by: guide4wdw – Collin

As Christmas draws closer and closer, another holiday at Walt Disney World also draws closer that many guests flock to year after year, New Years Eve. While we covered a few ways to manage the crowds on peak days a few weeks ago and some special events coming this year for that particular night, today we’re taking a look at the best ways to go about touring the parks on New Years Eve.

New Years Eve is a unique event at Walt Disney World. The parks come alive with special events, “dance parties”, and special fireworks displays. However, with all the events, a rather astounding crowd level follows suit that many guests may or not appreciate. Without a doubt, I’d put NYE at Disney right up there on the list of must-do’s with NYE in Times Square (which I’ve yet to see in person). It’s truly an experience that will set a precedent for fireworks spectaculars, but will likely also make you reconsider what a “crowd” is at a Disney park. It can be an amazing experience, but we’ve learned a few things from experience that may help you out if you ever plan on checking out the holiday festivities.   

Arrive Early
As you’ve likely heard me mention many times, arriving at the parks when they open can be a huge factor in the productivity of a park day at Walt Disney World and that same concept holds true for New Years Eve. It’s vastly important that you get there early. The crowds of the day will build to capacity quickly and, while it varies year to year, will likely close to new guests around mid morning due to fire code and other regulations of the parks. At that point, you’ll be glad you got there when the park opened, but more importantly plan to stay the entire day once you get in (typically in regards to Magic Kingdom) in order to avoid the chance of being refused reentry into that particular park. 

Additionally, plan some extra time into your morning for increased traffic and parking struggles, even compared to some of the most popular crowds you’ll witness throughout the rest of the year. New Years Eve crowds typically welcome all types of people but it also tends to be a big day for locals to tour the parks to really set the year off right. As a result, traffic entering the parking lots will be incredibly backed up. Disney does do a great job of keeping everything moving, but the earlier you arrive, the better off you will be.    

Schedule a Table Service Meal 
Even on a typical day in the parks, I am a huge proponent of table service dining venues. Most of the food you’ll receive will be excellent across the board, but additionally it will give you a needed break from the crowds on one fo the busiest days (if not the busiest day) of the year. 

Taking that extra step and spending that extra money to get a warm and plentiful meal in addition to getting a few minutes to relax, rest for a bit, and escape the fast paced nature of the parks can make all the difference in the enjoyment of any busy park day. When you throw in the festivities and length of day New Years accompanies, this one can really take a great experience and make it an extraordinary experience.     

Pack Your Patience

On a simpler note, one thing you have to remember about this holiday is that you must pack your patience. I know that sounds fairly simple, but as you’re walking down Main Street shoulder to shoulder as the individual behind you rams you with a stroller (we’ve all been there lol), it’s easy to let your mood change quickly and drastically. It’ll be a stressful day at points, but if you go into it relaxed and with managed expectations you’ll be much better off in regards to enjoyment.

A day in Magic Kingdom, or any park for that matter, on New Years has to come with the realization that you are going to get much less done that you would on days of typical crowd levels. Unfortunately that is just the fact of the matter, but I still say the experience alone is well worth the hectic nature of the day as it unfolds. A majority of guests are in an excellent mood and while you’ll see some meltdowns, it’s something I highly recommend every Disney fan try at least once. In a way, it sets a precedent for crowd levels to measure everything off of. Once you’ve done New Years, you can handle any crowds the parks can throw at you!    

Try Viewing the Fireworks From a Resort

While this wasn’t a viewing location on our list of 5 Unusual Fireworks Viewing Locations at Walt Disney World, it is something you may want to consider for New Years Eve to beat some of the crowds. Many of the resorts will be full to capacity for parking that night (and many will not allow you to park at all), but you can always take transportation to Magic Kingdom then use the monorail or boat transportation to travel to the resorts. The best resort view is likely from the Contemporary’s Grand Concourse balcony on the 4th floor or Bay Lake Tower’s Top of the World Lounge (only available to Disney Vacation Club members). Both feature a near direct view out over Magic Kingdom and the 360 degree viewing angle fireworks spectacular. Additionally, the Grand Floridian and Polynesian feature excellent views of the show from the beaches along along the Seven Seas Lagoon. 

So, there you have it! If you’re headed to the parks on New Years hopefully this relatively quick and easy simple tips will help you out in some way or another! Thanks for being here! (Liked this article? Please SHARE it with friends! Thanks!)