New Year’s Eve 2013/2014 at Walt Disney World

By Dave Shute


Fireworks at the Magic KingdomNew Year’s Eve festivities will happen on December 31, 2013 at Disney World’s Epcot, Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios theme parks, and also at the Magic Kingdom on December 30.

The Animal Kingdom has no special New Year’s Eve events.

Here’s what’s known so far for the calendar for New Year’s Eve at Walt Disney World:

  • Epcot is scheduled to be open until 1a on New Year’s Eve; Disney’s Hollywood Studios until midnight for the general public, and 2a for Walt Disney World Resort hotel guests; and the Magic Kingdom is scheduled to be open until  2a
  • The Magic Kingdom has Wishes at 8.30p and special New Year’s Eve fireworks at 11.50p
  • Epcot has its Illuminations fireworks show at 6.30p and 11.40p, plus DJs in various pavilions.
  • Disney’s Hollywood Studios will have fireworks at midnight, and several sets over the evening from “Mulch, Sweat and Shears,” a live band
  • Note that alcohol is not available at the Magic Kingdom, but is available at Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios

The Magic Kingdom will have the same fireworks at the same times on 12/30. This date will likely be a little less crowded than 12/31.


Disney closes parks due to crowding often on New Year’s Eve. “Closes” means closed to additional guests–those in the parks do not have to leave.

See this for more on how Disney World park closings work.

The Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios are the most likely parks to close, and Epcot the least likely.

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1 Sam { 05.18.13 at 6:44 pm }

How do we book New Year’s Eve tickets

2 Dave { 05.19.13 at 7:09 am }

Sam, there’s no such thing as a New Year’s Eve ticket. You just buy a regular ticket, which allows you admittance any day, including New Years Eve.

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3 Vanessa { 05.19.13 at 3:24 pm }


My Family and I are spending New Year’s Eve at Epcot this year and I would like to know if it’s possible to make a reservation at one of the restaurants. Do you recommend any special one?

Thank you for your time!


4 Dave { 05.20.13 at 8:53 am }

Hi Vanessa, you can reserve any restaurant at Disney World beginning 6 months ahead. Epcot restaurants for NYE will book quickly, so aim for exactly 6 months out.

It’s hard to recommend without knowing more about what you are looking for, but take a look at this:

Hope this helps!!

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5 Nicki Glazzard (Miss) { 05.20.13 at 9:46 am }

Although we have not been for Two /Tree years,I have often wondered what it ment by,closing,I did think that it ment that public had to be out by then,but no.very pleased, cos we absolutely love it in Florida,especially the parks,( any of them).

6 Anonymous { 06.12.13 at 5:52 pm }

What do you mean by Close? does it mean that if we are staying at a Disney hotel (whatever it is)
the parks will be open for us? i didn’t get it so well.

7 Dave { 06.12.13 at 5:57 pm }

For what “close” means, see this:

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8 Ben { 06.25.13 at 7:09 pm }

Does anyone happen to know if there’s a fireworks viewing package with guaranteed seating on 12/31 for NYE fireworks? Tomorrowland Terrace?

9 Dave { 06.26.13 at 7:05 am }

Ben the only one I know of is the dessert party…

10 Anonymous { 06.28.13 at 9:51 am }

Im coming this december ready for new years eve which would you reccomnend us to go to for the celebrations i was thinkin the magic kingdom but the others sound just as good, thanks

11 Dave { 06.29.13 at 9:53 am }

Um, I don’t recommend going to Disney World then at all, because of the mobs and the crowds…of the three parks with celebrations, the least likely to close is probably the Studios.

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12 Mary Jo { 06.30.13 at 5:53 pm }

If we go to the Magic Kingdom on New Years Eve Morning then go to Epcot for Lunch or Dinner
and we want to go back to Magic Kingdom for the evening/night and in the mean time it has
been closed due to over crowding, will we be allowed back in (we are staying on grounds)

13 Dave { 07.01.13 at 7:14 am }

Mary Jo, there’s no guarantee you’ll be allowed back in. It’s likely, but no guarantees.

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14 Julia { 07.09.13 at 7:01 pm }

Hi, I heard that justin bieber and chine Ann Maclean will be there and will have show , is it true ?

15 Dave { 07.10.13 at 8:59 am }

Hi Julia! I have not heard that–and honestly would be surprised, as Disney World is so packed on New years Eve that it doesn’t need to do anything else to draw people in!

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16 Jen { 07.24.13 at 3:54 pm }

My family is set to arrive at Disney on Dec. 31 @ 11. This will only be our 2nd time at Disney. We really have no idea what to expect other than crowds. Do you have any suggestions to celebrate the new year? My kids are 7 and 9, sounds like parks will be closed by the time we arrive. Thanks!

