Lunar New Year at Disney California Adventure is a festival every Disney fan should experience. This time of year brings its own kind of magic to the theme park with cultural celebrations, specialty food and beverages, and experiences that guests of all backgrounds are invited to take part in. After we’ve had the opportunity to experience Disney’s Lunar New Year for ourselves, we’ve put together our guide to the festival so you can make the most of your time at Disney California Adventure this season.
Why should Disney recognize Lunar New Year at the theme parks?
But before we get into our top recommendations, we wanted to share what makes Disney’s Lunar New Year so special. For the past few years, Disneyland Resort has hosted a Lunar New Year celebration at Disney California Adventure. Lunar New Year is celebrated by numerous Asian cultures — including Chinese, Vietnamese, and Korean — and is also widely recognized by these communities in the United States. It marks the beginning of a new calendar year on the lunar calendar, a calendar whose months coincide with the cycles of the moon. It usually falls in late January or early February (in 2020, if will fall on January 25).
So why is it important for Disney to recognize Lunar New Year and host a festival at Disney California Adventure? Well, at the heart of Disney Parks, they bring people together, no matter their backgrounds. Disney Parks continuously strive to connect people of all ages, no matter where we are from all around the world, by offering opportunities of fun and magic. And Disney’s Lunar New Year celebrations do just that: they show the company’s effort to recognize a tradition so widely celebrated throughout Asia and the world, as well as Disney’s goal of educating guests on the meaning of Lunar New Year and how different cultures recognize it.
There is still so much that could be added to the Lunar New Year festivities at Disneyland Resort — and we definitely think that a Lunar New Year celebration would be a fantastic addition to the China pavilion at Epcot. And given the high attendance of Lunar New Year at Disney California Adventure for the festival’s opening weekend, we are excited to see how Disney plans to expand the festival’s offerings in the future.
Now here are our top recommendations for Disney’s Lunar New Year if you plan to attend the celebration.
Best Food at Lunar New Year
There are so many sweet, savory and all-around interesting food items available for guests to try. After we sampled several food and drink offerings at the festival — which serves dishes inspired by Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese cultures — we have compiled our must-eat list Disney’s Lunar New Year event a. These are the items we tried ourselves and enjoyed the most.
Char siu pork bao
Smoked beef bulgogi short rib on rice cake
Vietnamese cold brew with coconut milk
Honey-lime green tea
Must-See Entertainment: Mulan’s Lunar New Year Processional
Disney has a variety of entertainment and even performances by local Korean, Vietnamese, and Chinese music and dance groups. There is even a special World of Color pre-show called Hurry Home, the story of a young dragon who hopes to make it home to his family before Lunar New Year. But of course if you can only see one show while you’re at Disney California Adventure for Lunar New Year, we think Mulan’s Lunar New Year Processional is a must-see.
Watch a recap of our live stream of Mulan’s Lunar New Year Processional below!
Live stream of Mulan’s Lunar New Year Processional (Feat. Mushu, Mickey, Minnie, and more) at Disney California Adventure!
Posted by Inside the Magic on Friday, January 17, 2020
Special Character Meet and Greets
What’s a Disney trip without character meet and greets? You can’t miss meeting Mulan and Mushu for the festival, but we are also so happy to share that Mickey and Minnie are meeting guests in their new outfits. Mickey and Minnie each have a new outfit designed by world renowned Chinese fashion icon Guo Pei. Their outfits honor Chinese traditions of Lunar New Year styles that date back centuries. You can read all about the story behind their outfits here.
Characters are meeting for Lunar New Year throughout the day in their meet and greet location in Paradise Gardens Park.
Book a trip to Disneyland!
The Authorized Disney Vacation Planners at Academy Travel can take your Disney trip to the next level. And it’s not to late to visit Disneyland so you can experience Lunar New Year before the festival ends on February 9. If you know you want to go on a Disney vacation, Academy Travel can make your trip a dream come true. Click here for a free, no-obligation vacation quote from Academy Travel.