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Your best bets for New Year’s Eve at Disney World

Your best bets for New Year’s Eve at Disney World

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.

Planning to check it out or even thinking about giving next Near Year’s Eve a try?

Here’s what you can expect to find.

Because the holidays are some of the busiest times of the year, whatever you decide to do we recommend you review our tips for handling the crowds at Disney World.

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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 the table service 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, 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.

Magic Kingdom Fireworks

In addition – Magic Kingdom is the only park at Disney World that starts the NYE party a day early!

The fun starts here on December 30 which means you can catch the amazing fireworks a day early here and then hit up another park for actual New Year’s Eve.

Note: 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 pm on Dec. 30 and 31 in 2019

This spectacular fireworks show is one of the best shown at the Magic Kingdom. In 2019 you will be able to 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 and Tomorrowland New Year’s Celebration Dance Parties

Grab a partner and prepare to dance the night away with family-friendly dance parties located in Frontierland and Tomorrowland.  

Epcot

In 2019 Epcot debuted a new (temporary) nighttime show called “Epcot Forever” and on New Year’s Eve it is shown twice: 6:30 p.m. and 11:40 p.m.

The earlier show is perfect for families of young children, however, if you want to see the countdown and special fireworks celebration for the New Year, you’ll need to hang around for the 11:40 performance.

Epcot fireworks

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.

Epcot Forever (with New Year’s Eve countdown and special show starting immediately after 2nd performance)

When: 6:30 p.m. (no countdown or special fireworks) & 11:40 p.m. (NYE countdown and special fireworks)

Epcot Forever

Celebrations Around the World Showcase

If you plan to spend the day at Epcot, look for this fun tradition!

As the clock strikes midnight in each country’s pavilion, listen for special announcements and a coloful burst fireworks to appear in the sky.

In addition, you’ll find fun dance parties and themed events taking place across the World Showcase

Live Music at the American Gardens Theater

When: while this entertainment option has been confirmed for NYE 2019, Disney has not yet released specific times.

Hollywood Studios

In 2019, guests visiting Hollywood Studios will be treated to three nighttime shows: Fantasmic, Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM, and Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular.

Like to dance?

You’ll also find a DJ Dance Party at Center Stage.

Fantasmic!

When: 9:00 p.m., 10:30 p.m.

Wonderful World of Animation

When: 6:05 p.m.

Wonderful World of Disney Animation

Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!

When: 6:30 p.m.

Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular

When: 12:00 a.m.

New Year’s Eve Dance Party at Center Stage

When: 7 p.m.

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. 

However, new for 2019, Animal Kingdom will be staying open until midnight and hosting some special New Year’s Eve activities!

According to Disney, “you’ll find special New Year’s Eve-themed food and drinks, while DJs in Asia, Discovery Island and DinoLand U.S.A. will keep the party pumping!”

At midnight, guests will be able to watch a special countdown on the Tree of Life to welcome in the New Year. 

Look for the fun to start here at 6:15 p.m..

monsieur-paul-09

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 (but no fireworks).

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.

You can find more information on New Year’s Eve at Disney Springs on the official Disney World website.

New Year’s Eve at Disney World resorts

Every year Disney World offers special dining events for New Year’s Eve. 

Some of these options sell out fast so if you’re thinking about checking them out next year, make sure you keep an eye out for when they open up (which is typically sometime in July).

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: $299 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 make this an ideal spot to catch those.

Want to up the fancy another notch?

Guests looking to extend their evening can add-on some time at the “Disney Ink & Paint Club“. This V.I.P. lounge experience begins before the main event (6:30 pm) and includes drinks and a special menu (available until 8:30 pm). This addition brings your total ticket price up to $499/person.

Pixar Party: A New Year’s Eve Celebration

When: 8:00 pm to 12:00 am on December 30 & 31, 2019
Price: $199 per guest (price includes tax and gratuity)
Location: Disney’s Contemporary Resort Convention Center – Second Level
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 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.

Elegant Evening Under the Stars at California Grill

When: 8:00 pm – 12:00 am
Price: $675/guest (same price for adults and children – tax and gratuity included)
Location: California Grill at the Contemporary Resort

California grill fireworks

What’s included: A California wine country themed evening with a magician, a portrait artist, a buffet, a champagne toast at midnight, and characters including Mickey, Minnie, Donald, and Goofy.

