Explore the Shanghai Disneyland Resort

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Discover What it’s Like to Stay at the Shanghai Disneyland Resort

Looking to plan a trip to Shanghai Disneyland Resort? You’re in for an unforgettable experience. There’s so much to see and do, both at the parks and in the city of Shanghai. Shanghai Disneyland opened just last year – with dazzling attractions, parades, restaurants and more.

After reading tons of articles about Shanghai Disneyland, my husband and I booked our flights and headed overseas for our first visit to China. I must admit, I had never planned to visit Shanghai prior to hearing about the new park, but now I can’t wait to go back.

On the one hand Shanghai is a city unlike any other, with spectacular light displays and unique architecture. On the other hand, there is much about Shanghai that will remind you of so many of metropolitan cities in the west. We started our eastern journey at the Shanghai Disneyland Resort.

Transportation to Shanghai Disneyland Resort

While we read quite a bit about transportation to the resort from the Pudong airport, the many hours of travel and new environment through us for a loop. Instead of taking public transit or an Uber, we decided on taking up an offer for an airport taxi. While we knew this was the more expensive option, and that we were definitely paying more than if we’d caught a curbside taxi, we gave in due to our exhaustion and lack of Ren-min-bi.

The airport taxi service accepted credit card, and ushered us through the airport crowd out to the pick up zone where our roomy van was waiting for us. Our escort loaded the car for us, and we were on our way to Shanghai Disneyland Resort. The ride over was quick, taking about 25 minutes. Our taxi driver was very insistent on receiving a tip, even though it’s not traditionally customary to tip in Shanghai.

 Shanghai Disneyland Hotel

While looking at sketches of the resort, I was a bit disappointed initially. The Shanghai Disneyland Resort looked all business no pleasure. The lobby seemed to lack that Disney magic. With one foot inside the lobby, I realized the sketches didn’t do the hotel justice.

The hotel was decorated for Christmas with just enough holiday sparkle. The hotel lobby is grand and bright, with high ceilings and stained glass chandeliers. What shines brightest is the service from the staff. Unlike many U.S. hotels, the Shanghai Disneyland Resort is staffed up. There were multiple people working the front desk, even though we were checking in later in the evening. After checking in, we were escorted through the lobby to our room, which had an amazing view of the park, including the grand Enchanted Storybook Castle.

The room is furnished with subtle Disney references. Window frames and moldings resemble Toon Town architecture, giving the room a cartoon feel, while the choice of materials helps maintain sophistication. The bathrooms are spacious and bright. Our room featured a hidden bed with the most adorable Mickey painting. From our room we were able to see the fireworks light up the night sky over the majestic castle.

Getting to the Park

When staying at the Shanghai Disneyland Resort, there are multiple ways to get to the park. You can wait for a ferry boat to take you across the lake, which departs about every 20 minutes – or you can walk through Wishing Star Park. It’s a short walk by day, but feels a lot longer when it’s cold at night.

Where to Dine

The dining options are endless. Disneytown, Shanghai’s version of Downtown Disney or Disney Springs – offers several dining options from traditional Dim Sum to The Cheesecake Factory. You’ll find several restaurants ranging in price and menu at the theme park as well, but don’t miss out on the Shanghai Disneyland Hotel dining experiences.

Character Experiences

If you’re looking for the classic Disney character dining experience dine at Lumiere’s Kitchen. Imagineers did a wonderful job bringing “Beauty and the Beast” to life through paintings, decor and sculptures. The restaurant faces the lake and the park, offering great views of the Enchanted Storybook Castle. The restaurant is buffet style, and serves a combination of eastern and western dishes including dumplings, miso soup and pork buns.

Quick Service

For a quick service experience, try the Ballet Cafe. Once again, guests can enjoy amazing views of Shanghai Disneyland from the restaurant that faces the park. This cute cafe inspired by Disney’s Fantasia offers a variety of sweet and savory snacks. Try the mickey waffles for breakfast or a pork bun to go.

Fine Dining

If you’ve got room in your budget for one fine dining experience while visiting the Shanghai Disneyland Resort you must make a reservation at Aurora. Breathtaking views, excellent service and unique dishes make for an evening not soon forgotten.

Hotel Entertainment

While there’s plenty to do outside of the hotel, don’t forget to take advantage of resort experiences. The Littler Mermaid pool area may be small, but it’s a great place to get in some exercise or escape the heat on a warm day. The Lion King splash area is another way for little ones to escape the heat during a summer visit to the park.

Our experience at the Shanghai Disneyland Hotel was one of the best trips we have ever taken. The resort is truly unlike any we’ve experienced in the states.

Michelle McKinley is a journalist and digital marketer from Los Angeles, CA. She earned her Journalism degree from Pepperdine University, and has been writing for the web since 2003. She’s a life-long Disney fan who travels and writes about her experiences for fun.

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