The Mysterious Case Of The Satsumas At The Security Checkpoint

dolphingirl47

In Search of the Tag Fairy
Joined
Dec 25, 2007
How interesting about the black egg, it looks very neat.
I was a little freaked out about this at first, but apart from the colour, there was nothing strange about it.

You can’t beat the £12 taxi ride, wonderful that worked out so well.
I was very impressed about this. Taxis in China are very good value.

Lovely they had the shuttle to Disney. And what excellent news Graham would go too!
The shuttle worked out perfectly. I was thrilled when Graham announced that he would join me.

I like the look of this city, the river walk is very nice. Too cute to have santas outside the buildings.
Shanghai is a fascinating city and I definitely want to go back, but it is Beijing that stole my heart.

Tokyo Disneyland sounded like a bit of a let down although the parades were cool.
That pretty much sums it up.

Shanghai looks very charming.
It is definitely a city that has a lot going for it.

Can't believe Graham is volunteering to go to Disney!
I could not believe it either.

Corinna
 

franandaj

I'm so happy, I could BOUNCE!
Joined
Nov 15, 2009
Sounds like you had a very long but productive day at TDL. Your katsu curry looked yummy!

I really like the floats in the electrical parade.

Thats interesting about your thoughts on the Japanese parks and them lacking a "Disney soul". OK on to read the next uodate.
 

franandaj

I'm so happy, I could BOUNCE!
Joined
Nov 15, 2009
That egg sounds bizarre. I dont care for solid yolks, so I'm not sure I could bring myself to eat it.

Interesting about the quarantine scanners, sounds very futuristic.

Do you remember how many Yuan the taxi ride cost? I read one TR where they knew they got ripped off and paid 500 Yuan to Disney's Toy Story hotel. It was only 100 to get back to the airport. I don't remember what PIO said she paid, but they stayed first on Nanjing road.

I can't belive Graham decided to go to Disney!

Your pictures at the Bund look even more polluted than some of the others that I've seen. I hope you didnt make a mistake ordering breakfast.
 
  • dolphingirl47

    In Search of the Tag Fairy
    Joined
    Dec 25, 2007
    Your katsu curry looked yummy!
    It really was and a nice surprise for a counter service restaurant.

    I really like the floats in the electrical parade.
    I liked them, too, but can't wait to see Paint The Night in Hong Kong. It will be interesting to see how this compares to Disneyland.

    Thats interesting about your thoughts on the Japanese parks and them lacking a "Disney soul".
    It is such a shame as otherwise the parks have so much going for them.

    That egg sounds bizarre.
    It was definitely unusual.

    I dont care for solid yolks, so I'm not sure I could bring myself to eat it.
    Solid yolks are not my first choice, but I also do not mind them.

    Interesting about the quarantine scanners, sounds very futuristic.
    It got even more futuristic in one of the ports.

    Do you remember how many Yuan the taxi ride cost?
    It was 112 Yuan.

    I read one TR where they knew they got ripped off and paid 500 Yuan to Disney's Toy Story hotel. It was only 100 to get back to the airport. I don't remember what PIO said she paid, but they stayed first on Nanjing road.
    Shanghai has two airports. Pudong is the main international airport and would have been a lot closer to our hotel and Disneyland. We flew in Hongqiao, which is mainly used for short and medium-haul flights and is the other side of Shanghai from where we were headed.

    I can't belive Graham decided to go to Disney!
    I know. He even mentioned this morning that he may come with me to Hong Kong Disneyland.

    Your pictures at the Bund look even more polluted than some of the others that I've seen.
    I only realised just how polluted it was when I looked at the photos. It did not feel bad at all.

    I hope you didnt make a mistake ordering breakfast.
    No, breakfast was wonderful.

    Corinna
     

    dolphingirl47

    In Search of the Tag Fairy
    Joined
    Dec 25, 2007
    Day 9

    We were awake before the alarm again. I was very excited about what was to come this day. Graham woke up shortly after me and we both got up and ready. We then headed down to breakfast. Breakfast was again served buffet style. This was quite a spread. There were some Western dishes like bacon and chicken sausages, various meat and fish dishes, some very Chinese dishes like fungus and pickled chicken feet and about everything in the middle. I headed for the soup noodle counter again. This time, I flavoured the broth with soy sauce and sesame oil and topped my noodles with pork mince that was fried crispy and seasoned with a sweet chilli sauce. This was heaven in a bowl. Graham had started with a plate of Western food and then tried the congee. Congee is a porridge made from rice and is a traditional breakfast food in China. It turned out that this was what we were served alongside our steamed pork buns in Beijing. There were all kinds of condiments and toppings with the congee. Graham suggested that this may be something I may like. I flavoured mine with soy sauce and sesame oil and added peanuts and roasted onions. This was absolutely delicious. I also had a couple of steamed pork buns and a Taiwanese hand roll, which consisted of a fried rice bread that had a bubbly texture and was filled with ham, lettuce and tomatoes. Graham had assorted pastries and I went for the fruit. Let’s just say the melon we can get here will never taste the same again. The melon they served there was beautifully fragrant and absolutely delicious. Breakfast was way better than dinner. On the way out, I spotted that they were making fresh wonton. I was quite upset that I had not spotted this earlier.

    We headed back to the room and got ready for our day at Shanghai Disneyland. Once we had sorted ourselves out, we went downstairs. We did not have to wait long for the shuttle for Shanghai Disneyland to arrive. Most of the short trip there was taken up with announcements in Chinese, which we did not understand. I think most of it was about trying to sell merchandise like Mickey ears and ponchos that they had available for purchase on the bus. As we approached the drop off point, we got treated to our first look of the castle.



    We were dropped off at the coach park and made our way via an elevated walkway and through Disney Town to the park. We walked through a seemingly endless barrier to security. I commented to Graham how miserable it would be if all of this was a line. It did not take us long to go through security and from there we made our way to the ticket window. There was one person in front of us and soon we were in possession of our tickets. We then headed for the park. Graham went to use the bathroom and I used the time trying to get online to link our tickets to the Shanghai Disneyland app so that we could use the Fastpass service. This was the only time I could not get a connection using my Hong Kong SIM card. I was hoping to get Photopass via the app as well, but as I could not get online, this was not an option. Just as soon as we were inside the park, there was a photographer who took some photos of us. Now I definitely had an incentive to get this sorted.















