Ringing in the New Year at Disney is a great way to start the year! I have rung in the new year at Disney several times and absolutely love it despite the crowds. Here is what to expect at each of the Disney Parks on New Year’s Eve and tips for making it the best night ever!
New Years Eve at Walt Disney World
Is NYE busy at Walt Disney World? New Year’s Eve is probably the busiest day of the year at Walt Disney World. Many times the Magic Kingdom reaches capacity or in other words, they don’t let anyone in the parks until some people leave.
At Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and the Magic Kingdom guests receive free hats and noisemakers. They used to start handing them out around 6 pm. Recently I have seen them hand out these freebies at 3-4 o’clock and run out before 6.
New Year’s Eve at the Magic Kingdom
In my opinion, New Year’s Eve at the Magic Kingdom is the best! The fireworks are amazing and worth all the crowds. Here is a rundown of the special activities you will find at the Magic Kingdom.
New Year’s Eve at the Magic Kingdom is a 2-day celebration! If you want a slightly less crowded experience, go on December 30th. Same activities and the same fireworks.
Dance Parties: Frontierland and Tomorrowland both have dance parties throughout the night. The parties start at 7 pm and go until midnight.
Fantasy in the Sky Fireworks: Head to your favorite viewing spot to watch this beloved, fan-favorite light up the night sky. These fireworks are amazing!! The Grand Finale includes fireworks that are 360 degrees around the park.
New Year’s Eve at Epcot
Who says you can’t ring in the new year more than once? As the clock strikes midnight in each country’s respective pavilion, listen for a festive announcement and gaze skyward for a colorful burst of fireworks to appear.
World Showcase Dance Parties: If you’re looking for lively dance parties, be sure to take a stroll around the World Showcase to encounter a variety of themed events in several country pavilions.
American Gardens Theater: The theater will have live music throughout the night.
Illuminations Fireworks with Holiday Finale: Gather around the World Showcase Lagoon to see Illuminations: Reflections of Earth at 11:40 PM, followed by a countdown to 2019 and a special New Year’s Eve display.
New Year’s Eve at Hollywood Studios
Hollywood Studios is not nearly as packed as the other parks but they do have extended hours and do fireworks at night. Still magical just not as grand as the Magic Kingdom or Epcot.
New Year’s Eve at Disney Springs
The Edison New Year’s Eve Gala
The Edison at Disney Springs will be hosting a gala on New Year’s Eve to ring in the new year and to celebrate one year of the Edison at Disney Springs! The Industrial Gothic-style restaurant serves extraordinary food, exceptional cocktails plus a spectacular lineup of world-class entertainment.
A limited number of tickets for The Edison’s New Year’s Eve are available for $150 per guest. The ticket price includes tray-passed hors-d’oeuvres, live-action food stations, and a selection of beer, wine, and premium spirits along with a selection of coffee, desserts and a special midnight toast. Guests must be 21 years of age or older to attend, and tickets may be purchased here.
New Year’s Eve at Disney World Resorts
Atlantic Dance Hall at the Boardwalk
On December 31, 2018, kick off a brand-new year with rockin’ music, tasty treats and an enchanting dash of Disney magic. The cost for this event is $75/per person. The party starts at 8 pm and goes until 2 am. To book, call (407) WDW-DINE or (407) 939-3463.
Looking for tons of fun this New Year’s Eve? Atlantic Dance Hall at Disney’s BoardWalk invites you to let loose and bust a move while counting down to 2019! Limited to the over-21 crowd, this festive holiday celebration includes fabulous views of the Epcot fireworks, party hats, horns, a mouthwatering light-bite menu, 2 beverage vouchers and a champagne toast at midnight.
With music provided by a live video DJ, it’s the ideal time to dance till you—or the famous Times Square ball—drops!
Contemporary Resort Happenings
Please do not plan on trying to watch the fireworks from the 3rd-floor observation deck at the Contemporary. Disney in recent years has blocked access to the deck to resort guests only. Resort guests were having a hard time getting a spot.
Pixar Party: A New Year’s Eve Celebration
To 2019…and beyond! At $190 per guest (all ages welcome) in the Ballroom of the Americas, this party is certainly a family-friendly festivity. For the kids and kids at heart, enjoy a delicious buffet-style dinner with a menu that includes pan-seared mahi-mahi, Manhattan filet, white cheddar baked mac and cheese, and so much more. There is restaurant-style reserved seating while an interactive DJ spins Radio Disney hits from a Cars-inspired DJ rig straight out of Radiator Springs.
Get into the action at a dazzling dance party when the Interactive DJ spins Radio Disney hits from his Cars-inspired DJ rig, gussied up with tires and road signs—as if it just drove out of Radiator Springs!
Kids activities include Boot Camp with Sarge, Pixar Face Painting and a balloon artist who creates your favorite Pixar characters.
Finally, at the end of the night, accept an invitation to the Porte Cochére and welcome 2019 with a viewing of Magic Kingdom’s famous New Year’s Eve fireworks—an experience you’ll remember well into the New Year and beyond!
To purchase a ticket, you can book online or by calling (407) WDW-DINE or (407) 939-3463.
Tips for Spending New Year’s Eve at Walt Disney World
Try a Dessert Party
If you are looking for a less crowded experience at least for fireworks viewing, try a dessert party. This is one of the few times this low-budget Disney fan says the splurge is worth it.
If you are planning on drinking, please be responsible and use Disney transport, taxis, Uber, and buses to make your way to your hotel. Magic Kingdom is the only park where you will not find alcoholic drinks (other than at Gaston’s).
All the parks will be extremely packed- please arrive early to be guaranteed admission.
Please be kind to Cast Members- they are trying to handle the crowds the best they can. Please listen to them while they direct the crowds.
Stay with Your Party
Stay with your party or make a plan about how to meet up after the park closes as it will take a long time to leave the park, get on a bus, on a monorail, or a tram.
Go to Animal Kingdom
Animal Kingdom is the only park without New Year’s Eve celebrations. If you don’t care to do anything out of the ordinary and just want to enjoy your Disney vacation, this is a great place to enjoy lower-volume crowds and a fun night. The park will be open until 9 p.m.
Post originally posted December 26, 2013.