So…I’ve finally gotten around to writing this post after procrastinating for a whole month, and I’m really excited to be blogging about the 11 day trip to Shanghai and Hong Kong that my family went on in May this year, to celebrate surviving my first year of college.
The trip was nothing short of magical, and I low-key fell in love with Shanghai: the food, the sights, Disneyland and the people, but more on that in Part 3! First things first, here’s our trip itinerary:
|Day 1// Wed||Morning flight from Singapore to Shanghai
Shopping at Disney Town
Toy Story Hotel
|Day 2// Thurs||Shanghai Disneyland|
|Day 3// Fri||…still in Disneyland 😛|
|Day 4// Sat||West Nanjing
|Day 5// Sun||AP Plaza (a.k.a. the fake market)
Oriental Pearl Tower
Super Brand Mall
|Day 6// Mon||Qipu Road Clothing Market
Sightseeing at the Bund
|Day 7// Tues||Flight from Shanghai to Hong Kong
Citygate Outlet shopping
|Day 8// Wed||Argyle Centre
Night Markets (Ladies’ Street)
|Day 9// Thurs||HK Disneyland|
|Day 10// Fri||Causeway Bay shopping
Kam’s Roast Goose Restaurant (Michelin-starred)
‘A Symphony Of Lights’ @ Victoria Harbour
|Day 11// Sat||Harbour City + Duty Free shopping
Flight from Hong Kong to Singapore
Whether you’re planning a holiday with your kids to Disneyland or you’re a shopaholic looking for the best bargains in both cities, I hope this 5-part series will help you plan a memorable vacation in either of these 2 stunning cities! If you have any questions or feedback, feel free to drop me a message or just hit me up on my other social media sites. 🙂
I hopped off the plane at L.A.X. Shanghai with a dream and my cardigan (does anyone get the reference?)….only to end up on the tarmac and be herded unceremoniously onto a waiting airport shuttle that brought us to the main terminal. I’ll be the first to admit that I was kinda shocked at how rural Pudong Int’l airport seemed; I had expected a nice fancy airport a la Singapore’s Changi Airport, given that Shanghai is a big city.
And gosh, I thought the weather in May (end of spring) would be bordering on hot, but NO IT WAS 16 DEGREES OUTSIDE. I was unbelievably happy to get away from the eternally humid and hot Singapore, to this pleasantly cool/cold ‘air-conditioned’ environment. We were most certainly off to a good start; read on for more!
After jostling with the locals to collect our luggage and getting our queue cut multiple times while trying to clear the bag checks, we finally made it to the taxi stand where we boarded a dingy-looking cab and headed off to the Disney Resort! The drivers in China are insane (in a Fast & Furious kinda way), and they don’t follow traffic rules, so I would advise taking a taxi or public transport when getting around Shanghai instead of renting your own car for safety reasons. The driver was speeding, and he got us to our destination in 25 minutes, as opposed to the 45 minutes the journey was supposed to have taken (if driven at a legal speed).
Toy Story Hotel
And alas, we arrived at Toy Story hotel, which is conveniently located in the heart of the Disney Resort and just a 5 minute drive away from the park & Disneytown! Our triple room (3 adults) cost us an average of SGD$250+ a night, which is a pretty decent price given the stellar location, great amenities and Insta-worthy room. Our room cost us around $200 on the weekday nights and over $300 for Friday/weekend nights, so be sure to plan your Disney stay on weekdays to save money!
We only had a view of the car park and couldn’t see the fireworks from our room, but if you choose to book a more expensive one (the ones listed as ‘Park View’), you’re guaranteed a view of the resort! Tomorrowland is just across the road from the hotel, so you can view the fireworks from the comfort of your room instead of having to squeeze with the crowd in the park.
If you or your kids are Toy Story fans, this place would complete your Disney experience!
Disney Resort Shuttle
Outside the hotel lobby was the shuttle bus pickup point, so we hopped on the free shuttle that took us to the Disneyland & Disneytown area.
The walk from the bus stop to the park entrance took another 5-10 minutes, and the weather was blustery and rather chilly, but the sheer excitement of approaching the park overshadowed everything else.
