Once upon a time, on board the Crystal Symphony world cruise, two young Scarborough folk docked in China… and WENT TO DISNEY LANDDDDDDD!!!!
Our next stop on board the Symphony was Shanghai and I can’t even tell you how excited I was to visit Disney Land! I had never been before so I knew I wanted to visit one at some point on this cruise with all the destinations we were exploring.
On the morning of 25th March, we docked in Shanghai and immediately jumped off the ship, heading straight for the land of Disney!!! Actually getting there however...was not as straightforward as we had hoped.
When you visit another European country, France for example, despite not speaking the language, you can still have a good go at navigating yourself around based on visuals. Much of the spellings are similar and you can pretty much guess your way in most situations. But in China, you can’t do that. Not one bit! There are no letters in the written language for starters- just symbols! Just trying to find the Metro itself was a mission! No one spoke English, at all. Eventually (and it took a while) we found the station, but couldn’t read any of the signs to get to Disney. Fortunately, one of the girls at work in the station told us the number station we needed so we proceeded to book our tickets. The next hindrance however, was that the ticket machine didn’t take card and we had no Yen! Finding the station was difficult but finding a cash machine was even worse!!! We felt so lost because we couldn’t communicate with anyone!
China itself, from what we saw of it, was so different to anywhere I’ve ever been. Not just the language, but everything. It couldn’t be more different to England. In the people, their mannerism’s, the way people communicate, the general vibe of the place. I’ve never been anywhere like it.
Anyway, in hindsight we should have taken a taxi from the port to Disney Land as it wasn’t too far but then hindsight is a wonderful thing isn’t it?!
Despite our eventful start to the day, eventually we were on route to Disney and I was beyond excited! As we entered the grounds and I saw the castle I started shrieking and jumping up and down and clapping my hands- something the small children weren’t even doing. Harry wasn’t embarrassed at all…
Disney Land! Whoop! If you’ve ever been surely you will understand my excitement?! It is just magical! We walked straight into the parades making their way around the park, surrounded by all the dancers and the music. We were like kids again, singing along it was brilliant!
We visited Alice’s wonderland and went inside the maze and to the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party. We went inside the beautiful Castle and ate Mickey Mouse shaped Pizza! It was wonderful! The only downside to it all though was that we couldn’t understand a word of what was going on as it was all in Mandarin! We went to watch a Pirates of The Caribbean theatre show to find a Chinese Jack Sparrow! It was very amusing!
There weren’t as many rides as I had hoped for (bloody love a rollercoaster) and the rides they did have had over 2 hour wait times! Another thing we did notice was that we were quite possibly the only European people in the whole park and once again, just like in Hong Kong, people everywhere were taking pictures of us like we were celebrities! It was so weird!
I think if I could go again to Disney Land I would go in America so I could understand what was being said! But even taking this into account I still had an amazing time and it didn’t make it any less enchanting. It was a truly magical day. I really didn’t want to leave and go back to the ship when the sun started to set but duty calls and all that! Totally wanted to wear my Minnie Mouse ears for our gig though... next port - The Great Wall of China!
I am writing this next part as a rule to anyone planning to visit The Great Wall.
Do not, I repeat, DO NOT drink oodles of red wine the night before. What a mistaker to maker. The three hour coach journey from the port of Beijing to The Great Wall was not good! Even more eventful than navigating ourselves to Disney Land! And much, much more painful!
But once we had arrived, a good hike along The Great Wall of China was just what we needed to sober us up! It was absolutely incredible and absolutely massive, and that was only one part of it. We walked for a good couple of miles, right from the new part to the old, and some parts of it were so steep we were scrambling! I think coming back down was harder but the view from the top was really something.
I found some yen on the wall and bought a Jade bracelet from one of the stalls. They had some beautiful hand made things and everything was so cheap! We also bought some chopsticks for our Mums back home. J
The three hour coach journey back to the ship was again, painful, but oh so worth it. We put a huge tick on our bucket list today visiting the Great Wall of China. We figured out it would take over a year to walk the entire thing and decided maybe it would be an idea for a charity event one day in the future….but not just yet.