Tomorrowland

With the recent rumours that Disney may be announcing the replacement of Tomorrowland Speedway in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World with the Tron ride that’s taken Shanghai Disneyland by storm, of course the Disney community has been throwing round a whole bunch of opinions – some people are desperate for some newness, others are already mourning the potential loss of a ‘classic’ Tomorrowland ride. On this particular matter, I stand fairly central; I don’t particularly like change, but I did love the Tron ride at Shanghai, and I think it would be a fabulous addition to WDW. One thing I can be certain of, however, is that Tomorrowland needs SOMETHING.

Walt imagined Tomorrowland to be the ultimate step into technology, and at the time, it definitely was. Look at the Carousel of Progress. It absolutely epitomises Walt’s dreams of the future, but the final scene has now hit the 21st century – virtual reality gaming, voice controlled homes – that’s the life we’re all living now. That doesn’t take anything away from my love of the Carousel, but it does indicate that times are changing, and an update is needed.

At no point had I ever believed Tomorrowland to be dated, or at least that was until my trip to Shanghai Disneyland last year, and as soon as I laid eyes on Tomorrowland the first thought that ran through my head was ‘this is how it’s meant to be’. I appreciate that the park is newer, so of course it would have better technology and a cleaner look, but it had what I can only imagine was Walt’s desired feeling: that you had stepped into the future.

Of course, the focal point of Shanghai’s Tomorrowland is the Tron Lightcycle PowerRun ride, but even the classics like Buzz Lightyear featured better tech and just felt so much cooler. The Tron ride itself was in a league of its own; it’s not dissimilar to Test Track in Epcot, but the look and feel just comes across so much sleeker, and it’s one hell of a ride!

Tomorrowland Speedway, on the other hand, does not get me excited. It’s a ride I have quite happily skipped on my last few trips and I wouldn’t shed any tears over the loss. I saw a tweet that summed up exactly how I feel:
I don’t feel like Walt would be proud of Tomorrowland as it is right now. It’s classic, but classic always implies age; being dated. Sure, if they were gonna replace Space Mountain, or the beloved PeopleMover, I think I’d feel differently, but what’s futuristic about a little car that you can drive around a track? Now give me a lightcycle..

To be honest, I think my main concern about the change happening would be the construction affecting the rest of the park, but I don’t think I’d lose any sleep. Tomorrowland is too much like today.

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Tangled Tree Tavern at Shanghai Disneyland

When Shanghai Disneyland was still under construction, a rumour broke that got me pretty excited for the park’s opening. Then in all my excitement for the trip, I promptly forgot all about it.

The rumour was that a Tangled themed restaurant would be featured in the park, and it wasn’t until I arrived in Shanghai Disneyland and saw ‘Tangled Tree Tavern’ on the park map that it dawned on me that finally I could visit The Snuggly Duckling for myself. Of course, I had to Disneybound that day..

Shanghai Disneyland Rapunzel Disneybound

Tangled Tree Tavern, Shanghai Disneyland

Tangled Tree Tavern, Shanghai Disneyland

Tangled Tree Tavern, Shanghai Disneyland

Tangled Tree Tavern, Shanghai Disneyland

Tangled Tree Tavern, Shanghai Disneyland

I didn’t meet any ruffians or thugs, but they clearly weren’t far away as their stuff was all over the place – helmets hanging from the ceiling, tankards left everywhere.. They’re probably out living their dreams, or just getting ready for the parade..

Its a counter service restaurant, and although we didn’t actually eat here, the food looked really good! All the seating is outdoors, but under cover so you can stay shaded from sun!

I love seeing my favourite films represented in the parks!

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Shanghai Disneyland Details

Its been three whole months since I walked the magic of Shanghai Disneyland, and I still haven’t had much of a chance to share my photos with you lot, so I thought I’d do a bit of a gallery post today to share some of the adorable little details that fill the park!

Shanghai Disneyland

Shanghai Disneyland

Shanghai Disneyland

Shanghai Disneyland

Shanghai Disneyland

Shanghai Disneyland

Shanghai Disneyland

Shanghai Disneyland

Shanghai Disneyland

I just love looking out for little hidden gems around the park; there’s so much more than just hidden Mickeys out there! Disney Imagineers are just incredible people.

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Shanghai Disneyland’s Royal Banquet Hall

You know that big beautiful castle that towers over that Mickey built in Shanghai? Well did you know that it contains a big beautiful restaurant?

