Universal Studios Hollywood is celebrating the Lunar New Year with some limited time offerings starring characters from the DreamWorks Kung Fu Panda series!
By far the most impressive part of this celebration is the interactive Mr. Ping meet and greet! Mr. Ping is Po’s (the Kung Fu Panda himself) father and the maker of the best noodles “anywhere, ever!” as I learned from my hilarious and very entertaining conversation with the noodle maker! I love the lengths that Universal Creative took to bring this character to life! I enjoyed my conversation with Mr. Ping so much that I even went back to let him know that I agreed with his opinion of his noodles and he remembered our previous conversation!
Speaking of Mr. Ping’s Noodles, I was actually very impressed. I found the chicken and noodles to be quite delicious along with the chicken egg roll I had on the side. After finishing my fortune cookie I headed over to enjoy the two stage shows at the celebration. First was “The Tale of the Lunar New Year” which I found quite informative since I didn’t know the history of the Lunar New Year celebration. After that was the “Kung Fu Academy” which was a stage show where a select number of children get to train with the “Dragon Warrior” Po himself!
After the shows, Po is joined by his pal Tigress in the front of the stage for a photo opportunity. Since I was too old to participate in the Kung Fu Academy I took this opportunity to pose in a Kung Fu stance for my picture with these two Kung Fu masters!
There were also two hands-on activities. The “Wishing Trees” give you the opportunity to write your wish for the New Year on a ribbon and hang it on the Plum Blossom Wishing Trees for good luck (I sure hope my wish comes true!). After making your wish you can stop by “Peng The Palace Artist’s Stand” where you can learn to draw Po and the Furious Five with an artist from the Jade Palace. I did not participate in this activity because my art skills will never go past stick figure level.
To round out the entire Lunar New Year celebration there are two additional meet and greets that are outside of the Kung Fu Panda realm. If you ever wanted to take a photo with a Minion dressed in traditional Chinese attire then your dream can now be a reality!
The other meet and greet is by far the most popular experience of the entire event! Mandarin Speaking Megatron is a huge crowd pleaser for those who understand what he is saying! If you are unfamiliar, English speaking Megatron verbally roasts guests daily outside of the Transformers ride. It is quite a thrill to watch him be sarcastic and rude while posing for pictures with guests. A thrill that is lost on non-English speaking guests, but for a limited time Mandarin speaking guests can be subjected to Megatron’s wrath too! I have no idea what he was saying but the crowd of Mandarin speaking people waiting in line seemed to be really amused.
Overall, the Happy Lunar New Year celebration is a fun way to enter the world of Kung Fu Panda while we wait for the brand new Dreamworks Theatre to open this summer at Universal Studios Hollywood with the cutting edge of “Kung Fu Panda: The Emperor’s Quest” attraction! Enjoy the Year of the Dog!