Disney continues to cast a magical spell across Asia with the latest addition to its world-famous parks and resorts in Shanghai.
Opened in 2016, Shanghai Disneyland delights visitors with subtle yet authentic Chinese touches infused into its seven themed areas, namely Fantasy Land, Tomorrowland, Mickey Avenue, Gardens of Imagination, Treasure Cove, Adventure Isle, and Toy Story Land. Right at the heart of all the action stands Disney’s biggest Enchanted Storybook Castle yet.
Visiting Shanghai Disneyland anytime soon? Here are some tips to make the most out of your visit:
Buy your tickets in advance
Not to cause you to panic or anything, but you should know that park tickets being sold at the counter of Shanghai Disneyland get sold out at times. So, for your peace of mind buy your tickets in advance. It will save you so much time and money, too!
Avoid weekends and public holidays
Any Disneyland on the globe will be packed on any day of the year, but there will always be days when the parks get especially crowded: weekends and public holidays. Check China’s calendar for public holidays and fix your itinerary so your visit to Shanghai Disneyland won’t fall on these days. If you don’t have the luxury of being able to avoid going on weekends, choose to go on a Sunday, when Chinese families would typically stay at home.
Download the Shanghai Disney Resort app
Shanghai Disney Resort has its own app—a definite must-have on your mobile device. Not only does it give you a comprehensive map of the 3.9 square-kilometer park, it also enables you to browse through other related content, including restaurant menus and shop merchandise. And, just so you know, free Wi-Fi is available across the park, although the network can get a bit spotty at times.
If you are not staying at the Disneyland Resort, come at least an hour earlier than the park’s opening time (8:30 AM). This gives you some lead time when it comes to entering the park and getting dibs on popular rides like Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle for the Sunken Treasure and TRON Lightcycle Power Run.
FastPasses are much-coveted passes that will grant you quick access to some of the park’s most popular rides. Avid fans of Disneyland would know that it’s a program being implemented at Disneyland resorts around the world. In Shanghai, you can only get your FastPasses once you’re within the park’s premises. Simply scan your ticket using the Shanghai Disney Resort app (told ya, it’s a must-have on your mobile device!) or pick one up at select Guest Services counters across the park. FastPasses tend to run out real quick, though, so make sure to secure yours as soon as you enter Disneyland’s gates.
At the moment, these are the attractions that honor FastPasses:
TRON Lightcycle Power Run – Tomorrowland
Buzz Lightyear Planet Rescue – Tomorrowland
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train – Fantasyland
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh – Fantasyland
Peter Pan’s Flight – Fantasyland
Roaring Rapids – Adventure Isle
Soaring Over the Horizon – Adventure Isle
Beware of the “Great Firewall of China”
Disneyland may be the happiest place on earth, but that doesn’t mean it gets an exemption from China’s strict internet censorship. Here, even the world’s most commonly used websites and apps such as Google, Facebook, and Instagram are blocked. So if you wish to visit your favorite websites during your trip to China, you can install a VPN. This is merely a quick fix to your lack of contact with the usual internet you know, and it may not guarantee you full access to all blocked sites, but it’s always worth trying.
Download a translator app, bring a handy phrasebook, or familiarize yourself with common Mandarin phrases
A lot of Shanghai Disneyland’s cast members have a certain level of knowledge of English. However, the language barrier does pose a challenge to some visitors at times. To make communication easier, it would be smart of you to download a translator app like Baidu Translate (think of Baidu as China’s version of Google). You may also bring a phrasebook or familiarize yourself with common Mandarin phrases before your trip.
Be vigilant while waiting in line
There will always be people at amusements parks who’d aggressively cut in line, and any Disneyland is no stranger to that. Hold your place, be vigilant, and stand close to the person in front of you. Should you feel the need to report an incident, approach a Cast Member or security officers on-ground.
Catch an astonishing display of lights and sounds to cap off your day
Ignite the Dream: A Nighttime Spectacular of Magic and Light will treat you to a marvelous 20-minute show that will make your visit even more memorable. By 8:30 PM, make sure that the Enchanted Storybook Castle is within your view, as it lights up and becomes even more magical through special effects, while classic Disney soundtracks play in the background and fireworks illuminate the sky.
Book a stay at any (or both) of the resort’s two hotels
Staying at the Shanghai Disneyland Resort has its own perks. Not only would you get the bragging rights to say that you spent a vacation within Disney territory, but you’ll also get to enter the park (FastPasses are guaranteed) earlier than regular guests! Shanghai Disneyland Resort has two hotels that offer the ultimate Disney holiday: Shanghai Disneyland Hotel and Toy Story Hotel. For inquiries and reservations, visit Shanghai Disneyland Resort’s official website.
Address: No. 310, Huangzhao Road, 川沙新镇, Pudong Xinqu, Shanghai Shi, China
Phone: +86-21-3158-0000 (for ticket, hotel, and restaurant reservations) | +86-21-2099-8001 (for non-reservation inquiries)
E-mail: Send an e-mail via Help Center
Park Hours: 8:30 AM – 10:00 PM daily