|Today was an all Disney day! The weather was sunny, hot and humid. At 7:00 we went down to breakfast located on the first floor of the hotel. They had quite a spread for Chinese, Japanese and Western tastes. I had an eclectic mix myself. It was too far to return to the room, so we just used the rest rooms near the restaurant before heading to the park.
The park is open early if you stay onsite. You may go from 6:30 to 8:30 before the park opens to the general public at 8:30. For the early birds, you use the Disney Town entrance. The Disney App that I had downloaded yesterday was quite useful. It listed the rides and the wait times, the entertainment schedule, a list of the eateries, shops, etc.
Once in the park, we immediately went over to Adventure Isle section to Soaring Over the Horizon. It had a 90 minute wait, but we were on the ride within 75 minutes. (Remember this for all park ride descriptions - all the narration was in Chinese, except for the instructions about the ride and safety. They did an English version.) While waiting inline, a young woman was encouraged by her mother to practice her English with Jean. We soared over the Taj Mahal, Great Wall of China, Eiffel Tower, Matterhorn, Fiji, Iguazu Falls, and other wonders of the world. As we left Soaring, three young ladies engaged Jean in conservatin to pratice their English.
Passing through the Treasure Cove section, we went on the Siren's Revenge. This was a walk-through pirate ship that let you see how a pirate lived, plus you could ring the ship's bell. Our FastPass was for Peter Pan's Flight between 10:00-11:00. We arrived in Fantasyland at the ride at 10:03 and walked right up to the front and hopped aboard our flight through the story of Peter Pan.
After the ride, we walked across to Voyage to the Crystal Grotto which had a 20 minute wait. This was a boat ride reminiscent of the Jungle cruise at other Disneys. You floated on the river and saw scenes from the various princess movies. Then you went under the castle and saw the crystaal grotto located there.
We hydrated and hit the WC, and then continued to "Once Upon a Time" Adventure in the castle with a 15 minute wait. This is a walk-through experience. The beginning was similar to the Haunted House experience in other parks. You started in one room, then went into another room, and then again before climbing the stairs (there were way too many) up to the top of the castle. Here you saw dioramas of Snow White's tale. It was interesting hearing songs you knew in Chinese.
We then headed over to the Fantasia Carousel in the Gardens of Imagination section of the park, but I realized that the noon parade was gong to begin soon. So Jean and I went to find a shady spot along the parade route to wait. Jean bought another cold bottle of water for us to hydrate (it was one of those days). While we waited, Jean asked one of the cast characters keeping people off the parade route if it was ok for us to be where we were waiting in the shade. He said yes, and Jean noticed that his name badge gave his anglo name as Peacock. Well, Peacock started to talk with us about the fireworks, about getting wet, where were we from, and that there would be dancing in the parade. So I joked and said are you one of the dancers, and he began dancing in the street for us.
We then saw Duffy's Splashing Pre-Parade where you will get wet and we were sprayed along with everyone else along the parade route. Then it was Mickey's Storybook Express Parade with the many floats and characters from the Disney movies. As always, they did a spectacular job with the costumes, dancers, floats, characters and everything else. (See the many pictures.)
We decided to skip the carousel for now and headed over to the Treasure Cove section of the park to do the Pirates of the Caribbean - Battle for the Sunken Treasure where it said a 15 minute wait, but it was more like a 15 minute walk to the front of the line where we got on right away. This ride certainly has changed, and for the better now with CGI. You went down a whirlpool to the bottom of the ocean where you encountered characters from the movies. Then back to the surface in amongst a battle between pirate ships that towered over us. There was a bit if the old Pirates near the end.
Next, back to Fantasyland to ride The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. We had about a 30 minute wait before boarding our honeypot ride through the Pooh stories. Then we walked back to the Fantasia Carousel in the Gardens of Imagination section. We had a short wait of about 10 minutes before we rode our horses.
Now it was about 3:15. We left the park via the Disney Town exit where we had our lunch/dinner at the Cheesecake Factory. I asked the waiter, Benny, to bring a large glass of water for us before ordering, and he kept our glasses full during dinner. I ordered the fried zucchini sticks and for my entree, the Chicken Parm "Pizza Style". Well, I thought they were talking about the way the sauce and cheese was prepared, but no folks, this was a 12-inch chicken patty topped with sauce and cheese, then an angel hair pasta scoop in the center. I finished it with help from Jean who had only ordered a salad with goat cheese, pecans, diced apple and beets. I ordered the strawberry shortcake for dessert, but Benny came back and said it was not available. So I ordered the carrot cake instead. Nobody runs out of carrots. Well, this was a huge slice of cake. We asked for a box to take it back to the room to finish later. After dinner, it was now 4:30 so instead of returning to the park, we decided to return to the hotel, put the cake in the refrigerator and rest. And then return later.
On the way out we stopped by the Disney Wishing Star Park area to see the giant Donald Duck. At the nearby restaurants and shops, there was a Marvel store into which we popped. They had amazing statues and costumes for the Marvel Avengers, and the Star Wars universes. You could have a complete collection of the various Iron Man suits, or all the different statues of the various stages of Captain America outfits. The same with Star Wars. Want all of the various Stormtrooper uniforms? Each statue was about $200 US and higher. Too expensive, and too fragile to pack in a suitcase and haul around for another 20 days.
Return to the park? Didn't happen. Jean soaked in the tub, then showered. When she came out of the bathroom she said no way to going back. This was fine by me, my feet were killing me from our 10-hour day in the park. We just relaxed, rubbed each others feet, and watched Mulan on the movie (only Disney movies) channel.
We did shopping throughout the day. Unfortunately, we did not have time to see any shows, nor did we go back for the fireworks. One should have two or three full days to see it all. However, we were able to view some of the fireworks looking out our room window. So our days of being gawked at by children and adults while waiting in line are done for now.
Tomorrow we change hotels to downtown Shanghai after our full-day tour.