Shanghai Photo TR

Happy Valley, Shanghai Disney, & Haichang Ocean Park
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Shanghai Photo TR

Postby Looty » Wed Dec 26, 2018 9:09 pm

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanza, Happy Holidays...or whatever else doesn’t offend you in 2018.

I made a trip back home to Minnesota for the holidays from Seoul, South Korea, where I’ve been living for the past seven years. I found a super-cheap flight on Delta from Shanghai that was $700 cheaper than a flight from Seoul, so I decided to swing by Shanghai on my way home for what would be my second visit to Shanghai. I first visited in 2013 and I have to say, I love being pushed outside of my comfort zone and I love adventures and all...but Beijing & Shanghai were a bit ‘too much’ for me after my first visit (I can only stand so much public urination/defecation, pushing, spitting indoors, line cutting, harassment from prostitutes, & scamming). Living in East Asia for almost seven years and doing a masters degree in a foreign country that doesn’t speak my native tongue has taught me to be very patient, open-minded, independent, responsible, and self-aware. Therefore, I decided to take another journey to Shanghai. I have to say, I had a much better time this time around and met some wonderful people there. It has been about 6 weeks since my visit so time to get this started!

First stop: Happy Valley Shanghai

I visited on Saturday, November 17th, 2018. After surviving the free shuttle bus (legit crazy airtime going over the numerous speed bumps) from the nearest train station (line 9 Sheehan Station...take the pedestrian bridge over the road to the free shuttle bus), I arrived at the front gate just before opening. I set my expectations low considering it was a Saturday and this park seems to operate their coasters on varying timetables, but I ended up having a great time at the park! It was dead! Seriously, most coasters and rides were a walk on or station wait. The longest wait I had was for Fireball. It was roughly a 5 or 6 train wait, but add in the mandatory stretch time before each dispatch (1 train btw) and it ended up being around a 20 minute wait. Fireball was definitely shaky, but manageable and full of lots of awkward side-airtime (7/10 overall). Next up, I went counterclockwise and hit up the Intamin mine train in the ‘Gold Mine Town’ section of the park...complete with a traditional gold mine Tyrannosaurus rex. I was the only one on the train so I sat there in the station for 10 minutes drinking my coffee and reading my phone while we waited for more people. Overall, it was better than I expected. Good laterals! (7/10 overall).

Next up was the Desperado/shooter ride. So this was different. You sit in a theater with other people and shoot at the same screen. I was in there with about 10 other people, but I’m American so of course I’m better at shooting things/people. I scored first place (#USA). Next, I did the flying island and got some great views of the park before continuing on to the B&M kiddie coaster.

The B&M kiddie coaster packed more of a punch than the Vekoma versions. Pretty simple ride. (6/10 overall).

The knockoff spinning mouse coaster was next. That was a hot mess. (4/10 overall).

Next up was the mega lite. This was my second mega lite (after Tobu zoo). It was awesome as usual. It was a walk on so I got about 6 rides before moving on. If you haven’t ridden one yet, you need to. (10/10 overall).

The last coaster was the B&M Sheikra clone. Again, awesome coaster. I love the 10 across seating on these. I especially loved riding front row on this at 70+ mph through the Chinese smog. Ahhhhh...(8.5/10 overall).

I hit up the giant frisbee and several of the other flats and coasters again before heading back to Shanghai. I was at the park for about 7 hours. Again, it was dead so I had plenty of rides on everything I wanted to ride. Despite some negative reviews, I must admit that I had a great day at the park. Despite the rusting infrastructure all over the place, the coasters were in great condition and running great. I’d highly recommend a visit there during the offseason or less-busy times.

Next up: Shanghai Disney!
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A prostitute took this photo for me. She was nice...
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I ended the night with a $20 cocktail and a (smoggy) view of Shanghai.
Last edited by Looty on Wed Jan 09, 2019 10:47 pm.
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Re: Shanghai Photo TR

Postby Canobie Coaster » Wed Dec 26, 2018 10:26 pm

Great report!

I'm starting to look into trips for 2019 and I'm considering Shanghai since I could likely attach it to a work trip. The amount of parks popping up in China is crazy. I'm looking forward to hearing more about the parks nearby.
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Re: Shanghai Photo TR

Postby KarlaKoaster » Thu Dec 27, 2018 2:14 am

Thanks for the report, I'm planning a trip in 2020 so there's a lot of useful information here. It looks like a nice park and I am looking forward to hearing from some of the other parks on your trip :)

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Re: Shanghai Photo TR

Postby Looty » Fri Jan 04, 2019 7:28 pm

My second day in Shanghai was Sunday, November 18th. Unfortunately, the weather didn’t cooperate this day and I spent most of my time indoors eating dumplings, drinking tea, and sleeping. If you’re in Shanghai, google (with a VPN) “Yang’s dumplings.” They were fantastic!

Days 3 & 4 (Nov. 19-20, 2018): Shanghai Disney

Ok...I have to say something very important here. Listen up! I had somewhat high expectations for Shanghai Disney. I’m a former WDW College Program-er from 2011 (RIP Great Movie Ride) so I love most things “Disney.” Furthermore, I’ve been fortunate enough to visit all of the Disney parks around the globe. I have to say, this place is fantastic! It’s absolutely beautiful with some of the nicest landscaping and coolest infrastructure I’ve seen at a Disney park. Also, Pirates of the Caribbean is without a doubt the GREATEST THEME PARK ATTRACTION/RIDE/THING I’VE EVER BEEN ON! Legit! I’ve been on over 700 coasters, been to all the Disney and Universal parks, blah blah blah....this is the greatest thing I’ve ever experienced. I’ve never felt so giddy while riding something since I was a boy visiting Magic Kingdom for the first time. I can’t go into specifics about the ride system simply because I have no idea how they pulled this thing off. It’s amazing and should absolutely be a top priority for everyone here.

