If you can handle the crowds, there’s nothing quite like ringing in the New Year at any of Orlando’s famous theme parks. But what’s being offered where for 2017? Don’t waste your valuable time trying to compile a list — here’s our easy guide to New Year’s Eve at Walt Disney World, Universal Studios and SeaWorld:
Staying at Encore Resort? Check out our Island Themed New Year’s Eve Celebration.
Walt Disney World® Resort
Not only will Magic Kingdom® feature extra performances of hits like the Move It! Shake It! Dance & Play It! Street Party, this year Frontierland has added its own New Year’s Celebration Dance Party. Of course, there will also be incredible fireworks — two showings of them, in fact. The usual (but still amazing) “Holiday Wishes” in the early evening, as well as the exclusive “Fantasy in the Sky” at 11:50 p.m. (12/30-31).
The adult-oriented Epcot™ World Showcase is all set to turn into a massive dance party again this year with lasers, fire, smoke effects and more until 1 a.m. Guests will be able to enjoy live DJs at each of the different pavilions and special bar carts (21+ years old). As Midnight approaches, complimentary party hats and the spectacular “Illuminations” fireworks will signal the arrival of 2018!
Hollywood Studios® will also offer specialty beverages for those 21+ on New Year’s Eve — ideal for keeping the festivities going during the dance party and countdown at Center Stage! But don’t expect anything unique in terms of fireworks; this will be the second year the park is showing its usual “Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular” instead of a specialty performance.
Note: Due to the many live animals housed on site, Animal Kingdom™ never offers fireworks and will close at 8 p.m. Disney Springs™ — formerly Downtown Disney™ — will also offer only a low-key celebration and close early.
Top Tips for New Year’s Eve at Walt Disney World® Resort:
• Pick just one park for the day and night. (Park hopping can get you shut out if the parks fill to capacity while you’re switching between them.)
• Consider the Magic Kingdom® celebration for children, and Epcot™ for adults.
• Make FastPasses count by scheduling them for the middle of the day, when crowds are high but evening festivities haven’t yet started.
• Get in place for firework shows at least two hours in advance.
Universal Orlando Resort™
New Year’s Eve at Universal Studios Florida™ and Universal’s Islands of Adventure™ won’t look much different from the rest of the holiday season — minus the extended park hours.
However, the EVE at Universal CityWalk™ event just a few steps away is sure to be spectacular! Guests 21+ years will be able to enter this ticketed party, featuring six uniquely themed nightclubs; Orlando’s largest outdoor dance floor with a live DJ and pyrotechnic effects; gourmet food; and a champagne toast.
Top Tips for New Year’s Eve at Universal Orlando™ Resort:
• Purchase tickets for EVE before December 15th for a significant discount.
• Don’t expect to walk right up to the party. On New Year’s Eve, the nightclubs and staging area are roped off from the public.
• Remember that parking and drink costs are not included with admission. (Parking costs $20 before 10 p.m. and drinks range from $4 to $15.)
• For a family-friendly alternative, consider Rock ’til the Drop New Year’s Eve Party at the Hard Rock Live.
SeaWorld® Orlando Resort
At SeaWorld®, Christmas will continue right up to 2018! Although less popular than the other two franchises, New Year’s Eve at this park will include plenty of live music, street entertainers, gourmet food, craft beer and a fireworks finale! Guests will have the option to book a special package in advance for reserved seating at the most popular seasonal shows to see Clyde, Seamore, Shamu and more.
Top Tips for New Year’s Eve at SeaWorld® Orlando Resort:
• Purchase a 2018 Fun Card — it’s the same price as a single-day ticket and includes unlimited admission with no blackout dates through December 31, 2018!
• Reserve your New Year’s Eve Christmas Show Package ASAP before they sell out.
• If you plan to leave the park during the day, return before 4 p.m. to ensure you don’t get shut out when it reaches maximum capacity later in the evening.
So whether you’re considering the parks from across the city or around the globe, one thing is guaranteed: There’s nothing quite like New Year’s Eve in Orlando, Florida. After an unforgettable night out, make sure you have somewhere equally as memorable to return to! Book your stay with Encore at Reunion today.