With the Lunar New Year recently marking the “Year of the Pig” on February 5th, 2019 it’s time to join in on the festivities and gather with family and friends to celebrate this “spring festival” in an exciting and epic way at Universal Studios Hollywood! That’s right, the Entertainment Capital of L.A has transformed itself into THE destination for uniquely-themed programs filled with festivities, fun, fare, and time-honored traditions where guests of all ages, including the young and young-at-heart will be delighted at this one-of-a-kind celebration of culture and life going on now through Monday, February 18, 2019.
What’s good Gab was lucky to be invited to Lunar New Year at Universal Studios Hollywood to experience this spectacular celebration and usher in the Chinese Zodiac of the “Year of the Pig” where we were surrounded with “fu,” which means happiness and good fortune…and Kung Fu Panda.
Here are the highlights and must-see festivities:
The Universal Plaza comes alive
This colorful festival comes alive at the heart of the theme park in Universal Plaza. Guests will be surrounded by good luck and experience a whimsical world within filled with red floating Chinese lanterns, red banners of the 12 zodiac animal signs with the “Pig” taking center stage, and beautiful plum blossom Wishing Trees abound with red envelopes to seal in good fortune. And best of all, the plaza features DreamWorks’ Kung Fu Panda Jade Palace Performance Stage and the exciting Dragon Warrior Training Show, along with opportunities to come face-to-face with characters based on the beloved Kung Fu Panda franchise.
Face off with MEGATRON from Transformers who returns this year to reign supreme over the Lunar New Year celebration. MEGATRON, the imposing leader of the DECEPTICONS—and one of the stars of Universal Studios Hollywood’s thrill ride, “Transformers™: The Ride-3D”—stands tall next to the entry of the festivities to greet guests and make his larger-than-life presence known. Be ready because MEGATRON is on the prowl for humans who are daring enough to take a picture with him and engage him in Mandarin! And if you prefer to stay “behind-the-scenes” to simply watch the 12-foot tall sentient robot, you’ll have plenty of fun seeing him tease guests and pose for pics.
DREAMWORKS’ KUNG FU PANDA JADE PALACE PERFORMANCE STAGE
Dragon Warrior Training Show
Take a seat in front of the Kung Fu Panda Jade Palace overlooking the Valley of Peace and enjoy a fun and funny interactive martial art demonstration performed by Master Po and friends, and see young warriors get a chance to test their skills at kung fu. The “students” selected from the audience learn kung fu inspired by the styles of the “Furious Five” and learn cool moves like crane wings, monkey punch, and mantis stance, and learn to slither into viper and finish with a tigress kick and a kung fu bow.
This year, Universal Studios Hollywood features dance and martial arts performances that bring a beautifully unique and cultural touch to the event—and where you will enjoy a variety of exciting entertainment. Select dates and performers are as follows:
February 16-17 – Southern Wind Lion Dance
February 18 – Wong Tai Sen Lion Dance
Mr. PING’S NOODLE SHOP
Enjoy giggles and good Asian fare at Mr. Ping’s Noodle Shop where you’ll get to interact with Mr. Ping himself and chow down on dim sum and of course, his famous NOODLES! Mr. Ping will entertain you with his wit and wisdom. Just step right up to Mr. Ping and laugh it up as he tells his humorous yet heart-warming tales of a young Po and his love for noodles. Be sure to say “noodles” and pose for an insta-worthy pic with Mr. Ping—and don’t forget to dine at Mr. Pings Noodle Shop.
Mr. Ping Interaction
Make way to meet Po’s father himself, Mr. Ping, a witty and wise fellow that knows how to bring the funny and sizzle a stir fry! What’s good Gab had the chance to chat it up and chuckle with Mr. Ping about his Noodle Shop, Po’s kung fu greatness and got a cool photo-op. We then headed around the corner to try out his delicious dim sum and then some at Mr. Ping’s Noodle Shop!
