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How Universal Studios Celebrates the Lunar New Year

Feb 14, 2019

It’s the Year of the Pig at the Lunar New Year Celebration at Universal Studios Hollywood. And we got to spend a day learning about the holiday and taking part in some of its traditions at the theme park with the help of the Dragon Warrior and friends from DreamWorks pictures Kung Fu Panda.

Read on to find out more about the event which runs until February 17th and is put on annually at the park if it’s something you’d like to see on vacation.



When we got to the theme park, we followed a line of red banners to the Universal Plaza which is adorned with customary red Chinese Lanterns. The Lunar New Year is marked as the beginning of the calendar through the start of the cycles of the moon leading up to a full moon. The vibrant colors welcome you into its courtyard that is graced by beautiful plum blossom Wishing Trees. Next to each tree is a station where you can write your wish for the new year and hang it on the tree to help along with the wishes of other park guests. It’s a really touching activity that helps you reflect and focus on your goals for the year and putting it out there in the universe.

Write your wish for the new year on special traditional red paper Write your wish for the new year on special traditional red paper

Also in the festival area, you can find fun signage that depicts the 12 animals of the Chinese Zodiac listed with years. You’re able to look and find what yours is by locating the year on the bottom and its corresponding animal.

Hang your wish with all the other wishesHang your wish with all the other wishes


Everyone knows that the best part of any festival is good food! We got to try a couple of the authentic Asian fare offered. And there was so much to choose from, it was so hard to narrow it down to two things! There were cultural faves with a DreamWorks Kung Fu Panda twist like Po’s Dumplings, Dragon Warrior Bao, Eggrolls and Ping’s famous Stir Fry Noodles. And because Mr. Ping was there to meet us, we had to have his noodles. They were so good and while we opted for beef in our noodles, there are options for chicken and veggies if that’s your preference. Torn between the bao or eggrolls, we went for the chicken eggrolls and enjoyed how filling they were while watching the shows at the fest. We just wish we could have tried some of the desserts like the Green Tea Churro or the Red Bean Ice Cream.

Delicious noodles from Po's Dad Mr. PingDelicious noodles from Po's Dad Mr. Ping

Meet Mr. Ping!Meet Mr. Ping!


One of our favorite experiences at the festival was the drawing lesson where we got to draw one of the Furious Five from the Kung Fu Panda films. During our session, we got walked through drawing Viper, the snake. Step by step, we followed the instructor to get a sketch that would bring the character to life on paper. One of the things you’ll notice when you take a lesson is that your pencil won’t have an eraser, that’s so you can embrace the choices you make and build upon them until the character takes place even with little imperfections. Your art is a reflection of you.

Learning about Asian art and cultureLearning about Asian art and culture

This was so much fun and we got to keep our drawing at the end of the class.

Draw Po or the Furious Five at a live art lessonDraw Po or the Furious Five at a live art lesson


At the Jade Palace Performance Stage kids can take part in an interactive martial arts lesson led by Po the Dragon Warrior. It’s a hilarious and awesome experience to watch, unfortunately, they don’t pick adults for the demo but seeing cute kiddos take part is a joyous good time when you get to cheer them on. Po takes time to practice a routine with each kid and they get a cool bandana at the end of it. It’s so cute and at the end, they get to meet with Po and Tigress for pictures

Train with the Dragon WarriorTrain with the Dragon Warrior

Special Appearances

There are all sorts of special appearances like Hello Kitty in a special Lunar New Year outfit and even the bad guys get to get in the spirit of the season. Megatron from Transformers greets guests at the entrance of the festival to speak to guests in both English and Mandarin about his Decepticon plans to invite you for battle at the Transformers ride downstairs. 

Megatron speaks Mandarin to guestsMegatron speaks Mandarin to guests

Throughout the event, there are also special cultural performances from UCLA’s Wushu Team, Ane Thanh Lion Dance Troupe, Hangzhou Performance Groups, and Southern Wind Lion Dance

Tell us what you think!

Would the Lunar New Year be a time you’d like to visit Universal Studios Hollywood? Let us know in the comments below!