Gong Xi Fa Cai! 5 Reasons to Experience Disney’s Lunar New Year Celebration

Photo courtesy of the Disneyland Resort.

Gong Xi Fa Cai! 5 Reasons to Experience Disney’s Lunar New Year Celebration

By Paige DeRuyter January 25, 2020

Seeking the happiest multicultural experience on Earth? Look no further than the Lunar New Year celebration at Disney California Adventure Park. 

The Lunar New Year marks the start of a fresh year for the lunar calendar, and Disney takes this time to pay tribute to the Chinese New Year through beautiful events while also recognizing the rich heritages of Chinese, Vietnamese, and Korean cultures. 

The magic of the 2020 Disney Lunar New Year celebration lasts through February 9. Here are the fun festivities in store for you if you choose to join this joyous experience (trust us, you do).

1. Spread Wishes of Luck & Prosperity With the Characters

Celebrate the Lunar New Year with your favorite Disney characters. Photo courtesy of the Disneyland Resort.

Mickey, Minnie, and the rest of the gang come together in traditional holiday attire to meet and greet guests beside Paradise Garden Grill. This gathering of characters serves as the perfect setting for autographs and one-of-a-kind photo ops that you and your family will cherish not only in the new year, but also for years to come. 

For an additional dose of Lunar New Year magic, stop by the Lucky Wishing Wall in Paradise Gardens, where you can add your own special note enclosed with hopes and wishes for 2020. 

2. March Like a Warrior During Mulan’s Lunar New Year Procession

Make your way to Disney California Adventure Park to see it come to life with music and dancing. Photo courtesy of the Disneyland Resort.

If a captivating Disney parade is the magical experience you and the family crave, Mulan’s Lunar New Year Procession will surely not disappoint. Mulan and other Disney friends join traditional performers—such as warriors, dancers, drummers  and a larger-than-life Chinese dragon puppet—in a colorful march from Pixar Pier to Paradise Garden Park. This parade runs multiple times daily throughout the Lunar New Year Celebration, so check the Disney park schedule to ensure you don’t miss out!

3. Treat Your Taste Buds to Disney-Inspired Asian Cuisine

Chow down on Korean BBQ glazed chicken and other Asian-inspired delicacies. Photo courtesy of the Disneyland Resort.

No multicultural celebration is complete without some traditional dishes to share with family and friends. The Disney Lunar New Year food options are mainly served at marketplaces inside Paradise Gardens Park. Expect a wide array of Asian cuisine such as noodles, bao, dumplings, and much more.

For foodies really looking to get festive, Disney offers a Lunar New Year Sip and Savor Pass, which includes a commemorative credential and six redeemable coupons to use at multiple food kiosks and restaurants.

4. Listen to Tradition at the Paradise Garden Bandstand

Take a break from the rides to experience the music of several Asian cultures. Photo courtesy of the Disneyland Resort.

Want to immerse yourself in a new culture through music? If so, make your way over to the Paradise Garden Bandstand to witness live tunes along with rotating Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese folk-dancing groups on the weekends. 

The weekday musical programming features compelling sounds from San Francisco’s Melody of China. The ensemble’s fusion of traditional Chinese, contemporary, and folk instrumentals creates generation- and culture-bridging music that will leave you captivated. 

5. Witness a Unique Water Show that Connects You to Your Roots

Enjoy a classic show with a new twist at the new nighttime water spectacle. Photo courtesy of the Disneyland Resort.

Another outstanding performance that honors Asian traditions is Disney’s newest nighttime water show: “Hurry Home—Lunar New Year Celebration,” an awe-inspiring display accompanying the famous “World of Color” show. Originally created for the Shanghai Disney Resort opening ceremony, this feature presents the heartwarming story of a lantern journeying home for the New Year. You may also find some familiar faces in Mulan and Mushu along the way during this spectacular event of light, water, and color. 

Are you ready to ring in the Year of the Mouse with the Mouse himself? Be sure to visit and soak up this beautiful display of culture while it lasts. If you have time, check out the new Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance ride inside Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, too. 

WRITTEN BY
Paige DeRuyter

WRITTEN BY Paige DeRuyter

Paige DeRuyter is a contributing writer for California.com. A San Francisco Bay Area native, she spent several years living up north in Chico, California for her undergrad before returning to the Bay…

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