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Disney Resort, Shanghai September 27, 2016

Posted by hslu in Shanghai, Travel, 浦東.
Tags: , , ,

This was actually an exploratory trip. 

We weren’t planing to visit the resort because, even at 82 degrees F, it was still pretty hot under a bright autumn sun. We came here just to see the surrounding area and checked out businesses around the subway stations on the way to Disney. 

We first stopped by the station prior to Disney but it didn’t have any restaurants and the entire area seemed like a light industry area. We hopped onto the next subway and continued to Disney. Walking to the resort entrance and Disney Town, shops and restaurants, from the station took about 5 minutes. We didn’t see shuttles running on this Monday at noon.

Shanghai Disney metro station.

The first thing we did was to find a place for a quick bite. I was hungry and couldn’t wait. There were several options, a food court serving mostly Chinese dishes, Cheesecake Factory, a more or less high end Shanghai restaurant called 小南國, a sandwich shop, a pizza join, a Japanese restaurant, Wolfgang Puck and a bar/restaurant called Blue Frog. 

We picked WP because I wanted to see what kind of place this well-known international chef had for Chinese resort goers even though I don’t really like him. It is a personal thing.

Before I decided to walk in, I asked the young hostess at yhe door whether the restaurant was normally busy. She said that they are usually very busy and often have people waiting to get in at dinner time.

I picked  a family combo for us and wanted to order a pasta dish too. The young waitress told me that the combo what was enough for the two of us.

Well, there is only one word to describe what we had: odd. 

It was a strange combo indeed:

A salad, four pan-fried dumplings, a 10-inch pizza and a bowl of fried rice. See for yourself.

Everything seemed different and strange from what we were accoustomed to in the U.S. The ginger-soy dressing was light in taste and not very salty with very little ginger flavor. There was a lot of cabbage in the middle of spring mix. Pork dumplings were nicely made and the dipping sauce was great: intense flavor. Fried rice was bad: it looked bad and tasted bad. It was soaked in soy sauce but didn’t have any MSG. But, 不是我吹牛,I can do a lot better job than what you see in the picture. 

The BBQ chicken Pizza was too sweet and too bland to me. WP probably did it to cater to Chinese people’s taste just like Chinese restaurant in the U.S. use a lot of sugar and sweet.dauce to satisfy Americans’ taste buds. It didn’t have much chicken or anthing else for that matter. 

In short, this Wolfgang Puck rendition of salad/dumpling/fried rice/pizza combo was totally off base: no harmony among the dishes and no balance on the tastes. Presentation of the fried rice was aweful and it looked like a product from a street vendor. Instead of a take-out box, WP Disney used a cheap white plate. The pizza/salad and the dumpling/fried rice combo shouldn’t be served at the same table. Not at WP Disney at least. 

Bad choice on my part. Maybe it was me who wasn’t thinking right when I placed my order.

The Disney resort and the surrounding area were pretty. The lake, the boardwalk around the lake, the half-moon shape, glass-bottom bridges, the grand resort hotel and the Wishing Star Park all looked new, clean and well-maintained.

But the management of the entire resort; the Disney metro station, the resort hotel and the resort itself, seemed to want to make it difficult for resort vistors to use.

The resort hotel was closed for walk-ins. To stay at the resort hotel, reservations have to be made online before coming here. We couldn’t go there for a cup of coffee or a glass of beer because reservation has to be made on line first. The gate to the hotel is locked from the boardwalk and was guarded by a security personnel. 

There were 6 exits/entrances to the metro station but visitors can’t enter the station from numbers 2 or number 4 in the middle of the station because they were exits. After we walked 100 more yards to the entrances at the end of the station, part of the access stairs to the station were closed off to visitors. An additional 50 yards were needed to enter the ramp to the station below. 

No shuttle buses were offered to people who arrived at the resort via subway when we got there on a Monday. Maybe the restrictions we faced on a slow day will be relaxed on weekends or holidays when more vistors are here.

My wife told me that the CEO of Wanda Entertainment, the largest entertainment company in China, once said that he will beat Shanghai Disney in terms of attracting more visitors to their respective amusment parks in or near Shanghai. From my casual observation on a not-too-busy Monday afternoon here, Wanda’s CEO may have a point. Disney looked under-utilized but my opinion may well be wrong if I came on a weekend.I will look into this further on the web later.

I don’t think I will pay for the steep entrance price(~¥500/day for adult) so that I can see the castle close by and fireworks after sun goes down. Of course, I won’t do any rides and I don’t care much about the mice either. Then, Disney really don’t have me on their target list too.


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