Shanghai Disneyland – Solo Travel Tips

Travel

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Forewarning: This is not necessarily advice on how to see the whole park in one day.  It is just some helpful solo travel tips.

So as I mentioned in my last post, I was fortunate enough to visit Shanghai Disneyland this past summer.  And navigating a Disney park alone isn’t new to me.  But navigating an international park is an entirely different situation.  Now, I’m not usually a solo traveller, but in case you ever find yourself wondering Shanghai Disneyland alone, here are a few tips that I hope will help make your visit a great and easy one!

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1. Use the single rider lines if possible and/or strategically plan your fastpasses.

This is actually a good tip for both solo travelers and groups.  I totally played it wrong this last visit as I didn’t take advantage of the fastpasses.  But when you first arrive to the park, find one of the fastpass stations and see what rides you’d like to get a fastpass for.  And some rides have single rider lines, that usually have shorter wait times than the regular stand-by lines, so take advantage!  Especially for Pirates of the Caribbean and Tron!  For more tips on how to beat the lines, search google!  There are tons of helpful blog posts from avid park goers floating around.

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2. Ask younger park-goers to help take your photo.

If you don’t get a castle photo, did you even really visit a Disney park? 😏 jk.  But I’ll be honest, I wanted at least ONE castle photo with me in it.  I found I had the best luck when I approached younger visitors that were dressed more stylishly.  Let’s face it, if they’re dressed in street fashion, they’re most likely wanting a good photo of themselves too.  And they’ll actually know how to use a camera phone or DSLR.  Sure there’s lots of people you could ask, but the majority are families with young kids and I just felt guilty burdening busy parents.  Especially since I didn’t speak Mandarin.  So find those street style, hipster looking visitors!  And of course, return the favor and offer to take a photo of them and their group afterwards.

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3. Or make sure you have a portable tripod of your choosing (gorilla tripod, selfie stick, phone back stand, etc.)

Before I found a pair of stylish friends that were willing to help me out, I actually used my camera on a gorilla tripod and had it clung to a nearby rail.  Did I look a little insane?  Yes.  But here’s the secret — no one knows you!  So what if older grandparents sitting around the park look like they’re judging you.  “Maybe I’m just trying to take some photos to show my own grandma, mister!”🙄  Anyways, having my gorilla tripod came handy when I wanted to take photos of myself.  If you’re savvy enough, you can also use it as an impromptu selfie stick.  Or even an arm extension for us shorties out there who just want a better glimpse of a parade.

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By the look of that bunny, I’m thinking this is a noms spot.

4. Learn basic words and phrases in Mandarin.  And don’t be afraid to charade your way through a conversation!

You should at least know hello (ni-hao, pronounced knee-how) and thank you (xiè xiè, pronounced sheh sheh).  This at least softens up the person you’re talking to because you’re at least trying to speak Mandarin.  And sometimes, that’s all they want to see.  Effort.  If you’re looking for a certain attraction, restaurant, or bathroom, have your map handy.  If you just point to what you’re looking for, the cast member will most likely understand, and point in the direction you should head.  And if you’re like me, you might be searching for specific kinds of adorable looking food and merch.  In that case, try to screenshot a photo of it on your phone BEFORE you get to the park.  Later, you can easily bring it up on your phone and ask a cast member.  And if all else fails, try your best to charade through your conversation.  It’s actually fun to be kind of goofy and cast members usually find it endearing and were more willing to help.

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Peace out, Shanghai! ❤

There you have it!  Just a few tips to help make your solo trip to Shanghai Disneyland a little easier and more enjoyable.  And I am by no means an expert of this park or solo travel.  There are tons of people out there on the interwebs that know this park inside and out and could probably give you so many more great guidelines and tips.  But these are just a few things that I found to be super helpful during my solo visit.  And honestly, part of the experience is not knowing what the hell you’re doing sometimes.😆  So here’s to hoping we can all be a little braver to be more adventurous!💪🏼

ABW

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Styling the Beastie: Denim on Denim

Disney Style, Style

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So my whole plan to post different outfits with the Beastie leading up to the release of Beauty and the Beast was pretty much a BUST.  Total failure on my part.  I’ve been sitting on the draft for this post for a month now.😑  But that’s how life goes.  Once in a while, things suddenly get crazy or busy and things like this fall to the wayside.  However, I did see the movie when it was released and will write up a separate post about it soon!

