I was way too excited when I realized that our 10 hour layover was in Shanghai.
Maybe I’m a little crazy for being excited about a 10 hour layover…
But this meant I was one Disneyland closer to my goal of visiting all of the Disney parks! When I began researching, I found out that Disneyland Shanghai is actually closer to the airport than the main city center is! So this obviously means that Disneyland was our layover activity of choice!!
Even if your layover is as short at 7 hours, I would still say it’s worth it to visit Disneyland on your layover. The park isn’t so huge that you need a ton of time there!
Here’s a review with everything you need to know:
Do I need a visa?
For American citizens, you can get your visa waived if you will be in China for less than 24 hours! There is a special line at customs for this 24 hour visa. Super convenient!
Once you’re past customs, go to the ATM and get some cash (Chinese Yuan) out for a taxi. At the airport, a lot of places don’t even take Visa cards, but they will take pretty much any credit card once you get to Disneyland.
Once we got through customs, we just hung out in the airport for a little while until about an hour before Disneyland opened. At 8am we got a taxi and headed out!!
Please don’t pay more than 100 Yuan ($15 USD) for a taxi from the airport to Disneyland… because we ended up paying 150 Yuan ($22 USD) which was way more than we should have. On our way back with the taxi meter on, the fare was 80 Yuan. But we tipped him for not trying to steal our money and gave him 100 Yuan. The guys at the airport are the ones who will try to rip you off, so don’t pay more than 100 Yuan for your taxi ride to Disneyland! It is about a 20-25 minute trip.
Ticket prices for Disneyland Shanghai vary based on when you go. During peak times, (holidays, weekends, and summer), tickets are 499 Yuan ($73 USD). On regular days, tickets are 370 Yuan ($54 USD). We were there on a Saturday so it was a peak time, but still $73 is way less than our Disneyland back home in California! So worth it!
Since we had a strict time limit, we had to try to squeeze in as much as possible! The top 2 rides you HAVE to go on are Tron and Pirates of the Caribbean! It was really fun hearing the Disney songs we all know and love in Chinese!
I would highly recommend using the single rider line for as many rides as possible! Single rider just means that you will be split up and will be sitting with another group. On the rides that we rode single rider, we waited in line for no more than 5 minutes and the regular lines were about an hour!
After we went to all of the rides we wanted to go on, we had to check out the food!! I loved this part of Disneyland Shanghai because they put so much effort into the food! Everything is pretty and there is so many Mickey shaped foods! Muffins, cookies, carmel apples. I wanted to buy everything! Another one of my favorites was the Monsters Inc buns! So fun!
And last but not least, shopping! We went into seemingly all of the shops to check out the unique things they have! There is a lot of similar stuff to what they have at Disneyland in California, but also some Chinese New Year specialties.
Once you’re ready to head back to the airport, go back to the spot where the taxi’s dropped you off to find a taxi back to the airport. It was super easy for us to get back, and overall we had no problems on our Shanghai Disneyland layover.
If you have a layover in Shanghai, I hope you are able to make it to Disneyland for a magical day!