Previously on the Road to Shanghai Disneyland, I scheduled my dates and booked my flight. I got my hotels and passport visas. What’s next? It’s actually getting the tickets to Shanghai Disneyland. Here’s the continuing blog and travel tips as my journey to Shanghai Disneyland unfolds…
I knew I wanted to go to Shanghai Disneyland on opening day. Everything was booked and scheduled for me to be there. What’s the problem? Oh, yeah! Getting tickets. This trip was planned before tickets went on sale.
It was announced that tickets would go on sale March 28. I marked the date on my calendar and felt pretty confident having a good internet connection and all.
But, wait! There’s some things that struck my mind as the date approached.
Dollars and Sense
The first potential problem was how I would pay for these tickets. I’m used to paying for anything online with my Disney Visa credit card. But, will Shanghai Disneyland accept such a payment method? That would be a huge problem if I don’t have the right way to pay. The way I found out was going on the Hong Kong Disneyland website. I went through the way of buying tickets up until actually paying for them. HK DLand takes Visa, so I figured all was well with Shanghai Disneyland.
When it came time to actually checkout online for Shanghai tickets there was a slight snag that I ran into: it’s a foreign charge. What does that mean? It means red flag to my credit card company. My card was denied twice before I figured out what was happening. I called my credit card company and immediately got asked if I had tried to charge something from Shanghai. Yes. I did. It was me. Crazy Disney fan me.
Once those were cleared I was able to purchase the tickets on the third try. Phew!
International travel lesson #4 and #5 – Make sure the place you are going accepts your method of payment. And fifth lesson is to call your credit card company ahead of time to say that you are making foreign purchases.
The Twilight Time Zone
Something else that occurred to me as the date approached, at what time will the tickets go on sale? There was no explicit time said. And, what is the time difference between here and Shanghai?? It turns out that Shanghai is 15 hours ahead of time in California (where I’m at). I made an alert for what would be midnight in Shanghai, which was 9 am March 27 California time. I also made an alert for 8 am Shanghai time, which was 5 pm CA time. That was just in case tickets didn’t go on sale right when it turned to March 28.
It turns out that tickets did go on sale at midnight. But, the story continues.
Technology: Can’t Live With It Or Without It
It was midnight in Shanghai. It was Easter Sunday in California. I was at my computer ready to buy before going to church. Everything appeared well. I was getting into the near checkout process, but the button wasn’t “lit up.” No matter how many angles and ways with the site I could not get to even checking out. At one point I made an account, which would save me later.
It turns out that no one in the US was able to purchase tickets. It wasn’t just me. BUT, would this mean it would sell out before the glitch was fixed? All I could do was wait and hope.
Time went by, and I figured I’d check around the 8 am Shanghai time alert. As I checked Twitter again I found that someone made a ticket purchase! Huzzah!
I went back on the site and sure enough, all was well with purchasing. It also saved time to have made an account earlier.
Thankfully I got the tickets before they sold out in the same day! But, I decided to wait to make hotel reservations. Poor decision. Those went the same day.
International travel lesson #6 – Don’t give up and make an account early on. Don’t give up includes making those hard to get hotel reservations early.
To Be Continued
So, now I’m all scheduled to head to Hong Kong and Shanghai. All is underway. But, there’s still a couple steps to go. Next time, I’ll explain how I’m packing and planning the days that I’m not at a Disney park.