Shanghai Disneyland Trip Report: October 21-23, 2016

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horizons1
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Re: Shanghai Disneyland Trip Report: October 21-23, 2016

Post by horizons1 » Oct Mon 24, 2016 7:42 am

Day 3: Sunday, October 23

As I mentioned, the weather on Sunday was much improved. It was overcast during parts of the afternoon and there were still dark clouds in the sky but no rain. Whew.

Let's start with a couple pics at the hotel:

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I took my time today and arrived at the park near 11:30. The park closed at 7pm and since I had experienced most of what I wanted on Saturday I was able to take my time. That was the goal of this trip with two days, similar to what I did at HKDL. And it was worth the extra day, especially because of the weather.

First, a quick stroll through Mickey Avenue. It doesn't last long!

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I first headed into Adventure Isle and decided to just grab a snack instead of lunch. Stopping off at Piranha Bites I had the Chicken Teriyaki & Asian Slaw Wrap. At 50 RMB, that worked out to about $7.50, not including the soda. I found a quiet spot overlooking the river and waved at the canoe passengers as I ate. It was good, by the way.

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After lunch I headed over to Camp Discovery. This is a playground similar to some of the other parks but it has a great obstacle course where you wear the harnesses with the overhead tracks but you get to climb all over the mountain. There are some caverns, waterfalls, etc. and lots of tricky things to step over. The downside is having to drag your lanyard around the track, past dozens of junction points that caused traffic jams - especially with the little kids who had to yank on their lanyards until they were free'd.

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You have to drop off everything you're carrying - even your cellphone - in a free locker rental before donning the harness. Not sure if the phone rule is because too many people stop and take pics or because they can be easly destroyed.

Next, a walk from Adventure Isle through Treasure Cove and into Fantasyland. Note, the Treasure Cove sign below isn't on the way - it's leading in from the castle.

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They have an indoor restaurant overlooking the Pirate boats but it is not table service. In fact, as far as I can tell there is only one table service restaurant in the entire park and that's the Royal Table in the castle. The pic below is what you see once you go inside the doors from the pic above.

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Ok, remember how I said the Voyage to the Crystal Grotto had really nice boats? I couldn't help myself - here they are:

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I liked these lamps at the Winnie the Pooh Hunny (teacup) ride:

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The park was not crowded. Not sure what the normal Saturday/Sunday pattern is or if there even is a normal pattern for a four month old park. Either way, it was nice to not have to fight any crowds and it gave me time to easily stumble upon little treats like this outdoor play reenacting the entire story of Beauty and the Beast. There was a storyteller, a woman playing all the music on accordion, and three actors - one of whom doubled as Gaston and the puppeteer for Lumier, Cogsworth, etc. It was very well done and they were really into it.

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This whimsical building houses another quick serve restaurant in the back of the park:

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So here's something I noticed and mentioned in passing yesterday. There are several large patches of land that are ripe for future development, many of which currently hold grassy picnic areas. But on the left side of the park above Tomorrowland and along the left-most border of Fantasyland is a walled off area that is landscaped. As I stroll toward Tomorrowland in the picture below, Peter Pan is on the left and the wall is on the right, with Tomorrowland in the distance.

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Just past the wall before you get to Tomorrowland you encounter a Pixar-themed eatery and bathrooms that made me look twice:

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Do you see what I see? Doesn't it look like a giant flower pot and a Green Army Men themed bathroom? I thought so, and upon closer inspection, the border around the planters confirms it:

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Obviously, this area behind the wall will be Toy Story Land. But the space is so big, I wonder if it will either be a clone of the one going up in DHS or maybe expand into a Pixar Land. The restaurant is Pixar-themed but mostly that's just paint so it could easily just be the entrance to Toy Story.

Here's an aerial view of the park. I've highlighted the obvious areas for expansion that sit within the current park boundary. The one in yellow is the future Toy Story Land. Maybe they announced this already and this is old news but I was proud of my detective work.

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Moving on. I checked out the Frozen Sing-Along show. It was fine for those who like the movie, but I was disappointed at the lack of effort in that this show was mostly clips of the movie with the lyrics at the bottom of the screen and a few stage actors stirring up the crowd. The best part, and the only part I cared to see, was the Olaf Summer song. The cast members brought out huge beach balls and threw them into the audience, who of course went nuts.

