at Pirates every time I rode it.

10. Trash situation is better than I thought but there are still bottles and park maps on the floor. Spent the entire second day cleaning up the trash wherever I go.

11. Roaring Rapids broke down as I was on the ride. During evacuation, the family in my boat is trying to stand up and leave on their own when CM told them to sit and wait for their instruction for three times.

12. As we were leaving Roaring Rapids, people in the line that waited for three hours were yelling and threatening the CM like it is CM’s fault the ride broke down. The ride manager doesn’t speak Mandarin so it was a complete chaos and I was seriously afraid of fist fights breaking out. Apparently later that day those awful people marched to guest service and continued yelling there for 4 hours and they got their tickets refunded.

13. There are fake FP and fake pins. Why do all the wonderful things go to hell in China?

 

Meanwhile, there are lots of things that Disney will have to improve over time, but seems to be easy to fixes:

1. Drinking fountains are way too tall and lots of children cannot reach that high.

2. Cast Members referring themselves as staffs.

3. At Roaring Rapids, the dad on our boat couldn’t bucket his seatbelt and the CM said “Even your kid is smarter than you” Burn! I liked it but I don’t want to hear that from a CM.

4. While everybody in China speaks English to some level, I think it’s not professional that lots of CM doesn’t speak Mandarin at all. It’s acceptable in Hong Kong but in Shanghai I think it is kind of disrespectful to the locals.

5. CM at TRON gave me a dirty look when I asked to leave the line to throw out the trash I picked FROM THE QUEUE, and there isn’t any trash can inside of TRON’s line for a good 30 minutes.

6. While all the CMs speak enough English for their positions and their English level is much higher than that of Tokyo Disney CMs, SDR is not convenient for people that do not speak Mandarin. There is zero English on FP tickets, signs at transportation center is only in simplified Chinese, all the pre-shows have very tiny English subtitles or no English at all. There were lots of confused international guests during the shows and it’s like they are trying too hard to fit into the Chinese culture that in Frozen Singalong, “Let it Go” was 100% translated to Mandarin. But during the firework show, the language of the songs switch between English and Mandarin, it just feels kind of awkward to me.

7. Most CM cannot handle the insane guests and they choose to do nothing about it sometimes.

8. Certain sceneries at the castle and Adventure Isle looks like they were constructed in the rain because the paint faded to the surrounding floor.

9. Slow operation at Explorer Canoes, Jet Pack and Challenge Trails.

 

Now let’s move on to the rides. Below are the spoiler-free version.

TRON: Very good coaster, theming is absolutely “Imagineering” level. It is a very high capacity ride so there’s no need to get a FP if you plan your day well.

Pirates: Best ride at Shanghai Disney Resort, I was more shocked than impressed the first time I rode it. This thing is a line eating monster and the queue line has quite a lot of stuffs to see.

Roaring Rapids, much better than the DCA one.

Soarin’: New movie clip is much better and the scents are more special.

Challenger Trails: Very different for Disney and guests seemed to love it. Pretty empowering for kids to do these attractions and challenge themselves.

“Once Upon a Time” Adventure: If you are a fan of old Disney anime, don’t miss it!

Voyage to the Crystal Grotto: Do this thing at night! It’s so beautiful.

Buzz Lightyear: Better than Hong Kong and Anaheim versions.

Pooh: It’s not the Tokyo version so move on.

7DMT: idc.

Jet Pack: Nothing to see here.

Peter Pan: Did it twice because there was no line. If you’ve been on it elsewhere, feel free to skip it.

Alice Maze: There is more than hidden Mickey in there!

Canoe: If you have time to spare, wanna get tanned, wanna sweat like a pig and have sour arms afterwards, do it.

 

Food:

First of all, all drinks are from Pepsi and a local brand called KangShiFu that isn’t much better. Food are very reasonably priced and well-made. The kimchi beef burrito at Adventure Isle was the first thing I had at the park and it was definitely a foodgasm. Then I had a corn dog at Tomorrowland, not as good as Disneyland’s but still decently tasty. Mongolian beef rice at the Tangled Tree Tavern is a bit disappointing, a little towards the salty side and a bit too much garlic, the mango cheese cake is decent but not Disney level yet. Later that night I went to the turkey leg stand at Treasure Cove when they had like 50 turkey legs left. It usually has 1.5 hours line because Disneyland turkey leg was hyped up so much in China before the park opened. Shanghai’s turkey leg is much sweeter and the size is smaller than the Anaheim ones. If you have tried Anaheim’s turkey leg, go somewhere else for some better food. The second day I forgot to have breakfast and starved all the way till lunch at Royal Banquet Hall. The four of us shared our lunch and I’ll comment on the food with pictures later on this TR. I didn’t have much time in the afternoon and I had my dinner at Stargazer Grill, some cheese burger and fries was all I needed. They fully cooked the patty which annoyed me way too much because whoever cooks a beef burger patty well done should go to jail! I didn’t get to try more of the huge amount of food options at the park, including the roast duck pizza that sounds scarily gross but somehow interesting.

