Countdown to the Opening

When we decided to visit all the Disney parks on our honeymoon, very little information was available about the upcoming Shanghai Disney Resort. We pencilled it into our plans, hoping that enough information would become available.

In early 2016, the opening date was announced: 16th June. No information yet about pricing or availability, but that was good enough for us. We booked our flights, including a two day stop in Shanghai.

It still felt like a bit of gamble, but thankfully in February they announced that park tickets and hotel bookings would be available from the 28th March. Park tickets would be dated (assumably to manage demand and park capacity), but thankfully our dates didn’t fall within peak or opening periods.

Midnight on the 28th rolled around (9am on the 29th on our local time) and we were poised over the website, which was already showing a promising ‘we’ll be back soon’ page.  It flickered to life a few minutes early, before switching back again.

Once sales opened for real, right on the clock. As we expected, the website was overrun. We were hitting 500 errors for about half an hour before we were able to establish that our dates for tickets weren’t available yet, but we were able to select our hotel rooms and reach the sign in / sign up page.

Of course, our log ins from other Disney websites didn’t work here and the sign up page seems to only be available in Simplified Chinese.

Translate to the rescue! At long last, we were at the order confirmation page. Time to give Disney some (more) money…

Try as we might, no matter which browser, device, OS or any other combination of technology we had at our fingertips, we were unable to get to the payment page. We’re tech savvy people so we soon established that it was beyond our control. The Tweets of other similarly frustrated people confirmed this theory.

We resigned ourselves to the fact and the hope that engineers somewhere were furiously hammering their keyboards to fix the issue while we refreshed our order every half hour when it timed out.

Our worry was that there were third party vendors authorised to sell tickets and hotel rooms, but these websites were specifically for locals and tickets were tied to a Chinese ID. The phone booking system wouldn’t open for another 8 hours. So all we could do was watch and wait and refresh.

Finally, four hours after ticket sales started, the payment page finally loaded.

And the people of the Internet rejoiced.

This was about a week ago and we are still waiting for our dates to become available to buy a park tickets. Thankfully, our booking confirmation states that hotel reservation guarantees park tickets so we’re not too worried at this stage.

It will be an exciting experience going to a park only a couple of months after opening and we can’t wait for more updates as we get closer to opening.

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