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Robb & Elissa in Asia - 2016!


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I find the Chinese big mobs of people pushing and shoving fun in a cultural experience kind of way. Its one of those things that probably won't last another generation or two, so its cool to be able to say you went to China in that time in history. I'll never forget being in line for the tram ride at Ocean Park and an old grandma literally knocking me off my feet to get further ahead in line (it was a weekend so lots of mainlanders there). You know you're in China when an old person knocks you over then just look at you like "come at me brah."

 

Its definitely off-putting to many westerners, but when people from the east visit the USA imagine what they think when they see the massive amounts of obese people and scooters at theme parks . That is truly embarrassing as well.

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Fantastic read on one of the most impressive parks out there. Thanks for taking the time to write this up! Can't wait to follow along with the rest of the trip.

 

I'm assuming more/bigger "Bathroom this way" signs aren't going to fix the issue...hopefully the park can find ways to curb this behaviour as time goes on.

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Great trip report so far, you are making me miss the park so much. The crowds were crazy while you were there, I went on a Saturday during a typhoon and the crowds were still really bad... 90 minutes for both Soarin' and the rapids ride, 60 minutes for seven dwarves mine train and ropes course although Tron and Pirates were walk on all day. For me the standouts were of course Pirates (in my opinion the best dark ride ever created) and Tron, Buzz lightyear has super large and easy targets so I really liked that and Peter Pan with the new animatronics being used. Overall a really nice park that I would say is a 2 day park (mostly due to the crowds) and I can't wait to go back.

 

My wife and I have a house in Guangzhou so I understand all you had to say about the difference in culture there is. My first couple of times in China were definitely an eye opener but now I have gotten used to it (scary to actually say that). For me the biggest issue I deal with is trying not to get upset with situations around me. there are many times I want to step in when I see things like men treating women like crap and when people get loud over little situations but I have to step back since I am a foreigner in their country on a spouse VISA and I don't feel like disappearing in a Chinese prison, don't get me wrong I'd say 98% of the situations I am in are great and the citizens are extremely friendly but that small amount really upsets me. Now if someone tries to get mouthy with my wife I do step in (I'm 6 foot and 275 so the situation disappears when I do step in). Since I am sort of a citizen of China I will also apologize for the Chinese people but as you know with the small percentage of bad Chinese there is a large percentage of great Chinese citizens.

 

Looking forward to more trip reports especially Hong Kong Disneyland which is my home Disney park, Chimelong Paradise is technically my home park.

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Our second day was much much better at the park. First of all it was less crowded which meant far less annoyances and frustrations. Interesting when there are 20,000 less Chinese in the park how much better of a time you can have! And look, I agree with the guy who said that I'm sure that international visitors come to America and see things like people on ECV's everywhere running rampant without a care in the world like they own the place, trust me, I hate them too and one of the positives about the Asian parks is that we didn't see one single frivolous ECV in the two days we were at the park!

 

But that being said as a traveler I pick and choose places I like to go based on how much enjoyment I get out of the location, and China is just one of those places where I don't mesh as well with the culture and the people, so I choose to visit the country less frequently than someplace like Japan or Europe. I'm not going to be one of those people who will complain about something and then expect somewhere to cater to my own personal preferences, instead I'll take the mature avenue and just not go. We all have choices...

 

ANYWAY... enough about my rant on cultural stuff, let's talk about the park! After our full second day we came away from the park once agian feeling like Pirates and Tron were the two absolutely stand-out attractions, and everything else was just a nice bonus. We got to do so much more today due to the lower crowds and we had a great time. On a slower day, I would put this park on par with Hong Kong, Paris, or Disneyland in California, but I'm not sure it ranks up there with Walt Disney World or Tokyo Disney. That's not a bad thing, keep in mind, because it's still going to end up being one of my favorite parks in the world, and I've been to a *LOT* of parks!

 

Let's go to some photos...

 

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Yes, this is in a theme park!

