Photo Joshua Sudock/Disneyland Resort
Photo Joshua Sudock/Disneyland Resort

Lunar New Year at Disneyland or Universal Studios: Chinese New Year the Theme Park Way

Chinese New Year in Disneyland? Well, it is the Year of Mouse, after all. And while most angelenos know about DTLA's famous Chinese New Year Festival and its accompanying 120+ year-old Golden Dragon Parade, not everyone realizes that there are also ways to celebrate the season at our favorite theme parks. So if you like your lion dance with a side of roller coaster, you've got options.

Lunar New Year at Disneyland

Sure, most people are calling this the Year of the Rat, but as soon as you say Year of the Mouse, it just makes you want to go celebrate at Disneyland. Daily festivities include performances, parades, and special character encounters, all at California Adventure.

Character encounters tailored for the holiday include Mulan as well as favorite characters like Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Pluto, and Goofy, all sporting traditional style Chinese New Year garb.

Mulan's New Year Procession can be enjoyed several times per day, filling the street from Pixar Pier to Paradise Garden Park with lively performances, dragon puppets, drummers, and music.

Speaking of music, a rotating line-up of musical acts, including Melody of China, take the stage at Paradise Garden Bandstand.

Special food choices with a Chinese flair can be enjoyed throughout the park with a special Lunar New Year Sip and Savor Pass.

A nightly fountain show features music and imagery that tell a timely story of friendship, starring Mulan and Mushu.

All events are included with park admission, which is a good deal at the moment with the three-day Southern California Neighbor Pass that works out to just under $67 per day and is good through May 17, 2020.


Even the minions get in on the holiday fun. Photo by Mommy Poppins

Lunar New Year at Universal Studios

If you make a Chinese New Year visit to Universal Studios, you can trust the theme park to celebrate in style from January 23 - February 9. Universal Plaza is decked out with red lanterns and plum blossoms in honor of the Lunar New Year, with a chance to write New Year's wishes on a Wishing Tree.

Kung Fu Panda stars Po and Tigress greet guests, as do a Mandarin-speaking MEGATRON from Transformers: The Ride, festive minions in festive Chinese attire, and Hello Kitty in her Chinese New Year best.

Tasty traditional treats are available at Mr. Ping's Noodle Shop, as are photo ops with Mr. Ping. Chinese delicacies can also be enjoyed at Dongpo Kitchen.

The famous Studio Tour ride is offered in Mandarin at select times throughout the day. 

Cultural performances go on throughout the day in the main plaza, including traditional Lion Dances and martial arts demos.

A SoCal Neighbor Pass is good for nine months and costs only a little more than a single day's admission.

Plenty more Lunar New Year celebrations can be found on our events calendar. Know of one you'd like to share? Please submit it to our calendar!