 

RIDE REVIEW SPOILER VERSION

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TRON: The queue line has one of the coolest special effects I’ve seen. Basically you enter this preshow room, there is a huge glass screen in front of you and the audio says “Start scanning for programs”, the hexagons start moving and brightness goes up, then there is sort of an explosion like sound and all the sudden the glass screen becomes completely transparent and the launch room with the incredible lighting effects is right in front of you. Then you walk around the whole launch room and enter another queue area where a really creepy preshow video is played. Then you turn right into the station area where you have enough time to appreciate how incredibly detailed the lightings are.

 

When the air gates open, there are two small lights that shines on the coaster seat, after you sit on the Lightcycle and pull down the restraints, the lights on the Lightcycle turns from dark blue to bright blue. Then the train dispatches and the arrows on the wall lights up, there are two light strips at the sides of the catwalk that follows the train all the way to the launch room. Then the train stops for three seconds, there is a count down when all the lights in the launch room starts shining like crazy. The train starts from slow accelerating to fast accelerating and as you exit the launch tunnel, you are under the giant ceiling and the train gracefully fly through the raised turn and go upward again to the entrance of the indoors section. There are lights following the train during the whole section under the ceiling. After the train enters the indoors section, music turned super techno and then the layout is basically a few figure 8’s and low to the ground turns. But THERE IS AIRTIME! During the ride you will go through 8 “Energy Gates” and at the final turn, yellow team would hit the side of the race track and explode then you win the race/enter the brake run. Afterwards the train flies through the brake run and the two blocks at Vekoma speed. And you stop at the unloading area. When the restraints open, the bright blue light on the train turns back to dark blue.

 

I personally think TRON is one of the coolest coasters, if not the coolest coaster in the world. If you are looking for a thrilling experience, get out of the park and hop on the metro to Happy Valley for the Mega-Lite. This coaster is all about the theming and simulating a Lightcycle race on the grid. One other thing to mention is how incredibly smooth it is. While I’ve been on glass smooth Vekomas like Grizzly Mountain, Seven Dwarf Mine Train and Space Mountain, Tron is at another level of smoothness, like Maverick level of no rattling plus modern B&M slow transitions. Seriously it is such a graceful coaster and you can’t feel even the slightest bit of jerkiness or rattling! Vekoma used huge track and supports on TRON that can withstand one train passing every 20 seconds. Definitely one of the smoothest coasters out there and Vekoma did an excellent job on manufacturing it! Depend on what you’re looking for, I can see TRON breaking some people’s top list just for the incredible theming alone. The experience is definitely the best at the very back row, where you feel like you are in a race with a group of Lightcycles, you can see the light changes of the train and actually see the yellow team crashing at the end.

 

 

Pirates of the Caribbean – Battle for the Sunken Treasure: Now this is my favorite ride in the whole park for sure, I would wholeheartedly take out BOTH Journey to the Center of the Earth and Tower of Shiriki at TDS and replace them with something using this ride system. Like seriously I was determined to avoid all the spoilers so I had no idea what will happen except for the skeleton turning into Jack Sparrow. I was more shocked then impressed during the whole ride, there were at least 8 times when I wowed out loud with other 90% of the people on the boat! It has some similarities to Spiderman but I wouldn’t call it Spiderman on a Boat.

 

The hourly capacity of this ride is around 3500 according to a CM, and the whole waiting area can be completely cleared within around 30 minutes. It is one of the highest capacity rides in the world. There are 30 seats in one boat and two boats dispatch at the same time just like Splash Mountain. This ride is nothing like the other Pirates of the Caribbean the world is familiar with. There are certain things that exist for nostalgia reasons such as the restaurant viewing area at the beginning, skeleton version of the pirates whistling to the dog for keys and the chicken cages, but Shanghai’s version focuses on the story of Jack Sparrow instead. The system uses LIM to power the boat instead of water flow so non-nerdy guests that don’t look for the underwater track would have no idea where the boat is going. The boat turns using a separate track system that allows it to switch between forwards and backwards positions during the ride and face the huge curved screens at some of the sections. It is such a genius design that I rode it 6 times when I was there.

