Happy New Year’s Eve’s Eve! Many people love this time of year: making lists of the bests and worsts of the previous year while imagining the possibilities of the next. Others just like the parties. Today I’m going to talk about ways to find what you like about New Year’s in Walt Disney World no matter what time of year you go. Now, the ideal thing to do would be to go back in time to when Pleasure Island celebrated New Year’s Eve every night (from 1990 to 2005). Since that’s not possible, you’ll have to work a little harder to create that New Year’s feel, but it’s possible. You just have to be OK with singing “Auld Lang Syne” by yourself…
Here are five things to do in Walt Disney World if you love New Year’s.
What’s New Year’s Eve without fireworks? For truly extravagant fireworks, Wishes in Magic Kingdom is hard to beat. Personally, however, I’m partial to IllumiNations in Epcot (LOVE the music!). Fireworks are incorporated into Fantasmic!, the evening show at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, but it’s not a fireworks show per se, and seeing it requires claiming a seat in the amphitheater long before the show. There are no fireworks in Animal Kingdom, so I’d suggest seeing Wishes or IllumiNations, depending on which setting appeals more to you.
Confetti can be found in a variety of places in Disney World. My favorite, of course, is the welcome show at Magic Kingdom. Confetti cannons go off to celebrate the park opening each morning, and the ground is littered with tiny colorful Mickeys. On my brother’s family’s recent trip, they got there shortly after opening, and one of my nephews was disappointed that he hadn’t gotten to see the show and get any confetti. A cast member heard him and gave him a little bag of confetti! That confetti is suspiciously similar to the “pixie dust” that kids get after a haircut in Harmony Barbershop. Another place to find confetti and streamers is in Disney Junior—Live on Stage! It comes raining down toward the end of the show.
If you’re looking for champagne in Disney World, why not go to France?
Champagne is available at the drink stand and wine room as well as both full-service restaurants in the France pavilion. A glass ranges from $10 to $30, with most around $12-14 (prices gathered by Party Through the Parks).
4. Reflecting on the past
While usually we spend the time around New Year’s reflecting specifically on the previous year, I’m going to expand that to reflecting on the past in general, and that’s certainly possible in Walt Disney World. Historically themed attractions include Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress, The Hall of Presidents, The American Adventure, Spaceship Earth, and Walt Disney: One Man’s Dream.
5. Imagining the future
New Year’s resolutions are about embracing the possibilities of tomorrow, and that’s a theme in both Tomorrowland and Future World. While Tomorrowland is more about yesterday’s dreams of tomorrow than today’s, it still allows you to imagine a future world of robots, aliens, and a great public transportation system (Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover!). Future World in Epcot isn’t all that futuristic either, but sometimes Innoventions features some cutting-edge technology.
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Since each item on this list has a number of options, this is more of a choose-your-own-adventure day than a set itinerary. Just to give you an example, though, I’d start off the day at the Magic Kingdom welcome show, being sure to gather some confetti. Then I’d head to Tomorrowland to enjoy Carousel of Progress (representing the past) and Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover (representing the future). I’d take extra time to explore all the Tomorrowland details, like the palm trees and Metrophone. After lunch, I’d head over to Epcot and experience the exhibits in Innoventions and explore Future World. I’d cap off the evening with a glass of champagne in France while watching IllumiNations. What a great day!
What do you love best about New Year’s?