The newest Disney Park has some of the best and most modern Disney rides to date. These attractions are some of the reasons why so many Explorers plan a trip to Shanghai Disneyland. Having a solid FastPass strategy and knowing your options will help make your day(s) at the Park much easier.
In this guide, you’ll learn my ideal FastPass strategy to tackle the day, along with what I think are some of the best rides in the Park. Not only do you get to experience the best rides, you’ll also save yourself time and frustration and be able to enjoy other elements of the Park! Once you’re done here, head on over to our Shanghai Disneyland Travel Guide to continue planning the perfect trip and don’t forget to learn what mistakes to avoid too.
Table of Contents
Here’s what I believe are the best rides at Shanghai Disneyland. For a full list of attractions, check the Official Shanghai Disney Resort website. Before we begin, here’s a legend of attributes:
- ? – FastPass
- ? – Disney Premier Pass
- ☝ – Single Rider
- ?? – Unique to Shanghai Disneyland
TRON Lightcycle Power Run ? ? ☝ ??
This is one of the coolest rides I’ve ever experienced. It’s the Space Mountain of Shanghai Disneyland in Tomorrowland. The building is gorgeous and its curvy exterior is incredibly pleasing to the eye. While the ride is too short for my taste (a common criticism), it’s undeniably one of the best rides in the Park.
Pirates of the Caribbean Battle for the Sunken Treasure ? ☝ ??
Whatever you know about the classic Pirates of the Caribbean in other Disney Parks, you can forget about that here. This is a completely new attraction and it’s phenomenal. A perfect blend of storytelling and technology that leaves you wanting more.
Camp Discovery ??
You see that large waterfall in the distance? That’s Camp Discovery in Adventure Isle, and yes, that’s an attraction. You get to slap on a harness and tackle one of two obstacle courses. It’s suitable for all ages and you’re able to choose between an easy, medium, and hard obstacle during the course. This is such a unique attraction that I don’t think you’ll ever see at the other Disney Parks. I can’t recommend this enough.
Peter Pan’s Flight ? ?
Ever wonder what a modern Peter Pan attraction looks like? This version at Shanghai Disneyland answers that very question. It’s similar to the older versions in other Parks but updated.
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train ? ? ☝
A copy of the version in the Magic Kingdom, this family-friendly rollercoaster is just plain fun. If you’ve ever wondered what “Heigh-Ho” sounds like in Mandarin, you’ll find out.
Buzz Lightyear Planet Rescue ? ?
The same concept as Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters, but updated. It’s fantastic for all ages and it’s easier to see where you’re shooting with the laser pointers on your blasters.
While I enjoy the over-the-top attractions with the latest technology and storytelling, sometimes I want something simple and enjoyable. Rex’s Racer is just that. You zip back and forth in Rex’s Racer on the iconic orange racetrack. It’s a great introduction to thrill rides.
Another simple, yet fun attraction. You swing around in a carriage pulled by a toy horse. Sometimes it’s the simple things in life that bring us the most joy. This ride did just that for me. This is the same ride system as Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree in Disney California Adventure.
Soaring Over the Horizon is the same as versions in other Disney Parks, except the queue is stunningly gorgeous and the ending of the film and the safety spiel is unique to Shanghai. If you’ve never done it before, then it’s worth it. You’re flying through different landscapes and landmarks around the world, shown on a gigantic screen.
Roaring Rapids is another ride that is similar to other attractions, namely Grizzly River Run in Disney’s California Adventure. You go on an adventure through rapids in a large circular raft where you do get soaking wet.
The easiest way to use a FastPass is through the official Shanghai Disneyland app. Download it before your trip and set up your account. Once you’re in the Park, you’ll scan your Park ticket(s) into the app and you’re able to reserve FastPasses immediately.
