The innovation shown by the Imagineers at Shanghai Disneyland has been nothing short of breathtaking. The attractions have been so great, in fact, that some of us stateside park-goers are getting just a tad bit jealous. From remodels of existing attractions to entirely new ideas, here are the 6 Shanghai Disneyland attractions that Imagineers need to bring to Disney parks in the U.S. as soon as possible!
1. Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle for Sunken Treasure
Despite the existence of a Pirates of the Caribbean ride at both Disney World and Disneyland, we can’t help but swoon over the prospect of having a ride like Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle for Sunken Treasure over on western side of the world. Shanghai Disneyland has taken this classic water ride and amped it up to a full 11 on a 1-10 scale. I won’t ruin the whole thing for you (unless you want to watch the video above), but what starts out as a quintessential pirates ride, slowly turns into an all-out immersive action packed experience that weaves you in and out of pirate ships as they battle for the sunken treasure.
Here in the states, we ooh and ahh at the high tech combination of surround screens, perfectly timed water blasts, and light and sound integration so meticulously designed that it makes some parts feel like actual magic. It’s easy to see why guests are already clamoring for remodels. Plus, we would really like to know what those pirates are saying in English.
2. Alice in Wonderland Maze
Disneyland Paris may already have Alice’s Curious Labyrinth, but Shanghai Disneyland takes a whole new spin on the attraction, basing it around Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland live action films. This hedge maze definitely has more of an adult feel with darker and more brooding details. Mysterious doors lead you to paths of uncertainty, giant cards shield your way through the hedges, and the Queen of Hearts looms disapprovingly overhead. Yes, Shanghai delivers just the right balance of intensity and whimsy.
We have to say, a hedge maze would make a great attraction stateside, allowing an alternative for children who are too small for bigger rides or adults who do not like or are unable to go on roller coasters.
3. Peter Pan’s Flight
Like Pirates of the Caribbean, Peter Pan’s Flight is an existing classic attraction at both Disney World and Disneyland, but Shanghai just did it so much better. In fact, the Shanghai version has a lot to be jealous of. Think of it as more like Peter Pan’s Flight: 2.0 Edition.
No more near motionless animatronics and dull paint – Shanghai Disneyland’s version is alive with color and excitement. They have also skillfully crafted the ride to include high-quality motion graphics that come off less like screens and more like full immersion into the 2D world of Peter Pan. Plus, they have added on a considerable amount of story, almost doubling any of the ride times for Peter Pan’s Flight in the United States. So, Shanghai, we admit it; you’ve nearly perfected this ride. Now, can we borrow it? Pretty please?
4. Voyage to the Crystal Grotto
One thing that Shanghai really did differently in their Disneyland park was the layout and location of the Enchanted Storybook Castle (not to mention that the castle itself is downright gorgeous). Like the classic intro to our favorite Disney movies, the castle at Shanghai Disneyland has a river that runs all the way around its base and extends into its backyard. Imagineers made full use of this space and transformed it into an amazing ride that pays tribute to iconic Disney films.
Voyage to the Crystal Grotto is a slow-paced boat ride that takes you on a tour around the castle grounds while highlighting some of the world’s most beloved Disney movies. Imagineers have fully utilized water features here with Mrs. Potts spraying at guests from her spout and literal buckets being tossed about by enchanted brooms. While inside, walls sparkle and shine in a truly magical storytelling experience.
While it may not be possible to include Voyage to the Crystal Grotto up next to an existing castle, a similar ride would be a welcomed addition in the U.S. for those who prefer not to go on more thrill-based attractions (or who want to be sprayed by water because they’ve been standing all day in the hot Florida sun).
5. Roaring Rapids
Shanghai Disneyland made a dark water ride and called it Roaring Rapids. In this ride, guests board a round raft and make their way upriver, eventually being misled into the unknown upon the mysterious Roaring Mountain. Inside, they discover the massive (and very unfriendly) mountain beast named Q’aráq. Western fans of Splash Mountain, Kali River Rapids, or Expedition Everest would, no doubt, love this darker take on similar existing attractions.
6. TRON Lightcycle Power Run
If Test Track and Rock N’ Roller Coaster had a baby, it would be TRON Lightcycle Power Run. This high-speed roller coaster sends guests whipping through the neon world of TRON. And if that isn’t enough to rouse some excitement, it also introduces a new single rider system, where each guests sits on their own Lightcycle vehicle and gets to feel like they’re steering their way along The Grid.
We want this ride in the U.S. because, well, it just looks downright amazing. Yes, Walt Disney World has both Test Track and Rock N’ Roller Coaster, but with outdated Tomorrowland at Magic Kingdom and Disneyland and a crumbling Future World in Epcot, there is definitely a place for TRON within the U.S.
Do you agree of disagree with this list? What else would you like to see brought over from Shanghai Disneyland? Let us know in the comments section.