Disneytown is located right next to the park, and it’s a dining, entertainment and shopping haven! There’s a sprawling Disney store that stocks a lot of merchandise which can’t be found inside the park, so set aside at least 2 hours (and a lot of money) for shopping there! It’s the green-roofed building in the picture above; but it extends even further than my panorama could capture.
There’s a small exit near Tomorrowland that connects the park to Disneytown, which is really convenient if you wanna nip out for a more affordable lunch at the food court (Food Republic). But I have to say that food prices in China are a lot cheaper than SG and HK, so even food sold inside Disneyland (which is already overpriced compared to non-Disney food in Shanghai) is around two-thirds of the price in HK Disneyland.
If you’re feeling rich, there’s a wide variety of restaurants to choose from, ranging from The Cheesecake Factory to Crystal Jade. There was a row of xiaolongbao restaurants as well, which were reasonably-priced; but if you’re headed to the city area, you’re better off visiting the 100-year old Nan Xiang Xiaolong Mantou near Yuan Gardens, which I’ll cover in Part 3!
The sun set around 8pm and the weather was rather cold, a welcome change from the climate back home. We then continued exploring the quaint town, and below are some of the pictures I took on my iphone, which unfortunately isn’t good at capturing lowlight shots.
This theatre is where they hold ‘The Lion King’ musical nightly, but it’s a paid performance, with ticket prices ranging from ¥190 (SGD$40) for circle seats to ¥630 (SGD$130) for prime seats
Hidden Mickeys are everywhere in Disneyland, and it’s become a hobby of mine to search for them whenever I visit Disney parks. They’re so subtly hidden in the decor, gotta appreciate how talented and creative the Imagineers are! Of course the ones on and inside the clock tower (pictured below) don’t count as Hidden Mickeys, but they’re so cute/beautiful that I just had to post a picture of them! :3
There was a massive 2-storey Lego flagship store in the heart of Disneytown, and I’ll just leave you to admire the Disney/Marvel/Star Wars figurines…
In the courtyard, there were live musicians playing pop renditions of Disney classics like ‘Beauty & The Beast’, “Can You Feel The Love Tonight’, etc. The courtyard was relatively empty when they were playing the less popular songs, but the moment the first note of ‘Let It Go’ rang out, an adorable bunch of princesses flocked over and began bopping to the music. It was such a precious moment… :’)
World Of Disney store
If you’re a shopaholic plus a Disney addict like me, you will go crazy (and not to mention very broke) in this store. They sell pretty much everything imaginable, from clothes, jewellery, costumes & bags to Mickey ears, collectible Disney pins, character soft toys and souvenir tins. Permute all those items with every Disney movie (from Star Wars dresses to princess-themed crockery), and you can imagine how massive the store has to be to stock all those items.
I spent over $200 buying collectible pins for my already-excessive Disney pin collection, and another few hundred on merchandise like soft toys, jigsaw puzzles, and souvenirs. I was too busy buying stuff to actually take any pictures of the store interior, so these pictures I googled will have to suffice, though they hardly show the true scale of the store.
There’s also a Hot Toys shop located in the periphery, where fans of the Marvel and Star Wars franchises can get their fan
boygirl fix, and even buy some action figures! Those I photographed weren’t for sale, cos they’re autographed and besides, even if they were for sale…we wouldn’t be able to afford them.
Walking back to the shuttle bus stop, we passed by Starbucks, and I couldn’t resist entering, because the store was oh-so-big and oh-so-pretty!! The prices of the food,
covfefe coffee and merchandise are relatively cheaper than in Singapore, and the range was a lot wider.
And with that, we took the shuttle back to Toy Story Hotel to rest our feet for the first day of Disneyland. Stay tuned for the next post, and be sure to follow this blog or like my FB page for all the latest updates!
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If you’re interested in exploring my blog, click here for an index of all the posts I’ve ever written (travel, musings, doctoring), or check out my most read series below:
- the Chasing Dreams series: a multi-part series chronicling my thoughts, dreams & changing ideals over the years (since 2018), including burnout, quitting the rat race, migration and trying to find my path in life
- the (not-so-definitive) guide to doctoring: Getting into Med School & FAQs | Surviving your Clinical Years | MBBS Tips | Life as a M1 // M2 // M3 // M4 // M5 during COVID // Life as a Doctor (monthly series) | Chasing Careers series