Thursday, June 8, 2017

Shanghai Disneyland Day Three

For our third day in Shanghai, we once again hopped out of bed early, ready to take on the day.  Josh and Kinley grabbed breakfast for all of us at the cafe in the hotel.  We just had to have another one of those Mickey doughnuts!  

One thing I really like about this cafe is the way things, especially the strange-looking bottled drinks, are labeled in English.  When we walked around Shanghai on our first night, we saw lots of shops selling these same types of bottled drinks, but there was no English in site so I wasn't brave enough to try any.
 No idea what this tastes like, but I'm much more likely to try it with the description in English than I would be with only the Mandarin.
 I think what they mean to say is, "Drink mineral water.  It's good for you."
Again, no idea.  But the tiny little picture of the bowl full of fruit paired with the English name leads me to think it prune flavored.
Isn't it interesting that all of these plants and fruits are available in the US but we only eat two of them?  I mean, I have a mulberry tree in my own yard that is full of fruit as I write this, and yet I leave all of the berries for the birds and deer.  And, of course, we pretty much only use aloe as a houseplant for use on kitchen burns.  I guess some people drink it in smoothies or juices, but most people don't.  But in China, I guess both are common yogurt flavors!

The food offerings had English labels, too, but I would have tried many of them even if the only labels had been in Mandarin.  They look so yummy!

 I wish I had tried the chocolate passionfruit thingy.
I can vouch for both the blueberry and chocolate chip ones!  Yum!

We got into the security line by 7:52 and were through the ticket gate and into the park by 8:44.  This day was colder, so Josh wore his coat and Knox put up the hood on his jacket.  Once again, we had to link arms to keep people from pushing past us in line. 

We went straight to Soarin' again, once again passing by the massive line of people getting Fast Passes for the ride instead of just following us to get on immediately with no wait.  Go figure.  After Soarin', we went straight to Treasure Cove for another turn on Pirates of the Caribbean where we only had to wait for 10 minutes.  We could have gone to get FastPasses for another ride after Soarin', but we decided that we were willing to risk getting a late FastPass time for the benefit of a 10 minute wait at Pirates.  We think we made the right call.

After Pirates, we split up.  Josh and Kinley used their crazy-long legs to hustle back over to Adventure Isle to get FastPasses for Roarin' River.  This ride is similar to Kali River Rapids in Orlando, and, frankly, I wasn't sure I wanted to ride it.  It was quite chilly outside, and the prospect of getting wet and then staying that way for the rest of the day didn't sound like my idea of fun.  But Kinley really wanted to do it, and since we might never get to come back to Shanghai, I decided to go along with the plan.  While Kinley and Josh hoofed it across the park, Knox and I made our way to Tomorrowland to the Buzz ride where Kinley and Josh met up with us.  By this time it was no later than 9:25.  The park hadn't even been open for an hour yet, but the FastPass times for Roarin' River were already late afternoon time slots.  We took what we could get.

We were able to walk right on to Buzz, so we rode it twice, and then we decided it was time for some caramel corn and a Donald Duck ice cream treat.  Since there hadn't been any characters at the Marvel attraction the day before, we headed to that area in hopes that Knox could get a picture or two.  We were in luck!  He got to meet both Captain America and Spider-Man! 
In case your'e wondering, yes, Captain America was 100% American.  He seemed happy to have someone to speak to in English!

Spidey was silent, so we assumed he was NOT an American.

After the character greetings, we made our way back to Fantasyland and the castle to check out an attraction in the castle called Once Upon a Time Adventure.  This was a walk-through attraction that told the story of Snow White, but it was all in Mandarin.  Of course, we knew the story well and enjoyed the interesting surprises in each room, but we probably got tired of each room faster than the other guests who were walking through at the same time as we were because we couldn't understand the narration.  

While I wouldn't do it again, and I certainly wouldn't wait more than about 20 minutes for it, there were some engaging feature and effects. The boiling cauldron in the witch's lair was cool, and there was a lovely little courtyard with a fountain on the second floor that was part of the tour.  But one odd thing was that Snow White looks different.  I can't quite put my finger on it, but ti seemed like she was rounder somehow.  Not plump, just, I don't know, rounder.  You may be able to increase the size of the picture below to see what I mean.  
Knox tries to see over the other guests as we begin our tour.  The modified Snow White can be seen here.

You could look down into the cauldron for a surprise.

In this room, Snow White is kissed by the prince.

This is the beautiful little courtyard that is at least two floors up in the castle.

We came out just in time to catch the end of a show in front of the castle that I wish we had been able to watch completely - Golden Fairytale Fanfare.  We stood in the front row on the left side and had a great view.  A moat separates the audience from the performers.  
Merida rides her horse (which is operated by two puppeteers!) through an inventively-staged meadow made up of costumed performers that move in waves as if they are fields of heather.
Josh took a really short clip of the part of the show featuring The Little Mermaid that shows how the fountains in the moat are incorporated into the show and he also pans around to show the huge crowd.  Also, I may or may not be singing along.

Since we had rushed straight to Soarin' both mornings, we hadn't had any family pictures taken in front of the castle.  We decided to take a few minutes to track down a photographer or two for some pictures.

I'm usually not a huge fan of the graphics Disney puts on PhotoPass pictures, but I like that this one says "Grand Opening."

Can you believe we did all this and it wasn't even lunch time yet?  Holy cow.  We might be nuts.

