Questions about ABD China

DVC Doc

Disney world traveller
Joined
Feb 26, 2011
Can anyone help me understand what the visa situation is if we want to spend some more time in Shanghai?
I’ve read something about a 72-hour thing, so how long are you already there with ABD?
(We’re UK citizens if this makes a difference)
The 72 hour visa is a transit visa that you can get if you will be spending less than 72 hours in mainland China. Some people use this in doing a park hopping trips i.e. Hong Kong - Shanghai - Tokyo as you can stay in Shanghai up to 72 hours without a tourist visa, as long as your have proof you are leaving the country within that period of time.

If you are doing the ABD China trip, you are going to need a tourist visa as the trip spends much more than 72 hours in mainland China. (Mainland china is everything but Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan). Tourist visa lengths vary at the whim of the Chinese embassy and can be anywhere from 3 months to 10 years (at least for US citizens, not sure about UK). This is why most people don't recommend applying for your visa until at most 3 months before your trip in case you get the shortest version.

So basically to answer your questions, your tourist visa should cover the additional days you want to spend in Shanghai. We are doing this after our ABD in May/June.
 

meryll83

All it takes is faith and trust...
Joined
Nov 23, 2006
Ah okay, didn’t realise a visa was needed for mainland China as a whole, not just Shanghai - thanks for confirming!
 

FIREMICKEY55

FIREMICKEY
Joined
Jul 26, 2012
We have been on 4 AVB and loved them all. The interesting thing is that we are not foodies so we always had a problem with all of the different foods. I know most people enjoy all of the cultural foods but we are just plain janes. Then on our 2nd one the guide suggested ordering off the “kids menu” and it was perfect, actually people started eyeing our food and were like I want that (especially when we were at the Steiff Bear factory and we had “Bear Nuggets” and they were all like I want bear nuggets.

Okay sorry for going sideways but China and Japan are on our Bucket list but the concern is the food. Do they have a simpler food option than the local fare. If we are going to spend 3 weeks in that part of the world (gonna try and do both Japan and China and hit all the parks) we want to know if we need to pack a bunch of peanut butter and crackers or is there options to survive with ABD.

Thanks in advance for any input.
 
  • sayhello

    Have Camera, Will Travel
    Joined
    Oct 28, 2006
    We have been on 4 AVB and loved them all. The interesting thing is that we are not foodies so we always had a problem with all of the different foods. I know most people enjoy all of the cultural foods but we are just plain janes. Then on our 2nd one the guide suggested ordering off the “kids menu” and it was perfect, actually people started eyeing our food and were like I want that (especially when we were at the Steiff Bear factory and we had “Bear Nuggets” and they were all like I want bear nuggets.

    Okay sorry for going sideways but China and Japan are on our Bucket list but the concern is the food. Do they have a simpler food option than the local fare. If we are going to spend 3 weeks in that part of the world (gonna try and do both Japan and China and hit all the parks) we want to know if we need to pack a bunch of peanut butter and crackers or is there options to survive with ABD.

    Thanks in advance for any input.
    Nobody knows about the options on the Japan trip, because it's still new and no-one has gone on that trip yet. For China, there wasn't really much of a kid's menu. We had 2 kids, 9 and 8 on our trip, and they ate a lot of rice. I'm sure you could manage, but I don't remember seeing a separate kid's menu most meals. They had a LOT of food, though, so the odds are in your favor.

    Sayhello
     

    FIREMICKEY55

    FIREMICKEY
    Joined
    Jul 26, 2012
    Sayhello Thanks for that info. The rice thing might be good we can lose a few pounds like they do on survivor :). On our Germany ABD they referred to McDonalds as the American Embassy. One of our guides on that did a few China ones back to back and she had her mom send her bread and peanut butter. If they have lots of food we can probably find something to throw on the rice. I am going to China trip report.
     

    AquaDame

    Disney Cruise Line
    Moderator
    Joined
    Jul 7, 2010
    We have been on 4 AVB and loved them all. The interesting thing is that we are not foodies so we always had a problem with all of the different foods. I know most people enjoy all of the cultural foods but we are just plain janes. Then on our 2nd one the guide suggested ordering off the “kids menu” and it was perfect, actually people started eyeing our food and were like I want that (especially when we were at the Steiff Bear factory and we had “Bear Nuggets” and they were all like I want bear nuggets.

