New Year’s Eve at Disney World

(Article last updated: November 14, 2017)

Whether you have planned a Christmas trip that spans across New Year’s Day or you’ve decided you just want to ring in January 1st with Mickey, New Year's Eve at Disney World offers lots of options for both dining and entertainment.

The added crowds from the holidays means you need a plan in order to get the most out of the experience. While the offerings might differ slightly from year to year, here’s a taste of what you can expect to find if you’ll be visiting Walt Disney World on New Year’s Eve.

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New Year's Eve at Disney World: Entertainment

Magic Kingdom

Unlike the other 3 parks, the Magic Kingdom does not serve alcohol (outside of the limited selections in a couple of restaurants), so if you are looking to ring in the New Year with a toast you'll have to do that elsewhere. What it lacks in adult beverages, however, the Magic Kingdom makes up for with a spectacular fireworks display that is shot off "in-the-round" and includes fireworks over the castle as well as along the perimeter of the park.

It is not uncommon for the Magic Kingdom to go into a phased closure during extra busy times such as New Year's Eve.

Fantasy in the Sky fireworks

When: scheduled at 6:30 pm and 11:50 p.m. on Dec. 30 and 31 in 2017

This spectacular fireworks show is one of the best shown at the Magic Kingdom. In 2017 you can catch this show both New Year’s Eve AND New Year’s Eve's Eve at both 6:30 pm and 11:50 p.m. To maximize your New Year's experience, plan to catch the fireworks here on December 30 for (slightly) less crowds and then spend New Year's Eve in another park.

Frontierland New Year's Celebration Dance Party

When: Scheduled from 7:00 pm - park close in 2017

Grab a partner and prepare to dance 2017 away with this family-friendly dance party over in Frontierland.  Starting at 7:00 pm you can find a DJ spinning tunes all the way until the close of Magic Kingdom.

Epcot

At Epcot, New Year’s Eve takes on a "global party" feeling. In years past you have been able to find music and DJs in the World Showcase, special dining options, and 2 showings of Illuminations (6 and 11:40 p.m.). The 6 p.m. show typically includes the holiday finale while the 11:40 p.m. performance usually includes a countdown to midnight and a “pyrotechnic salute to the New Year.”

Out of all 4 parks, Epcot can hold the most crowds and while it will still be quite busy, the World Showcase provides lots of space for people to spread out making it a good choice if you want to be in the parks for New Year's Eve.

Illuminations

When: New Year's Eve edition - scheduled for 11:40 p.m. on Dec. 31 in 2017

Hollywood Studios

In 2017, guests visiting Hollywood Studios will be treated to 2 nighttime shows: Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM and Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular. The construction at Hollywood Studios limits the available space they have to shoot off fireworks which means in order to get the best view you need to plan to be as close to the Chinese Theater as possible.

Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!

When: scheduled for 9:00 p.m. in 2017

Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular

When: scheduled at midnight in 2017

New Year's Eve Dance Party at Center Stage

When: Starting at 7:00 pm in 2017

Before, in between, and after the showings of Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM and Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular,  you can dance it up with a DJ at Center Stage.

Animal Kingdom

In years past, Animal Kingdom has not hosted anything special (beyond some live music) for New Year's Eve and the park has closed before midnight. The lack of fireworks and the early closing makes Animal Kingdom your best option if you're looking to avoid the crowds.

Disney Springs

If you're looking to avoid a park on New Year's Eve but you still want to party Disney-style, Disney Springs will have live music and plenty of spots to grab a drink. Like the parks, though, this will be a popular spot, so if you are staying at a Disney resort plan to use Disney Transportation or take a Taxi/Uber to avoid traffic congestion in and around Disney Springs.

New Year's Eve at Disney World resorts

Every year Disney World offers special dining events for New Year’s Eve. In 2017, you'll find lots of different options for dining and partying the night away.

New Year's Eve at the Contemporary Resort

For reservations to any of these events you can call (407) WDW-DINE.

New Year's Eve at Disney World

Disney Countdown to Midnight

When: 8:00 pm to 12:15 am
Price: $250 per guest (price includes tax and gratuity)
Location: Fantasia Ballroom
What’s included: This adults-only experience is probably the most elegant of all offerings. Not just a meal, Disney bills this experience as an "event" which includes a dress code, all-you-care-to-enjoy dining including a complimentary bar and unlimited wine by the glass featuring the "best of the best" bites and wine pairings from some of Disney's top restaurants.

In addition to free flowing food and beverages, guests are also entertained by several characters including Mickey and Minnie. Of course, the main focus of the evening is the wine are the fireworks at midnight from the Magic Kingdom and the Contemporary's superb location and  make this an ideal spot to catch those.

Pixar Party: A New Year’s Eve Celebration

When: 8:00 pm to 12:15 am
Price: $175 per guest (price includes tax and gratuity)
Location: Ballroom of the America's
What’s included: This family-friendly event is the place to be if you love Pixar. Included in your evening is a restaurant-style buffet meal while surrounded by Pixar-themed vignettes and backdrops and of course some of your favorite Pixar characters. It wouldn't be New Year's Eve without a DJ and and dancing and when it comes time for fireworks you'll be able to watch those from the Porte Cochere at the front of the Contemporary Resort.