    At the beginning of Mickey Avenue was a Photopass shop. I decided to go inside and see if they could help me. The Photopass system in Shanghai is a little strange. I had set up the app on my spare mobile phone that had the Hong Kong SIM in before we left on this trip, but it would not go online for love nor money either using mobile data or Wi-Fi. Unfortunately, it needed to connect in order for it to be set up properly. Fortunately, I had my main mobile with me and the cast member managed to get this connected via the park’s Wi-Fi. I had to download the app again and register it. This took just a couple of minutes. The cast member than handed me a souvenir Photopass card and sent me to the till opposite to pay. She told me to come back once I had paid. She then linked the souvenir card to the app. The only purpose that this had was as a form of payment. She then also linked the temporary Photopass card to the app and told me to hand this to the photographer every time I get some photos taken. This seemed really strange. The souvenir Photopass card was made from plastic and quite sturdy. However, it did not have a barcode on it. The temporary card I was given was fairly thin card and I am actually surprised that this survived the day.

     

    dolphingirl47

    In Search of the Tag Fairy
    Joined
    Dec 25, 2007
    With this sorted out, we were then ready for the day. I quickly downloaded the app for Shanghai Disneyland to my main phone and linked our tickets. I then checked out what Fastpasses were available. This where I made a tactical error. My main priority was Soarin over the Horizon, but the available Fastpass time was around 15:00. I did not much like the idea of not being able to get another Fastpass until then. It turns out that you can get a new Fastpass after two hours even if your Fastpass window has not opened yet like at any other Disney park, but I had read that this was not the case. I did not want to risk it. Instead I got Fastpasses for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. This was a new ride for Graham. The Fastpass window was due to open about half an hour later. With this taken care of, we headed over to Fantasyland. When we passed Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, I noticed that there was a single rider line and the estimated waiting time for this was 10 minutes. I asked Graham if he wanted to do the single rider line and he was concerned that we would then miss our Fastpass window. I explained to him that we had an hour to play with once the window opens. We decided we may as well have a go. Well, 10 minutes was grossly exaggerated. What I had not taken into account is that the individual carts seat 4, but most Chinese families consist of three people. So, they need a constant supply of single riders. On the first go around, we waited maybe a couple of minutes. Graham enjoyed this ride. We went round again and this time they were waiting for us to get to the loading dock. In the end we had done this ride three times before our Fastpass window even opened. We figured that this was enough for one day. That Fastpass was never used.







    We were already halfway round the Alice in Wonderland Maze by the time our Fastpass window opened. We both really enjoyed this. This is very different from the one at Disneyland Paris as the one here is based on the Tim Burton film. We thoroughly enjoyed all the little details. As soon as out Fastpass window had opened, I tried to get another Fastpass, but it would not let me. Apparently, there is a common glitch that you cannot get another Fastpass until 7 minutes after the window for your previous Fastpass has opened. When I checked Fastpass availability as soon as the window had opened, Soarin over the Horizon was still showing as available, but it would not let me confirm it. By the time it would work again, all the Fastpasses for Soarin over the Horizon were gone. What a difference 10 minutes can make. I figured I would just have to brave the standby line. We finished off the maze and took some silly photos as Mad Hatters. Near the exit, I got a nice photo of the castle and updated my Facebook status. Then we headed for one of my must do rides.













    Voyage to the Crystal Grotto was one of the unique rides that really captured my imagination when details first started to come out about Shanghai Disneyland. I have to say, it sounded grander in the initial descriptions than what it really is. There is serious room for standing in line and even before we got on the ride, I said to Graham that however good the ride is, I would not want to stand all the way at the back of that line. We had a posted waiting time of 15 minutes and waited about half that. They use boats that are very similar to the ones on Jungle Cruise and this seems to be a strange choice for this type of ride. It would make more sense to have the same kind of boat that they have on It’s A Small World as the scenes are on both sides of the canal and we ended up forever twisting our necks to see what was behind us. The ride is very cute. There was a bit of Mandarin commentary at the very beginning, but I don’t think the fact that we did not understand a word hindered our enjoyment. It is very cute. There are scenes from Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, The Sorcerer's Apprentice from Fantasia, Tangled, Mulan, and The Little Mermaid combined with fountains and topiaries. The scenes consist of statues rather than animatronics and I have read reviews that people find this rather boring. I just thought that the overall effect is very beautiful. We then entered Crystal Grotto, which is underneath the castle. There are more water effects there along with projection mapping. It kind of feels like a miniature version of World of Color. You then see the crystal that the ride is named after before returning to daylight and the loading dock. I thought it was a very cute ride and definitely worth doing if there is little waiting time. I am not sure about the repeatability factor. Unless there is a huge gap between my first and my next visit, I think I may give this a miss when I go back.















    We then took some more photos of the castle and explored Fantasyland a bit more. I had hoped that we would luck out and find a very short waiting time for Peter Pan’s Flight, but that was not the case. As we had nothing else that seemed to be crying out for a Fastpass, I got Fastpasses for this and then we crossed over into Tomorrowland.



    I am sure that I am not the only person who has a bit of a love hate relationship with Tomorrowland. I do love a lot of the attractions at the various Tomorrowlands around the world, but the theming leaves be generally underwhelmed. Tokyo Disneyland must win the award for the blandest Tomorrowland of them all. The only exception to this rule is Discoverland at Disneyland Paris. I always had a soft spot for his and think that the retro steampunk theme works very well. I did not have very high expectations for Tomorrowland, but I think I may have gasped in surprise when we came down the ramp. Tomorrowland at Shanghai Disneyland is absolutely stunning in its simplicity. It feels very modern, but also very organic at the same time. Of course, only time will tell if it will still feel the same let’s say 10 years from now. I am fairly optimistic that it will stand the test of time.

