Shanghai Disneyland: A Complete Guide

by | Aug 2, 2023 | International Parks, Shanghai Disney Resort, Shanghai Disneyland

Here’s everything you need to know about visiting Shanghai Disneyland within the larger Shanghai Disney Resort in China. 

Shanghai Disney Resort may be the youngest destination within the Disney family, but it’s one you definitely don’t want to miss. Located in Pudong, Shanghai, it’s the very first Disney theme park in mainland China. Though smaller in size and scale than its U.S. counterparts, this international Disneyland offers plenty to explore, from the vibrant theme park itself to multiple themed hotels.

Today, Shanghai Disneyland is a destination that’s only growing as it prepares to welcome exciting new lands and introduce Guests to fresh experiences featuring beloved Disney stories and characters. When construction is complete, Shanghai Disney Resort will stretch 963 acres in size. But it’s already a destination with experiences and attractions you can’t find anywhere in the world!

Whether you’re planning your first trip to Shanghai Disneyland or simply want to learn more about this unique Disney resort, we’re sharing everything you need to know in our guide below.

Shanghai Disney Resort Theme Parks

Shanghai Disneyland

Since its opening in June 2016, Shanghai Disneyland has been the heart of the entire Shanghai Disney Resort. Like the other Disneyland Parks around the world, Shanghai’s version is based on the design of the original in Anaheim, California. However, because of its location in China, this particular theme park blends together both authentic Disney touches and distinctly Chinese cultural elements.

Currently, Shanghai Disneyland is the sole theme park within the larger Shanghai Disney Resort. Its layout will be somewhat familiar to anyone who’s previously visited Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort or Disneyland Park at Disneyland Resort. But right upon stepping inside, you’ll notice a number of differences, from a lack of a steam railroad around the park’s perimeter to a collection of Chinese zodiac gardens in place of a central hub. 

However, like any other Disney theme park around the world, you will find familiar sights – like a castle sitting in the heart of Fantasyland. At Shanghai Disneyland, the park’s icon is the Enchanted Storybook Castle, which is themed around the Disney princesses. In addition to its unique design, which doesn’t refer to any one princess, it’s the largest castle in any Disney theme park worldwide.

Even the theming of Shanghai Disneyland’s various lands is slightly different, with each reimagined to better suit the culture of China and the tastes of local visitors. For example, you won’t find a Frontierland at all – but you’ll recognize Main Street, U.S.A. in this park’s Mickey Avenue. Hallmark attractions, too, are different at Shanghai Disneyland, offering Guests the chance to explore more one-of-a-kind rides versus old staples of the U.S. theme parks.

There are seven lands within Shanghai Disneyland:

  • Mickey Avenue
  • Gardens of Imagination
  • Fantasyland
  • Treasure Cove
  • Adventure Isle
  • Tomorrowland
  • Toy Story Land

As part of Shanghai Disneyland’s ongoing expansion, a new land will join the park in 2023: City of Zootopia.  

Attractions at Shanghai Disneyland

At Shanghai Disneyland, you’ll find a mix of familiar attractions that have been reimagined and fresh attractions exclusive to this theme park. Here’s a look at the different attractions found in each land:

Mickey Avenue

  • Meet Minnie Mouse and Friends
  • Shanghai Disneyland Band

Gardens of Imagination

  • Dumbo the Flying Elephant
  • Fantasia Carousel
  • Garden of the Twelve Friends
  • Golden Fairytale Fanfare
  • Marvel Comic Academy
  • Marvel Universe
  • Meet Mickey at the Gardens of Imagination

Fantasyland

  • Alice in Wonderland Maze
  • Frozen: A Sing-Along Celebration
  • Hunny Pot Spin
  • “Once Upon a Time” Adventure
  • Peter Pan’s Flight
  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
  • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
  • Voyage to the Crystal Grotto

Treasure Cove

  • Explorer Canoes
  • Eye of the Storm: Captain Jack’s Stunt Spectacular
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle for the Sunken Treasure
  • Shipwreck Shore
  • Siren’s Revenge

Adventure Isle

  • Camp Discovery
  • Roaring Rapids
  • Soaring Over the Horizon

Tomorrowland

  • Baymax Super Exercise Expo
  • Buzz Lightyear Planet Rescue
  • Club Destin-E at Tomorrowland
  • Jet Packs
  • Stitch Encounter
  • TRON Lightcycle Power Run
  • Avatar: Explorer Pandora

Toy Story Land

  • Slinky Dog Spin
  • Rex’s Racers
  • Woody’s Round-Up

And more attractions are already underway. When the new City of Zootopia land opens in 2023, a yet-to-be-named attraction based on the adventures of Judy Hopps, Nick Wilde, and the Zootopia Police Department will join the list above.