 

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Photos & video do not do this ride justice. All I know is I have zero interest in riding "old Pirates" now! See that scene in the poster? That ACTUALLY HAPPENS in the ride and it's just as "big" in real life as it is in the poster!

 

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Just rode Tron again. It's growing on me. Liked it as a "coaster" much better the second time!

 

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Some of the awesome Tron merchandise!

 

This is in the Tron queue! It's AMAZING! They do this "reveal" of the launch track:

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Yes! Even MORE Tron merchandise! How much of this do you want?

 

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Waffle break!!! These are *almost* as good as the ones at Tokyo Disney!

 

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Here is one major drawback to Shanghai Disneyland... disgusting Pepsi products. Such a shame, really.

 

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This little show where Mickey Mouse conducts the Main Street marching band was super cute & fun!

 

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Someone really loves the Tron ride!

 

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This show where #Baymax teaches kids to exercise might be one of the cutest coolest theme park shows I've ever seen!

 

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Yep, there is a Walt Disney "Partners" statue here, too!

 

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The ropes course at Shanghai Disneyland is legit hardcore. Narrow ledge, waterfall, slippery rocks, 30' drop off!

 

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How many 9 year olds can say they've been to ever Disney park on the planet?

 

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We have taken a break from the park for a light lunch at Cheesecake Factory!

 

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The castle walk-through attraction was an interesting display of projection effects and storytelling!

 

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The Christmas tree out in front of the Shanghai Disneyland castle!

 

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The handicap seat on Tron was awesome! Like a normal coaster car. What a great idea!

 

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It's a lot quieter tonight than it was last night.

 

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5 minute wait for Tron? SURE! I'll take that!!!

 

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Another great ride on Tron!

 

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I simply cannot say enough good things about Pirates. Photos don't come close to selling it!

 

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The queue for Pirates was also insanely detailed and elaborate.

 

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It was nice to have Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at this park. I really do like this ride a lot and feel it's the PERFECT "family" coaster especially if you have younger kids. This version is very similar to the one at Magic Kingdom although the MK one was slightly better as it had a more elaborate queue and a bit more landscaping and scenery that was missing from the Shanghai version.

 

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Inside of the Shanghai Disneyland castle!

 

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Who can tell us which Princesses all these flags represent?

 

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Buzz Lightyear is a familiar yet totally different experience. The best version of this ride, easily!

 

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You asked for some more castle detail photos... here ya go!

 

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The park doesn't have a "rocket jets" ride but instead they have this "jet packs" ride.

 

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Can someone tell me where I can get a Tron attraction poster???

 

Seriously, this #Baymax exercise shown was amazing and cute! Loved this!!!

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Who would like to get their picture with Santa Duffy?

 

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We did find a good amount of Elissa approved merchandise at Shanghai Disneyland!

 

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Crystal Grotto is Shanghai Disneyland's answer to "Storybook Boats" and spoiler alert, there IS an actual crystal grotto!

 

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The lighting on the castle at night was just amazing!

 

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Ignite The Magic is a castle projection/fireworks show worthy of the "nighttime spectacular" moniker. Between this Tokyo's version of Once Upon A Time and Paris' Disney Dreams these castle shows are some of my favorite night time Disney entertainment. I only wish that Magic Kingdom had a more elaborate castle show, but then again, MK has a really good fireworks show where this park only has the castle show in the evening.

 

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And that wraps up our coverage from Shanghai Disneyland! My overal verdict? Now that I had a more "hassle-free" day at the park (which wasn't totally without cultural frustrations, keep in mind) I think it's a park I absolutely would recommend Disney fans check out, and it's a park I will be making a return visit to. Maybe not as frequently as some of the other Disney parks in the world, but it's "bucket list" material for sure!

 

Next park stop on this trip... Hong Kong Disneyland!

 

Click HERE for the next section of the report from our trip!

Edited by robbalvey
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Great pictures of a park I've been dying to see more detail of!