Mr. Ping’s Noodle Shop dining
Eat to your heart’s desire and feast at Mr. Ping’s Noodle Shop to enjoy a variety of delicious Asian dishes. What’s good Gab recommends:
The Oogway Egg Roll– a savory chicken egg roll that’s crisped to perfection and served with a sweet chili sauce.
Secret Ingredient Stir Fry Noodles– a must for Lunar New Year said to bring long life available with Beef, Chicken or Vegetable—and a tasty and warm dish that filled our bellies with delight!
The Universal Plaza is adorned with Plum Blossom Wishing Trees that deliver both a whimsical and traditional touch. Ring in good fortune this “Year of the Pig” and be sure to write your wish for the Chinese New Year.
Simply, visit one of the Plum Blossom Wishing Trees and tables throughout the plaza, and write your wish down on the red cards. Then clip your card on one of the Plum Blossom Wishing Trees for good luck. You will feel a sense of joy and optimism seeing these beautiful blossoms throughout the plaza, and knowing they hold and guard every guests’ hopes and wishes for the New Year.
THE 12 ZODIAC ANIMAL SIGNS
The Universal Plaza is magically surrounded by the 12 Chinese zodiac animal signs so you can walk around and enjoy searching for your year and animal sign. You’ll have fun reading about your sign’s special symbolic attributes which will fill you with awe and inspiration! And you’ll get to learn about the Year of the Pig’s sign and its symbolic characteristics of being Honorable, Determined, and Optimistic.
FENG THE PALACE ARTIST’S STAND
Put on your artist cap and sit down with an artist from the Jade Palace who will show you skills and practical techniques on drawing your fave Kung Fu Panda characters. Best of all, once you’ve created your masterpiece you get to take it home as a keepsake memento. And be sure to check out the special artist stand to the left that features traditional artwork being done in front of your eyes, like bamboo making.
CHARACTER PHOTO OPS
Strike a pose with fashionable feline and pop icon Hello Kitty created by the global lifestyle brand Sanrio, as she steps out in style wearing her signature red bow and specially-designed Lunar New Year attire for a mod shoot with you! Hello Kitty meets guests in front of the Hello Kitty Shop located within the new Animation Studio Store.
Po and Tigress Photo Op
Be sure to head on over to the Kung Fu Panda Jade Palace Performance Stage to meet DreamWorks’ Kung Fu Panda masters Po and Tigress who stand in front of the stage to greet you and pose in their finest kung fu stance for a photo opportunity!
Illumination’s Minions from Universal Studios Hollywood’s popular Despicable Me Minion Mayhem ride join in on the celebration dressed in brightly colored and traditional Lunar New Year attire and providing vivid photo ops at their very own festive Lunar New Year corner.
And when you venture out of the Universal Plaza you’ll also enjoy all the epic entertainment that Universal Studios Hollywood has to offer. Be sure to head across to Universal Studios Hollywood’s popular DreamWorks Theatre featuring the very cool “Kung Fu Panda” attraction. Check out the World Famous Studio Tour to get a behind-the-scenes look at television and movie-making magic in select languages, including Mandarin. Explore The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ and soar above the castle grounds in the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey™ attraction, a truly magical and unforgettable ride! Band together with the TRANSFORMERS in an epic battle and thrill ride in Transformers™: The Ride-3D.
You can also continue the Lunar New Year celebration at Universal CityWalk where a variety of Asian-inspired foods will be served, including Dongpo Kitchen restaurant which features upscale and modern Sichuan cuisine, and the ever-popular Voodoo Doughnut which also celebrating Lunar New Year with a specially-created “Year of the Pig” doughnut.
Universal Studios Hollywood’s Lunar New Year celebration is now through Monday, February 18, 2019. With so much to see and do at Universal Studios Hollywood, the all-new 2019 Season Pass invites guests to experience the fun all year long for $149 when purchased online. Details and restrictions available at UniversalStudiosHollywood.com
More information is available at UniversalStudiosHollywood.com. Mandarin-speaking guests can learn more about the Lunar New Year event at ush.cn. Information is also available on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and Weibo @好莱坞环球影城.