Anyways, last month I took advantage of the crisp spring weather and stopped by the Golden Gate bridge.  If you’re ever visiting San Francisco, I would recommend going to Crissy Fields out by Fort Point.  Bring a picnic blanket, pack a basket full of cheese and wine, and then bike out to the fields.  Hopefully, it’s warm enough that you can sit out, people watch, listen to the ocean waves…and if you’re lucky, encounter some playful pups out with their owners!😉

But I love this outfit for just that kind of outing.  And wearing denim on denim means you can be ready for anything.  Relaxed fit jeans lets you roll around in the grass or hop on a bike with ease.  Bring a denim jacket just in case the bay winds pick up.  Or throw it on the grass if you want to lay out to enjoy those few precious minutes of “hot” sunny weather.  Mules are easy to kick off if you have the sudden urge to dip your toes into the freezing bay water.  And of course, the Beastie is room-y enough to carry that extra roll of sourdough bread.🍞

dsc06350Jeans: Canyon River Blues, Jacket, Shirt: Homecoming Honolulu, Shoes: Zou Xou, Bag: Danielle Nicole, Pin: Disney Style

Hope you’re not getting sick of the Beastie because there’s going to be at least one more post with him.  A movie write up on Beauty and the Beast is just around the corner!

 

Styling the Beastie: Layers and Boots

Disney Style, Musings, Style

dsc06104The countdown has begun!  Disney’s live action Beauty and the Beast will be in theaters in next month and I’m excited to finally see Emma Watson don those iconic Belle outfits.

To celebrate the film’s release, a lot of brands have been producing tons of Beauty and the Beast merch, including Danielle Nicole Handbags.  Early last year, I picked up their Beast clutch, BUT when a friend told me about the Beast backpack they released a couple months ago, all reasoning went out the window.  So yes, now I have 2 Beast bags in my closet.😅

And I’m not gonna lie, a good number of times, I buy these quirky, yet amazing bags and then just set it on a shelf to admire it for days without ever really using it. So this is going to be just like trying to get back to the gym post holiday season😪…I’m going to document different outfits in order to keep myself accountable.😌  Sounds like a solid plan, right?👍🏼  On to the outfit!

dsc06077Beastie: Danielle Nicole, Dress: Free People, Denim jacket: Gap, Top: American Apparel, Boots: souvenir from Stockholm, Sunglasses: Quay, Watch: Michael Kors

The Beastie (oh, that’s my nickname for him btw) is surprisingly roomie. I could fit my camera, fat wallet, 2 phones, and car keys in there and still have room to spare. So when my sister asked me to help her take some photos around Japantown a couple weeks ago, it was the perfect carry-all bag. I wore it with an olive green dress that’s complimentary to Beastie’s tan colors and layered on a denim jacket, which if you look, closely picks up on his blue eyes.👀 It was also a little sprinkly in the city that day, so I wore some tan knee high boots that matched Beastie’s fringe.dsc06088

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Even if I didn’t need to bring my camera with me, this is still a perfect outfit for exploring Japantown. There are SO many places to eat or grab your favorite Asian snacks. One of my childhood favorites are Taiyaki red bean fishes! And there are a couple Asian beauty shops that I love perusing whenever I’m in the area. But most importantly, DAISO!! And look at that, you have a roomy backpack to bring back all those small trinkets and sundries that you didn’t really need, but kinda do at the same time.

Anyways, Japantown will always have a special place in my heart.  The community has pretty much been a part of my life in one way or another growing up. As toddlers, my siblings and I went to preschool there.  When we were tweeners, summer camp. And from the age of 5 to 18, I played in an Asian basketball league that was based out of Japantown’s Buddhist church.  It really felt like we grew up with the community.  I think I will always value and feel connected to the Japantown community.  And, to reiterate, they also have delicious snacks.

ABW