Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The Toy Story Hotel

When I visited Shanghai for three days last month, I stayed at the Toy Story Hotel, the budget option of the two on-property hotels at the Shanghai Disney Resort (the other being the Shanghai Disneyland Hotel).  Although it would have been nice to stay at the flagship, the difference in cost was enough that my group elected to eschew it (next time, perhaps).

The entrance to the Toy Story Hotel.
As far as aesthetics and frills go, the Toy Story Hotel carries a modern look behind the whimsical Toy Story touches and straightforward furnishings that put it on par with most Value level Disney resort properties (the Disneyland Hotel, on the other hand, is presented as a top of the line Disney hotel but really probably ranks in the second tier of the Deluxe level compared to Disney hotels worldwide).  The six story Toy Story Hotel features a repetitive curtain wall facade that might look like any other modern looking complex, it wasn't for the Woody and Buzz and company flourishes--in other words, it's actually kind of boring. 

The entry driveway, where visitors can drop off guests and luggage and also where hotel guests can take Disney shuttles to the park, Disneytown, and the Shanghai Disneyland metro stop.
The interior is a little less plain, showing more character (pun intended) from the movies and taking on a playful and clean approach.  Guests can purchase park tickets from the customer service desk, and a souvenir store in the form of Lotso Shop offers Disney wares and basic amenities.  There's also a counter service restaurant in Sunnyside Cafe and a grab-and-go food stop in the form of Sunnyside Market.

This "Christmas tree" was stationed in the middle of the lobby area.

Barrel of Monkeys figures string along the ceiling above.

The check in counter is cute but not extravagant.
I didn't really take any photos of our rooms, mostly because by the time we arrived, our rough experience from the airport (the taxi driver completely got lost despite insisting he knew the way to the Resort and took an unnecessarily longer route that doubled our driving time), we were so tired that we immediately plopped on the bed and made ourselves at home, ruining the pristine house-kept settings.  But they were relatively spacious for for the price, comfortable, and in pretty good condition (the only issue I observed was the sliding bathroom door failing to latch shut to be locked).  They also featured outlets compatible with Chinese, European, and American plugs--though U.S. three prong grounded plugs were not okay (buy three-to-two prong adapter before arriving).

The building footprint creates a courtyard along the interior, accessed off the lobby.

The building mass gives the impression of rising out of the ground from this angle.  The "lawn" rising up onto the roof is a common feature in a lot of progressive architecture these days.

The courtyard itself is relatively plain, though.  Just a giant Woody on Bulls-eye at one end.

It's a popular photo op, though.

On a lower level, there is a water play area.  On this cold winter day, it was understandably unused.
Overall, I think the Toy Story Hotel is more than a satisfactory lodging for guests of Shanghai Disneyland who aren't aiming for a swanky or luxurious experience.  Given that the Shanghai metro closes relatively early, the convenience of staying on property outweighs the extra cost that could be saved staying elsewhere (and then needing to taxi around).  Conversely, staying at the Shanghai Disney Resort means that those heading to the city may not be able to get back by metro if they stay out late.  So ultimately, there are pro's and cons.  As a frame of reference, though, it's about an hour by train to get from the Shanghai Disney Resort to the city. 

As the Resort grows, I'm sure that more hotels will be constructed on property and spring up around the area with convenient access.  But for now, it's basically this hotel and the Shanghai Disneyland Hotel flagship, located across Wishing Star Lake from the park itself.  Tom Bricker's got a great review of that hotel over on his site, Disney Tourist Blog.  Hopefully, this post is helpful for those looking to visit on more of a budget.  If you have any questions, feel free to jot them down below!

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