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Shanghai Disneyland Warning : May 2018

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  • Shanghai Disneyland Warning : May 2018

    Hello. I just got back yesterday and I never saw any of this information before I went, so I wanted to share..

    First, a question. Is Shanghai Disneyland worth it? Unequivocally yes if you like Pirates. IMO, their version, as most already know, is undoubtedly the best dark ride in any Disney theme park and I've been to them all. I must have ridden it 15 times in two days. Truly awesome.

    A few warnings and a bit of information:

    There is a crew who work the Shanghai airport wearing "Airport Staff" badges that are not airport staff. Their job is to get you into one of their cars to take you to your hotel and charge you as much as they possibly can. They'll tell you any lie to get you to follow them as opposed to you getting in a proper cab. One of the guys with us is a world traveler and he figured it out right away. I'm not sure I would have. Our "Airport Staff" friend told us the cabs were no longer running. He told us he'd help us find an ATM that accepted our International VISA cards. My friend called BS and we went and found the Taxi line. This sounds like a no-brainer, but I assure you, once you arrive in China, it's like the wild west and many things don't quite make sense.

    As mentioned, we also had trouble finding an ATM that would accept our cards, so I recommend arriving with at least 200 Yaun in your pocket. This will cover your cab ride. The Disney resort hotel we stayed at had a functioning international ATM.

    Despite the Disney Resort being there for a few years, our real cab driver did not understand our English of "Disneyland". Luckily, one of our party had it and our hotel and address already written in Chinese on a piece of paper and that got us to the hotel no problem. You'd think they'd understand tourists and "Disneyland", but not all do, so come prepared.

    Be aware, Chinese people and park guests are not like US park guests. They often smoke where ever they want and pushing and shoving is normal to them. They also will cut a line and an entire family will be ahead of you before you even know what's happened. How you deal with this is up to you. I basically blocked them every time they tried and they actually were very accepting of the fact that I wasn't going to let them get in front of me. They'll still try over and over though. And get used to having hands on your back and people leaning on you as you try to watch fireworks. It is just the thing they do.

    Also know that their are black market Disney sellers INSIDE the park! I kid you not. Craziest thing I every saw. They sell ears, key chains, rain coats and umbrellas. It is again, like the wild west there.

    Is it worth it? Yes. For Pirates it is. The bonus is TRON, which is pretty cool. Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters is so much more state of the art than our versions, you'll want to cry. Plus the ride system on Peter Pan is smooth and awesome and 2016 vs.1955 so it is fun to experience as well. If none of these things matter to you.. just go to Tokyo.

    Good luck!



    Permanecer sentado por favor...

  • #2
    We had a very similar experience. We were immediate approached and took out money for a “cab” but I realized they were trying to swindle us and went to the taxi line. The cab driver didn’t understand “Disney” at all... but somehow we got there without even having the address.
    Jeff Wayne






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    • #3
      I asked this question on another thread, but I’ll ask it here as well: how hard is it for a foreigner to identify the legit taxis at the airport? And if this is such a challenge, why not take the train into the resort? Quite honestly we are heavily leaning toward taking the train and avoiding the entire taxi “experience” that everyone seems to have there.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Gelatoni97 View Post
        I asked this question on another thread, but I’ll ask it here as well: how hard is it for a foreigner to identify the legit taxis at the airport? And if this is such a challenge, why not take the train into the resort? Quite honestly we are heavily leaning toward taking the train and avoiding the entire taxi “experience” that everyone seems to have there.
        If you follow the airport signage to the taxi rank it should be fairly obvious where to go to pick up an official taxi. It took a bit of explaining to describe Disneyland as a destination, and ended up showing a print out of the toy story hotel address in Chinese.

        The reason you'd likely want to take a taxi instead of a train if Disneyland is your destination, is that the park is quite near the airport, about a 20 minute drive, but to get there by train you'd end up taking a 2 hour journey with connecting trains going into the city centre, then out again to the resort to get there.

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        • #5
          Awesome visit. (ooo, an excuse to ramble about disneyland? yes!)

          Shanghai Airport - you can also exchange a little cash and get your Hotel written down correctly for the taxistand at the Tourist Infomation Booths nearby. We had the W Shanghai info printed out, but our taxi guy didn't understand any of it, so we had to run inside to get it further translated before he'd leave. He didn't seem excited about waiting, but that might have been lost in translation. (There can be multiple dialects to Shanghai's residents, not everyone there can speak or read them all.) The taxi stand otherwise worked like any else in the world, rope line and a concierge.

          Airport Bonus - MagLev Train! Flying at 450km/hr is a thrill ride in itself. Unfortunately, the train goes only to the SW side of the city, so you have to taxi or metro the rest of where ever you are staying, and yeah, you go way way past Disneyland on that route with a very complicated return path. Since we were North Bund at the W, for our return to the airport, we taxi'd down to the MagLev. Very worthy experience - world needs more of these.

          Shanghai Disneyland - also their Soarin' has the best theming of all. I heart the shaman and her animal magick.

          Crowds - I might have been lucky, as we didn't get a lot of pushing and cutting at all. But be prepared to have more eyeballs on you than on the princesses - children and grammas stare hard if you don't look like everyone else. Smiles back don't even bring one. You will be an instant D-List Celebrity.

          Pirates - yes, i so totally agree with you! Best dark ride. But... the local smoking area backs up to one of the walls near the exit queue, so you'll blast through a fog of cigarettes every time without ever seeing why. We joked it was typical pirate behavior.

          Astro Blasters - I cried. Since they have these in almost every park, then every other park needs to immediately Plus up.

