Today is all about the parts of the park that aren’t rides. I know, it’s hard to believe, but there are things at Shanghai Disneyland that aren’t rides!
There are a couple ways to enter the park, yesterday the bus from the hotel dropped us off at a side entrance. It ended up being the longest line I waited in all day. They only had three security booths open, so it took a long time to actually get into the park.
This morning the bus dropped me closer to the main entrance. Interestingly, they have Minnie’s face planted in front of the entrance instead of Mickey.
Once inside, you come to Mickey Avenue, which is their version of Main Street. It is a little different, as once you’re down the main road, it spreads out a bit, and the areas have different looks to them. One has a European flare, one is kinda western-ish, and Mickey Avenue itself has that cartoon look to it.
Instead of the traditional hub we’re used to at all the other Disneyland parks, here they have Gardens of Imagination. This is a large area with lots of plants and flowers; it even has a babbling brook!
Also, in the Gardens of Imagination is the area called the Garden of the Twelve Friends, which celebrates the Chinese Zodiac with different characters from the Disney catalog. I’m year of the Rooster, in case you were wondering.
Also different from the other parks, Tomorrowland is to your left. (All the other parks have it as the first land to the right of Main Street.)
Inside Tomorrowland is the Tron Realm Digital Challenge. Which, aside from having this very Batmobile-esq concept car, seems to mainly be some large scale digital games you can play, as well as a racing game.
Tucked in the back corner of Tomorrowland is the Star Wars Launch Bay, where you can see movie props, and meet characters. I didn’t meet any of the characters today, well, because they were Darth Vader and Kylo Ren, and frankly they scare me just a little bit.
The other amazing thing they have here is the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon! That’s right, I sat right in the pilot’s seat. I’m pretty much Chewy now. Which means I really don’t have to shave me legs ever again.
Side note: I would like to see Disney phase all the Star Wars stuff out of Tomorrowland, after all this happened “A long time ago, in a galaxy far away….” So, it actually historical. Don’t get me wrong, I want Disney to have Star Wars in the parks, just in a correct Land.
Along the path between Tomorrowland and Fantasyland is the Marvel Universe building. Like the Launch Bay it has characters and props from the Marvel franchise.
As we continue clockwise through the Lands we next spot by Toy Story Land. Or what will be Toy Story Land when it opens at the end of next month.
On to Fantasyland! I’m amazed at how large and spread out everything here is. And Fantasyland is no exception. It wraps around about a third of the outside perimeter and stretched in to the castle. It’s huge! There is an Alice in Wonderland Maze that winds near the castle, and under a bridge leading to it.
I can’t believe how big this castle is! They just keep getting bigger! The first castle in California was only big enough to take a quick walk through, but this one houses a large restaurant, the princess meet and greet area, shops, the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, and has room for benches. It’s also quite lovely inside, with some lovely mosaics!
It also has the “Once Upon a Time” Adventure, which is a walk through that tells the story of the OG princess, and my favorite royal lady, Snow White. It uses 3D sets, and screens to tell the story, and is really very cool!
Up next on our jaunt around the park is Treasure Cove. Home of Pirates of the Caribbean! In fact, the whole area is pirate themed. Aside from the ride, they also have the explorer canoes, a pirate stunt show, and a play area for kids called Shipwreck Shore.
They also have a ship called Sirens Revenge that you can walk through to see how real pirates lived. If those pirates had worked for Disney.
The final land is called Adventure Isle and is home to Soarin’ Over the Horizon and Roaring Rapids. They also have a large outdoor area known as Camp Discovery. There is a nice leisurely walk you can do around the mountain and its water falls called Vista Trail. This area also has a huge ropes course, it was closed while I was here, but looks like a great challenge for kids! And there are a few adults I know that would like it too. There is also a playground for small kids, and an Excavation Site (basically a giant sandbox with stuff buried in it).
If you continue clockwise from there you’re back to Mickey Avenue!
One thing I thought that was really cool about this park is that a have a few large picnic areas. Such a great idea! Having a place for families to chill for a while at the park is inspired!
The area is so large and spread out here, that if seems like Disney can easily add new attractions to the park as needed. And I really do love that the paths are so wide. You never feel too crowded when you’re walking about.
I had hoped to stay in the park longer than I was able to today. It was raining, and aside from the general getting soaked factor, there is an issue with all the benches being wet. When I can’t sit down and rest my ankle periodically it fatigues much more quickly. But I still got to spend some time in the park and enjoy the magic of Disney one last time!
I so enjoyed my time at Shanghai Disneyland, and I was so excited to see where the Disney theme park technology is heading. The rides here are amazing, in their story telling as well as their thrill factor! I would highly recommend visiting this park; and hey, I have a multi-entry Chinese Visa, so feel free to invite me along with you!
Tomorrow I head home. It will be my 66th day of traveling! I can’t wait see my family and friends, and to drive my car, and wash my clothes. It’s the little things!