|Disneyland Day 2. This time equipped with the right paraphernalia.|
We arrived there 15 minutes earlier compared to the previous day but found ourselves further back along the line! We theorised that the sunnier weather night be a contributing factor. Once again, even though the park was scheduled to open at 9am, the security gates opened at 8am and by 8:30am guests were allowed into the park.
As we only had 3 "must-do"s today, we went at a somewhat more leisurely pace. We had time to savour the atmosphere and surrounds. The sun helped a lot! We got fastpasses to Roaring Rapids. As much as we would have loved to do it yesterday, we couldn't face being wet in the cold. The standby wait time hovered around 60 min nearly the whole day yesterday. The whole family met up at Camp Discovery to re-do Challenge Trails which was A LOT of fun! It really was an ingenious system. You are attached to a harness and safety rope above you which utilised multiple track and switch systems. You can then work your way through challenge trails! At each one, you can choose an easy option, a more difficult option or opt out and walk through. All made possible because of the way your safety rope is attached to the track above you.
We were relieved that the Challenge trails was finally a walk on as it was busy all day yesterday. The 30 min advertised was probably only from the lockers to the actual trail start itself. If you need a locker, it is probably closer to a 60 minute wait time in reality once you include the time needed to get a locker. If you don't need a locker, don't get stuck in the locker line! We did both trails that were were opened today. There was a third which we would have done too but it was unfortunately closed. All loose items had to be stored hence the lockers and no phones were allowed so you would need someone on the ground to take photos for you.
|Easter at Shanghai Disneyland|
|If you're a pin trader, there's no shortage of CMs with pins. In fact, we found a group of 8 just inside the entrance|
|There are fast pass hubs in each land|
|The lines are well managed by the CMs|
|Challenge Trails. Yes I was hanging on for dear life! Not sure if you can see the 3 paths for each "challenge"|
|Hopefully you can see how guests can overtake each other or change tracks easily|
|Can you spot us making our way through one of the challenges?|
The children were super excited to go on Roaring Rapids. Malcolm not so. He generously offered his raincoat to me and so was the ONLY one in the crowd without any protective gear on. Actually we did worry about how much plastic was being used as everyone else seemed to have single use disposable ponchos on which seemed like such a waste. I believe these were readily available at the shops and must be reasonably priced to be so universally worn. The ride really did feel like you were going in rapids. It definitely wasn't gentle and it was a lot of fun! Malcolm who ended up only wearing a T-shirt (with pants) stayed dry :)
|You can see how almost everyone else had these thin plastic ponchos on|
|Spot the only T-shirt guy. Thanks Mal!|
We headed toward Fantasyland to wander around and shop! We purchased some Shanghai unique merchandise as well as other unusual products such as biscuits in a tin shaped like a book which was of course Disney stories. Lara bought a Little mermaid bubble blower which was highly popular around the park. For the rest of the day, we walked surrounded by our clouds of bubbles.
We had booked a character lunch at Royal Banquet Hall which was inside the castle itself. It was a set menu with 3 courses including drinks. We were able to choose an appetiser, a main and a dessert from about a choice of 4 each. The welcome photo was with Minnie. The cast member was very generous with taking photos with our own camera and made sure that he took one landscape, portrain and one close up! What a champion! During the meal, Mickey, Donald and Daisy came around earing beautifully detailed costumes. They were unhurried and spent time interacting with the children. We found the food delicious and the waiters attentive. We had heard mixed reviews about the wait staff. On our visit, we could see they were all trying very hard to help. Luan dropped her napkin when she got up to take a photo, by the time she sat down, new one had arrived. When the announcements were made in Chinese, one of them tried his best to translate it into English. We were allocated 90 minutes to eat but we did it with plenty of time and never felt rushed. It was most definitely lovely to be able to sit and take time out.
