Your Guide to Vegan Options at Lunar New Year Celebration 2022 in Disney California Adventure!

It’s so exciting that we’re having the Lunar New Year Celebration again! The park was closed for the 2021 season of this, since it happens in January/February, but now it’s back again!

This year, it runs from January 21 to February 13, 2022.

There is not a separate ticket for this event; it is just a part of California Adventure to anyone who is in the park.

It consists of themed food and drinks at 4 marketplace booths, Paradise Garden Grill, Studio Catering Truck/Hollywood Lounge, and a few other areas. See the table of contents below to jump to a section that may interest you!

Here is the Disney Parks Blog’s Foodie Guide to the Lunar New Year with the full lists. Below, I am only pointing out the vegan options, some of which are clearly marked with the plant-based menu icon, and others which are more secretly vegan.

Below is also the video version of this guide with the more thorough taste tests and first reactions!

A quick word about Sip & Savor Passes: These are optional coupon books that you can get if you intend to get multiple items. I never get them; I just pay for each item individually. There are 6 tabs on each pass, and they are redeemable for most of the festival food items and non-alcoholic drinks. For this year’s Lunar New Year, they cost $43, or $40 with Magic Key discount. So you’ll need to run the numbers on whether it will be worth it, or whether it is better to pay individually, depending on how expensive the items you would like to get are. And then you will need to make sure that you can use them all. There are not enough vegan items to warrant it in my opinion, unless you are sharing one Pass with someone – then it would be feasible to use them all up.

One important tip: You can plan out what you want to order for the day, and if you want to order multiple items from different marketplace booths (there are 4 of them), you can actually order them all at once, even at the “wrong” booth, so that you only have to stand in line to pay once. And then you have a receipt with them all on there, and you can go pick up your items at the different booths. This means you can pick the shortest line, and only stand in that line to pay once.

Now, on to the food!!

Table of Contents / Jump to a section!

Paradise Garden Grill
Outdoor vending cart near Paradise Garden Grill

The marketplace booths:

Studio Catering Truck
Hollywood Lounge
Seasonal Cart in Redwood Creek Challenge Trail
Lamplight Lounge

Paradise Garden Grill

This is a new vegan dish for this year!

Spicy Kung Pao Tofu: Deep fried tofu with zucchini, yellow squash, broccoli, red peppers, peanuts, and fried rice garnished with garlic deep-fried chips

It is marked with the plant-based menu icon, which means vegan with no modifications.

It is a full meal, but there is also a smaller tasting size available, which is eligible for a Sip and Savor tab.

You can see above that one component of this dish is the fried rice, and you can actually get that as a side as well. So they have marked the fried rice as plant-based on the menu, as you can see in the photos.

For beverages, we have this cocktail below. I didn’t have time to check on the boba yet, and I’m not sure if they’re talking about real boba, or the popping pearls that they often use in Disneyland. If it’s the popping pearls, then this cocktail will be vegan for sure. If it’s a different brand, some brand of boba, then it is totally possible that it is vegan, but I have heard of boba having honey sometimes. I apologize that I haven’t had time check yet, but if you are there and have a moment, I’d be grateful to know what they tell you about it!

  • Soju Cocktail: Soju, ginger beer, lemon, basil, Fresno chile, lychee flavor-filled boba (non-alcoholic) (New) – Check on boba
  • Mulan Sipper with choice of fountain beverage at time of purchase (non-alcoholic)
  • Novelty: Lotus Flower Glow Cube (Sip and Savor Pass not accepted)

Here is the new Spicy Kung Pao Tofu dish! It is definitely spicier than your standard Disney park dish. I’d give it a 6/10, and I am quite insensitive to spice. Overall it was very tasty, nice crispy tofu, well cooked vegetables. It was a bit on the salty side for me, but I am a non-salter, so I’m more sensitive to salt. You may or may not find it salty, it’s just that there’s a lot of soy sauce going on.

Here is what it looks like when you get the side of fried rice:

Outdoor vending cart near Paradise Garden Grill

  • Orange-flavored Cotton Candy
  • Mulan Sipper with assorted Coca-Cola, bottled beverage, or DASANI bottled water (non-alcoholic)
  • Puffed Rice Pale Ale

The street corn below seems promising, but I asked for the ingredients, and you’ll see below that there is both dairy and honey in the sauce that they roll it in. All of these items are made in off-site kitchens, so they can’t be modified.

Red Dragon Spice Traders

This is the item that I’m most excited about this year!!

Impossible Lion’s Head Meatballs: Mini plant-based pork meatballs served with cabbage and Shaoxing wine reduction

These did not disappoint!! They were seriously so interestingly delicious. I believe they are made with Impossible’s new pork, which is available for food service/restaurants, but not in grocery stores yet. It really tastes different from “standard” Impossible meat, which is like ground beef. This stuff is very very much like pork instead. It has been a long time since I have had pork, so I can’t say 100%, but I really think that you could fool anyone into thinking that this is pork.

The sauce that they are in is just so good, so complex, savory, with really bold umami flavor. Not to be missed!!!

Here is one to show the texture. 100000% recommend!!

