Welcome to our complete guide to the 2024 Lunar New Year Disneyland celebration! This festival promises an unforgettable blend of cultural traditions, festivities, and unparalleled tastes of the holiday. As we welcome the Year of the Dragon, Disney California Adventure Park transforms into a celebration of the color, lights, tastes, and sounds of this wonderful celebration. Whether you’re a seasoned park-goer or planning your first visit to the festival, this guide is tailored to help you savor every moment of the Disneyland Lunar New Year 2024.
Our guide dives into everything you need to know about the 2024 Lunar New Year Disneyland celebration. If you’re in the beginning stages of planning your next theme park vacation and need additional help or are looking for discounted theme park tickets, check out our trusted travel partner The Park Prodigy!
Disneyland’s Lunar New Year Festival Complete Guide
To say the Lunar New Year Festival at California Adventure is my favorite Disney festival is an understatement. I look forward to this festival the entire year! I feel like this is one of the only festivals where we get out-of-the-box, delicious Disney food and new characters. But it’s also one of the only festivals that Disney outsources the majority of the in-park entertainment to local groups. Nothing feels more exciting to me than watching a group of Ayis play traditional Chinese music or perform their well-rehearsed dance numbers. I could go on about reasons this festival is my favorite but let’s dive into some important facts to know if you’re planning on visiting starting with the dates.
Disneyland Lunar New Year 2024 Dates
- January 23 – February 18, 2024
This year, the Disneyland Lunar New Year 2024 dates are from January 23rd to February 18th. These dates not only encompasses the holiday itself which falls on February 10, 2024. But it also takes place during the Lunar New Year season. This is a season that occurs between January 21st – February 20th that follows the cycle of the moon. Traditionally, the new year is determined by the lunar calendar and the holiday lasts 15 days. Legend says that “Nian,” a half-dragon, half-lion monster, comes out of hiding and attacks people (especially children) during the Lunar New Year. Fireworks are used to scare him away!
DCA Lunar New Year 2024 Marketplaces
Now that we have the dates of the festival nailed down, let’s talk about my favorite part of any festival, the food! I will say the caveat to this, or any Disney festival is that the food remains just on the cusp of authenticity. While it’s all still very delicious, you should be prepared for more of a fusion menu at almost every marketplace. What is a Lunar New Year Marketplace? They are the food booths scattered around the Paradise Gardens Park area of California Adventure! There are 6 marketplaces scattered throughout the area. But you can also grab delicious bites at Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta, Cappucino Cart, Cocina Cucamonga Mexican Grill, Lamplight Lounge, Paradise Garden Grill, Pym Test Kitchen, Sonoma Terrace, Studio Catering Co., Terran Treats, and select outdoor vending carts.
- Bamboo Blessings
- Longevity Noodle Co.
- Lucky 8 Lantern
- Prosperity Bao & Buns
- Red Dragon Spice Traders
- Wrapped with Love
Our Favorite Food Items
- Strawberry Milk Tea Macaron: Strawberry buttercream with milk tea center
- Mickey-shaped Hot Dog Bun: Brioche-style Mickey-shaped bun stuffed with hot dog and finished with sesame seeds and scallions
Prosperity Bao & Buns
- Kung Pao Bao: Plant-based chicken, toasted peanuts, & scallions
- BBQ Pork Bun: Kimchi mayo and garlic chile crunch
Each Disneyland Lunar New Year 2024 food marketplace offers a variety of specific items. The list above is just what I love personally! My special mention would be to get the Baked Brown Sugar Nian Gao, Char Siu Turkey Leg, and the Strawberry Green Tea Churro from Terran Treats!
Related Post: Read the Full Lunar New Year Menu Here!
2024 Lunar New Year Festival Sip and Savor Pass
We know, there are so many food options at this festival and they all sound delicious! This is where the Lunar New Year Sip and Savor Pass comes in handy! This little card is exclusive to the festivals at Califonia Adventure. If you’re unfamiliar, the pass is a plastic card on a commemorative lanyard that has 6 credits attached to it. You can redeem one credit for one food or non-alcoholic drink item at any of the participating locations. Until this year, the card came with physical tear-away tabs that you could redeem. As of the 2024 Lunar New Year Festival, the Sip and Savor Pass comes with a scanable barcode on the back of the pass. To redeem a credit with the new pass, you simply show the Cast Member your pass to scan and enter a 4-digit code that is on the pass.
How Much is the Sip and Savor Pass at Disneyland Lunar New Year
- Each Sip and Savor pass is $46. If you have a Disneyland Magic Key, you will receive a discounted price of $43!
The Sip and Savor Pass is a great way for you to try multiple food options for a cheaper price! The best way to save money with your pass is to use credits on food items that are over $7.67 for full-price passes and $7.17 for discounted passes. Taxes are not applied to the pass either! This means that you’re saving an additional 8% on food or non-alcoholic drink items!
Where Can I Buy a 2024 Sip and Savor Pass for Lunar New Year
- The Sip & Savor Cart
- Elias & Co.
