It’s always been a fantasy of mine to visit every Disney theme park around the world, in a single trip. I have been to them all, over many years of travel and no two Disney theme parks are exactly alike. The rides, the food, the souvenirs, the shows and attractions; are unique to each park.
Take Shanghai Disneyland-the newest and biggest park. It’s Sleeping Beauty castle is the biggest out of all parks but being Shanghai, it’s also themed around it’s location with features like the Disney Chinese Zodiac Wall; a combination of loveable characters and Chinese zodiac, made for Instagram.
One of my favourite Disney souvenirs was a tee-shirt from Hong Kong Disneyland and Mickey’s eyes were styled as an anime character.
However being in Disneyland Paris, in the middle of winter, close to Christmas when it started to snow, was perhaps the most magical of all.
Visiting a Disney park over a special holiday like Christmas or Halloween gives a whole other ambience as decorations, food, and entertainment change yet again.
Unfortunately there’s no global Disneyland ticket incorporating every park (yes I did ring and check) so single park tickets based on the number of days you wish to visit are still the best option. Through out the year, each park may run limited specials like adults at kids prices or early admission, so double check on the park site. Paris also offers unlimited fast-pass rides and Shanghai was in the process of putting together VIP packages to skip the queues, for a price of course.
So here’s everything you need to VISIT EVERY DISNEY THEME PARK IN THE WORLD!
To book your Global Disneyland Expedition you’ll need to book your flights, then your accommodation and then your theme park tickets.
Depending upon your point of origin, there’s a couple of flight options. The cheapest option will keep you going in a single direction. Readers of my articles are from all over the world, so I’ve included flights that will take you to each city, with a Disney theme park.
The cheapest option has the longest transit times, AUD1270/ USD880 / NZD1335 / GBP690 but it will get you from:
Hong Kong – Shanghai – Tokyo – Los Angeles – Orlando – Paris.
A more direct version is slightly more expensive at AUD1510 / USD1050 / NZD1590 / GBP825
The above flights were quoted using Jet Radar which is a powerful search engine that combines multiple airlines and online travel agencies.
>> Find flights to match your departure point here (click multi-city route).
Hong Kong Disneyland
Is the smallest of them all, however it generally has the shortest queue times. It also operates single rider queue on many of them, so if you’re happy to split up with your friends or family, you can fit in more rides, giving you a greater feeling of accomplishment.
On my last visit, I went on the Big Grizzly Mountain Runaway Mine Cars ride six times in a row, as the single rider queue had a zero minute wait time, meanwhile everyone else was stuck in the queue for 45 minutes.
Unlike Shanghai Disneyland, all rides and attractions are in English. You can easily see Hong Kong Disneyland in a single day, but they also offer a two-day ticket for tourists which is not much more than a single day ticket and can be used within a 7-day period.
I wrote a detailed review of Shanghai Disneyland including all the top rides and shows. I attended the grand opening and had three days there which still wasn’t enough to experience every ride and attraction! As much of western culture has previously been a pipe-dream for many Chinese, the inclusion of their own Disneyland has been a fascination for many. Those attending the first week had travelled from all over China to attend.
Whilst it’s the biggest park, it’s also the busiest that I’ve been to. Single rider queues were intermittent and random, most fast passes were sold out within an hour of the park opening, and often there was a 45min queue to get a fast pass. Granted it was the opening week but there’s a lot of people in China, many with kids (though probably only one) and so expect queues. Getting there early, and racing to as many rides as possible will help to ensure you have a fun day out.
It’s rides were often new and bigger versions of many classics such as Pirates of the Caribbean and a brand new ride, Tron which was like an extreme version of Space Mountain.
Accommodation in China is generally cheap, and Shanghai Disneyland tickets are the cheapest of any Disney theme park, so it’s more affordable to stay for a few days and visit over multiple days.
