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Hilltopper39 wrote:I can't decide if I like the Shanghai Disneyland hotel or not, it looks really nice but something about it just doesn't feel like a typical Disney hotel. Again this is strictly my perception from behind a computer from a few thousand miles away but I can't really describe it. Pictures of it kind of remind me more of a cruise ship than a deluxe resort property.
does this mean you think it is missing "the opening act" ?
I actually think the "antisepticness" of it (to use that term incorrectly). . .adds to the charm. I like that it's SO different than what you'd see in the States. . .I'd just imagine more "bustle" around a lobby in the USA.
^haha stop it with all that opening act nonsense. I guess I'm just comparing it in my mind to the Disneyland Hotels in Paris, Tokyo, and Hong Kong, and I get that Shanghai didn't go with the typical Victorian theme and opted for the more European style art nouveau but the exterior just doesn't seems nearly as interesting. Again this is all based on pictures from a thousand miles away so maybe it feels different in person.
So we have just spent two days at Shanghai Disneyland. If you have followed along on our Twitter feed you will notice that we have been quite impressed with a lot of what the park has to offer. But it's not a perfect park. Let me explain...
First, I think it's important that I talk a bit about China first and what it's like for a "Western" tourist coming to the country. And I know that it's important to be respectful of other cultures because not everyone is the same as ours, and I *DO* respect it, but that doesn't always mean I have to *LIKE* it. If you've familiar with France, you'll know what I mean by when I say the Chinese can sometimes be difficult people to interact with. They don't have the same personal space bubble that we are used to, their demeanor comes off a lot more brash, they often are very snippy with each other to the point of being rude, and some of the challenges of visiting China, for example the "great firewall", people peeing in public even in the middle of ride queues (yes we saw this several times), etc, are present in every day life. And that makes even a theme park visit to be more frustrating than you would like it.
Our first day at the park, the place was PACKED. I mean, seriously freaking packed with 165 min waits for some attractions. While we were able to get Fast Passes and didn't have to wait for a lot of attraction and managed to get quite a few rides in that day, it wasn't without some extreme frustrations that come with visiting China. There was a lot of pushing, shoving, yelling and screaming from both guests and cast members, many situations to each other, and overall the level of stress and frustration was high. The park on Monday was like, and if you have ever been to Orlando during certain times of the year you'll know what I mean by this, like being in a park with 50,000 Brazilian tour groups. Let's just say it was a struggle to have a hassle-free day and the annoyances from minor to serious are real.
Now, that all being said, our next day, the park was practically empty! And it was AWESOME! While there were still some of the "China" frustrations, it was much less and we really did have a fantastic day! Now I get that ANY park in the world will have a certain level of frustration on a very busy day, but in China, there are layers that just make it a lot worse. Overall, Shanghai Disneyland does suffer from the same issues Disneyland Paris has where that it's a FANTASTIC, BEAUTIFUL, CREATIVELY IMPRESSIVE park, but suffers from clientele and some operational issues, mostly due to the location in which the park is built.
That being said... OMG! What a FANTASTIC park! I'll post lots of photos below (this report will most likely be in two parts so please be patient) but WOW the park is just amazing. Their two stand-out attractions, Pirates and Tron are two of the best Disney rides I've ever been on! They are right up there with the likes of Tower of Terror, Journey to the Center of the Earth, Pooh's Hunny Hunt, Space Mountain, Test Track, Phantom Manor, Indiana Jones, etc. Absolutely INSTANT CLASSICS!
And they have a solid line-up of attractions behind those two: Buzz Lightyear and Peter Pan are easily the best of those attractions ever built, and of course Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and Soarin' are also very popular attractions in the park as well.
Then there is the overall theming and landscaping. The castle is just ENORMOUS! OMG, it's crazy! The entire castle center area is like an attraction in itself (and it even houses two attractions: the Carousel and Dumbo!) Tomorrowland at night is just an explosion of impressive lighting. I don't think I've quite seen anything like it anywhere. The Pirates and Adventure Isle area also just breathtaking. You totally forget that you are in a theme park!
So to sum all this up: Shanghai Disneyland really is the next level, state-of-the-art Disney park with the only real disappointment being the location where it exists and that creating frustrating issues that makes it very difficult for Disney to offer the same high level of quality you are used to, but dammit they are trying as hard as they can!
Let's move on to some pictures, shall we? We'll start with part one of this report...
We have just arrived at Shanghai Disneyland!
Once again, Kristen can say she's been to every Disney park in the world!
Going to hit up Pirates first!
Dear Disney - Please replace all old versions of Pirates with Shanghai version. Don't listen to preservationist fanboys. They're insane. THX!
Dear Universal... *THIS* is how you do an attraction with screens & spraying water! No silly 3-D glasses required!
Pirates ride system was insane. The ride goes forwards, backwards, sideways, does drops, etc. All while in the water! Was so impressed with this technology.
In the "Never in America" department... the most insane ropes course we've ever seen!
Tron was an absolutely visually stunning ride! Wow! Amazing effects! After my first ride, I thought it was just an "OK" coaster, but it grew on my later and I liked it much more by day two.
Wow! Got a pic of Shanghai Disneyland's castle with blue skies and everything! This blue sky lasted maybe about 30 minutes!
And just like that, the blue skies over are gone. Glad I got those pics when I did!
The Alice maze is super cool! Love the steampunk influence!
Pooh is just like the Orlando version. The world needs more Tokyo Pooh!!!
The interior of the castle at Shanghai Disneyland is beautiful! Love the emphasis on the "modern classic" Disney films!
Tron really had some of the best visuals I've ever seen on a roller coaster. Totally game changing!
Taking a break from Shanghai Disneyland for lunch at The Boathouse in Disneytown!
We are back at the park for more Shanghai Disneyland fun!
Some of the buildings you see to the right and left when you walk into Shanghai Disneyland!
Currently getting lost in the Alice in Wonderland maze...
Soarin' is like crack for these people. This is a short line! lol
Tomorrowland looks amazing at night!
Tron at night stole the show in Tomorrowland! Photo by Hanno
The nighttime castle projection/fireworks show was also impressive! Easily on par with "Once Upon A Time" at Tokyo Disneyland!
Here's a few more pics of the amazing ropes course! Photos by Hanno
Another look at the Tron Light Cycle coaster at Shanghai Disneyland! Photos Hanno
Some of our Chinese friends we've met up with the last couple days keep apologizing for the behavior we've witnessed a few times. As with Americans, they're not all poorly behaved but some things are just crazy. Like the Disney security yelling in Mandarin to hurry up when they opened a new security line resulting in people pushing and screaming and falling! One of our Chinese friends couldn't believe they kept telling people to hurry as it's so unsafe and they could have told people to calmly fill in the new line instead. I'll also never understand the peeing in public thing when there are nice restrooms everywhere.
I'm sure there are several cultures that feel we're super rude compared to them! (Looking at you Japan and Switzerland!)
Oh well, we still had a great time and will certainly be back again!
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