It’s become an annual tradition at Disney California Adventure (DCA) to ring in the Lunar New Year with a giant cultural celebration, and this year is no different. For 2018 the celebration runs for 24 days: January 26 through February 18. Guests can enjoy special entertainment, copious amounts of cultural food and drinks, special character meet-and-greets, and the return of the “Hurry Home — Lunar New Year Celebration” World of Color pre-show. We attended media night on January 26 and had a wonderful time. Check out our report below to join us on our adventure and get a taste of what this event has to offer!
It’s 2018 - the year of the Dog! And we’re at DCA getting ready to check in to the Lunar New Year celebration media event! Check-in is to the left, lets go...
Well, I think it’s to the left. Then again, maybe it’s to the right. Hmmm. We’ll find it eventually!
After narrowly avoiding a Dilophosaurus, we found check-in and headed into the park. Disney Ambassador Mikey Trujillo, Show Director Carla Carlile, and DCA General Manager Gary Maggetti welcomed us to the event and let us know what to expect!
Executive Chef John State then introduced some of the special food and drink options available only during the Lunar New Year celebration!
There’s way more than we can list here - so we’ll show just a small sample of what’s available. Pictured here is Japchae – sweet potato noodles, onions, shiitake mushrooms, carrots, spinach, snow peas, broccolini and lightly sautéed tofu tossed with sesame oil and sweet and spicy sauce and topped with toasted sesame seeds. Pretty fancy for an amusement park, right?
Banh Chu’ng – sticky rice cake with pork.
Banh Mi Thit Nuong – marinated pork belly, pickled carrots and daikon with cucumber, cilantro, seasoned mayonnaise and jalapeño on a crispy baguette.
Sanbeiji – Three-cup chicken.
Brittney loved the Baixiangguo Lucha – Passion fruit green iced tea with lychee popping pearls.
Banh Khoai Lang Tim – Purple sweet potato macaron. These are almost too pretty to eat!
There’s a bunch of special merchandise just for the event as well!
These red gift envelopes with a Disney twist are my favorite merchandise item.
There are shirts, snow-globes, pins, and more celebrating the year of the Dog.
Disney always considers all the details. I love the Mickey on the water dispenser!
The centerpieces on the tables were beautiful as well.
But enough about the press conference - lets go see all the entertainment!
We’ll start near Paradise Gardens where Mulan's Lunar New Year Procession is about to begin!
Here comes the procession!
The performers all have beautiful costumes.
Mulan and Mushu strike a pose!
Goofy is dressed as the “God of Good Fortune.”
There’s lots of dancing.
These women dance with vibrant pink fans.
The dancing dragon is my favorite part!
I love that the performances are all authentic with just a hint of Disney magic thrown in.
The colors are stunning!
There’s so much energy and movement in the show as well!
It’s a really great show - definitely worth seeing!
Bye bye dragon!
Bye bye Goofy!
Next we'll head over to Paradise Park to see Gugu Drum Group.
These performers are from Shanghai, China.
The drumming is really impressive.
And the costumes are equally impressive!
Here the performers used their instruments as storytelling devices.
Using just his drums, he’s bringing to life the sounds of a cat.
It’s cool hearing a story with no words!
There were some funny bits as well!
Here the performers shared drums between themselves.
The giant drum on the left is loud!
You can FEEL it!
Don’t miss Gugu Drum Group!
As night fell we ordered some Japchae and chowed down while listening to the live music of Dat Nguyen.
Dat Nguyen plays traditional and original compositions on a variety of instruments—from classical guitar to lute, flute and melodica.
That looks like such a fun instrument to play!
After dinner we met up with Pluto who licked us on our cheeks and wished us a Happy New Year!
You can make a wish for the new year, write it down, and tie it on this wall for good fortune!
Or just admire the wishes that others have shared!
Here’s the Lunar New Year signage lit up at night.
Let’s head back over to Paradise Park!
It’s almost time for “Hurry Home – Lunar New Year Celebration” and “World of Color.”
Hurry Home begins! This 6-minute pre-show for World of Color can only be seen during the Lunar New Year celebration.
The show tells the story of Little Lantern trying to find his way home to his family during their annual gathering to celebrate good fortune for the upcoming year.
A quick stop for food on the way home can’t hurt, right?
The show is filled with gorgeous art.
Mulan makes an appearance as well.
The musical score for the show was composed by Tan Dun. It was originally composed for the opening ceremony of the Shanghai Disney Resort.
Little Lantern made it to his family! Yay!
There’s a dog animation at the end to celebrate 2018!
Then Happy New Year appears in many different languages.
And fireworks burst in the sky! This show definitely packs a lot into 6 minutes!
And then afterwards the spotlights turn on and you’re treated to World of Color!
Definitely the best way to end your night at DCA!
I think the Pixar characters in the show are getting excited for “Pixar Pier” which is already well under construction.
The alien is noticing that the roller coaster’s loop is missing!
It wouldn’t be World of Color without fire!
Lots and lots of fire!
Does it have to end?
Before we left I took one last shot of the Paradise Pier logo - its days are definitely numbered! While we can’t wait to see what new fun Pixar Pier offers in Summer 2018, Paradise Pier will always hold a special spot in our hearts!
In our opinion The Lunar New Year Celebration at DCA is one of the best times of the year to visit the park. There’s great entertainment, food, merchandise, and shows on top of everything else DCA has to offer! The Lunar New Year Celebration runs through February 18, so don’t miss it! Thanks to Disney for throwing such an awesome event and inviting us to attend, and thanks to you for checking out our report!
Wow this looks amazing! Thanks for sharing this as I'm definitely going to make this event a goal next year. The WOC show looks like great in your photos and a nice pace of change from the usual Disney shows.
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