Leap's note: The Disneyland theme parks and hotels are temporarily closed due to COVID-19. It's unlikely that they will reopen in time for Disneyland Lunar New Year 2021. Hop over to our Disneyland reopening post and Downtown Disney post for the latest updates.
We frogs were squeaking with excitement for Disneyland Lunar New Year 2020 at Disney California Adventure, because it was the Year of the Mouse! Never did we imagine that within two months Disneyland, the place that "was started by a mouse," would be closed for the rest of 2020. Lunar New Year celebrates the traditional turning of the Chinese lunisolar calendar. Never have we been so hoppy to begin a new year as we are this year!
Over the past few years, Disney has seen this festival explode (it's a firework thing) in popularity since it began. The Lunar New Year Festival ran Jan. 17 to Feb. 9, 2020. It seems likely that Disneyland will still be temporarily closed for Lunar New Year 2021, so we will have to celebrate the Year of the Ox at home. Read on to learn about Disneyland Lunar New Year, and we can look forward to celebrating again at Disney California Adventure in 2022, which will be the Year of the Tiger!
Even though Disneyland and Disney California Adventure are closed, you can still get your Lunar New Year merchandise at Downtown Disney and Buena Vista Street. The cups, ears, clothing and more can help you celebrate the Year of the Ox. Plus, a Lunar New Year balloon is arriving in February.
The number of days for the festival has expanded in recent years, and we have been toadally excited about the new food and entertainment. You can taste traditional food, beverages and sweet treats from Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese and other Asian cultures at four Asian marketplaces and other dining locations. While you nibble your treats, you can enjoy music and shows. The year 2019 was the Year of the Pig. We enjoyed seeing the The Three Little Pigs in Mulan's Lunar New Year's Procession. We are hoppy to say that they stuck around for met and greets in 2020 to celebrate the Year of the Mouse with Minnie and Mickey! What will future Disneyland Lunar New Year celebrations bring?
Disneyland Lunar New Year at Disney California Adventure
Lunar New Year Entertainment
You will generally find festive Lunar New Year entertainment throughout the day and well into the evening between 10:30 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.
While all of the entertainment is exciting, our favorite spectacle is Mulan's Lunar New Year's Procession. The procession takes place on the waterfront and is led by Mulan and Mushu (with Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Chip and Dale) in their full holiday garb.
Colorfully costumed musicians, martial artists and dancers join them — along with a dragon! — for a beautiful and exciting celebration. You can also catch the performers on their way to and from the show site as they walk from Silly Symphony Swings to the waterfront performance area in Paradise Gardens Park.
Be sure to check the Entertainment Guide for specific performance times and locations, but there are typically about four shows per day, every hour from noon until 4:15 p.m. You can find the procession at Paradise Gardens Park, on the waterfront. Take a look at the 2019 procession in the video below!
You can catch live musical and artistic performances by authentic Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese dancers and musicians throughout Paradise Gardens Park. Watch them perform while you enjoy some of the tasty foods from Paradise Garden Grill or any of the festival marketplaces. Look for signs with show times.
Before the nightly World of Color show, enjoy a six-minute pre-show called “Hurry Home — Lunar New Year Celebration.” This story of family and friendship features Mulan and Mushu, and is told with fountains, lights and music. Be sure to pick up a World of Color FASTPASS early in the day.
Lunar New Year Characters
You can meet characters Mulan, Mushu, Mickey, Minnie, and The Three Little Pigs, all dressed in their New Year’s best at Paradise Gardens. We saw additional characters such as Pluto wandering through the crowd, so keep your eyes open and your arms ready for a hug! Hop in line in the morning for the shortest waits.
Lunar New Year Crafts and Face Painting
Before or after visiting characters, you can do free crafts. Complete a dragon's pearl coloring craft. Experience Chinese calligraphy with local artisans. Plus, you can get your face painted, for a fee. Be sure to write down your wishes and tie them to the Lucky Wishing Wall in hope for a prosperous New Year!
