Just returned from Shanghai: observations about SDL

Discussion in 'Other Lands' started by Absimilliard, Oct 24, 2017.

  1. Absimilliard

    Absimilliard Mouseketeer

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    I returned last night from Shanghai and I went one day to Shanghai Disneyland with my sister. We had a good time at the park thanks to light crowds.

    Since the bulk of our trip would be in Shanghai itself, we did not stay near Disney and instead used the subway to get to the park. Quite long (70 minutes from our hotel near Shanghai Railroad Station) to get there, but thankfully, the dreaded security line only took 15 minutes. We got in the park at 09:20am and I immediately scanned our tickets in the park app while walking toward Adventure Isle. While in line for Soaring Over The Horizons, I reserved Peter Pan's Flight for immediately after. The app was perfect and the longest line we did was 30 minutes for Soaring.

    The waiting line for Soaring is beautiful... but the new movie is terrible. Bent "straight" buildings, lack of effects and I though even 30 minutes for that was pushing it.

    Peter Pan's Flight was a nice upgrade and I could say the same about Buzz Lightyear. Winnie the Pooh was the same boring dark ride and I though the replacement scene at the end of Seven Dwarves Mine Train was nicer than the one at WDW. Lot more depth and it made the attraction feel a lot bigger and of a grander scale.

    Voyage to the Crystal Grotto started off real nice with the outdoor water scenes and I liked the whole Jungle Cruise vibe. The ending under the castle? CHEAP! Did they run out of money or what? A screen and a few lights as your grand finale? They should have skipped that and just had us return to the station.

    We wasted 30 minutes watching the very amateurish Jack Sparrow Stunt Show. When Six Flags with a tiny set, one small fire effect and five stuntmen can show up your huge production, there is a huge problem. Way too much talking and the "action" was quite embarassing. Only the finale really was worthy of anything, but it was too late at this point.

    We had lunch based on the whole internet recommendation at Barbossa's Bounty. Great atmosphere for sure, but the food was terrible and the whole thing too expensive for what we got. Is this a case where because the restaurant serve western food, it gets a whole pass?

    Adventure Isle was the best looking land in the park and also the only one that felt "complete". I loved the rope courses in Adventure Camp, but took a pass at Roaring Rapids. We did not feel like getting soaking wet in the morning and in the evening, it was too chilly. The rope courses felt quite special as the courses had very aggressive obstacles and that was a "never in the US parks!" moment.

    Tomorrowland split levels design was quite interesting and was a lot nicer than I was expecting. Jet Packs has a nice location closer to the hub and it added a ton of kinetic movements. Tron is truly the king of its land and I loved its placement. It was very impressive and the ride a great Space Mountain replacement in my view. I do have one small concern about it: no way the ride can operate with the same restraints in the US. At 6'3, 280 lbs, the leg bars were kinda tight and I can't imagine anyone bigger fitting on the ride. Plus, with the TAV (regular seat car) on two trains out of seven, they will have an interesting choice. Have all trains with the TAV or only two?

    We had dinner in the castle at the Royal Banquet Hall and it was amazing. Best meal at a Disney park ever for me. The food was amazing and great character interactions. Plus, we litterally walked in.

    Merchandise was a bright point for me. I love everything related park wise and in between the Pirates, Tron and Roaring Rapids shops, I found a ton of interesting items. They still have snowglobes too!

    To finish, my top 3 goes like this:

    1- Tron Lightcycles Power Run

    2- Pirates of the Caribbean Battle for the Sunken Treasure

    3- Buzz Lightyear Planet Rescue
     
  2. Agent 86

    Agent 86 DIS Veteran

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    Your thoughts echo a lot of my own, especially when it comes to Soaring and all of the "crooked" buildings, mountains and other landmarks, the Jack Sparrow stunt show and Barbossa's Bounty.

    We did have reservations at Royal Banquet Hall, but cancelled because the food elsewhere in the park had been disappointing (except for Tangled Tree Tavern) and we were worried about paying a premium for yet another disappointing meal. It sounds like we should have kept our reservation. Oh well, something to do next time!
     
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  4. TLPL

    TLPL DIS Veteran

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    Can you tell us more about the FP booking on app part? How do you get wifi working in park and do you need a Chinese phone number for verification?
    Also, do you need to have cash or can you use US Visa cards in the resort or in Shanghai in general?Thanks.
     
