Ticket Primer for Shanghai Disney Resort

2016-03-13 12.14.38With the Shanghai Disney Resort’s opening day set for June 16, 2016, and beautiful photos slowly being leaked on social media, the excitement is building. On Monday, March 28, 2016, at 12:01 AM (Shanghai local time), tickets went on sale for Shanghai Disney Resort. For visitors to Walt Disney World or Disneyland, some of the ways Shanghai Disney Resort handles admission are going to seem very strange. In fact, without some advance planning, you may not be able to get in. Here’s a quick primer about Shanghai Disney Resort tickets.

  1. Only two options are available for tickets: One Day or Two Day. No annual passes, seasonal passes, or other multi-day tickets are sold. Buying a two-day ticket offers a 5% discount.
  2. Ticket prices are based on several factors, including age and height. Infants of 1.0 meter (39.4 inches) and below are free. A child is defined as 1.0-1.4 meters (55.1 inches, inclusive). An adult is anyone above 1.4 meters and below age 65. A senior is age 65 and above. In addition, there is a special price for the disabled, however certificate/proof of disability is required.
  3. Like airline tickets, Shanghai Disney Resort tickets are sold for select days in advance. Currently, tickets are available for days through September 13, 2016. Well, most days…opening day sold out in mere hours.
  4. Tickets get you admission to Shanghai Disney Resort, but a separate ticket is required for The Lion King production in Disneytown. There is no admission fee for Disneytown itself or Wishing Star Park.
  5. Tickets are likely to sell out for certain days. Although Disney has not officially released numbers about how many tickets are available per day, annual attendance estimates are for Shanghai Disney Resort to break 17 million. That works out to just shy of 50,000 per day. The city of Shanghai has a population of 24 million, and many of those people are going to want to be some of the first to see this new park. When the Shanghai Disney Store opened last year, people waited in line for three hours in the hopes to get in. After the first hour of opening, the store posted that it was “closed for the day” to prevent more people from joining the line. Yes, Disney is that popular.

Long story short, if you expect to show up at the gate and buy a ticket, you may be sorely disappointed. Also, when you buy a ticket, you select the day you want to visit. If you select a day, such as July 1, but you are not able to make it that day, you can swap for another day–but only IF there’s availability.

The current prices for a one-day ticket are:

  • Grand Opening: June 16-30, 2016: CNY 499 (approximately USD $77)
  • Peak Pricing (Holidays [September 15-17, 2016, October 1-9, 2016], Weekends, July, and August): CNY 499
  • Regular days: CNY 370 (approximately USD $57)

For the discounted categories (child, disabled, senior), take 25% off those prices.

Tickets are available for purchase through the following methods:

shanghaipurchase

Going through the official Shanghai Disney Resort web site, I had to create a new account – my Disney account state-side did not work. At that point, I had options for an eTicket via text message to a mobile phone or an eTicket via email. It appears that a physical souvenir-type printed ticket was not an option.

The three payment methods were China Union Pay, Alipay, or International Card. Payment is due in full at booking.

At the initial roll-out, there were some challenges for international customers to be able to access the English site, but within the first few hours, they were resolved and tickets were still available even for opening day until about 8 AM Monday, Shanghai time. Still, the early bird gets the worm—if you know you want a specific date, order your tickets early to lock that in.

Are there any lucky readers who are planning a trip to Shanghai? If so, feel free to share your excitement in the comments.

Julia Mascardo

Freelance writer and editor, living the dream in Central Florida with my husband, cats, and spirited eight-year-old daughter.

7 thoughts on “Ticket Primer for Shanghai Disney Resort

  • March 30, 2016 at 10:40 am
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    Only $77 for opening day and holidays? And in the states we would have to pay $97 (in value season!) for 1 day at Hollywood Studios?

    Isn’t this like Day One of Economics class? If your demand vastly exceeds your supply, you can stand to raise your prices and make more money. And yet, we have Disney cutting CM hours and entertainment in the US parks, supposedly due to Shanghai’s budget woes, and pricing the Shanghai gate the same as Disneyland in 2010. What sense does that make?

    • March 30, 2016 at 12:36 pm
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      I was thinking the same thing. I get that the demographics are different in China and a lower price point is probably right in the long term, but it seems if tickets are selling out that they could have instituted a higher level “peak price.” Maybe they are going for the iPhone (AirJordan) effect, where the perception of scarcity drives up demand. Maybe they believe that the perception that ticket prices are too high will be do brand damage in the long run.

    • March 30, 2016 at 12:42 pm
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      The average annual salary in California is $51,910.
      The average annual salary in Florida is $40,750.
      The average annual salary in China (converted to USD) is approximately $8,900.

      Thus, if all things were equal, a one-day ticket to a Florida park should run 4.5 times that of a one-day ticket to Shanghai (so a one-day WDW ticket would run $346.50). Likewise, a one-day ticket to a California park should run 5.75 times that of a one-day ticket to Shanghai (so a one-day DL ticket would run $442.75). I think that everyone can agree that it would be very difficult to convince people to go to WDW or DL at those kind of prices.

      (I’ve held the very unpopular opinion that ticket prices at Disney Parks are still too low… even though I know that saying that means I get kicked in the budget just as much as everyone else.)

      As far as the whole “US parks are getting screwed because we need to blame the Chinese” bit, I’ve seen a lot of people putting out all sorts of rumors and theories, but I’m having a rough time tracking down hard numbers to support them. I think that the large CapEx spending at Disneyland and Walt Disney World is finally coming due to be paid off. Add to that, the recent information published about the losses at Hong Kong, and that all adds up to more of a problem than Shanghai.

      But with Disney releasing Shanghai tickets only in 90-day batches, it’s very likely that prices will increase — far faster than wages for Chinese workers. The trick is finding the sweet spot where people are still willing to pay, but are paying the most you can get from them. That sweet spot hasn’t been found in the U.S. People may complain that they can only go once or twice a year (or for the budget-conscious, only once every other year), but attendance records are still being set.

      • March 30, 2016 at 2:25 pm
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        Excellent response. Was just wondering the other day what the cost to Disney Shanghai was and how it related to the wage of a Chinese worker.

  • March 30, 2016 at 1:39 pm
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    Perhaps, American/Western rules of economics don’t exactly match up with those of China. Is it also possible that the Chinese government may have a say in pricing, such as caps or some other arrangement? I think I read somewhere that businesses like McDonald’s do not have total control over pricing in China. Admittedly, I may be completely wrong about this.

    • March 30, 2016 at 1:50 pm
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      I have no doubt that if the Chinese government itself doesn’t publicly have some say in how things are going pricing-wise, the Shanghai Shendi Group (who I think owns something like 57% of Shanghai Disneyland and, I think, is owned in part by the Chinese government) would, yes.

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