December 31, 2016
Additional 2016 information will be added as its released
2016 New Year’s Eve Info
From celebrations in the theme parks to an upscale dining experience and dancing at Disney’s BoardWalk, take your pick of how you want to ring in the New Year. If previous years are an indication, park-goers will be given party hats and noise makers to ring in the New Year. There will also be elaborate firework displays that will decorate the skies over each park (except Animal Kingdom) at the stroke of midnight. Park visitors can expect extra live entertainment in the parks and should check their Times Guide for locations and times.
Be aware that the parks and parking lots often fill to capacity early on New Year’s Eve. Guests staying at Disney-owned resorts should plan on using Disney’s transportation to reach the parks. The Magic Kingdom almost always reaches capacity at some point during the day on New Year’s Eve. TheMouseForLess recommends arriving at your preferred park early and staying throughout the day. Park hopping is not advised and may not be permitted on New Year’s Eve. While the Walt Disney World Resort guarantees onsite guests will have park entry, it does not guarantee entry into a specific park. Late-comers may find themselves spending New Year’s Eve day at Animal Kingdom if they wait too long to arrive at the parks.
To make a long day more comfortable, pack warmer clothes for the evening and stow them in one of the theme park lockers (make sure to rent a locker early if you would like to get one). Also, guest often spend 16 hours or more in the parks on New Year’s Eve; we suggest getting plenty of sleep the night before.
If you are a Walt Disney World guest, make sure to make your FastPass+ selections well in advance so you’re assured of enjoying a few of your favorite rides, but don’t plan on making your park day all about the rides.
Make dinner reservations for one of the park restaurants well in advance, and make them for a little earlier than you actually expect to eat. Crowds can cause many park restaurants to run behind. After dinner, stakeout your spot for the celebration. As the day wears on, navigating crowds will become increasingly difficult, especially for those with small children, strollers, motorized scooters, or wheelchairs.
In addition, be prepared for high levels of traffic on New Year’s Eve night. As all of the parks begin to disperse after midnight, road closures and traffic pattern typically change around property, and particularly around Downtown Disney are. In the past, Hotel Plaza Blvd has been closed at the intersection with Buena Vista Drive with traffic routed along N. Buena Vista Drive towards CR 535. If your hotel is not located close by (preferably with direct walking access), try to find a nice spot to relax until after the major crowds have left the park. If you’re staying on property, leave the driving to Disney! The traffic created by 3 packed-to-capacity parks emptying out at approximately the same time can be a logistical nightmare.
New Year’s Eve is one of the busiest days (and nights) of the year in the parks. That being said, it can be spectacular, as long as you plan well in advance, know what to expect and come mentally prepared to handle the challenges.
New Year’s Eve at Magic Kingdom New Year’s Eve at Epcot New Year’s Eve at Disney’s Hollywood Studios New Year’s Eve at Animal Kingdom New Year’s Eve at Disney Springs New Year’s Eve at the Disney Resorts Special New Year’s Eve Dining
New Year’s Eve at Magic Kingdom
Magic Kingdom Park Hours
Magic Kingdom Park typically celebrates New Year’s Eve for two nights, on both December 30th and 31st, however complimentary noise makers and party hats will only be handed out on New Year’s Eve. One might think of December 30th in the Magic Kingdom as a full dress rehearsal for the big event, complete with live DJs and dance parties!
2016 Hours for Dec 30: 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 a.m.
2016 Hours for Dec 31: 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 a.m.
Extra Magic Hours for resort guests:
December 30 – Morning: 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. Evening 12:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m.
December 31 – Morning: 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.
Magic Kingdom Park Schedule Dec 30 & 31
- Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmastime Parade – 3:30 p.m.
- “Holiday Wishes” – 7:30 p.m.
- “Celebrate the Magic” Castle projection show – 11:35 p.m.
- New Year’s edition of Fantasy in the Sky Fireworks – 11:48 p.m.
- Check the times guide or our Holiday Happenings & Events page for other seasonal entertainment
See our New Year’s Eve Dining Section for NYE meals offered in the Magic Kingdom.
• See the Magic Kingdom’s special New Year’s Eve fireworks on December 30th when they are also shown and the park stays open until 2 a.m. for resort guests. This park is insanely crowded on New Year’s Eve! Plus, you’ll be able to see a second NYE celebration at Epcot or Disney’s Hollywood Studios. If you have your heart set on attending this park on New Year’s Eve, however, be sure to be inside before 10:30 a.m. as the park could close to some or all visitors for brief periods throughout the afternoon.
