December 31, 2015
Additional 2015 information will be added as it becomes available
2015 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!
2015 Hours for Dec 30: 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 a.m.
2015 Hours for Dec 31: 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 a.m.
Extra Magic Hours for resort guests: Evening 1:00 a.m. to 3:00 a.m., Dec 30
Magic Kingdom Park Schedule Dec 30 & 31
- Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmastime Parade – 3:00 p.m.
- Main Street Electrical Parade – 7:00 p.m.
- “Celebrate the Magic” Castle projection show – 11:35 p.m.
- New Year’s edition of Fantasy in the Sky Fireworks – 11:50 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 3 a.m. for resort guests. This park is insanely crowded on NYE! 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 NYE, 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.
• To help with elevated crowds, Disney usually opens up some backstage areas for special entertainment and also as extra exits for after midnight.
• The NYE 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
2015 Hours Dec 31: 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m.
Park Schedule Dec 31
- IllumiNations Peace on Earth holiday version – 6:30 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
Specialty entertainment is still to be determined for 2015.
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 4:30 p.m. until 10:30 p.m. at the World ShowPlace convention facility (located between and behind the UK and Canada pavilions).
On the Menu: A generous buffet sweeps around the room with soups and salads; barbecued beef, smoked pork, mahi mahi and red wine-braised chicken; side dishes from pasta and sweet corn polenta pudding to baby green beans and saffron rice. The dessert station offers cookies, cakes, cupcakes, pies, turnovers and fresh fruit – plus the decadent salted caramel milk and Morello Cherry dark drinking chocolate.
Cost: $71.84 Adult; $44.37 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!
New Year’s Eve at Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Disney’s Hollywood Studios Park Hours
2015 Hours Dec 31: 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m.
Extra Magic Hours for resort guests: 12:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m.
Park Schedule Dec 31
- Fantasmic – 8:30 p.m.
- The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights – 6:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m.
- Lights! Camera! Happy New Year! Fireworks – 12:00 a.m. (midnight)
Lights! Camera! Happy New Year! Fireworks
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.
• The Great Movie Ride, Toy Story Mania and Pixar Pals meet-and-greets will close from 10:30 p.m. until after the fireworks due to being in the firework fallout zone.
• 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 at Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show after 6:00pm.
New Year’s Eve at Animal Kingdom
Animal Kingdom Park Hours
2015 Hours Dec 31: 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Park Schedule Dec 31.
No specific New Year’s Eve celebrations or events are held at Disney’s Animal Kingdom park.
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 2015, 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 2015.
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, 2015 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.
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 2016 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 Seating: A 3-course prix-fixe meal served at 11:45 a.m. and 2:15 p.m. Cost is $85 per person, plus tax and gratuity
- Dinner Seating: A special 3-course prix-fixe meal at 5:45 p.m. Cost is $85 per person, plus tax and gratuity.
- Premier Dining Event: A Special 4-course prix-fixe meal from 8:45 p.m. to 9:50 p.m. for $235 per adult ($295 with wine) and $235 per child, plus tax and gratuity
La Hacienda de San Angel in the Mexico Pavilion is offering a New Year’s Eve dinner. Celebrate a ¡Feliz Año Nuevo! with authentic Mexican cuisine and dazzling fireworks over the water. Enjoy live music, premium tequilas, festive decorations, and a great view of IllumiNations over the lagoon! New Year’s Eve dinner begins with a welcome margarita for adults and live Mariachi entertainment followed by a stunning 5-course prix-fixe dinner featuring Surf and Turf as the main entrée and expert alcohol pairings.
- Dinner Seating: Begins at 9:30 p.m. Cost is $280.13 for adults and $73.46 for children (prepaid—includes tax and gratuity). Alcoholic drinks or specialty coffees apart from the welcome margarita will be additional.
Le Cellier Steakhouse in the Canada Pavilion will have three seatings for New Year’s Eve. In addition to an unforgettable meal, all Guests 21 years of age and over can even take home a souvenir champagne flute featuring the Le Cellier logo!
- First Seating: Begins at 4:30 p.m. Enjoy a 4-course meal with choice of appetizer, entrée and dessert for $148.04 for adults (10 years of age and over); $47.93 for children (ages 3 through 9).
- Second Seating: Begins at 6:45 p.m. Enjoy a 4-course meal with choice of appetizer, entrée and dessert for $148.04 for adults (10 years of age and over); $47.93 for children (ages 3 through 9).
- Premier Dining Event: Begins at 9:00 p.m. Enjoy a 5-course meal with choice of appetizer, entrée and dessert. Cost is $211.94 for adults (10 years of age and over); $69.23 for children (ages 3 through 9).
Tomorrowland Terrace will feature a New Year’s Eve fireworks dessert party that will take place twice nightly during the “Fantasy in the Sky” fireworks spectacular December 30 and December 31 at Tomorrowland Terrace.
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 that includes appearances by favorite Disney characters, complimentary alcoholic beverages, and a magnificent view of the Magic Kingdom fireworks. This event features elaborate food stations for guests to enjoy throughout the restaurant. Dinner seating is at 8:00 p.m. and cost is $625 per person (includes tax and gratuity).
Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa – Narcoossee’s is offering a NYE dinner celebration with a great view of Magic Kingdom fireworks. Choose between 2 special celebrations:
- Early Dinner – Seating is between 5:00 p.m. and 5:45 p.m., and price is $159.75 for adults and $74.55 for children, prepaid (tax and gratuity included). This dining event can be booked online.
- Late Dining Event – Seating is between 8:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Price is $317.48 for adults and $118.28 for children, prepaid (tax and gratuity included).
Victoria & Albert’s will serve a special holiday meal created by Chef Scott Hunnel.
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 from 5:00 pm – 9:30 pm. For reservations call 407-934-1618.
Cost: Adults $48.98; Children ages 3-9 $21.29, children under 3 years are complimentary (includes tax but not gratuity).
18% gratuity will be added to all checks. Disney Characters will provide entertainment during dinner
Il Mulino New York Trattoria (Swan) – will be offering one seating on NYE. For reservations call 407-934-1199.
New Year’s Eve seating begins at 7:15 p.m. and continues until 11:00 p.m. The prepaid dining event is $105.00 for adults and $39.00 for children (plus tax and gratuity). Alcoholic drinks and specialty coffees are additional.
Shades of Green holds a party on New Year’s Eve with live entertainment and a midnight champagne toast. A dinner buffet is also included. The party will be held in the Magnolia Ballroom from 7:00 p.m. until 12:30 a.m. The cost is $79.95 for adults and $24.95 for children ages 4-9.