Shanghai Disney Resort Hotels

There are two hotels to choose from at Shanghai Disney Resort, each with its own theming and varying amenities. Each hotel sits at a different price level, and though the resort doesn’t use the same value, moderate, and deluxe categorizations as Walt Disney World Resort hotels do, you do have an option whether you’re looking for a budget-friendly destination or a more luxurious splurge.

Here’s an overview of the two hotels at Shanghai Disney Resort:

  • Shanghai Disneyland Hotel: As the most luxurious option, this Art Nouveau-inspired hotel features elegant and enchanting details as well as fairy tale touches in every room.
  • Toy Story Hotel: This immersive resort looks like it’s made for toys, but it’s just as much fun for humans thanks to its bright colors, toy-themed decor, and characters from Toy Story films.

Both of Shanghai Disney Resort’s hotels are just a short distance away from Shanghai Disneyland itself. You can take a resort shuttle right to the theme park from each one or opt for another mode of transportation – you can take a water taxi from Shanghai Disneyland Hotel or a brief walk from Toy Story Hotel – to make getting back and forth a breeze. 

The Best Time to Visit Shanghai Disneyland

When it comes to crowd levels and weather, you’ll have the most fun visiting Shanghai Disneyland in the spring and the fall. The best months to plan a visit are March through May or October and November.

During these particular months of the year, you’ll encounter pleasant weather that isn’t too cold or too muggy and hot. You’ll also avoid major holidays that can leave the theme park packed with crowds, giving you more flexibility (and the chance to see and do more inside the park!). 

Don’t mind the weather and want to visit when the crowds are at their lowest? In December and January, Shanghai Disneyland sees the fewest Guests. It will be pretty cold, but if you’re prepared, you’ll have plenty of time to explore the park and resort at large.

Frequently Asked Questions About Shanghai Disneyland

Is Shanghai Disneyland the largest Disney park in the world?

It’s not the largest theme park, but it is the second-largest! Shanghai Disneyland falls right after Walt Disney World in terms of size, covering 963 acres compared to the 1,096 acres of Disney World’s four main theme parks.

Do Cast Members speak English at Shanghai Disneyland?

While Chinese (Mandarin, specifically) is the predominant language at Shanghai Disneyland, non-Chinese speakers will be perfectly fine at the park and resort. You’ll find that Cast Members who speak English do work the front desks of the hotels and Guest Relations at the theme park. And while most shows and entertainment do use Mandarin, face characters will speak English.

How many days do you need to see Shanghai Disneyland?

Because of its larger size and its seven (soon to be eight!) lands, there’s a whole lot to see and do at Shanghai Disneyland. It’s a good idea to plan to spend two to three days at this Disney park, especially if you want to experience all of its top attractions, entertainment, and dining options.

Posts by Heather Adams

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Heather is a lifelong Disney fan who grew up at Disneyland and loves spending as much time as possible in the parks. As WDW Magazine’s Content Operations Manager, Heather is a content creator and strategist with experience at a wide variety of different outlets. She’s written for publications including Clean Eating Magazine, Fatherly, The Drive, Task and Purpose, Healthversed, Nation.com, and Car Bibles. Heather also authored the book Fidget!: 101 Ways to Boost Your Creativity and Decrease Stress.
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Authored by
Heather Adams

Heather is a lifelong Disney fan who grew up at Disneyland and loves spending as much time as possible in the parks. As WDW Magazine’s Content Operations Manager, Heather is a content creator and strategist with experience at a wide variety of different outlets. She’s written for publications including Clean Eating Magazine, Fatherly, The Drive, Task and Purpose, Healthversed, Nation.com, and Car Bibles. Heather also authored the book Fidget!: 101 Ways to Boost Your Creativity and Decrease Stress.
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