Today marks the transition into the Year of the Rooster and Disney Parks around the globe are celebrating. While you call the celebration Chinese New Year, Lunar New Year or Spring Festival, there is no better place to commemorate the occasion than a Disney Destination. So with that being said, let’s begin our tour across the globe to see how just a few locations are celebrating:
Hong Kong Disneyland
Starting today, Hong Kong Disneyland will present every guest with a special lai see, the traditional red envelope used for Chinese New Year, containing a delicious piece of chocolate and bestowing wishes of abundant good fortune. The lai see features an auspicious gold design graced by Iron Man as part of the park’s celebration of the opening of the Iron Man Experience.
In addition, Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Goofy, Pluto, Chip ‘n’ Dale, Duffy and Shellie May will dress up in new Chinese New Year costumes to wish everyone a bountiful year. They will be joined by Gelatoni the cat artist, who is making his first Chinese New Year appearance this year. Goofy has a special role in the celebration. God of Fortune Goofy will wait you at Goofy’s Fortune House on Main Street, U.S.A. to share his best wishes to everyone.
Of course, no celebration would be complete without food. Nearly 60 special Chinese New Year creations infused with prosperous blessings have been added to the resort menus, bringing families and friends together to share. Guests can also enjoy “Good Luck Cookies,” “Lucky Fish” and “Blossoming Bless” snacks at Market House Bakery and the “Chinese New Year Special Set” at Plaza Inn on Main Street, U.S.A., as well as the bountiful “Chinese New Year Treasure in Pot Set” at Explorer’s Club Restaurant in Mystic Point. “Lo Hei” will also be served at Studio Lounge in Disney’s Hollywood Hotel to bring prosperity to all guests who enjoy this classic raw fish salad dish.
Shanghai Disney Resort
Before we get into what Shanghai Disney Resort has to offer, we should mention an operational note. Due to it being a popular holiday season, guests interested in visiting Shanghai Disneyland on January 29th must purchase a ticket before coming to the park. Tickets will not be sold on site that day. As January 30th and 31st are also forecast to be high attendance days, the resort highly recommends guests purchase tickets in advance. Other experiences inside the Shanghai International Tourism and Resorts Zone, including Disneytown, will be open for guests to enjoy throughout the holiday period.
The Year of the Golden Rooster is Shanghai Disney Resort’s first Lunar Chinese New Year celebration. In honor of the holiday, the resort is presenting a spectacular series of entertainment programs, seasonal food and beverage offerings, lucky bags and holiday-themed shopping experiences fit for all guests.
Throughout the Spring Festival season, the highlight will be a special tag for their nightly spectacular, “Ignite the Dream: A Nighttime Spectacular of Magic and Light.” To the sound of a charming symphony composition by famous Chinese musician Tan Dun, a series of inspirational best wishes and quotes will be projected onto Mickey-shaped lanterns on the towering Enchanted Storybook Castle.
There will also be a drum ceremony in the Gardens of Imagination each day at park opening. Marching to the beat of the drums and interacting with guests, Mickey and Minnie will be dressed in brand-new, beautiful Chinese traditional attire. The gardens will also host an exciting dragon dance performance with guests being encouraged to join. Beautiful symbolic Golden Rooster design features will be seen all around the resort during the festival period, immersing guests in the holiday spirit. A gleaming new “Golden Rooster” icon in the Gardens of Imagination has been designed to welcome visitors and conjure happy and prosperous thoughts. In the Chinese zodiac-inspired Garden of the Twelve Friends, the Year of the Rooster is represented by a heart-warming Alan-a-Dale mosaic, which is beautifully adorned in sleek, new red couplets for a fantastic photo opportunity.
Additionally, Shanghai Disney Resort has developed exquisite Chinese New Year menus, offering various options for every taste. Lumiere’s Kitchen in Shanghai Disneyland Hotel will serve up a Lunar Buffet Dinner during the Chinese New Year festival. Guests will be able to enjoy Chinese cuisine in the Wandering Moon Teahouse, or they can choose to indulge in international cuisine at Aurora in Shanghai Disneyland Hotel for a different dining experience.
