An American in Shanghai – Ins and Outs of the Attractions


Shanghai Disneyland has some of the most unique attractions of any Disney theme park. While many of them have shades of other similar attractions or are downright clones, Shanghai has some rides in particular that create an experience unlike other parks. If you’re a Disney theme park aficionado like me and just love seeing what Imagineers can do, Shanghai is a place you’ll want to add to your bucket list.

Peter Pan is popular all over the world. The lines here were as long as anywhere else.

Be aware that FastPass distribution is not available until you redeem your ticket in the park, but then you can do it digitally over the Shanghai Disneyland app (which is SUPER helpful). Similar to the Disneyland app (but without PhotoPass attached) it shows you wait times, locations, park hours, tickets, and entertainment. The best part though is the digital FastPass which is not only reserved on your app but stored there, too. True, no longer will you have the free souvenir of an unused ticket, but the trade off is worth it. The only thing to be aware of is that FastPass tickets run out very quickly! The most popular rides are gone within the first few hours of operation. You can get new FastPass tickets every two hours regardless of your ticket time so even the less popular rides run out by midafternoon.

Also, be aware that attraction wait times are ALWAYS underestimated. If it says 10 minutes, it’s likely 20-30. If it says 40 minutes, it’s probably an hour. So the 210 minute wait for Tron Lightcycle Power Run is probably closer to four hours. If you’re going to use that precious FastPass here is a list of the attractions we noticed with the longest wait times:

Soarin’ Over the Horizon – easily the quickest to run out with wait times even on slow days exceeding two hours
Tron Lightcycle Power Run – one of the most unique rides in the park, definitely worth a fast pass especially with wait times also running two to three hours. Single rider is available but still pretty long
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train – didn’t get to ride this! The lines were so long we didn’t want to wait when there was so much else to see. But it seemed just like the one in WDW and there is single rider available
Peter Pan’s Flight – popular in EVERY theme park. Wait times were about an hour without a FastPass and no single rider availability. Could get up to nearly two hours wait.
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh – a nice attraction but not significantly different from Disneyland or WDW. Not as good as Tokyo Disneyland which has the best Pooh ride and wait times were about an hour typically but could get to almost two hours on busy days. Also, no single rider.

Soaring Over the Horizon is almost the same as all the others, but ends at the Bund in Shanghai

Here is what’s crazy – they have a Soarin’ Over the Horizon attraction which is almost exactly the same as every other one. The only difference is that instead of ending at Disneyland, it ends up in the city of Shanghai. The line for it is literally three hours long and FastPass for the attraction runs out in the early morning. It’s as popular as Radiator Springs Racers when it first opened. It’s even more popular than Tron or Pirates! One management cast member we talked to told us visitors to Shanghai Disneyland consider it a bad day if they didn’t eat a turkey leg and ride Soarin’.

Overall, the attractions at Shanghai Disneyland are beautiful to look at and fun to ride. With only 18 actual attractions (not including shows) it’s no wonder that every ride has a long line. Even the non-attraction attractions like Siren’s Revenge (a walk-through pirate ship) have a wait. But if you’re a Disney fan and you love fun, unique attractions, great shows, and a beautiful park, Shanghai Disneyland should be on your list.

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