- Julius Katz & Sons
- Rushin’ River Outfitters
- Seaside Souvenirs
- Festival Merchandise
I recommend purchasing your Sip and Savor Pass at any of the locations above first thing! Going to Rushin’ River Outfitters might be the best option to purchase the pass without a long queue.
Where Can I Use My Lunar New Year Sip and Savor Pass 2024?
Lunar New Year Market Places
- Bamboo Blessings
- Longevity Noodle Co.
- Lucky 8 Lantern
- Prosperity Bao & Buns
- Red Dragon Spice Traders
- Wrapped with Love
Lunar New Year Dining Locations
- Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta
- Cappucino Cart
- Cocina Cucamonga Mexican Grill
- Churros near Goofy’s Sky School
- Churros near Redwood Creek Challenge Trail
- Churros at Hollywood Land
- Festival Food & Beverage Cart
- Lamplight Lounge
- Pym Test Kitchen
- Studio Catering Co.
- Terran Treats
Embark on a gastronomic journey with your Sip and Savor Pass at the numerous participating marketplaces sprinkled throughout the festival. These culinary havens offer a panorama of tastes and textures, allowing pass holders to savor a cornucopia of dishes that epitomize the essence of the Lunar New Year. From savory to sweet, each marketplace is a new chapter in your festival story.
Related Post: What is there to do at Disneyland’s Lunar New Year?
Lunar New Year DCA Character Meet & Greets
Onto our favorite part of this festival! Okay, food is still our favorite part. But Characters come in a very close second place. Not only can you see Mickey and his friends in unique and exclusive costumes, but there is generally a new character every year! And while most years the new character has to do with that year’s zodiac, this year Disney introduced Meilin Lee and her mom from Disney Pixar’s movie Turning Red! While they don’t have anything to do with the Year of the Dragon, they made their debut for the festival! But where can you meet characters at the 2024 DCA Lunar New Year Festival? Let’s dive into that below!
Where Do Characters Meet for Lunar New Year?
- Paradise Garden Park Gazebo
- Passageway from Paradise Gardens Park to Grizzly Peak
- Redwood Creek Challenge Trail
The Lunar New Year DCA celebration is known for its unique and amazing characters. We love that this festival tends to premier new characters. In the last three years alone we have seen the in-park debut of Raya from Raya and the Last Dragon, Oswald and Ortensia for Year of the Rabbit, and this year we are introduced to Melin Lee and her mom Ming Lee!
Related Post: All Characters at Disneyland’s Lunar New Year
New Lunar New Year Turning Red Characters
The new characters debuting at this year’s Disneyland Lunar New Year Festival are the stars of Disney Pixar’s “Turning Red”! Meilin Lee and her mom made their debut at the start of the festival and will continue to meet guests until the festival ends on February 18th. We do not think that they will be characters you can meet in the park after the festival on a regular basis. We do think however we will see them, or at least a version of them, when Disneyland’s revamped Pixar Fest returns April 26 – August 4, 2024!
Where Can I Meet Meilin Lee at Disneyland?
- Meilin & Ming Lee’s designated meet and greet is located on the pathway to Grizzly Peak from Paradise Gardens Park. You can see the character location on your left as you head toward Grizzly Peak from the Little Mermaid attraction!
The Disneyland Lunar New Year celebration is even more special this year with Meilin Lee. But it can’t keep us from wondering who they will debut next year for the Year of the Snake! from”Turning Red”.
Related Post: Where can you meet Raya at Disneyland?
Lunar New Year Entertainment 2024
While food and characters are a pivotal part of the 2024 LNY festival, the entertainment offerings aren’t far behind on the list of what makes this festival so great! From Mulan’s Processional to the Melody of China live performances, the entertainment offerings are nothing short of spectacular. While we have a complete guide on all of the Festival entertainment, we will break down the main events below!
Mulan’s Lunar New Year Parade
A highlight of the Disney Lunar New Year Activities is Mulan’s Lunar New Year Procession. This vibrant parade features Mulan and her faithful dragon, Mushu, leading a procession of performers in a dazzling display of color and culture. The procession is a beautiful blend of traditional Chinese culture and Disney magic, making it a must-see event during the festival.
Hurry Home – Lunar New Year Celebration World of Color
As the sun dips below the horizon, “Hurry Home” commences a World of Color prelude that is a tapestry of water, color, and light. This narrative, set against the canvas of Paradise Bay, tells a tale as old as the time, of belonging and family, making it an essential part of the Lunar New Year tradition, illuminating hearts and minds alike.
Paradise Garden Entertainment
- Melody of China: Nestled in the Paradise Garden Bandstand, the Melody of China ensemble offers a serene escape with their soulful renditions of Chinese folk, classical, and contemporary tunes. As you savor the festival delicacies, let the harmonious melodies of traditional instruments like the yangqin (Chinese dulcimer), pipa (lute), and erhu (fiddle) transport you to a world of tranquil bliss.
- Vocal Seoul: Adding a contemporary beat to the festivities, Vocal Seoul, a Korean-American a cappella group based in L.A., takes the stage at Sonoma Terrace. Their performances blend traditional harmony with modern rhythms, offering a refreshing musical experience in the afternoons and evenings.