New Year’s Eve at the Riviera Resort

Mezzanotte at Topolino’s: An Italian Masquerade

When: 8:00 pm to 12:15 am
Price: $550 per guest (price includes tax and gratuity)
Location: Topolino’s Terrace

Topolino Terrace

What’s included: This experience is limited to 200 guests and will feature tapas, food stations, a European style buffet, artisanal cheeses, charcuterie, breads, seafood, pastas, and European desserts. In addition to food, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages are included. The event will feature musical entertainment including a DJ and Italian vocalists and musicians. Booking for 2019 is now open for all guests.

New Year’s Eve at Coronado Springs Resort – Gran Destino Tower

Feliz Ano Nuevo: A New Year’s Eve Party

When: 8:00 pm to 12:30 am
Price: $400 per guest (price includes tax and gratuity)
Location: Tolédo – Tapas, Steak & Seafood

Topolino Terrace

What’s included: This experience will feature food entertainment on the top floor the new Gran Destino Tower at Disney’s Coronado Springs resort. The menu will feature savory food options inspired by traditional Spanish New Year’s cuisine and entertainment will include a DJ and an electric flamenco guitarist. 

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

Garden Grove 

When: New Year’s Eve dinner served from 5:00 pm to 9:30 pm
Price: $55.99 adults/$27.99 children
Location: Walt Disney World Swan Hotel

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: 407-934-1618.

Il Mulino

When: New Year’s Eve dinner served from 7:15 pm 11:00 pm.
Price: $135 adults/$40 children
Location: Walt Disney World Swan Hotel

il-mulino-new-york-trattoria-gallery00

What’s included: A prix-fixe 4 course dinner, however alcoholic beverages are not included in the cost. For reservations call: 407-934-1199.

Shula’s Steak House 

When: New Year’s Eve dinner served from 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm.
Price: $145 adults/$60 children
Location: Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel

shula-steak-house-gallery01

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

Todd English’s Bluezoo

When: New Year’s Eve dinner 
Price: $60/guest
Location: Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel

todd-english-bluezoo-gallery04

What’s included: “Surf and Turf” which includes butter poached king crab, kobe striploin, potato puree, pommes maxim, forrest mushrooms, asparagus, and sauce maltaise. For reservations call: 407-934-1111

New Year’s Eve at Disney’s Grand Floridian

Victoria and Albert’s

When: 6:00 pm to 11:00 pm
Price: $652.47/guest (tax included, gratuity is not)
Location: Disney’s Grand Floridian

victoria-and-alberts-gallery12

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

Narcoossee’s

When:  Seating 1 – 4:45 pm  to 8:15 pm & Seating 2 – 8:30 pm to 12:00 am
Price: $250 adults/$99 children for Seating 1 and $350 adults/$140 children for Seating 2 (tax & gratuity included)
Location: Disney’s Grand Floridian

Narcoossee's
What’s included: A prix fixe menu with a view of the Magic Kingdom fireworks

New Year’s Eve on Disney’s Boardwalk

Flying Fish

When: New Year’s Eve, early dinner seats between 5:00 and 6:30 p.m. and late dinner seats between 8:30 and 10:00 p.m.
Price: Begins at $150/person
Location: Disney’s Boardwalk

Flying Fish

What’s included: A prix fixe, multi-course meal. Reservations can be made by calling (407) 824-1391.

Disney’s BoardWalk Resort Countdown to 2020

When: New Year’s Eve from 9:00pm – 1:00am
Price: $99/person (tax and gratuity not included)
Location: Disney’s Boardwalk
atlantic-dance-hall-00

What’s included: Guests 21 years of age and older are able to party the night away with a DJ and champagne toast at midnight as well as light bites. This location also has views of the fireworks at Epcot. Reservations can be made by calling (407) 824-1391.

Special New Year’s Eve dining at Epcot

Monsieur Paul

When: New Year’s Eve lunch has 4 different seating times – 12:00 p.m., 12:30 p.m., 2:00 p.m. and 2:30 p.m., and dinner has 2, 6:00 and 6:30 p.m..
Price: $111/person
Location: Epcot

monsieur-paul-09

What’s included: A special multi-course menu

New Year’s Eve Dinner at the World Showplace Pavilion

When: New Year’s Eve from 4:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. (this is a buffet and not an all-night event)
Price: $84/adult, $54/child (tax and gratuity included)
Location: World Showcase Pavilion

What’s included: This custom buffet is a nice option for people planning on visiting Epcot for NYE. While this isn’t an all-evening event, there are some cute photo ops available (no characters, just vignettes) and lots of tasty food options like creamy seafood-and-corn chowder, seafood mac and cheese with butter-toasted panko and fried chicken and gravy.

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Get more info about traveling in December on the December crowd calendar.

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

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