Po and Tigress of ‘Kung Fu Panda’ help Universal Studios Hollywood celebrate Lunar New Year
To ring in the Lunar New Year and the Year of the Dog, Universal Studios Hollywood enlisted the characters from its forthcoming attraction, Kung Fu Panda: The Emperor’s Quest, to liven up the party in its Universal Plaza.
Now through Sunday, Feb. 25, theme park guests can enjoy the festivities, which include martial arts lessons by Master Po and Tigress from the DreamWorks film franchise, “Kung Fu Panda.” The plaza, located in the heart of the upper lot, has been completely transformed and is decked out with thousands of traditional red Chinese lanterns and there are a handful of plum blossom wishing trees, from which guests can write down and hang up their wishes and hopes for the Lunar New Year.
“Our wishing tree activities have been very popular,” Sabrina Chen, assistant manager of marketing strategy at Universal Studios Hollywood, said during a media tour on Monday, Feb. 12. “We have it every year and it’s important at Lunar New Year for you to leave your New Year’s resolutions or greetings and wishes for your family.”
“We see a variety of different wishes and a lot of Asian tourists leaving wishes in their language – Chinese Japanese or Korean – for their family and friends overseas. It’s nice to see that.”
The Lunar New Year celebration is included in theme park admission and features a slew of interactive activities for kids of all ages. From the martial arts demonstrations in the Dragon Warrior Training Show and meet and greets with Po and Tigress to art lessons with veteran DreamWorks animators and the chance to interact with an animatronic Mr. Ping in the replica of Mr. Ping’s Noodle Shop from the “Kung Fu Panda” films.
Minions from the “Despicable Me” films are also donning traditional Chinese clothing and, with the help of their guides, teaching guests how to say “Hello” and “Goodbye” in Chinese. Megatron from “Transfromers” is also greeting fans just outside of the plaza and the 12-foot-tall Decepticon is engaging with guests in Mandarin, having real-time conversations with those that can handle his characteristic snarky commentary.
There’s also the opportunity to learn about each of the 12 zodiac animal signs and their specific attributes via a series of brightly colored banners that circle the plaza. Straight from “Kung Fu Panda,” fans can experience the culinary cuisine of Mr. Ping’s Noodle Shop as he serves up his Secret Ingredient Stir Fry Noodles (with beef, chicken, pork or shrimp; $9.99-$10.49), crispy Oogway Egg Rolls with chicken and sweet chili sauce ($4.99), Po’s Pot Stickers with pork and served with spicy soy sauce ($7.99) and the Dragon Warrior Bao BBQ Pork Buns served with soy sauce ($7.99).
Earlier this month, Universal Studios Hollywood revealed that Kung Fu Panda: The Emperor’s Quest will debut within the all-new DreamWorks Theatre by summer 2018. The cutting-edge, multi-sensory experience will include a plot-filled story based on the morning of The Emperor’s Great Feast of Heroes. Po the Panda will embark on an intense, action-filled mission to deliver the rare and precious liquid of limitless power to the palace for the occasion.
Universal Studios Hollywood
Where: 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City
When: Open daily; Hours vary by date
Tickets: $105-$116 single-day general admission; $179-$259 Universal Express; $329 and up for the VIP Experience; $129-$159 two-day general admission at 866-258-6546 or UniversalStudiosHollywood.com
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