Shanghai Disneyland has been on my radar for years, so when we moved to Tianjin, China last year, I had to get to the first Disneyland in China ASAP!
I am also super excited to announce that we will be going back too! This summer!
This day at Disneyland was actually part of a school trip. My colleagues and I took our year 5’s to Shanghai for a week and Disneyland was part of the trip, so I thought I would share my first impressions of Shanghai Disneyland.
Know before you go:
Shanghai Disneyland is China’s only Disney Theme Park and is immensely popular with the locals. Here are a few things you need to know before visiting Disneyland Shanghai:
- Opening times: 9am – 8pm
- Getting to Shanghai Disneyland: The park is around an hour away from the center of Shanghai (The Bund). It is also close to PVG airport and you can get a bus direct from the airport to the park if you are in Shanghai just for Shanghai Disneyland.
You can catch a taxi (or Didi if you have the app) from the city center but make sure you have your hotel address in Mandarin to help you get back to the hotel after your day at the park. Another option is the Metro, you can catch line 11 to Disney Resort and then follow the directions to the park.
- Food: Sealed food and drink is permitted into the park and if you are a picky eater, bring your own food is advised. There are very few western options in Disneyland, particularly breakfast options.
- App: Download the Shanghai Disney Resort app, you can purchase your ticket directly from the app, plan your day using the map (which also includes ride wait times) and book fast passes.
- Cash: Everyone in China pays for things on either WeChat pay or Alipay. Make sure you have cash to buy food and drink from vendors, the merchandise stores accept cash, card and Alipay.
- ID: Keep your ID with you at all times. You may not need it but occasionally you can be asked to show your ID on entry to the park.
- Language: Be prepared that very little will be spoken in English. Characters, shows, ride instructions; most things will be given in Mandarin and not in English. However, menus and signs have English translations to help you navigate the park.
Buying tickets for Disneyland Shanghai
There are four ways you can book Shanghai Disneyland tickets:
- MyDisney account on the Shanghai Disneyland website or app. You will need your passport number and remember to bring your passport and confirmation number to the ticket office, in order to collect your paper tickets.
- Alternatively, you can book your Disney tickets on cTrip – a popular choice for those looking to pay on an American or English card. You can also browse the nearby Disney hotels if you are looking to stay at Disneyland Shanghai.
- You can also buy discounted tickets from Klook, a place to buy discounted attraction tickets for Asia.
- Alternatively, if you are booking your China trip with a travel agent, they can arrange tickets for you, however this can work out more expensive that purchasing directly.
Sections of the Disneyland Shanghai park:
- Main Street – A street of shops such as Chip & Dale’s Treehouse Treats, Remy’s Patisserie, and Avenue M Arcade; a shop full of merchandise and souvenirs.
- Tomorrowland – Rides like Jet Packs, Buzz Lightyear and Tron are all in Tomorrowland as is the StarGazer grill and a selection of merchandise stalls.
- Toy Story Land – This is a brand new section to Disneyland Shanghai and includes the Rex’s Racer, Slinky Dog Spin and Woody’s Roundup ride and the popular Toy Box Cafe.
- Gardens of Imagination – This is a relatively small area in front of the Enchanted Castle and includes a Dumbo elephant ride, a Fantasia Carousel and a pretty garden complete with lake.
- Fantasyland – This area often seems fairly quiet in Shanghai Disney. It is home to more family-friendly rides such as the Hunny Pot Spin, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, and the Frozen Sing-a-long. The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Alice in Wonderland’s Maze, Peter Pan’s Flight and Voyage to the Crystal Grotto are also within Fantasyland.
- Treasure Cove – This Pirates themed area is of course home to the impressive Pirates of the Caribbean Ride as well as the Jack Sparrow Stunt Show – performed in Mandarin but still great fun regardless of what they are saying!
- Adventure Isle – Home to Shanghai Disneyland’s two most popular rides: Soaring Over the Horizon and Roaring Rapids. You can also see the Tarzan show in this land too.
The rides at Shanghai Disneyland
Creative tip: Here is a great post that ranks Shanghai Disney rides.
- Roaring Rapids
- Rex’s Racer
- Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
- Pirates of the Caribbean
- Roaring Rapids
- Explorer Canoes
- Voyage of the Crystal Grotto
- Slinky Dog Spin
- Woody’s Roundup
- Hunny Pot Spin
- Fantasia Carousel
- Dumbo the Flying Elephant
- Jet Packs
Food & Drink
There is a variety fo restaurants around the park that will suit all needs. If you browse the Shanghai Disney Resort app, you can choose to just see the restaurants and snack stalls, helping you choose what food to choose from.
Here is a quick run down of the different options available:
Character Dining/Fairly expensive
- Royal Banquet Hall: 301 – 500 RMB, international cuisine and table service. Fantasyland.
- Lumiere’s Kitchen: 500 RMB, international buffet, within the Shanghai Disneyland Hotel.
Quick Service (seating available)
- Barbossa’s Bounty
- Mickey & Pal’s Market Cafe
- Pinocchio Village Kitchen (vast variety of food, including Mickey-shaped pizza!)
- Stargazer Grill
- Tangled Tree Tavern
- Toy Box Cafe
- Tribal Table
- Wandering Moon Restaurant
Character Dining (300rmb +)
- Lemiere’s Kitchen: Based in Shanghai Disneyland hotel, this is a buffet restaurant with characters such as Mickey and Goofy joining diners. This was an amazing restaurant that I loved!
- Royal Banquet Hall: Within Fantasyland, this is a table service restaurant but reserve a table in advanced.
What is your favourite Disney Park? Let us know your Disney Shanghai questions in the comments below!
- We LOVE this camera for our travel photography.
- For a cheap, easy and compact camera, we use this to vlog and take photographs.
- We use this travel drone (but make sure to check drone laws in your chosen destination first).
- This is our favourite travel insurance because it covers so many activities and travel situations that could arise on longer trips but also offer year coverage.
What to pack
- No matter where we travel to, I always take these trusty hand sanitizers and a mini first aid kit.
- We love these toiletry bags (especially great for smaller bathrooms) and choose a laptop bag like this as our hand luggage.
- We keep our devices charged on long travel days with these lightweight battery packs and bring these worldwide travel adaptors on all our trips.
- I still struggle not to overpack so stick to using an expandable suitcase like these and always take my trusty luggage scales to avoid being charged at the airport.