Lunar New Year returns to UNIVERSAL STUDIOS HOLLYWOOD through February 25, turning Universal Plaza into a hotbed of cultural activities tied into the hit DreamWorks series, KUNG FU PANDA. There’s noodles and art and wishes and characters – let’s get started!

Meet Po and Tigress

Po and Tigress made their park debut in 2017 during Lunar New Year, and this year they not only greet guests, but star in an interactive show where young recruits are taught the ways of Kung Fu by the Dragon Master himself, Po.

Mr. Ping, Living Character

The most impressive addition for 2018 is a “living character” – Mr. Ping, Po’s adoptive father. Through some fun wizardry, guests can step up and talk to Mr. Ping, who encouraged us to leave his noodles a great review on Yelp.

Dining Options

You can also grab a snack from Mr. Ping’s Noodle Shop. Snacks range from $4.99 – $9.99 before tax. We liked the potstickers, but the other options were a bit lacking. Hopefully the menu is revisited in 2019, as this is a really fun idea!

Drawing Lessons

After learning the Wuxi Finger Hold, you can grab some paper and learn how to draw a character from the film from a Universal artist.


Just outside the Plaza, Mandarin-speaking Megatron returns to terrorize guests in Chinese. He legitimately made some kids cry, so it was probably a great day for him.

New for 2018, the Minions don traditional garb to wish everyone a happy new banana. The park really does a great job with characters – there are tons of them all over the Upper Lot, even on a weekday!

Princess Poppy from TROLLS is one of the many new DreamWorks Animation characters that have joined the Upper Lot lineup. We also saw Alex and King Julian from MADAGASCAR, as well as Puss-in-Boots, Shrek, and Fiona.

More to Explore

Wishing trees throughout the Plaza let guests leave their wishes for the new year, or in some cases, their SoundCloud URLs (respect the hustle okay). There’s also special Lunar New Year merchandise, including red envelopes.

Beyond the Lunar New Year

Outside the Lunar New Year celebration, work continues on the new DreamWorks Theatre, which will showcase an immersive new KUNG FU PANDA film when it opens this summer.

The Animation Studio Store is just about ready to open in early March, and will bring a Hello Kitty meet-n-greet to the park. The beautiful mosaic on the left side of the building provided a great backdrop for Marilyn Monroe’s meet-n-greet sets throughout the day.

It’s really amazing how much nicer the entrance area and Upper Lot is these days since placemaking started in 2016. The park’s transformation is nearly complete! There’s a rumor that the Globe Theatre will be making way for a new dark ride based on Secret Life of Pets, with work starting this year. It would be great to have a family dark ride in the park, so here’s hoping!

We caught Marilyn just as she was leaving. Miss Monroe, just one picture please!

See it for Yourself!

Lunar New Year at UNIVERSAL STUDIOS HOLLYWOOD takes place now through February 25!