The Un-Happiest Place in China

After sharing our mutual love of everything Disney, my friend Anna and I booked an early flight from Beijing and arrived in Shanghai Disneyland around 11:00 on a Tuesday for the first day of our two day pass.

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We were hoping that the threat of rain would dissuade people from coming, but we were mistaken. Lines for everything were super long. The day ended up being unseasonably chilly and the threat of line materialized into a drizzle throughout the afternoon. The day was spent on 5 smaller rides with a break to consume these Mickey Mouse pizzas. We decided that the next day we would get there early and try to beat the crowds for some of the biggest rides.

We managed to get up early and get to the park 10 minutes before it opened (7:50 a.m). Our plan was to get a fast past for Soaring, then wait in line for TRON. What happened instead was this sea of people. It ended up taking ONE AND A HALF HOURS just to make it through security and the ticket line. People were pushing and cutting and hitting us in the head with their sun umbrellas and it was pretty much an “I hate China moment.” It sucked really, really, really bad.

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the line for security

By the time we got through, the park again was really crowded. We just ended up waiting the full three hours in line for Soaring. After that, we waited to ride TRON. TRON was awesome. Kind of a motorcycle Space Mountain that goes outside for a big loop and then inside through the dark. IT WAS GREAT! We also had time to ride a rapids ride which was also kind of fun, but like everything else, had a stupidly long wait time.

We ended our trip by watching the fireworks show and heading back. To be honest, the whole trip was kind of just okay. Anna and I managed to stay positive most of the time, but the sheer number of people crowded into the small park was not an experience I would recommend to anyone. Disneyland Shanghai has been open for around a year now and has received 11 million customers in that year. Maybe in the future when they have enough attractions to thin the crowds it will be better, but for now I say it’s a poor comparison to Disney World in the US.

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