Disneyland Lunar New Year Merchandise
Lunar New Year at Disney California Adventure means there will be exclusive Lunar New Year merchandise. You can purchase some souvenir Mickey Mouse red envelopes to bring home to family, filled with wishes for good fortune and happiness in the coming year. There are red lanterns, T-shirts, themed Minnie Mouse ear headbands, spirit jerseys and all kinds of goodies to help you celebrate Lunar New Year Disney-style.
Lunar New Year Festival Food
One of our favorite parts of Lunar New Year is getting a taste of the Asian cultures by trying the delicious foods. The Paradise Garden Grill gets a fresh Asian-inspired menu during the event, and the four Festival Marketplaces offer Asian dishes with a Disney flair. Pick up a Sip and Savor Menu to help you make your choices before ordering.
Here's a look at the 2020 Lunar New Year food and beverages (offerings subject to change for future years). The bottom line is everything tastes better when shaped like Mickey!
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 (alcoholic beverage)
- Hitachino Nest Beer (bottled alcoholic beverage)
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
- Tsingtao (bottled alcoholic beverage)
Prosperity Bao & Buns
- Mickey Chinese hot dog bun
- Char siu pork bao with pickled red onions and jalapeño
- Mango-Pineapple pastry
- Lychee-Grapefruit gin spritzer (alcoholic beverage)
- Kloud Original Gravity Lager (canned alcoholic beverage)
Red Dragon Spice Traders
- Firecracker three cup chicken wings
- Shrimp & ginger dumplings with soy reduction, sriracha mayo and shaved bonito
- Purple yam macaron with crème fraiche
- Honey-Lime green tea
- Honey-Lime green tea with bourbon (alcoholic beverage)
- Bottle Logic Hanamacahi (draft alcoholic beverage)
Paradise Garden Grill Restaurant (tasting portions available)
- Korean grilled chicken
- Plant-based orange tempeh
- Pork belly bahn mi
- Whole deep-fried tilapia with chili lime vinaigrette and steamed rice
- Mango Mousse
- Almond milk iced tea
- Orange blossom cocktail (alcoholic beverage)
- Tiger Beer
- Kloud Beer
Lucky Fortune Cookery (tasting portion available)
- Bao bun with seasonal fruit
Outdoor Vending Carts
- Almond cookies
- Bulgogi chicken
- Pork belly egg rolls
- Lunar cocktail - Japanese vodka, Yuzu liquor, strawberry puree and sparkling sake
If you can’t decide — and we admit it will be very hard to choose what to eat — you can get a Sip and Savor Pass. The pass costs $42 and comes with coupons that can be redeemed for food and nonalcoholic beverages. Annual passholders usually get a discount of $39 and a special passholder lanyard. The Sip and Savor Pass is good at any of the above Festival Marketplaces as well as Lucky Fortune Cookery and Paradise Garden Grill through the end of Lunar New Year.
To save time, you can now use mobile order to order your food from the festival booths and quick-service restaurants. Sadly, you cannot combine a Sip and Savor Pass with your Mobile Order. Another way to save time is to find the food booth with the shortest line. Order several of your foods at once and take your receipt to each booth to collect your food. We love skipping lines! You'll find plenty of seating where you can enjoy your testes and treats in the Paradise Gardens festival area.
Whether you usually celebrate Lunar New Year in your home, or you want to know more about this holiday, you will love experiencing Disneyland Lunar New Year at Disney California Adventure Park. We learned a lot of about the celebration last year, and we enjoyed taking part in the festivities in 2020. Hoppy Lunar New Year!
Have you celebrated Lunar New Year at Disney California Adventure? Let us know in the comments if you've joined in on this festive celebration, and what your favorite activities were. Start the new year off with the most bang for your buck with hoppin' deals on discount Disneyland Resort tickets.
Related: Complete Guide to Disneyland Events