For Singaporeans traveling to China, do you know you can pre-book China High Speed Rail tickets and Shanghai Disneyland admissions online with Changi Recommends?
Other than just renting a trusty Wi-Fi router from Changi Recommends, you can now also book attraction tickets, day tours and transportation arrangement with them.
If you are not familiar with the Chinese language and has problem navigating through the official Chinese websites, Changi Recommends provide a simple online booking solution on their website. Day tours in major cities like Beijing and Shanghai are available too.
During my last trip to Shanghai, I booked High Speed Rail tickets from Shanghai Hongqiao Station to Hangzhou, the home base of Internet giant, Alibaba Group. I also booked tickets to Shanghai Disneyland.
The experience is pretty hassle-free. Upon confirmation, a detailed email with English language instructions on ticket collection details will be sent to you. The email is very detailed and provide a step-by-step, idiot-proof guide which will ensure you get your tickets without any hitch at the destination.
For the train tickets, you just need to present your passport and a unique pickup number sent to you to exchange for the physical tickets at the ticket office in the train station. If you miss you train, fret not. It happened to me as my flight was delayed. Simply go to the ticket office and ask to change timing. However, note that the next available timing will be subject to seats availability.
For Shanghai Disneyland, the ticket collection is more convoluted. However, pre-booking tickets online is still definitely the smart thing to do.
Avoid booking tickets during the peak holiday period in China. I went in August which was the summer vacation for school kids – not the best time as it was pretty crowded, hot and humid.
Shanghai Disneyland is easily accessible via bus, train or taxi. It is near to Shanghai Pudong Airport and a distance away from the main city area. Upon arrival, you will need to queue to pass through a security check. I arrived at around 8am in morning and it took around one and a half hour to clear the security queues.
After clearing security, you have to queue next to get your physical tickets from the ticketing booth. Simply present them with your passport and you will get your tickets. Thereafter, you will be able to access the park directly. The queue here took around half an hour.
If you did not pre-book your tickets, you will need to buy your tickets from the ticket booth and then queue again to enter the park with the rest of the people who bought tickets on-the-spot. Pre-booking with Changi Recommends helped to cut this step.
Be prepared to queue a lot in Shanghai Disneyland. There are Fast Passes which you can queue for early to skip the queues later in the day, but these are snapped up very quickly by a mix of genuine park-goers and scalpers who will try to resell you the Fast Passes at marked-up prices.
If you are in a rush for time, you can consider buying from them. Prices vary from RMB 100 per Fast Pass. There are also professional queue-cutters who will loiter around the queues touting their services. These thuggish guys promise to help you jump right to they front of the queue if you pay them right amount. I have personally witnessed them usher a family of four right to the front of the popular Tron ride. They are pretty efficient and most other park-goers will just close one eye to avoid trouble.
Despite what is commonly believed, queue-cutting is not that bad in Shanghai Disneyland. Other than the professionals and a few black sheep, people are generally polite and keep to the queue. I did witness a fight breaking out between a male queue-cutter and a woman who tried to stop him. Security was quickly alerted and they came promptly to escort the man away to a corner.
Queues aside, the experience at Shanghai Disneyland was not too bad. It is much bigger than Hong Kong Disneyland and feature shows and audio guides in Chinese. The park is pretty clean and well-maintained. Most of the visitors are domestic tourists and they are mostly nice, polite people, though they tend to queue very closely which Singaporeans may not be used to. The image of unruly China tourists is badly exaggerated online.
I survived the blistering summer heat in Shanghai Disneyland! Do you know you can purchase tickets before your trip there via @changirecommends online? They also sell train tickets, itineraries and other stuff you may need on a trip to major cities in China. Everything is available for booking in English, making it much easier for Singaporeans. Details coming up soon on Alvinology.com. #disneylandshanghai #shanghaidisneyland #changirecommends
The colourful food and beverages at Shanghai Disneyland. Do you know you can purchase admission tickets directly from @changirecommends online? Instructions are all in English and clearly documented. More details coming up soon on Alvinology.com. #changirecommends #shanghaidisneyland #disneylandshanghai
I bought only the one-day pass and managed to get on around six rides. To fully explore the whole park and try out all the rides, you would need more than a day pass. However, if you just want to get an experience of Shanghai Disneyland, I feel a one-day pass is suffice.
Changi Recommends turn five this year and to celebrate, they have launched a #ChangiWiFi campaign, inviting fans to join in the celebrations by coming up with social media videos to showcase why ChangiWiFi is a must-have on every vacation. The best entry will win a dream holiday sponsored by Changi Recommends (with plane tickets and accommodation, worth S$2,000), which can be used for absolutely any destination. More details.