Adjacent to the park is a street full of shops, including a Disney store and a Lego store along with a theatre which has full scale Broadway productions of Disney musicals. When I visited they were showing The Lion King, and at the time of writing, it’s now Beauty and the Beast. Tickets for this are extra to park admission and need to be booked in advance. All shows in Shanghai Disneyland are in Mandarin, as are the rides e.g. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh ride.
Book your Shanghai Disneyland Tickets Now
Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo Disneysea
If one Disney theme park wasn’t enough, Tokyo offers two! Adjacent to each other and both offering a full park experience. Tokyo Disneyland was my first Disney experience, when I was 11 and I still have the Mickey Mouse toy I carried all around Europe.
I visited again whilst I was living in Japan and my friends and I decided we’d attempt to eat our height in churros because each stick was roughly a foot in length. My aim was 6, I got through 4 and the last one was honey-lemon flavour. I do not recommend. I couldn’t touch churros for many years after that. I only broke the spell recently when I had one at Hong Kong Disneyland.
Tokyo Disneyland offer’s all the classics including It’s a Small World, Space Mountain, and the Haunted Mansion, whilst Disneysea includes the Tower of Terror, Journey to the Centre of the Earth, and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (plus many more of course).
The Japanese love everything Disney and will dress up for the occasion with headband ears and Minnie dresses, which is part of the appeal of this Disney park. Despite having opened over 40 years ago, it still draws big crowds so pick your days carefully. There’s a plethora of ticket options including 1,2,3,4 days, afternoons (weekends) and night tickets (weekdays). The multi-day tickets are valid at both parks.
Ticket offers: Skip entry queues by picking up your Disney tickets at the JR Maihama station (option to include shuttle transport from Shinjuku)
Disneyland Los Angeles
The original park means the rides are also the oldest, however Disney has been spending up big updating many rides, and introducing new ones to entice repeat visits. No matter how many parks you visit, there is something particularly magical about visiting the first Disneyland.
There’s lots of accommodation options around Anaheim and with Disney California Adventure Park next door, you can easily fill several days here. Ticket options come in 1,2,3,4,5 with options for both parks to be included. 3+ days include early morning admission, before the park officially opens so you can race around to as many rides as possible.
It’s best to stay around Anaheim because otherwise you’ll be racing to catch the last shuttle back into L.A which doesn’t allow much time to watch the fireworks and purchase souvenirs.
Ticket offers: Multi-days with dual park access and early access on one morning.
Walt Disney World Florida
The grandest of them all. Six parks (two are water parks), each as large as the next covering an area roughly the same as San Francisco. You’ll need at least a week, ideally with a rest day in between as it is exhausting. Recently gone through a massive upgrade with huge Avatar and Star Wars lands built.
I visited with my family and it was a fantastic trip, but it’s full on because everyday is spent wandering. Another downside of multiple parks is the big rides are split up amongst them, so each park only has two or three main attractions but just means there’s more experiences to be had.
I loved Disney’s Animal Kingdom because it’s so different to every other Disney park. As much as everyone disses Epcot Centre, I thought it was incredible because they had food from many of my favourite countries including Japan, Germany, Norway and France – all in the one place. It’s like going on a round the world trip, in a single day.
Ticket Offers: Too many to list. Worth investigating accommodation packages with tickets for Disneyworld but the more days and parks, the cheaper it gets. Generally one park per day is allowed but you can pay extra to have multi-park access in a single day.
Is a combination of old classic rides and newer high-tech experiences aimed at younger audiences who are less familiar with traditional Disney characters.
When I was in Shanghai Disneyland, I met a couple who both worked at Disneyland Paris. She was in ticket sales, and he was a pirate in the Pirate’s of the Caribbean. It’s not relevant to anything but I thought it was sweet.
It’s about a 45 minute train ride out of Paris so you’ll need to include that in your travel plans and it’s probably worth considering staying out near Disneyland if you want to get a multi-day ticket.
As for the golden question, how much will it all cost? It depends on your standard of accommodation, time of year, number of people, days spent visiting theme parks… But if you want a guide on how to book the cheapest flights, you’ll find that here.
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