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Iíll be visiting four Disney parks on this trip, so there was a lot to plan for. Iíve been to the two Anaheim parks before, so I didnít have to research much, but Hong Kong Disneyland and Shanghai Disneyland were both completely new, so a lot more research would be necessary.
I was also quite excited to be visiting these parks when the fall and Halloween decorations would be on display. I have visited Disneyland in the fall before, but in recent years, theyíve amped up the celebrations, so I canít wait to see it! Iím disappointed that Mickeyís Halloween Party isnít happening on either night Iíll be there. But no worries, thereís plenty of other stuff to do.
Halloween Time means thereís something going on in both parks, Downtown Disney, and even the resort hotels. There are Halloween decorations everywhere, numerous attractions feature holiday overlays, characters in Halloween costumes, and oh so many fun, tasty-looking holiday treats throughout both parks Iíve made a to-eat list. I am very excited to see in person the Headless Horseman statue. There was a special on Freeform last night about the Halloween decorations in the parks and on the Disney Cruise Line and it made me even more excited to see it!
At Disney California Adventure, Radiator Springs (or rather Radiator Screams) gets a Halloween makeover, and the Cars even dress in costumes! I could die from the cuteness!
Guardians of the Galaxy is another thing Iím eager to check out for the first time. We all know that the Tower of Terror is my absolute favorite ride, but Iím honestly ok with the re-theme as long as the one at Hollywood Studios doesnít change. If that happens, then Iíll be sad. Iíve heard itís a lot of fun, and I canít wait to see it for myself. I have avoided spoilers, so itíll be completely new to me.
At night, it becomes Guardians of the Galaxy Ė Monsters After Dark, so Iíll have two new experiences in one! And I really love that Disney created a holiday overlay that still allows you to experience the attraction in its original form.
Over in Disneyland, Iím excited to check out the Plaza de la Familia. Disneylandís had Dia de los Muertos festivities for a few years now, and theyíve added Coco into the mix. Iíve been wanting to see this for a couple of years, so Iím glad Iíll get my chance.
I also plan to check out the SCAREolers in Downtown Disney and the edible Halloween display at the Grand Californian.
Because my Premier Passport expired long ago I needed to get tickets. I got a two-day park hopper and I plan to add Max Pass once I get to the park. Itís sort of Disneylandís version of My Disney Experience. It allows you to make FastPass reservations on your phone, check out your Photopass pictures, and do mobile dining. Iím looking forward to checking it out to see how it works.
There are plenty of Halloween festivities at Hong Kong Disneyland, too, but first let me talk about what attractions Iím excited about there. HKDL is a relatively small park (but growing as we speak), that was based heavily on the original Disneyland park. Their castle was identical to the one in Disneyland, but itís currently being refurbished to a bigger, unique castle. I am happy to hear that, but of course disappointed that the castle will be under construction when I visit. But that gives me another reason to go back!
There are many of the same (but slightly different) attractions weíre used to seeing. Some of the attractions offer FastPass, but most of them donít need it. Iím of course most excited about the stuff thatís unique to HKDL. Perhaps the one Iím most excited about is Mystic Manor. HKDL doesnít have a Haunted Mansion because in Chinese culture, spirits are kind of like your ancestors, so it wouldnít translate. Mystic Manor is HKDLís sort of spooky attraction instead. Iíve heard itís really a terrific ride. Iíd tell you more about it, but I didnít want to know too much myself!
I also look forward to the Iron Man Experience, which is a simulator ride similar to Star Tours. I have to say that itís going to be fun to get all these Marvel experiences that I donít get at WDW. The other thing I canít wait for is the stage show Mickey and the Wondrous Book, which Iíve heard is great.
For Halloween, the park has Journey Through Halloweentown, a walk-through attraction based on The Nightmare Before Christmas. There are also characters in Halloween costumes as well as villain meet-and-greets (which, for this villain-loving girl, is exciting news).
Shanghai Disneyland is a larger park with more to offer. Here youíll again find attractions youíre used to seeing in the American parks. Iím concentrating on the ones you donít see in American parks (at least not yet). First and foremost: Tron Lightcycle Power Run. Iíve heard so many great things I canít wait to ride it. And itíll wet my whistle for when it arrives over here.
But the thing I think Iím most excited for is Pirates of the Caribbean Battle for Sunken Treasure. From what Iíve heard, itís amazing and not like any of the other POTC attractions around the globe. Iíd tell you more, but you should know by now that I donít know more! Spoilers, you know!
In Shanghai, thereís Disneytown, which is similar to Disney Springs/Downtown Disney with shops and restaurants and stuff. Iíll definitely be checking at least a few of the shops out.
Fastpasses are available for many of the attractions (though not Pirates, so Iíll have to plan for that). You also get a few FPs each day as a hotel guest.
I plan to spend at least a part of two days at HKDL in addition to the ABD time. That meant I needed to buy a 2-day ticket. I was able to add it to my hotel reservation. In Shanghai, they only sell park tickets 30 days in advance and I made my hotel reservations through the website well before that. Iíve heard reports that some of the perks you get as a resort guest are not automatically given to you when you buy tickets from a source other than the hotel, so Iíll wait until I check in to purchase my 3-day ticket. Or perhaps I can have one of my Adventure Guides help me purchase it.
I considered buying a Photopass package at both HKDL and SDL. Iím still considering. From what I read, there just arenít as many PP photographers throughout the park, so Iíll have to play it by ear.
My phone will be getting a lot of use on this trip. Aside from Instagram (hopefully ) there are a bunch of Disney apps Iíll be using. The Disneyland app, of course, and HKDL and SDL each have their own app, where you can make FP, check out show times, look at park maps, and see restaurant menus. I also canít wait to try out the Play Disney Parks app while Iím at Disneyland, which is new since my last visit to WDW this past May.
Up Next: Et cetera
Mickey's so happy to see me back, he can barely contain himself!
OH, the trip sounds amazing! I'm loving the plans for the parks and I'm already ready to read the trip report and the details of these rides you don't know about!
They sound so cool!
You are going to come home one tired gal!
I am so glad you are back and writing TRs! You always make me laugh.
China is my dream trip and sadly, I think it will forever remain a dream. I am looking forward to reading all about your trip and seeing all the wonderful pictures. I will live vicariously through you TR.
P.S. How are your nephews? I remember them from your TRs. I imagine they are all grown up and very tall.