May 11, 2017
I’m sure you know that a new Disney Resort opened in Shanghai in June last year. This is the sixth Disney resort worldwide, and the third one in Asia (following Tokyo and Hong Kong), so I was quite excited to hear that it would be located so close to Suzhou. It is close enough that it is possible to visit as a day trip. I have now visited Shanghai Disney Resort a couple of times, and would like to share some information about it in this article.
Shanghai Disney Resort actually consists of several different parts. The main part is Shanghai Disneyland Park, which is a theme park containing lots of rides, shows and other entertainments. Next to this is Disney Town, which is a shopping and dining area. You don’t need to buy a ticket to enter Disney Town – it is free for anyone to enter this area. Finally, there are also two hotels in the resort; Disney Hotel and Toy Story Hotel.
It is not too difficult to get to Shanghai Disney Resort from Suzhou. If you have a car, it takes about two hours to drive. However, if you don’t have a car, you can also get there by public transport in about the same time. You need to catch a train to one of Shanghai’s main stations (Shanghai station or Hongqiao station), and from there you can either take an express bus to the resort, or go by Shanghai Metro. There is a Shanghai Disney station on line 11 of the Metro.
As I mentioned above, the main part of the resort is Shanghai Disneyland Park, which has many exciting rides. My personal favourite ride is “Pirates of the Caribbean Battle for the Sunken Treasure”. This is an indoor boat ride with projection mapping, and really makes you feel like you are in one of the Pirates of the Caribbean films with Captain Jack. Other highlights are “Tron”, a futuristic bike-style ride that is one of the fastest in any Disney resort, and “Soaring over the Horizon”, which is another projection mapping ride that takes you on a spectacular flying tour around the world.
As well as rides, there are also several musical performances in the park. I can particularly recommend “Tarzan”. In addition to being a musical performance, this also includes some amazing Chinese acrobatics. The “Frozen” musical show is very popular too, and at the end of each day, you can experience Disney’s “Ignite the Dream”. This is a music and fireworks show that is held outdoors with images projected onto the Disney castle. It is definitely worth staying until the end of the day to experience this.
Shanghai Disney Resort also has a lot of dining options to choose from. While there are plenty of restaurants in Disneyland Park, it is Disney Town that has a better selection, including popular restaurants like Element Fresh. You can eat a variety of different types of food here, including Japanese ramen, western cuisine, and of course several different types of Chinese food. Inside the park, the most high-end dining option is the Royal Banquet Hall, which is located inside the Disney castle. You need a reservation to have a three course meal here, but if you choose to do this you also get to meet several Disney characters while you eat. I thought the food here was very tasty.
So overall, given how close Shanghai Disney Resort is, I definitely recommend that you pay it a visit. It’s a very enjoyable day out.
About the Column
Kaori is from Fukuoka, Japan and she moved to Suzhou with her British husband in 2010. She gave birth to a baby girl in Shanghai in 2014 and is currently a full-time mother, but previously studied Chinese at Suzhou University. Kaori enjoys going for walks, going out for meals, shopping on Taobao and visiting new places in China. Places she has particularly enjoyed visiting include Harbin, Beijing, Qingdao, Hangzhou, Moganshan, Guilin and Yangshuo. She also loves to explore different areas of Suzhou, both old and new.