  5. Absimilliard

    Absimilliard Mouseketeer

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    To access the WiFi, you need to log on to the WiFi network and then on the login page, you need to select "international" and enter your phone number starting with the country code. For Canada/USA, it is 1, so it would 1 then your area code and phone number. You will then receive a password and after you enter it on the login page, you're fine for the day even if you get disconnected. I met a frenchman in the Soaring Above The Horizons waiting line and he was unable to connect using his french number though. Me and my sister were fine with Canadian numbers.

    The app is very easy to use: download it before going on the trip and create an account. Once you receive your park tickets at the turnstiles, you scan them in the app and create a party like on the MyMagic + page for WDW. Then, in the app, you can select Fast Passes or buy Premier Access rides or the full set. Once its time to go to the ride, your fast pass notice will change to a code that you will scan at the "Mickey Heads" at the Fast Pass entrance. The scanners there are a lot better than in Florida. You pull out the app (or your park ticket if you used the Guest Services Kiosks) and then deposit your phone in the slot under the Mickey Head. It will scan, the cast member will look at your picture on his or her Ipad and then click yes. The Mickey head will then flash green and you are free to go. You then pull out your phone, swipe to the next person and repeat the process. Don't put your phone away too fast as it will be checked again at the merge point.

    For the cash question, bring a lot of cash as credit cards are only constantly accepted at Disney and hotels. Fast food restaurants did not take Visa or Mastercard and even McDonald's only accepted WeChat payment and another local form at the self service kiosks. The reason for that is that in general, China has gone beyond Credit Card and smart phones applications like WeChat have replaced them for cashless payment. What is WeChat? It is the government created messaging application that replace Whatsapp and Facebook Messenger in the country. My friend in Guangzhou used it to chat with me, pay for her food and park entrance and even called us a Uber style taxi with it.

    Do you want to do shopping in Shanghai? Head over to the Science and Technology Museum subway station on Line 2 and exit the platform once you see a FamilyMart convenience store. You are at the so called "Fake Market" of Shanghai and you can truly find everything there. I bought an awesome leather laptop bag, belts and t-shirts there at great prices. I even got new prescription glasses done at a glasses store and they were perfect. Few words of advice: 1- only a few sellers take credit cards, so you will need some Yuans or american dollars. 2- no prices are listed, so be nice, smile and start haggling. My sister did the negociations and usually got the item 3x less than the original price. 3- if you got great service and a good price from someone, go see them if you need something else. For my leather bag, my sister had bought two days before a suitcase from a lady. We found her shop and I got my bag for really cheap.
     
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  6. TLPL

    TLPL DIS Veteran

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    So you can get international roaming for your in shanghai? Do you need data roaming or just talk minute roaming to get those texts? I am from Canada also. Thanks.
     
  7. Absimilliard

    Absimilliard Mouseketeer

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    Most phones work this way: if you turn off data and put your phone on or get off airplane mode when you land, you will connect to a chinese operator. If you don't answer calls, don't call out, you won't get charged. You will pay 1.5-2$ on average per text message though, received or sent. So one suggestion could be to keep your plane in airplane mode until you get to Disney. Leave the data off and once you connect, you can receive the text message with the password for Wifi. Then, you can put it back in Airplane mode. That's what my sister did and it worked out fine.

    When using the Wifi at your hotel or at Disney, you will not be able to access many websites. China has the "great Firewall" and it blocks access to Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp, Google and others. Two ways around it: connect using data to internet through your phone package from Canada (not a bad deal for 10$ per day on some phone plans) or download a VPN and get a subscription. What is a VPN? Its a workaround connection to internet where your connection gets out of China, goes through another country and from there, you can access any site.
     
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  8. TLPL

    TLPL DIS Veteran

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    I will remember that. I usually leave the phone on airplane mode the whole time, worry about the roaming charge. But a few bucks for getting text isn't too bad. Thanks gor the advice.
     
  9. Ms. Shuttergirl

    Ms. Shuttergirl DIS Veteran

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    Absimilliard - can I ask about Tron please. I've ridden Space Mountain at WDW and I'm wondering how Tron compares on the "scary" factor. I'm a bit of a nervous rider and Space Mountain freaked me a bit but I survived. My son will want to ride Tron and so I'm trying to gauge if I can cope riding it too hahaha.
     
