- Shanghai Disneyland Review – Part 1
- Shanghai Disneyland Review – Part 2
- Shanghai Disneyland Hotel Review
Toy Story Hotel Review
Overview & Pricing
The Toy Story Hotel is one of two hotels located at the Shanghai Disneyland Resort. Considered to be the budget option, this hotel is priced considerably cheaper than the Shanghai Disneyland Hotel. Unfortunately the Shanghai Disney hotels do not seem to be available via traditional online travel agents and thus I was forced to book directly. This meant I couldn’t use Ultimate Rewards from my Chase Sapphire Reserve at 1.5 cents each to book. I was able to pay with my BofA Travel Rewards card, meaning I will be able to get a travel credit for the stay.
- Base Room Prices: 850 CNY or about $126 USD
- Award Costs: No award option available.
- Service Charge: 15%
- Parking: Complimentary self parking
- My Stay: 1 night in a garden view room for a total cost of 977.50 CNY or about $145 USD.
One of the benefits of staying on Disney property is being close to the action. Yes, there are third party hotels in the general area of Disney, but none are nearly as close to the park as the Toy Story Hotel. While the Shanghai Disneyland Hotel requires a 20 minute walk around the lake to the park (or a quick boat ride), the Toy Story Hotel is located directly across the street. Shuttles run regularly to the park or it is just a 10 minute walk away.
If you look at a map then the Shanghai Disney Resort looks close to the airport, but the truth is that it isn’t quite next door. A taxi will take 20-25 minutes to reach Disney from Shanghai’s Pudong Airport (PVG) or it will take about 30-40 minutes and two transfers to take public transport. (Maglev or Metro Line 2 -> Line 16 -> Line 11)
Lobby & Check-In
As you would expect from a Toy Story themed hotel, the lobby is bright with a huge splash of color everywhere. I arrived at the hotel for check-in around 10pm following a full day in the park. The first thing I noticed was how much staff they have. Everyone and I mean everyone greeted me in English with a big smile.
Check-in was painless since both agents who helped me spoke very good English. They couldn’t help but chuckle when they saw my name. They told me it was because their manager is also named Shawn. Before long I had my room key along with a map of the rather large property and I was on my way to the room.
If you like small Disney touches, then you will be somewhat happy at the Toy Story Hotel. The carpet is heavily themed to Toy Story and even the elevators envelop you in the story. My favorite part is when Jessie announces that you have arrived at your floor when exiting the elevator. While the theme is somewhat easy to pull off, Disney has put some effort into making it fun.
Being a budget property, the rooms at the Toy Story Hotel are fairly small. I had asked for one bed at check-in but was informed that rooms with one bed are even smaller, so I agreed to keep my room with two beds. While the room was more than large enough for me, I could see it being a little tight for a family of four. Still, it had everything I needed including a lot of water and a nice sized flatscreen with a lot of channels and free streaming Disney movies!
The bathroom while small and basic was well themed. I particularly liked the Toy Story shower curtain! I had booked the cheapest room (Garden View) and was given a room looking out over the parking lot with the lake and Shanghai Disneyland Hotel in the distance. You can pay 200 CNY (~$30 USD) for a courtyard view or 500 CNY (~$75 USD) for a park view, but I wouldn’t waste my money personally.
My only real complaint about this room was the beds. I had been in Asia for about two weeks before my visit to the Toy Story Hotel, which meant I had experienced my fair share of hard beds. These beds were like rocks though. I actually woke up in the middle of the night with a fairly strong back ache. Something that hadn’t happened in a long time and certainly not at a $150 per night hotel. Unfortunately, I had friends who stayed at the Shanghai Disneyland Hotel and they reported the beds feeling about the same.
Facilities & Food
You won’t find fancy eateries or even a pool at the Toy Story Hotel. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think the Toy Story Hotel is the only Disney hotel without a pool. So you won’t be splashing around in the Shanghai sun if staying at this hotel, but there are a couple of play areas for kids along with the large Toy Story sculptures to look at in the Garden.
As for food, the hotel has a quick service food court called Sunnyside Cafe on the lower level which seemed to serve mostly (gasp) Chinese food. The breakfast offerings looked very good and the prices, while high for China, wouldn’t surprise the average Disney guest in another country. For something really quick, the Sunnyside Market also had a nice selection of treats as well.
The Toy Story Hotel has free WiFi throughout the property, but it is really terrible and is subject to China’s censoring. For example, I had stayed at the Grand Hyatt Shanghai for a few days before visiting this hotel and the internet was quick and most sites including Facebook were not blocked. That wasn’t the case at the Toy Story Hotel. The internet was almost unusable and when I activated my VPN it crawled to an almost complete stop.
This & That
As I mentioned before, the Toy Story Hotel has shuttle service that runs fairly often. From the hotel you can take a bus to the park, Disneytown (think Downtown Disney), the Metro and even the Shanghai Disneyland Hotel. I never had to wait more than 10 minutes for a shuttle to arrive and the friendly attendants outside will let you know how long you should expect to wait.
The last thing I want to mention is how this hotel looks. It is shaped loosely link an Inifinty symbol but really is two large cubes put together. It isn’t the most attractive building during the day, but at night it looks terrible. There is NO outside lighting and the entrance is on the backside. That means when you approach the hotel from the street it looks like an abandoned factory. I simply don’t know what they were thinking.
Over time Disney plans to build more hotels and I think more and more off-site properties will be built as well. For now, if you are on a budget and aren’t looking for anything fancy, then the Toy Story Hotel will fill your basic needs. While the rooms are simple and the building is a bit ugly, the staff is amazing and you can’t beat the location.
I’ll have a review of the Shanghai Disneyland Hotel up soon so you can compare and contrast the two properties, but for more than double the money you can definitely step up to luxury, but that hotel has some drawbacks of its own.