I headed over to Tron to get another ride or two in, having had such a blast riding it three times yesterday. Uh oh, this can't be good:

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Yep, cast members standing in a row in front of an attraction is never good. Tron broke down and did not reopen the rest of the day. I really feel for any out of town guests who had only this one day and didn't get to it before it closed. Boo.

Having completed several full loops around this huge park, I found myself back at Mickey Avenue around twilight. here are some pics and observations as the sun went down:

1. The main eatery (roughly where The Plaza Restaurant is at WDW's MK) is another quick serve buffeteria, but with lots of choices. It's also the last restaurant to close, but I'll get to that later. It's called Mickey and Pals Market Cafe and has several facades that make the outside look like different restaurants. I got teased by Tony's which made me think for a second that there was an Italian restaurant in the park. Nope, just an Italian-themed dining section. There's also a Three Caballeros section.

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2. There's a Club 33 at this park. Another thing I found by accident, I saw this innocuous archway with a familiar address...

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...and looking around the corner there's a fancy door and a buzzer/intercom/camera in the wall for those in-the-know:

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Standing back, I could see lights on upstairs and the Club must have a great view. There even appears to be balconies or outdoor areas at least.

3. Like I said before, the space in front of the castle is huge.

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4. Other random stuff like Alice's Maze...

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...and nice sights back in the adventure complex like lots of ships...

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...rock rattlesnakes...

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...and rock jungle cats.

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5. Burned out bulbs after only a few months. Unlike HKDL, they stuck to conventional incandescent bulbs in lots of places. Also, the building trims were all different light bulb styles instead of a single type like on any of the Main Streets. The Fantasia Carousel had an LED light canopy and the trees all had LED lights though.

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6. The strangeness of this Tomorrowland grows on you after a while.

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And here are just a few other shots to round things out:

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The park closed at 7 and the fireworks were in full swing as I took the last pics. So I stopped for dinner at the Mickey and Pals restaurant and grabbed a spot outside on the patio where I could watch the end of the show. The view was blocked a bit by trees but I was the only one out there. I had grilled chicken breast with gravy, green beans (with bacon and onions) and a piece of corn served in a skillet. It was all delicious and roughly $12 US.

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Here's where I was sitting, it's adjacent to the fake Tony's facade:

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And, finally, a couple nice Mickey Avenue parting shots.

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Well, that's it. I got back to the hotel with very sore feet, asked the concierge to reserve a cab for my morning trip to the airport, and went downstairs for a quick dessert in the hotel food court. I noticed that, on more than one occasion, that it was very easy to throw the cast members for a loop with slightly out-of-the-ordinary patterns. For instance, I took my brownie and went outide to sit at the nice tables outside the Toy Story Hotel food court. It was such a nice evening it seemed a waste not to enjoy it. But the cast members in the dining room got somewhat flustered. By the way they acted I must'be been the only person to venture outside - ever. They bus the tables and guests in China tend to be trained to just leave things on the table. Even in fast food restaurants someone busses the tables. Anyway, they really seemed perplexed that I would a) sit outside and eat when there were dozens of perfectly good tables inside where they could wait on me and b) bus my own tray, which really sent them into a tizzy.

To their credit, they are really trained to provide top-notch service and it is great if you like that sort of thing. But for someone who grew up with US-style service it's tiring to have someone always following you around waiting to clean up after you, or guide you, or whatever. I mean, this over-enthusiastic helpfullness was everywhere.

And another final observation: Those of you with kids may lament the amount of time they spend on their phones but I can assure you it is nothing in comparison with the attachment to smart phones in China. OMG. It was like they were I.V. drips. No joke, people were using their devices, mostly for chat, during shows, on rides, while eating, and of course while walking around. It's a sign of the times, surely, and it's only going to get worse. I'm surprised that wearables (like Google Glass) didn't catch on - this market seems ripe.