• While alcoholic beverages are readily available at outdoor kiosks and stands in both Disney’s Hollywood Studios park, Epcot, as well as Animal Kingdom park, Magic Kingdom park does not serve alcohol with the exception of select beers and wines available at the Be Our Guest restaurant with dinner only. Thus, while Magic Kingdom does get extremely crowded on NYE, it tends to throw the most kid/family-friendly celebration.
• Hats and Horns will be distributed to Guests on December 31.
• Due to heavier crowds, consider dining during non-peak hours, avoiding noon until 2:00 p.m. and from 6:00 p.m until 8:00 p.m.
• To help with elevated crowds, Disney usually opens up some backstage areas for special entertainment and also as extra exits for after midnight. Also, consider staying in the park after midnight to avoid the rush to the parking lot.
• The New Year’s Eve fireworks in the Magic Kingdom are spectacular and are shot over the castle as well as all around the park perimeter. Even the midnight countdown is done in fireworks that form the actual numbers. Those wishing to view Magic Kingdom’s special fireworks from outside the parks can do so from the observation deck on the 4th floor of the Contemporary Resort, from the beaches (piped in music) of the Polynesian Village Resort, from the marina dock (piped in music) at the Grand Floridian Resort and from Transportation and Ticket Center along the walkway to Ferry loading area (breathtaking free views with piped in music), as well as restaurants such as California Grill or Narcoose’s, or for a large group a fireworks cruise (see Epcot tips for more info on special event firework cruises).
• During the holidays, many Walt Disney World Resort quick-service restaurants issue dining receipts with a coupon for 20% off merchandise at select shops during hours before 1 p.m. While coupons have an expiration date, they do not have to be used the same day they are issued.
New Year’s Eve at Epcot
Epcot Park Hours
2016 Hours Dec 31: 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m.
Park Schedule Dec 31
- IllumiNations Peace on Earth holiday version – 6:00 p.m.
- IllumiNations New Years Eve version with Countdown & Fireworks – 11:40 p.m.
Live New Years Eve DJ Parties
Live DJ dance parties will be featured throughout Epcot on New Year’s Eve, including in Future World on the Fountain Stage and at World Showcase at America Gardens Theatre. There are usually dance parties in the courtyards at Italy, United Kingdom and China as well. Epcot will be awash in changing colors from lasers and even flames jetting into the air above some dance party stages. Temporary Bars will be available on the promenade at Mexico, China, Italy, Germany, American Adventure, Japan, Morocco, France and Canada. Complimentary hats and noisemakers are handed out from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. in Future World West, Future World East and The American Adventure Pavilion at World Showcase.
DJ Dance Party Schedule
Entertainment for Epcot will include a DJ and light show at the Future World Fountain Stage, dancing under flame effects and a smoke-billowing dragon in China, a British blast to the past in United Kingdom, Euro-pop and lasers in Italy, a Latin band and DJ on the America Gardens Stage and a “Silent DJ” party in Japan.
New Year’s Eve at EPCOT World ShowPlace
Sight and sound are combined to create a memorable experience of dining and dancing for the entire family! Reservations are available starting at 3:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. at the World ShowPlace convention facility (located between and behind the UK and Canada pavilions).
On the Menu:
- A variety of local harvested lettuces, grilled vegetable and bean salad, antipasto salad with basil, roasted Ruskin tomato basil soup and creamy seafood and corn chowder—along with grilled flatbread, Parker house rolls, butter and hummus
- Hot food offerings like tender demi braised beef with mushroom and pearl onions; seafood mac and cheese with butter toasted panko; oven baked cod with tomato, olives and peppers; carved mesquite spice deep fried turkey breast with cranberry BBQ sauces; chicken breast with lemon caper sauce and parsley and mojo roasted pork with roasted onion and sweet plantains
- Two dessert stations featuring snow dusted Nutella stuffed blue velvet Bundt cakes, key lime raspberry glitter tarts, assorted éclairs, assorted cookies, Mickey Mouse brownies, no sugar no gluten spice cake, fresh cut fruits with berries, warm banana chocolate chip bread pudding, hand dipped vanilla bean ice cream with strawberry sauce, chocolate sauce, whipped cream and Mickey confetti
- Yummy dinner choices for the kids, including fried chicken fritters, baked mini corn dogs, macaroni & cheese and meatballs with red sauce and parmesan
Cost: $72.90 Adult; $44.38 Child (ages 3 to 10), includes tax and gratuity
For reservations call 407-WDW-DINE.
