May 16, 2022

Lunar New Year festival kicks off at Disney California Adventure

View Original Notice ? Lunar New Year festival kicks off at Disney California Adventure

Disneylanders lined up in droves to snap selfies with Raya, Mulan and other Disney characters dressed in festive Asian attire and chow down on Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese festival cuisine as the annual Lunar New Year event returned to Disney California Adventure.

Disney’s Lunar New Year event kicked off on Friday, Jan. 21 and runs through Feb. 13 at Disney California Adventure.

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The 2022 Lunar New Year event returns to DCA after a pandemic pause in 2021 with a festival lineup that includes multicultural foods, live entertainment and Disney characters dressed in festive attire.

  • Tigger jumps in the air during Mulan’s Lunar New Year Processional during Lunar New Year in California Adventure at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, CA, on Friday, January 21, 2022. Tigger is in the spotlight because this is the Year of the Tiger. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Brothers Jeff Morris, left, and Ben Morris, take a selfie with Mickey and Minnie during Lunar New Year in California Adventure at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, CA, on Friday, January 21, 2022. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Audrey Lee Young learns how to pose from Raya, of Raya and the Last Dragon, at the Redwood Creek Challenge Trailduring Lunar New Year in California Adventure at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, CA, on Friday, January 21, 2022. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Joanna Doo shows off her tail to Tigger during Lunar New Year in California Adventure at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, CA, on Friday, January 21, 2022. Tigger is in the spotlight because this year is Year of the Tiger. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Mulan’s Lunar New Year Processional during Lunar New Year in California Adventure at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, CA, on Friday, January 21, 2022. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Mulan’s Lunar New Year Processional during Lunar New Year in California Adventure at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, CA, on Friday, January 21, 2022. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Mulan chastises Mushu after Mushu shared a laugh with Domiana Rohrig during Lunar New Year in California Adventure at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, CA, on Friday, January 21, 2022. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Katherine Chu hangs a message for the new year during Lunar New Year in California Adventure at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, CA, on Friday, January 21, 2022. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Long noodles tossed in zest garlic butter with parmesan in California Adventure available at Longevity Noodle Company Marketplace during the Lunar New Year at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, CA, on Friday, January 21, 2022. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Mango pineapple pie in California Adventure available at Paradise Garden Grill during the Lunar New Year at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, CA, on Friday, January 21, 2022. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Oolong donut; oolong-dusted beignet donut served with oolong crème anglaise, and orange soy pudding dipping sauces in California Adventure available at Lamplight Lounge during the Lunar New Year at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, CA, on Friday, January 21, 2022. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Kung pao bao; kung pao-glazed crispy pork belly, chili peanuts, steamed bao bun, red pepper, and green onion slaw in California Adventure available at Lamplight Lounge during the Lunar New Year at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, CA, on Friday, January 21, 2022. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Mulan’s Lunar New Year Processional during Lunar New Year in California Adventure at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, CA, on Friday, January 21, 2022. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Raya, from Raya and the Last Dragon, greets visitors at the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail during Lunar New Year in California Adventure at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, CA, on Friday, January 21, 2022. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • A new Lunar New Year archway stands during Lunar New Year in California Adventure at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, CA, on Friday, January 21, 2022. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Messages for the new year are hung by visitors during Lunar New Year in California Adventure at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, CA, on Friday, January 21, 2022. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Beef bulgogi shortrib with rice with green onion salad in California Adventure available at Lucy 8 Lantern Marketplace during the Lunar New Year at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, CA, on Friday, January 21, 2022. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Asian-style street corn; steamed corn on the cob rolled in spicy gochujang sauce available at Paradise Garden in California Adventure during the Lunar New Year at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, CA, on Friday, January 21, 2022. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Spicy kung pao tofu; deep fried tofu with zucchini, yellow squash, broccoli, red peppers, peanuts and fried rice garnished with garlic chips in California Adventure available at Paradise Garden Grill during the Lunar New Year at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, CA, on Friday, January 21, 2022. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Green tea-raspberry parfait; green tea mousse, raspberry jelly, white sponge cake, white chocolate mousse and candy pearls in California Adventure available at Paradise Garden Grill during the Lunar New Year at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, CA, on Friday, January 21, 2022. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • The Three Little Pigs during Lunar New Year in California Adventure at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, CA, on Friday, January 21, 2022. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Mulan’s Lunar New Year Processional during Lunar New Year in California Adventure at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, CA, on Friday, January 21, 2022. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Mickey Chinese hot dog bun; brioche-style Mickey-shaped bun stuffed with hot dogs and finished with sesame seeds and scallions in California Adventure available at Prosperity Bay & Buns during the Lunar New Year at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, CA, on Friday, January 21, 2022. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • A new Lunar New Year archway stands during Lunar New Year in California Adventure at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, CA, on Friday, January 21, 2022. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Tigger jumps in the air during Mulan’s Lunar New Year Processional during Lunar New Year in California Adventure at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, CA, on Friday, January 21, 2022. Tigger is in the spotlight because this is the Year of the Tiger. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

