Shanghai Disneyland - May 2018 Trip - Thoughts and Tips

Discussion in 'Other Lands' started by Timchat2, May 25, 2018.

  1. Timchat2

    Timchat2 Mouseketeer

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    We just got back from our first trip to the Shanghai Disney Resort and I thought it would be helpful to share some of our experiences for those planning to visit anytime soon. Reading about the experiences of others on this forum was extremely helpful for us when planning our trip.

    We stayed at Shanghai Disneyland Hotel. It was quite nice. The cast members were all very friendly and helpful despite the occasional language barrier. They helped us link our tickets to the app so that we could save time once we got into the park. The walk to the park from the hotel is deceptively long but pleasant nonetheless. We walked to the park our first morning and found that we were being routed all the way to the Metro station and back along with the day guests coming from the parking lot before we could get through to the Disneytown entrance. This was an unexpected detour that we could have avoided by taking the resort bus, which drops off guests almost immediately nearby the Disneytown park entrance. We made a point to be at our resort bus stop before 7:00AM to catch the first bus out.

    If nothing else we learned that staying on-site is a HUGE advantage for touring the park, especially in the morning. Being able to pre-book one FastPass for each park day is quite nice. We used ours for Soaring Over the Horizon since it generally has the longest stand-by times. The early entry in the morning provides a distinct advantage as well. Each morning we were able to enter the park by 7:30AM (with 8:00AM being official park opening) and begin booking FastPasses as soon as we were through the gate. This allowed us to book FPs for major attractions like TRON, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, or Roaring Rapids within the first hour, which meant our window to book again came up not long after the park officially opening. Having all of that secured feels pretty good as you watch all of the times rocket up as the day guests enter the gate and start booking FPs.

    After being let in at 7:30AM each morning we were held at the Gardens of Imagination ("the hub") until around 7:40AM. We were then released to go anywhere we liked in the park. For the most part attractions wait until official park opening to start admitting guests but we were able to ride Roaring Rapids, Winnie the Pooh, and Peter Pan starting at 7:45AM on each of our mornings. There is a chance other attractions might start operating early. We weren't sure if it was a matter of the crews being ready or if it was officially scheduled that way.

    With the early starts and hotel FP we were able to start the day with FPs for Soaring and Seven Dwarfs while squeezing in early rides on Roaring Rapids, the Toy Story Land attractions, and/or Fantasyland dark rides before 8:15AM. And since our booking window would open with our early Seven Dwarfs FP we could secure a TRON FP before 9:00AM. It felt pretty good. I doubt we would have been able to secure as much if we had to process through the front gate with the day guests at the regular park opening time.

    It is worth noting that while the park states that you can only book up to three FPs a day we were able to book four FPs (along with the additional hotel FP) before the app stopped showing us available times. It was hard to tell if all of the times had been truly booked up or if the app was throttling us a bit. Either way we were pleasantly surprised that we were able to get one beyond the first three.

    I hope our experiences are helpful to anyone visiting the park soon. If you have any other questions feel free to ask and I'll answer them as best I can.
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2018
  2. indoshakespeare

    indoshakespeare Reach out and find your Happily Ever After

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    is the FP machine located in one place for all attractions?
     
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  4. Timchat2

    Timchat2 Mouseketeer

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    All FastPasses are booked through the Shanghai Disney Resort app. The former FP distribution points in each land have become Guest Services locations. They still list wait times for the land and elsewhere in the park but the paper FP machines are all covered up.
     
  5. indoshakespeare

    indoshakespeare Reach out and find your Happily Ever After

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    So it's like the Maxpass in Anaheim?
     
  6. Timchat2

    Timchat2 Mouseketeer

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    That's correct, except FastPass is included with admission at SDL. Also, you are supposed to be limited to three FP bookings a day but we were able to book at least four along with the additional FP from staying at the hotels.
     
  7. CaptainCook

    CaptainCook Mouseketeer

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    How did the FP you got through the hotel work? We are headed to Shanghai in July and are staying onsite at Disneyland. We have the hotel booked, but don't have park tickets yet. We were planning to buy those once at the hotel. When do you get the FP for staying onsite? If we book a FP the night before when we check in, should availability be good?
     
  8. Timchat2

    Timchat2 Mouseketeer

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    The hotel FPs are booked at the concierge desk the night before you plan to use your park tickets. We did a one-day ticket, a day trip into Shanghai, and then later a two-day ticket during our stay. We were able to book both days of our two-day ticket the night before the first day of that ticket.

    In terms of availability it appeared that we could book any one FP attraction for anytime throughout the following day. They just asked whatever attraction we wanted for whatever time we liked. Judging from the tablet they used to book the FPs the availability windows were wide open for the following day, so you shouldn't have any trouble picking whatever you want. Once booked the hotel FPs appeared in the app with our tickets. We redeemed them like any other FP booked once inside the park.

    I cannot stress enough what an advantage staying on-site is, both for the advance FPs and the significant jump you get on the day guests each morning.
     
