China / Shanghai

Inside Shanghai Disneyland’s Toy Story Hotel

When visiting a Disney park, staying at an official Disneyland hotel may sound like an obvious choice, but there are definitely a few Disney parks where you can easily find cheaper accommodations relatively close to the park. In this case, staying at a Disney hotel turned out to be a bit of a must. There aren’t really any accommodation options close to Shanghai Disneyland aside from the two official Disney hotels. The Toy Story Hotel was the obvious choice for us because it was about $100 cheaper per night compared to the Shanghai Disneyland Hotel.

BOOKING

Booking our hotel room was relatively painless since we did it through the Shanghai Disneyland website. Shopping around for deals online was virtually a fruitless effort. There were no special deals to be found, at least not when we went. In the end, we did end up getting a 25% off discount for staying at the hotel for 2 consecutive nights. It wasn’t the best deal we’ve ever gotten, but it was better than nothing. Our stay came out to 2,924.00 CNY plus a service charge of 438.60 CNY, for a grand total of 3,362.60 CNY (roughly 500.53 USD).

THE HOTEL

You enter the hotel through a spacious and colorful lobby. There are plenty of couches to lounge on and a couple of TVs playing Toy Story shorts to keep you occupied while you’re waiting around. The staff is super friendly and while not everyone can speak English, there is always someone near by who can. The hotel itself is pretty minimalistic… by Disney standards. There aren’t a whole lot of bells and whistles, but the walls are lined with Toy Story murals and concept art (which we loved). Everything else is more subtle, like the space and cowboy themed tiling, Etch A Sketch bathroom signs and the themed lanterns that had been hung for lunar new year.

Unlike Hong Kong Disney’s Hollywood Hotel, there’s not much going on outside in the hotel courtyard. It’s mostly used for “walking space” and smoking, but there are some impressively large statues of Buzz, Woody and the Aliens for your selfie taking pleasure. Jessie and Woody also sometimes make appearances there for photos and meet n greets. While it was a bit chilly and we had no intention of spend much time outside, I’ve got to admit it was a bit disappointing to see so little creativity going into the hotel’s exterior. It was pretty dull if we’re being honest.

OUR ROOM

Back in the hotel, the guest floors seem to be split into two different wings, a Buzz wing and a Woody wing. The Buzz wing is  done in a blue and green color scheme and decked out in little green aliens, space ranger emblems, planets and stars. The Woody wing is done in a red and yellow scheme with sheriff stars, lassos, boots and cowboy hats. Our room, however seemed to be a mix of the two. We got space and cowboy themed carpeting, classic cloud wallpaper, Rubik’s cube night stands and a nice TV with a decent selection of free Disney movies to watch. The room itself is a bit on the smaller side, but everything is pretty much brand spankin’ new and it’s super comfortable.

We also got some pretty cute gifts to take home. Since it was Lunar New Year, we got a red envelope with chocolate coins inside every time they cleaned our room. We also got these adorable Toy Story mini lunchboxes filled with toiletries. I wasn’t sure if we could take them home at first, but I found out they give you a new one every day and if you don’t take them, they get tossed. You also get to take home the slippers, though we didn’t this time since we still have our slippers from HKD sitting in a closet somewhere. Finally, they give you the key cards to your room as a keepsake when you check out. Not too shabby Toy Story Hotel, not too shabby at all.

HOTEL AMENITIES & PERKS

  • While the hotel doesn’t really come with many extra facilities, if you have tiny humans, there’s a cute little play room to keep them occupied. It doesn’t have much, put there are some toys and a cut kitchen play set to get cookin’ with.
  • Like most Disney hotels, this one also comes with a hotel gift shop. The Lotso shop has a modest selection of mostly Toy Story themed merch. You won’t find anything there that can’t be found in the park or at World of Disney in Disneytown. So unless you have time to kill, I’d say skip it.
  • All hotel guests get free shuttle service to and from the Disney park, subway station or Disneytown. Honestly, the park isn’t too far from the hotel and you could simple walk on over. Unless, you are super fit or a professional walker, I suggest resting your feet till you get to the actual park.
  • Hotel guests get 1 hour of early park access. I’ve heard of others getting in even earlier than that, so if you’ve got the time, it wouldn’t hurt to try. With how packed the park gets, this is definitely something to take advantage of.
  • When you go to Disneyland, you can enter via the “Disney Hotel Guests Entrance.” This is a HUGE perk! This entrance not only skips the massive “line” that has formed outside the the park entrance, but it also puts you smack dab in the middle of the park. Perfect for jumping right in line for your favorite ride!
    • IMPORTANT: This was not made clear to us at check-in, but you are given two room keys and one of those is needed to use this special entrance. We only had one on us the second day there and had to go through this whole ordeal just to avoid having to go back to the hotel (which might have been easier). Moral of the story, carry BOTH keys at all times.
  • If you arrive before the standard 3 pm check-in, you can drop off your luggage for free and do a pre-check in. Since we arrived bright and early to spend our first day in the park, this allowed us to drop off our stuff, use the free shuttle service and get early access to the park using the special guest entrance.
  • All hotel guests are guaranteed park entrance because sometimes the park actually sells out of tickets. Also, if you purchase your tickets at the hotel, you get a free FastPass. We didn’t know this at the time and just purchased our tickets online. We were a bit paranoid about not getting into the park, since we were going during HIGH peak season. In fact, you couldn’t even purchase tickets at the park ticket booths the days we were there. So I guess you could say we jumped the gun… bummer.

RESTAURANTS

The hotel offers two different dining options. As the name would suggest, these dining areas are modeled after Sunnyside Daycare from Toy Story 3. The interiors are bright and colorful with toys and plushies thrown about here and there and adorable paper decorations hanging from the ceiling.

The Sunnyside Cafe is your go to for all your buffet needs. They offer both a breakfast and dinner buffet, along with an a la carte menu for lunch. Although we were tempted to pork out on their buffet, we decided to save our stomach space (and money) for the actual park.

We did, however, get to try the Sunnyside Market. This is more for lighter eating. They have a nice variety of cute Disney desserts, sandwiches and drinks. It’s also open till 11! Restaurants in the park start closing around 8 and by the time the park closes, all the restaurants in Disneytown are closed as well. So if you’re hungry and have no food in your room, you would be s.o.l. my friend. Thank goodness for Sunnyside Market. We got back from the park around 10:40 and were able to get two hot bowls of noodles. Not only were they good, but cheap and filling too! The only downside is that they are serving whatever is left from the day, so options are a bit limited. But if you’re not too picky, it’s all good. Their bakery goods also go on sale for 40% off… sweet!

VERDICT

Overall, our stay was great. Our room was really cute and the hotel perks were more than worth it, especially for this park in particular. Yes, the hotel was a bit lacking in the “wow factor” department, especially when comparing it to our stay at the Hong Kong Disney’s Hollywood Hotel, but we didn’t really spend too much time there anyway. In all honesty it was just way more convenient and it came with perks that made visiting the park a lot more enjoyable. I’d totally stay there again.

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