5 best rides at Shanghai Disneyland and how to plan your day to avoid the queues

5 best rides at Shanghai Disneyland and how to plan your day to avoid the queues

Shanghai Disneyland has been making headlines since it opened, with people reportedly waiting for up to five hours to get on a ride. So we went to see which ones are worth waiting for


The main venue for the opening ceremony of Shanghai Disney.
Photo: Xinhua

Shanghai Disneyland has a bit of a reputation for very long queues. But what theme park doesn’t have crowds? Earlier this month, Young Post went to Shanghai Disneyland to find out which rides are worth waiting for. Here are the top five, with some extra tips on how to plan your day to avoid the queues!

TRON Lightcycle Power Run

It's more like riding a motorbike than a roller coaster.
Photo: Simon Song/SCMP

You might think you know roller coasters, but have you ever been on one that has replaced the traditional seats with motorcycle-style seats? That’s right, Tron Lightcycle is more like riding a motorbike than sitting on a ride. You are still strapped in, but you are facing forwards as though you’re on a bike. The thrill of being in this position, combined with the speed, makes this ride unmissable.

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Roaring Rapids

Bring a poncho, or prepare to get soaked if you go on Roaring Rapids.
Photo: Simon Song/SCMP

If all the queuing has you hot and bothered, make time for this one. Roaring Rapids is a water ride that is similar to the Raging River ride at Ocean Park. You sit in a huge, circular raft with your friends and journey through the rapids. The wooden boat is constantly turning, so you might have your back turned when the raft reaches a big drop – expect to get wet!

Soaring Over the Horizon

Okay, we know humans probably won’t ever be able to fly, but that doesn’t mean we haven’t dreamed about it. But in the park of imagination and fairy tales, nothing is impossible. This ride is a flight simulator with a 24m, 180-degree laser screen. The ride also uses sounds, smells and wind effects so that you really feel like you’re flying through the sky.

The simulator flies you over the crowds to the Great Wall of China.
Photo: Shanghai Disney Resort

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

If you’ve seen the classic Disney film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, you’ll know that the dwarfs spend their days mining diamonds. And there’s only one way to get deep under the mountain – a mine train. To make the experience more realistic, the rails are made of wood, with sound effects and vibrations. This speedy roller coaster is a family favourite, and celebrates the original 1937 style of cartoon.

Voyage to the Crystal Grotto

An illustration of the Disney magic.
Photo: Shanghai Disney Resort

If you don’t really like roller coasters, but love the magic of Disney, you will love this. This water-based ride is the first to ever take riders inside a Disney castle. Sitting in a boat, you float through the water in the dark, on an enchanting journey through Fantasyland. Riders can glimpse lots of famous characters from Beauty and the Beast, Tangled, Mulan and the Little Mermaid, to name just a few. After riding past sculptures and fountains, the boat enters a secret chamber underneath the Enchanted Storybook Castle, and watch a beautiful water, light and sound show.

What can be learned from Disney movies?

Plan your trip

Before leaving home:

1 Download the “Shanghai Disney Resort App”

You will be able to buy theme park tickets, see estimated wait times for attractions, view entertainment schedules, and browse interactive maps. This will save you a lot of time on the day.

2 Browse the site to see what rides and shows you might enjoy

Lines for rides are usually very long. If you don’t have a fastpass, it’s not unusual to wait for more than an hour for one ride. This is why it’s important to plan ahead to see what fastpasses you need to get.

Inside the park:

3 Alternate between rides and shows

Even with fastpasses, queueing is inevitable. Although a fastpass can shorten your waiting time for one ride from 30 minutes to 15 minutes, it’s still tiring. So it is a good idea to sit in a theatre to watch a show when your legs are tired.

4 Make good use of the app

There are seven rides you can get a fastpass for, including TRON Lightcycle Power Run. But it’s important to note that you don’t buy the fastpass passes at the rides themselves, but at the guest service points. The map function in the app can help you find these.

5 Make the most of the restaurants

There are all sorts of food options at the park, from fast food to fine dining. But if you are determined to meet the Disney characters, book a table at the Royal Banquet Hall in the castle. If you eat here, you don’t have to queue up to have your photo taken with classic Disney characters like Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse; they will come and find you. The average cost for a meal per person at the Royal Banquet Hall is around 500 yuan (HK$581).

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
Disney queues and don’ts


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