See our New Year’s Eve Dining Section for additional special meals and celebrations offered at Epcot Restaurants.
• Epcot’s midnight fireworks include a special salute to each country as, one at a time, fireworks are launched over each pavilion and traditional music plays. Look for more fireworks over the pavilions during the countdown to midnight and a huge firework finale. Additional space is usually set up for NYE firework viewing on either side of the promenade walking from Future World to World Showcase.
• New Year’s Eve is the one night of the year where guests can take backstage bypasses to quickly get from Future World to World Showcase. Typically, there is a bypass open between Test Track and Norway-China and one between Imagination and the Showcase Pavilion next to the U.K. Epcot will also usually add some high-end restroom trailers between Future World and World Showcase in anticipation of crowds and open up the grassy area where Future World and World Showcase meet for Illuminations viewing. Bring a blank to sit on and enjoy the show.
• Epcot is very popular with adults due to the sheer number of dining options at this park. There are also a couple of restaurants with a great view of Illuminations. None will guarantee a window or patio seat, but if you book your reservation at Spice Road Table in Morocco or Rose and Crown Tavern in the United Kingdom about 2 hours prior to the show, you might be lucky enough to score a prime viewing spot. Whatever your choice, make sure to make your dinner reservations well in advance.
• For a uniquely different way for a group to see Epcot’s firework finale, consider booking a private fireworks cruise, complete with champagne! Securing one of these cruises is not for the faint of heart, however. Disney doesn’t announce when it will begin taking reservations for special event fireworks cruises and availability is extremely limited. We suggest calling Disney’s Recreation line (407-WDW-PLAY) as soon as phone lines open (7 a.m. EST) each morning, every day beginning six months out for a midnight boat. Yes, you heard right, every single day!
• Hats and horns will be distributed beginning at 4:30 p.m. and will last until supplies run out.
New Year’s Eve at Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Disney’s Hollywood Studios Park Hours
2016 Hours Dec 31: 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m.
Park Schedule Dec 31
- Fantasmic – 8:00 p.m.
- Fireworks – 12:00 a.m. (midnight)
Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular Fireworks Show
Disney’s Hollywood Studios rocks in the New Year with a full scale fireworks spectacular in order to welcome the start of 2016!
Fireworks Display from Disney’s Hollywood Studios
See our New Year’s Eve Dining Section for special meals and celebrations offered at Disney’s Hollywood Studios Restaurants.
• Of the 3 parks with midnight fireworks displays, historically, Disney’s Hollywood Studios tends to be a little less crowded than the rest.
• The fireworks in this park are shot from the roofs of buildings in the area and they are spectacular! For the best view of Disney’s Hollywood Studios fireworks, find a spot on Hollywood Boulevard facing The Great Movie Ride.
• Temporary bar kiosks will be set up for NYE at select locations throughout the park.
• New Year’s Eve crowds in the park can be challenging for groups. Bringing as many cellphones as possible is great way to reunited with any members of your party that may have become separated and good tip for all of the parks, especially during overcrowded events.
• Complimentary hats and noisemakers will be available after 4:00 p.m.
New Year’s Eve at Animal Kingdom
Animal Kingdom Park Hours
2016 Hours Dec 31: 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Extra Magic Hours for resort guests: 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.
Park Schedule Dec 31.
No specific special New Year’s Eve celebrations or events are held at Disney’s Animal Kingdom park, however, Guests can enjoy continuous entertainment from 3:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. in Africa, including Burudika Band, DJ Khalifa and character greetings with Rafiki and friends. Food and beverage will be available for purchase.
New Year’s Eve at Disney Springs
There has been no fireworks at Downtown Disney on New Year’s Eve for the past few years. For those looking for fireworks, please see our Magic Kingdom, Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios sections above.
For 2016, enjoy a festive atmosphere at Downtown Disney with DJ dance parties and live entertainment plus a variety of food and beverage offerings including unique menu items from the new Disney Food Trucks and cocktails, beer and wine throughout property.
Walt Disney World Resort guests should plan to take Disney bus transportation and drivers should allow extra time as heavy traffic is expected. The Marketplace bus stop should operate from 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. on New Year’s Eve.
Specialty entertainment is still to be determined for 2016.
