Our Long MarchSeptember 30, 2019 in China ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C
Once again I was keeping robber's hours this morning. Up just after 5am and checking out of the grand opulence of the Shanghai Park Hyatt headed for jewel of the East, Shanghai Disneyland. Riding the 87 floors to the lobby one last time we emerged into the weak early morning light. I confidently whipped out my phone and was ready to fire up the Didi app to order a ride the 30k's to the theme park. But wait, no network connection! Skinny roaming was having a sleep in. Wake up you lazy Western imperialist tool! Alas, it was not to be, technology had yawned in my face and rolled over. Fortunately Jean sprang into action and headed back up 87 floors to the lobby to have them phone a cab. In just minutes our chariot had arrived. When I say chariot, that's a little kind. It was a beat up Volkswagen, that looked like Mao himself may have driven it. No matter, it had four wheels and delivered us through the endless sprawl of Shanghai into the green hinterland. In just over 30 minutes and 120 Yuan we were ushered through the doors of the Shanghai Disneyland Hotel. Obviously we had to check our luggage, as like all hotels this one was part of the rort which has you pay for a full first day when you can only check in after 3pm. That's a rant for another day. Bags stowed we boarded the hotel shuttle for the park and just after 7am we approached the special Disney Hotel Guest entrance to the park. This perk lets the chosen ones enter the park without the drama and scuffle of the main entrance, plus you get into the park a full hour before the standard ticket holders. This is the golden time, where queues are short and crowds sparse. We immediately power walked to Tron. This is one of Disney's hero rides. A fast coaster based on the Tron movie, where you ride a lightcycle rollercoaster through high speed pitching dips and turns, all to the driving beat of the movie's music. After wobbling off this ride we walked across to the far side of the park to the Pirate's of the Caribbean. This bears the same name as the Anaheim original ride, but it's that ride reimagined for the 21st Century. It makes full use of the latest ride technology and is a visual tour de force. I will be riding this one again! Leaving the Seven Seas behind we rode Buzz Lightyear, Peter Pan and then sought shelter from the heat at the Pirate's of the Caribbean Stunt Spectacular. This is as advertised, a live stunt show. Although it was all in Mandarin and I missed a couple of punch lines it was time well spent, and in the haven of air-conditioning. By now we had worked up a mighty appetite, so we weaved our way back across the park towards Disney Town, this park's shopping precinct. Just before we reached it we realised the parade would start in just 15 minutes, so we did as the locals and staked a claim on a piece of parade route real estate and waited for the mobile Disney magic to dance, cheer and sashay past us. Nobody does a parade like Disney and so fully entertained we resumed our trek towards vital calories and announced ourselves at the Cheesecake Factory. What happened next is too graphic to share, but I can say that enough calories were consumed to choke a starving hippo and the cheescakes are flown in daily from the States and they are still magnificent!
Now clinically obese we staggered out into the sunlight and roamed Disney Town for an hour or so before finally setting our compass for the hotel. We are finally checked into our Park View room and are regathering our strength for a planned night time assault on the Park.Read more