Disneyland celebrates Lunar New Year through Year of the Tiger themed attractions


Katelyn Jimenez

In February, Disneyland captured people’s attention by celebrating Lunar New Year and paying tribute to the many Asian cultures who celebrate the holiday through Year of the Tiger-themed food and attractions.

Katelyn Jimenez, Staff Reporter

Chinese New Year, also known as Lunar New Year or Year of the Tiger, was celebrated on February 1st and ended on February 11th. In the US, quite a few attractions set up Chinese New Year decorations such as the Stonewood Center in Downey and was more popularly celebrated at Disneyland’s California Adventure. They usher in a joyous tribute to Chinese, Vietnamese, and Korean cultures. Disneyland’s California Adventure, Lunar New Year, has different stands of cultural foods, live entertainment, and Disney characters dressed in festive attire. 

Some of the characters that starred in the festival were Raya from the Disney movie Raya and the Last Dragon, Mulan from the Disney movie Mulan, and childhood favorite, Tigger from Winnie The Pooh. Raya took over a character meet-and-greet and struck warrior poses with girls dressed in costumes. Her canopy was decorated with colorful flags, baskets and a purple hammock. Tigger made an appearance as the “tiger” because Chinese New Year is also known as Year of the Tiger. 

Junior, Christine Vicuna, is an annual pass holder at Disneyland, and was very excited to attend the festival and had a chance to meet some of the characters.

“I loved the movie Raya and the Last Dragon, so I was very excited to see her doing meet and greets,” said Vicuna. “There was a 45 minute wait to meet her which is longer than some of the rides, but it was a very cool experience.” 

Besides the characters, another popular attraction was the food. All across the start to the Little Mermaid Ride to the Chinese New Year’s hall, there were several stands of new foods you could try. 

“My favorite food item definitely had to be the Spicy Pork Dandan Noodles which were noodles with ground pork and a spicy chili sauce,” said Vicuna. “My second favorite was the Mickey Purple Sweet Potato Macaron because it was the perfect thing to have something sweet after having something spicy. I would give both foods a 10/10.” 

Lastly, Vicuna shares her experience when she participates in the Wishing Wall. For context, California Adventure has a wall in which participants tie scraps of paper onto the wall with their New Year’s wishes. “I thought it was a very sweet thing that they added and something well needed,” said Vicuna. “People were able to put positive messages on the paper for themselves or dedicate it to others and it was nice to see everyone tie they’re wishes and hopes together.”

Junior Rita Korail, who also attended the Lunar New Year celebration, was very impressed to see everything they laid out for the celebration.

“My favorite thing to see was definitely the parade they had because it was very colorful, vibrant, and full of life,” said Korail. “They had dancers, Disney characters, and for the main part they danced with the dragon.” 

At the event, Disney merchandise proved itself to be popular among visitors. They had shirts, sweaters, hats, Mickey ears, plush dolls, and more.

“I had to get the Mickey ears,” said Korail. “They were so cute, colorful, and it would be the perfect thing to take for when I go back for the festival next year.” 

Lastly, she shared her wish that she put on the wishing wall and how she hopes her New Years will turn out. 

“The only thing I wish for is happiness and health,” said Korail. “All I wish for is that my family is well taken care of and that my friends and I stick together for as long as we can.”