Tron honestly left me feeling a bit underwhelmed. It’s a solid ride and will be a huge hit at WDW, but I think I watched too many YouTube videos on this one. The pre-show is fantastic. Great visuals, audio, and general theming. The station was neat and watching the trains pull in made me really excited. The trains are comfortable and the overall ride experience isn’t too intense. I enjoyed the launch and on board audio. I think my biggest letdown with the ride was the indoor section after the launch. It just seemed dark (not flashy and lit like I was expecting) and gave me a ‘Rockin Roller Coaster’ vibe...which isn’t a bad thing, but I was hoping this would knock my socks off. I enjoyed it, but I wasn’t blown away by any means.

Their version of Buzz was the best I’ve been on.

“Soaring” is the busiest ride in the park. Definitely get a fast pass for that first thing in the morning. PS, I loved being able to search ride times and reserve fast passes on my phone. Also, if you don’t have a Chinese phone number, swing by guest relations and they’ll help you connect to the WiFi. You have to register a phone number to connect, so the cast member just entered her phone number and then entered the code into my phone.

Toy Story land, Peter Pan, & Pooh were typical of other Disney parks (Pan has higher capacity vehicles).

Seven Dwarfs was my first time on one of those. Decent, but I wouldn’t wait long for it.

Oh! Pirates, Seven Dwarfs, and Tron all feature single rider lines. Use them!

Honestly, the park is beautiful so just take your time and walk around and check everything out. I did 2 days and ended up wanting more. If you don’t want to spend a lot of cash in the park on food, take the exit near Tomorrowland out to Disneytown and try one of the several cheap options/cafeterias. I had soup and dumplings at a cafeteria there for about $4-5. Also, Heneiken is super-cheap in the park...roughly $2-3 from my memory. The firework show was nice. It definitely gets busy near the front of the park for this so grab a spot early and extend those elbows! I really loved this park and can’t wait to go back. It’s worth adding a stop if you’re in the region. Note: google ‘144 hour transit visa’ to avoid spending $200 on a visa in Shanghai and several other ‘large’ cities in China. Enjoy the photos!

Next up: Shanghai Haichang Ocean Park
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Last edited by Looty on Fri Jan 04, 2019 8:25 pm.
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Re: Shanghai Photo TR

Postby Nrthwnd » Fri Jan 04, 2019 7:47 pm

^ I am curious at how they did the other entry/exit from Tomorrowland into Downtown Disney?
Not many of all the Disney parks do this, one exception being EPCOT. But mostly, you always
enter and exit any Disney park from the front of it.

And it looks like Disney will be providing another alternate entry/exit when the Magic Springs Hotel
is built and open, with access to TDS from it, and to the monorail (Bayside Station!) that encompasses the Resort.

That asked, awesome TR on Happy Valley Shanghai and Shanghai Disneyland....and Shanghai, too!
Lots of great photos taken that you posted. Thanks for sharing them! :smile:
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Re: Shanghai Photo TR

Postby Looty » Fri Jan 04, 2019 7:51 pm

Nrthwnd wrote:^ I am curious at how they did the other entry/exit from Tomorrowland into Downtown Disney?
Not many of all the Disney parks do this, one exception being EPCOT. But mostly, you always
enter and exit any Disney park from the front of it.

And it looks like Disney will be providing another alternate entry/exit when the Magic Springs Hotel
is built and open, with access to TDS from it, and to the monorail (Bayside Station!) that encompasses the Resort.

That asked, awesome TR on Happy Valley Shanghai and Shanghai Disneyland....and Shanghai, too!
Lots of great photos taken that you posted. Thanks for sharing them! :smile:


So I bought a 2 day ticket and had to enter through the main entrance on both days. But once you’re in the park, you can use that Disneytown entrance.
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Re: Shanghai Photo TR

Postby Nrthwnd » Fri Jan 04, 2019 7:52 pm

^ Cool. Nice to know, thanks.
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Re: Shanghai Photo TR

Postby SharkTums » Fri Jan 04, 2019 7:57 pm

Important question about Happy Valley...Was the Pizza Hut still on the main street there???

Also, did you happen to do the ropes course at Shanghai Disney? Wondering how that is holding up. Also, while I don't agree that Shanghai Pirates is the best ever, it's certainly in my top 5!

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Re: Shanghai Photo TR

Postby Looty » Fri Jan 04, 2019 8:08 pm

SharkTums wrote:Important question about Happy Valley...Was the Pizza Hut still on the main street there???

Also, did you happen to do the ropes course at Shanghai Disney? Wondering how that is holding up. Also, while I don't agree that Shanghai Pirates is the best ever, it's certainly in my top 5!


You’ll be happy to know that Pizza Hut is indeed still there, but I settled for a Dunkin Donuts latte and a ‘mystery’ meat skewer.

I passed on the ropes course. It was open and looked nice, but those aren’t really my thing.
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Re: Shanghai Photo TR

Postby Canobie Coaster » Fri Jan 04, 2019 8:28 pm

Awesome report! I love how large the castle and Tron look.
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