I recently visited Shanghai Disneyland and thought I’d give some pointers or two on how to make the best of your visit based on my experience.
Time to go
Pick a weekday if possible. Away from the weekend and public holiday. We went on a Friday and the crowd was actually not bad. Queues at most are a 2 hour wait and that’s only for the popular ones.
Save yourself some time by buying tickets earlier online. We bought ours from the official website. Tickets are available for purchase 3 months in advance and you’d need to pick a date. You can also purchase tickets at the park itself but I’m not sure if they have a limit as to how many visitors are allowed in a day. Of course once purchased, the tickets are non-refundable.
In Shanghai, we stayed downtown so the cheapest way to get to the park is by metro. The station is the last of line 11 to the east direction. Some maps are still not updated with the new station so be sure to update or get yourself the latest one to understand the route you need to take. For us, from Nanjing Road East station on line 2, we changed 2 lines to get to Disney and it only took about 40 minutes to arrive.
Entering the park
We arrive right before opening at 9am to avoid long queues but it turns out there were a lot of queue lines. If you already bought your tickets online, just head on over to the main entrance for security checks. We actually brought some water, snacks and somehow this is allowed into the park. Once done with security, the ticket attendants will print your tickets and allow you in.
Queues on rides
Depending on the popularity of the rides, the queues are going to build up if you don’t plan which ride to take carefully. From what I saw, Soarin’ Over The Horizon, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and Raging Rapid Adventure are the popular ones and can take up to 2 hours to queue. The shortest queue I experienced was mostly the meet and greets. Kylo Ren and R2D2 at the Star Wars launch bay had almost no queue. Meeting Mickey took us 20 minutes.
I’m not sure if it works the same at all Disney parks. FastPass for a ride can only be done one at a time within 2 hours. We took FastPass for the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at 11am which gave us a time 4 hours later and couldn’t get another one until 1pm. By 3pm, FastPass distribution is closed. So I guess the best way is to get one right when you enter the park, and another once your time limit is done to get the most of the FastPass.
Food is known to be quite pricey in Disney parks. A drink cost 10 yuan at the cheapest and a simple Fish and Chips costs 75 yuan. So it’s quite a relief that we were able to bring some snacks in to fill in our stomach until we can eat out of the park after leaving.
How long to stay
The best experience would be to stay the whole day at the park. Come at opening to avoid queues and leave after the daily night fireworks show to get the most of your ticket value. Shanghai Disneyland is vast enough to have your time filled. The night time fireworks show is spectacular as well.
So there you go. Some tips on how to make the best of your trip to Shanghai Disneyland. In spite of the negative stories people have been making about the park, it is still one of the enjoyable theme park I’ve been to. Enjoy!