Happy Lunar New Year! Tied to the Chinese lunar calendar, the holiday celebrates the beginning of a new year and is traditionally a time to honor household and heavenly deities and ancestors. Each new year is designated by one of eleven animals on the Chinese zodiac representing the passage of time, and the cycle of years. For this special time of year, Disney California Adventure at the Disneyland Resort rolls out a festival of holiday celebrations. 2020 is the “Year of the Mouse”, so that means it’s the perfect occasion to ring in the new year with the most famous mouse of all! This year’s celebration takes place from January 17 to February 9 and features special entertainment, characters, food, and more. Admission to the celebration is included in the cost of your park ticket, but food and beverage from the Lunar New Year marketplaces can be purchased at an additional cost.
Throughout the celebration, guests can meet with Disney pals dressed in their finest holiday attire. The Paradise Gardens area of Disney California Adventure is transformed into a holiday pavilion adorned with bamboo, peach blossoms, golden flowers and banners bearing serendipitous holiday wishes in multiple languages. Guests can meet with Mickey and Minnie as well as Mulan and Mushu, from the classic Disney film Mulan, who will be available for pictures and autographs. Times vary so check for daily appearance times on the Disneyland app or park times guide.
Mulan’s Lunar New Year Procession
Mulan and Mushu will also be leading a holiday procession during the celebration. This dazzling and colorful display of holiday cheer will make its way from Pixar Pier to Paradise Garden Park multiple times daily. When the procession stops, guests are treated to a show featuring music and dozens of beautifully costumed performers as well as Chinese dragon puppets, warriors, drummers, and dancers. The procession and performance can be enjoyed multiple times throughout the day during the Lunar New Year celebration. Check the Disneyland app or park times guide for current showtimes.
Entertainment and Activities
Guests can take in daily performances by authentic Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese dancers and musicians celebrating the Lunar New Year. Performances occur throughout the Paradise Gardens area and the Paradise Garden Bandstand. Check the Disneyland app or park times guide for the current schedule.
World of Color gets a special new intro for the celebration titled Hurry Home – Lunar New Year Celebration. This short prelude to the park’s nighttime show is hosted by Mulan and tells the story of a lost lantern’s search for his family while Mushu the dragon tags along.
Guests can enjoy complimentary arts and crafts, including dragon’s pearl coloring craft and Chinese calligraphy with local artisans. There are also face painting opportunities available for purchase as well.
After strolling beneath strings of ornamental lanterns in Paradise Gardens, guests can write down wishes and tie them to the Lucky Wishing Wall in hopes for a prosperous future.
It wouldn’t be a Disney festival or celebration without food, and the Lunar New Year is certainly no exception. Throughout the celebration, guests can enjoy a wide array of delicious Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese-derived delicacies. Paradise Garden Grill will have a special menu just for the Year of the Mouse featuring items like whole deep-fried tilapia, plant-based orange tempeh, Korean grilled chicken and Banh Mi. There are also some tempting desserts like mango mousse to satisfy your sweet tooth. Beverages include almond milk iced tea (with or without boba popping pearls) Kloud beer, Tiger beer, and an Orange Blossom cocktail.
Lunar New Year marketplaces
There are also a number of food booths available during the Lunar New Year located throughout Paradise Gardens Park featuring a variety of Asian-inspired dishes prepared with a Disney twist.
Longevity Noodle Co.
- Chicken Meatballs and Lo Mein Noodles, Cabbage Salad with Apple-Ginger Sauce
- Vegetable Egg Roll and Chilled Sesame-Garlic Noodles with Cilantro-Cashew Sauce and Toasted Peanuts
- Black Sesame Mochi Donut
- Vietnamese Cold Brew with Coconut Milk
Lucky 8 Lantern
- Shrimp Fried Rice with Garlic-Bacon Edamame
- Smoked Beef Bulgogi Short Rib on Rice Cake and Green Onion Salad
- Mandarin Orange-Green Tea Tart
- Peach Sojito
Prosperity Bao & Buns
- Char Siu Pork Bao, Chinese BBQ Pork with Pickled Red Onions and Jalapeño
- Mickey Chinese Hot Dog Bun
- Mango-Pineapple Pastry
- Lychee-Grapefruit Gin Spritzer
Red Dragon Spice Traders
- Firecracker Three Cup Chicken Wings
- Shrimp & Ginger Dumplings with Soy Reduction and Sriracha Mayo
- Purple Yam Macaron with Crème Fraiche
- Honey-Lime Green Tea
Lunar New Year Sip and Savor Pass
Disney Foodies can easily enjoy multiple Lunar New Year dining offerings with the Sip and Savor Pass. This pass consists of a commemorative booklet and 6 coupons, redeemable for food and beverage offerings (excluding alcohol) and can be purchased for $42, including tax. In addition to a reduced price, Annual Passholders will also receive a special Passholder lanyard. To receive the Passholder price and keepsake a valid Annual Passport and photo ID must be shown upon purchase. The Sip and Savor pass can be used at the following Lunar New Year Marketplace kiosks and dining locations:
- Longevity Noodle Co.
- Lucky 8 Lantern
- Prosperity Bao & Buns
- Red Dragon Spice Traders
Dining Locations (Sip and Savor offerings at participating dining locations are tasting-size portions only, not full entrées.)
- Lucky Fortune Cookery
- Paradise Garden Grill
The Sip and Savor Pass is available for sale at Lunar New Year Merchandise Carts, the Sip and Savor Cart, Seaside Souvenirs, Elias & Co., Kingswell Camera Shop and each Lunar New Year Marketplace.
Disney is rolling out a selection of Lunar New Year-themed souvenirs, apparel and more for the “Year of the Mouse”. Guests can discover all-new spirit jerseys, fun bobble-head figures with Chip and Dale, a traditional red envelope set, themed Minnie Mouse ear headbands and more. Lunar New Year Celebration merchandise will only be available for purchase at the Disneyland Resort.
If you haven’t booked a trip to Disneyland or Disney California Adventure yet, it’s time! Our friends at Key to the World Travel can help you with all your travel needs.
Photos Courtesy Disney