 

I love how Tron lets those waiting in line have a peak at the launch track. Makes me miss the windows that the old Space Mountain queue had at DLR and the view of the ride that the loading station of MK's Space Mountain used to feature. Maybe it's the film major in me but I think those little (or large in the case of MK's Space Mountain) sneak peeks add so much to the overall attraction experience. It makes you even more anxious for what's to come and gives you a unique way to see the attraction.

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Looks like an amazing park! I want to go just for Pirates, honestly. Just looks like the next level in Disney rides, and I agree in hoping the originals get replaced with something similar. I love the original Pirates rides, especially the longer one in California, but this just looks infinitely better!

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Some of our Chinese friends we've met up with the last couple days keep apologizing for the behavior we've witnessed a few times. As with Americans, they're not all poorly behaved but some things are just crazy. Like the Disney security yelling in Mandarin to hurry up when they opened a new security line resulting in people pushing and screaming and falling! One of our Chinese friends couldn't believe they kept telling people to hurry as it's so unsafe and they could have told people to calmly fill in the new line instead. I'll also never understand the peeing in public thing when there are nice restrooms everywhere.

 

I'm sure there are several cultures that feel we're super rude compared to them! (Looking at you Japan and Switzerland!)

 

Oh well, we still had a great time and will certainly be back again!

 

One last thought on China and cultural differences. In 1980, before Shanghai Disneyland was even a glimmer in Mickey's eye, my mother traveled in one of the first groups of Americans to visit China. It was a thrilling adventure, but probably SO different from the experience travelers have today! The group had to do EVERYTHING as part of a tour - from dining to shopping. They were only allowed to buy gifts from tourist shops (I think called 'Friendship Stores'), and all eating was done banquet style in hotels - none of that "Oh, I think I'll try that quaint little eatery on the corner!" (Of course, Chinese food was nothing like American Chinese food, so at least THAT was a little adventurous.)

My mother said her favorite part of the trip was waiting around for the tour buses in the small villages and trying to "chat" with the local Chinese residents who'd never seen Americans before. They were fascinated and really tried to communicate.

One funny anecdote: Before she left NY, my mom called the Chinese Embassy and asked if there were any particular items that Americans could bring in and share with the Chinese people they met. She was told that FOUNTAIN PENS were a "unique item,' and so my mother went to China with bunches of fountain pens! Sure enough, she made many new acquaintances by asking those she met if they'd like a pen!

I can't even IMAGINE how much things have changed since her visit!!

 

Alice

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Robb - great trip report. I've followed the construction progress and opening of this park very closely, and hope to make it there one day. Looks like a beautiful park, and Pirates and Tron look fantastic.

 

Couple questions - I'm guessing Roaring Rapids was closed? I didn't see you post anything about it. Wondered how the big Quaraq animatronic looked...

 

I've seen some outrageous video of the Pirates stunt show. Were you able to see it? Some of the stunts look absolutely insane.

 

I'm intrigued how it could have been so packed on the first day and so empty on the second. I rarely see this on my visits to WDW when there are a lot of tourist groups from overseas... (you get pretty consistently busy days) so wondered if there were reasons for the attendance fluctuation?

 

Thanks for sharing - and have a great time at HKDL!

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Robb - great trip report. I've followed the construction progress and opening of this park very closely, and hope to make it there one day. Looks like a beautiful park, and Pirates and Tron look fantastic.

 

Couple questions - I'm guessing Roaring Rapids was closed? I didn't see you post anything about it. Wondered how the big Quaraq animatronic looked...

 

I've seen some outrageous video of the Pirates stunt show. Were you able to see it? Some of the stunts look absolutely insane.

 

I'm intrigued how it could have been so packed on the first day and so empty on the second. I rarely see this on my visits to WDW when there are a lot of tourist groups from overseas... (you get pretty consistently busy days) so wondered if there were reasons for the attendance fluctuation?

