Shanghai Disneyland - Please help!

Discussion in 'Other Lands' started by Prettypinkpoppies, Dec 11, 2017.

  1. Prettypinkpoppies

    Prettypinkpoppies Earning My Ears

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    We are travelling in January to adopt our new 7year old daughter. My husband and I are also bringing my bio daughter (age 8) with us to China. Our flights home will be cheaper if we fly out of Shanghai, so I am considering extending our trip by two days so we can go to Shanghai Disney. I have several questions and would love any help anyone could provide in regards to these questions:

    1) How would a Friday in January be in terms of crowding/expected waits? Is there somewhere I can look this info up to monitor?
    2) How do fast passes work? Do you only get to reserve one at a time and then can't "pull" another one until the first is used? I am used to Magic Bands and preplanning every step of the way 3 months out (6 months is you count booking restaurants).
    3) My daughter has severe food allergies. WDW is so wonderful working around her allergies. Does anyone have any experience with expressing food allergies at Shanghai Disney? Were you able to get allergen safe food?
    4) Is it better to book online before you go or buy tickets at the gate?
    5) How far is the Toy Story hotel from the Shanghai airport? If you have a later flight, does Disney allow you to check out and store your luggage until your flight?

    Thank you!
     
  2. TLPL

    TLPL DIS Veteran

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    I would suggest to download the Shanghai Disneyland app and track the waiit time pattern yourself. Fastpass is electronic but one at a time, can't book in advance, have to wait till you entered the park to make the first FP reservation. It is most important to purchase tickets in advance, you don't want to waste time at the front gate getting tickets at rope drop.
     
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  4. Agent 86

    Agent 86 DIS Veteran

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    Wow! Congratulations! That's incredible. I'm so jealous - adoption of any kind (national or international) is near impossible in Australia.

    My first, uneducated thought would be - is traveling to a theme park with your new daughter who will probably be in an emotionally ... fragile state be the best idea? Your other daughter may also be experiencing some feelings of jealousy and resentment no matter how much she's looking forward to the "idea" of a sister. It could be a little overwhelming for both of them as it is a big park, can be very crowded, etc. It will likely be a new environment for both of them.

    I don't think you would have much luck with food allergies in Shanghai Disneyland. The cast members are ... not up to scratch with other Disney parks. It may have improved since when I visited, but in general the cast members were disinterested if not outright hostile towards guests. One of the only times I saw cast members being up to the "Disney" standard is when there were supervisors in the vicinity. As soon as the supervisors left, they dropped their smiles and went back to standing still (not waving / engaging in any way). Also, finding English speaking cast members was near impossible. Most communication was through a combination of simple words and hand gestures / actions (e.g. booking a table at the Royal Banquet).

    I would be extremely cautious about the food in Shanghai Disneyland. To be honest, even if you were able to communicate your request, I personally wouldn't have confidence in the staff behind the scenes to treat that request with the due care that is necessary. I think Shanghai Disneyland has recently introduced new limitations on what food can be brought into the park, but I would try to bring your own food for your older daughter.

    In fact, I'd probably recommend that for the entire trip. I'm not sure how you will go communicating specific allergies anywhere you go, unless you stay at a 5 star hotel for Westerners. I'd definitely try to get specific details of the allergies written down in the most common forms of Chinese so you can show the cards to staff at restaurants, etc in China. You may need to go really basic for your older daughter (e.g. steamed rice and plain vegetables).

    I would recommend buying your tickets online, but the gates are a confusing mess at the best of times (at least upon opening), so it may not make much of a difference.

    From memory, we allowed ourselves an hour from the Toy Story Hotel to the airport and that was sufficient. The taxi didn't take the most direct route (they never do in China), so it would have been even quicker if we didn't go the "long" way. And yes, they will mind your luggage at the Toy Story Hotel.

    Good luck!
     
  5. Mousequake

    Mousequake DIS Veteran

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    Another note about FastPasses-- they have their 'Premier Access' which you can buy through the app, which are essentially paid 'use once any time' FastPasses. If you buy the whole set of all eight FastPass attractions, I think it comes out to something like $60-$80 per person depending on the time of year you visit.
     
  6. katt789

    katt789 DIS Veteran

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    -Friday through Sunday is going to be busier, not sure on specifics for January, but it will be colder, so that should help keep the crowds down. We did 3 weekdays and it was great. Friday should be okay. GET THERE EARLY! KNOW what you want to ride first, and head straight to that ride first, THEN go get a fast pass. We got a fp the first morning first thing and it was JUST A HOT MESS, the crowding, the pushing, the HUGE like at the fp queue, it would've been WAY easier/efficient of us to just rope drop Soaring standby! Wait times for the major rides will probably reach around an hour if not more, the smaller rides should be around 30mins.

    -Know exactly what you want to do, realize you won't be able to do it all, and have a plan of attack mapped out, the park is HUGE, you DO NOT want to be trekking from Pirates over to Tron and back to Soaring, you'd be wasting time!!

    -Fast passes work on the old paper system. You pull one for say, 10-11, and at around 9:30, you can pull a second one. The FP kiosks for each land are all collected TOGETHER, and there aren't too many fast passes. Tomorrowland has Tron & something else, Fantasyland has Winnie the Pooh, Peter Pan(?) and something else, Adventure Isle has Soaring, and I'm not sure what else, Pirates has NO fast pass.

