Disneyland Lunar New Year
From: OC Register Written by Marla Jo Fisher
Are you ready to eat some special treats, enjoy a festive procession and see entertainment from throughout Asia? That’s what’s on offer annually at Disney California Adventure during its Lunar New Year celebration, this year happening for 24 days between Friday, Jan. 25 and Sunday, Feb. 17. It’s called the Lunar New Year because it’s not only celebrated in Chinese culture, but also among Koreans, Vietnamese and other Asians, to celebrate the beginning of the new calendar.
The colorful Mulan’s Lunar New Year Procession is returning — in an enhanced version — with sidekick red dragon, Mushu. This year, as a nod to the Year of the Pig, the Three Little Pigs (also known as Fiddler, Fifer and Practical) will be part of the procession. Goofy, who presided last year for “Year of the Dog”, will be back along with Chip ‘n’ Dale, all in festive costumes.
And — now that Pixar Pier construction walls are down — the procession route will be longer than ever, this year extending from Pixar Pier to the Paradise Gardens Park. Look for a troupe of Chinese performers to add more dancing, martial arts and drumming to the procession.
Last year, Disney had a Lucky Wishing Wall at Paradise Gardens that we expect to return. There you can write your own message on a Mickey-eared card. Then look to see if Disney brought back the free face painting in front of Ariel’s Undersea Adventure, free face painting for kids and a special event for annual passholders only.
Food is always a highlight of this festival with Asian-inspired food markets based on Vietnamese, Chinese and Korean treats, and there’s always special cocktails available. This year, the Sip and Savor pass will be available to any guest who wants to buy it and save money on multiple purchasers from the Asian Marketplace, which this year includes four locations: the Longevity Noodle Co., Lucky 8 Lantern, Prosperity Bao & Buns and Red Dragon Spice Traders. Look for a special menu at Paradise Garden Grill and a new Festival Food and Beverage Cart nearby.
Last year, a special World of Color prelude was added to the show, but it seems unlikely the show will be repaired in time to return for this festival.
One of the highlights of this festival is the performers of traditional Asian music, this year to include the Melody of China ensemble, which will entertain guests with Chinese classical, folk and contemporary music, with a trio of artists that play the yangqin (Chinese dulcimer), pipa (Chinese lute) and Erhu (Chinese fiddle). Vietnamese artist Dat Nguyen will return, playing traditional and original compositions on classical guitar, lute, flute and melodica at Paradise Garden Bandstand.
The Lucky Wishing Wall will also return in Paradise Gardens where people can add their own wishes for the coming year. A free arts-and-crafts area included Chinese calligraphy, paper lantern making and face painting
Gee, it wouldn’t be Disney without special stuff to buy, and among the promised goods are new Lunar New Year merchandise inspired by different cultures of East Asia.
Devoted Disney fans who snapped up stuffed bears from Shanghai last year will be especially interested in the special items brought from Shanghai Disney Resort, including traditional red envelopes for gift-giving, Minnie Mouse ear headbands, lantern glow wands and more. There will also be a limited-edition pin, an adult hoodie and T-shirts.
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