Disneyland Resort is ringing in the Year of the Tiger with its annual Lunar New Year celebration, now in full swing at Disney California Adventure Park through Feb. 13. The multicultural festivities honor Chinese, Vietnamese and Korean traditions — Disney style — with stunning décor, themed food, character appearances and festive entertainment. Here are the best ways to celebrate Lunar New Year at Disneyland.
Featured Photo: Courtesy of Disneyland
Lunar New Year Marketplaces
Sample festive Asian-inspired dishes from beautifully decorated Lunar New Year Marketplaces and participating dining locations. To save some money, pick up a Sip and Savor pass, which gets you six redeemable coupons for festival food and non-alcoholic drink items at a discount.
Longevity Noodle Co.
A Lunar New Year staple, tradition dictates that long noodles promise a long life. At Longevity Noodle Co., try Spicy Pork Dandan Noodles, pan-fried with ground pork and a spicy chile sauce, perfectly complemented by the marketplace’s Pale Ale with mandarin and bergamot zest, or the milder Garlic Noodles tossed in garlic butter and parmesan. For a caffeine boost, try the Salted Pistachio Cold Brew made with coffee by Joffrey’s Coffee & Tea Co.
Lucky 8 Lantern
At Lucky 8 Lantern, Beef Bulgogi Short Rib on rice is a hearty take on the Korean dish. Shrimp Fried Rice gets a twist here — it’s topped with garlic bacon edamame. Try drinks like the Soju Peach Yuja-Ade, made with soju, a Korean spirit, mixed with yuja, dragonfruit, butterfly pea flower tea, lemon and peach syrup.
Prosperity Bao & Buns
Head to this kiosk for the festival’s Instagram darling dish, the Mickey Chinese Hot Dog Bun, a Mickey-shaped brioche bun dotted with hot dog. If hot dogs aren’t your thing, the more elevated Char Siu BBQ Pork Bao is another festival favorite. The Prosperous Tiger is one of the festival’s most interesting cocktails, made with vodka, cream of coconut, bitters, triple sec, mandarin purée, and vanilla bean paste.
Red Dragon Spice Traders
Disneyland continues to up its plant-based game, thanks in part to a partnership with Impossible Foods. New to the festival this year, the Impossible Lion’s Head Meatballs — mini plant-based “pork” meatballs served with cabbage and Shaoxing wine reduction, are getting rave reviews from both vegetarians and meat-eaters. For something sweet, the Mickey Purple Sweet Potato Macaron is another Instagram star.
More Lunar New Year Food and Drink Spots
Paradise Garden Grill
If you’re not the grazing type or you’re just in the mood for a full meal, head to Paradise Garden Grill. Here you can try the biggest head-turning dish of the festival, a Whole Fried Fish, fried crisp and served family style for two. Other options include the Pork Banh Mi Sandwich, Korean-style BBQ Chicken, and Spicy Kung Pao Tofu. The Tiger Milk Tea with brown sugar boba is another attention grabber this year.
Paradise Gardens Special Events Cart
Sample street food favorites like Gochujang Wings and Asian-style Street corn, an unexpected Orange-flavored Cotton Candy, and Mango-Pineapple Pie.
My favorite restaurant at Disney California Adventure Park, Pixar-themed Lamplight Lounge is a must-visit on any trip to Disneyland and features some seasonal specials for Lunar New Year. Known for their Lobster Nachos, Lamplight Lounge serves a Korean-style BBQ version during the festival — housemade chips are topped with Bulgogi pork belly, cheesy corn sauce, gochujang crema, fresh radish and spicy cucumbers. And you simply must try the Oolong Donut for dessert — an oolong-dusted beignet donut served with oolong crème anglaise and orange soy pudding dipping sauces.
GCH Holiday Cart
In the lobby of the nearby Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, the GCH Holiday cart is a go-to spot for seasonal treats to go. This year, the Lunar New Year treats are all about the Year of the Tiger. Pick up colorful Mickey-shaped Tiper-striped Sugar Cookies, hand-dipped, chocolate-covered, tiger-striped pretzel sticks, and a bright-red Lantern Whoopie Pie.
See and Hear
Mulan's Lunar New Year Procession
Mulan’s Lunar New Procession is a dazzling, must-see parade that makes its way several times daily from Pixar Pier Gate to Paradise Gardens Obelisk and back. Traditional Chinese drummers accompany Mulan and her dragon pal Mushu, who arrive on an impressive new float, decorated in red and gold with hanging lanterns that glow during evening performances. Umbrella and fan dancers in elaborate, colorful costumes perform traditional dances to beautiful music and a beautiful Chinese dragon adds to the spectacle. In honor of the Year of the Tiger, Tigger also makes a special appearance to the delight of kiddos.
Performances at Paradise Garden Bandstand
Paradise Gardens is a great spot to grab a table after you’ve rounded up your festival dishes to sample. At the Paradise Garden Bandstand, hear live music from San-Francisco based Melody of China along with other daily live performances featuring traditional instruments accompanied by Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese folk dancers.
The Lunar Near Year celebration provides some unique opportunities to meet new and rare characters. Mulan and Mushu, the Three Little Pigs, Tigger, and Mickey and Minnie all appear in beautiful festive costumes at the Paradise Gardens Gazebo.
New this year, Raya, the star of “Raya and the Last Dragon,” is meeting guests along the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail.
Art walls display information about Lunar New Year, sharing the story of the celebration in each of the cultures represented at the festival. Guests can also learn what “year” (tiger, pig, dog, etc.) they are and kids and adults can try complimentary arts and crafts, including dragon’s pearl coloring craft and Chinese calligraphy.
The Lucky Wishes Wall is a meaningful space where guests can walk beneath strings of lanterns displaying the written wishes of other guests and add their own to the mix.
Commemorative Lunar New Year merchandise in bold reds and golds like a Spirit Jersey, tumbler, Minnie Ears, and more are available as fun souvenirs of this very limited time event.
To visit Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park, guests must have a valid ticket and theme park reservation for the park they want to visit or a park hopper ticket and a theme park reservation for their starting park.
Limited-time ticket offers are available on weekdays for Southern California residents during the festival and beyond, through May 26, 2022.
Select rooms at Disneyland Resort hotels are also available for all guests at up to 25% off most Sunday through Thursday nights now through April 7, 2022.