It’s time for Disneyland’s annual celebration of the Lunar New Year and this year Disney has really gone all out. Disney’s Lunar New Year pays homage to Eastern Asian and Chinese New Year customs. Chinese New Year is on February 16 but the Lunar New Year celebration goes from January 26 – February 18 specifically at Disney California Adventure Park. Below is an overview of what you can expect to find.
This year DCA has incorporated some tasty dishes from all over Asia. You can find stands selling treats from China, Korea, and Vietnam over by Goofy’s Sky School and the Golden Zephyr. This quick service menu over at Paradise Pier Grill has also turned into an Asian Fusion fare with dishes like beef pho and mango pudding. I have not been able to try all of the dishes yet but the Three Cup Chicken from the China pavilion comes HIGHLY recommended.
CHARACTER MEET AND GREETS
There are special character meet and greets to celebrate the New Year! You can find these over by the Paradise Pier Grill and they rotate throughout the day. These include Mulan and Mushu, Pluto (in a special Lunar New Year hat and collar), and Mickey and Minnie in their Chinese Lunar New Year outfits. Be prepared to wait about 30 minutes for a meet and greet and don’t be surprised when the characters you got in line for swap out with new ones before you get to the front of the line. That said, they're all pretty fantastic meet and greets so it really doesn't matter.
There is A LOT of fun entertainment for the whole family this year. The first thing I’ll mention is Mulan’s Lunar New Year Procession which is a 20 minute show featuring Mulan, Mushu, and Goofy and authentic dance from China. It’s beautiful and lots of fun. This takes place directly outside of Paradise Pier Grill a few times per day. Make sure to check the schedule for exact times when you enter the park in the morning. We squatted for about an hour before our show to get front row seats but you can show up right before and still be able to see the beauty.
New this year is a nighttime show called Hurry Home – Lunar New Year Celebration and features Mulan, Mushu, and a little lantern. Similar to World of Color the story plays out via projections on the water and includes a few fireworks. This occurs at 9pm and lasts a mere 6 minutes.
Listen to the extraordinary music of Dat Nguyen and Luna Lee as they perform on the Paradise Garden Bandstand throughout the day. Both are acclaimed musicians. (Dat Nguyen is a skilled classical guitarist, flutist, and melodicast who has played with Stevie Wonder. And Luna Lee has mastered the gayageum, an ancient Korean stringed instrument similar to a zither.) You do not want to miss out on either of these epic performances.
Lastly, be sure to check out the GuGu Drum Group from Shanghai performing on their drums throughout the day.
In addition to the food, characters, and entertainment, there is a ton of commemorative merchandise, some of which comes directly from Shanghai Disneyland! If you are an annual passholder you can also claim your free Lunar New Year button over at the AP Corner next to Paradise Pier Grill. Kids can get their faces painted and create their very own paper lanterns to string along the Lucky Wishing Well.
I hope you enjoy the celebration this year. Would love to hear about your experience. Leave a comment below!