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Lunar New Year returns to Disneyland Resort 2021 with shopping favorites as we look back on a seasonal offerings to celebrate Year of the Ox.
Join me as your Disneyland expert to guide you through this multi-cultural celebration at Disney California Adventure Park. Enjoy Disney Lunar New Year at Disney California Adventure park in January and February, with actual Chinese New Year celebrated on February 12, 2021.
Will Disneyland Resort celebrate Lunar New Year in 2021?
It’s time to celebrate Disney Lunar New Year—a celebration of Asian tradition and cultures, along with well wishes for the future. Our Lunar New Year celebration begins now with answers to your Lunar New Year frequently asked questions.
See how to celebrate Disney Lunar New Year at Home in 2021.
What will 2021’s Lunar New Year Celebration be like? While the theme parks remain closed, many of the celebrations listed below are offered only during regular operations. However, there’s still ways to learn and celebrate in 2021 if you’re at Downtown Disney, including Buena Vista Street or at home. Keep reading for specifics on 2021.
What is Disney Lunar New Year? Lunar New Year celebrates Asian cultures through music, food, dance and tradition, with the addition of beloved Disney characters like Mulan and Mushu. Lunar New Year is celebrated at Disney California Adventure Park from late January through early February. Next up we’ll celebrate in January and February, with actual Chinese New Year celebrated on February 12, 2021.
Where is Disney Lunar New Year? . In 2021, Disney Lunar New Year is wherever you are, see how to celebrate Disney Lunar New Year at Home in 2021. At Downtown Disney, you can shop all the latest Lunar New Year merchandise in stores throughout both the regular Downtown Disney and into California Adventure Park, no admission required.
Traditionally, Lunar New Year is celebrated at Disney California Adventure park, mostly along the pathway that borders Paradise Bay (the water area in front of Pixar Pier) and Paradise Gardens Park. In front of Paradise Gardens you’ll find live entertainment throughout the day and more food offerings
How much does Disney Lunar New Year cost? You can stroll through Lunar New Year marketplaces and enjoy live entertainment for free with valid theme park admission.
When do Disney Lunar New Year marketplace kiosks open? Lunar New Year marketplace kiosks open daily at 10:30 or 11 am, depending on park hours during the event. Food kiosks are not expected to be part of the 2021 celebration but we hope Disney will announce some seasonal foodie favorites soon. See below for some of the food items that might be offered on a smaller scale in 2021.
Disney Lunar New Year Year of the Ox
2021 is the Year of the Ox. In Chinese culture, Ox symbolize luck, strength and stamina. Ox also represents prosperity and hard work. See how to celebrate Disney Lunar New Year at Home in 2021.
There are twelve animals in the Chinese Zodiac, based on a 12 year cycle and each year corresponds with an animal (rat/mouse, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and pig) and calculated based on the Lunar calendar.
Take a look at The Garden of Twelve Friends where the 12 signs of the Chinese zodiac are depicted by popular Disney and Disney/Pixar characters at Shanghai Disney. While The Garden of Twelve Friends gives us an idea of which Disney or Pixar character might make an appearance at California Adventure, we have seen some adjustments in the past as well.
- 2021 Year of the Ox
- 2020 Year of the Rat/Mouse: Mickey & Minnie Mouse
- 2019 Year of the Pig: Three Little Pigs
- 2018 Year of the Dog: Pluto
- 2017 Year of the Rooster: Alan-a-Dale from Robin Hood
- 2016 Year of the Monkey: Abu from Aladdin
- 2015 Year of the Goat/Sheep: Jolly Holiday Lambs
- 2014 Year of the Horse: Maximus from Tangled
- 2013 Year of the Snake: Kaa (first year Lunar New Year was celebrated at California Adventure Park, previously at Disneyland Park)
- 2012 Year of the Dragon: Mushu
- 2011 Year of the Rabbit: Thumper
- 2010 Year of the Tiger: Tigger
My Chinese Zodiac is Year of the Dog, which was celebrated in 2018. Here’s how to find out what yours is based on what year you were born.
- Rat 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008, 2020
- Ox 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009, 2021
- Tiger 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010, 2022
- Rabbit 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011, 2023
- Dragon 1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012, 2024
- Snake 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013, 2025
- Horse 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014, 2026
- Goat 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015, 2027
- Monkey 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016, 2028
- Rooster 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017, 2029
- Dog 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018, 2030
- Pig 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019, 2031
Disney Lunar New Year Wishes
One of the things I love about Disney California Adventure park celebrations (and there are many throughout the year, like Food & Wine Festival coming next!) is they find a way to involve everyone, young or young-at-heart.
In the Paradise Garden area of Paradise Gardens Park, take a moment to write your New Year Wishes on a Mickey-shaped Lunar New Year wishing paper. Hang them on the Lucky Wishing Wall for good luck and prosperity during Year of the Ox.
For 2021, this means your wishing wall can be made at home! Create your own wishing wall and add wishes for the New Year throughout January and February.
Families and children alike will also enjoy decorating a Lunar New Year paper lantern to take home or maybe even stop to get your face painted during Lunar New Year. Note face painting is no longer complimentary. In 2021, we’ll be making our own version of these festive paper lanterns, will you?
Disney Lunar New Year Food
There are many popular Disney shirts with a variation of “I’m just here for the food” printed across the front. No shame here! And with the tasty Asian cuisine offered during Lunar New Year, we can see why you might just be coming for the food.
