On 16th June 2016, the first Disney park in mainland China opened its doors to the world. With 4.9 billion EUR it’s one of China’s biggest foreign investments. Of course, Disney hopes to attract lots of people – already 330 million people are living in the area around the park. The price of 499 RMB (68 EUR) for one ticket did not shock me. I mean we are talking about Disneyland. But considering that the average monthly income in China is around 250 EUR, it is quite a high price. Still, I can assure you that lots of people found their way to the park. I saw it with my own eyes…
2nd of August, 2016. A date I was very much looking forward to. As an old Disney maniac, I was going to the newly opened Disney Resort in Shanghai. Every day I checked the weather hoping for a magical cool down. Heads-up, there was no magic. The weather stayed hot and humid. But that shouldn’t keep me from conquering Shanghai’s Disneyland! Together with two German colleagues and their daughter, I entered the world of Disney. The first thing we did was buying some traditional Minnie Mouse ears – for 95 RMB (13 EUR). I’m pretty sure Disney almost make no money with these. Ok, maybe a little bit. But come on, they are REAL Minnie Mouse ears! Oh, I can smell your jealousy from here 🙂 Right after entering the park, you can see the beautiful castle. This one is really really magical. Especially for the little princess in us!
Thanks to the weather and millions of other guests, we only made it to four attractions. Ok, let’s say two ‘real’ attractions and two little ones’, like the ‘Honey Pot Spin’ and the ‘Fantasy Carousel’. Better than nothing. The waiting time for the most famous attractions always was around 130-180 minutes. No, thank you! So we walked around the whole park and I probably sweat out 10 liters. I felt so sorry for all the artists who had to walk around in their costumes all day. No idea how they survive that. Probably with some Disney magic.
Within the park you can find different themes like Fantasyland, Adventure Isle, Mickey Avenue, Treasure Cove and Tomorrowland. While walking through these theme parks, you can really feel and enjoy the Disney spirit. My favorite ride was in the Tomorrowland park – the roller coaster ‘TRON’. The official waiting time for that one was 90 minutes. But thank god, this ride also offered the ‘single rider’ lane. So we chose that one and passed hundreds of people waiting for their turn. The number of people in front of us? One! Minutes we waited for our ride? Five. Of course, we did it two times in a row. I don’t know if the Chinese were not aware of the ‘single rider concept’, if they simply like to wait for hours in a queue or if they are afraid of the word ‘single’. Probably everything.
It wouldn’t be Disneyland if the food would not be served in form of Mickey Mouse. In our case, we had a Mickey Mouse Pizza. I also found some cute Mickey Mouse muffins that I’d really like to copy as soon as I live again in a place with a well-equipped kitchen. Hopefully in a few weeks.
Another thing, you cannot miss while visiting Disneyland is the parade in the afternoon. Amazing costumes, songs you simply have to sing along, crazy wagons, one Disney character after another, etc.
As this was not the first time I’ve been to Disneyland, I could not help myself but to compare it to the one in California. Sorry Shanghai, but you cannot keep up with that one. Maybe it was the crazy amount of people or the hot weather. I don’t know. Or maybe it’s simply because Walt Disney was born in America. Who knows?
Anyway, I’m glad to have made that experience and I do not regret it. Disney will always be a part of me 🙂 Hakuna matata!
Talking about my trip to Disneyland, I start to ask myself why I am so fascinated with the whole Disney thing. Of course, most of the movies represent the concept of true love and though that is a nice thing to believe in, it is not what keeps me a ‘Disney girl’. Maybe it was 20 years ago, but not anymore. I think what really catches me is the idea of living in a totally different world. A world full of adventures, speaking animals, friendship, and yes okay, true love. A world only your imagination can take you. I am 27 years old and I still need this world. A place to escape from reality. Especially from our world today. Even if it’s only for 90 minutes or a few hours in Disneyland. Not to mention the feeling to watch a Disney movie with one of your best friends 🙂 It connects people!