Universal celebrates Lunar New Year with Kung Fu Panda

January 23, 2020, 4:10 PM · Lunar New Year kicked off today at Universal Studios Hollywood, which once again welcomes the cast of Kung Fu Panda to the Universal Plaza.

Mr. Ping's Noodle shop returns, this year dropping the stir-fry noodles in favor of Pork Ramen, Beef Pho, Glass Noodle Salad, and a vegetarian "Secret Ingredient" Noodle Soup [prices from $10.99-11.99]. The Bao is gone, but there's now "Asian Sausage on a Stick" [$7.99] joining the returning Egg Roll [$4.49] and Dumplings [$7.99]. And Universal has added dessert to Mr. Ping's menu this year, with Cherry Cheesecake [$5.99] and Sesame Balls [$8.49].

I tried the ramen and the dumplings.

Mr. Ping's ramen and dumplings

No, it's not Ramen Tatsunoya, but if your only knowledge of ramen is the under-a-buck-each supermarket bricks, consider this a starter pack toward something better. (But if you are used to the "good" ramen, well, there's always something great at The Three Broomsticks....) By the way, that drawing in the background is my work at the "Temple of Peace" drawing class across the plaza, where an instructor talks you through the steps of drawing Po.

Learning to draw Po

Po is the only character in this year's drawing class curriculum, which probably satisfies the majority of visitors who wanted to draw the Kung Fu Panda star more than any of his sidekicks that Universal also featured in past year's classes. But I miss the variety.

With the Kung Fu Panda: Emperor's Quest show running for more than a year now next to the Plaza, Universal also has dropped the Dragon Warrior Training Show this year in favor of occasional cultural performances from local community groups: Tyun Yee Tong (January 23, February 2, 8-9), Camarillo Kung Fu (January 25-26), UCLA Wushu (February 1) and Ane Thanh Lion (February 8).

Lion dance

But Po and Tigress remain available in the Plaza for meet and greets, with additional Lunar New Year-themed meet and greets immediately around the plaza, including Hello Kitty, the Minions, and Universal's Mandarin-speaking Megatron.

Megatron

Oh yeah, it's the "Year of the Rat" here, just like it is everywhere else in the world this year... save for a certain resort down the 5 in Anaheim.

Lunar New Year continues through Sunday, February 9 at Universal Studios Hollywood and is included with park admission. For the latest discounts on tickets to the park, please visit our travel partner's officially authorized Universal Studios Hollywood tickets page.

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