Nerd Food: Disneyland’s Lunar New Year Menu

It’s pretty neat that Disneyland chooses to celebrate events and holidays from non-American countries and cultures. During the month of February, California Adventure changes a bit and the Lunar New Year celebration begins.

One of the highlights of this change comes with all the food stands set up along the sides of the area leading into Paradise Pier (which is closed right now for a Pixar retrofit).

The arches set up leading into the main area for the festival.

There are food stalls are set up by country, as there is a Korean one, Chinese, Vietnamese, and hodgepodge at the Paradise Grill.

Part of the menu at the Vietnam stop
Mmm, soup dumplings at the China food stop.
The Korean food stop’s menu was pretty great too.
You had me at Plum Wine, Disney.
The menu at the Paradise Grill

My party and I decided to sample some of these fabulous-looking dishes, and our first stop was the Korean stand.

Sweet red bean and raspberry jelly

This tiny treat was sweet and light, the two flavors complementing each other rather than fighting for dominance. The gold leaf on top was a nice touch.  My party (three of us total, meant that I could sample more noms on this trip than if it was just me) gave it a 3 out of 5.

The Plum Wine cocktail, with a sugared rose petal garnish

It’s still a novelty (for me, anyway) to be able to enjoy an adult beverage at the CA Adventure. And I do enjoy a nice cocktail (my favorite in the park being the Smoked Turkey; if you like bourbon and smoke and cherries, it’s the bestest).  The Plum wine had a nice balance of flavor; it’s pretty close in its lightness to the Sangria in the CA side, and we were happy with its non-sticky and cloying presentation. We gave it a 5 out of 5 — would definitely drink again on the same day.

Veggie dumplings with dipping sauce

These dumplings were fabulous, and I could have eaten 12 of them on my own, easy. Good level of spice — if you are a bland food person, these may still have too much on the way of gentle spicing for you. The texture of both the inside and outside was excellent, and the dipping sauce was tasty. We gave these 4 out of 5, as one in my party didn’t try them, and the other person didn’t like them as much as I did.

My FAVORITE of the Lunar food had to be the pho at the Paradise Pier. I’m addicted to good pho as it is, and I was beside myself with glee at seeing it on the menu. I wanted to complement it with a bahn mi, but it would have been too much for just me. It’s a good quality beef pho; the beef was again excellent in texture and preparation. The tray comes with your usual fixings: lime, onion, jalapeno, and Thai basil.  Would eat all day every day: 5 out of 5.

Some of the other fun things they had set up for the holiday were the charts so guests could figure out what year they were born in. It’s amusing because my group and I had been talking about what Disney animals would work for what year, because with 2018 being Dog, Pluto is the Disney pal being used.

Had to say hello to this great Ancestor who was guarding the gates of the celebration area.

The event is absolutely delightful, a live band performs at various times during the day, there are special themed character meet-and-greets, activity areas, a new parade, and there was even an addition to the evening World of Color show called “Little Lantern”.

The Lunar New Year celebration goes from now until February 18th.

About Mary Anne Butler

Bleeding Cool News Editor Mary Anne Butler (Mab, for short) has been part of the fast-paced world of journalism since she was 15, getting her start in album reviews and live concert coverage for a nationally published (print) music magazine. She eventually transitioned to online media, writing for such sites as UGO/IGN, ComicsOnline, Geek Magazine, Ace of Geeks, Aggressive Comix (where she is still Editor-in-Chief), and most recently Bleeding Cool.

Over the past 10 years, she’s built a presence at conventions across the globe as a cosplayer (occasionally), photographer (constantly), panelist and moderator (mostly), and reporter (always). 

Interviews, reviews, observations, breaking news, and objective reporting are the name of the game for the founder of Harkonnen Knife Fight, a Dune-themed band with an international presence. 

Though she be but little, she is fierce. #MabTheProfessional

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