Comfortable and simple
That’s probably the best way to describe the less expensive of the two hotels at the Shanghai Disney Resort. It is definitely a hotel with Western amenities and except for the fact that many people speak Chinese, you’d be hard pressed to find a difference between this hotel and some of the best family-friendly offerings at Walt Disney World. The exterior is a bit dreary and except for the floating clouds would seem like an office building. When you pull up and see the Hot Wheels inspired racetrack covering and toy wooden blocks acting as pillars, you know you’ve arrived at the Toy Story Hotel. The inside is simple. The decor is nice, clean, and sharp with cute Toy Story accents. The big Christmas tree in the lobby was made out of Tinkertoys and the floor has little tiles that look like a path in a board game. The staff is super friendly and helpful and even though we couldn’t speak Chinese, they always had someone around who could speak English, especially at the reception area. There are two places to eat which I enjoyed – Sunnyside Market which features pastry items (both sweet and savory) and quick service rice bowls and Sunnyside Cafe which is a buffet at a very reasonable price. The buffet features dim sum, Asian dishes, Western dishes, and kids items – but hardly any dessert. The hotel also has a gift shop which is not extensive and does not have any Toy Story Hotel specific merchandise, but it has just enough of everything to make our stay pleasant.
Overall Room Impression: I have a feeling we got lucky, but our room was exceptionally large. Much larger than most standard rooms we book in our travels. The rugs are nice and soft (important for me with my flat feet), the room temperature was easy to control (runs a bit on the cold side), we had a big chair with a reading lamp that turns into a second bed, and there is a small table with two chairs big enough to eat a snack on (but not enough to act as a desk). The TV was nice and new (guessing about 40”) and there was an in-room refrigerator. There was plenty of drawer space, an open closet with hangers that are easily removed, and an in-room safe. The Toy Story theme was well done. Everything from the rugs to the shower curtain were decorated either with Toy Story characters or had themes and colors reflective of the films.
Beds: Hard as a rock. Honestly, not the worst we’ve had but definitely for the person who likes a much firmer mattress. Extra firm? Just this side of sleeping on padded wood? Since it was just the two of us this time we opted for a room with one Queen sized bed. Loved the comforter which was nice and thick and cozy. The bed runner was super cute (wish you could buy those). And unlike Tokyo Disneyland where the beds are considerably smaller, this one was good. The pillows were nice and firm (but I like pillows firm – not so much mattresses).
WiFi: The WiFi signal was good and we were able to access it easily. Unfortunately, because of “The Great Wall” (an artificial Internet barrier preventing the use of non-approved websites by the government) we were unable to access certain apps like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook (which is why I was so silent while we were in Shanghai). Also, we didn’t have access to FaceTime which would have been nice. However, I was able to get email easily and keep up with some (not all) of my games.
Bathroom: Huge. It was gigantic. No tub though. I thought it might be a wheelchair accessible room except there were no support bars anywhere for lifting. So maybe like the room it was just huge. The toilet was a little high and close to the wall for my taste but other than that, the water flow out of the show always reached a good temperature. The water pressure was low but for environmental reasons. Nice big sink with tons of counter space
Amenities: Lots of great amenities! Probably the best thing about the room. Free Toy Story themed slippers, a cute Toy Story lunch box shaped personal toiletries kit, Toy Story Hotel stationary, a Toy Story Hotel reusable bag, a teapot with a selection of tea in the room, and four bottles of water for your use. The in-room refrigerator was handy and fairly big as those things go. The in-room safe wasn’t huge but sufficient to hold our computers and other valuables. There were four electrical outlets in the main room and another in the bathroom, each could easily hold a two-prong plug (not three so you’ll need an adapter).
Park Access: There is a shuttle that comes every few minutes to take you to the park and one that is usually parked at the bus stop area waiting to bring you back. They come often so that’s not a problem at all. The bus takes you directly to the area near Disney Town and it’s a decent walk from there to the park so keep that in mind. Probably a five to ten minute walk from the bus to the queue area in front of the security checkpoint that leads to the park entrance. More on that in our “Basics” blog post.
We really enjoyed our stay at Toy Story Hotel and would definitely recommend it (except for the hard beds). Great service, nice amenities, spacious and comfortable with good WiFi access. And even though we didn’t use a car, one of our friends who lives in Shanghai came to visit us and said parking was close by. If you are coming to Shanghai Disneyland, this is a place that will definitely meet your needs.