    There was one main reason why I wanted to come to Tomorrowland and that this was Buzz Lightyear Planet Rescue. As most of you probably know, I have a massive soft spot for the Buzz Lightyear rides around the world. My little heart took a little leap of joy when I saw a posted waiting time of 5 minutes. I did warn Graham that he would need to let me know once he had enough as otherwise I would just keep on going with so little time to wait. 5 minutes was still exaggerated, and this was essentially a walk on. We walked all the way through the line and only had to stop very briefly when we were parallel to the loading dock. Buzz Lightyear Planet Rescue is the next generation version. It does not have the same kind of old-fashioned charm of its older cousins, but it is heaps more fun. It has a more futuristic look and relies more on screens than animatronics. For the first time, you can actually see where you are shooting and once you hit a target, it turns the colour of your laser blaster. The one change I did not like is the way you add the photo to the Photopass card at the rides. Like normal, there is bank of screens and under each column of screens there is a column of scanners. You wait for your photo to come up and then you scan your Photopass card in the corresponding scanner. This sounds easy enough, but you cannot actually tell if the scan was successful. I am sure we had some turns that did not make the Photopass account.



    After we came out of the ride the first time, I had a look at the attached gift shop. Here I seriously wished that I had a spare suitcase and an unlimited budget. There were so many amazing things that I wanted to take home: Stitch and Lotso fleeces, Stitch and Lotso hand warmers, Duffy and ShellieMay hats and a lot more. I fell in love with a ShellieMay Christmas plush. I knew I would definitely get this, but I was not going to carry shopping around with me the whole day. Once I had finished looking around, we did Buzz Lightyear Planet Rescue a few more times. Then our Fastpass window for Peter Pan’s Flight was about to open. We wandered back towards Fantasyland.







    The way they do Fastpasses at Shanghai Disneyland is rather clever. As soon as our window opened, the app generated a barcode. There was a scanner near the entrance where I scanned both barcodes and a green light came on. Like at Walt Disney World, they have two scanning points and there was another scanner just before the loading dock. I scanned them again and we were on our way. I much prefer this way of doing it to the Magic Bands. I have always like Peter Pan’s Flight and this is very similar to the updated versions at Disneyland and Disneyland Paris. The main difference is that the boats are bigger. I did enjoy this, but Graham was decidedly underwhelmed.

    When we finished at Peter Pan’s Flight, we headed back to Tomorrowland. On the way, we got tangled up in the end of the parade, which looked really nice. There was another showing of the parade later than day, but we never got to see it properly. Once the path was clear, we headed back to Tomorrowland. We did Buzz Lightyear Planet Rescue a few more times and then we decided to be brave. Another ride on my must do list was Tron Lightcycle Power Run. I was going back and forwards about this for ages before we went. I am an absolute chicken when it comes to rollercoasters and thrill rides. I can however do and actually enjoy the likes of Matterhorn, Space Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain. Like those, Tron Lightcycle Power Run has no inversions, so I figured that I should be alright. I had however read that this is faster than Rock’n’Rollercoaster and the launch alone on this totally freaks me out before I even get to the inversions. I really was not sure. However, as this ride is unique at this present moment in time, I thought I would regret it if I did not try it. Graham was in two minds about it as well, but we decided to go and check out how long the waiting time was.











    The waiting time for single rider was 15 minutes and that looked good to me. I have to say, I did not even see what the standby line was like, but Graham saw that this was only 5 minutes more. We decided to go in the standby line. I had read that you had to leave everything in lockers, but the lockers had been roped off and we were advised that we would be able to leave my bag at the end of the line. We got in line. We waited less than 10 minutes. When we got to the loading dock, cast members were waiting with trolleys and asked us to put any loose articles in there. We then were directed to one of the loading gates. Our ride vehicle arrived shortly afterwards. The ride vehicles on this ride are very unusual. They look like motorbikes. You straddle them, put your shins in stirrups and then lean forward pulling the handlebars towards you. This then activates the restraints. There is a restraint that comes up behind your back and keeps you in position. There is also a restraint that comes down behind your legs and this caught big issues for me. It felt like somebody was trying to chop of my right knee with a blunt axe. The cast member checking the restraints disengaged them, asked me to change position slightly and then tried to engage them again with the same result. He asked me if I wanted to try again, but at that stage I had enough. The cast member then advised that they have a car at the back on one of the trains and asked if we wanted to ride in this. I gratefully accepted. We were lucky that the car was actually on this train, so they asked the people who were in there to move to the two seats we had vacated, and we got to ride in the car. This was a more conventional rollercoaster set up with shoulder restraints. I was asked to put my glasses into the pouch at the front of the car and we were off shortly afterwards. The launch on this is quite something. It feels like you are shot out of something, but the ride is so smooth, and I was not only OK with this, but absolutely loved it. Graham had enjoyed it, too. Once we had retrieved my bag and exited the ride, we decided to go round again. That is a bit of a pain on this ride. We exited onto the locker area and from there we went to an interactive post ride area and a shop. When we exited this we then had to head down a ramp and it was only at the bottom of this, that we could cross over to the entrance ramp. I don’t understand with the park being so quiet, why they would not just let people cut through the locker area and return to the entrance plaza. The waiting time had gone down to 10 minutes when we got back to the entrance. However, we actually waited a bit longer this time as at some stage the line just stopped. It still was not bad at all and this time we asked for the car straightaway. We were lucky again that the train that was just about to pull into the loading dock had the car attached. This time round, I was able to really appreciate all the details of the ride.



     

    dolphingirl47

    In Search of the Tag Fairy
    Joined
    Dec 25, 2007
    When we got off this time, we decided that twice was enough. I wanted to do the Stitch Encounter as I knew that Stitch sometimes hangs out in the exit area. Graham was not too enthusiastic about this, but decided to join me. This was pretty much exactly the same as in Tokyo, just that the language was different. Again, it was fun to watch how people reacted. One of these days, I have to make the point to see this at Walt Disney Studios in Paris. I wonder if the version there is identical as well. Unfortunately, Stitch was not in residence that day. We exited to the same shop that is connected to Buzz Lightyear
    Planet Rescue. As we did so, I spotted something that made me smile and sad at the same time. My dear friend Polly, who passed away in April, had a glittery Minnie purse that she loved to bits and was carrying everywhere. As we exited Stitch Encounter, there was a whole rack of the identical purses there. I had to take a photo and posted this on Facebook tagging her wife. I could not believe that I found that purse all the way in Shanghai especially as the merchandise was very different here from the US parks.









