Shanghai Disneyland is the sixth iteration of Walt Disney’s Disneyland theme parks. If you’re trying to determine which of the other five parks in the U.S., Asia, or Paris that you want to visit, then you’re probably wondering if the experience of Shanghai’s version is compelling enough to warrant the time and money it’ll cost to grab a visa and head to Asia. (Spoiler alert, it is.)
Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger’s instructions for the engineering and design teams responsible for building Shanghai Disneyland were that the park needs to be “authentically Disney and distinctly Chinese.”
They nailed it. Here are our top 5 reasons to visit Shanghai Disneyland.
Witness Shanghai’s Enchanted Storybook Castle
In case you’ve never been, know that every Disneyland park has their own castle. The largest and most elaborate one to date, Shanghai’s palace offers opportunities that others can’t match. Rather than being tied to just one princess, the Enchanted Storybook Castle shows love to many of Disney’s heroines.
But the original princess, Snow White, gets her own attraction, the Once Upon a Time Adventure. Guests can climb to the upper reaches of the castle and experience the classic tale through a series of media-enhanced experiences. Once Upon a Time even features Snow White’s original 1937 footage, but it’s been re-created in 3D and adapted it to the characters’ Mandarin voices.
In addition, the castle has a permanent stage in the front that’s used for musical shows, and the park’s only full-service restaurant, the Royal Banquet Hall.
Stroll Down Mickey Avenue
A must-see (literally), guests enter Shanghai Disneyland park by walking down Mickey Avenue. The captivating area is loosely based on 1930s America, but includes charming nods to Chinese culture.
Ride Tron, the World’s Greatest Roller Coaster
Take a seat, Kevin Flynn. You’re not the only one who can now enter Tron’s video game Grid.
It’s not among the world’s fastest roller coasters, but their Tron Lightcycle Power Run is a perfectly concocted blend of heart-pumping thrills mixed with a captivating storyline. Don’t believe me? Check out the video.
The Brand New Pirates Attraction
Unsurprisingly, this attraction is based on the popular film franchise starring Johnny Depp. The Shanghai ride tells you a story in a linear fashion, packed with surprises around every turn of the corner.
Battle for the Sunken Treasure immerses you in large-screen world, but it also includes plenty of practical sets, 4D effects, and audio-animatronic characters. This combination of the old school and the new help make Shanghai Disneyland’s Pirates one of the best theme park rides on the planet.
Fly Over London, Just Like Peter Pan
This beloved classic is a ride that dates back to the very first Disneyland’s opening day. But in Shanghai, the engineering teams expanded the experience and updated it with larger vehicles, additional scenes, digital image mapping and a few other noteworthy enhancements. You won’t want to miss it.