If you’re visiting Disneyland Resort during the 2024 Lunar New Year Celebration, you won’t want to skip these top entertainment offerings.
Are you ready to welcome the Year of the Dragon? We are –– and we kicked off the new year by visiting Disney California Adventure Park for the 2024 Lunar New Year Celebration! During this annual celebration, which runs from January 23 to February 18, 2024, a whole host of culturally-inspired festivities come to California Adventure and the larger Disneyland Resort. One of our favorite aspects is all of the specially-themed entertainment that makes celebrating Lunar New Year a totally immersive experience.
Below, I’m sharing my favorite entertainment offerings you can catch exclusively during the 2024 Lunar New Year Celebration at California Adventure. While there’s a lot happening each day, you’ll want to make sure to make time for this extra-exciting entertainment!
1. The Turning Red Character Meet and Greet
If there’s only one thing you do at this year’s Lunar New Year Celebration, make sure you stop by San Francisco Street to visit two of the newest characters greeting guests at California Adventure: Meilin and Ming Lee from Disney and Pixar’s Turning Red!
Meilin and Ming are appearing for the first time ever in a Disney theme park this year, and you don’t want to miss this incredible opportunity to meet them in person. The mother-daughter duo is perfectly executed, and the characters from the beloved panda-monium filled film look like they’ve leapt right off the screen and into real life.
Just note: Wait times for these brand-new characters are very long, so you’ll want to make this meet and greet your first stop of the day. On opening day, guests were waiting over two hours to see Meilin and Ming!
2. Mulan and Mushu Meet and Greet
After you visit with Meilin and her mom, Ming, head over to Paradise Gardens. This area of California Adventure is the heart of the Lunar New Year Celebration, and it’s home to live entertainment (like performances from local musicians who play Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese tunes) as well as activities for all ages.
Here, one of the most exciting entertainment offerings can be found inside the gazebo: a character meet and greet with Mulan and Mushu. Throughout the day, you can catch Mulan, Mushu, or both for an extra fun encounter.
Once you’ve meet with Mulan, Mushu, or the dynamic duo together, don’t leave Paradise Gardens –– other characters will pop in throughout the day! The Paradise Gardens Gazebo is where you can meet with familiar faces like Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, and others dressed for the new year in their red and gold attire.
3. Mulan’s Lunar New Year Procession
Each year, Mulan’s Lunar New Year Procession winds through California Adventure to explain the traditions of the celebration that originate in China. Featuring rainbow-hued (and brightly-lit during evening performances) dragons, glittering lotus flowers, and traditionally-dressed warriors, the highlight of the procession is a float featuring Mulan, Cri-Kee, and the Disney character who’s leading the celebration: for 2024 and the Year of the Dragon, it’s Mushu himself! Chip and Dale follow closely behind, wearing their red and gold best.
Worried you won’t have time to sit for a parade? It’s easy to catch this processional! Not only is it pretty brief, but guests don’t camp out along the parade route too far in advance –– meaning it’s easy to grab a great viewing spot within just 10 to 15 minutes of showtime. Plus, the processional rolls throughout the park four times each day, giving you plenty of opportunities to catch it.
4. Arts, Crafts, and Chinese Calligraphy Artists
If you’re visiting California Adventure with little ones in your party, make sure to check out the arts and crafts available for the Lunar New Year Celebration. Located to the left of Paradise Garden Grill, you’ll find a craft station set up in front of a shrine featuring the year’s zodiac character: a glittering gold dragon. Here, kids (and adults!) can stop by to try their hand at some Mushu-themed crafts.
In addition to kid-friendly arts and crafts, there’s another Lunar New Year-inspired craft that takes place in the Paradise Gardens area: traditional Chinese calligraphy done by local artisans. The Chinese calligraphy artisans are one of the most popular offerings of the Lunar New Year festival, so you’ll want to make sure to head here early for the shortest wait! You can have the artist on hand translate your names into traditional Chinese characters with sweeping calligraphy strokes, making for a souvenir you’ll absolutely cherish.
5. The Lunar New Year Wishing Wall
A staple of Disneyland Resort’s Lunar New Year Celebration, the Lunar New Year Wishing Wall is a totally different kind of entertainment than you typically find inside the theme parks. In Paradise Gardens, you can take a few minutes to grab a red-and-gold Mickey-shaped paper, write down your wish for the year ahead, and hang it on one of the chains decorating the area.
As the celebration runs through mid-February, the chains become increasingly colorful as they fill with wishes. It’s a great way to add your own personal touch along with all of the other guests who visit, and it’s a cool experience to tie your personal wishes on so they can hang for the duration of the event. Plus, it’s a great way to learn more about the traditions of Lunar New Year!
6. Hurry Home – A Lunar New Year Celebration During World of Color
While you may have already seen California Adventure’s nighttime spectacular World of Color (or its current iteration, World of Color – ONE in honor of the Disney100 Celebration), it’s well worth catching during the Lunar New Year Celebration.
Just for the new year, World of Color gets a special preshow that plays on the towering water “screens” in Paradise Bay. Hurry Home – A Lunar New Year Celebration takes place right before World of Color gets underway, and it’s a heartwarming story about a lantern’s quest to reunite with family in time to celebrate the new year. You can see it for yourself below!
Check the Disneyland App for More Lunar New Year Entertainment
Ready to experience and explore these special Lunar New Year Celebration entertainment offerings? Make sure to check the Disneyland app on the day of your visit. Here, you’ll find all of the latest updates and details on where, when, and how you can experience all the festival has to offer.
Thanks to Disney for hosting us during the opening day of the Lunar New Year Celebration where we were able to experience the character meet and greets, festival marketplaces, Mulan’s Lunar New Year Procession, and World of Color.