Shanghai Disneyland Royal Banquet

Royal Banquet Hall is an absolute must-do for royals and non-royals alike! The entrance is on the ground floor of the castle, but after waiting for your table in the most beautifully decorated reception area, you’re escorted to a side room for a photo with one of the princesses – Aurora was so lovely! – before being lead upstairs to the main restaurant

Shanghai Disneyland Royal Banquet Hall

Shanghai Disneyland Royal Banquet Hall

Shanghai Disneyland Royal Banquet Hall

The restaurant itself is comprised of a few different rooms, each one themed to a different classic princess. We were in the Snow White room, but there was also Mulan, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella and Princess and the Frog, all of which were just totally stunning, but while the princesses played a big part in the design of the restaurant, the characters were a whole other level of royalty!

Shanghai Disneyland Royal Banquet Hall

Shanghai Disneyland Royal Banquet Hall

Shanghai Disneyland Royal Banquet Hall

That’s right, Mickey and the gang were dressed in their fanciest gear to hang out with us while we ate, and eat we did! The food was INCREDIBLE. Its a set menu, with four options for starters and desserts and six main course options, so plenty to choose from! I had the tomato soup, which was delicious, but I didn’t finish it as I knew I’d want to save myself for my main: pumpkin and chicken stew, which was served inside a real mini pumpkin with a pile of Mickey shaped rice! It was such a huge portion but I managed as much as I could, and I’m still thinking about how great it was! Also, I could stuff myself up because the lovely cast member serving us gave us as much time as we needed before bring out our desserts.

Shanghai Disneyland Royal Banquet Hall

Shanghai Disneyland Royal Banquet Hall

But were they desserts or works of art?

Shanghai Disneyland Royal Banquet Hall

Shanghai Disneyland Royal Banquet Hall

Honestly I could not fault a single part of this experience! As well as three courses, drinks were unlimited (although souvenir cups were available for an extra charge) and included tea and coffee, and the bread basket was forever being topped up by helpful and friendly cast members – all of which were so polite and spoke English really well! The price was 368 yuan per adult, plus 15% service charge, which is around £45, or £30 for a child, which was pricey compared to other restaurants in the park, but not unreasonable compared to character meals in the American parks or Disneyland Paris, and I really think it was good value for money considering the quality of food, and the character interactions involved! I also really loved the fact that although there is a princess meet, the main characters are Mickey and friends, making it suitable for all – I know my family aren’t keen on princesses!

What’s your favourite character meal?

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A Look Around Shanghai’s Disney Store

The Disney Store in Shanghai’s city centre is the largest in the world, did you know that? I certainly didn’t until we arrived in Shanghai, and at that point I knew I had to visit!

Shanghai Disney Store

Shanghai Disney Store clock tower

While the exterior of the building is fairly understated, this incredible clock tower is the centrepiece of a large forecourt full of hidden Mickeys and Disney magic, and as for the interior..

Shanghai Disney Store castle

Shanghai Disney Store

Shanghai Disney Store

A castle. A real little castle in the middle of the store. I squealed. The whole inside of the store was full of magical details, from chandeliers and trees to hot air balloons and pixie dust, and I could have spent all day wandering around that shop!

Sure, some of the merchandise was no different to what you can find in a UK or US Disney Store, but there were also some adorable exclusive and unique products to marvel over:

Shanghai Disney Store

Shanghai Disney Store

Shanghai Disney Store

Shanghai Disney Store tsum tsums

The store was actually celebrating its 1st anniversary with these beautiful limited edition tsum tsums – you may have seen in my Shanghai Disney haul that I got the set of mini Minnie and Daisy, but I’m too scared to take them out of the box, ha! They had a huge area of soft toys and tsum tsums, as well as the standard Star Wars and Marvel merchandise, and a whole wall of Disney princess dresses and toys.

Shanghai Disney Store

Shanghai Disney Store
And at night, it gets even prettier! The store is located right in the city’s centre, next to a big shopping centre – if you wanted to make a day of it!

Isn’t this just the prettiest Disney Store?

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Shanghai Disneyland Hotel

Being a shiny new park with shiny new everything surrounding it, when making our Shanghai Disneyland plans, there was only one correct answer to where we had to stay, and that was the big’un: Shanghai Disneyland Hotel.

There are two Disney hotels on site, the smaller (and cheaper) of which being the Toy Story Hotel, but I’ll save that one for a future adventure, ha! I wanted to see the main event.

