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New Year’s Eve at Orlando Theme Parks

New Years Eve at Disney World

It’s time to make your New Year’s Eve plans! Whether you live here or are just visiting the Orlando area and want to celebrate, there are many places to celebrate New Year’s Eve. If you’ve set your mind to bring in the new year at an Orlando theme park, here are some Orlando Tourist Tips to consider when visiting a theme park on New Year’s Eve:

1) Arrive early in the morning at the park of your choice and be prepared to spend your entire day there. Theme parks often reach capacity, and when they do, no further admittance is allowed. Park hopping (Disney) on New Year’s Eve is not recommended.

2) Guests staying in a Disney Resort are only guaranteed admittance into a (one) park. It may not be the park of your choice, so choose the one park you want to visit. The “Magic Hour” can help gain entrance into other parks. These hours vary and can be in the morning or at night (as in 2 a.m. night), so be sure to do your research.

3) Having a dining reservation does not mean that you will be allowed in if that park has already reached capacity. Make it easy and stay in one park and make reservations to dine there as well. Early reservations to dine on New Year’s Eve are easier to get.

4) Rent a locker upon arrival. These too will go fast. Should the weather be an issue, you can stow your warm clothes or rain gear. Temperatures vary this time of year. Dress in layers.

5) Fastpasses will run out quickly, so if there’s an attraction on your “must-do” list, get yours as soon as possible. It’s not uncommon to see waits of 2+ hours at the most popular attractions.

6) Dance parties, special concerts and firework shows are sure to be a spectacular New Year’s Eve celebration. The parks will have live entertainment throughout the day/evening in addition to special midnight fireworks. Be sure to grab a guide or schedule upon entering the park.

7) Special events are not necessarily included with a theme park ticket. Just because you have a ticket to a theme park and a special concert is being performed within the park, that doesn’t necessarily mean you have a ticket to the concert. Special events are often held within theme parks and require a separate ticket. For example,“EVE” at Universal’s City Walk is a completely separate ticket event.

New Year’s Eve at an Orlando theme park is very fun. If you are okay with crowds and an all-day schedule, this is a great choice. Being prepared for the day will make it that much more enjoyable. Happy New Year everyone!

Ring in the New Year, Orlando-Style

From shows, concerts, great food, dancing, and elaborate pyrotechnic displays, take your pick of all the ways you’ll ring in the New Year in O-town.  There are so many holiday celebrations going on and the area theme parks really know how to throw a New Years Eve party!

Holidays at Universal Orlando Resorts: Kick off 2011 with one of the prime New Year’s celebrations in Orlando! This party features live entertainment by rock star Bret Michaels, from the band Poison.  You’ll also get admission to seven unique clubs, each with live entertainment, and awesome food including jumbo shrimp and filet mignon.  Did I mention that was all-you-can-eat??  Party throughout CityWalk until 2am!  (Even without all that other great stuff, I’d go just to see Bret Michaels!)

Walt Disney World: Although the New Year’s Eve party at the Magic Kingdom is sold out, there are plenty of party hot spots at Walt Disney World Resort.  And, you still can get an up-close view of the dazzling Magic Kingdom fireworks at Tomorrowland Terrace. Another awesome place to catch Magic Kingdom pyrotechnics is the top of Disney’s Contemporary Resort at California Grill.  An open bar, food, DJ, dancing, even a casino-style game room!  Several of the Pavilions at Epcot are hosting New Years Eve Galas as well, AND a primo view of IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth.  You can also dance your way into 2011 at Disney’s BoardWalk Resort, where there will be party favors, lots of dancing, and a midnight champagne toast (VIP tickets available).  Check websites for additional costs.
Note: Magic Kingdom fireworks are at 8:30 p.m. and 11:50 p.m.

New Years Eve at SeaWorldSeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration, Where The Season Meets the Sea is still going on with lots of family fun.  The Polar Express Experience is where this holiday classic comes to life as you board the legendary train.  Don’t miss the special holiday shows such as Shamu Christmas-Miracles, A Sesame Street Christmas, and Clyde and Seamore’s Countdown to Christmas, and the dazzling ice skating extravaganza, Winter Wonderland on Ice.  Then, the countdown at midnight to the Fireworks and Fountains Finale.  (Special Tours available.)  Check the website for show times and additional information.  Celebration runs now thru 1/2/2011.

Some of our other area attractions have special events going on for the holidays including Busch Gardens, with The Guess Who in concert and midnight fireworks show.  Also, Capone’s Dinner and Show is presenting a special New Years Eve Gala show, which includes their scrumptious dinner buffet and unlimited beverages.  The gala will include a DJ, dancing after the show, and champagne toast at midnight, along with plenty of party favors and snack bar.

Note:  Be sure to check the individual websites for additional information including cost and show times.