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Visiting Disneyland Shanghai on a Layover

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.disneyland shanghai mickey mouse china Chinese ciaofelicia

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.

Leaving the airport an hour before opening ended up being perfect timing. By the time we walked from the taxi drop off, bought our tickets, and stopped to take a few photos, it was opening time!mickey mouse disneyland shanghai disney decorations new year china ciaofelicia

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! pirates of the caribbean ride shanghai china ciaofeliciaIt 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!

We ended up getting so much done in the short amount of time that we had.disneyland shanghai china dumbo ride castle

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!disneyland shanghai food mickey shaped mouse muffin monsters inc blog ciaofelicia

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.disneyland shanghai china castle chinese new year decorations reflection castle ciaofelicia

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!

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30 thoughts on “Visiting Disneyland Shanghai on a Layover

  1. There is just something about Disneyland that appeals to all age groups. I finally got to visit Disney land two years back and I was 26! Loved it but wished I could have been there when I was younger too! Oh well.. Atleast I got to see it. I visited the Paris one.

  2. Thank you for this post! I’m actually trying to do this month on my way to Tokyo too! I have a 12 hour layover from 5am to 5pm and was wondering if I’ll have enough time to go see it.
    How long did you give yourself to head back to the airport and how long was it to check back in? Wondering what time I should leave the park by. Also a friend told me that China is different from other airports and make you take your luggage with you instead of transferring for your connecting flights? Is that true? I wanted to be able to head to Disney without any luggage. Sorry for all the questions.

    1. Dont be sorry, I’m so happy to answer!
      Yeah you will totally have time! It’s close to the airport so that’s super nice! Our layover was similar and we headed back to the airport about 2.5 or 3 hours before the flight and we had a ton of time waiting at the airport still. There were tons of taxis back so it was nice and quick! It was really fast checking back in but that could have just been lucky timing. I also read that they don’t transfer luggage but they transferred ours! We flew with China Eastern Airlines. If you have any other questions, let me know 🙂

      1. Thank you so much! This was so helpful. I was worried all last night trying to plan it out and another friend was giving me anxiety saying I need to give myself extra time at the airport and how ppl don’t speak English and getting lost but your experience helps a lot and reassures I can do this! I followed you on Instagram. I’m @rx_barbie

        1. you totally have more than enough time 🙂 There were plenty of people who spoke English.. there was really only one guy we tried to talk to that didn’t speak English! If they don’t understand, you can always show them the map on your phone, but they should know! Followed you back on Insta 🙂

  3. OMG! i have heard about this Disneyland in Shanghai but I have never seen how looks like, So funny that everything has this asian style, make it even cutier. Nice one! 😉

  4. This is so great you can visit Disney on a layover! I also have the bucket list to visit all the Disneys in the world. How many have you been to? I want a layover in Shanghai just for this reason now!

  5. Super! Is this the Disneyland nearest Hong Kong airport? I had a layover there too for a day but decided to explore the city. Next time if I go back.I definitely want to explore Disneyland. It looks like a lot of fun!

  6. I have never visited a Disneyland. I didn’t realise there was one in Shanghai. Am not too great on rides but I think its a great idea that you can get the single pass, not sure if I would need someone to hold on to while I was on it though!!!

  7. I always love taking as much out of a layover as I possibly can, I recently did that with Athens and I’m glad I did. I cannot believe that disneyland is closer than the citycenter haha, that’s convenient though! Good tip about the taxifares, I happens everywhere but is a little annoying sometimes indeed. Seems like you had a lot of fun, onto the next parks!!

  8. It’s amazing that you had what to do in layover 🙂 Somehow when I have layover I prefer to stay in airport (especially in Asia) because you never known how everything can turn out (I had once a case when the flight came earlier). So after that I’m a bit reserved with my time 😀

  9. Thanks for sharing! How was the weather and crowds during that time? We’re going in January and I’m nervous it will be too cold!

    1. The crowds weren’t too bad but it was pretty cold!! We were not prepared for cold weather at all but still had the best time!

  10. Lacee Williams says:

    Thanks so much for sharing! I’m going during a 16 hour layover and want to be as efficient as possible to best utilize my time there. Do you know which rides offer single rider? I can’t find much info on it. Thank you!

  11. Wow! I’m impressed that you were able to get so much done on your short layover. I normally visit Shanghai Disneyland for 2-3 days and feel like I still need more time!

    I agree that using the single-rider queue is a great way to save time! The only attraction I find that has a long single-rider queue is Seven Dwarves Mine Train. I’m always surprised that Tron has a short single-rider queue, but I love it!

    I too love the Mike bun at Remy’s! It is probably my favourite snack at Shanghai Disneyland. It is so delicious!

    I’m sorry to hear the taxi driver from the airport didn’t give you a fair price. I’ve had that happen more than once in China as well.

  12. Keri Palmetto says:

    I have 17hr layout coming up, but my flight leaves at 1:20pm. If the park opens around 9am, do you think I’ll have enough time (probably 3hrs max) to make it worth it?

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