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Home » Disneyland General Discussion and Trip Planning » Weekend Disneyland Resort Character Update - January 20, 2012 (Happy Lunar New Year Celebration)

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1/22/2012 7:37 PM
Loren
Peter Pan
Loren

Posts: 313
As I previously reported, Disneyland, for the next week, is celebrating the Year of the Dragon with a Happy Lunar New Year Celebration in the "it's a small world" Promenade.


Happy Lunar New Year Celebration by Loren Javier, on Flickr


This is not the first time Disneyland has celebrated the occasion. Last year, the Happy Lunar New Year Celebration was part of the popular Family Fun Weekends and was held at the Festival Arena behind Big Thunder Ranch in Frontierland. The nice thing about the Festival Arena is that there is a lot of space to move around back there, but, it is also very sterile. I must admit I thought what they did with the decor in the Promenade was very nicely done and they managed to incorporate some of the "it's a small world" theming into some of the decor. Also, unlike the Dia de Reyes Celebration a couple of weeks ago, the Promenade also offers more space, making the celebration feel a lot less claustrophobic.



Happy Lunar New Year Celebration by Loren Javier, on Flickr



Happy Lunar New Year Celebration by Loren Javier, on Flickr




Happy Lunar New Year Celebration by Loren Javier, on Flickr




Happy Lunar New Year Celebration by Loren Javier, on Flickr




Happy Lunar New Year Celebration by Loren Javier, on Flickr



Each day, the celebration starts at 10 am with Chip n' Dale and Mushu coming out to greet guests. Chip n' Dale are dressed in Lunar New Year costumes. The meet-and-greet area uses the same location and queue system for the Disney Villains meet-and-greet during Halloween.



Meeting Mushu by Loren Javier, on Flickr




Meeting Mushu by Loren Javier, on Flickr




Meeting Lunar New Year Chip n' Dale by Loren Javier, on Flickr




Meeting Lunar New Year Chip n' Dale by Loren Javier, on Flickr




Meeting Lunar New Year Chip n' Dale by Loren Javier, on Flickr


Unlike last year, Mickey and Minnie are not coming out this year. Now, as an Asian American, I have to find this a bit disappointing and somewhat offensive that Disneyland could not make Mickey and Minnie available to one of the biggest Asian celebrations, especially since they made appearances at the recent Dia de Reyes celebration in Frontierland. One of the entertainment people I talked to told a couple of us the reason why Mickey and Minnie didn't make it this year and that's because of the celebration's proximity to Mickey's Toontown. There was a fear that kids would get confused if they met Mickey and Minnie at the Happy Lunar New Year Celebration and then saw them again at Mickey's Toontown. While there's a certain logic to it, at the same time, I honestly don't think kids would have gotten any more confused meeting them in Town Square and seeing them at Mickey's Toontown. It could have easily been explained that Mickey and Minnie made a special appearance to celebrate the season and would be heading home afterward. Don't get me wrong, Chip n' Dale are fabulous representatives of the Super 8, but, given Disney's wish to observe diverse cultural celebrations, I think it important for, at least, Mickey to make an appearance.



On the 30, there is a fun procession featuring Mulan and Mushu being escorted by some dancers through the Promenade to greet guests.



Happy Lunar New Year Processional featuring Mulan and Mushu by Loren Javier, on Flickr




Happy Lunar New Year Processional featuring Mulan and Mushu by Loren Javier, on Flickr




Happy Lunar New Year Processional featuring Mulan and Mushu by Loren Javier, on Flickr




Happy Lunar New Year Processional featuring Mulan and Mushu by Loren Javier, on Flickr




Happy Lunar New Year Processional featuring Mulan and Mushu by Loren Javier, on Flickr




Happy Lunar New Year Processional featuring Mulan and Mushu by Loren Javier, on Flickr


Once the procession ends, the group does a nice photo opportunity at the top of the stairs.



Happy Lunar New Year Processional featuring Mulan and Mushu by Loren Javier, on Flickr




Happy Lunar New Year Processional featuring Mulan and Mushu by Loren Javier, on Flickr




Happy Lunar New Year Processional featuring Mulan and Mushu by Loren Javier, on Flickr


Then, Mulan and Mushu then go and meet guests.



Meeting Mushu and Mulan by Loren Javier, on Flickr




Meeting Mushu and Mulan by Loren Javier, on Flickr


Mulan does about a 20-25 minute meet and then disappears until the next procession at the 30. Mushu and Chip n' Dale, however, meet consistently throughout the day, which was much nicer than the way they did it at the Dia de Reyes Celebration where Mickey and Minnie only came out at the 30s and then the Three Caballeros didn't come out until much later in the day.