    We took another few spins on Buzz Lightyear Planet Rescue and then decided it was time to get something to eat and drink. Near Buzz Lightyear Planet Rescue is a kiosk called Spiral Snacks. We stopped there. Graham had a huge sausage roll and I went with something called potato gems with meat floss. They were essentially tater tots with a sesame and soy sauce and a flight and fluffy topping made from pork. This hit the spot. We both had ordered the Osmanthus Lychee Fruit Tea. Fortunately, I tried mine first. something was lost in translation when we ordered, and we had ended up with hot chocolates. Graham is allergic to chocolate. I took them back and they swapped them for the correct drinks. They wanted to refund the money for them, but I had left my bag with Graham. I did not want a refund, I just wanted the correct drink. In the end, they gave me a free sausage roll, which Graham had. The Osmanthus Lychee Fruit Tea was really nice. When we both had finished our lunch, we did a couple more spins on Buzz Lightyear Planet Rescue and then we left Tomorrowland.







    Between Tomorrowland and Gardens of Imagination there is a really nice area with all kinds of plants and ponds. There were a lot of interesting birds there including birds of prey. I know that all the plants in Tomorrowland at Disneyland are edible and I wondered if the same was true in this area as well. It kind of looked like a giant vegetable garden. After we spent a while enjoying this area and watching the birds, we crossed over into Gardens of Imagination. I knew that there is a Marvel meet and greet in that area as well as a Mickey one, but we never found them. It was only once I was back home that I realised that I had been standing with my back to them all the time while we were looking at the birds. We headed towards the castle and there was a Photopass photographer there. We got some photos and then headed closer to the castle. There was a cast member with a frame there, but no photographer. The frame was very popular. In the end, I gave up waiting for it. Graham took some photos of me in front of the castle and then we pushed on.

















    We went to Treasure Cove. One of the rides that was on my to do list was Pirates of the Caribbean Battle for the Sunken Treasure. I had heard only good things about this ride. I shared this with Graham and his reaction was that “Disney nerds” would say this. When we got to the ride, it was down. I was not happy. We wandered around Treasure Cove for a bit as this area is very picturesque and then we headed towards Adventure Isle to check out the situation at Soarin over the Horizon. On the way I spotted the character meet and greets at Happy Circle. I spotted Nick Wilde from Zootropolis and got in line. Unfortunately, when there was just one family ahead of me, Nick Wilde went in and was replaced by Baloo. I was so disappointed. I at least got a high five from Nick Wilde as he came to see the people who were waiting in line before he left. Just before I was due to see Baloo, I noticed on the app that Pirates of the Caribbean Battle for the Sunken Treasure had reopened and had a posted waiting time of 10 minutes. So as soon as I was done with Baloo, I found Graham, who was waiting on a nearby bench and told him. He was up for going back and ride as long as the waiting time had not gone up too much by the time we got there.

















    The posted waiting time was still 10 minutes when we arrived and again we found that this was grossly exaggerated. We did not stop until we got to the bottom of the ramp leading to the loading dock. The ride is absolutely amazing. Even Graham had to admit this. It is a combination of a dark ride with animatronics and IMAX technology. It is also a completely immersive experience. Sometimes I could not tell if we were moving or if the screen was. It is just extremely well done. Neither of us can understand now why we did not head straight back to do it again. Instead we headed back towards Adventure Isle.



    When we came past Happy Circle, Nick Wilde was out again. We also noticed that there was a very bored King Louis in the next hut. I stopped to see King Louis. There was no photographer with him, but the cast member with him took photos on my iPhone and Graham took photos from the path. I then got it line for Nick Wilde. He recognised me straightaway and once he finished with the family that he was with, he came over for another high five. There was a mother with her young daughter behind me and she suggested that I must be somebody special. I told her that I had come to see Nick Wilde earlier, but had just missed out. This time I got lucky and when it was my turn, I had an amazing interaction with him.







     
  • jedijill

    Chiefs fan living in Bronco country
    Joined
    Jan 17, 2005
    I'm loving Shanghai so far! The Tron coaster looks exciting!

    Jill in CO
     

    dolphingirl47

    In Search of the Tag Fairy
    Joined
    Dec 25, 2007
    We then went over to Soarin over the Horizon. This was the only ride that had a long wait consistently throughout the day. The waiting time was still an hour. This was way too long for Graham. I was kind of in two minds about this as well, but I knew that I would be disappointed if I did not do it. The old version of Soarin was my absolutely favourite ride and I always said that the first time I would do the new version would be in Shanghai. Graham said that he would make his way back towards Mickey Avenue and find somewhere warm to wait for me. I got in line. In the end I waited for about 45 minutes. This was one of only two occasions when I had a very small issue with somebody not having a concept of personal space. There was a woman behind me that literally stood shoulder to shoulder with me. I learned that my stern teacher look works in China. She soon backed off. The theme and backstory here is completely different from the American counterparts. In Shanghai, the waiting area is themed as an ancient observatory and temple to the Arbori tribe's Condor god. The preshow and safety spiel is hosted by a shaman of the tribe who grants you the ability of flight, but has trouble controlling her own shapeshifting abilities. I have to say, I missed Patrick the flight attendant and I am glad that he is still alive and well in the American parks.









    I got lucky and got a seat in row one. I was not sure what I would make of this as I had loved the original so much. I really enjoyed it though. There were two things that I did not rate. I really missed the old scents. I am not sure if I was sitting in the wrong seat or if the smells were not working, but I did not notice any on this version. I also did not like the final scene which instead of featuring scenes from the park featured fireworks over the Bund. I know that they had to have this ready for opening day and Shanghai Disneyland does not have proper fireworks anyway, but I do hope that they will eventually replace this with some footage from the park. I have since read that there is a fourth Soarin ride in the works for Tokyo Disney Sea. This will have different theme again with the ride vehicles resembling Renaissance-era flying machines envisioned by Leonardo da Vinci. I thought straightaway that this would be a perfect fit for Paris Disneyland. There is a building at the bottom of Discoveryland that used to house Honey, I Shrunk The Audience and now features various shorts. This would be the ideal space for Soarin and this would be a much better fit than the present building. A girl can dream!