Of course, there are plenty of merchandise options including the first-ever New Year Lucky Bag. The Lucky Bags include this season’s most exciting assortments of Disney merchandise at a special value price. But wait, there’s more… Guests purchasing the Lucky Bag will have a chance to win surprise grand prizes including China Eastern Airlines flight tickets, Disney PhotoPass+, Shanghai Disney Resort Magic Passports, and more. The resort has also launched a brand new Golden Rooster-themed merchandise line, with more than 50 new limited-time items. New merchandise includes themed pins, headwear and stationery, exclusive New Year-edition outfits for the whole family, plush toys of Mickey and Minnie donned in their decorative Chinese traditional attire, red envelopes, pastry boxes, and other fun items. Meanwhile, Disney PhotoPass will launch four Chinese New Year themed photo frames.
In addition, the magic may begin before you even get to the park. During the festival period, some lucky Line 11 riders will enjoy their metro journey amidst festive red decorations with elements of Mickey and pals and their best wishes for the New Year.
We have already covered some of the magic happening at the Disneyland Resort’s Lunar New Year Celebration at Disney California Adventure, but let’s cover some of the highlights.
Let’s start with food. There are three enticing locations within the Lunar New Year Marketplace offering foods inspired by the cultures of China (Pork Soup Dumplings, Turnip Cakes with Spicy Sausage), Korea (Kimchi Fried Rice, Steamed Vegetable Dumpling) and Vietnam (Sticky Rice Cake with Pork, Sugar Cane Shrimp Skewer).
If that wasn’t enough additional Lunar New Year menu items at Paradise Garden Grill, including Vegetable Japchae, Kalbi Beef Short Ribs with Steamed Rice, Whole Crispy Tilapia with Citrus Chile Vinaigrette, Beef Pho Noodle Soup, Mango Pudding and Cassava Coconut Cake.
Guests will find that Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Chip ‘n’ Dale, Mulan and Mushu will be dressed in their Lunar New Year attire. While the whole family can enjoy live performances by an array of authentic performers, including Chinese concert musician Jie Ma performing on the traditional pipa string instrument, and Vietnamese concert guitarist, composer and teacher Dat Nguyen.
The Acrobats of China perform an exciting mix of traditional and classic Chinese dance with human performance art including riveting feats of strength, grace and balance. This award-winning troupe showcases a cultural art form that has been thrilling audiences for more than 2,500 years.
One special moment is “Mulan’s Lunar New Year Procession.” Mulan and her dragon friend Mushu welcome the Year of the Rooster with a colorful and exciting procession of beautiful Chinese umbrella dancers and other delightful performers who arrive to music from…. you guessed it… Mulan.
And as would be expected, Lunar New Year commemorative merchandise, including a specially designed t-shirt, pin,decorative trinket box and traditional red envelopes for gift-giving will be available at Disney California Adventure.
But of course, the highlight of the celebration is the World of Color pre-show, “Hurry Home – Lunar New Year Celebration.” This new offering tells the tale of a journey home for Lunar New Year. The six-minute feature is presented in sequences, utilizing projected animation along with the lighting, special effects and the powerful fountains of “World of Color.”
As “Hurry Home” unfolds, guests follow along on the journey of a Little Lantern returning home for the annual celebration of good luck and fortune. Little Lantern encounters three “dream sequences,” featuring appearances by Mulan and the dragon Mushu. “Hurry Home” employs two contrasting animation styles, with fully rendered CG animation and sequences inspired by traditional Chinese paper cut-out style animation. The story is scored with music created for the opening ceremony of Shanghai Disney Resort by Academy Award- winning composer Tan Dun (“Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”).
No matter where you celebrate, even if its just watching Mulan or Robin Hood at home, we wish you good health and good fortune in the Year of the Rooster.