Even during the off season, Disneyland Resort still rolls out new and interesting entertainment for its theme park guests. Most recently, Disney helped mark a foreign holiday with the Happy Lunar New Year Celebration at Disneyland park.
I returned just yesterday from a quick California trip, spending two full days inside the Disneyland Resort, bringing back with me updates on all the latest and greatest happenings throughout both theme parks. So in addition to today’s look at the now-completed Lunar New Year Celebration, keep checking back throughout the coming days for more from the west coast.
The Happy Lunar New Year Celebration was set up in the “it’s a small world” mall from Jan. 20 – 29, 2012, just outside the classic attraction that unites cultures in song. Though the ride was still closed while I was there, as its Christmas time overlay was being taken down, the spirit of embracing other cultures was strong amidst the added decorations, music, and performances for the special occasion.
Paper lanterns, elaborate floral displays, and other Asian influences decorated the area:
(Yes, the Matterhorn is wrapped in scaffolding during its roughly 6-month refurbishment. More on that in an upcoming Disneyland update.)
Signs helped explain to park guests what the Lunar New Year means and let them figure out which animal represented the year in which they were born, coupled with Disney characters. It turns out I was born in the Year of Abu. The full list is Remy (Rat), Babe the Big Blue Ox (Ox), Rajah (Tiger), Thumper (Rabbit), Mushu (Dragon), Kaa (Snake), Maximus (Horse), Mrs. Sheep (Sheep), Abu (Monkey), Alan-a-Dale (Rooster), Tramp (Dog), One of the Three Little Pigs (Pig).
A variety of live entertainment was offered throughout each day of the celebration, featuring plenty of interactivity, from twirling streamers to petting lions.
Video: Traditional Chinese lion performance at Disneyland’s Lunar New Year Celebration
Characters were on hand for photos and autographs. While Mulan was a natural choice for the occasion, Mushu was the star of this show, hamming it up with guests.
Chip and Dale joined in the fun wearing Asian-inspired attire.
A guest artist also wrote names using Chinese characters and displayed other artwork.
The celebration seemed well received by all guests passing through, a welcome addition to the otherwise open area outside “it’s a small world.” Cast Members were surveying guests throughout the Happy Lunar New Year Celebration, asking if they knew about the celebration in advance of visiting the park, enjoyed their time spent there, would recommend it to others, and where they first heard about it from. I told them I heard about it through the Disney Parks Blog, which is true, but I probably should have said Inside the Magic. (If you’re ever surveyed in the park after experiencing something you read about here, be sure to tell them!)
The Lunar New Year celebration has ended overseas and likewise Disneyland’s celebration has concluded as well, but there is was more to be experienced during my brief California adventure, so keep checking back here for more Disneyland Resort fun!
More photos from the Happy Lunar New Year Celebration at Disneyland: