TIPS FOR VISITING SHANGHAI DISNEY
- Download the Shanghai Disney app before hand. This app is handy for seeing wait times/ ride closures, a map, places to eat, OH and it’s the only way to select FAST PASSES.
- Bring some cash. All of the restaurants accepted credit card but the little snack stands only accept cash. (and everyone knows you can’t go to Disney without getting some ice cream or popcorn)
- DONT BOTHER STAYING ON PROPERTY. Seriously. You get to elect 1 FP about 30 days before hand and that’s it. There’s so many nicer affordable options around and the metro drops you off at Disney’s door. Save some money here.
- Purchase park tickets online: This way you can find the best deal/ discount codes and won’t have to wait in ticket queues once you get there.
- This goes along with getting the App, but make sure you have a data plan for your Disney Day. The wifi was pretty awful in the park and not reliable at all. You NEED internet to get your FP and use the app.
- Download a QR reader app as well. Most of the lines had QR scannable games to help the wait go by faster.
- If staying until closing, buy your return metro tickets when you arrive so you won’t have to stand in the queues at the end of a long day just to get back to your hotel.
- Get a locker…. a lot of the rides don’t really have a great bag storage option.
- If you like to pin trade, bring along some pins! While I didn’t see an amazing different selection from what we have in the states, it’s still fun to do some trading.
- Lastly, don’t listen to the reviews that say this park is DIRTY, people are RUDE, and that it is TOO CROWDED. While we were there on a weekday in the school year, people were very nice, the park was IMMACULATE, and even when it’s crowded you can still get fast passes to help with waits.
Where to eat at Shanghai Disneyland
Day 7 Costs:
Breakfast included in hotel stay
Luggage Storage(at Shanghai Train station) day 2- $8.74
Disney Tickets $116 for 2 adults
Fancy Corn Dog $5.83
Pirates lunch $24.78
Icecream/popcorn snack $10.93
Pizza dinner at Pinnochio cafe $24.78
Metro to train station $1.75
Snacks for train $7.72
Hotel: Sleeper train $287/ 2 people
Day 7 Total: $487.53
The only way to ride the Hogwarts Express is to buy a park to park pass. (park hopper) which seeing as we only had 1 day, worked fine for us. It’s a quick train ride but everything is so authentic! I loved how not only did they have a little show in the window of “passing scenery” but the opaque doors of our train cabins also showed people walking by and talking outside your door. It was pretty cool.
… And to grab another Butterbeer but this time FROZEN and let me tell you, I wish I’d had time to buy like 3 more of these babies because it was twice as good Frozen. Oh man it was crazy delicious.
- Hotel: $400
- Parking: $23 for both days/ night
- Park Admission for 1 day park hopper: $350 for both of us
- We skipped breakfast
- Butterbeer: $14 or $7 each (doesn’t matter frozen or not) It’s worth it friends
- Giant slice of pizza with salad and breadstick at Fantastic 4: $12
- Guiness Stew and Pumpkin Juice: about $20 the stew was just under 14 and the drink made up the rest
- Margarittaville Nachos: $14 and could seriously feed like 3 or 4 people plus drinks and tip $40
- 2nd night in the hotel at the cheap Quality Inn not 10 minutes from the park: $50
- The Forbidden Journey: 4 times
- Dragon Challenge: 6 times (4 on the blue, 2 on the red)
- Hulk coaster: 4 times
- Spider Man: twice
- King Kong: twice
- Jurassic Park: twice
- Hogwarts Express: twice
- Escape from Gringotts: twice
- The Mummy: 4 times
- Dr. Doom fear fall, Ripsaw Falls, Dr. Seuss Merry Go Round, Hipogriff coaster, Poseidon’s Fury, RiprideRockit coaster, Transformers, MIB, ET, Simpsons all once
The main lobby for the resort which was MASSIVE. 1000s of rooms spread out over multiple buildings. I only wish we had more time to enjoy it but sadly we had one night and one night only thus to get the following benefits:
A. Extra Magic hours which we NEEDED for Pandora in Animal Kingdom
B. Magic Bands that store your park passes as well as fast passes and are just SUPER Convenient and fun
C. You can select fast pass + 60 days in advance also for the days you stay on resort. (Sadly we botched this and got our day wrong so we didn’t use this to it’s upmost benefit)
