Where to Celebrate New Year’s in Disney World

If you are planning on heading to Disney World for the New Years celebrations, you should get familiar with the park offerings.  Planning is key when you are headed to the Disney World celebrations.  So here is what to expect from the four theme parks:

  • Magic Kingdom – Here you can visit for the New Year’s celebrations on either December 30 or December 31.  The park offers a showing of Wishes at 8:30 PM and a presentation of Fantasy in the Sky at 11:50 PM.  The turnout for the celebration in the Magic Kingdom park is extreme.  People wishing to see the presentation of the Fantasy in the Sky should expect to arrive at the Magic Kingdom park before noon.  Should you leave the park after noon, you should expect that you will not be able to get back into the park as it would have hit max capacity.  The theme park will close at midnight on December 30 and at 2 AM on December 31 (essentially January 1, 2013).
  • EPCOT - This park offers their New Year’s celebration on December 31.  Illuminations Reflection of Earth has a show at 6:30 PM and a second showing at 11:40 PM.  The park does also typically reach capacity but offers a greater amount of space for viewing the New Year’s show than the Magic Kingdom.  The park will close at 1 AM.
  • Hollywood Studios -  This park rings in the New Year’s with two showings of Fantasmic! at 6:30 PM and 8:30 PM.  You will also find a special fireworks display at midnight and many performances by Mulch, Sweat and Shears at the Sorcerer’s Hat every hour for most of the evening.  Be sure to head over to the Osbourne Spectacle of Dancing Lights which begins at 6 PM.  This park does not typically reach capacity.  If you are someone who does not like large crowds, this is the park you should choose to ring in the New Years.  The park closes at 3 AM this night with Extra Magic Hours!  Disney is attempting to sway people to ring in the New Year’s at this park by granting additional hours of park time.
  • Animal Kingdom -This park does not celebrate the New Year’s with any special shows.  The park is set to close at 8 PM.

Before heading to the events, make a plan with your family of where to meet as nothing is more frustrating than not knowing where everyone in your party is located when it is extremely busy!  It is recommended that if you are hoping for that perfect viewing spot of the show, you should arrive in the spot at least an hour or an hour and a half beforehand.  You may even want to work in shifts with others in your party for holding the spot so everyone can have time spent in the parks and not simply waiting for the show.

If you are planning on being in the area, you may want to consider viewing the Fantasy in the Sky on December 30 when the crowd levels are not as daunting.

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