Usually, Walt Disney World is the place to be on New Years’ Eve. With every park offering their own version of party to ring in the new year with magic, crowds flock to start their year off right. Unfortunately, due the the pandemic, at this moment in time it seems the NYE is cancelled at Disney World… or is it?
At the moment the Disney theme parks will not be open until midnight, and no New Years events have been announced. According to the Walt Disney World website, the following operating hours will remain in effect on December 31, January 1, and January 2:
9:00 am – 7:00 pm
12:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
10:00 am – 7:00 pm
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park
9:00 am – 5:00 pm.
But even in spite of this, it seems that Disney Park Passes are moving quickly for NYE, with many even making 1 night reservations so that they can secure their spot in Magic Kingdom on December 31st. But without the theme parks open there is still a way to celebrate 2021 in Disney World.
What to do on New Years Eve at Disney World
If you wanted to leave 2020 in the dust like most of us and start 2021 in The Most Magical Place on Earth, you still can. Although from what we know now, you will not be in the parks, there are still lots of places to spend NYE at Disney.
Disney World Resorts
Disney World has more resorts that we can count on our fingers and toes combined, all themed with a Disney flare and a side of magic. If you wanted to spend NYE on Disney property, a Disney Resort is a fantastic option! Opposed to being crammed into EPCOT to watch the fireworks, you can enjoy something a little more relaxing in terms of crowd size, but still have that Disney flare.
Of course, you would be lucky to spend New Years’ Eve at any Disney Resort, but if I could have my pick, there are a few that stand out.
Disney’s Contemporary Resort sounds like a perfect place to spend NYE. Although the resort is by no means my personal favorite, it boasts views of Magic Kingdom so you can still see that iconic view, and has amazing dining options. Being able to toast to 2021 at California Grill overlooking all of Magic Kingdom sounds like a dream for both my eyes and stomach. Plus, in case there are a couple of fireworks that Disney sneaks in to go off at Cinderella’s Castle, you will be the first to see. This has never been said by Disney, but from what we have seen with reduced offerings, it seems that Disney is doing it’s best to compensate. A perfect example of this is the character cavalcades supplementing parades and meet and greets.
Any of the EPCOT resorts also sound like the place to be on NYE. Considering you are able to walk to each of these resorts, you could use your park pass to spend a day at EPCOT, head back to Disney’s Boardwalk Resort, and take a stroll on the boardwalk with all the twinkly lights shining on you. If you are with that special someone, this intimate Disney moment could be the perfect way for you to spend New Year’s Eve!
Bringing the kids? What about staying at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort? Considering the resort is reopening November 1, 2020, it may be the perfect place to go. Disney’s Art of Animation Resort features larger than life statues of so many different Disney characters that your kiddos are sure to recognize. Letting them countdown to 2021 with Simba and Ariel is sure to put a smile on their face, and give them a NYE they will never forget. Plus, being on the Disney Skyliner track means you can spend your day at Disney’s Hollywood Studios riding Slinky Dog Dash!
If you do not want to eat dinner at your Disney Resort on NYE, make it extra special by visiting Disney Springs. At the moment, Disney Springs is showing that it is only open until 10:00 pm on New Years Eve, but that’s enough time to get some delicious meals.
Grab some succulent seafood at Boathouse, or drool over some mac and cheese at Chef Artsmith’s Homecomin’ and you are sure to be satisfied. By visiting Disney Springs, you can add another layer to your New Years Eve, having visited the parks in the day, spend dinner at Disney Springs, and end the night at a Disney themed Resort.
In the end, New Years Eve may be a little different this year, but it does not need to be any less Disney. Remember, things can change at any minute with Disney, and more offerings may open up until midnight on NYE, but even if it doesn’t, there will still be lots to do. Plus, this will be a totally brand new way to experience New Years Eve at Disney World, and it’s a way to do so safely.
ITM will continue to update you on any New Years Eve offerings that become available, so stay tuned and sign up on for our mailing list below to become an Insider.
How would you spend NYE at Disney if it’s not in the theme parks?