3..2..1, Happy New Year! Wait it’s only December 30th? I thought New Year’s Eve was tomorrow night? Celebrating New Year’s Eve at Walt Disney World is like nowhere else, as it happens two different nights at the Magic Kingdom. On both December 30th and 31st you can ring in the New Year with Mickey and friends. In recent years, Walt Disney World has extended the holiday fireworks to two nights for families looking to enjoy the fireworks without everything that goes along with New Year’s Eve. Beyond just the Magic Kingdom, New Year’s Eve at Walt Disney World has tons of things happening this year, let’s check them out!
Celebrating in the Parks
Which park to choose? All of the parks are great for New Year’s, our personal favorites would be Hollywood Studios and of course the Magic Kingdom. All of the parks ring in the New Year in similar ways. Spread around the parks you’ll find DJ’s spinning both Disney favorites and hits of today. Last year at Epcot they had “dueling DJ’s” in future world, where you would wear headphones that could switch back and forth between each one. Come midnight there will be a countdown, nighttime spectacular (like Illuminations) followed by afireworks show.
Passholder Insight: If you want to see multiple firework displays and feel adventurous we recommend heading to the Magic Kingdom on December 30th, then another park for the 31st.
You’ll definitely want to head in early, especially if you’re not staying on Disney Property, as the parks fill up fast. Usually the Magic Kingdom fills up first then Epcot, Hollywood Studios, then Animal Kingdom. When you stay at a Disney resort they do guarantee you’ll get into one of the parks, just not which park you’ll get into. It’s definitely a nice perk.
Passholder Insights: If a park is filled during the day it is definitely worth checking back later in the day if you’re staying on property. Over the years, we’ve gotten in later at night (10 pm) to the Magic Kingdom, even though it was filled to capacity at noon. No guarantee it would be the same, we may have been luckily that time.
Outside of Parks – Resorts
The DVC Duo likes to make the most of New Year’s Eve at Walt Disney World, and we usually start by heading into the park in the morning then enjoying a nice dinner that night (usually at one of the resorts).We then meaner over to whichever park is not filled to capacity. It helps to be flexible here, as all are going to have some sort of nighttime spectacular and music.
Looking to avoid the crowds all together? Still want to see fireworks? You definitely can with a couple of different options around the Magic Kingdom Resorts. If you have a dinner reservation at Grand Floridian, Contemporary, or Polynesian Resorts, you can stay at the resort to take in the Magic Kingdom fireworks from a few different viewing areas. On the beach for both the Grand Floridian and Polynesian Resorts you’ll be able to see the fireworks. Up at the Contemporary there’s the coveted viewing deck on top of Bay Lake Tower, you may want to try and befriend a DVC Member for this one! Best part, they also play the music!
Passholder Insight: We recommend not trying to drive to any of the resorts or theme parks on New Year’s Eve as the roads are usually packed. Walt Disney World sections off bus lanes for the Disney Transportation to get around. We highly recommend using Disney transportation when you can. This may be a good opportunity to take advantage of the Minnie Van service as well if you’re looking for quick trips.
Besides the theme parks you can celebrate New Year’s Eve at Walt Disney World at one of the private parties at the Contemporary Resort with two different parties and one VIP experience. Looking for an “Incredible” night? You’ll want to check out the Pixar Party. Party the night away with your favorite Pixar characters. It’s the perfect atmosphere for families, as Disney has a bunch of activities for the little ones throughout the night from face painting, to character meet and greets, and even a balloon artist. The party includes a selection of non-alcoholic beverages (cocktails available for purchase) and a buffet that has something everyone. For ticket prices and more details check out the following link. The night caps off with special viewing area for the New Year’s Eve fireworks at the Magic Kingdom.
If you’re looking more of an adult evening you’ll want to look into the Disney Countdown to Midnight at the Contemporary Resort. For the event, Disney chefs from the Signature restaurants put on a display of culinary wizardry in what’s being called “cheftainment”. The night kicks off with spectacular bites from the culinary wizards then you can dance the night away to a DJ playing tunes from the 60’s through today. The party includes all your food and drink (both alcoholic and non). For ticket prices and more details check out the following link. The evening wraps up with a reserved viewing area to watch the fireworks at the Magic Kingdom from the Contemporary Resort.
To the make the night extra special Disney is offering a VIP experience to add on the Disney Countdown to Midnight. With the VIP experience you’ll have a private reception in the Disney Ink & Paint Club Lounge, with a pianist, a visit from Mickey and Minnie, and exclusiveother surprises.
Passholder Insight: In our experience we’ve always gone with a nice dinner usually at a Signature restaurant, then fireworks in the park. The parties definitely seem like a great time,though!
No matter how you’re looking to celebrate New Year’s at Walt Disney World, you’ll find what you’re looking for. Happy New Year from the DVC Duo!!!