Additional Entertainment Info
- Splitsville Luxury Lanes at Downtown Disney’s West Side is expected to offer New Year’s specials.
- Raglan Road will likely host an Irish New Years Bash that’s twice the fun! In the past, Guests could celebrate as Raglan Road rings in the Irish New Year at 7 p.m. and again at Midnight. Live Irish music was featured along with performances from the award winning Raglan Road Irish Dancers. Plus, Guests could enjoy a complimentary champagne toast 7 p.m. and at midnight to welcome 2015 to the U.S.A. Call (407) 938-0300 for additional info or to make reservations.
- Cirque du Soleil fans can celebrate the New Year La Nouba style on December 31, 2016 with two presentations of the theatrical production, at 6:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. The shows feature a special finale. The building will have a festive decor and specialty drinks will be available for purchase. Adult tickets typically range from about $90 for Category 3 seats up to $150 for Front & Center seats. View a video of a prior year’s celebration. For 2015 pricing contact 407-WDW-SEAT.
- House of Blues – Visit the House of Blues website for information and tickets.
See our New Year’s Eve Dining Section for additional meals offered at Downtown Disney.
New Year’s Eve at Walt Disney World Disney Resorts
If you plan on staying at a Disney resort, book your hotel as far in advance as possible. This is an extremely busy time of the year. Availability for on-property hotels is limited and will go fast. We’re not kidding! To make travel after the party easier, decide which park you will celebrate in and book the closest hotel you can afford or one with the best direct access. As an added bonus, resort hotel guests are usually treated to evening Extra Magic Hours in several of the parks on either December 30 (Magic Kingdom) or 31 (Disney’s Hollywood Studios). This is great for those who would like to stay late and ride the rides with limited crowds.
If the crowds in the parks aren’t for you and you can afford the cost of staying at a Disney Deluxe resort, you’re in luck! Almost every Deluxe resort holds a celebration of its own. Registered guests at select Disney resort hotels will be treated to live music and entertainment. For example, the Grand Floridian resort usually has a “big band” playing in the lobby and a balloon drop at midnight and the Boardwalk Inn has been known to throw a party on the resort’s lawn with a live DJ. Check with the front desk or concierge desk for details.
Children’s Activity Centers: Children’s activity centers for children 3-12, located in select Deluxe resorts have stayed open until 2:00 a.m. on New Year’s Eve. For reservations call 407-WDW-PLAY or contact the resort’s Lobby Concierge.
Disney’s Contemporary Resort: Ring in 2017 with a fun party at Disney’s Contemporary Resort called Disney Countdown to Midnight. The fun will take place at the Fantasia Ballroom where Guests will be able to enjoy the “best-of-the-best” bites and wine pairings from favorite restaurants such as California Grill, Flying Fish, Cítricos and Narcoossee’s. Guests who are 21 years of age and older can enjoy a cocktail or two. Guests will be able to dance courtesy of tunes from an interactive DJ who will play music spanning from the ‘60s to today! You’ll also be able to catch the band Alter Ego who will perform a dance-filled revue. The evening will continues as you stroll outside to catch a unique musical act playing songs of today—complete with a retro twist. Finally ring in 2017 by watching the “Fantasy in the Sky” Fireworks Spectacular from the Magic Kingdom. There will also be themed photo backdrops and props to help you capture the memories of the evening and Guests will receive a special souvenir to commemorate the night. Complimentary transportation will be provided for select Walt Disney World Resort hotels. This ticketed event will cost $225 per Guest (tax and gratuity included), and takes place from 8:00 p.m. on December 31 (with official check in beginning at 7:00 p.m.) to 1:00 a.m. The party is for Guests of all ages and is an all-inclusive affair. To purchase tickets or for more information, call (407) WDW-DINE.
Atlantic Dance Hall at Disney’s BoardWalk hosts a yearly New Year’s Eve celebration from 8:00 p.m.-2:00 a.m. Dance your way into 2017 with a video DJ on the main floor, beverages available for purchase from three downstairs bars and limited viewing of fireworks. Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve will be broadcast on the big screen to count down to the New Year. VIP Admission includes everything provided with standard admission plus entrance into the second Floor VIP area featuring guaranteed seating, beverages available for purchase from either the private VIP bar upstairs or the VIP cocktail service offered upstairs, complimentary desserts and coffee and access to a private balcony for viewing of Illuminations. Cost for Standard admission is $37 per person, plus tax and gratuity and VIP Admission is $80. For reservations call 407-WDW-DINE. From December 29-30, tickets can usually be purchased at Atlantic Dance Hall as well. Dress is business casual or formal. Guests must be 21 or older with an ID. Parking passes for the self-parking lot are usually issued with advance purchases.
