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.
Epcot Forever 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 2020 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 Animal Kingdom
If I was not a fan of huge crowds this is probably the park I would choose. Celebrate the New Year with specially-themed food and beverage offerings and much more!
Join us for a fun and festive New Year’s Eve as the park stays open until midnight. DJs will keep the night moving in Discovery Island, DinoLand U.S.A. and Asia.
The evening will also include special countdown-to-midnight on the Tree of Life. For the safety and comfort of the animals, there will be no fireworks at this park.
New Year’s Eve at Disney World Resorts
Please do not plan on trying to watch the fireworks from the 3rd-floor observation deck at the Contemporary, the beach at the Poly or the Grand Floridian. Disney in recent years has blocked access to the deck to resort guests only. Resort guests were having a hard time getting a spot.
Several resorts like Coronado Springs, the Contemporary, and the new Riveria resort are having pricey parties to ring in the new year.
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.
Post originally posted December 26, 2013.