Shanghai Disneyland Hotel

Shanghai Disneyland Hotel

Shanghai Disneyland Hotel

So classic, so beautiful. The reception has a real distinct smell to it (weird, I know!), like walking into Abercrombie and Fitch, but when you’re coming in from the heat outside, its a welcome rush of scent and air-con. The lobby is breathtaking, with artwork on every wall and cast members looking dapper behind every desk. Although you feel like you’re coming in on the ground level, its actually the third floor, with steps leading down into the gardens overlooking the park in the distance – yes, you can see the castle from the hotel!#

Shanghai Disneyland Hotel

Shanghai Disneyland Hotel

Shanghai Disneyland Hotel

Shanghai Disneyland Hotel

The whole hotel has a bit of a Fantasia/Philharmagic theme, from the statue in the lobby to the room decoration. Oh, and you see those gorgeous wooden headboards? Find the Tinkerbell button by the nightstand and they light up with pixie dust and fireworks – AMAZING!

Although I never like making too much use of a tv in a hotel room, these were by far the best at any Disney resort, with on demand movies, kids bedtime stories and streaming of the nighttime spectacular!

Shanghai Disneyland Hotel

From the hotel, you’ve got three options to get to the parks: you can get a shuttle bus, a ferry across the lake, or you can walk it. The buses are possibly a tad quicker than the ferry – mainly due to trainee ferry drivers! – but they both drop you about the same distance from the park entrance.

There are also a few dining options within the hotel, including character dining at Lumiere’s Kitchen, and if you’re staying club level, you have access to a breakfast buffet, afternoon tea and cocktail hour on the 7th floor, where you can also watch the nighttime show from!

Shanghai Disneyland Hotel

It was just such a magical place to stay!

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Things You HAVE to do at Shanghai Disneyland

I feel like I start a lot of posts by complaining about how quickly time goes (regular readers, I do this all the time, right?), but it has been almost 4 weeks since I was at Shanghai Disneyland and I’m not ok with that.

Being that it (for now!) only has the one park, you could probably manage to do everything in 2 days, depending on how busy it is, but if you were pushed for time, there are definitely a few attractions and experiences that are like no other!

Tron Lightcycle Power Run

Shanghai Disneyland Tron ride

Oh. My. Gosh. This ride is insane! If you haven’t seen photos or videos of it already, go YouTube it now. There is a height limit of 122cm, so its not for the little ones, but while its definitely a fast and exciting rollercoaster, its incredible smooth; even my incredibly motion-sickness prone mum had a blast! If I could liken it to anything already existing in other Disney parks, its kinda like a motorcycle equivalent of Test Track in Epcot, but so unique and crazy and amazing!

If you can, get a Fastpass for this because queues can be insane! If Fastpasses run out, wait until during/after the nighttime show and run over there.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle for Sunken Treasure

Shanghai Disneyland Pirates of the Caribbean

I know you can ride Pirates in pretty much every other Disney park, but not like this I promise you! Disney Imagineers went to town on this, the advancement in technology was just phenomenal; I think my jaw was on the floor the whole time. Without spoiling it, this is way more than just a boat ride!

Dine inside the Enchanted Storybook Castle

Shanghai Disneyland Royal Banquet Hall

The Royal Banquet Hall is an AMAZING dining experience. I’ll be reviewing it fully in the next few weeks, but being my first time dining inside a castle ever, I was blown away. The food was beyond incredible, and the characters and cast members were the sweetest and did I mention its INSIDE THE CASTLE?

Meet the boss

Can you go to a park without meeting Mickey? He looks really smart in his Shanghai blue suit!

Tarzan

Shanghai Disneyland Tarzan

Looking for somewhere to escape the heat of the day? This is the perfect excuse! The show is full of monkey fun and amazing acrobatics; its a real crowd pleaser!

Climb a mountain

Shanghai Disneyland Adventure Isle

I’m a bit gutted we didn’t get to do this on our trip – we only discovered it on the last day of our visit! – but there’s actually a high-ropes style course through the mountain in Adventure Isle, how crazy is that?

Explore the castle

Enchanted Storybook Castle

There’s actually an attraction inside the Enchanted Storybook Castle! It’s an interactive walking tour up the beautiful spiral staircase in the centre of the castle, telling the story of Disney’s first princess, Snow White.

Ok, so I could probably sit here and list off everything in the park so I’ll stop now, but I think if you’re in a rush, these are the things you’ve 100% gotta hit.

Is Shanghai Disneyland a place you’d like to visit?

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