I had the distinct honor and privilege of visiting Shanghai Disneyland in its very first year of opening. I was sent to Asia on a work related trip and it just so happened that my layover on the way home was through Shanghai. I was only there for a day and a half but it was one of the most magical day and a half's of my life.
There are only two resorts to choose from if you want to stay "on property" at Disneyland Shanghai: the Disneyland Hotel and the Toy Story Hotel. The first is their version of a Deluxe and the second is their Value hotel. I opted for the Toy Story Hotel since I knew I'd be spending very little time there. It was so sparkling and beautiful (probably because it was BRAND NEW) and I loved the theming so much. The rooms are so nice too! There is a shuttle bus that takes you from the hotel to the park (it's also a very short walk there).
Both days I was there it rained pretty badly for most of the day. Luckily most rides are covered so that did not prevent me from being able to experience the park. The first thing that struck me was how BIG the park was. The walkways are twice as wide as any other park I've been to and everything just feels bigger and better. Shanghai Disneyland has the biggest castle of any park and it's truly breathtaking. It is not a princess's castle but instead a "storybook" castle and inside you can meet royal Mickey & Minnie!
There are so many amazing rides in this park. I was left stunned many times. My absolute favorite was Pirates of the Caribbean. This one is very hard to describe. It utilizes new technology that provides a jaw-dropping update to the classic ride. I think I rode this maybe 4 times. It has a single rider line and for some reason this didn't seem to be very popular with Chinese culture. My second favorite ride was definitely Tron. There was a lot of hype around Tron before I arrived and my expectations were pretty high. I was happy to find that the ride REALLY lived up to all of them. I rode it during the day and at night. Both are totally different experiences and I'm glad I got to do both. The most popular ride in the park is Soarin' and it is IDENTICAL to Soarin' in Disneyland and WDW. Unless there is no wait for this ride I'd probably skip this one on a future visit.
Because I was there for such a short period I really didn't have too much time for food. I ate mostly at Quick Service Restaurants but I did make time to do dinner inside the castle and it was really wonderful. It's a character meal and you get to meet Mickey, Minnie, Donald, and Daisy all dressed up as royalty!
There are several shows at this park. Unfortunately for me they are all in Mandarin so it made understanding them a bit difficult. That said, I was truly moved by what I saw during Tarzan: Call of the Jungle. All of the classic Phil Collins songs are dubbed in Mandarin but they are just as beautiful. The show itself is stunning, so stunning in fact that it made me cry. It's a Cirque Du Soleil style show with very talented gymnasts playing Tarzan and Jane and it's just so incredible. My biggest regret is that I didn't see it twice.
There are strict laws in Shanghai about fireworks because of the smog issues the city faces, so I wondered how this would impact the nighttime show. I was thoroughly impressed by what I saw. The Ignite the Dream spectacular was visually stunning and stimulating! It relies heavily on lasers and projections but that in combination with the carefully selected fireworks is just beautiful. I was so lucky I was able to still see this show considering the rain.
I loved my time here in this park. I do think you can do this park in 1 day but if you want to be able to take your time I'd recommend 2. Additionally, this would be a great park to tack onto a larger trip through China or a nice stop on your way to Hong Kong or Tokyo Disney. China is a country that requires a Visa to visit. There is a workaround, however. If you can prove that you are just passing through, you can receive a 72 hour Visa at customs that allows you to visit for 3 days before continuing on your journey. The catch is that your ticket cannot be round trip (meaning you cannot fly through Shanghai more than once on your whole trip). I recommend doing some research on this if you want to take advantage.