Disneyland Gets New Rare Characters, EPCOT Gets Left Out

in Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World

Rosalie Chiang as Mei Mei

Credit: Pixar Animation Studios

The Disney Parks typically go all out for holidays, and EPCOT at the Walt Disney World Resort is party central for international celebrations. However, the recent Chinese New Year announcement (shared below) skips the China pavilion at the World Showcase and heads straight to California Adventure with Turning Red’s cast in tow.

The image above is an artist’s rendering of the upcoming Meet and Greet for Mei and her mother, Ming-Lee, for the Lunar New Year Celebration at Disney’s California Adventure at Disneyland. An official report from Disneyland reads,

Meilin Lee and her mother, Ming Lee, from Disney and Pixar’s “Turning Red,” join the Lunar New Year celebration at Disney California Adventure Park from January 23 through February 18, 2024, as they ring in the new year together. Guests can expect to find Meilin beginning to turn into her Red Panda form at the pathway between Grizzly Peak and Paradise Gardens Park at Disney California Adventure Park.

Related: “Disappointing and Too Expensive” Magic Kingdom Loses Its Charm

That’s all very exciting, but it feels like Disney is missing a painfully obvious opportunity. Why give a set of Chinese characters a temporary space for a Chinese celebration when they should have an entire China pavilion at EPCOT?

Disney World Gets Disneyland Scraps Once Again

sleeping beauty castle at Disneyland vs. Cinderella Castle at disney world with mickey mouse in the middle
Credit: Disney (all images)

Not only are the Turning Red (2022) characters hitting the international parks before landing on American soil, but Disneyland is getting both a park and a parade appearance from the two popular characters. Meanwhile, the Florida Parks have not seen an appearance apart from merchandise.

Related: Guest Recalls Traumatic Experience at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Cast Members Forced To Step In

This isn’t Disney World’s first time scrambling for Disneyland’s leftovers, but the difference is night and day. The same phenomenon was witnessed last year as Disneyland celebrated Pride Nite while Disney Word struggled with malfunctioning rides and a political scandal from Governor Ron DeSantis.

Related: Comparing Disney World’s Disney Springs and Disneyland’s Downtown Disney

While it might come with a jealous flavor, it feels unfair that those celebrating Lunar New Year on the West Coast are getting more attention than those on the East. Both parks presumably celebrate it, so why does one park get the new additions? It feels like something’s terribly amiss, especially when one has a location dedicated to Chinese culture, not unlike the Lee family’s shrine in the Pixar movie.

Is this a big mistake on Disney’s part, or just a jealous EPCOT fan observation? Tell Inside the Magic what you think in the comments below!

in Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World

View Comment (1)