We break down the numbers for the actual cost of planning a trip.
When guests first enter the doors of Shanghai Disneyland on June 16, they’ll experience a multitude of new attractions, enjoy never-before-seen entertainment, and be the first to see a completely new Disney park.
But how much does it really cost for international fans? The $5.5 billion dollar resort has relatively low ticket prices, but there are plenty of additional costs for those who want to plan a trip around the theme park.
With the park currently open to select Disney staff members and their guests, we dug through their hotel Instagrams, the #ShanghaiDisneyland tags and even found a few restaurant menus in YouTube vlogs. From what we can tell, this is how much a trip to Shanghai Disneyland Resort will cost you—and this isn’t including the flight or souvenirs. All pricing has been converted from Chinese Yuan and rounded to the nearest US Dollar.
Flight prices will fluctuate, but one thing that won’t is the cost of a Chinese visa. Each adult American citizen will have to spend $140 on top of the $10 or so required for new passport-sized photos. And if your passport does not meet China’s requirements (you’ll need at least two blank pages, and the passport must not be within six months of expiration), a replacement passport will cost you $110.
Total: $150 - $260
Guests hoping to experience Shanghai Disneyland’s exclusive rides, like Tron LightCycle Power Run and Pirates of the Caribbean Battle for the Sunken Treasure, will save money when it comes to tickets. Shanghai Disneyland’s pricing is actually well below that of the California parks. One-day adult tickets are $56 and $76 during peak season; in Anaheim, single-day admission ranges from $95 to $119. (The park is also said to be priced 20 percent cheaper than Hong Kong Disneyland, which is about a two hour flight away.)
Total: $56 - $76
Lodging is pretty reasonable, too. Rooms at the Shanghai Disneyland Hotel start at $250 before taxes and fees with the standard option topping out at $340, and the Magic Kingdom Suites range between $478 and $570. The less expensive option, Toy Story Hotel, has rooms starting at $130, with garden view rooms priced between $175 and $220, and park view rooms between $250 and $296, on average. To compare, a weekday off-season standard room at the mid-tier Disneyland Hotel starts at $340, so the savings stack up.
Total: $130 to $570
What exactly will guests spend all the extra yuan on? Food. Soup dumplings are more than six times more expensive inside the park than in the rest of the city, and the pricing of most food items is on par with American parks.
Disney park mainstays, like character cupcakes ($4), churros ($4) and turkey legs ($8) are just as expensive as cute homeland favorites, like red bean buns in the likeness of Minnie ($5), as well as Mike Bread, a green sweet in the shape of Monsters Inc.’s Mike Wazowski ($4).
Combo meals in Fantasyland cost $12 for fish and chips or $11 for Sichuan chicken, but some choices are more frugal than others. Guests will spend nearly $13 for a Rapunzel-themed drink in a souvenir goblet, but standard beverages are much less expensive than at the U.S. parks, with soda, juice and tea costing just over $2 each.
That’s not to say it won’t be worth it for guests visiting from the states. Packaged meals may be brought in, which can curb high food cost. The pricing also feels far from exorbitant, as many of the foods will be Chinese favorites with a distinct (and somewhat adorable) Disney touch. Roast duck pizzas come shaped like Mickey Mouse and dishes like braised pork knuckle are paired with Mickey carrots, while plenty other dishes are served in Mickey-shaped bowls and containers.
Total: About $20 for a combo meal and snack
You can experience even more of the cultural mash-up on Shanghai Disney Resort grounds, and not just by bypassing the $9 hot dogs in Tomorrowland. The DisneyTown district just outside the park is home to the first-ever Mandarin staging of The Lion King, and tickets are much more reasonable than the show on Broadway. Upper level tickets start at just $29 on some nights and $44 on others, and top out at $152 each for prime orchestra seats. (A premium orchestra seat to The Lion King on the same Saturday night in New York City is $215 dollars.)
Total: $29 to $152
Souvenir pricing is currently tough to come by, but you won’t have to worry about overpaying for one classic Main Street take-home—word has it that Shanghai Disneyland’s $9 balloons were unfit to be taken aboard the city metro, so that’s one purchase you can pass on.
That brings the total cost to somewhere between $385 (and less if you bring your own food) to $1,078 (which includes every splurge). At Shanghai Disneyland, you’ll save some money on park tickets and your hotel and spend the rest stocking up on one-of-a-kind meals. But seeing a new Disney park with the biggest-ever castle right when it first opens? No true Disney fanatic could put a price on that.