What do Floridians do on Spring Break? They travel away from Florida, of course. (At least that’s what I did this week.) Meanwhile, as I mentioned in my last BWE article, my husband is in Shanghai, helping get some finishing touches ready for the big launch of the Shanghai Disney Resort opening in June. As his pictures and experiences in Shanghai are more interesting than my trek up the I-95 corridor, I figured I’d share some of what you might see if you plan to visit Shanghai.
Something to keep in mind is that the city of Shanghai is the 3rd most populated city in the world. With almost 23 million people, Shanghai city has a higher population than the entire state of Florida. Hotels and restaurants are plentiful, mass transit is inexpensive and convenient, and there’s always something to see and do. Although some people speak English, the Shanghainese dialect of Chinese is the primary language, and you may be at a disadvantage trying to read signs in stores and restaurants.
When it comes to dining, there’s more traditional foods, like this dish of noodles and spicy minced mushrooms.
And then there’s places like Cozi Hotdog, which specializes in corn dogs — in flavors such as crisp potato, “explosive plasma cheese”, wasabi fish roe, dried meat floss, and lobster salad (which apparently are slathered all over a traditional corn dog). The motto of the place, written in English, is “Hot Dog is Not Dog”. Very reassuring.
Grocery stores are not the easiest to find, although they were able to locate a Wal-Mart for basic supplies. Hotel rooms are also what you’d expect, both in terms of amenities and price.
Although with some interesting in-room literature.
Most of my husband’s time in Shanghai is tied up with work of course, but he did manage to do a bit of sightseeing at the Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center, where they have a huge model of some of the city of Shanghai. Think of it like the Florida Project model for Walt Disney World on steroids in terms of its jaw-dropping size and detail.
It also goes through a “night phase” where you can see different sections of the city featured.
Aside from having a grand and safe adventure, the only request I had was if my husband could make a trip to the Shanghai Disney Store, which he did.
Out front of the store is a giant clock tower with statues of some familiar faces around the base.
Inside, there’s the type of merchandise you’d expect for a Disney Store, including Tsum Tsum.
There’s also some merchandise now appearing for the new park.
Of course it also has a lot of Disney touches throughout.
There’s also something new to both of us — Disney UniBEARsity. Apparently these bears are based on a cartoon series from Japan where the Disney gang run a store where they make different kinds of teddy bears themed around the different characters. (If anyone can explain more about this, feel free to chime in at the comments!)
The other fun shopping that he did was a trip to a rather insane M&M’s World store.
Seriously, how can you go wrong with a store that has The Great Wall of Chocolate?
Although Star Wars isn’t quite as popular in China as it is in the United States, they still have some Star Wars-themed M&Ms merchandise for sale.
There’s also more….traditional…Chinese-themed M&Ms merchandise, too. (Yes, those are Terracotta Warrior M&M souvenirs.)
For most of the trip, the Shanghai Metro has been the primary mode of transportation, but for a day off, it was time for a ride on the Maglev train.
And as a special treat, here’s a little snippet from the Maglev Train, traveling through Shanghai at 184 mph. Although the air pollution and fog was not ideal for filming that day, the Shanghai Disney Resort castle is visible off in the distance as the train zips by.
Special thanks to my husband Erwin for not only working awesomely hard for very long days to make sure that Shanghai Disney Resort is ready for its big debut, but also for taking the time to send these pictures that I can share with everyone. Enjoy the rest of your time in China, and come on home safe so we can continue having the Best Week Ever!