While Mulan and Mushu meet, the dancers engage guests to play with twirling ribbons and are available for pictures.



Happy Lunar New Year Dancer by Loren Javier, on Flickr




Happy Lunar New Year Dancer by Loren Javier, on Flickr




Happy Lunar New Year Dancer by Loren Javier, on Flickr


And, like last year, the Happy Lunar New Year offered special food (although, when chocolate filled churros became an Asian dish, I'll never know) and cultural performances. On Friday, when I attended, they had the Lion dancers that they had last year. I always love watching them.



Lion Dancers by Loren Javier, on Flickr




Lion Dancers by Loren Javier, on Flickr




Lion Dancers by Loren Javier, on Flickr


Unlike last year, they don't have a consistent rotating schedule (outside of the meet-and-greets and the procession) as they want to have people just come across some of the performances throughout the course of the day. This way, it makes it more exciting for people to just happen upon something and will hopefully encourage them to return throughout the day to check and see what's going on. It also makes the program less monotonous and rehearsed than last year. At the same time, it does make it a little difficult for somebody to plan when to be where.

But, overall, I think they Happy Lunar New Year Celebration was better organized than the Dia de Reyes Celebration and seemed to have a better energy than last year's celebration at the Festival Arena. I am going to go again tomorrow to check it out as it is the actual start of the Lunar New Year. So, I'll let you know if there are any changes!

Click here to see all my other photos from the first day of the Happy Lunar New Year Celebration.

In the meantime, Happy Lunar New Year, Gong Hey Fat Choy, Gong Xi Fa Cai, Sunal Bok Mani Badeuseyo and Chuc Mung Nam Moi (depending on what language you speak)!

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1/23/2012 8:22 AM
DisneyDan
Sorcerer
DisneyDan

Posts: 3514
Thanks for the great updates Loren!
This was mentioned on the blog just earlier

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Dan.
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1/23/2012 9:16 AM
DisneyDan
Sorcerer
DisneyDan

Posts: 3514
I just posted about dragons on our other thread that is about Lunar New Year, too.
How many Disney Dragons have you got in your photos?...

http://www.charactercentral.net/Forum/topic405-happy-lunar-new-year.aspx?MessageID=1445#post1445

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Dan.
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1/23/2012 12:41 PM
Maleficent Freak
Chip 'n' Dale
Maleficent Freak

Posts: 98
Cool I'll be going on Friday I haven't met Mushu yet so I'm excited

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Connor
Follow my Disneyland Instagram account @cjsdisneyadventures
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1/28/2012 6:15 AM
Disney-Me
Stitch
Disney-Me

Posts: 180
The pictures are nice, and I really like Mushu a lot.

However, I was expecting to see much more for this Lunar event. For example Chip'n Dale are only wearing Chinese vests and not a complete Chinese outfit. They also could have at least got the rest of the Mulan characters such as Li Shan and Shan Yu to join in on the celebration. It would have also been nice to see Mickey, Minnie and the gang joing the Chipmunks in Chinese outfits.

Overall, it looks fun, Chip 'n' Dale are always enjoyable and I hope that you enjoyed the event. Disneyland will always be Magical and is the original Magic Kingdom
edited by Disney-Me on 1/28/2012

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You have always been my dearest friend 💚 You make me feel like what your name is....HAPPY 💚
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1/28/2012 8:31 AM
Maleficent Freak
Chip 'n' Dale
Maleficent Freak

Posts: 98
I went to Disneyland and no Mushu And No Chip and Dale. It even stated in the times guide that they would be there

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Connor
Follow my Disneyland Instagram account @cjsdisneyadventures
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1/28/2012 9:22 AM
PeterPanFan
Sorcerer
PeterPanFan

Posts: 1107
Sorry to hear they weren't out Connor That is crappy

I agree with you Disney-Me that it would have been nice to have had more characters out for the event... at least they had something but definitely could have been better.

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1/30/2012 10:29 AM
Loren
Peter Pan
Loren

Posts: 313
Sorry for my late response! I've been so crazed at the Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend. Anyway, so sorry to hear that Mushu and Chip n' Dale were not out, Connor. Did you ask the Cast Members? Its odd they weren't out because I went on Wednesday and Friday as well and they were out. They only go back in during the Procession that happens a couple of times during the day.

And, I also agree, Disney-Me, that they could have had more characters out. I would have LOVED to have met Li Shang! But, I do have to say that it was a fun celebration.

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