While The Disneyland Resort has been celebrating the Lunar New Year for a while now (the celebration used to be at the former Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree area), the last couple years Disney has taken it up a notch. Now the celebration takes place at Disney California Adventure with lots of activities and excitement throughout the day!
This year the Lunar New Year celebration takes place from January 26 to February 18, and takes place in Paradise Pier, near the Golden Zephyrs and Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta.
In 2018 we are celebrating the Year of the Dog so Pluto is in the spotlight! You can get your photo with Pluto wearing a special collar to celebrate!
Other meet & greets include Mickey and Minnie in special festive attire, and Mulan and Mushu! Mulan is my favorite princess so it’s always a treat to see her in the spotlight. (Tip – the line for Mulan gets long … I waited and missed out on seeing her twice! If you want to see Mulan, ask a Cast Member when she will be visiting and get in line at least 20 minutes ahead.)
Aside from the meet & greet, you can see Mulan and her friends during the Lunar New Year Procession performance, which takes place at 12 noon, 1pm, 3pm, and 4pm adjacent to Goofy’s Sky School. Unfortunately I missed this during my visit (I also missed the special nighttime “Hurry Home – Lunar New Year Celebration” show which takes place before the first performance of World of Color) so I need to go back! There’s just so much to see!
I also enjoyed the activities, which are fun for kids and adults alike. I received a custom-drawn Chinese calligraphy of my name, and left a wish on the Lucky Wishing Well. I wished for good health and a Club 33 membership … hey, a girl can wish big, right?
And don’t miss some of the musical performances. You’ll find an array of talented performers at the Paradise Garden Bandstand and Paradise Park.
But my favorite part of the Lunar New Year celebration is the same as every holiday … the food! There are three food marketplaces set up this year, specializing in Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese foods.
China – Pork Soup Dumplings, Three Cup Chicken, Egg Tart, Five Spiced Peanut Brittle, Passion Fruit Green Iced Tea, Tsingtao Lager
I tried almost everything here! The dumplings were my favorite item of the day! The black vinegar ginger sauce was perfection. I tried the Three Cup Chicken but it ended up being too spicy for me to finish. The Egg Tart was subtly sweet. The Passion Fruit Green Iced Tea (with the option to add a light-up lotus flower) was a sweet drink but really good. The popping boba is super fun!
Korea – Kimchi-Vegetable Fried Rice, Steamed Vegetable Dumplings, Sweet Red Bean and Raspberry Jelly, Banana Milk, Plum Wine Cocktail, Hite Pale Lager.
From the Korea booth I tried the Kimchi-Vegetable Fried Rice which I really enjoyed. I heard the dumplings were spicy so I skipped them. I also tried the plum wine, which I’ve had at many Asian restaurants. It’s a very sweet wine and was very good!
Vietnam – Sticky Rice Cake, Sugar Cane Shrimp Skewer, Purple Sweet Potato Macaron, Vietnamese Iced Coffee
The Sticky Rice Cake was a little bland compared to the other foods, plus super messy to eat! The macaron was my favorite dessert of the day.
There is much more seasonal food available at Paradise Garden Grill, too! I definitely want to come back and try those Beef Short Ribs.
Annual Passholders, be sure to stop by the AP Corner to pick up your button and have your photo taken with the special photo prop!
It’s a shame this festival only lasts for three weeks because it has become one of my favorites! So don’t delay if you want to partake in the fun of Lunar New Year!