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5 Things Not to Miss at Disney’s Lunar New Year Celebration

5 Things Not to Miss at Disney’s Lunar New Year Celebration

While January 1st is the start of the calendar year, for those celebrating Lunar New Year the festivities are just beginning. What better way to start a fresh new year than with a little Disney fun? Disneyland Resort’s guests will get to experience the Year of the Rooster through live performances, cuisine, and special feature every night before World of Color.

Disney California Adventure Park’s Lunar New Year festivities kicked off this weekend and we previewed all the food and new entertainment. The event runs from now through February 5, 2017, with many activities available for the whole family. Here are five unmissable things at this year’s celebration.

1. Traditional Cuisine

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Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese cultures traditionally celebrate the Lunar New Year and, as with all celebrations, food is at the forefront. The Lunar New Year Marketplace and Paradise Garden Grill are serving up Asian-inspired dishes for guests to try. My favorites were the soup dumplings, which are a popular food trend right now, Vegetable Japchae noodles which are sure to please even the most picky of eaters, and the Kalbi beef short ribs which are tender and flavorful. Families can even order up a whole crispy tilapia dish to share, something that is usually only available at restaurants.

2. “Hurry Home”

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Fans of World of Color adore the fountains and lighting effects, and for the Lunar New Year, Disney has added a 6-minute feature beforehand called Hurry Home. The story follows the journey of a Little Lantern returning home for the new year celebration. The show features fully rendered CG animation as well as sequences inspired by traditional Chinese paper cut-out animation. Mulan fans should keep an eye out for the heroine and her pal Mushu.

3. Characters in Lunar New Year Costumes

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Speaking of Mulan and Mushu, they’ll be leading Mulan’s Lunar New Year Procession. Disney parades are always colorful and full of surprises. This parade is filled with umbrella dancers and performers, featuring music from Disney’s Mulan. Disney characters are a treat for kids but a lot of adults try and collect selfies with their favorite characters too. Mulan and Mushu photo opps will be available as well as Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, and Chip ‘n Dale all dressed in their new year attire.

4. Musical Performances

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Live musical performances are a critical part of Disney’s history. For this celebration, authentic musical performers will play music on traditional instruments for guests to enjoy. There will also be daily performances by the Acrobats of China, a cultural art form that has been performed for more than 2,500 years.

5. Commemorative Merchandise

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What’s Disney without fun, collectible merchandise? Available for purchase are specially designed t-shirts, pins and a decorative trinket box. My personal favorite are Lunar New Year-inspired Disney red envelopes. Traditionally given to children for the new year, the red envelopes are usually filled with money that ends with an even digit for good luck. These special envelopes feature Mickey and a rooster, the symbol of this Lunar New Year.

Check out photos from Disneyland Resort’s Lunar New Year in the gallery below.

Which part of the Disney Lunar New Year celebration are you most looking forward to? Let us know in the comments and tag @nerdist and @justjenn on twitter so we can see how you are celebrating Lunar New Year at the parks!

Images: Jenn Fujikawa, Disney

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