  10. TLPL

    TLPL DIS Veteran

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    Seems like their most popular rides are Soarin and the Rapids ride. Since we have experienced the Soarin in WDW and not really want to get wet since we will be visiting in winter, where do you recommend we should head first at rope drop? Should we get Fastpass for Soarin or Mine Train (on their app while heading for first ride )?
     
  11. Absimilliard

    Absimilliard Mouseketeer

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    For a first time rider who is not really sure about roller coasters, I would suggest asking for the TAV seat. The regular riding position make the ride about as intense as Expedition Everest. If you were fine there, ride a second time and go on the Lightcycle.

    TLPL, do what we did: arrive in advance and as soon as you get your tickets, get on the park Wifi and scan them on the app. Riding Soaring early enough will get you on in 30-45 minutes and while waiting at Soaring, reserve Seven Dwarves Mine Train.
     
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  12. Ms. Shuttergirl

    Ms. Shuttergirl DIS Veteran

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    That's a good idea - that is probably the best way to try it out. Yikes wish me luck hahaha
     
  13. Nomarian

    Nomarian Mouseketeer

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    Nevermind. I just had to reverse the words. LOL.

    Do you mind telling me the name of the app? I don't find anything when I search for Disneyland shanghai. Thanks!
     
  14. cschaaf

    cschaaf Mouseketeer

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    You were being too specific - search for Shanghai Disney

    The app is called Shanghai Disney Resort
     
  15. kidd_freeper

    kidd_freeper DIS Veteran

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    I was at SDL in both the spring and summer of 2016.
    I experienced heavy crowds both times.

    I agree with most of your experiences. Except I didn't think much of the Soaring standby line and I thought the entire Crystal Grotto ride was a waste of time, not just the end (it might be better at night).
    I didn't see the Jack Sparrow show. But the Tarzan show was quite good, with lots of action.
    Also, the Pirates ride was jaw dropping amazing.
    I agree with your food observations. I found that the food in Disneytown next door to be far better.
     
  16. TLPL

    TLPL DIS Veteran

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    If we only have time for one day visit, what would you suggest we should do first and what are less of a priority? Does it take long to go out to Disneytown for meal and back? Worth going out if we have limited time?
     
  17. Agent 86

    Agent 86 DIS Veteran

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    Disneytown is right next to Shanghai Disneyland. Probably just a few minutes walk away.

    BUT, the restaurants in Disneytown can be very busy at peak times, with potentially long waits to get inside / be seated. So, the time taken to leave the park, line-up for food, eat, re-enter the park could take quite the chunk out of your available time in the park.

    Tangled Tree Tavern was my favourite restaurant within the park. Maybe read some reviews of the various restaurants. If you only have limited time, I would either eat in the park or eat outside of peak times (e.g. mid-morning and mid-afternoon) in Disneytown.
     
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  18. cschaaf

    cschaaf Mouseketeer

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    What things do you want to do? Prioritize those first. We prioritized Pirates, Tron, and the Challenge Trails. We did not prioritize Soaring, 7DMT, or Pooh because they have Orlando equivalents. We bought the Fast Pass pack, so we were able to do almost everything.

    We saw, and liked, the Tarzan show but did not make it to the Jack Sparrow show. Most of the park closed early due to a bad late-afternoon storm otherwise we would have been able to do that.

    For Disneytown - very easy to get in and out of, especially if you are on that side of the park. If you want to eat there, plan your day so that you are near that corner of the park around lunch. You wouldn't want to walk from the opposite corner to get there.

    We were there on a sold out day in July and went to lunch right around 12:15 - 12:30 (weather was still good at this point) and Disneytown was virtually empty. We could have walked into any restaurant we wanted. We thought some of them must have been dinner only because there was no one inside - but they were open for lunch.

    We went to one place that was among the most 'crowded' and there were empty tables all around us.

    I'm not suggesting your experience will be the same at all, just offering up how it was for us.
     
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  19. TLPL

    TLPL DIS Veteran

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    I am planning to visit in March, any suggestions if it is better to go on a Monday or on a Tuesday?
     

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