Discussion in 'Other Lands' started by AdamEfimoff, Dec 7, 2017.
We've done both very recently. As far as the "MK" park itself goes, there is no comparison - Shanghai is perhaps the best of all the Disney parks. Tokyo of course also has Disney Seas which Shanghai doesn't have.
I love questions like this, because you can get some surprising answers.
We've been to both recently, just like OKW Lover, but we'd answer differently: Tokyo wins on points.
Scale and rides: Tokyo has Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea; DisneySea has some of my favorite rides such as Tower of Terror, Toy Story Mania and Indiana Jones. What I don't like about the ticketing in Tokyo is that you can't get a one-day ParkHopper; if you want to go to both parks in the same day, you have to pay full price for both.
Even if you limit the question to comparing Shanghai Disneyland and Tokyo Disneyland (discounting DisneySea), Tokyo wins. The two have a few of (more or less) the same rides: Peter Pan, Pooh, Buzz Lightyear, Explorer Canoes, and Pirates - although Pirates in Shanghai as a ride is head and shoulders above the ride with the same name in Tokyo. Shanghai can boast (by my count) only seven rides that Tokyo doesn't have (above all Tron, but also for example Seven Dwarfs, and for me, a sleeper surprise attraction, Challenge Trails). Tokyo, in turn, has more than two dozen rides and attractions that Shanghai doesn't have, among them the Railroad, Jungle Cruise, the Swiss Family Roobinson Tree House, the Enchanted Tiki Room, the Shooting Gallery, Country Bear Jamboree, Mark Twain Riverboat, Tom Sawyer Island Rafts, Big Thunder Mountain, Splash Mountain, It's a Small World, Snow White's Adventures, Pinocchio, the Haunted Mansion, Mickey's PhilharMagic, Star Tours, Space Mountain, Monsters Inc., and all the attractions of Toontown. To give Shanghai credit, they have been open only a year and a half, and are already expanding next April, with the addition of Toy Story Land.
Crowds: Shanghai wins here. The Japanese absolutely love Disney, and this is reflected in the crowds. The night before we went the most recent time, Tokyo had just been hit with a typhoon, one subway line was down, and there was extensive flooding not the far from Tokyo Disneyland. Even so, the park was very crowded. Shanghai Disneyland, in turn, is massive, with wide walkways, and even if you have a lot of people (also the Chinese are finding Disney!), it doesn't feel that crowded - unless you are in a three-hour standby line for Tron or Soaring.
Accessibility: Both are located quite a ways away from the centre of the city, but both are relatively easy to get to, by urban transit that brings you very close to the gate. (If "accessibility" is used in the wider sense of getting there from abroad, Japan has less bureaucracy, and seems more welcoming of tourists. I'd also say that culturally, it is easier for Americans, Australians and Europeans to feel "at home" in Japan than in China, but this is presumably a very subjective view. We love visiting both Japan and China.)
Cast members: Tokyo wins here. Both parks have tried to give intensive training to the cast members in cast/guest interactions, and the Japanese and Chinese politeness and sense of hospitality are a good base on which to build. However, we found that the cast members in Shanghai Disneyland tended to have a very limited ability to speak English and were unable to deal with questions that were more complicated than "where is the toilet?"
Prices: Shanghai wins here on points. As a tourist destination, China in general is cheaper than Japan, and this is reflected also in the park admission, as well as in the price of hotels and meals, whether on or off property.
Overall, I'd say that on a straight comparison, Tokyo Disneyland beats Shanghai Disneyland. But give Shanghai Disneyland time, and it will have even more to offer. And already now, Shanghai Disneyland can still offer even die-hard Disney fans a full Disney experience. Tokyo may beat Shanghai on points, but both are worth visiting!
Just wanted to thank @pogo791 for a very nice comparison. I may not agree with all the points but they are well made.
@pogo791 gave a great comparison . I thought Shanghai DL wins hands down over Tokyo DL, but Tokyo Disney Sea is not to be missed, it’s just so we’ll themed and unique. Although my cousins who are die hard WDW fans didn’t like it because it wasn’t Disney enough. But I was blown away by it.
I also thought it was really fun to see the Japanese culture in the amazing CMs and the fellow park visitors dressed up in matching outfits with their Duffy’s. It makes the whole thing a really cool experience.
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