- New Tradition: Watch this talented Los Angeles-based trio bring a unique improv performance style to music classics and modern day hits through their versatile musicianship and Vietnamese cultural roots.
Our Favorite Activities at the LNY Festival 2024
From interactive experiences to take-home souvenirs, this festival has it all! One of my favorite things to do at the Lunar New Year Festival at DCA is to get customized Chinese calligraphy! The calligraphy artist here does amazing work and has a preset of what she can write for you. But if you ask nicely, she can create custom characters for you! At the 2023 LNY Festival, my now husband and I asked her to create the Double Happiness Symbol. A traditional symbol of marriage in Chinese calligraphy. It was an amazing gift that we keep framed and hung in our house still today!
Immerse yourself in the ancient art of Chinese calligraphy, an activity that bridges generations and cultures. This isn’t just an art form; it’s a dance of brush and ink, a meditative practice that invites you to slow down, breathe, and connect with the rich heritage of the Lunar New Year.
Lucky Wishing Wall
Partake in a tradition steeped in hope and dreams at the Lucky Wishing Wall. Here, guests are invited to pen their aspirations and affix them to the wall, a collective tapestry of wishes that symbolizes unity, hope, and the shared dreams that weave through the fabric of our lives.
If you want to read about all the activities you can do at the Lunar New Year festival, check out our complete guide here.
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Lunar New Year DCA Merchandise
To be honest, merchandise for the DCA festivals aren’t always the best merchandise available in the parks. I typically skip over most of the festival merchandise at every festival. Even those at Walt Disney World like EPCOT’s Festival of the Arts. However, the Lunar New Year Festival usually has some good finds! Some of the more sought-after items at this festival are the Zodiac Spirit Jerseys, Disney Character Red Envelopes, and themed Minnie Mouse Ears!
Disneyland Lunar New Year Spirit Jersey
This year’s Disneyland Lunar New Year spirit jersey is celebrating the Year of the Dragon! Every year for the festival, this Spirit Jersey changes its gold foil theme but keeps its base red color fabric. Some are more subtle or generic New Year theme, but this year we have a Spirit Jersey that is full-out Dragon-themed! These jerseys are exclusive and only around for a limited time. So make sure to grab one while you’re there!
Lunar New Year Disneyland Ears
No Disney day or festival is complete without a pair of Disneyland Lunar New Year ears! This year’s special edition ears are made of full red sequins with an oversized puffy red bow with a gold dragon pattern. We do like these ears more than the 2023 festival ears so much more!
Related Post: Complete Guide to EPCOT’s Festival of the Arts
Celebrations Resort Wide
DCA isn’t the only location where you can participate in the 2024 Disney Lunar New Year Celebration. You can find full displays, food items, and sweets located throughout the resort hotels and the Downtown Disney District. The location with the most to see is the Grand Californian Hotel and Spa. But below you can find what you can expect to see at every location outside of the park!
Grand Californian Lunar New Year Display
As we said above, this is the one location that goes almost as hard as the in-park festival when it comes to Disneyland Lunar New Year offerings. This year is even more grand than last year! The Grand Californian lobby is home to an enormous dragon centerpiece that hangs from the exposed beam rafters of the hotel.
You can also find delicious LNY food offerings at multiple GCH dining locations:
- GCH Craftsman Bar – Pork Dan Dan Noodles, Moon Dragon Cocktail
- GCH Craftsman Grill – Pork Dan Dan Noodles
- Grand Californian Great Hall Cart – Tea Pot & Macarons, Assorted Macarons, Lunar New Year Cookie, Lunar New Year Assorted Pretzel Rod Sticks, Lunar New Year Krispy Treat
- Hearthstone Lounge – Bean Paste Tang Yuan Dumplings and Meatball Soup, Spicy Shrimp with Steamed Rice, Moon Dragon Cocktail
- Storytellers Cafe – Pork Dan Dan Noodles, Moon Dragon Cocktail
While Disneyland Hotel isn’t decorated for the New Year, there is one spot where you can enjoy some LNY eats!
- Goofy’s Kitchen – Shrimp Stir Fry, Pork Bao, Chicken Dumpling Soup, Garlic Rice
Similar to the Disneyland Hotel, Downtown Disney doesn’t decorate for the holiday. However, for the duration of the festival, you can find locations around the district celebrating in their own special way.
- Jazz Kitchen Coastal Grill & Patio – Lucy Dragon Cocktail
- Kayla’s Cake – Milk Tea Mochi Egg Tart, Korean Injeolmi Macarons
- Naples Ristorante e Bar – Banh Mi Pizza, Dragon Eye Punch Mocktail, Drangon’s Breath Cocktail
- Splitsville Luxury Lanes – Walnut Shrimp
- Tortilla Joes (closing March 31, 2024!) – Sweet & Sour Ribs, Dragontail Mocktail, Breathing Fire Cocktail
- Wetzels Pretzels – Lucky Red Envelope with in-app offer
As you plan your visit to the Disneyland Lunar New Year 2024, remember that this is more than a festival; it’s a journey into story, tradition, and celebration!
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