|The 12 friends are Disney characters mosaics based on the Chinese zodiac. Mushuu would be mine as I born in the year of the dragon|
|We popped into Bibbidi Bobbity Boutique and saw the gorgeous Mulan dress and a whopping AUD100! cough cough splutter splutter|
|The reception of Royal Banquet Hal;|
|Crab and mango cake|
|Amazing duck dish. Very tender and moist meat.|
|One of the kids meals|
|Dessert! Cinderella's slipper|
|A more substantial dessert. Brownie with mango mousse|
Our last "must do" for the day was Tron for which we obtained a fastpass. Once again, this was an excellent ride. The children declared it the best ride ever. The seating position was unique and the loading area well themed. Lockers were available to use for free. And anything smaller that is loose such as glasses can be stored in a small compartment on the ride vehicle itself. Standby wait times never dropped below 60 minutes and got longer and longer as it got closer to night time which was when everyone wanted to ride as it would add to the experience. Tron fastpasses however, generally stayed available for longer compared to Soarin and Roaring Rapids.
Post Tron we explored the rest of Tomorrowland and found the Star Wars Launch Bay. To be honest, the outside appearance was rather lame and looked like the area was added on without any thought BUT once inside we got a meet and greet with Darth Vader. NO lines!
|The impressive Tron building|
|The ride vehicle|
|The last Disney castle ticked off!|
|Darth Vader refused to hug us|
We took the opportunity to do the Once Upon A Time Adventure Castle walk through during the parade. This attraction was also within the castle itself and outlines the story of Snow White. Be warned you need to walk up a lot of stairs! Unfortunately I didn't see if there was a lift.
We stopped by Marvel Land which was similar on the outside to the Stars Wars area. That is, again it was sadly lacking on the outside. However once inside, the gem that was Captain America ready with no lines!! Alright so I might have a special soft spot for Captain America but he really was so handsome and his mannerisms just like in the movie. His voice was just so nice and easy to listen to. He was super friendly and took the time to talk to us. He even allowed us to hug him. Darth Vader didn’t. Oh and by the way the queue for spiderman was also virtually non-existent.
|Initially reluctant to go in but so glad I did!|
|My hero! I love you Captain America!|
After meeting my hero, my day was complete. We headed out of the park to check in to Disneyland Hotel. This time we caught the correct bus. Check in for club level rooms was at the Magic Kingdom Club on level 7. We were escorted up and got there just in time for the 5-7pm snacks. An amazing array of both savoury and sweet dishes awaited us. Not only were they beautifully presented, they were also incredibly tasty. It really could easily be dinner.I won't be bore you with photos but I've posted a selection of the food offered thanks to Luan who documented each one! Free drinks were also flowing including alcoholic beverages. Malcolm managed to down a pinot noir, 2 beers and 1 scotch and dry. One might have mistaken for an Australian. Sheesh! I had Bailey’s and milk which I haven't had for centuries...And with that, we relaxed at the hotel. At 7pm the music for the castle show was piped into the lounge. Although the lounge had a view of the castle, it was too far away for a decent view. For those who might be interested in taking photos. There was an area on the 9th floor which gave you views without glass obstructing you.
|Ceiling of the main lobby|
|Decor with Eastern touches|
|View looking out of the lounge|
|An atrium with bamboo which continued up to the higher floor where Aurora is|
|Baileys and milk|
|Rooms were very comfortable. We had a murphy bed|
|Detailed timber work|
|One side of the buffet station|
|Part of another side|
|Crab and mango salad|
|The last side is dedicated to desserts!|
At 8:15pm, the family trudged their way up for dinner at Aurora. By this time the long days and early starts had caught up with us and everyone was absolutely exhausted. We probably would have appreciated the ambience a lot more were we not as tired. The entry had beautiful timber panelling and of course the restaurant had amazing views. It is a fine dining restaurant so the food was of small portions and came with hefy price tag. But it was excellent food. Fortunately for us, being club level guests, we got a 20 percent discount which we took gladly! It certainly was a great way to end the day.
|The restaurant waiting area. And yes those are my children lying down...|
|View of the lake and park|
|Could you tell we were tired...|
|The most delicious mushroom and truffle ravioli|
|Snapper with passionfruit noodle|
As an aside, the children went swimming at the hotel. It appears that generally a swimming cap is needed at hotel pools. We purchased some at the Tinkerbell shop within the Disneyland Hotel at around AUD6 each. A swimming cap was also needed at the Grand Kempinski but they had some which guests could borrow.
|An expensive swim!|