The newest Disney park, Shanghai Disneyland opened in June 2016 and is now the largest Disneyland park in the world. Anybody who has been to more than one Disney park knows that they are like fingerprints: no two parks are the same. With all the lands, attractions, and shows and their own DisneyTown, Shanghai Disney is something that every traveler alike should see at least once in their lifetime. But how do you know what to enjoy when you’re new to Shanghai? Here are some tips and tricks for your first Shanghai Disney visit.
Download the App
Download the Shanghai Disney Official App before you even fly into Shanghai. Shanghai Disney has its own website and app, and you can find a lot of helpful information there. This will be helpful for getting directions to attractions and checking wait times around the park while you’re there. You can even use it to buy park tickets ahead of time. But the most important reason you’ll need this app is to book FastPasses in advance.
If you’re unaware of what FastPasses are, they give you the opportunity to skip the long lines by giving you a designated time to visit the attractions. After you’ve purchased tickets, you can book these on the app up to 30 days in advance. Currently there are 7 attractions that use FastPasses. You can get as many FastPasses as time allowances will let you, and there are currently 7 attractions that use them. Check Shanghai Disney’s website if you need more information.
Get Shopping Done Early
Most people will suggest that you wait until the end of the night to do your shopping so you don’t have to worry about it while you’re trying to enjoy everything. However, I recommend the opposite. Whatever souvenirs you are going to purchase, get them early in the day. There are two main reasons for this.
Unlike American Disney Parks, you can’t always find all the souvenir options at the World of Disney store in DisneyTown. So when you see something you like, grab it when you see it. Don’t wait to see if you can find it again later – because you may lose your chance altogether.
Second and most importantly, this gets all the stress out of the way and lets you focus on what’s most important: having fun!
Don't Forget The Pictures
It’s easy to get caught up in all the excitement that is Disney, But there’s nothing worse than getting back home and not having any if any proof that you were actually there. To avoid this, you must remember to take pictures every so often. I have never personally experienced this – but I know some friends who have been this unfortunate in the past, and they regret it to this day. Don’t let this be you.
Side note: if you plan on taking a lot of pictures or videos, I suggest you bring extra battery packs. You don’t wanna lose the opportunity for more pictures because your phone or camera died.
Pre-Plan Your Food
The biggest time-waster for new visitors is waiting in line for food. There are two things I suggest to avoid this. First of all, plan your meals, drink, and snacks in advance. You can use the Shanghai Disney website to help with this. This will make sure you know exactly what restaurant or snack stand you are looking for – so you won’t be spending time walking around the park at the time of hunger.
The second thing I suggest is to plan your meals at different times than usual. Eat later or earlier than everybody else, so you can spend less time in the restaurant crowds. This also means you can catch some attractions during the normal eating times. Now if eating at “strange” times causes you to feel like you’re starving, eat lots of snacks! It’ll curb the hunger – plus, they’re so yummy!
Skip the Fireworks
In my opinion: if you’ve seen one set of fireworks, you’ve seen them all. Skip the fireworks and take advantage of the fact that most everybody else won’t. Use this time to go on the rides that usually have the long wait times: Pirates of the Caribbean, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, or TRON. SDMT is exactly the same as the American version, so I would personally recommend the other two. When I visited TRON earlier in the day, there was a two-hour wait time. Even the single-rider line was 45 minutes! When I went during the fireworks, it was less than 20 minutes – best decision I ever made.
This one goes without saying, but it is definitely the most important! Don’t spend so much time on the details that it forces you to forget to enjoy the trip! In fact, it’s perfectly alright to forgo a few plans if you find yourself in the middle of something you don’t want to leave. There’s nothing worse than needing a break from your vacation because you spent too much time stressing.
Visiting foreign Disney parks is a special kind of adventure and one that I believe everyone must experience. Hopefully, these tips will help turn your Shanghai Disney dream into an achievable reality.
Have you ever been to Shanghai Disney? What tips would you add to this list?
Wondering if a Disney vacation is right for your family? Check out this article on the Pros and Cons of a Disney Vacation!
Looking to book your first trip to Shanghai Disney? Contact me on my travel website, and we can get it started today!