 

After you leave the beautifully themed station, you enter a tunnel with a skeleton talking. Then the restaurant appears at the right side of the water area before you enter another tunnel where the ride gets started. First scene is basically a male skeleton holding a sword that is stabbed through a female skeleton, seems like they were fighting for the treasure box. And a few scenes later, here comes the skeleton driving the boat! A few seconds later, the skeleton turned into Jack Sparrow (first wow) and talks to us about what’s happening and we are going to steal the treasure etc. Then the boat starts going backwards! The following part is basically a projected vertical tunnel that makes you feel like you are sinking to the bottom of the ocean (second wow), then you reverse into the first room with the first massive curved screen (third wow) where the sunken pirate ships and giant squid appears. Then you turn forwards into a long scenic section where you see all the treasure, mermaids and take the view of all the life-size props of the sunken ships in.

 

During the next part of the ride, the animatronic of the hammerhead shark character was like “You idiots dare to steal treasure from here I’m will see how the captain is gonna kick your ass” or whatever, then the captain character with 80’s beard got angry when he was playing the giant piano thingy and he declared war against Jack Sparrow. Highlight of the whole ride came. The gates in front of you pop open and you enter another room with giant curved screen. The surrounding pirate ships all float to the surface (fourth wow), there’s a giant pirate ship crossing right in front of you and there’s a water splash effect (fifth wow). Then the ride vehicle turns around and goes between the two ships when they are attacking each other with cannon balls (sixth wow) and people are doing sword fights, one pirate ship breaks in halves right in front of you. Your boat follows the water flow and the sword fight between Jack and Mr. 80’s Beard into the lower deck of a sinking ship. Jack Sparrow bombed a hole at the side of the ship with a cannon (seventh wow), all the water floods in and killed Mr. 80’s Beard but all the stored gun powder kegs start to explode. That’s when the boat goes up a lift hill backwards and does a reverse drop followed by a small airtime hill and then a splash down finale (eighth wow). By there the ride has come to an end, or two ends. One is with all the treasure turns into seaweed and the other one is teaching the riders to sing Yo-Hoe. Then you turn right into a lift hill back to the station just like one particular coaster at SFMM.

 

All I can say is holy crap I can ride this thing 100 times and still notice new things!

 

Roaring Rapids: Sansei’s version is a little bit rougher than the Intamin version and the water flow seems a bit more aggressive than DCA’s Grizzly River Run. It’s like a regular Intamin rapids ride but the splashing comes much more frequently. After you enter the indoors section, there is a shadow of the giant alligator followed by the first big drop, then the alligator animatronic appears and come really close to you just like the rock on Indiana Jones. I personally think it can be quite scary to a lot of people as the kid and a 20-something girl were almost crying after the alligator appeared. Anyway, there are a few more splashing and one final drop then a turn back to the loading/unloading area. We were stuck outside of the station and had to be evacuated.

 

Soarin’: The new clip is much better than the original version I saw at Epcot and DCA. It starts at Matterhorn and goes to the Arctic area, Sydney, Neuschwanstein Castle, Kilimanjaro (grass and soil scent, kind of like dirty kids), Great People’s Wall of China, Pyramids, Taj Mahal (Indian perfume scent, kind of like rose), Monument Valley, Somewhere in the ocean (AXE Body Spray scent), Iguazu Falls, Eiffel Tower of course, and finally ends at Pudong, Shanghai with all the firework. And long live the Jerry Goldsmith soundtrack remix version! The overall feeling and the extra bass give you a “Holy crap this world is amazing” rather than “California is really cool” feeling. Plus tthe part at Taj Mahal and Great Wall of China are performed with local instruments which made them extra special. The entrance of the building is covered by rock and you can’t really see the plane-shop-like show building unless you’re standing across the lake at Treasure Cove. By the way, huge “hidden Mickey” at the final firework scene.

 

Challenger Trails: I think Disney made a very wise choice here. It is inside of an area with two more attractions that allows you to walk around, explore and take in all the incredible rock details of the mountain. Capacity is a little bit towards the lower side but that isn’t about the CM, It’s more about the guests going slow during the trip. There are six trails in total, three at the water fall side and three at the rock side. Each trail has switches between them so you can choose different levels of difficulty at every walkway. Most Chinese kids were raised in a bubble and they don’t get to be wild and explore things in everyday life so this is quite an empowering experience for the kids, especially for the girls that are determined to take all the most difficult walkways. I did some people watching at the exit on the first day and the smile on the children’s faces really made my heart warm.

