As we get closer to leaving China, Jun and I have a list of things we want to accomplish. One on that list is to say goodbye to some of our friends. One of my friends lives in Shanghai, and we arranged to meet up at the end of February. The other thing Jun and I wanted to do was experience Shanghai Disneyland. We decided we would do both on this trip.

Jun and I have both traveled to Shanghai for business over the years. I also spent some time there when I first moved to China for a few weeks of training. One of the things we have learned is that flights from southern China into Shanghai rarely leave on time. When we left on the evening of 24 February, that streak of late departures continued. Jun and I arrived in Shanghai late. By the time we checked in and were ready for bed, it was already 2:00 in the morning.

Day 1

After a pleasant night of sleep and a hearty breakfast, Jun and I ventured toward the Shanghai Disneyland Resort. Located in Pudong, the site is three times larger than Hong Kong Disneyland. To get to the Disneyland entrance, you walk a bit from the parking area around Wishing Star Lake and near Disneytown.

When we arrived we quickly went through security and presented our tickets at the entrance. We were finally inside Shanghai Disneyland! There were so many people inside that it was a bit jarring. After three years of pandemic control, it was a sight to see so many people walking around the park.

The first thing we did was walk down Mickey Avenue toward the Enchanted Storybook Castle. As we got closer to the park’s hub we discovered that a parade was about to start. A lot of people lined the sides of the parade route. Jun and I decided to skip the parade and visit the other themed lands in the park. We first went around Adventure Isle and next to Treasure Cove. We stayed in Treasure Cove for a bit as it was fun. Jun and I enjoyed going around the ships and playing with the water cannons. 

We next visited the Enchanted Storybook Castle. Going through the castle to experience the story of Snow White in Chinese is a bit surreal. After we had walked around the castle, we next walked through Alice’s Curious Labyrinth. Jun and I enjoyed this little adventure. 

Afterward, we walked around Fantasyland and explored the Marvel Universe, Toy Storyland, and Tomorrowland. By the time we got to Tomorrowland the number of people in the park was a bit much. We decided to grab some snacks at CookieAnn Baker Café. We bought some cookies and donuts, as well as a cup of coconut hot chocolate. I enjoyed the peanut butter chocolate cookie the best.

After discussing what we wanted to do next, we decided to leave and go to Lujiazui for the evening. Lujiazui is the financial hub of the city. The tallest buildings in the city and China are located here. After arriving we walked for a bit before having dinner at Shanghai Min, which had a nice view of the Bund. After dinner, we walked along the waterway in Binjiang Park to enjoy the view of the Bund at night. As we walked we both got a bit cold and decided to head back to the hotel for the night.

Day 2

After breakfast and checking out of the hotel, Jun and I first went to visit the Jade Buddha Temple. The temple was built in 1882. It is known for the two jade Buddhas that are housed there. These Buddhas statues were imported from Myanmar. The temple is well-maintained and serene. It was a great place to start the day.

From the temple, we next went towards Changshu Road. My friend suggested we have lunch at an Italian Restaurant—Bella Napoli—in this area. We arrived a bit before we were to meet. Jun and I decided to walk around Anfu Road and Changle Road to do some window shopping and enjoy the crisp, winter morning. 

Jun and I timed things to allow us to arrive at the restaurant on time. The restaurant is located inside an alley. We were pleased with the ambiance of the restaurant. The staff was equally lovely. They sat us on their covered patio. And the food was filling and delicious. Jun and I spent a few hours catching up with my friend before we left for the airport. 

The trip to Shanghai was nice. It was a relaxing weekend that allowed us to catch up and say goodbye to one of my closest friends in China. Overall, it was a great experience.

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