Snapshot from Shanghai

Carlye Wisel has been around the world and back, and that’s just for work. After years at fashion and travel magazines, she struck out on her own as a freelance writer and editorial strategist, which means her time is officially her own, even if her tickets are paid for. Just now she was on assignment in Shanghai covering the new Disneyland opening. Here are some of the things she collected along the way.

  1. Mickey selfie stick – Selfie sticks are big-time no-nos inside Disney parks, so when I found a knockoff one outside Shanghai’s YuYuan Gardens, I had to pick it up for irony’s sake.
  2. Toy Story Box – My favorite part about traveling to Disney parks is that your favorite souvenirs can come in the most surprising places. I was blown away by this adorable (and complimentary!) tin toothbrush kit inside my bathroom at Shanghai Disneyland’s Toy Story Hotel.
  3. Guide map – How could you not pick up a local language guide map of the parks! Always a must-grab.
  4. Lion King ticket – I had the pleasure of experiencing the grand premiere of The Lion King performed completely in Mandarin while in Shanghai’s Disneytown. It was wild to hear such familiar songs and understand the storylines between beloved characters without knowing a single word.
  5. Photo Pass – You can capture your in-park photos with these cards and download them from an app or the website later on. This one is chock-full of pictures of me on the park’s TRON Lightcycle Power Run roller coaster.
  6. Toy Story Room key – My room was on the Woody side of the hotel, and every time I went upstairs, Jessie would announce ‘It’s the rootin’ tootin’ seventh floor!’ in the elevator. It was too cute!
  7. Money – So embarrassing, but this is literally all the money I had left when I returned home. I blew it all on Shanghai Disneyland’s incredible souvenirs!
  8. Grand Opening Mickey Ears – These were given to all of the reporters and attendees at the official opening ceremony for Shanghai Disneyland. I bought a separate pair with my name sewn in Chinese characters — they’ll translate it for you at the park! — but having these to commemorate my trip was super special.
  9. Disney pins – Disney pin trading is a serious pastime at the parks. I swapped a couple spare pins I threw in my bag at the last moment for these gems from Shanghai Disneyland staffers. One is for Gardens of Imagination, an area that’s exclusive to this Chinese park, and the other is Mickey in Pirates of the Caribbean garb, honoring their one-of-a-kind version of the ride.