Shanghai Disneyland is joining other Disney resorts worldwide in offering premium VIP experiences for guests who are willing (and able) to pay for such services. And Chinese theme park goers are not happy about it.
According to People’s Daily Online, many park guests have been very vocal about how upsetting they find this “cutting-in-line group” to be, while some were understanding of how the VIP service works.
Shanghai Disney recently rolled out a new VIP service to cut waiting hours. Each member of the VIP group is charged 2,700 RMB for a three-hour guided tour without waiting time, and 3,000 RMB for a six-hour no-waiting tour, according to the official app. The number of six-hour tour groups is limited to 20 on work days and 30 on holidays.
This service has brought convenience to VIP visitors and also high profits to the entertainment park. VIP visitors can enjoy quicker access to more attractions and the best spots for shows. The increasingly popular no-waiting service has become a new profit point for Shanghai Disneyland, with over 30 specialized staff just for the VIP service on both weekdays and holidays.
That’s about $400-450 USD to be able to minimize your wait time at the incredibly popular resort. (And compared to Walt Disney World’s rates for a similar service, it’s a bargain… see below.)
According to the article, wait times can be up to 2-3 hours at Shanghai Disneyland on popular attractions during peak times… which again, is not too dissimilar from Disney’s Stateside parks.
Really, it seems that Disney is just doing things in China the way they do them in other Disney parks across the globe. Whether or not the Chinese people will accept that remains to be seen. But with 2-3 hour wait times, they’re clearly not lacking visitors.
I’m generally not a fan of random upcharges at Walt Disney World, but the VIP tour service is one I can absolutely get behind and recommend to anyone who has the means.
Walt Disney World’s VIP Tours
Walt Disney World offers its own Private VIP Tour Services. While the service doesn’t let groups cut line completely, they do essentially get unlimited Fastpasses for most (but not all) attractions.
Of course, this does irk some people who don’t understand how this service works.
The Walt Disney World Private VIP Tours vary between $425 and $600 per hour depending on the season, with a minimum of 7 continuous hours.
However you can have up to 10 people in your group, and if you split it 10 ways it’s not as pricey as it seems. At $425/hour, divided by 10, it’s a little under $300 per person. If you’re already dropping thousands on a trip to Walt Disney World and don’t get to go often, having a tour guide for one day to maximize your group’s access might make sense for you.
That price is for a private tour guide who gives you backdoor access to the parks, private transportation, virtually unlimited Fastpasses and if you’re really, really lucky… magic tricks.
Is a VIP tour worth it?
If a relatively stress-free day in the parks is worth the upcharge to you, then yes. We’ve had a guide on a handful of occasions and were able to cover so much ground in a single day, that the rest of the week was pretty chill.
If you can swing it, yes it is absolutely worth it. It’s one of a few Disney upcharges I would absolutely recommend if possible, especially if it’s a first trip or you only make it to Disney World once every several years.
And if you do? Ask for Christopher. He’s amazing, especially with the kids.
[Source: People’s Daily Online]