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Photo TR: Shanghai Disneyland and the Tokyo Disney Resort

PostPosted: Sun Jul 23, 2017 4:52 pm
by jedimaster1227
Over the last two weeks I had the opportunity to experience my first entirely new Disney theme parks in over a decade... This time for my honeymoon! Over ten years ago I visited Japan for a short term study abroad trip with my high school (one of several). During that trip I was able to experience Tokyo DisneySea (albeit briefly), a theme park that amazed me with its unique offerings and unbroken visual design dripping with detail in every direction. I've long since dreamed of returning to this place (and to Tokyo) and I have always hoped to do so with my eventual wife. Luckily enough about a year and a half ago as we were planning our wedding, she told me that she had an idea for our honeymoon--a trip that would span the Disney Parks of the world. And while we didn't end up planning as broad of a trip this time around, we were able to finagle a two week trip that encompassed 2.5 days at the Shanghai Disney Resort, 4 days at the Tokyo Disney Resort and four additional days to explore various parts of Tokyo. During these two weeks the two of us took roughly 7000 photos that, after lots of time spent whittling down, we've found some worth sharing.

This trip report will be broken down by the specific resorts (and our time in Tokyo) and will have multiple installments given the volume of photos. If you've read any of my previous photo trip reports, especially those taken in the Disney parks, my focus is often on the little details found where the normal guests don't look.

Diving right in was our start at Shanghai Disneyland and the Shanghai Disney Resort. We opted to stay at the Toy Story Hotel due to the lesser cost and the fact that we didn't plan to be in the hotel much since we wanted to get everything in the park done. The hotel was honestly really nice! The rooms were smaller than the Western standard, but given that it had a comfortable bed, a sizable shower/tub and a safe, that wasn't a concern for us. The theming inside was cute and the amount of theming was equivalent to that of which you'd find in the Art of Animation Resort at Walt Disney World. The hotel's onsite dining options were all better than expected and the guest service we experienced throughout was definitely a highlight of our time in Shanghai.

Moving on to Shanghai Disneyland, it is important to note that this is the first Disney theme park built in over a decade (the last Disney park to open was Walt Disney Studios Park Paris). This park was designed to be "authentically Disney and distinctly Chinese" and it definitely feels like a departure from the previous standards of a castle park. The America-inspired/infused Main Street USA has been swapped for a character-infused Mickey Avenue at the entrance of the park. Adventureland has been replaced with Adventure Isle and Treasure Cove, two unique lands with some of the most unique experiences Disney has ever developed. Fantasyland hosts modern takes on classic attractions with new ride systems and repurposed ones used for new themes. Tomorrowland breaks the mold with a non-traditional coaster experience (one that this particular fan has been drooling over since it was first announced), the best shooting dark ride Disney has ever developed, an abstract approach to the Astro Orbiter and an area design that takes cues from the underrated film of the same name to create a multi-level visual experience unlike anything Disney has done before. The traditional castle has been beefed up, filled with some of the best castle offerings from other parks around the world and plussed with the addition of a unique boat ride that weaves through Fantasyland and underneath the castle.

The bottom line is, this park is modern Disney. It is designed to distinguish itself which it does--and then some. A week and a half after I left, I'm still processing all that I saw and experienced.

From an experience standpoint, I'm not going to dive deep into some of the less positive things that the park has gotten some publicity form. Some of the things reported have been true. Some of the things reported we didn't experience during our visit. Different cultures handle foreign products and processes differently and while there has been some incompatibility reported, I truly believe that given time, the experience will level out. As a Disney fan, I don't regret visiting the park and I would still recommend it to others like me.

Photo TR: Shanghai Disney and the Tokyo Disney Resort (2)

PostPosted: Sun Jul 23, 2017 4:53 pm
by jedimaster1227

Re: Photo TR: Shanghai Disneyland and the Tokyo Disney Resor

PostPosted: Sun Jul 23, 2017 5:11 pm
by Nrthwnd
Great First Part of your Honeymoon, Adam! I'm still a bit iffy about going to Shanghai Disneyland, but all your photos sure make it very tempting, lol.

And CONGRATULATIONS on your new marriage! Best wishes to you both, and happiness for always. :b :br

Looking forward to the rest of your trip, especially those times in Tokyo Disney Resort!

Re: Photo TR: Shanghai Disneyland and the Tokyo Disney Resor

PostPosted: Sun Jul 23, 2017 5:57 pm
by ThemeParkJunkie51290
Awesome report! Traveling to an international park has always been a dream of mine, and I hope to take that journey soon. I'm so ready to see the rest of the photos! =)

Re: Photo TR: Shanghai Disneyland and the Tokyo Disney Resor

PostPosted: Sun Jul 23, 2017 7:17 pm
by TBpony414
First off, congratulations on your recent wedding! A honeymoon to Shanghai and Tokyo sounds incredible. I can't wait to read along and experience all the adventures from the big trip. Off to a great start!

Re: Photo TR: Shanghai Disneyland and the Tokyo Disney Resor

PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2017 7:51 am
by prospekt88
Congrats on your marriage and thanks for the photo report! Off to a great start.

Re: Photo TR: Shanghai Disneyland and the Tokyo Disney Resor

PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2017 4:46 am
by cfc
Great start to your trip report, Adam! I'm really looking forward to visiting this park myself. And, like you, I think it'll be great to have Tron down in Florida.