    Okay sorry for going sideways but China and Japan are on our Bucket list but the concern is the food. Do they have a simpler food option than the local fare. If we are going to spend 3 weeks in that part of the world (gonna try and do both Japan and China and hit all the parks) we want to know if we need to pack a bunch of peanut butter and crackers or is there options to survive with ABD.

    Thanks in advance for any input.
    In Japan as @sayhello said no one knows for sure about the ABD group meals but in general you will be able to find sandwiches in the convenience stores and they are really into French style pastries so you can find nice breads, croissants and desserts on every corner and at every train station. If all else fails yes, there are Starbucks and Tullys all over as well with perfectly normal american style pastries and parfaits and such. They are fans of snack foods like chips too so I wouldn't personally bother packing them. If you like rice and noodles you should be golden; rice is such a large part of meals that I've heard constipation meds are very popular. :laughing: McDonalds and KFC are everywhere and they have tonkastsu in many restaurants which is just breaded and fried meat cutlets - usually pork or chicken. My main problem when I visit is how fatty their meat is... they do not hold back to lean cuts of meat like we do here... its delicious, but can feel like a lot when you aren't used to it.
     

    disneyphx

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jan 4, 2010
    We did the China trip when DD was 5, and I took a stash of goldfish and granola bars 'just in case.' Other folks on the trip took granola bars, peanut butter and crackers. The breakfast buffets at the hotels had lots of western options, as did some other meals. I think the kids meals always offered western meals.
    We are doing the Japan trip - my concern is non-seafood options being available. I think DD will live on ramen, udon and yakitori.....
    I found the SE Asia trip most challenging for food, as there are few if any western chains there - I couldnt even find regular chips at 7-11 type places.
     
  • OhanaCuz

    I can finally say that I've been on an ABD.
    Joined
    Jan 22, 2014
    In Japan as @sayhello said no one knows for sure about the ABD group meals but in general you will be able to find sandwiches in the convenience stores and they are really into French style pastries so you can find nice breads, croissants and desserts on every corner and at every train station. If all else fails yes, there are Starbucks and Tullys all over as well with perfectly normal american style pastries and parfaits and such. They are fans of snack foods like chips too so I wouldn't personally bother packing them. If you like rice and noodles you should be golden; rice is such a large part of meals that I've heard constipation meds are very popular. :laughing: McDonalds and KFC are everywhere and they have tonkastsu in many restaurants which is just breaded and fried meat cutlets - usually pork or chicken. My main problem when I visit is how fatty their meat is... they do not hold back to lean cuts of meat like we do here... its delicious, but can feel like a lot when you aren't used to it.
    Yeah Starbucks was e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e. I couldn't believe how many I saw. I also got some spaghetti (?!?!) in a 7-11 that I was able to microwave there.
     

    Sakura1017

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Apr 26, 2019
    For anyone who has taken this trip during September and October, the dates that you get to go and explore the theme parks, was it on a Halloween party? If so, did you have to pay an additional amount for the special theme ticket? I reading that agreement and it says that tickets are not valid for special events and are separately priced. Will Disney contact you in advance to pay that upcharge? (Wish they didn't include that disclaimer since how are guests supposed to know the dates they were traveling would fall on a Halloween party night).

    Furthermore, is the special shanghai dinner at the theme park still Club 33? This is one of the experiences I really want to experience otherwise I will never be able to get into club 33.
     
    Last edited:

    abdgeek

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 29, 2012
    ABD's China itinerary is spectacular! ....Feel free to ask me any questions you may have about this trip!

    Sayhello
    Thanks for agreeing to answer questions about the China ABD. I’ve learned a lot from the feedback everyone has provided about the trip. I go the end of June and I’m still trying to sort out some things.

    1) Right now I’m having packing angst about my upcoming ABD China trip. I know you are allowed a personal item, carryon, and checked bag. I normally travel with a backpack as my personal item ( purse, briefcase, etc). Was this allowed on the internal flights in China and did people (males and females) on your trip do this?

    2) I am arriving early to sightsee before the tour begins and planned to go to HK Disneyland on one of those days based on recommendations from previous threads. Now I’m getting feedback from people saying not to waste the extra day in the park and to just go when the ABD does. I know I shouldn’t listen to them, but wanted to see if you and others who spent extra time in the park felt that you would have had enough time to see what you wanted if you hadn’t done the extra day. I’ve looked at the rides and there don’t seem to be too many that are different from WDW.
     