  9. CaptainCook

    CaptainCook Mouseketeer

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    Thanks for the info.

    Do you need to use the hotel FP before you are allowed to book FPs in the park, or does it stand alone?
     
  10. Timchat2

    Timchat2 Mouseketeer

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    It stands alone from the in-park FPs. We were booking our first in-park FP for the 8:00-9:00AM hour as soon as we went through the turnstile at 7:30AM, which nice because we could then book our second in-park FP shortly after 8:00AM.
     
  11. diz_chef

    diz_chef Earning My Ears

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    Hi there -- wondering about the wifi situation in the park. I know there is wifi but from what I gather it requires a mainland China number? What was your experience/what did you do? I know (vaguely) about renting a hotspot/VPN but I'm kind of confused as to the pros/cons.
     
  12. Timchat2

    Timchat2 Mouseketeer

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    The park wifi was a mixed bag for us. Sometimes we were able to connect with just our hotel room number while other times it required a China phone number. Since we didn't want to depend on the park wifi we rented a mobile hotspot with Klook (https://www.klook.com/activity/3246-wifi-device-china-shanghai/) and it worked quite well for us. For a VPN we used ExpressVPN, although you don't need a VPN to use the Shanghai Disney Resort app.

    There is a chance the concierge desk might be able to help you get connected to the park wifi so that you don't have to worry about a China phone number. We were able to link our tickets to the app with their help so we didn't have to worry about that step in the morning as we entered the park.
     
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  13. AquaDame

    AquaDame Disney Cruise Line Moderator

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    Just to make sure Im getting this right, you weren't staying in a concierge room, right? You just had a normal room only reservation there and bought your tickets separately? I had thought someone else said they did this but it was purchased as a package but I may have misunderstood!
     
  14. Timchat2

    Timchat2 Mouseketeer

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    That's right. We weren't in a concierge room. We had a regular Deluxe Garden View room (although we could see most of the skyline of Adventure Isle from the room). We were a bit confused by the talk of a "package" at first since we couldn't really see any such packages being available but it seemed like all they wanted to know was that we had booked a room and had purchased tickets for around those dates. We bought the tickets through Disney so perhaps that made any linking of the tickets to our reservation seamless for us.
     
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  15. KingCrusher

    KingCrusher Mouseketeer

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    I've never been so could be wrong but doesn't it make more sense to book the FP's for late morning or early afternoon? Aren't the crowds heavier at that point?

    If you book the FP's for the early morning, then you have to wait in all the long lines once the late morning/early afternoon comes.
     
  16. Timchat2

    Timchat2 Mouseketeer

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    The times on the app work like old-school paper FP in that you have to take whatever time is available as all the time slots are distributed, although you can select any time you want with the hotel FP. The Soaring FPs pretty much evaporate once the day guests arrive. The standby times tend to climb rapidly as the day guests fill the park so you can only get so many relative walk-ons in the early morning hours. Our third and forth FP selections would generally end up in the early afternoon and occasionally early evening. On our second and third days we were using the FP mostly as a means to re-ride favorites like TRON.
     
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  17. KingCrusher

    KingCrusher Mouseketeer

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    Ah I understand now. So let's say you book Soarin FP for 8-9am. Once 8am comes, you can then go and book a 2nd FP (let's say 10am-11am). Then once 10am comes, you can book your third and final FP for (let's say 2pm-3pm. And then once 2pm comes, you're done for the day (except for your Hotel FP).
     
  18. Timchat2

    Timchat2 Mouseketeer

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    That's how each day played out for us, although on the first day we were able to get a forth FP after booking the initial three. It was for Buzz Lightyear Planet Rescue so it might have been something of a freebie since the standby waits weren't too bad for that much of the day.

    We generally booked Soaring as our hotel FP to avoid having to worry about it each day. This allowed us to book the other major attractions right away while riding standby in the morning on the lower-capacity rides with FP like the Explorer Canoes, Voyage to the Crystal Grotto or the Challenge Trails. Since Soaring is essentially a copy of the Soarin' attractions elsewhere (making it somewhat skippable, although it does have a unique queue and preshow) you could easily swap that out for Roaring Rapids since it can have the highest demand of the Shanghai-exclusive attractions with FP.
     
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  19. KingCrusher

    KingCrusher Mouseketeer

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    I'll be there in early March so I may be skipping the Rapids ride :)
     
  20. Timchat2

    Timchat2 Mouseketeer

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    We had mixed feelings about Roaring Rapids so you might be fine skipping it. The scope of the attraction is impressive for a rapids ride and there are moments that truly feel like you're riding a raging river but unfortunately unique large-scale elements like the Q'araq don't really register completely because they go by so quickly.
     
  21. disneylover102

    disneylover102 Mouseketeer

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    Do you have to wait until your Fastpass time to make a new selection or is it like Anaheim where you can get a new one every 90 minutes or 2 hours?

    If you get the advance Fastpass for Soaring, can you get the first Fastpass of the day for Soaring as well? (So then you would have 2 for Soaring, the advance Fastpass and the first Fastpass)
     

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