When I was young, celebrating the Lunar New Year with my family was always a special occasion. We would dress up in new clean clothes and await the new year to arrive. Then we wish each other a happy and healthy new year. During the new year weekend, we would go out and celebrate Tet (the Lunar New Year celebration in Vietnamese) at festivals.
I am happy to now share the same traditions with my own family. For the third year in a row, Disney California Adventure celebrates the Lunar New Year by putting on some special events for a few days. The celebration has everything you see at the festivals I use to go to, except with Disney characters! I was really excited to attend for the first time with my three-year-old daughter.
When we got to Disney California Adventure, we headed to Paradise Pier, where the Lunar New Year festivities were taking place. The area was decorated in beautiful red and gold. I loved the lanterns hanging from the Happy Lunar New Year sign.
As we walked around, the first characters we saw were Chip and Dale, dressed in their new year attire! They were very sweet to my daughter and she could not stop smiling.
Then we waited in the character meet and greet and watched Mushu take photos with everyone. After half an hour or so, they switched the characters to Mickey and Minnie. My daughter was really excited to see them. She even wanted to wear a traditional red outfit to match with them. After more than an hour in line, we were just a few people away and they switched the characters again. My daughter was a bit disappointed. They even waved to her as she stood in line. When it was our turn, we took photos with both Chip and Dale in the decorated gazebo. I wish we had time to take photos with all of the characters. Next year we will need to be at the park earlier to try to catch them all.
After our Character Meet and Greet, we sat behind the lines of where the next show was about to start. We had front row seating for the next Lion Dance show. My daughter really enjoyed it and was snapping photos of the all dancers.
The Mulan Processional show is the one you don’t want to miss! They ran it several times a day during the New Year celebration. It was pretty good this year. Mulan and Mushu come out to dance, and then there are umbrella dancers, ribbon dancers, drummers, and dancing blue dragon.
The souvenir that I really wanted from the events was the limited edition pin! I am so happy to add it to my pin collection. There is Mickey with the Year of the Goat logo.
There were plenty of activities for everyone too. They had tables set out where you can color and decorate lanterns. There was also a face-painting booth, and a place where you can write your well wishes for the new year and hang them up. There were also special traditional foods sold for the event. I also enjoyed listening to music from my ancestors as I strolled through the park.
Overall, my family and I had an amazing time. We enjoyed all the traditional decorations, music, and of course, the Disney characters dressing up in their Lunar New Year attire. Next year, we hope to stop by the festivities earlier in the afternoon so we can absorb all Disney California Adventure has to offer!
Editor Note: For more pictures & video from the celebration check out Jason’s full picture set from Friday February 20, 2015. Here is a video featuring some of my pictures: