Disney's newest resort opened to much ceremony in June this year. Having visited every other Disney resort around the globe, this was my sixth and final one (for now at least). Here's why I think this is the best Disney resort in the world to visit right now:
1. It's brand new.
The paint is still drying, everything is new, shiny and lovely. Sure, this can also mean some teething problems, but as this is the sixth park Disney has built, everything has been planned and fine tuned to perfection to create the ultimate Disney experience. This is a hybrid of what is good and works well in every other Magic Kingdom style park around the world, and it shows.
The technology used on the rides is the very latest, and attractions such at Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle for the Sunken Treasure are (quite literally) jaw dropping and incredibly immersive. The $5.5 billion price tag of the resort shows.
2. There is more than just Shanghai Disneyland park.
The Shanghai Disney Resort is huge. In the middle is a vast lake called Wishing Star Lake, surrounded by walkways winding through beautiful tranquil gardens, glass bottomed bridges, and outstanding landscaped beauty.
Opposite the park is the Shanghai Disneyland Hotel, designed in a stunning Art Nouveau style. Inside are a selection of fine restaurants and bars, including Aurora, overlooking the lake and the huge castle. Add to this the huge Disneytown area, with shops and restaurants aplenty, the Toy Story Hotel the Ecological Green Park where one can go cycling or even canoeing, the Herb Gardens, and the nearby Shanghai Village shopping centre, there is more than just a day-trip's worth of things to do, not even including the park.
3. It's comparatively cheap.
Despite there being negative media attention of the prices at Shanghai Disney Resort, it's still a lot cheaper than any other Disney resort in the world, in my experience. An inexpensive meal including a drink and dessert can be purchased for around 60 yuan, or roughly £7. Not bad for Disney prices. Cost of entry tickets and hotels are also considerably lower than most Disney parks around the world.
4. Chinese people are brilliant.
If there's anything I learned on my visit, it's that Chinese people have a great sense of humour and passion that translates well for a Disney resort. The cast members all looked genuinely happy and proud to be there, and this really makes a difference when comparing to say Disneyland Paris, where the magic isn't quite up to the same level.
Whether this is opening year enthusiasm remains to be seen, but right now this creates one of the most magical and genuine Disney experiences of any resort.