    When I came out of the ride, it had gone dark. The park looks every bit as charming after dark than it does during the day. I made my way slowly back to Mickey Avenue and on the way, I found the Garden of the Twelve Friends were the 12 signs of the Chinese zodiac are represented by Disney characters. Some of them are very obvious like Remy representing the year of the rat or Pluto representing the year of the dog. Others were not quite as obvious to me like Alan-A-Dale from Robin Hood representing the year of the rooster or the lambs from the Jolly Holiday sequence in Mary Poppins representing the year of the sheep. I had to Google to which film they belonged. As to Babe the Blue Ox from Paul Bunyan, which represented the year of the ox, I had never heard of either the character or the film before. Having said that, I could not think of another character that could have represented the year of the ox either. One character that I instantly recognized, but that seemed to be an odd choice was Hamm from Toy Story representing the year of the pig. I would have thought that Piglet or the Three Little Pigs would have been more obvious choices. I had expected this area to be bigger. It is actually quite small and fairly low-key, but utterly charming nevertheless. I stopped to take some photos of the castle with the Christmas tree, which were both lit up and then I returned to Mickey Avenue.





    I had no idea where Graham had ended up. I decided that I would have a quick look at Avenue M Arcade, which is the equivalent to The Emporium at all the other Disneyland/ Magic Kingdom parks around the world. Avenue M Arcade is kind of a cross between Emporium and World of Disney. I was in merchandise heaven. Graham had figured out that the likelihood was strong that I would turn up there sooner or later and this was where he was waiting for me. Before the trip, I had three things on my shopping list for Shanghai Disneyland: a Shanghai Disneyland pin, a Shanghai Disneyland Dooney and Bourke bag and a Shanghai Disneyland exclusive Pandora charm. I got all three of them there. Graham had a wander through the shop while he was waiting for me and found a Pandora concession. I was agonizing for a minute or two if I should go with the Shanghai Disneyland logo dangle or the castle dangle. In the end I asked Graham for advice and he liked the castle better. I went with the castle and I have definitely not regretted it. As soon as I walked into that part of the shop, I saw something else that was of great interest to me: the Shanghai exclusive Disney Dooney and Bourke bags. I had kind of talked myself into the cross-body bag simply because this is the smallest and most inexpensive bag in this particular pattern, but they only had one tote and one backpack. I only have one Dooney and Bourke backpack and numerous totes, but I very rarely use the backpack whereas I use the totes all the time as I use them as a briefcase. I also really liked the placement on the tote so the decision was made very quickly that this would be mine. I also managed to find a pin and the Christmas ShellieMay plush that I had fallen in love with earlier and soon my shopping was all done.

    There was a Photopass photographer just outside the shop, so we stopped for some night-time photos and then we left the park. I would have loved to see Ignite the Dream, which is the night-time show at Shanghai Disneyland, but this was still two hours away. We were all parked out at that point. We left. By the time we had left the park, it was less than 15 minutes before the shuttle back to the hotel was due to leave and I did not fancy running or even walking very quickly. I suggested that we get something to eat at Disneytown and catch the next shuttle. Graham was fine with this. We had a very quick look at World of Disney, but that did not really inspire me, and I had managed to get all my shopping done anyway.





    We found a map and checked out the food options. Something called Food Republic caught my eye. This is essentially a food court set up with various outlets serving different kinds of food. This sounded good to us. Graham found a seat and I went in search of some food. I was a little overwhelmed with all the choices. In the end, I settled for a rice bowl with pork and vegetables. The portions were huge, and I was not particularly hungry, so I figured we could share. I had not bargained with a rather quirky feature though. They did not take cash or credit cards, but just their own smart cards. There were machines near the entrances selling them, but they did not seem to work. Fortunately, somebody came to my rescue. She asked me if I had the cash and offered to add my food to her order. She even got a discount as well. I thanked her and handed over the cash to her. Once the food was ready, I went to join Graham. This was the biggest bowl of food I had ever seen. I had as much as I wanted and then left Graham to finish it off. I wanted to have a quick look at the Pandora store at Disney Town. They did not have anything different from the Pandora store in Beijing. I did not even spot the Shanghai Disneyland exclusive charms there. I went back to find Graham and he had finished eating. Even though we had shared, he had still not managed to finish everything.

    We then walked back to the shuttle pick up point. Graham seemed to be in a wild rush. I told him to slow down as we had plenty of time. The fountain that we had admired in the morning was now all lit up in all the colours of the rainbow. We both tried to take photos, but neither of us succeeded. We arrived at the pick-up point in plenty of time. We still nearly missed our shuttle. In the morning we had been dropped off by a blue Shanghai Disneyland themed coach. That evening, we were picked up with a white mini bus without any branding. It had not pulled into its bay either, but was just parked near the bus shelter. Fortunately, I had a gut feeling that this may be for us and went over. Sure enough, it had a sign with the name of our hotel in the window. I went to get Graham and we got on.

    Once we were on the bus, we had to wait about 5 minutes and then we were on our way back to the hotel. I asked Graham if he fancied a nightcap. He liked the sound of this and we headed to the hotel bar. It was not much of a bar. I wanted the melon Margarita that was on the cocktail menu and they did not have the ingredients. They did not have the ingredients for the Mojito either. I settled for a pot of Jasmine tea. I had every intention to have a cocktail on the ship, but that did not happen either. Graham had better luck with his choice of a Chinese beer. We had our drinks and then went up to the room. I read for a while, but Graham fell asleep straightaway. It was not even 21:00 yet when I decided I had enough for the day as well. I set the alarm and then I fell asleep.
     

    Pinkocto

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 22, 2011
    What an amazing day! The wait times were mostly fantastic. All the different rides and attractions looked so fun! And how fabulous to have Graham enjoy it too. I MUST get to this park. How kind of the lady to help you buy dinner. Glad you found all the purchases you wanted :)
     
  • tiggrbaby

    <font color=deeppink><marquee>We must work harder
    Joined
    Jun 26, 2004
    What a fantastic day!

