Photo source: Shanghai Disney
June 16 marks an important day for Disney Resorts as the newest theme park opens in Shanghai, China. Originally expected to open last year, construction delays and budget issues pushed the grand opening, but everything is a go for this summer! If you’re looking to plan a trip in the coming months, here’s what you need to know.
Because it’s the newest park and there is a lot of hype surrounding the opening, purchase your tickets in advance online. You can use a credit card, and it’s the best way to ensure you get your desired dates. Tickets for opening day sold out in only hours once the online system went live! Unless you’re booking a hotel package with guaranteed entry, you will want to reserve your preferred dates well ahead of time.
Shanghai Disney has a number of unique rides and attractions you won’t find at other Disney Parks around the world, and even some of the signature attractions have a unique spin. A few highlights include:
Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle for the Sunken Treasure - Preview videos posted online show that this will be a completely different experience than the current Pirates of the Caribbean ride, with lots of video projection screens and special effects.
TRON Lightcycle Power Run - Roller-coaster-style attraction where you board a train of two-wheeled lightcycles.
Treasure Cove - The first pirate-themed land in any Disney Park.
Mickey Avenue - The first main entry inspired by Mickey and his friends. Avenue M Arcade will be the place to shop for souvenirs and gifts.
If you’re planning a trip to Shanghai Disney, citizens of 51 countries and regions can take advantage of newly extended visa-free travel that allows you to spend 144 hours, or six days, in Shanghai. However, there is a caveat. You can’t do a round trip ticket and take advantage of this – it’s designed as a layover for travelers headed to a different country from which they arrived. No additional stopovers in China are permitted either.
Right now, Shanghai Disney has two hotels that are opening in conjunction with the theme park. Many dates, especially for the month of the opening, have sold out, so it’s best to book as far in advance as possible.
The Shanghai Disneyland Hotel is the resort’s signature resort with 420 rooms, three restaurants and one lounge on-site. Rooms have garden, lake or theme park views and start at 1,650 CNY ($251 USD) a night. The more budget-friendly hotel is Toy Story Hotel. The Toy Story Hotel has 800 rooms with garden, courtyard, or theme park views that start at 850 CNY ($130 USD) a night. There are also two restaurants on-site at the Toy Story Hotel.
Disneytown is where you’ll find the Marketplace, filled with dining, shopping and entertainment options, including Broadway Blvd, home to the Walt Disney Grand Theatre and the first-ever Mandarin-language stage performance of The Lion King.
You’ll find a variety of international restaurants, including familiar names like Starbucks, The Cheesecake Factory and Wolfgang Puck Kitchen + Bar.
When it comes to shopping, Disneytown will have a World of Disney and a variety of other boutique shops and international brands.
Getting to Shanghai Disney will be easy on the Shanghai Metro rail service – Take Line 11 to the final stop for the Shanghai Disney Resort.
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Erin is a travel and food writer who currently splits her time between the Netherlands and Belize. She's traveled to 60+ countries on 5 continents with a passion for culinary travel, luxury hotels, and all things Disney. Her writing has appeared in numerous online outlets including Gadling, BootsnAll, CNN, Art of Backpacking, TravBuddy, CBS, and more. She was the major author of Belize's official visitor magazine, Destination Belize 2013; wrote the official AFAR Guide to Belize; and is also AFAR Magazine's local Belize expert.. In addition to writing for other publications, Erin maintains several blogs, Our Tasty Travels, No Checked Bags, Pooh's Travels, and the brand new Caye To Belize. Follow Erin on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google Plus.
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