Now through Feb. 13, Lunar New Year returns to Disney California Adventure park, this year marking the Year of the Tiger as guests and cast once again join in the celebration of Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese cultures.
Teams from across the resort contribute to the multi-faceted festival, from “Mulan’s Lunar New Year Procession” and the Lucky Wishes Wall to festive décor and menus celebrating Asian cuisine. Every element is approached with thoughtfulness, and COMPASS, the Disneyland Resort Business Employee Resource Group (BERG) for Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) representation, is a huge contributor.
“The different teams already do fantastic work, and we have COMPASS look at things through a cultural filter, to make sure we put out the best offering we can,” said Live Entertainment Finance Manager Jeff Chang, who also serves as COMPASS co-chair. “We have worked with some of the teams for years, so we’ve been integrated organically into the ideation process.”
The COMPASS team even reviewed the representation of Lunar New Year through décor at the new holiday store Plaza Point on Main Street, U.S.A., which offers an assortment of seasonal merchandise throughout the year.
“The Resort Enhancement team has done a lot of research on their own to try and create an authentic display,” said Hotel Experience Integration Manager Allie Kawamoto Choy, COMPASS co-chair. “We were able to visit the warehouse twice and bring cast members that represent Vietnamese, Chinese and Korean backgrounds to help provide input. They ended up changing some of their designs based on the input our team had.”
In addition to looking at things through a filter of AAPI representation, the COMPASS team also brings suggestions; this year, they helped introduce red envelope-themed resort hotel key card holders during the celebration.
BERGs also provide a community for cast, including safe spaces to talk about what’s going on in the world and how it impacts them. “After the last year following #StopAsianHate in the media, I’ve found it’s so important to honor your culture and also share it with others,” said Marketing Strategy Manager Aprille Hwang, also COMPASS co-chair. “Being able to see our traditions on display at Lunar New Year is really special to me – it’s seeing myself in the offerings, from the nods to Chinese dishes to the Chinese characters on merchandise and décor. It makes me really proud to be Chinese and to share a part of who I am with our guests.”