    Love your leggings!

    The look on your faces on the Tron ride shows how much fun it was!
     

    dolphingirl47

    In Search of the Tag Fairy
    Joined
    Dec 25, 2007

    dolphingirl47

    In Search of the Tag Fairy
    Joined
    Dec 25, 2007
    Day 10


    We were in no rush that morning as this day marked the end of our land-based adventure. We had set the alarm for 9:30, but were awake shortly after 8:00. We got up and ready and went down for breakfast. This time I made a beeline straight to where they were making the wontons. I needed to wait for about 5 minutes as he was just making a fresh batch. It was so worth it. The wontons were filled with minced pork and briefly put into a huge pot of boiling water for a few seconds. Once they were cooked, they were then added to a broth. There were various condiments and toppings. I flavoured the broth with sesame oil and soy sauce. However, I really fancied some of the spicy minced pork as well. We were sitting near the soup noodle station, so I went past there to get some of the mince. I was in heaven. Graham had gone with more traditional Western breakfast food for his first plate. He had bacon, sausages and some egg dish. He then went for some more congee. I had some wild rice congee with roasted onions and peanuts next and then I went back for some more wontons. When I got some more of the minced pork, I spotted that they had Udon noodles that day. They are my favourite kind of noodles. Graham went for some fruit and pastries. I had intended to do the same, but the call of the Udon noodles was too strong. I can have pastries any time I like, but good soup noodles are somewhat harder to come by. So I went back for small bowl of soup noodles. I finished off my breakfast with some of the lovely melon and some lychees. I felt like I was exploding.

    After breakfast, we went back to our room. We packed the few things we had out and then we chilled out for a while. I got caught up online and then read for a bit. Around 10:30, housekeeping knocked. I told her that we would be 10 minutes. I attached our luggage tags to the suitcases and made sure that I had all the paperwork we would need easily accessible. We both used the bathroom and then we left. As we got to the lobby, we were intercepted by a member of staff and asked if we had transport organized. We advised that we had not, and he offered to call a taxi for us. He asked where we were going to, and I told him. Graham was concerned that a town car would turn up, but I told him that if anything, but an official taxi turned up, we simply would not get in. There were usually some taxis on the road between the hotel and the subway station. We checked out and then the member of staff who had called the taxi for us escorted us outside. There was an official taxi waiting for us. The member of staff briefly spoke to the driver. I assumed he explained where we were heading. Our luggage was loaded, and we got in. Then we were on our way.



    The hotel we stayed at is about an hour away from the cruise port. The drive there was a bit of an adventure. I have commented before that there seems to be no such thing as lane discipline in China. Our driver seemed to fancy himself a bit of a race driver as well. Add to this an ominous beeping every few minutes and this was not one of the more comfortable driving experience. I assume that the beeping was probably related to a transponder. We learned in Beijing that all the highways in China are toll roads, but unlike in Beijing, we never saw a toll gate in Shanghai. The beeping probably registered the auto-payment of the toll. Still, I was more than a little relieved when we entered the town of Baoshan and saw signs for the port. We had already been on port property for a while when we finally got our first glimpse of our ship.



    The port in Baoshan is a little strange. The taxi driver dropped us off in front of the terminal building, but there was no obvious entrance. I left the luggage with Graham and went to check where we needed to go. It does not help that they are extending the port at the moment and the resulting building works mean that you cannot see the other end of the terminal building. Once I was passed the area with the building fence, it was very obvious where we needed to go. I came back to get Graham and the luggage, and we headed towards the entrance. As we got closer, my heart just sunk. It looked like half the population of China was lining up to drop of the luggage. As soon as we got to this area, one member of staff from the port handling company made a beeline for me. She grabbed my suitcase and beckoned to follow her. She took me straight to the luggage drop off point. I somehow had managed to lose Graham in the process, but I spotted him a bit further back and signaled him to join me. Our suitcases were taken off us and the porters put some markings on our tags with permanent marker. We have plastic covers for our luggage tags and I was not too pleased about this. I have to see if I can get this off. Once we had dropped off our luggage, our fairy godmother then walked us straight past another long line and inside the terminal building. This probably saved us at least half an hour if not an hour. Once we were inside, we were directed to a line for check in and from this point forward, we were on our own.

    Initially the line did not seem to move at all. I don’t think they were quite ready at that point. We had been handed a bundle of paperwork as we entered the line and after we had waited a little while, I decided to have a closer look at this. We had a health questionnaire each, a Chinese departure card and an immigration form for Japan. I filled out the health questionnaires. We already had filled out and stamped departure cards for China which we got on arrival in Shanghai. I ignored those. I figured that I would fill out the Japanese immigration forms in peace on the ship, but a member of staff that was in the area mentioned that they would be collected at check in so I filled those out as well. Once the line started to move, it did so quite quickly and soon we were all checked in. The health questionnaires and Japanese immigration forms were collected, and we were handed yet another Chinese departure card. I showed the person checking us in the ones we already had and she took the new ones away. We got our key cards, which surprised me as normally they are waiting for you outside your cabin on that class of ship.

    Once we were done with check in, we were then directed to the line for security. Near the beginning of that line was a photocopier and two people who assisted with making photocopies of passports for anybody who needed some. Our passport copies had not made the holiday folder so I asked Graham to join the line and I got the passport copies, which only took a minute or so. About half-way down that line, they checked passports, key cards and yes, you guessed it, Chinese departure cards. We passed muster and were waved through. They were giving out a fair few Chinese departure cards though at this point. While we were in his line, we had the second occasion where personal space was an issue. I was ahead of Graham, but the person behind him kept crowding him. He found a pretty good solution for this though and used his hand luggage as demarcation line. The person behind him soon got the message.