    -Personally haven't dealt with this. I would personally get a little card with all of her allergies written out and then translated into Mandarin (and not via google translate, try to find someone who speaks the language for no miscommunication) to show to the cm's to MAKE SURE

    -We bought online first, still had to exchange them at the turnstiles, so YOU MUST HAVE YOUR PASSPORT!!!! I think this would be more efficient and save time in the morning, so I'd say buy online!

    -Shanghai Disney is super close to the PUDONG airport, if you want to be close, MAKE SURE YOU'RE FLYING IN AND OUT OF THIS ONE, Shanghai has ANOTHER major airport that is on the complete opposite end of the city. I want to say from other's tr's the airport is around 20 mins from the hotel? I'm not sure as we flew into the other one, and did the city before we went to the park. I would assume you'd be able to store your luggage!

    -Let me know if you have any other questions!! :)
     
  7. 1mena7

    1mena7 Earning My Ears

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    I went this year in January. I was in Disney Monday and Tuesday 16-17. IT WAS PACKED!! I made the mistake of not researching when kids are out of school and adults have vacation. I was not able to ride everything but did do the major ones with a few lines since they had back then the old paper fast passes and they ran out quite fast. Be prepared for a huge culture shock. I saw two different families lift their kids over the railing so they could pee on the topiaries instead of hassling to go to the bathrooms a few meters away. There will be some characters that are american which is awesome because they are so excited to talk to you in English when it is so difficult to communicate with those who don't speak their language throughout the day. I had a long conversation with Captain America and with Aurora at the restaurant in the Castle. I did book a reservation for lunch at the castle once I got to the toy story hotel. Speaking of the hotel, it is close to the airport but be careful with the taxis. As soon as you walk out the door you get attacked asking if you need a taxi. I made the mistake of saying yes and was taken to one that did not keep the meter running but charged me an insane amount at the end of the trip. I'm not sure where the real place at the airport is to catch a fair taxi that will run the meter through the entire trip but I do recommend looking for them and not going off with the first guy you see asking if you need a taxi!!!! (lol)
    Another thing I had was the name and address to the hotel printed both in normal alphabet and in Chinese characters to hand to the taxi driver so he'd know where to go.
    I bought my disney tickets online beforehand. You just have to go to will call with your passport and pick up the tickets.
    The hotel did store my bags before I checked in since I got there at 6 am so maybe they'll do the same after you check out. They truly are wonderful people at the hotel. Everyone was so friendly and helpful. I truly was amazed at this. I'd never experienced this at any hotel. From the cafeteria workers to housekeeping. Such lovely people.
    As far as the allergies, I don't know if you have a way of translating the allergies into Chinese characters so they can understand you well at the parks. Not every cast member speaks English and those that do, their English is not perfect and every bit can help. Fiverr.com has translation services offered from individuals and the prices arent that bad if you need help.
    I also did the Lion King show they were showing. Didnt understand the words but I liked it! I think they have Aladdin showing now. If you have spare time maybe this is something you guys could do!
    Also, I don't know what your plans are for internet but I rented out equipment from skyroam.com. Back then they only offered devices for hotspot with a 3g speed but I think they have a new device that gives out 4g speeds.
    Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2017
  8. swooshbear

    swooshbear Mouseketeer

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    We went during Thanksgiving and the Friday was definitely less crowded than it was on Saturday.

    If you are staying at the Toy Story hotel, then you should definitely buy your park tickets ahead of time. We purchased them with our hotel room so after checking in, we went to the Concierge desk to get the park tickets. For hotel guests, the park ticket is printed on what looks like a hotel key card so it's nicer than a regular park ticket. Also, hotel guests can use the Disney Town gate, which is past the very crowded main entrance. We weren't sure when the park actually opened but we were inside the park by 8:45am with a posted opening time of 9am.

    FastPasses work just like WDW (without the Magic Bands) and exactly like Disneyland's MaxPass system. We did TRON six times over two days thanks to FP. One note, you can't hold multiple FPs for the same ride and for TRON, you need to get past the second FP scan before you can book it again.
     
  9. Douglas Dubh

    Douglas Dubh True Fiscal Conservative

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    How was the weather? I'm worried it would be too cold in January to walk around Shanghai.
     
  10. 1mena7

    1mena7 Earning My Ears

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    It was really cold for me but I live in Miami so everything is cold for me. It was in the 40's the entire week I was there. But layers, a good coat and scarves did it for me. It was bearable and we walked a lot!
     
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  11. TLPL

    TLPL DIS Veteran

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    That's a lot of great information! It seems like staying on site and use the Disney Town gate would save a lot of headache in the morning.
     
  12. Mousequake

    Mousequake DIS Veteran

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    I really wish the DL Hotel would've let us know about this perk on our visit a couple of weeks ago. The single most frustrating part of every day was waiting in the security line at the main gate, with the rampant pushing and shoving and people hawking merchandise.
     
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  13. Agent 86

    Agent 86 DIS Veteran

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    Me too! The staff at the Toy Story Hotel didn’t mention that this was an option when they handed us our tickets. And there didn’t appear to be any signage at the hotel about it either.
     
  14. 1mena7

    1mena7 Earning My Ears

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    Ugh, same here. This fact would've been great to know when I went.
     

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