 

Thanks for sharing - and have a great time at HKDL!

 

Robb did state (either here in in the social feeds) that it is primarily a locals park and he felt that the poor weather outlook on the second day kept many away. The park is quite expensive for many local day trippers.

Edited by larrygator
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Some of our Chinese friends we've met up with the last couple days keep apologizing for the behavior we've witnessed a few times. As with Americans, they're not all poorly behaved but some things are just crazy. Like the Disney security yelling in Mandarin to hurry up when they opened a new security line resulting in people pushing and screaming and falling! One of our Chinese friends couldn't believe they kept telling people to hurry as it's so unsafe and they could have told people to calmly fill in the new line instead. I'll also never understand the peeing in public thing when there are nice restrooms everywhere.

 

I'm sure there are several cultures that feel we're super rude compared to them! (Looking at you Japan and Switzerland!)

 

Oh well, we still had a great time and will certainly be back again!

 

One last thought on China and cultural differences. In 1980, before Shanghai Disneyland was even a glimmer in Mickey's eye, my mother traveled in one of the first groups of Americans to visit China. It was a thrilling adventure, but probably SO different from the experience travelers have today! The group had to do EVERYTHING as part of a tour - from dining to shopping. They were only allowed to buy gifts from tourist shops (I think called 'Friendship Stores'), and all eating was done banquet style in hotels - none of that "Oh, I think I'll try that quaint little eatery on the corner!" (Of course, Chinese food was nothing like American Chinese food, so at least THAT was a little adventurous.)

My mother said her favorite part of the trip was waiting around for the tour buses in the small villages and trying to "chat" with the local Chinese residents who'd never seen Americans before. They were fascinated and really tried to communicate.

One funny anecdote: Before she left NY, my mom called the Chinese Embassy and asked if there were any particular items that Americans could bring in and share with the Chinese people they met. She was told that FOUNTAIN PENS were a "unique item,' and so my mother went to China with bunches of fountain pens! Sure enough, she made many new acquaintances by asking those she met if they'd like a pen!

I can't even IMAGINE how much things have changed since her visit!!

 

Alice

 

 

Chinese food is totally different from the US. I agree. So many Chinese international students cook themselves in the US.

If you come to China now, you can find a lot of western food especially in Shanghai. You can find burgers, bagels, salads almost every center places in Shanghai.

 

The days right after my trip to mid-west parks, Cheesecake factory was such a good place to re-experienced American style food and recall my memories there.

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Robb, thank you for sharing! I've loved seeing this park experience especially all the amazing Tron pics. Definitely want the poster too! So I think I'm not in love with the castle here though. I'm probably in the minority, but something about the exterior appearance just seems too overbuilt and less magical than all the others for me...less is more? Otherwise from what I've seen here, the park is stunning from what you've shared! Have a great time on the rest of the trip!

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All right I'm going to try the princess flag challenge

The apple one is snow white

The slipper one is Cinderella

The sun one is princess aurora(sleeping beauty)

The bow one is merditha(brave)

The snowflake one is elsa(frozen)

The lamp one is jasmine(Aladdin)

The dragon one is mulan

The lotus flower is Tatiana(princess&the frog)

The sea shell one is Ariel (little mermaid)

The leaves one is Belle (beauty& the beast)

Sorry if I miss spelled any cause I'm doing it from memory.

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All right I'm going to try the princess flag challenge

The apple one is snow white

The slipper one is Cinderella

The sun one is princess aurora(sleeping beauty)

The bow one is merditha(brave)

The snowflake one is elsa(frozen)

The lamp one is jasmine(Aladdin)

The dragon one is mulan

The lotus flower is Tatiana(princess&the frog)

The sea shell one is Ariel (little mermaid)

The leaves one is Belle (beauty& the beast)

Sorry if I miss spelled any cause I'm doing it from memory.

Hate to be "that guy" but the sun is from the movie Tangled. And the reason I remember this is because of these lovely restrooms at WDW

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