Today is a travel day to Shanghai, China. We went down to breakfast about 7:00, then returned to the room to relax before going down to the lobby at 8:00 to checkout and wait for our transfer to the airport. He showed at 8:15 for our wet on/off ride to the airport.
The weather has been good the whole time in South Korea. The days have been mild in the mid 70s to low 80s. It has been mostly sunny, with a couple of cloudy days. The only rain we encountered was on the drive back to Seoul and on the ride to the airport.
At the airport it seemed everything was in Korean. Don't they get English speaking people on business and sightseeing? Anyway, we figured it out by our flight number and walked from the B section down to the J section for our airline China South. I had a representative help us with the kiosk to checkin because I did not see an option to switch the screen to English. Jeez! (Just playing the ugly American.)
There was a very long line to wait until our turn to drop our luggage, which was no problem since we were early for our flight. Security was next with long lines, but no problems. They did not require anyone to take off their shoes/sandals. We were done at 10:00 and now we had a wait at the gate before boarding began at 12:00. Boarding was delayed a little, everyone was in line but they did not start until 12:15. We were in the line to board for rows 41 and higher. I figured we would be the last to board, baut to my surprise, we were the first line. Finally, and airline that loads from the back to the front!!
Once on board, we had seats on this short 1 1/2 hour flight across the aisle from each other. It was a full flight, except the person next to me never showed so I had an empty seat to place all of my stuff which was nice. I tried to do a movie, but the sound system was not good. Even with the sound at the highest setting, I could barely hear the soundtrack, so I read instead.
We actually got a meal on this short flight. There was only a short window of opportunity because they posted that they do not start serving until 20 minutes into the flight, and no service the last 30 minutes. So they basically threw the food at you (I had the chicken) and then almost immediately were looking to take the tray away.
We arrived on time at 1:40 (time change, we are now only 12 hours ahead) and proceeded through passport control where we had to have our picture taken and then our fingerprints. We gathered our luggage and went over to the exit which had a security checkpoint where we placed our luggage and backpacks on the conveyor to be scanned before entering the arrival hall.
We saw our guide with the sign right away. Kyle is our GoWay rep for Shanghai. Together we exited the building and waited at curbside for our driver to appear. Kyle speaks English very well and he was telling us about our itinerary and his background. He then asked where we were from, etc. We had a half hour ride to Disneyland Toy Story Hotel. The weather was a little muggy and overcast since we landed.
Upon our arrival at Toy Story Hotel (Yeah! We're at Disneyland Shanghai!!!!) we entered the lobby to pure happy chaos. It was loud and noisy with happy children and adults. Throughout the rest of the day people stared at us because we were Westerners and many of the people in China have never encountered Westerners as I explained a few days ago.
The checkin was a little chaotic, Kyle stayed with us throughout since he spoke the language, and we were thankful that he did. We were greeted by a cast member as we got in line with a paper explaining the transportation system. Then another cast member later in the line was doing crowd control and explaining about the hotel. To the Chinese guests she was speaking in a rapid fire speech. She slowed down for us. Then we finally got to the desk to get our room keys and greeting package after being photographed. (NOTE: All the staff had a Chinese name and American name on their badges.)
Then we walked over to the concierge desk where we could pickup our park tickets. Well, we had to first talk to a cast member who first wanted to know what you need, took notes and then when a concierge cast member was available handed them the slip to expedite the process. It took awhile at the concierge desk. We had to have our picture taken that was then attached to our ticket number. This was so when you entered the park (and you could do multiple entries throughout the day) your picture would appear to the cast member to verify before you could enter.
One of the things we had to do was chose what ride and what time we wanted for our FastPass. Then I needed to download the Disney app so we could access our FastPass, and schedule others once we were in the park. This took awhile since I needed to register and make my account. Finally, we were done. Poor Kyle had to endure all this.
Then we retrieved our bags from the bellhop. Jean wanted to change and did not want to wait for the bags to be delivered. The hotel has 7 floors, but the top floor is the 8th floor. In China there is no 4th floor, just like in America many hotels do not have a 13th floor. So, we had a hike ahead of us to get to our room, number 12244 (2nd floor, same level as hotel lobby, room 244). Of course everything - the carpeting, pictures, furniture, the room sign was a sheriff badge, bedspread cover and more are all Toy Story based. Kyle walked us to our room and then left.
Jean changed and I unpacked for our two night stay. Then we headed to the Disney Shuttle Express stop for our great Disney adventure. We had purchased a two day park ticket for today and tomorrow. You could only purchase consecutive days tickets. Jean had wanted to do a day in the park, then an all-day city tour and then back to the park, but alas that could not happen.
A quick background about Shanghai Disneyland - it is the sixth Disney to open when it opened in 2015. (Braging rights - We have been to all six!). There is only the Magic Kingdom, no other parks like Epcot in Orlando or DisneySea in Tokyo. There is a Disney Town with stores, restaurants and a theater that is currently running Beauty and the Beast, the Musical in Chinese.
We arrived at the park and walked around to get a feel of where everything was located. We walked over to Tomorrowland. They have a Tron Lightcycle Power Run which is a roller coaster where you sit on a Tron cycle. It doesn't do a loop, that would be too violent for the Chinese. Most of the rides we observed as we walked the park are much more gentle (slower and/or less rough) than the American parks. We walked into the Tron Realm Chevrolet Digital Challenge where you can race digital cars, fight and throw discs digitally and design cars. gWe enjoyed the Buzz Lightyear Planet Rescue ride. As we walked through Fantasyland, we went through the Alice in Wonderland Maze which wandered for quite awhile through the Alice story until you hit the Mad Hatter's Tea Party. Jean wa simpressed with the maze.
Then we walked out of the park to Disney Tosn where we had a light repast of a couple appetizers (dumplings and spring rolls) at Wolfgang Puck Kitchen and Bar. We then reentered the park and walked through Disney-Pixar Toy Story Land. We stopped in a couple of stores on our way out. Jean had decided not to stay for the fireworks.
It had been a long day and we both fell asleep quickly.