Following family pics, Knox wanted to try to greet some more characters at the Star Wars Launch Pad in Tomorrowland.  Kinley had little interest in watching her brother greet fictitious space people, so we let her go off on her own and ride the Buzz Lightyear ride.  I realize that the fact that we'd let our 15 year old go off on her own in a foreign country where she doesn't speak the language is horrifying to some of you.  But we're Boyds.  This is kind of just what we do.  And besides, it's Disney.  It's not like we dropped her off in the middle of Shanghai and told her we'd see her next Tuesday.  The friendly confines of the Magic Kingdom seem like a relatively low-risk area.

While Kinley enjoyed some freedom, Knox met Kylo Ren, CP30 with R2D2, and an apparently nameless Rebel Pilot.
It's important to be willing to ham it up.  And besides, this was one tall Asian dude.
These are totally the droids we are looking for.
This guy spoke English (just all all Rebel pilots, I guess)!
Also in this attraction were museum-type cases with Star Wars costumes and artifacts, so Knox spent some time checking those out.  There was also a mock-up of the Millennium Falcon's cockpit, so Knox and Josh embraced their inner Han Solo for a few minutes.  Knox put his much-practiced sound-effects-making skills to good use.
Josh is a much-less-hairy version of Chewbacca, but Knox seemed to think he made a decent co-pilot.
Returning from a galaxy far, far away and meeting up with Kinley, we went on to do a little shopping before making our way back to Fantasyland's Tangled Tree Tavern for lunch.  This is a quick-service option that has some interesting menu choices.  Josh and I shared a stir fry dish, and the kids got fish and chips.  But the best thing was the Rapunzel's Refresher.  As I said in my previous post, every single specialty drink we tried was fantastic, and this berry, pineapple, and coconut version was no exception.
We liked the outdoor seating at Tangled Tree Tavern.

Yay for specialty drinks!
With our tummies full, we walked over to Treasure Cove to check out a live show we'd heard about called Eye of the Storm - Captain Jack's Stunt Show.  This would not have been high on my priority list if I hadn't heard about it on a podcast, but the host of the podcast waxed eloquent about how cool the stunts were and about how even the language barrier didn't take away from the fun.  And the podcaster was right.  It was a really cool show.  You start out standing in a theater lobby, and pirates come in and begin talking to the crowd in Mandarin and doing silly Keystone-cops-style comedy.  Even though we couldn't understand, we got the gist of the story and enjoyed what we saw.

The show began inside the theater lobby.
The cast members performed up on this balcony for most of the first part of the show.
After this part of the show, we all moved into a traditional theater and found a seat.  Once the show resumed, the stunts grew more and more impressive.  There were swashbuckling sword fights, gravity-defying airborne acrobatics, and even a human cannonball.  The most impressive part was a sword fight in MIDAIR thanks to the massive air-blowing machine under the stage that suspended the actors in space.

Inside the theater, the show continued.

Poor Captain Jack Sparrow is nearly hanged for piracy!
I wish they would bring this show to the US (in English, of course) so that I could experience the full effect of this show's awesomeness!

Once Captain Jack was freed from the grasp of the British soldiers, we made a beeline for Adventure Isle to use our Roarin' Rapids FastPasses.  Unfortunately, that ended up being ore difficult than we expected, but that's a story for a later post.

We went and rode TRON again (always a god idea) and then had another ice cream treat (also always a good idea).

Back in Fantasyland, I wanted to check out the Alice in Wonderland Maze which is a walk-through attraction in the shadow of the castle.  There are some cute features, but I wouldn't call it a must-do by any stretch.   Since it's new, it is, of course, in much better condition than the Alice in Wonderland walk-through in Paris , and this one is the Tim Burton Alice rather than the original Alice that Paris has.
These fun cakes made me think of my sister's creations!

Knox stands under one of the many hats you can try on for size at the Mad Hatter's Tea Party section of the walk-through.
Next came a visit to the Garden of the Twelve Friends where twelve mosaics use Disney characters to represent the twelve Chinese zodiac animals.  We quickly Googled our birth years and then snapped pictures beside our animals.

1971 was the year of the pig, and Hamm from Toy Story is the representative.
1972 was the year of the rat, and Remy from Ratatouille does the honors.
2001 was the year of the snake, so Kaa from The Jungle Book is the chosen character.
2006 was the year of the dog, and Pluto is the perfect pup for the job!
After a few more pictures and some shopping, we finally got to do Roarin' Rapids.  Again, it's not a must-do, in my opinion, but in warmer weather it might be a lot of fun.

By this time we were hungry for dinner, so we headed to the quick-service restaurant inside Pirates of the Caribbean called Barbossa's Bounty.  We ordered the Pirate's Feast to share, but it ended up being FAR too much food for the four of us.  We ate as much as we could, and enjoyed the atmosphere.
Outside Barbossa's Bounty in Treasure Cove
Inside Barbossa'a Bounty with our massive tray of food
There was no shortage of meats on the Pirate's Feast!

After eating our fill, we wanted to do Pirates once more.  Unfortunately, it wasn't working, so we headed to Fantasyland to see if we could squeeze in one more ride.  Pooh's Hunny Pot Spin had no wait, and since the US doesn't have this ride, we hopped on.  It's like Pooh-themed teacups.  Again, not a must-do but fine if you have time.
Our last ride at Shanghai Disneyland was this one!

Finally, we ended our day with the fireworks show and headed back to the hotel, ready to pack for Hong Kong!

Goodbye, Shanghai Disneyland!

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