How Disney World Rings In The New Year

Cinderella's Castle - Photo by Silver Pin Studios

What better place to usher in the New Year than Walt Disney World? No matter which theme park you choose, the celebration will be magical and memorable. Since the parks will probably reach capacity, it is better to pick one theme park and spend the evening celebrating there. With that in mind, here are some excellent choices:

Magic Kingdom

The Park is open from 8:00am – 1:00am (extra magic hour for Disney Resort guests from 7-8am and 1-3am). Some of the special events are: Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmastime Parade, Main Street Electrical Parade, Celebrate the Magic Projection Show, Holiday Wishes Fireworks, DJ dance parties, hot chocolate and cookies from midnight to 1am at Cosmic Ray’s, Columbia Harbour House, and Tomorrowland Terrace, special New Year’s Eve fireworks dessert party, twice nightly. Party hats and horns will be handed out beginning at 4:00pm at Tomorrowland Speedway, Splash Mountain, Adventureland Veranda, and near Ariel’s Grotto.


  • Future World Hours—8:00am-1:00am
  • World Showcase Hours—9:00am-1:00am
  • Get ready to celebrate with some of the following special events: Special ending to Illuminations Spectacular, Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure, live DJ’s all night, smoke billowing dragon in China, Euro-pop and lasers in Italy, Latin band and DJ on American Gardens Stage, “Blast to the Past” in United Kingdom. Party hats and horns will be passed out from 6-9:15 pm in Future World West at Performing Arts Stage.
  • Also, at Epcot’s World Showplace, you can enjoy a special New Year’s Eve buffet while celebrating a tribute to the classic Disney film, Fantasia. The buffet will feature soups, salads, deep-fried turkey breast, mahi mahi, pasta, assorted desserts, and fresh fruit. The buffet is available from 4:30-10:30pm, and the cost is $64.99 for adults and $41.99 for children ages 3-10.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

The park hours for the New Year’s Celebration are 8:00am – midnight (extra magic hours from midnight – 2am for Resort guests only)

Here are some special events:

  • Mulch, Sweat, and Shears and a live DJ dance party will take place on the stage in front of the Sorcerer’s Hat.
  • The Comedy Warehouse Holiday Special will take place in the Premier Theater.
  • Fastasmic—three shows
  • The Lights, Camera, Happy New Year, fireworks show will take place at midnight

**There will be a special New Year’s Eve lunch and dinner buffet served at the Hollywood and Vine Restaurant**

Animal Kingdom

Since Animal Kingdom closes at dusk, there will not be any New Year’s Eve celebration here.

Downtown Disney

  • The hours for the Downtown Disney Marketplace will be 8:00am – 1:00am
  • Pleasure shopping hours will be from 8:00am – 2:00am
  • West Side hours—8:00am – 2:00am
  • Disney Quest is open until 7:00pm
  • Disney Quest New Year’s Eve Party – 8:00pm – 1:00am
  • Cirque du Soleil will have two performances at 6:00pm and 9:00pm
  • DJ parties and live entertainment in all three districts, plus food and beverage offerings, Disney Food Trucks, cocktails, beer and wine throughout the area.

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Reminder Tips:

  • You should arrive early in the morning at the park of your choice and be prepared to spend your entire day there. The park will reach capacity with no further admittance. Park hopping is not a good idea on this particular holiday celebration.
  • A dining reservation does not guarantee you entry to a Park if it has reached capacity. Keep this in mind when making any dining reservations.
  • Rent a locker: if the weather becomes an issue, you can store your warm clothes or rain gear.
  • If there is an attraction that you simply “must do”, try to make a Fast Pass+ reservation for it. It is not uncommon for wait times on the more popular attractions to be in excess of 2 hours.

Ring in the New Year with your family at the “most magical place on earth”! The choices are difficult, but consider all the options and enjoy the thrills. HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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Photo courtesy of Silver Pin Studios

About Cecilia

I am a working mother of four adult children, 2 granddogs, and one grandcat. I have been a Disney fanatic since 1959, when my parents took my sister and I on a journey across the country to Disneyland. Needless to say, we were thrilled, and this became our vacation destination for the next 10 years. Later, when Walt Disney World was opened, we travelled to Florida and discovered a whole new Disney experience, and WDW became our new vacation destination. Now, our extended family members are all Disney Fanatics and always ready to talk about anything Disney.

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