Take a look back at Lunar New Year food from 2020 to get an idea for what you can recreate at home in 2021.
Each marketplace in Paradise Gardens Park offers Asian inspired cuisine, making for some mighty sampling and tasting your way through Asia, all without leaving Disneyland Resort. Food items range from about $5-9.
What’s the Lunar New Year Sip & Savor Pass? For about $42 you can taste your way through Lunar New Year. Choose your favorite food items, Lunar New Year desserts or non-alcoholic beverages with the convenience of a pre-paid Sip & Savor Pass.
Is there an AP discount for the Sip & Savor Pass? Yes, Annual Passholders can purchase the Sip & Savor Pass for about $40.
I suggest checking out the lines before buying Sip & Savor. Why? In 2020, you could use mobile ordering which might save you more time. If you prefer paying full price but getting your food faster, mobile order might be for you. If you’re spending several days at Disneyland Resort and have more time, consider the discount a Sip & Savor pass can offer instead.
The following menu items were offered in 2020, no word yet if we’ll see some of these food items available in 2021.
Disney Lunar Red Dragon Spice Traders Marketplace
- Firecracker Three Cup Chicken Wings $7.50
- Purple yam macaron $6.50, my personal favorite and back for a third year!
- Shrimp and ginger dumplings $8.25, new in 2020. This one is a winner!
- Honey lime green tea $6.00
Disney Lunar New Year Prosperity Bao and Buns Marketplace
- Char shiu pork bao $7.75, I really liked this one, I’d totally go for this multiple times over the course Lunar New Year.
- Mickey Chinese hot dog bun copycat recipe, this one wins it for me with the Mickey presentation! My kids loved it too.
- Mango-pineapple pastry, delicious dessert when you need something sweet; comes with two!
Disney Lunar New Year Longevity Noodle Co. Marketplace
- Chicken meatballs and lo mein noodles $7.50
- Veggie egg roll $7.00, so delicious!
- Black sesame mochi donut $6.00
- Vietnamese cold brew $6.50
Disney Lunar New Year Lucky 8 Lantern Marketplace
- Shrimp fried rice $8.00
- Smoked beef short rib $8.25
- Mandarin orange-green tea tart $5.50
Paradise Garden Grill & Lucky Fortune Cookery
Both locations have Lunar New Year menu items. You can use your Sip & Savor pass here or pay the a la carte price.
Paradise Garden Grill serves:
- Korean Grilled Chicken
- Plant-Based Orange Tempeh
- Pork Belly Bahn Mi
- Whole Deep-Fried Tilapia with Chili Lime Vinaigrette and Steamed Rice
- Mango Mousse, delicious dessert (kinda my thing at Disneyland)
- Almond Milk Iced Tea
Lucky Fortune Cookery (mobile order only) has a Bao Bun with Seasonal Fruit. You can also get almond cookies at select food carts.
Which Lunar New Year food items have you tried from past years and what do you want to try this year?
Disney Lunar New Year World of Color
Will World of Color be back for Lunar New Year? After an absence from 2019’s Lunar New Year, World of Color will arrive in time for Lunar New Year 2020, but will take 2021 off.
World of Color is a stunning light and water projection show at California Adventure. Hurry Home is a “short” before the main World of Color show featuring Mulan and includes music by Academy Award®-winning composer Tan Dun.
Disney Lunar New Year Meet Mulan
Mulan is truly the princess of Lunar New Year at Disney California Adventure park and we love seeing her celebrated!
In 2021, we look to Disney Plus to stream our favorite version of Mulan. Will it be the classic animated movie or the new live action?
During Lunar New Year, join Mulan and Mushu in a bright and vibrant parade, “Mulan’s Lunar New Year Procession”.
The parade is performed multiple times per day in front of Paradise Bay. You can catch Mulan and Friends traveling throughout Paradise Gardens Park, ending with an exquisite display of dance and music with Pixar Pier in the background.
Tips for viewing Mulan’s Lunar New Year Processional. Check the Disneyland app for the scheduled times. To avoid the sun shining bright in your face during the show, select an earlier time before 4 pm.
The last performance of the day usually has the sun right in the background. Also note there is a loud firecrackers finale which may scare the younger children. I was even told about the firecrackers and was still startled by their display.
Traditional music and music from Disney’s animated movie Mulan surrounds you as Mulan and Mushu lead the way. A celebration filled with music, costumes and dancing, including a Chinese dragon puppet, warriors, drummers and beautiful costumed dancers make their way through Paradise Gardens Park.
The processional is about 10 minutes long but you’ll need to arrive early for decent viewing. Throughout the day you can also meet Mulan, Mushu, Pluto and Mickey and Minnie and The Three Little Pigs who will rotate in the Paradise Gardens Park Gazebo near Goofy’s Sky School.
Disney Lunar New Year Shopping
I love to do a little shopping at Disneyland, okay a lot of shopping. In 2021, Lunar New Year merchandise is available on shopDisney! The colors are so festive, lively and beautiful.
This year’s set of Minnie ears for Lunar New Year, are absolutely gorgeous! The detail is just stunning.
A new Lunar New Year item this year is the light up lantern. I also love the red envelopes you can purchase for gift giving. I think a Disneyland gift card will go great inside, don’t you?
Let me know how you’ll be celebrating Lunar New Year in 2021!