 

Once Upon a Time Adventure: It is basically the castle tour, you enter the castle from the outside, see a preshow, walk up the stairs with all the princesses on the wall, and then there is a Snow White walk through with some cool effects. That’s basically it. But I strongly suggest doing this attraction because it really gives you a sense of just how incredibly complex the castle actually is. There is a walk through, Royal Banquet Hall, Princess and knight makeover room, Voyage to the Crystal Grotto, walkways, and a huge backstage area all inside of this castle and none of them feel narrow at all (well, haven’t been to the backstage area but I assume it is not narrow)

 

Voyage to the Crystal Grotto: DO THIS THING AT NIGHT! Also, it is just me or every time I hear I See the Light, I tear up a little bit? It is such a beautiful ride, basically Jungle Cruise reimagined and put elements from various Disney movies at different sets. There are Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Fantasmic, Tangled, Mulan, Little Mermaid and then you enter the basement of the castle, not creepy at all by the way, there are a few more sets with fairies, crystals and then a final room with tiny fireworks and a sign that says “Now that the magical crystal has moved your heart, please take its magical power to move the heart of the world”

 

Buzz Lightyear: I think it is the best one of the three I’ve been on, skipped the Tokyo one though because I had better things to do. There is a laser spotter on the gun so it is much easier to hit the targets, plus all the sets and animatronics are more detailed this time. As usual, people don’t seem to know that the cars can spin. I got level 6! I usually suck at shooting dark rides, ask anyone that has been to a park with me, but this time I got 6/7!

 

Pooh: It is not the Tokyo version, but that doesn’t mean it is not fun. There is a scene where pooh fell asleep with the hunny and flew away where Disney used the same technology as the skeleton changing into Jack Sparrow. The photos at the queue line made some really good inappropriate SnapChat caption materials by the way!

 

Seven Dwarf Mine Train: Dude, at MK you need to squeeze the ride into a tiny space so you designed this ride like IKEA store but in Shanghai, there is a huge amount of space so could you at least make a slightly longer ride or an island station? Ride itself is, like lots of people said, even too tame for Disney but still lots of fun and I’ll be more than happy to take my 79-year-old grandparents on it. But the thing is, someone from Vekoma said the swinging made 7DMT the smoothest coaster in the world but I found it a bit towards the jerky side actually. Maybe it’s a bad train or bad timing. Anyway, fun ride, but probably won’t do it again unless I’m there with friends and family or there is absolutely no line.

 

Peter Pan: If you’ve been on Peter Pan elsewhere, feel free to skip it. Anaheim version is better.

 

Jet Pack: Who thinks it’s a good idea to install seatbelts on the OTSR on a Disney flat ride that only takes 32 riders per cycle? Load time is definitely too long for this ride. The spinning is quite fast that you can get some decent lateral and if you ride it at night, the surrounding scenery is just breath taking. But dammit it takes forever to load! And the forward tilting doesn’t work.

 

Alice Maze: Fun walk through that never has a line! It’s a great place to take pictures and take a break from all the madness. There is a hidden Cheshire Cat at the entrance of the tunnel.

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Vertical photo first just to annoy all of you

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Entrance was empty, always a good sign!

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Cheesecake Factory because I miss it too much.

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Oh look! Packing so tightly I almost got pregnant.

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Hidden Mickey at Soarin's line.

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On my way back to Guest Service, saw all the people waiting to get into the park. The process is painfully slow.

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TPED!

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Peter Pan's flight, not that I cared.

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Castle Tour's interior.

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Here's the score I got at Buzz Lightyear

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Frozen Singalong, or Singalone...

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Can I just say how gorgeous this castle is? And how ugh the crowd is?

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Pirate Ship! This one has three stories of awesome stuffs inside and I'll have to explore it next time.

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Seriously!

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I would honestly think this is a real castle somewhere in Europe.

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I'm gonna swing from the chandelier, from the chandelierrrrrrrr

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You walk upstairs from inside of the windows during the castle tour.

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Dining with the Ocean Park team at Royal Banquet Hall!

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Nice textures!

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Here is the biggest table.

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Just perfect blend of western and Chinese interior design.

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Character dining! That little girl was almost in tears when she saw Donald Duck!

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Cheese and garlic pie, I loved the crust, tastes kind of like Lou Malnati's butter crust. Cheese and garlic are pretty mediocre.

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Crab cake, this is my favorite. You don't see kale in China, at all.

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Tomato soup, tastes fresh but also kind of like canned tomatoes.

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Salad, it's a salad.

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Grapefruit and orange slush. Not that special, gorgeous cup that you can take home though.

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Olaf! Do you wanna build a chocolate and orange cake snowman? cake is kinda meh but ice cream is pretty good, not as sweet as the ones in US.

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Elsa! Macaroons are good but only at Starbucks level.

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Lamb with veggies and mashed potatoes. mashed potatoes are very disappointing as they were made with powders, but the flavor of lamb is very rich.

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Slow cooked beef and veggies. If you don't mind fatty food, highly recommend it.

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Cinderella dessert. Not gonna lie, that white chocolate high heel is a lot after a giant piece of slow cooked beef.

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Mango and passion fruit cake, macaroon and strawberries.

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Love you Mickey!

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This is a piece of Snow White and Seven Dwarfs vase at the center of one dining room.

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Adventure Trail!

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This is the designed photo area.

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Group photo!

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