Thursday, 13 April 2017

Disney Down

We tried our best to sleep in but we were still up early and starving and so found ourselves having breakfast at 7am. Breakfast was included as part of the Club Level room and was served at the Club Lounge (7-11am). The spread offered was extensive and had Eastern as well as Western options. Food was of good quality and included an egg station and freshly squeezed orange juice.

The congee section

Dumplings on offer

Special onsen egg with porcini and crispy parmesan roll available if you wish. Fancy!

The selection of granola, bircher and yohurt drinks

The sweet stuff!

The kiddies had their own sized table complete with TV

The Disneyland Hotel had their own schedule of activities as well

Did I  mention that I was so enamoured by my hero that I bought "his" sweater?!?!

We cherished our morning chill time. I caught up on some blogging, the children predictably watched TV and Malcolm hit the gym. Unfortunately despite Malcolm's best efforts, the check out time of 11am was not flexible! We caught the ferry across to Disney Town. It was on the small side and could easily be covered in half a day. Most of our time was spent in the Disney stores for last minute purchases before we had lunch at the Boathouse. Much to Malcolm's disappointment the much lauded soft shell burger was not available! The food was reasonable both in taste and price. Certain dishes were delicious (squid ink spaghetti with soft shell crab) while others were just average.

We finished wandering through Disney Town and caught the ferry back to the Disneyland Hotel to pick up our luggage. I wandered if the taxi drivers were in a hurry as we arrived back at the Grand Kempinski Hotel in no time. And with that, our Disney adventure was over. After 2 hectic days, we didn't realise how exhausted we were until we took the time to stop. The children were on a post Disney low and voted for dinner somewhere close. We strolled back through what has become our "go to" mall, Super Brand Mall. Din Tai Fung won the honours and offered us a wonderful view of the Bund. It was to able to see the skyline light up as the sun set.

Walking out of the Disneyland Hotel toward the ferry

Looking back at the hotel

The gate. You have to show your room key to get in

A bit sad to have checked out

The Disney ferry


Let's go in here

Look what we saw!

Lunch venue

No one there!

Our boat table

My mocktail!

A quick stop at the Lego store. I didn't think anywhere could be more expensive than Sydney. I was wrong

One last Disney trip before going

Back to Shanghai. The crazy roundabout at Lujiazui and the huge ring shaped pedestrian crossing above it. Just out of shot is the Pearl Tower to the left

Our table at dinner with the Bund as our view

There's always room for dessert. Durian ice at Sugar Report

Another shot at The Pearl Tower. No fog this time!
A few thoughts on Shanghai Disney in no particular order.

We had planned on 3 park days. However, when we purchased our tickets, the longest park tickets available were 2 day tickets. A seasonal pass has just been introduced but as we already tickets we didn't look too much into it. I do know that the seasonal pass provided accommodation, dining and merchandise discounts. Inside the park, there was a tent with 50-75% off merchandise only for seasonal pass holders. In the end, we covered the majority of the park within 2 days and opted to spend the last day around Disneytown and returned to Shanghai early. The concierge mentioned that it was low season. However to be honest, I wouldn't know which would be peak seasons in Shanghai other than guessing that it would be busy during the Shanghainese school breaks and national holidays.

I would be lying if I said that there were no hesitations pre-trip. We had heard reports of children going to the toilet in lines, of line cutting and of rubbish littered around the park. And even though we suspected that some may have been over exaggerated, we did have somewhat of a "let's visit before the park gets trashed" mentality. Having now been, we are a little ashamed of thinking that way. The park was clean. And the guests mostly polite. Was there line cutting? Yes. Was it rampant? No. In fact I think it was much worse at Disneyland Paris. There were the occasional attempts to join family members ahead of the queue but nothing that took away from our enjoyment of the park. We did notice that Castmembers pulled people out when caught actively queue cutting. I think overall, they've done a good a job at maintaining expected behaviours within the Parks.

The rides that we came to experience that were unique to Shanghai Disney did not disappoint and we were glad we had the opportunity to go on them. Cast Members are perhaps not as exuberant as they are in the US parks but we found them to be generally cheerful and helpful, even the ones who can't speak English.

Overall, our experience was positive and we all enjoyed ourselves. The children were sad to leave which I feel is a good sign! We think it is definitely worth visiting if you are a Disney fan. We are so blessed to finally be able to say that we've been to all the Disney Castles!!

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