D. Free parking anywhere on Disney property.
Which brings me to tips: The Boat ride was super fun and magical from Disney Springs to the resort however the bus ride to Disney Springs was a disaster. It Filled up at the FIRST STOP however we made the rounds and were standing room for 40 minutes to go like 3 miles… Take my advice here and just DRIVE it will save you so much time. Also Disney offers great military discounts on resort stays as well. If you have family members in the service, TAKE THEM WITH YOU! haha
Yay waterfalls! And big grins after getting off the ride: First Impressions, let’s just say Flight of Passage is my new FAVORITE RIDE of ALL TIME. It’s a 4D simulator done in the BEST POSSIBLE WAY. You Soarin lovers and Star Tours will really get a kick out of this. But it’s even better. They don’t let you video or photograph once you’re actually on the ride… but I loved the Pre-ride queue information and you CAN see what that’s like here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eM8f47Igtu8
Once you’re on the ride, you straddle something like a bike that then locks you in with back and leg pieces. Then A LOT like soarin a giant screen opens up before you and you soar, smell, explore so much in a very generously long ride. I had the biggest Grin on my face the whole time. But the best part: Is how real they make it, the piece you sit on has pads that move and make it feel like you’re actually ON A Ikran or Bansheeas they call it. It blew my mind and I would happily ride this ride over and over.
Epcot Points of Interest: Soarin, Spaceship Earth, The World Tour of countries, (and maybe you could add Test Track, Mission to Mars, and the little kid rides to that) but really… this park is NOT about rides. It’s about CULTURE, Eating, Drinking, and being merry. We used our fastpasses to hop right on the Living with the Land boat ride and then Soarin, and lastly Spaceship Earth. Some of you who have been to Epcot may balk at Spaceship Earth being a highlight, but you must not have ridden it before it was narrated by Judi Dench and had cool Futuristic planning stuff to entertain you at the beginning and end. You’ve also LIKELY not ridden it with a significant other. Think about that…
Another highlight we hit is called Energy (which rumors have said will not be around much longer) It’s a hilarious 45 minute ride/show conducted by Ellen DeGeneres (failing at Jeopardy) and assisted by Bill Nye the Science guy you learn about… well ENERGY
Then we wandered onto The American Pavilion to hear the Liberty Singers (an A Capella group that sings patriotic songs) watch the American Adventure (highly recommend as the music is great and it’s a fun recap of American history) and the the Music Machine (another A Capella group that sings music from today.. they were ok) And then on we went to Great Britain to listen to (my favorite of the day) British Revolution. Even though we huddled under a roof overhang as it poured down rain, there’s nothing like British music goodies and I loved it! Last but no least we hit up Canada for some covers of Canadian musicians. They were also very good.
So for those of you haven’t been to Epcot, things to note: Both Mexico and Norway have rides though Norway’s ride used to be WAY cooler before Frozen took over. Each country also has some sort of short movie they play on like the 15 minute mark that goes over the beautiful sites in the country and culture aspects of it. Lastly as you may have guessed, a lot (if not all) the countries have some sort of mini show/ concert they do repeatedly through the day whether it be music, acrobats, drummers, etc… There are restaurants and bars everywhere so just enjoy some time away from the craziness that is MAGIC Kingdom and explore the world.
The Fam on the Rockin Rollercoaster. It takes your picture just as it’s shooting you off at the BEGINNING.
Highlights: EVERYTHING. But my favorites (about in order) Splash Mountain, the new coaster The seven dwarfs mine train, The Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Carribbean, The Jungle Cruise, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Space Mountain, The Little Mermaid, and then everything else. We rode just about everything except It’s a small world (WHAT!?!) at least once.
Oh ya did we mention we were at Magic Kingdom for the madness that was the 4th of July. They had areas roped off for people to crowd and stand in over AN HOUR before the fireworks. I was like WHERES THE PARADE. cause seriously.. who stands in one spot over an hour to wait for fireworks. NOT I amigos. We got dinner lol.