    OhanaCuz

    I can finally say that I've been on an ABD.
    Joined
    Jan 22, 2014
    2) I am arriving early to sightsee before the tour begins and planned to go to HK Disneyland on one of those days based on recommendations from previous threads. Now I’m getting feedback from people saying not to waste the extra day in the park and to just go when the ABD does. I know I shouldn’t listen to them, but wanted to see if you and others who spent extra time in the park felt that you would have had enough time to see what you wanted if you hadn’t done the extra day. I’ve looked at the rides and there don’t seem to be too many that are different from WDW.
    I haven't been to HKDL but I'm a huge Disney Parks geek. I would say DO IT. Ride Mystic Manor multiple times, go shopping for souvenirs that are unique, take a million photos, etc.
     
  • sayhello

    Have Camera, Will Travel
    Joined
    Oct 28, 2006
    Thanks for agreeing to answer questions about the China ABD. I’ve learned a lot from the feedback everyone has provided about the trip. I go the end of June and I’m still trying to sort out some things.

    1) Right now I’m having packing angst about my upcoming ABD China trip. I know you are allowed a personal item, carryon, and checked bag. I normally travel with a backpack as my personal item ( purse, briefcase, etc). Was this allowed on the internal flights in China and did people (males and females) on your trip do this?
    I don't see any problem with this unless it is a MASSIVE back pack. I traveled with a rolling carryon and a large Vera Bradley bag as my personal item, and had no issues. I looked through my photos of this trip & saw pics of multiple people carrying backpacks onto the planes. I wouldn't worry about this. :)

    2) I am arriving early to sightsee before the tour begins and planned to go to HK Disneyland on one of those days based on recommendations from previous threads. Now I’m getting feedback from people saying not to waste the extra day in the park and to just go when the ABD does. I know I shouldn’t listen to them, but wanted to see if you and others who spent extra time in the park felt that you would have had enough time to see what you wanted if you hadn’t done the extra day. I’ve looked at the rides and there don’t seem to be too many that are different from WDW.
    Personally, I felt we saw plenty of Hong Kong, so I'm not sure what others are urging you to do instead of going to HKDL. If you love the parks, I say go. HKDL is very small, and it was very not busy when we were there, but I think having the extra pre-day there made me less anxious about seeing & doing everything I wanted on the ABD half-day. It was hot as hell there, so it was nice to feel like it was OK to sit through Philharmagic 3 times because it was blessedly air conditioned. And I was able to do Phantom Manor multiple times. I say don't listen to what others think you should do, and do what will make you happy! Extra time in a Disney Park is never a bad thing in my mind.

    Sayhello
     

    DVC Doc

    Disney world traveller
    Joined
    Feb 26, 2011
    Thanks for agreeing to answer questions about the China ABD. I’ve learned a lot from the feedback everyone has provided about the trip. I go the end of June and I’m still trying to sort out some things.

    1) Right now I’m having packing angst about my upcoming ABD China trip. I know you are allowed a personal item, carryon, and checked bag. I normally travel with a backpack as my personal item ( purse, briefcase, etc). Was this allowed on the internal flights in China and did people (males and females) on your trip do this?

    2) I am arriving early to sightsee before the tour begins and planned to go to HK Disneyland on one of those days based on recommendations from previous threads. Now I’m getting feedback from people saying not to waste the extra day in the park and to just go when the ABD does. I know I shouldn’t listen to them, but wanted to see if you and others who spent extra time in the park felt that you would have had enough time to see what you wanted if you hadn’t done the extra day. I’ve looked at the rides and there don’t seem to be too many that are different from WDW.
    I am just back from the first ABD China of this season so can throw in my 2 cents. Yes, you can certainly bring a carryon and a backpack on the internal flights with you. Most people did not have a roller board size bag, just a small bag. On 3 nights, we had to have our checked luggage out by 10pm before morning flights so having an adequate size carryon is essential.

    Most people on our trip felt they would have liked more time at HKD. We did two pre-nights at HKDH and it was perfect. The first night we spent relaxing and getting over jet lag, then spent an entire day at HKD. The next day we took the gondolas to see Big Buddha before transferring to the Peninsula to start the ABD. If I had to do it all over again I would do it the exact same way.
     