    As we were approaching the security check point, there was a huge commotion right ahead of us. There were two ladies having a very passionate argument with one of the security officers. As the conversation was entirely in Mandarin, we had no idea what was going. We did however understand enough from the body language that neither party was happy. After a while, another security officer took the ladies somewhere and the line started to move again. To deal with the backlog, they opened another screening area and we were directed to this. On our way, we saw the two ladies again. They were at a desk off to the side between the two screening areas and there was a huge plastic shopping bag in between them and they were eating something. Graham initially thought that they had onions, but I recognized the content of the bag as satsumas. Apparently, they had brought a huge bag of satsumas to take on the cruise and the security officer had spotted them and told them that they could not bring them on board. I will never understand why somebody would bring food to take on the ship. It is not like there is a shortage of this on the ship. I am not sure if they ate all the satsumas or if they left some behind, but I did see them around the ship later that day, so they had got on. Graham and I were both amused by the Mysterious Case Of The Satsumas At The Security Checkpoint.

    We went through security shortly afterwards and as we had no contraband, this was a quick and easy process. We then proceeded to Chinese immigration. Remember how we were handed/ offered Chinese departure cards at three different points during the process and they were checked twice? Well there was a couple from the UK in front of us who somehow made it to this point and had no Chinese departure cards. There was a desk off to one side with a huge pile of them, so this must happen quite a lot. We got our cards out, handed them and our passports to the immigration official and received our exit stamps. Then we followed the signs for the ship. We were not quite home dry yet though. About half way, everybody came to a standstill. I had no idea why this would be. The only explanation I had was that this was caused by the embarkation photos. However, on 19 previous cruises, this had never caused any noticeable delays. What really caused the delay is that they collected everybody’s passport at that point and quite a few people seemed to have forgotten where they had put them after retrieving them from the immigration official a matter of minutes earlier. Our passports were easily accessible. We handed them to a member of crew and were on our way again.



    Shortly afterwards, we got to the gangway. There was another very short holdup and then we were on the ship. They had set up two backdrops for the embarkation photos on the promenade deck and also the kiosks to swipe the key cards. We stopped at both backdrops and then entered the ship. Just opposite where we came in was a table set up where you could purchase drinks packages. I never got around to purchasing my soda package before the cruise, so I thought I may as well take care of this. This was accomplished quite quickly. We then headed further into the ship. We ended up finding some seats in the Via, which was one of our favourite hangout spots on Ovation as well. As soon as I was on the ship, this deep peace just came over me. I love Ovation, and this is still my favourite ship, but the decor on Quantum is absolutely amazing. It is really sophisticated and oozes a feeling of calm. Once we found seats, I left Graham with the hand luggage and went to the Cafe Two70 to get some coffee to both of us. That proved easier said than done. The coffee urns were all empty and we had to wait for them to bring out fresh ones. That happened quite a lot on this cruise. Once I got back to Graham, I tried to download the Royal IQ app. I had totally forgotten about this and the mobile phone reception was pretty bad. Fortunately, I succeeded in the end. In June, I will definitely remember to do this before we leave. Once I had managed to download this, it did not take long for me to get signed in.





    While we were still drinking our coffees, there was an announcement that the cabins were now ready. We finished our coffees and then made our way to the cabin. We had got an insanely good deal on a junior suite. I had hoped that we would get assigned a spa junior suite as this has a separate shower. However, we were assigned a family junior suite that had a bath tub with a shower overhead. This was the first time ever we had anything quite so grand. We were welcomed with a plate of cookies and another plate with chocolate covered strawberries. We put down our hand luggage and had a quick look around. For some reason they had split the beds into twin beds and we put this right. I took some photos and then we went to explore the ship.












    The lifts that came by where absolutely packed. I managed to get into one, but Graham decided to wait for the next one. He joined me on deck 14 about 10 minutes later. We walked along the pool deck and I was quite relieved that most of this is under cover. It was absolutely freezing during the short walk from the elevator lobby to first indoor pool. Graham never made it to the spa on Ovation, so I convinced him to do a spa tour. This worked out nicely. They had a couple’s length of cruise pass for the thermal suite for $99. We decided to get this, and we definitely got our money’s worth out of this.

    We then went down to the solarium. Thinks had been my favourite hangout spot on Ovation. We got a bit of a surprise. Whereas this was an adult only area on Ovation, here it was a suite guest area. Fortunately, junior suites qualified. Graham went for a dip. This was different as well. On Ovation the cascading pool in the solarium was very warm. Graham pronounced this one to be refreshing, which is freezing cold to me. So I had a look around the area to see what is the same and what is different. They had taken some of the loungers out making the area look a lot more spacious. Near the bar, there was a table with snacks set up. I got a piece of chocolate cake topped with caramel popcorn, which was absolutely delicious and then found myself a round lounger to chill out on. At some stage, Graham came to join me.







    Just over half an hour before the muster drill was due, a ship’s officer approached us and advised that we needed to proceed to our muster station. This kind of thing as always amused and irritated me in equal measure. I know it is the law, but I have always wondered how much good the muster drill actually does. At least on Disney Cruise Line and also on NCL, people only left their cabins or wherever they were at the time once the alarm was sounded. I can kind of see at least some benefit of this with everybody being on the move at the same time. That last bit of benefit is stripped from the exercise when everybody is ambling towards their muster station in their own sweet time and way before it is needed. We were good and took the stairs down to deck 3 although we could have taken the lift considering how early we were. When we got to our muster station, which was inside the pub on the Royal Esplanade, most people were already there. I just shook my head. We found somewhere to sit and waited. The actual muster drill itself was pretty painless. I can attest to the fact that a ship full of Chinese people are taking this more seriously than a ship full of British or American people. You could have heard a pin drop during the muster drill. This made a nice change. As soon as we were dismissed everybody was on their feet though. We stayed where we were until things had calmed down a little. Then we went to our cabin to pick up a few odds and ends.

    Our luggage had arrived so I quickly unpacked and put our magnets on the door. Then we headed up to the solarium. Shortly after we got there, the Captain made his welcome announcement. I could not believe what I was hearing. After the usual content of welcoming us on the ship and wishing us a wonderful cruise as well as providing some technical information, he asked the international guests to be patient with the Chinese guests as they have different habits from us and “cannot help it”. I was absolutely disgusted by this. I know that the majority of the Chinese guests would not have understood this, but this does not make a statement like this right. I do not even want to think about how it would make people feel if they did in fact understand this. There would have been other more sensitive options to communicate this. I am not sure what is wrong with saying that international guests may notice some cultural differences on this cruise and to embrace them or even to keep an open mind about them. With this out of the way, we were able to enjoy the sunset while sailing away. The port of Shanghai is absolutely fascinating. It is actually in the Yangtze River rather than the sea and at some points there was traffic 8 shipping lanes wide.