- 4 day park hopper pass (military discount, thanks parents!) $200 pp so $400 for us
- Rental car: We paid about $15 per day so if you apply it to the 4 disney days: $40
- 1st night at Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside Resort (medium tier of resort levels) normally $250 per night but we only paid around $150 thanks to my parents getting us in on the Military Discount deal.
- 1 week at a vacation rental house that we paid for 1 room of only $300 (so $128) if you apply it to our 3 disney nights
- Parking/ photos: Free, thanks again Tiffany! (ya’ll need to make friends/ get family with season passes)
- Food between dole whip and the Columbia house where we split an entree: $23
- Other food OUTSIDE the park: Well we mostly ate a ton of fast food but we only ate about 2 meals a day so it was around $100 for the disney days total
- Souvenirs: Our amazing photos cost $20 each to make so $40 which luckily we had a gift card from Tiff for our birthdays which we used to purchase those
- If you stay on Disney Property, DON’T TAKE THE BUSES. They are overcrowded and take forever to go a mile. The only time this may be worth it is going to Magic Kingdom because that parking lot is a bear. The other 3 parks… just drive and park. So much faster and easier
- If you know anyone in the military or with season passes, GO WITH THEM and check for discounts… Could save you A LOT.
- The lower tier resorts cost 100-150 per night and I think are worth doing at least once in order to get your magic bands included, FAST PASS+ for the day of and day after your reservation to get a selection of 60 days out! This is THE ONLY way you will get fast passes for Frozen in Epcot, Seven Dwarfs mine train in Magic Kingdom, and most importantly: Flight of Passage in Animal Kingdom, and of course Magic Hours.
- Make sure if you DON’T Stay at a resort that you still select your Fast Pass + options 30 days in advance. This way you can get all your rides done in the morning and select more fast passes for the afternoon and evening.
- When deciding a night to stay in a resort, check the calendar for which parks will have magic hours when and maximize your benefit by staying a night you get the most magic hours at the park YOU WANT TO GO TO.
- Some of the night time spectacular shows are worth skipping and riding rides because you can seriously walk on multiple rides multiple times during these shows. Ones I suggest watching? FANTASMIC at Hollywood Studios which doesn’t actually start until the park closes anyways. Also I admit watch Magic Kingdom’s Fireworks at least once. Anywhere is a good spot but I prefer New Fantasyland since it’s way less crowded than main street and really a good view.
- If you’re into collecting things, my family is HUGE into trading pins. Check Ebay for bulk buys of Disney pins that you can trade with park employees for upgrades. Finding the really unique pins or new collections is so fun!
- YOU NEED AT LEAST 4 DAYS! 1 for each park if you’re going first time. I always recommend park hoppers since some parks are open a lot later than others and you can maximize your time in the park this way.
- Disney also have 2 waterparks: Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach. Blizzard Beach is the better one.
- When leaving Magic Kingdom, the ferry is actually your quickest route back to the parking lot (verified by park employee) The capacity of the ferry to monorail is like 5-1 and it is actually a shorter ride so even though the line may look longer, it is the faster route.
- Also when leaving any park at closing, if there’s a long line for the tram JUST WALK. Guarantee the walk will be faster than waiting for a tram since Disney follows a million safety protocols (which is great!) just slow.
- Give yourself breaks so you don’t burn out. Recommend opening and closing the park as this is when it’s going to be emptiest, but take a mid day break to swim at your hotel pool, take a nap, eat lunch, enjoy some AC… The parks are super crowded and it’s the hottest part of the day. You aren’t missing anything.
- Snacks we like to get at least once: Mickey Ear Ice cream, Dole Whip, Turkey Legs, LeFou’s brew, and churros.
- Photographers at photography spots will use your phone or camera to take a picture for you if you ask them. Some, especially night time photos, probably won’t turn out as nice but if you’re pinching pennies but still want some photos, this is the way.
- And LAST BUT NOT LEAST: Download the MYDISNEYEXPERIENCE App. Seriously it has a map of the park with guided GPS to get you where you need to go, showtimes, wait times, and most importantly once you use your first 3 fast passes for the day you can keep selecting more on the app instead of having to find a kiosk location in the park. Much faster and easier!