Chinese New Year commonly known as the Lunar New Year is a festival celebrating the new year on the traditional Chinese calendar. For 2019 the first day of the Lunar New Year will be on February 5th initiating the Year of the Pig.
Previous years have included the Year of the Rat, Sheep, Ox and a few others as these are on a 12 year cycle and will repeat. Year of the Pig happens to be the 12th in the cycle and will not be celebrated again until 2031.
Over on the West Coast in Disney California Adventure they have a Lunar New Year festival with food booths and special entertainment to celebrate. However on the East Coast in Epcot there is an ever rotating cycle of festivals going on all throughout the year. At this time the Festival of the Arts is in full swing.
The Festival has plenty of food booths and also some tents setup with Disney artwork for purchase.
Oswald has become a new favorite of mine. Hopefully he appears a little more often in the parks.
On a recent visit to check out some of the food options at the Festival of the Arts we made our way over to the China Pavilion. The line for the food booth here is always busy as they usually some very popular items. We decided to head back into the pavilion instead as I had heard about a new penny machine.
Past the Nine Dragons restaurant and quick service Lotus Blossom Cafe is the main gift shop called the House of Good Fortunate.
Just inside the doors used to be a 3 design penny machine but that has been removed. Now in its place is a new 12 design penny machine.
The cool thing about this machine is that the designs are all of the different animals representing the 12 year cycle of the Chinese / Lunar New Year. But with a slight twist. Each animal is represented by a Disney character of the same animal. Year of the Rat has Remy from Ratatouille, Year of the Tiger has Tigger from Winnie the Pooh, and Year of the Monkey has Abu from Aladdin. What a really fun set of designs.
Please take notice of the cost for this set. The cost is still $1 for an individual penny, but if you are like me and want the full set it will run you $10 (yikes!).
The machine does have samples of each pressed penny inside so you can see what the finished coin will look like in person.
Something I found out after I got home and was cataloging these new coins is that they had already been available in the Shanghai Disney Resort. Above is a picture from the parkpennies.com which is a great resource I use for my Disneyland collection. The images are the same but obviously the park name has been altered to Walt Disney World. Now I feel like I need to collect some of these Shanghai Disney pressed coins as they really have some nice designs available. But that will be a project for another day.
Back at the Festival of the Arts. I will say that I really enjoy all the art work, and some of the food items are really pretty to look but none of them really stood out as a favorite. I’ll have to go back another day and try some different food booths and see if I can find something else a little more enjoyable. The Flower and Garden Festival will be here soon and that is one of my favorites, and maybe a new pressed penny machine will make an appearance as well.