I went to the Disney Resort in Shanghai when I was vacationing. It was surprisingly awesome. I was expecting long lines and rude people and dirty bathrooms but didn’t have any (except an over-excited toddler who grabbed my glasses by accident in line, but, you know, toddlers). Personally I love Disney parks – I’d go to Disneyland all the time if I could afford it. I don’t know why but they relax me so much. Like, I literally am the happiest just sitting on the main street, listening to the background music, and eating their ridiculously good peanut brittle watching people go by.
I went with my s.o. and his cousin in Shanghai. It was a pretty cold weekday, so there were like 1/4 of the capacity of people there, and minimal children because you have to take your kid out of school to go and well, Asian parents aren’t likely to do that, especially since Christmas is not a holiday over there. I was bundled up very warmly so it was just great. At first I just wanted to ride the rides that American parks didn’t have – like the Tron Lightcycle Power Run. That ride was phenomenal, by the way. It’s so immersive, you feel like you really are stuck in the Tron world, racing to the finish line. It’s a quick rollarcoaster kind of thing, where they strap you down on a Troncycle and you have to take off your glasses/hat/scarf etc. because it’s going so fast. And it was amazing (despite the fact my view is blurry as hell due to severe nearsightedness). Short and crazy ride with cool effects and you even spin around outside so random people can hear everyone on the cycle scream their heads off. If you were ever in Shanghai Disney that’s one of the must-go rides.
We then went to some quick no-wait kiddie rides because why not. Then the cousin said that we have to go see Pirates of the Caribbean ride so we’re like, ok, let’s check this one out. I’ve already been to the American version so at first I just went for the novelty factor (because listening to Chinese dubs of Jack Sparrow and Barbossa is…interesting), turned out this one is actually better than the one in the States! There are parts where they “submerge” you under the ocean, which is actually just a giant IMAX screen where you get the illusion (and a damn convincing one) you’re walking on the ocean floor. And there was a small section of bumpy rollarcoaster where you’re escaping a ship fight, and all the story-telling is pretty top notch. So after that we were just like “well scratch the idea of only experiencing rides not in America, let’s just go to all the good rated ones!”
Of course, there were more rides than we have time for, even on a very not crowded day. We saw the afternoon parade and the evening fireworks, and also a short play of Frozen at the Peter Pan Theatre. We were wondering how Disney princesses, who’re mostly white, would look with Chinese actors. Turns out they actually hired white people instead of Chinese people to play them! (well, aside from the obvious ethnic characters like Mulan or people in costumes like Goofy). It’s really, really weird to watch a Frozen play, with a bunch of side characters who’re played by Chinese people, surrounding Anna/Elsa/Kristoff who’re white people speaking very horrible Chinese on stage. I mean if I were a kid I wouldn’t understand anything they said because the pronunciation is just barely intelligible with its weird inflections. Hell, I myself had trouble understanding them, and to someone like my s.o. whose Mandarin is not good, well, he just watched the pretty light effects and listened to the songs. Some of them are in English, and some of them are in Chinese. I don’t know why.
It’s surreal to listen to “Let It Go” with translated Chinese lyrics, though. It sounds really…weird? I mean, all the lyrics are translated correctly, and they rhyme (which is a feat!), but it sounds so funny because the phrase they used has a connotation of plain speak instead of song lyrics. Like, usually in Chinese songs the lyrics are a little elevated from every day speech. The difference in the hook “let it go” in Chinese is like the difference between “It’s okay” and “fuhgeddaboudit” in English. Now imagine the hook of the song is “fuhgeddabouit” over and over, but in a serious song like a hymn. That’s what the feel of “Let It Go”‘s translated Chinese lyrics is.
But I suppose kids wouldn’t care so that’s all that matters. And aside from this little weirdness my entire experience of a day at Shanghai Disney was awesome, so, yeah, whatever. Let it go. I did NOT buy a lot of souvenirs though because the price is basically American prices but in RMB. I mean a single Tron mickey keychain is like 75 bucks (about $10, and yes, of course I bought it after that awesome ride) The park ticket price is about $50 instead of the $130+ we get here, which is nice, but yeah everything inside is about the same. There were some really nice figurines and stuff that’s like 600+ RMB, which I really want, but, you know, I’m not spending money on that and lug it across the Pacific. I might post the souvenirs I bought later, because it’s like two things.
P.S. Yeah this is not a plug for Shanghai Disney Resort. It’s just me talking about my vacation.