          Tron - Oh yes. yes yes. Can't be built in Florida fast enough. You are going to love this one (but you probably knew that).

          Metro - an amazing subway system, but we still had to take 3 to 5 trains to Disneyland (to take only 3 trains actually took 20 minutes longer), and we were staying in the heart of the city. The Metro phone app was easy to figure out, but because lack of easy wifi around town, we had to make sure to screengrab all possible routes both directions before leaving the hotel.

          Purchasing 'Maxpass' - Totally worth getting the seven-ride fastpass. But my phone had no local Simcard and so was in airplane mode, and while outside the park wouldn't link to their servers, so text messages needed to finish the purchase weren't coming through. Once past the security and entry gates, over on the right is Guest Relations, and they have awesome English-speakers. Our CM kindly used their personal phone to receive our initial fastpass message, then after that, we could move inside the park and link to their park's wifi servers.

          My Only Real Guest Complaint - everyone's cel phones documenting everything always. You think it's happening at American parks? 10x more there. It's hard to ask people to put away their phones if you are the only people in your Pirate boat not shooting video... all we could do would friendly-hiss at the ones that shoot with their LED lights on. Odds 50:50 on them turning those off. I had to use my hands to block screens in the dark rides. Luckily Tron and Soarin' are too intense for most to hold them (forbidden in Tron's case), but the Tarzan show had ushers running up and down shushing people's camera lights for the entire performance. It's just a thing that happens.

          My Shanghai Warning - Air quality. Was there late November, and I started hacking with congestion right as we landed. Our hotel insisted on providing HEPA machines in our room, so absolutely worth it. Outside, it wasn't that you walk out and can taste the air, but it's a general haze that permeated everything. The last morning it had rained for an hour, and suddenly both blue skies with a subtle but definite change in the air quality. My hacking and congestion persisted until landing in Macau, then instantly it was totally gone.

          Return factor - at a healthy time of year? definitely. I'd visit the park again.

          -thanks for sharing mickeyandme67, I'm glad you had a good time! -brett
          Last edited by brett; 08-26-2018, 02:24 PM.

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          • #6
            D-List Celebrity - I just remembered, riding the Voyage to the Crystal Grotto, across the boat was a grandmother who was way more excited in watching me than anything else we passed by. My feeling was not once did she turn away. Never an unfriendly look, and mostly delighted grinning, but it was a complete unrelenting stare, in that we joked later that her total adventure was a Voyage to Staring at Brett.

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            • #7
              We just got back from Shanghai and Hong Kong. I read all the reports before we went. We changed money at the airport at one of the many currency exchange places without problem. We got our hotel shuttle mostly easily. We had no one try to lure us anywhere. We found no outside vendors selling merchandise inside the parks. Except for the 3 HOUR QUEUE just to get through security to get into the park(the president was in town and everybody got a holiday), we had a great time!

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              • #8
                Originally posted by mickeyandme67 View Post

                Be aware, Chinese people and park guests are not like US park guests. They often smoke where ever they want and pushing and shoving is normal to them. They also will cut a line and an entire family will be ahead of you before you even know what's happened. How you deal with this is up to you. I basically blocked them every time they tried and they actually were very accepting of the fact that I wasn't going to let them get in front of me. They'll still try over and over though. And get used to having hands on your back and people leaning on you as you try to watch fireworks. It is just the thing they do.

                I've experienced similar behavior here in the USA enough to know I would not enjoy visiting Shanghai. In many cultures the expectation of personal space is very different than here in America. One would think that it would be easy to tell that your wait in line is going to take the time it takes so no need to be standing practically on top of the people in front of you. I too do not like people making physical contact with me while waiting in lines. I will first politely ask them to leave some space between us and if that doesn't happen then when I move forward I will extend my arm straight out behind me to indicate the "territorial limit" I expect (at minimum an arm's length) and then after that if the intentional contact continues I will PUSH back and enforce my personal space.

                I know exactly what you are describing; that group mentality in some cultures to push, shove, and crowd when it isn't necessary. I'm a bit OCD about my space, and also a little claustrophobic in situations where it begins to feel like a crushing crowd is about to happen. As a guy who played offensive lineman in high school I am still very capable of MOVING people if I need to. Once at Disneyland a family kept pushing behind my wife and kids; I warned them to please STOP, they ignored my request and I ended up pushing their entire group 10 feet back and then they finally got the picture. There is no need for anyone ever to stand that close to you in a line. I consider intentional unnecessary physical contact after a warning to be an assault and I will use reasonable force to defend against a physical assault. Incidental, or accidental contact is something else. But intentionally standing close to me and then continually bumping into me will not be tolerated.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by prillzilla View Post
                  We just got back from Shanghai and Hong Kong. I read all the reports before we went. We changed money at the airport at one of the many currency exchange places without problem. We got our hotel shuttle mostly easily. We had no one try to lure us anywhere. We found no outside vendors selling merchandise inside the parks. Except for the 3 HOUR QUEUE just to get through security to get into the park(the president was in town and everybody got a holiday), we had a great time!
                  Your experience is very similar to mine back in late September. Also noticed no smoking (outside of designated areas), no pushing, no disorderly guest behavior. Our queue to get in was about 1 hour our first day, and then we arrived super early on days 2 and 3 so that we were much closer to the front of the line.

                  It’s interesting how much of the online negative commentary around SDL is proven to be completely false by those who’ve actually visited the park. I was very hesitant even booking the trip in the first place, and all my concerns turned out to be non-issues. Ended up being one of my favorite Disney parks in the world, one that I absolutely plan to return to.

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