Down in New Orleans: A Disney New Year’s Eve Dining Experience

When: 7:00 pm to 12:15 am
Price: $450 per guest (price includes tax and gratuity)
Location: Grand Republic Ballroom
What’s included: An adults-only event, Disney refers to this Princess and the Frog inspired evening as "unforgettable." Probably the most elegant of the offerings at the Contemporary Resort, your evening will include fine dining, jazz, live music, and a reserved spot to watch the nighttime fireworks at Magic Kingdom.

Chef Mickey’s New Year’s Day holiday dinner

Restaurant: Chef Mickey's  at the Contemporary Resort
Cost: $53 adults/$32 child (prices for 2016)
Day & Time: New Year’s Day, 11:00 am - 9:00 p.m.

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What’s included: The only difference between this experience and eating at Chef Mickey’s on any other day are some of the offerings on the buffet line. All of the regular buffet items are there but you’ll find seasonal and holiday items mixed in as well.

New Year's Eve at the Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Hotels

Restaurant: Garden Grove
Cost: $47.99 adults/$19.99 children
Day & Time: New Year's Eve dinner served from 5:00 pm until 9:30 pm

Garden Grove New Year's Eve Buffet menu

garden-grove

What’s included: A “gourmet” buffet which includes main dishes such as chicken schnitzel, short ribs, wild mushroom ravioli and snow crab legs, lots of sides and several soup options plus desserts. There is a menu and a selection of food for children if the food on the buffet doesn’t appeal to them. For reservations call: 407-934-1609.

Restaurant: Il Mulino
Cost: $105 adults/$39 children
Day & Time: New Year’s Eve 7:15 until 11:00 p.m.

Il Mulino New Year's Eve menu

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What’s included: A prix-fixe 4 course dinner, however alcoholic beverages are not included in the cost. For reservations call: 407-934-1717.

Restaurant: Shula’s Steak House
Cost: $145 adults/$60 children
Day & Time: New Year’s Eve 7:15 until 11:00 p.m.

Shula's New Year's Eve adult menu & Shula's New Year's Even children's menu

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What’s included: A prix-fixe multi-course meal, however alcoholic beverages are not included in the cost. For reservations call: 407-934-1362.

Restaurant: Todd English’s bluezoo
Location: Dolphin
Cost: $90/guest
Day & Time: New Year’s Eve 4:00 until 11:00 p.m.

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What’s included: A “New Year’s Eve Dinner” which includes dry-aged rib eye with artichoke puree, roasted chestnuts, grilled porcini, Tokyo turnips, winter truffle and bordelaise. For reservations call: 407-934-1717

New Year's Eve at Disney's Grand Floridian

Restaurant: Victoria and Albert’s
Cost: $600/guest (2016 prices)
Day & Time: New Year’s Eve dinner service

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What’s included: Prix fixe, multi-course meal

Restaurant: Chef’s Table at Victoria and Albert’s
Location: Grand Floridian
Cost: $725/guest (2016 prices)
Day & Time: New Year’s Eve dinner service

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What’s included: An intimate, in-the-kitchen experience including a 10 course meal with 9 wine pairings all while seated close enough to the chefs that you can interact with them while they cook.

Restaurant: Narcoossees
Location: Grand Floridian
Cost: $150 adult/$75 child (early dinner) and $255 adult/$95 children (late dinner)
Day & Time: New Year’s Eve, early dinner seats between 5:00 and 5:45 p.m. and late dinner seats between 8:30 and 9:30 p.m.

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What’s included: Delicious local and global seafood selections, steaks and a view of the fireworks at Magic Kingdom.

New Year's Eve at Fort Wilderness

Restaurant: Mickey's New Year's Eve BBQ
Cost: $95/adult, $75/child
Day & Time: 8:30 pm on December 31st, 2017

Mickeys Backyard BBQ

What’s included: Family-friendly BBQ feast complete with live entertainment and activities including visits from characters (Mickey, Minnie, Chip and Dale).

 

New Year's Eve on Disney's Boardwalk

Location: Flying Fish
Cost: $372/person (tax and gratuity included)
Day & Time: New Years Eve from 7:00pm - 12:30am

Flying Fish

What's included: An "elegant" cocktail hour, live jazz band, family-style spread, live character artists that will create digital artwork that can be emailed to you, and the opportunity to go dancing over at Atlantic Dance Hall

Location: Atlantic Dance Hall
Cost: $50/person (tax and gratuity not included)
Day & Time: New Years Eve from 9:00pm - 2:00am
atlantic-dance-hall-00

What's included: Guests 21 years of age and older can party the night away with a DJ and champagne toast at midnight. This location also has views of the fireworks at Epcot.

Special New Year's Eve dining at Epcot

Restaurant: Monsieur Paul
Location: Epcot
Cost: $89/person (prix-fixe lunch or dinner), $245 ($310 with wine) adults/$235 child for the premier dining event (available at the last 2 dinner seatings only)
Day & Time: New Year’s Eve lunch has 4 different seating times - 11:45 a.m., 12:00 p.m., 2:15 p.m. and 2:45 p.m., dinner has 2, 5:45 and 6:15 p.m. and the premier late dining event has 2 seatings as well, 8:45 and 9:45 p.m.

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What’s included: The lunch and early dinner options include a 3 course meal while the premier dining event includes a 4 course meal with the option to include wine pairings for an additional charge.

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Get more info about traveling in December on the December dashboard.

Have any other thoughts on spending New Year's Eve at Disney World? Feel free to share in the comments.

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