Anyway, that's all. As always, let me know if you have any questions.
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horizons1
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Re: Shanghai Disneyland Trip Report: October 21-23, 2016

Post by horizons1 » Oct Mon 24, 2016 7:57 am

acp wrote:Ah, cool. I was in HKDL a few weeks ago. I didn't stay at a Disney hotel, though (much cheaper to stay in the middle of Hong Kong itself). I did have a walk around both of the hotels there (and had lunch in the Studio Lounge at the Hollywood Hotel, which was more expensive than I expected!). They're building a third hotel between the existing two in HKDL now. Although it's quite tall now, it's not decorated enough to be able to tell what its theme is yet.
I meant to ask acp - are you going to post a trip report for HKDL? Did you post them on FB instead? I want to hear about your trip too!
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Re: Shanghai Disneyland Trip Report: October 21-23, 2016

Post by acp » Oct Mon 24, 2016 12:01 pm

horizons1 wrote:
acp wrote:Ah, cool. I was in HKDL a few weeks ago. I didn't stay at a Disney hotel, though (much cheaper to stay in the middle of Hong Kong itself). I did have a walk around both of the hotels there (and had lunch in the Studio Lounge at the Hollywood Hotel, which was more expensive than I expected!). They're building a third hotel between the existing two in HKDL now. Although it's quite tall now, it's not decorated enough to be able to tell what its theme is yet.
I meant to ask acp - are you going to post a trip report for HKDL? Did you post them on FB instead? I want to hear about your trip too!
I posted photos on Twitter ( https://twitter.com/acp ) and Facebook ( https://www.facebook.com/disneyandy (although you have to be on my friends list to see it)) while I was there (both got the same photos at the same time, with only a couple of exceptions).

I'm pondering posting a quick thoughts post on here about HKDL. (Having said that, I said that about TDR the first time I visited and still haven't. :roll:) I'll look at doing that next weekend when I've got some time free. In short, HKDL exceeded my expectations. It's certainly not the biggest nor best Disney park I've been to, but what it has is done very well.

Also, there were no queues - at all.

Back on topic, SDL looks like a good start for the resort.

The Toy Story bit you spotted looks kind of.. random. I'd imagine they're going to put some of the stuff they're designing for DHS in there eventually.

Good spot on the Club 33. I hadn't actually heard/read anything about SDL having a Club 33. Hopefully they can keep it more of a secret than DLR's one (like TDL, who's Club 33's inside is also actually still a secret).

It's interesting that the restaurants were quiet by fireworks time - particularly the ones around Mickey Avenue. I'd have expected the ones there to have been much busier at around the time everyone's heading to the centre of the park. Was it just a quiet day, or were they actually busier earlier on?

The whole thing with clearing tables at the Asian parks is interesting. You see similar at TDR - particularly at busier times of day. You stand up and start picking up your bags, and a CM swipes your tray from in front of you and clears the table. Not once at TDR (or HKDL, for that matter) have I ever managed to actually get my own tray from my table to a bin without a CM intercepting me and taking it off me.

How were the CMs in general? I know the resort's still new and a lot of it might still be novelty, but how did you find interacting with them? Were there many that were able to speak English at all (or enough to do their job in English)?

Out of interest, why did you choose a taxi to the airport over using the trains?
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Amy
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Re: Shanghai Disneyland Trip Report: October 21-23, 2016

Post by Amy » Oct Mon 24, 2016 9:32 pm

Wow ~ loved all the photos horizons1. Sorry you didn't get to ride Tron again though.
What kind of ride is that pink lighted thingie in Tomorrowland?
The plaza area in front of the castle looks a lot like the World of Color viewing area in DCA.
I am curious about the CMs as well. I was disappointed to find that not many CMs would attempt to converse with me in TDL/TDS. Even when I would try to strike up a conversation with them in my limited Japanese to let them know that I didn't care if their English wasn't perfect as my Japanese was really rusty as well, they really didn't seem to want to chat.
Interesting about the fact that you taking your dessert outside threw them off so much. I don't remember too much about them cleaning tables and things when I visited the Tokyo parks, but I remember the Paris parks were pretty much bus your own. Maybe it is an Asian thing? I also remember being told rather rudely in Paris that I could not purchase "l'enfant" meal when I first attempted to order one. I learned to vaguely point over my shoulder as I ordered so they just would assume I was buying the kid's meal for my child instead of me who found the child's portion to be plenty and more in line with my budget while I was traveling :lol:

horizons1
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Re: Shanghai Disneyland Trip Report: October 21-23, 2016

