Straight-up Momma: Shanghai Disneyland

The realities of getting season passes for you and your family

by Nicole Chia | Mon, February 06, 2017

I feel like I’ve done EVERYTHING there is to do in Shanghai with my kids. Name a museum - done it. Name a park - done it. I’ve been quite good with introducing them to new places and new experiences during the time we’ve been here, but that means a lot of repetition. 


I thought I was being clever buying season passes to Disney. I thought that stuffing them full of the “Happiest Place on Earth” would accomplish two major things: 1) make my kids so sick of Disneyland so they would NEVER ask me to go again and 2) fill up several days of the week (especially during breaks) with Disney because it's close and easy to get to, and who is going to go there during the weekday anyway? 


My plan was brilliant until it backfired. Want to know how many times my kids did NOT want to go to Disneyland? Zero. Want to know how many times is too many to ride Pirates of the Caribbean? Fifteen. Or the Buzz Lightyear ride? Twenty-seven. Want to know how many crowd-free days there were out of all of the days we went during the week? Exactly two.


My kids have seen the Pirates of the Caribbean live show seven times. They know it so well that they know where to sit in the audience to guarantee that they’ll get a free plastic coin at the end of the show from the pirate chest. They are also still convinced that if they save up enough of them they will somehow be able to buy that pirate sword in the shop that Mommy says they can’t have. 


My eldest has been on the Tron ride three times and has been kicked off of it once because somehow he grew shorter in a span of 15 minutes since the first time he rode it. The time he was kicked off he actually cried, but then after he stopped he casually whispered to me, "I’ll just get on it again tomorrow."


Now I know how people with passes in Florida must feel to be able to go all of the time and how the novelty must quickly wear off. In Canada, we maybe get to Disney once in a year, or more if you have grandparents living in Orlando. It’s one of those things that’s considered a luxury - something you wait for and look forward to. But not my kids! They are thoroughly Shanghai Disney spoiled now. You know it’s bad when you ask your kids if they want to go meet Mickey Mouse and they roll their eyes at you and say, “But we saw him three days ago!”


The only thing I managed to accomplish during this time is make MYSELF a Disney fan. Before I was like, “Meh, Disney and their anti-feministic views on women and relationships!” And now I’m like, “Which Minnie Mouse ears would look the best in my hair? I mean, I like the black sequins but they may not stand out….oooooh pirate themed ears!” 


It’s bad. I’ve fallen into my own hole of Disney shame and I don't know how to claw myself out.


But the real reason I tolerate it is I love seeing the excitement every time my kids walk through the gates. 


That, and the giant ribs at the Pirates restaurant. 


Get in my belly.