Universal Studios Hollywood Celebrates Year Of The Pig
Lunar New Year is here and Universal Studios Hollywood is joining in on the celebration. From now through February 18th, you can see popular characters such as Hello Kitty dressed in her Lunar New Year attire, Megatron speaking in Mandarin, meet and greet with Po and Tigress, Mr. Ping’s Noodle Shop serving up flavorful Asian fare, and much more.
Geek and Glitter got to check out the festivities and as we entered the ticketing area, we can already see red lanterns adorning the main gate. This really sets the tone for visitors and there’s even a special brochure listing food locations, entertainment, and exclusive merchandise.
We knew that Hello Kitty is a popular character so as soon as she made her appearance we got in line to take a photo with her. She has a specially-designed outfit for the occasion and looked very chic. We also visited Stuart the minion who looks adorable in his teal changshan. While you can interact with these characters near the Animation Studio Store, the main event was at the Universal Plaza.
Walking underneath a sea of red lanterns, you’ll find yourself inside Universal Plaza, totally transformed to usher in the Lunar New Year. There are several plum blossom "wish trees" spread throughout where guests can write down their wishes and hang them on the tree for good luck and prosperity. You'll find banners bearing the 12 Chinese zodiacs accompanied by fun facts and attributes. There's an area set up for hands-on experiences and demonstrations such as Chinese calligraphy, traditional basket weaving, and how to draw characters from "Kung Fu Panda".
The Jade Palace Performance Stage is where you can catch the Dragon Warrior Training Show based on "Kung Fu Panda", an interactive demonstration for all ages (especially for the younger parkgoers). This is also where you can meet Po and Tigress.
Performances of traditional dances and martial arts are also held on this stage. Please take a look at the dates and performances listed below:
February 9-10 Hangzhou Performance Groups
February 16-17 Southern Wind Lion Dance
February 18 Wong Tai Sen Lion Dance
We saw the Hangzhou Performance Group during our visit, where two dancers portrayed and told the story of the white snake and the green snake. I do wish that the performances weren't limited to a different group each weekend, as I would have loved to see the Lion Dance. It was always my favorite performance since I was little. Other than that, the Lunar New Year's celebration at Universal is very enjoyable.
One of my favorite things about Universal is how many characters you are actually able to interact with, instead of just posing for a photo. For Lunar New Year, Megatron appears at the entrance of Universal Plaza speaking in Mandarin, which I found quite entertaining and hilarious. You can also visit Mr. Ping at his noodle shop and talk about anything -- from wishing he had a bigger kitchen to a lifetime supply of noodles.
Speaking of noodles, there are many Lunar New Year dishes throughout the park, including Po's Dumplings and Dragon Warrior Baos. You can find them in various locations listed below:
Hollywood & Dine
DreamWorks Concession Stand
Mr. Ping's Noodle Shop
We tried the Secret Ingredient Sir Fry Noodles and Po's Dumplings, and both were yummy. We also tried the Green Tea churro (located at the DreamWorks Concession Stand). It comes with a white chocolate dipping sauce but after trying it, we preferred it without the sauce. There's just a hint of the matcha flavor but enough to make it stand out from the regular churro. There are other desserts such as red bean cake ice cream, melon ice cream bars, and ginger cheesecake with fortune cookies. In fact, there are so many different foods to try, we'll probably make a return visit before the celebration is over since we didn't have enough stomach to try everything.
Overall, this themed event is a lot of fun and perfect for all ages. Scroll through the carousel below for more photos from the park. The Lunar New Year celebration is included in the price of the ticket and takes place from now through Monday February 18th, 2019. For more information on the event or purchase tickets, visit www.universalstudioshollywood.com
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