Shanghai Disneyland Resort is the latest Disney theme park to open up in the world. Situated in Pudong new district, it is a 45-minute drive away from Pudong International Airport. Very much like all the other Disney theme parks across the planet, Shanghai Disneyland has a number of rides, and other attractions which have made is popular with the locals as well as visiting tourists in the short time since its inauguration.
Shanghai Disneyland Resort, which consists of the park, Disney town – a shopping, restaurant and entertainment complex, and two exclusively themed hotels, is well connected with the central city. Visitors can reach the resort by using the subway, bus, or by taxi. This makes it easy to combine other attractions in the city along with visiting the park.
Looking at the rising theme park ticket prices around the world, it is good to see that Shanghai Disneyland Park, along with Hong Kong Disneyland, is relatively cheaper. The tickets here range from $52 to around $75.
Although it is possible to enjoy most smaller Disneyland parks, very much like Hong Kong Disneyland, in one day, it is always advisable to keep two or even three days to make the most of your visit. Furthermore, doing a little research and picking out memorable rides that you really want to visit, before reaching the park, can help you save time.
I have just returned from my very first visit to China where I, along with my annoying brother, had the opportunity to spend two fun-filled days exploring Shanghai Disneyland and its many attractions.
Below is a list of 10 rides that I highly recommend. These rides cover different age groups and include some new additions as well as classics. As most seasoned Disney goers are aware, it is advisable to pick up a Fast Pass for the most popular rides and also try and avoid visiting the theme park on a school holiday.
10. Dumbo the Flying Elephant
Dumbo is a famous Disney ride found in almost all parks around the world. The attraction includes sitting in a flying cart that goes round and round for a few minutes. I particularly enjoy the fact that we can control how high or low we want our flying Dumbo to go. It is a fun ride especially for younger children, and the cheerful music adds to its charm. During my visit, the waiting time for Dumbo the Flying Elephant was around 30 to 40 minutes.
9. Honey Pot Spin
Honey Pot Spin is a variation of the classic Disneyland ride Cups and Saucers. In this ride, in place of cups and saucers, we got to sit in a giant honey jar which then spun all around the platform. I liked how we could rotate the centre wheel which would then revolve the pot we were sitting in. Furthermore, it is a ride that I could enjoy with my family as each jar can accommodate around 3 people. We waited about 30 minutes to get seated, but it was all worth it.
8. Slinky Dog Spin
Toy Story’s Slinky the dog gets his own individually named ride at Shanghai Disneyland. Slinky Dog Spin is perfect for tiny tots as it includes Slinky going around in a circle trying to catch his tail, but at a moderate speed with a few bumps to make the ride a bit more interesting. My brother enjoyed the ride a lot and had fun sliding on his seat every time there was a turn. The waiting time is around 30 minutes, but the line moves fast.
7. Jet Packs
The Jet Packs attraction is somewhat similar to Dumbo the Flying Elephant. It includes sitting in futuristic-looking seats – jetpacks – with our legs dangling, that can then go up and down by using control buttons. They jetpacks move fast, and that makes the experience even more exhilarating. The view from the jetpacks is impressive. Moreover, if you do the ride while the Disney parade is going on, you can get a magnificent view of the floats and characters from high above. With a 45-minute waiting time, we spent more time in the line than on the actual ride, but Jet Packs is still recommended.
6. Pirates of the Caribbean
A breathtakingly fantastic ride, Pirates of the Caribbean is situated in the Treasure Cove section of Shanghai Disneyland Park. Featuring the characters of the movie, including the eccentric Jack Sparrow, the ride takes us on a voyage that includes hidden treasure and grand battles at sea. The gigantic screens and phenomenal special effects make it seem like the boat we are sitting in is underwater or right in the middle of all the fighting action. There is a little surprise at the end, which was the part I liked best. The average waiting time for the ride when I went was 20 minutes, but on our second day, I saw that it went up to 40 minutes.
5. Woody’s Roundup Ranch
A chance to travel back in time to the Old West, Woody’s Roundup Ranch includes a dizzy ride on a donkey carriage that is a little like Cups and Saucers but also different. There is a lot of sliding around on the seats in the cart – no wonder they are so clean – and is another ride where I was able to sit alongside with my family. The speed of the ride varies from slow to fast, but it’s still okay for all age groups. The waiting time is around 20 to 40 minutes.
4. Buzz Lightyear
One of the most famous highlights of Tomorrowland is Buzz Lightyear. Even though it might seem childish, I noticed people of all ages enjoying this favourite shooting game. The ride involves going through a tunnel and shooting various targets using a laser gun. Both I and my bother loved it so much that we ended up going three times on the ride. Surprisingly, the waiting line is short, but that is also because the ride is continuously moving. On average, you’ll have to wait for about 5 to 10 minutes.
3. Roaring Rapids
Finally, a thrilling attraction! Roaring Rapids is a boat ride with many sudden drops and exciting twists and turns. Beware, that you might get splashed at the end of the ride which consists of an unexpected fall. You might want to buy a poncho or raincoat before heading into the Roaring Rapids if you are particular about your clothes not getting wet. I found it to be entertaining and spent the entire ride screaming with joy every time I saw another bump or fall in the distance. The waiting period is 40 to 60 minutes, and you might want to use your Fast Pass here.
2. The 7 Dwarfs Mine Train
The 7 Dwarfs Mine Train was one of the highpoints of my entire trip. This rollercoaster takes us in, out, and around a mountain and has many sudden drops and twists. Throughout the ride, I felt like I was going to fall out. But it is a Disney ride, after all, so don’t worry, it is perfectly safe. Among the busiest rides in the park, the average waiting time here is 40 minutes, but it can even reach up to 75 minutes on busy days. The quickest way to the ride is to use the single rider’s relatively short and fast-moving line.
My favourite ride at Shanghai Disneyland Park, Tron is based on the famous movie franchise of the same name. A unique rollercoaster, I got to sit on a futuristic motorcycle and race around a track at breakneck speed, just like they show in the movie. Moreover, the road and the bike light up in neon colours which for me was the ultimate experience that took the ride to a whole new level. Throughout Tron, I felt as if I was on an actual racing track. All the unexpected twists and turns made the ride even more thrilling and exciting. Even though it is the most popular attraction in the park, the single rider’s line was short, whereas the waiting time for families or groups is around 20 to 30 minutes.
Bonus! Soarin’ over the Horizon
Even with two whole days at the park, I ended up missing out on one recommended ride. Soarin’ is quite popular at all Disneyland parks and because of this, the waiting time is quite high. In fact, all the Fast Passes were over within minutes of the park opening. Soarin’ is all about watching the world on a large screen from the viewpoint of a bird. If you are ever at Shanghai Disneyland, make sure you head straight for Soarin’ first and then worry about the other rides.
About the author: Saanvi is a world traveller who has been to more than 25 countries. With a particular liking for rollercoasters, she hopes to visit all the Disney parks in the world soon. Saanvi writes about different topics on her blog Saanvi’s Something Something Blog.