In the summer of 2018 my partner and I visited the Shanghai Disney Resort as part of a two-week trip to the Chinese city Shanghai. In seven articles, appearing every weekend here at wdwnt.com, I will share our adventure through this newest Disney Resort that opened in 2016. I am writing about the park and its theming, Disneytown, and the hotels. In this fifth trip report, I will discuss the first pirate-themed land of all the Disney Parks: Treasure Cove.
Treasure Cove Tells Its Own Story
My favorite lands in theme parks are the lands that have a story of their own, where all the details add up to that specific story. Treasure Cove at Shanghai Disneyland is one of these lands. It was founded in 1690 by Spanish nobleman Don Diego Sevilla Portillo. Eventually, Treasure Cove fell in the hands of the British Royal Navy, but their rule softened when Jack Sparrow (from the Pirates of the Caribbean movies) arrived and turned the place in a harbor for pirates.
All the little details in the land add up to this story. The town’s theater, were Eye of the Storm – Captain Jack’s Stunt Spectacular plays, was built in a part of the mansion of this famous Don Diego. His portrait can be found on the walls in the waiting area of the theater.
One of my favorite details in all the land are the small houses above the land, that look like they are really far away.
Treasure Cove has three small ‘attractions’ that add to the kinetics of it. The first is called Explorer Canoes. Together with around twenty other guests, you take your seat in a fully guest-powered attraction. Guests go by over the water of Treasure Cove and Adventure Isle, while seeing some unique sights that can only be viewed from the canoes. Don’t worry! Cast Members are there to help with steering the canoe.
Mind that the Explorer Canoes close in the middle of the day (when it is really hot) or with bad weather, so you do not have to paddle in bad circumstances.
Furthermore, there are two playgrounds in the land. Shipwreck Shore is designed for the young to have fun with water. Siren’s Revenge is a bit more mature, with interactive portraits of characters from the Pirates movies.
Pirates of the Caribbean – Battle for the Sunken Treasure
You might have heard already everything about this new version of the famous Disney ride. This E-Ticket is the headliner in Treasure Cove and it really deserves to be this too. Because the boats can carry many people at once, this popular attraction has a wait time of less than sixty minutes during the day, so there is no reason to skip it during your visit. The waiting area is also filled with details!
Before starting your adventure, you come through Barbossa’s Bounty, the main restaurant in Treasure Cove that I will discuss below. You encounter the pirates that try to escape in the other versions of the ride by calling the dog. As you can see on the (blurry, sorry) photo below, they do not succeed.
After this meeting, you can start your adventure. As part of Jack Sparrow’s team, you are going to try to steal the sunken treasure of Davy Jones. Of course, Jones is not happy with this plan and he sends his ships from the bottom of the ocean to the top. In front of a huge screen, you are also sent upwards in the middle of a great special effect. You enter the battle between Jack Sparrow and Davy Jones before the flooding water sends you backwards into the station.
If I need to choose one word to describe this ride I would choose ‘giant’. Giant sets and screens try to immerse you a new story based on the movies, that has the same characters, the same setting, and the same feel to it. The boats move faster and slower all the time and they can move in different directions. I understand when attractions receive a critical response when using screens, but here it is definitely used to enhance the experience and I suggest you look at it that way.
Eye of the Storm – Captain Jack’s Stunt Spectacular
In the earlier discussed El Teatro Fandango, there is a show about pirates. For the first part of this 30-minute show, guests stand in the lobby looking at a balcony where the folks from the theater give a presentation. They are interrupted by the pirates of Jack Sparrow, looking for a misplaced treasure (I’m not sure since it was all in Mandarin, but this I heard afterwards).
The more interesting part is once you have taken a seat in the theater itself. Jack himself appears and a short while after him the British Navy, looking for him. They pull out canons and the theater fills itself with smoke. Once the smoke is cleared, there is nothing left of the beautiful stage and we see the leftovers of the building and a glimpse of the sea.
This is the start of some action-packed swordfights, while there is a big tornado coming from the sea. The big finale starts when Jack and the Royal Admiral fight ín this tornado (a no wall wind tunnel, comparable to those when used with skydiving). This thrilling, second part of the show makes it worth waiting for!
Overall, it seemed fun. I would love to see this show when translated into English.
Shopping and Dining at Treasure Cove
There are two places to buy your pirate-themed merchandise. The first is a shop at the exit of Pirates of the Caribbean, called Doubloon Market. This is a nice shop, but nothing really special. The second option is a cart further in Treasure Cove, called the Jolly Gypsy.
There are also multiple food carts in the land. Pintel & Regetti’s Grub to Grab sells German style sandwiches, The Snackin’ Kraken some sea food churros, and Tortuga Treats the famous American Turkey Leg. Although this last one has a lot of people wanting to try one, I liked the theming of The Snackin’ Kraken better. You can see that one below.
The only real (counter service) dining option is Barbossa’s Bounty. This restaurant has the same formula as Pinocchio’s Village Kitchen. After you have received your food you can take place in of the many ‘indoor’ seating areas, or in the ‘outdoor’ one (that is still indoor) with a view on the boats in Pirates. We sat outdoor and I have to confess that I love this atmosphere.
We ate the pork ribs and the squid, both fine dishes. Watching Jack Sparrow and other pirates visiting the restaurant and interacting with guests also enhanced our visit.
When leaving Treasure Cove, you walk into some new adventures. Next week I will discuss the last land in Shanghai Disneyland: Adventure Isle. If you have any questions regarding my trip or the Shanghai Disney Resort, do not hesitate to contact me at [email protected].
Click below for the earlier trip reports in this series:
- Preparation, Shanghai, and Getting There (part 1)
- Mickey Avenue, Gardens of Imagination, and Seasonal Entertainment (part 2)
- Tomorrowland and Disney·Pixar Toy Story Land (part 3)
- Fantasyland and the Enchanted Storybook Castle (part 4)