Post by horizons1 » Oct Tue 25, 2016 9:56 pm

acp wrote:I'm pondering posting a quick thoughts post on here about HKDL. (Having said that, I said that about TDR the first time I visited and still haven't. :roll:) I'll look at doing that next weekend when I've got some time free.
Please do! I really like reading the TR's in this forum and prefer not to look for them elsewhere - hope I am not alone.
acp wrote:It's interesting that the restaurants were quiet by fireworks time - particularly the ones around Mickey Avenue. I'd have expected the ones there to have been much busier at around the time everyone's heading to the centre of the park. Was it just a quiet day, or were they actually busier earlier on?
The restaurants were all quiet all day. It was amazing how few people were sitting down eating wherever I went. Lots of snacking though - especially Mickey ice cream.
acp wrote:How were the CMs in general? I know the resort's still new and a lot of it might still be novelty, but how did you find interacting with them? Were there many that were able to speak English at all (or enough to do their job in English)?
Obviously they were friendly and enthusiastic. But a minus was that their knowledge level was not deep. If you asked anything out of the ordinary they often didn't know. I'm sure this is just the newness.
acp wrote:Out of interest, why did you choose a taxi to the airport over using the trains?
I wasn't sure about the route from the park to Pudong but it looked like I might've needed two transfers. The real reason was that my work was paying for the taxi so why not?! It wasn't expensive - about $30 USD.
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Re: Shanghai Disneyland Trip Report: October 21-23, 2016

Post by horizons1 » Oct Tue 25, 2016 9:58 pm

Amy wrote:What kind of ride is that pink lighted thingie in Tomorrowland?
That's the Jetpacks - their version of the Astro Orbiter/Rocket Jets. They are two seater, side-by-side with your feet dangling. The ride length is 1 minute exactly. There are 32 seats and they try to fill every seat so the line moves fairly quickly.
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Re: Shanghai Disneyland Trip Report: October 21-23, 2016

Post by Amy » Oct Wed 26, 2016 10:42 am

horizons1 wrote:
Amy wrote:What kind of ride is that pink lighted thingie in Tomorrowland?
That's the Jetpacks - their version of the Astro Orbiter/Rocket Jets. They are two seater, side-by-side with your feet dangling. The ride length is 1 minute exactly. There are 32 seats and they try to fill every seat so the line moves fairly quickly.
Nice ~ they look more g-force friendly than the Astro Orbiter version!

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Re: Shanghai Disneyland Trip Report: October 21-23, 2016

Post by horizons1 » Oct Sat 29, 2016 8:45 am

Here are some videos I captured during the trip:

1. Adventure Isle river view and Explorer Canoes

https://youtu.be/lQVT_hQ8aWA

2. Castle show announcement

https://youtu.be/qAK6985Lw6Q

3. Castle view from Gardens of Imagination

https://youtu.be/-BlF_9EsZ-g

4. Fantasyland view of path in front of Peter Pan

https://youtu.be/mbw3etn_K5w

5. Tomorrowland view of space in front of Tron

https://youtu.be/UrJRHXB9w_g
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Re: Shanghai Disneyland Trip Report: October 21-23, 2016

Post by Soarin08 » Nov Sun 06, 2016 10:39 pm

It's interesting that they're serving Pepsi products, when stateside and Paris have always done Coke... wonder if it's a licensing thing in Asia?
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Re: Shanghai Disneyland Trip Report: October 21-23, 2016

Post by horizons1 » Nov Mon 07, 2016 1:01 pm

Soarin08 wrote:It's interesting that they're serving Pepsi products, when stateside and Paris have always done Coke... wonder if it's a licensing thing in Asia?
I was happy to see this as I am a Pepsi fan. You may be right - it may be licensing, but I don't think it is a regional thing because Hong Kong Disneyland serves Coke.
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Re: Shanghai Disneyland Trip Report: October 21-23, 2016

Post by horizons1 » Nov Tue 22, 2016 12:29 pm

Ah ha! I was right: Toy Story Land has been greenlit

https://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/ ... tory-land/
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Re: Shanghai Disneyland Trip Report: October 21-23, 2016

Post by Amy » Nov Tue 22, 2016 9:33 pm

horizons1 wrote:Ah ha! I was right: Toy Story Land has been greenlit

https://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/ ... tory-land/
Neat ~ cool that you spotted and suspected this while you were there!

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