    Cousin Orville

    Inventor of Air Cooling
    Joined
    Aug 27, 2000
    I am just back from the first ABD China of this season so can throw in my 2 cents. Yes, you can certainly bring a carryon and a backpack on the internal flights with you. Most people did not have a roller board size bag, just a small bag. On 3 nights, we had to have our checked luggage out by 10pm before morning flights so having an adequate size carryon is essential.

    Most people on our trip felt they would have liked more time at HKD. We did two pre-nights at HKDH and it was perfect. The first night we spent relaxing and getting over jet lag, then spent an entire day at HKD. The next day we took the gondolas to see Big Buddha before transferring to the Peninsula to start the ABD. If I had to do it all over again I would do it the exact same way.
    This a great option. If you’re a Disney Parks enthusiast, you’ll need more time there. Other suggestions to add would be to do the Big Buddha early getting there a little before it opens and doing the crystal cab to get through the line much faster. If you have the time I’d also recommend a food tour. That was one of our highlights and really shows you a lot of HK different from ABD.
     
    Last edited:

    abdgeek

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 29, 2012
    I don't see any problem with this unless it is a MASSIVE back pack. I traveled with a rolling carryon and a large Vera Bradley bag as my personal item, and had no issues. I looked through my photos of this trip & saw pics of multiple people carrying backpacks onto the planes. I wouldn't worry about this. :)

    Personally, I felt we saw plenty of Hong Kong, so I'm not sure what others are urging you to do instead of going to HKDL. If you love the parks, I say go. HKDL is very small, and it was very not busy when we were there, but I think having the extra pre-day there made me less anxious about seeing & doing everything I wanted on the ABD half-day. It was hot as hell there, so it was nice to feel like it was OK to sit through Philharmagic 3 times because it was blessedly air conditioned. And I was able to do Phantom Manor multiple times. I say don't listen to what others think you should do, and do what will make you happy! Extra time in a Disney Park is never a bad thing in my mind.

    Sayhello
    I am just back from the first ABD China of this season so can throw in my 2 cents. Yes, you can certainly bring a carryon and a backpack on the internal flights with you. Most people did not have a roller board size bag, just a small bag. On 3 nights, we had to have our checked luggage out by 10pm before morning flights so having an adequate size carryon is essential.

    Most people on our trip felt they would have liked more time at HKD. We did two pre-nights at HKDH and it was perfect. The first night we spent relaxing and getting over jet lag, then spent an entire day at HKD. The next day we took the gondolas to see Big Buddha before transferring to the Peninsula to start the ABD. If I had to do it all over again I would do it the exact same way.
    This a great option. If you’re a Disney Parks enthusiast, you’ll need more time there. Other suggestions to add would be to do the Big Buddha early getting there a little before it opens and doing the crystal cab to get through the line much faster. If you have the time I’d also recommend a food tour. That was one of our highlights and really shows you a lot of HK different from ABD.
    Thanks Sayhello and DVC Doc for sharing that other people have carried backpacks as their personal item. That puts my mind at ease. Now I just have to figure out how to keep my wheeled carryon to 11 lbs.

    Thanks DVC Doc for the feedback from other guests and Sayhello, OhanaCuz, and Cousin Orville for reminding me to do what makes me happy. That is definitely spending a day in HKDL before the ABD starts. Thanks Cousin Orville for all your suggestions from your trip report. Because of them, I am doing two tours with Hello Hong Kong (Big Buddha & Food Tour). I'm also doing Macau but haven't decided whether to take a tour or do it myself. I know it's easy to do myself, but I'm not sure I want to deal with the logistics of doing so.
     

    OhanaCuz

    I can finally say that I've been on an ABD.
    Joined
    Jan 22, 2014
    Thanks DVC Doc for the feedback from other guests and Sayhello, OhanaCuz, and Cousin Orville for reminding me to do what makes me happy. That is definitely spending a day in HKDL before the ABD starts.
    Have the best time ever. I'm super jealous. HKDL and Mystic Manor is on my bucket list.
     

    meryll83

    All it takes is faith and trust...
    Joined
    Nov 23, 2006
    So due to various changes of plans, we're now leaning towards April/May 2021 to do the ABD China trip.

    Any thoughts on whether one month is any better than the other? (particularly for weather, avoiding crowds, but also trying to avoid any key rides being on downtime/refurb).

    And have the prices gone up? I seem to remember thinking it was $7-8k, now it looks like $9-10k?!

    TIA!
     

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