See our New Year’s Eve Dining Section for additional meals offered at Disney Resorts.
Special New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day Dining
Special dining opportunities are offered at many resort and park restaurants for both New Year’s Eve and New Years Day. From lunches and dinners to a New Year’s Day brunch, there are more than a dozen spots for ringing in the New Year. For reservations or additional information for any of the meals or celebrations listed below call 407-WDW-DINE.
Monsieur Paul in the France Pavilion will be celebrating New Year’s Eve beginning at noon with seatings throughout the day and evening.
- Lunch – Special prix-fixe meal at 11:45 a.m. and 2:15 p.m. for $110 per person (adult or child) plus tax and gratuity
- Dinner – Special prix-fixe meal at 5:45 p.m. only for $110per person (adult or child) plus tax and gratuity
- Premier Dining Event – Special prix-fixe meal from 8:45 p.m. to 9:50 p.m. for $305 per adult ($310 with wine)
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
A special holiday dinner buffet called Minnie’s Holiday Dine at Hollywood & Vine will take place.
Walt Disney World Resorts
Special dining for ringing in the New Year is planned at the following Disney resort restaurants:
Disney’s Contemporary Resort
California Grill will celebrate NYE with an exceptional view of the Magic Kingdom fireworks and a special exquisite gala. Beginning at 7:30 p.m. you will be able to dine at food stations that have been set up throughout the restaurant, enjoy a complimentary Call Brand Bar and wine poured by the glass. You’ll also be able to meet Disney characters, sch as Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Baby New Year. New Year’s Eve at California Grill is available for $650 per Guest (tax and gratuity not included). For reservations, book online or by calling (407) WDW-DINE.
At Chef Mickey’s, on January 1, celebrate with a traditional New Year’s Day meal—one featuring seasonal and holiday favorites, and all of our regular buffet items too! Characters who may appear include Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy, Pluto. The New Year’s Day holiday dinner at Chef Mickey’s takes place from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. and is available for $53 for adults and $32 for children 9 and under (tax and gratuity not included).
Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
Victoria & Albert’s will serve a special holiday meal created by Chef Scott Hunnel. Don’t miss your chance to pop the cork on 2017 during an ornately designed New Year’s Eve dinner at Victoria & Albert’s. Available for $600 per Guest (tax and gratuity included). Availability is extremely limited! Be sure to make your reservation today.
At Narcoosee’s, on New Year’s Event, tantalize your taste buds with delicious seafood selections, mouth-watering steaks and brilliant views of New Year’s Eve fireworks at Magic Kingdom. There are 2 special celebrations to choose from:
- Early Dinner – With seating between 5:00 p.m. and 5:45 p.m., the early dinner costs $150 for adults and $70 for children (tax and gratuity not included)
- Late Dinner – With seating between 8:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., the late dinner costs $255 for adults and $95 for children (tax and gratuity not included)
For those who don’t have reservations, you can always try dining at one of the many lounges across the Walt Disney World Resort Hotels including the lounge at Cítricos at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa;Crew’s Cup Lounge at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, and Victoria Falls Lounge at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge.
Swan and Dolphin Resort
Guests can enjoy a variety of New Year’s Eve options at resort restaurants. For more Swan and Dolphin holiday dining information, visit the Swan and Dolphin web site.
Garden Grove (Swan) – will serve a special New Years Eve character buffet. For reservations call 407-934-1618. Menu offerings include:
- Soups like clam chowder and lobster bisque
- A carving station with steak Delmonico and porchetta
- Hand-crafted cheese & charcuterie with accoutrement
- A selection of salads with chef-favorite toppings
- Main dishes like chicken schnitzel, short rib, wild mushroom ravioli and snow crab legs
- Sides like quinoa pilaf, winter truffle potato puree and orange-scented Brussel sprouts
Bring 2016 to a tasty conclusion with exquisite New Year’s Eve dining at Shula’s Steak House.
- First Dinner – Pick and choose from favorite items on our menu during an a la carte dining experience taking place between 5:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.
- Second Dinner – Indulge in a New Year’s Eve-exclusive, prix-fixe meal from 7:15 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. available for $135.00 for adults and $60.00 for children (plus tax and gratuity).