A few points before we get started:
- FastPass is free and included in your Park admission
- FastPass give you a return time to experience an attraction with a minimal wait
- Once you make one FastPass reservation, it’ll tell you the time you’re able to get another FastPass
- There are only so many FastPass slots available for each attraction per day
- When you redeem your FastPass, you’ll scan it at the entrance to the FastPass line
- If you don’t have a smart phone with the app, you can get FastPasses through the kiosks throughout the Park by scanning your Park ticket
- You’re only able to make FastPass reservations on the day you’re in the Park (there are no advance reservations like Walt Disney World)
Now that you’re all caught up on what FastPass are and how to get one, let’s talk strategy. This is one that I have used continuously on busy and non-busy days. Your mileage may vary depending on the crowds and the size of your group.
One thing to note is the app will work with the free wi-fi in the Park but is spotty if you’re indoors. The Great Firewall of China doesn’t affect the app. I recommend this SIM Card to get around blocked websites or using ExpressVPN.
Once you’re in the Park for the day, immediately scan all your Park tickets into a single app (that way you can make one reservation for everyone in your party) to begin reserving your FastPass. This just makes your life easier if you want everyone to ride together.
- Make a FastPass reservation for either Soaring or Roaring Rapids
- If you’re vigilant, then you can ride TRON, Peter Pan’s Flight, and Pirates of the Caribbean (in that exact order) first thing in the morning by only using the standby line
- Once your next FastPass is ready, get one for either Buzz LightYear, Winnie the Pooh, or the one attraction you didn’t get a FastPass for first thing in the morning (Soaring or Roaring Rapids) if there are any left
- Use single rider for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
- Get another FastPass for TRON in the evening (you need to ride it in the evening, trust me)
Follow this strategy and you’ll leave yourself enough time to enjoy the other aspects of the Park (eating and entertainment, naturally). Your mileage may vary depending on the crowds.
On average, FastPass for Soaring and Roaring Rapids tend to run out first before any other attractions. All the attractions listed above tend to garner long wait times. If you find yourself at the Park on a busy day with long standby wait times and FastPass run out, there is another option called the Disney Premier Pass.
Disney Premier Access
The Disney Premier Access is a paid FastPass and is an excellent option if you find there is no FastPass left and you want to experience an attraction with a long wait time. It works the same as the FastPass, where you reserve it through the app. The only differences are:
- A single attraction costs 120 RMB ($18 USD) per person
- Use your credit card in the app to buy (international credit cards work fine)
- You’re able to use the pass anytime (there’s no return time) before the day is over
- Only select attractions offer the Disney Premier Pass
- FastPass attractions
- Pirates of the Caribbean and Rex’s Racer
There’s also sets you’re able to buy if you want Premier Passes for multiple attractions and save a bit of money. Check the app to see what specific attractions are included. Prices are correct as of June 2018 and are subject to change.
- Disney Premier Access Set: 660 RMB ($104 USD) per person
- Disney Premier Access-Adventure Set: 420 RMB ($65 USD) per person
- Disney Premier Access-Family Set: 420 RMB ($65 USD) per person
The prices above are based on Regular days (weekdays and non-holidays). The prices are higher on weekends, holidays, and peak days, from what I can tell.
You may ask yourself, “Is this worth buying?” The answer is, it depends. If you follow my strategy above, then you shouldn’t have a need to pay for a Premier Pass. With that said, if you are visiting on a busy day, on a once-in-a-lifetime trip, or absolutely despise waiting, then it’s worth considering.
I’ve used it once for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train on a day where there were no FastPass left on a Saturday. The standby was at over 120 minutes and the single rider line was 90 minutes. Paying the $18 USD to not wait in a line was worth it for me (I can’t resist hearing “Heigh-Ho” in Mandarin). It’s all personal preference. The process of buying the pass was painless and rather quick.
What do you think of the strategy above? Share your own strategies in the comments! There’s no one single way to tackle a day in the Parks.
If you’re planning a trip Shanghai, then you don’t want to miss our Shanghai Disneyland Travel Guide that features everything you need to know about this modern Disney Park, covering everything from transportation to the best times to visit.