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Raya took over a character meet-and-greet spot recently vacated by Santa Claus in Redwood Creek Challenge Trail. The star of the “Raya and the Last Dragon” animated film interacted with young girls in Mulan costumes and struck warrior poses with women Disneybounding as Raya and her dragon Sisu.

Raya’s bamboo canopy was decorated with colorful flags, fabric-filled baskets and a purple hammock — but she had little time to rest. The queue to snap a socially-distanced photo with Raya meandered throughout Redwood Creek Challenge Trail and stretched out the entrance. The 45-minute line to see Raya was longer than the wait for Incredicoaster or Guardians of the Galaxy — Mission: Breakout.

Paradise Gardens served as the other major character hangout during the Lunar New Year event. Mulan and Mushu, Mickey and Minnie, the Three Little Pigs and Tigger — it’s the year of the tiger — all made appearances dressed in Lunar New Year costumes against a red and yellow backdrop filled with firecrackers, bamboo and lanterns.

SEE ALSO: Everything you can eat and drink at Disney’s Lunar New Year festival

The other big draw of the Lunar New Year festival: food.

Disneyland’s chefs have created a seasonal lineup that introduces new flavor profiles with a Disney twist that are not often found on the theme park’s year-round menus. Disneyland’s culinary team drew upon their cultural backgrounds, family traditions and world travels to craft the Lunar New Year menu.

Among the most interesting items on the menu: A crispy whole fried fish complete with head and tail, Mickey-shaped brioche-style bun stuffed with chopped hot dog pieces and Mickey-shaped purple sweet potato macaron.

Opening day of the Lunar New Year event brought long lines to the kiosks and food stands offering festival menu items. The queue for the Longevity Noodle Co. and Lucky 8 Lantern marketplace kiosks stretched past the Golden Zephyr and Jumpin’ Jellyfish attractions.

SEE ALSO: Disneyland hosts Super Bowl tailgate party with ESPN pregame shows and fan experience

Pro tip: You can purchase all festival foods at any of the kiosks and stands offering Lunar New Year menu items — regardless of whether they serve the Sip and Savor tasting-size offerings or not. Pick the location with the shortest line and go there to make your purchase.

Place your order for several items at a time and then take your receipt to each of the individual pickup windows when you’re ready to eat. It doesn’t matter if you’re paying as you go or using the Sip and Savor pass that comes with six tabs good for individual food items. Employees will cross off each item on your receipt as you pick them up. You’ll save time and avoid hunger.

The best bet on opening day: Lucky Fortune Cookery in the Pacific Wharf food court had the shortest line to purchase food — in part because it was well off the main Lunar New Year promenade.

“Mulan’s Lunar New Year Procession” is back again with Mulan and her faithful dragon Mushu on a new float with golden tasseled firecrackers and red and gold lanterns that glow during evening performances. The procession features 28 performers including traditional Chinese drummers.

Melody of China performs a fusion of Chinese folk, classical and contemporary instrumental songs on the Paradise Garden Bandstand.

SEE ALSO: How Disneyland passholders can get free stuff during Magic Key appreciation month

The lineup of Lunar New Year merchandise features 11 new items including t-shirts, spirit jerseys, commemorative pins, drink tumblers, Minnie ears and plush Mickey dolls.

Magic Key annual passholders can pick up a free collectible button and pose for a selfie at an exclusive Lunar New Year photo spot underneath Silly Symphony Swings.

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