There is a beverage available here:

  • Jasmine Tea Lager
  • Novelty: Lotus Flower Glow Cube (Sip and Savor Pass not accepted)

But note that the Dancing Firecracker contains honey.

Prosperity Bao & Buns

Here we have several drinks that look vegan to me:

  • Prosperous Tiger: Vodka, cream of coconut, bitters, triple sec, mandarin purée, and vanilla bean paste
  • Lychee Celebration: Gin, prosecco, lychee purée, lychee syrup, grapefruit juice, and yuja
  • Bamboo Lager
  • Novelty: Lotus Flower Glow Cube (Sip and Savor Pass not accepted)

Lucky 8 Lantern

Here we have several drinks that look vegan to me:

  • Peach Yuja-Ade: Peach syrup, yuja, dragonfruit, lemon, and butterfly pea flower tea
  • Soju Peach Yuja-Ade: Soju, peach syrup, yuja, dragonfruit, lemon, and butterfly pea flower tea
  • Lager
  • Novelty: Lotus Flower Glow Cube (Sip and Savor Pass not accepted)

Longevity Noodle Co

  • Pale Ale with mandarin and bergamot zest
  • Novelty: Lotus Flower Glow Cube (Sip and Savor Pass not accepted)

The Garlic Noodles are probably just vegetarian and made in an off-site kitchen, so cannot be modified to not have butter.

For the Salted Pistachio Cold Brew, the Oat Milk seems promising, but of course there is honey, and I’m not sure what is in the salted pistachio foam. Please let me know if you ask! But the other thing is that I doubt that the honey could be omitted because they tend to mix it in batches before it gets to the booth. With drinks like this at these festivals, it’s usually my recommendation to pass if they need modifications, and to go for the as-is vegan drinks, or get something that is more interesting and more worth your money at Starbucks.

Studio Catering Truck

You’ll see that the truck has changed its menu during the Lunar New Year. The Plant-Based Backlot Nachos and Tacos are gone, and while I don’t have any concrete evidence, it is my best guess that the truck will return to that old menu once the Lunar New Year is over (February 13).

I asked about the two beverages and they both turned out to be vegan! Especially the Green Tea Slush, I asked about whether there was any other dairy involved, any milk powder in the mix, whipped cream, etc. But it is totally vegan with the almond milk!

  • Green Tea Slush: Almond milk, green tea, and vanilla (non-alcoholic) (New)
  • Lemongrass-Ginger Lemonade: Lemongrass, lemon juice, ginger, and mint (non-alcoholic) (New)

So we actually tried the Green Tea Slush and it was great! If you like matcha, you’ll probably like it. It was sweeter than your standard matcha latte, so not too intense of a grassy flavor, but just a nice green tea flavor. I’m not really a frappuccino person, but it has the texture of what I believe a frappuccino has. It is frozen and creamy and delicious.

Hollywood Lounge

At Hollywood Lounge, just a few steps away from the Studio Catering Truck, you can get the same menu as the Truck, plus a few other drinks. I didn’t get any of them, but most of them look vegan; I’ll include the descriptions below of the ones that look vegan to me.

  • Golden Firecracker: Soju, Ginger Lychee Lemonade with Lychee Flavor-filled Boba, garnished with Basil
  • Full Moon Fizz: Gin, Ginger Beer, Dragon Fruit Syrup and Lime Juice
  • Green-Eyed Tiger: Whiskey, Peach Schnapps, Sweet & Sour topped with Sprite
  • Dancing Dragon: Whiskey and Hibiscus Syrup, with Lime Juice and Apple Juice
  • Ginger-Lychee Lemonade with Lychee Flavor-filled Boba, Mint and a Light-up Lotus Flower Glow Cube
  • Hibiscus Apple Juice: Hibiscus Syrup, with Lime and Apple Juice

I didn’t have time to ask about the boba (see above in the Paradise Garden Grill section), but please let me know if you ask!

Note the Michelada – I didn’t have time to ask about this one specifically, but every time I have asked about a Michelada at other locations (for example Cocina Cucamonga), it contains fish.

Seasonal Cart in Redwood Creek Challenge Trail

They list this beverage below, which I thought might be vegan without the caramel rim, but it contains Fireball, which is listed on Barnivore as not vegan for various reasons. Please read the Barnivore entry if you’re interested and make your own call where the line is of “practicable and possible” there!

Warm Apple Cider Cocktail: Hot apple cider, spices, and cinnamon whiskey garnished with a cinnamon stick and a caramel rim

Lamplight Lounge

Here they have a specialty cocktail that looks vegan to me:

Lunar Cocktail: Baiju Chinese liquor, smoked orange syrup, orange bitters and lemon juice garnished with orange peel

Please let me know if you try it, I’d love to see photos and hear your reviews!

I hope that you found that helpful and that you have the most wonderful time if you visit DCA during the Lunar New Year Celebration this year!

If you are looking for all of the regular, year-round, permanent menu vegan options in the parks, as opposed to just the seasonal things that I covered in this post, then please see the Complete Guides to Vegan Options below!

Thanks going to do it for today! If you find what I am doing helpful and would like to show your appreciation, you are welcome to buy me a Dole Whip! 🙂

Until next time, I’ll see ya real soon!

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