    Once the sun had gone down, we went back to the cabin to get changed for dinner. Apart from access to the solarium, the junior suite came with another nice perk. On the Quantum class and Oasis class ships, they have a suite restaurant called Coastal Kitchen. Guests in full suites can go there for breakfast, lunch and dinner, but for junior suites, this was only available for dinner. We did however have two other options for breakfast and one for lunch which were reserved for only guests in junior suites. When we were changed, we went up to deck 14. Coastal Kitchen is next to the Windjammer buffet. When we got out of the lift, there was a huge line in front of Coastal Kitchen. My heart just sunk. Fortunately, I realized very quickly that the line was for the Windjammer and not for Coastal Kitchen. When we had made our way to the podium, there was one family ahead of us. They were taking inside by the hostess and then she came back for us. We were shown to our table and our server came shortly afterwards to introduce himself. I ordered a Coke and Graham just had some iced water. Our server brought out the bread basket which consisted of pita bread and a Middle Eastern crisp bread with Tzatziki and an olive based dip. Graham really liked the crisp bread. I stuck to the pita that evening.







    Our server recommended the flatbreads. We decided to share the Bianca flatbread, which was topped with ricotta, mozzarella, roasted garlic and Portobello mushrooms. This was delicious. For his main course, Graham went with the roasted rack of lamb with creamy orzo, blistered tomatoes, homemade basil pesto and toasted pistachios. I had the roasted beef tenderloin with grilled asparagus and fork crushed potatoes with a cabernet wine jus. We both really enjoyed our main courses. I had a certain amount of hope for the desserts thinking that they would be of a higher quality in Coastal Kitchen compared to the standards in the main dining room. That night this hope was dashed. I had dark chocolate tiramisu with amaretto cookie crumble. This tasted fairly anemic. Graham had the salted caramel pudding with white chocolate and waffle cone crumble and he was not too thrilled about this one either.











    After dinner, we went down to deck 5. There were two photo opportunities with DreamWorks characters that evening, and I wanted to catch them. We still had a little time until they were due to be out. So, we went forward to the photo gallery to check out if the embarkation photos had made the system yet. Fortunately, they had. I had a quick look at them and then we went back towards midship. As we walked past the Schooner Bar, we realized that there was some trivia in English in progress. I had not expected this.

    I spotted that there were some backdrops set up on deck 4. I tried to convince Graham to come with me, but the Royal Esplanade was very busy, and he did not fancy this. I left him on the chair outside Wonderland and went down by myself. There were two different backdrops that evening. In the short time I was gone, Graham had been asked by about half a dozen people if they could take photos with him. I was joking that he was now a celebrity. While I was waiting for King Julien from Madagascar, we were approached a few more times for photos with us.

    I could see the backdrop that had been set up for the characters from where we were waiting and once the photographer turned up, I went over there. King Julien and his escort turned up shortly afterwards and I was first in line. I got some quality interaction. It was a good 5 minutes until somebody else turned up and I spent all this time with King Julien. Alex the lion was due out 40 minutes later, but I did not fancy hanging around until then. We went back to the cabin and Graham got ready for bed. I read for a bit and at 20:45, I went back downstairs. There was one family meeting Alex when I got there and then it was my turn. I had a lot of fun again. Once I had said goodbye to Alex, I went back upstairs. I was thoroughly puzzled when I got to our door and all my magnets had gone. I then realized that I was one deck below where I shoule. I was the only person in the lift and nobody was there when the door opened so I thought I was on the right deck. Somebody must have called the lift and then changed his or her mind. I went back to the elevator lobby and took the stairs up. Graham was already asleep when I got back. I got ready for bed, read for a bit longer and then settled down for the night, too.



     

    tiggrbaby

    <font color=deeppink><marquee>We must work harder
    Joined
    Jun 26, 2004
    What a fabulous cabin!!!

    I am really surprised that the captain was so rude. If this is something that they have had problems with in the past, they should have come up with a better way to encourage people to be patient. Travelling in another country requires that one must adjust to other cultures.

    Lovely pics!
     

    dolphingirl47

    In Search of the Tag Fairy
    Joined
    Dec 25, 2007
    What a fabulous cabin!!!
    We really liked this and I think the one we will have for our upcoming cruise will be even nicer.

    I am really surprised that the captain was so rude.
    I am still absolutely disgusted by this.

    If this is something that they have had problems with in the past, they should have come up with a better way to encourage people to be patient.
    There are definitely issues on these cruises, but as far as I can see, they are born out of both arrogance and ignorance of some of the international guests. I had to bite my tongue more than once on this cruise. People are coming to China and expect everything to be just like at home. They are just setting themselves up for having a miserable time. Royal Caribbean does a good job alerting people to this at the booking stage, but the message is obviously not getting through.

    Travelling in another country requires that one must adjust to other cultures.
    I could not agree more. I think this is actually the main joy of traveling.

    Corinna
     

    Pinkocto

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 22, 2011
    I love embarkation day :love:

    Breakfast sounded fantastic.

    How nice the hotel was able to arrange a taxi to the port. Oh my about the drive though. Your fairy godmother at the port sounds like a lifesaver!

    Very tactless and rude of the captain to make an announcement like that, wow.

    Your suite looks lovely, and the solarium looks heavenly.

    Great character photos :)

    How totally bizarre that those ladies were wanting to bring so many satsumas onboard... like you said, there’s no shortage on food...
     
    Last edited:

    franandaj

    I'm so happy, I could BOUNCE!
    Joined
    Nov 15, 2009
    What a nice sorprise that Graham accompanied you to Shanghai Disney. You seemed to get lot done on that one day.
     

    franandaj

    I'm so happy, I could BOUNCE!
    Joined
    Nov 15, 2009
    So do they try to bait and switch you with taxis and towncars in China? Nice that you had a fairy godmother to take care of you in the port!

    How rude of the Captain to say that about the Chinese over the speaker. Your dinners looked nice and the room looked great!

    I'm finally all caught up again!
     

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