Lunar New Year at Universal Studios Hollywood
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Happy Lunar New Year at Universal Studios Hollywood

It may be the Year of the Ram, but we spent our Sunday at Universal Studios Hollywood celebrating the Day of the Dog. It was Zane’s birthday (Note: He was born in the Year of the Dog; he isn’t an actual dog, although he does enjoy a good belly rub.), and the whole family had a lot of fun (the rest of us are Ram, Pig, and Ox, respectively).

We rode the fast and hilarious Despicable Me Minion Mayhem, screamed our way through Revenge of the Mummy—The Ride, survived family eating dinosaurs on Jurassic Park—The Ride AND on the King Kong 360 3-D portion of the Studio Tour, and nearly lost our lunch on The Simpsons Ride, but in a good way.

Hello, and welcome to @UniStudios.

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And then there are the Transformers. Not only is Transformers: The Ride-3D an amazing experience, but we got to meet actual Transformers in the park. ACTUAL TRANSFORMERS. Which brings me back to the Year of the Ram.

This year Universal Studios Hollywood continues its annual Lunar New Year tradition with a celebratory Year of the Ram event featuring a special Mandarin-speaking MEGATRON character from its blockbuster thrill ride, Transformers: The Ride-3D, taking place from Friday, February 13 through Saturday, February 28, 2015.

That’s right, now MEGATRON can scare the popcorn out of people in two languages.

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Here is what Universal Studios Hollywood says about it:

The celebration is centered within Universal Plaza – a new Art Deco-inspired, grand courtyard situated at the heart of the theme park – where guests will be ushered in to celebrate the “Year of the Ram” under a curtain of customary red Chinese lanterns and a ball-new Plum Blossom Arch. The polygon-shaped piazza will also display a dozen lampposts each featuring the twelve zodiac animal signs along with three symbolic attributes.

Favorite Universal characters, including Curious George and Woody and Winnie Woodpecker, will join the celebration dressed in traditional Chinese attire to meet guests and take memorable photos in front of a customary Chinese gong. Asian-inspired treats along with traditional music, resonating throughout the Plaza, will help in commemorating the festive Lunar New Year.

Lunar New Year is included in the price of admission to Universal Studios Hollywood.

Our favorite part of the Lunar New Year celebration was the making of wishes. The Universal Plaza has several beautiful wishing trees in it, and guests are invited to write their wishes on a piece of paper and hang them from the tree of their choice. We made a birthday wish:

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And that wish came true.

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UPDATED: The Lunar New Year isn’t the only celebration happening at Universal Studios Hollywood. The park is celebrating 50 years of Universal movie-making magic with two new attractions opening this year (Springfield and Fast & Furious—Supercharged being added to the Studio Tour) and the Studio Tour introduces a Nighttime version this summer.

And of course, the epic transformation continues into next year with the highly-anticipated debut of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter!

If you want to know more about Universal Studios Hollywood, including all of the upcoming attractions and additions, then follow them on Instagram and Twitter, and “Like” the Universal Studios Hollywood Facebook page. You’ll be glad you did.

Photos by Whit Honea

Universal Studios Hollywood provided four (4) tickets (one for each family member) to attend the park for the day. The opinions are my own

Whit Honea is the author of “The Parents’ Phrase Book” and co-founder of the philanthropic organization Dads 4 Change. He is the Social Media Director/Community Manager of the Dad 2.0 Summit. His writing can be found at Fandango, GeekDad, Disney, Today, Good Housekeeping, City Dads Group, Stand Magazine, The Washington Post and several other popular publications. He previously covered travel for Orbitz, CBS and AOL, and served as Editor of Family Travel for UpTake. Deemed “the activist dad” by UpWorthy and one of the “funniest dads on Twitter” by Mashable, Whit has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and is the 2015 winner of the Iris Award for Best Writing.