Hey, fellow Explorers! It’s now time for part three of our Shanghai Disneyland Winter Trip Report! This is our last day in Shanghai, which afterward we head to Hong Kong Disneyland, Macau, and Ocean Park.
We do a lot of repeats from the day before, but something special happened while we were there and this was unplanned and just pure luck — China Premier of Beauty and the Beast in Disneytown. The best things in life are unplanned.
If you haven’t already, make sure to read parts one and two of our trip report. I share a lot of tips and mistakes to avoid when you go on your trip. We have our Travel Resources page, where I list information about the SIM Card I used for Mainland China and how to get discount tickets for Shanghai Disneyland.
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Let’s get to day three of our Shanghai Disneyland trip!
Failed Attempt at Soaring Part Two
We arrived at the park for opening — even had time to get Starbucks in Disneytown too — and Soaring had an 180 minute wait time at that point (as mentioned in the last report we didn’t know the park opened 20 minutes early). Which meant we did not get to ride this at all during this trip. At least my Starbucks latte was good though right?
Instead, we rode Pirates again (the wait time hovers around 30 minutes) and saw the Golden Fairytale Fanfare again, followed by the Crystal Grotto (there are still sections that aren’t working properly).
Pre-Lunch Seafood Churro
Before lunch, I just had to try the seafood churro in Treasure Cove. It’s pieces of squid (or octopus I can never tell the difference) deep-fried to look like french fries and topped with bonito flakes, mayonnaise, and sauce. The flavour reminds me of the Japanese Takoyaki (fried octopus balls).
I enjoyed this more than I thought I would. It was a bit cold — but that is my fault because I was taking photos and video — but that didn’t take away from the flavour.
Not sure why it’s labeled as a churro because it’s far from it, but if you can get over the name then it’s a decent snack if you’re a fan of takoyaki. Would I get it again? Probably not since I don’t think of seafood when I want a snack.
While there are an array of places to eat inside the park (I recommend Wandering Tea House, Stargazer Grill, Royal Banquet Hall, Pinocchio Village Kitchen, and Barbossa’s Bounty), it’s hard to overlook the fact that Disneytown has the first Cheesecake Factory in China. I first ate at this restaurant in California during one of my first trips to Disneyland Resort and have been a fan ever since. So, I had to see how it stacked up.
One awesome thing about Disneytown is there’s a secondary entrance to the park that spits you out between Mickey Avenue and Tomorrowland. Now, if you’re in the park and are thinking to yourself “I wish I could see all the menus of the restaurants in Disneytown to see if we should leave the park or not for lunch”, then you’re in luck.
There’s a small kiosk inside the park just before the exit into Disneytown with most — if not all — the menus of the restaurants. How awesome is that? So, you can see if there’s somewhere you want to eat without even leaving the park. That saves you some valuable time to ride Pirates again later in the day.
Without going into detail — I’ll write up a full review — the Cheesecake Factory is top-notch. The food choice has something for everyone (which is kind of given right?), it’s delicious, and the cheesecake is mouth-watering. My only complaint is the price, you do pay a premium for this and there’s a mandatory service charge as well (tips are not common).
Even at the higher price, I would eat here again. There’s no Cheesecake Factory in Japan, so this is the closest I can get without traveling to America.
Oh, we went back for cheesecake later in the evening. Want to know why? The portion sizes for lunch were gigantic and trying to force me to eat cheesecake would have been a terrible idea. So, after we finished at the park in the evening we went back before it closed.
Unauthorized Sellers in the Park
I heard about the FastPass scalpers and never saw any until the second day. The same goes for the unauthorized merchandise sellers. The FastPass scalpers were out in the open and approached us inside the park just outside TRON.
They didn’t speak English but I knew what they were asking us since they showed us TRON FastPasses — I didn’t buy any and I never would. It did make me a bit uneasy since it was right in the park. I didn’t see any Cast Members around to tell, and when I did find one the scalpers were gone. But, I didn’t let this affect our day in the park.
It looks like one thing Shanghai Disneyland is doing to deal with the scalpers is the “Disney Premier Pass”, which is a paid FastPass. I guess if you can’t beat them, just make it so it’s not worth it for them to do it anymore. We shall see how well this works. If that means it gets rid of them (or at least reduces them), then I am all for it.
Another thing I did see was unauthorized merchandise sellers. After we got out of the Frozen: A Sing-Along Celebration (which you should watch once because the projections are fun), a woman stood in the middle of the crowd and was selling Minnie Mouse ears in clear plastic bags. She worked fast and by the time the crowd thinned out she was gone. Again, I tried finding a Cast Member to just make them aware, but there were so many people it was hard to find anyone.
Beauty and the Beast Premiere in Disneytown
Sometimes the best things happen at random, we had no idea the China Premiere of Beauty and the Beast was happening during our trip. Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, Josh Gad, and others were in attendance to the red carpet event right in Disneytown.
We made our way to Disneytown around 17:30 (the event began at 18:00) and we got there too late and were unable to get close to the red carpet. They were not allowing anyone else to enter the area, which was sort of a bummer but we didn’t get there early enough so that was our fault. Our one friend Lucas, however, wasn’t with us in the Park that day and he managed to get to the red carpet and took a few photos.
Afterward, the Enchanted Storybook Castle had a special Beauty and the Beast projection for the rest of the evening after the fireworks show! That was a beautiful treat. We didn’t see any of the stars of the movie in the park, but I heard they were in there throughout the day.
Ice Cream in the Evening
Who has ice cream in the evening when it gets down to 7°C (45°F)? You guessed right, this guy! The group of us had soft serve and the Shanghai Sundae in Il Paparino on Mickey Avenue. If you crave ice cream, then this is the place to go. For those that have been to Tokyo DisneySea, pay attention to the music they play and you’ll hear something quite familiar.
The park cleared out after the fireworks, which meant lower wait times! The only downside was Pirates was down for the rest of the evening. But, we got to ride Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and TRON before the park closed with minimal wait. We made good use of our PhotoPass.
Before we left for the evening to head back to the hotel, we took a few photos of the Enchanted Storybook Castle. It’s much easier when there’s no one around.
Thank you, Shanghai
This trip was much more laid back compared to our trip back in June 2016. I loved the rush and adrenaline from the Grand Opening (once in a lifetime thing for most of us), but not having a dire need to do everything in a single day was a beautiful thing.
I have grown to appreciate this park and there is no doubt we will be back. Things aren’t perfect (I mean what park is), but the good outweighs the bad by a long shot. I can’t wait to come back and seek my revenge on Soaring.
Next Stop Hong Kong
The next day we left for Hong Kong with an overnight in Macau and a night in Hong Kong (with a day at Ocean Park and Victoria Peak) itself before we headed to Hong Kong Disneyland. So, our next trip report will condense two days into one and cover some of the non-Disney things we did!
Plan Your Shanghai Trip
PhotoPass at Shanghai Disneyland does a cute video on Buzz Lightyear Planet Rescue (Pirates and TRON just do photos)! You can get the PhotoPass+ for about $54 USD for unlimited digital downloads of your photos (this is what I do usually since we take a lot of photos). Or you can get one digital download photo for about $9 USD. You get a PhotoPass card and you can link it with their free mobile app, website, or at a photo sales location. This also includes photos taken by PhotoPass photographers. They have all the information nicely laid out on the official website!
If you’re headed to Shanghai Disneyland, make sure to read our full trip planning guide! It has everything you need to know for your trip — Discount Park Tickets, Mainland China Visa, WiFi, and Internet, etc.