17 Dave { 07.25.13 at 8:20 am }

Hi Jen, I’m sorry but I don’t have any great ideas. Everything everywhere will be mobbed, except for the Animal Kingdom park, currently scheduled to close at 7p–although it may have itds hours extended…

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18 Justin & Anne { 08.19.13 at 10:05 pm }

Hi Dave, Thanks for your helpful tips.
I was looking for any updated info you might have on …
1. When the fastpass plus wristbands will actually be up and running? are they trying to have it running to the public by Halloween ? Thanksgiving? Christmas Etc?

2. Any updates on Magic Kingdoms plans for New Years Eve. The key restauraunts have all blocked out their reservations after 5:00 p.m. Possibly in conjunction with a special new Years eve package… Dinner & Seating for midnight fireworks Festivities?
Oh… and the best way to get back to the Disneyland hotel after the fireworks. any great way to avoid the crowds out the gate? We don’t want to spent 2 hours in traffic waiting to get dropped off at the hotel.

19 Dave { 08.20.13 at 7:42 am }

Hi Justin and Anne!!

1. On Fastpass+, see this:

2. I suspect theta the restaurants are simply already booked, given that reservations have been open for a while and that that’s the busiest day in the busiest week of the year at MK. Perhaps there is a special package in the works–but that would be new, and news to me…

3. Not sure what you mean by “Disneyland hotel.” WDW–depending on how you count them–has 30+ hotels and getting back to any but the Contemporary will be a zoo. You can walk from MK to the Contemporary.

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20 Spencer { 09.02.13 at 4:46 pm }

Wondering if anyone knows how the dining plan works at restaurants that have a special fixed price menu on NYE? We are booked at Yachtsman (although due to daughter’s age will have left before midnight!) and wondered if we could still use 2 credits to cover meal or if meals had to be paid out of pocket for menus such as this.
Any advice from previous experience appreciated!

21 Dave { 09.03.13 at 7:24 am }

Hey, great question–I don’t know the answer. Suggest calling Disney and asking!

22 Alyssa { 09.12.13 at 3:30 pm }

I am getting into Orlando around 9pm. If we go to epcot around 9:30 will we be able to get in? and what is the atmosphere like?

23 Dave { 09.13.13 at 12:56 pm }

Alyssa, I can’t tell you if you will get in or not, but I wouldn’t plan on it. And the atmosphere will be the biggest crowds you’ve ever seen…

24 Buck { 10.06.13 at 10:30 pm }

Would there be celebrities?

25 Dave { 10.07.13 at 8:03 am }

There’s typically dance parties, but not celebrities…

26 Wanda { 10.08.13 at 12:11 pm }

My husband and I are bringing our three girls for the second time to WDW (ages 4,4,and 5). We are arriving at the Swan on Dec.31st and leaving on January 5th. Should we plan on staying away from the parks on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, or is there something worth seeing on New Year’s Eve in Mk or Epcot that is worth fighting the crowd. I love crowds and love to be out where the action is on NYE, but my husband doesn’t love huge crowds with the girls. What else would you suggest in the area to see fireworks or do with the kids? Is there anything to do at downtown Disney or will that be too crazy to enjoy, too?

27 Dave { 10.09.13 at 12:32 pm }

Hi Wanda!

First, everything, everywhere, will be a zoo…

Second, you can walk to either Epcot (closer) or Disney’s Hollywood Studios from the Swan. (There’s also a boat to both..for which lines might be long)

In your spot, I’d head over to Epcot the evening of the 31st to participate in some of the festivities. That way, your husband can bag it any time he wishes and walk back to the hotel!

New Years Day itself , while not good, ought not to be so bad, especially in the morning, as many will be sleeping in…I’d head to MK before it opens…

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28 Yle { 10.11.13 at 8:56 am }

Hi! I want to know if theres a special ticket for dinner or something at Magic Kingdom on the 31ST! should i be there in the morning and stay there all day?

29 Dave { 10.12.13 at 8:59 am }

Yle, there’s no special ticket or special dinner. Tickets and food are like any other day. If you can stand it, the approach of showing up early and staying all day is the bets way to avoid being blocked by a park closure. But MK will be miserably crowded…

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30 Justin { 10.18.13 at 12:25 am }

I will be staying at the pop century resort new years eve.
and will be in Disney magic kingdom all day long.
After the new year fireworks are over, what would you recommend for how to get
back to the hotel.
should I just hang out in the park for 2 more hours and then head to the hotel?

I don’t know if I can walk it, or shuttle, monorail, taxi it or what?
your thoughts would be appreciated.

31 Dave { 10.18.13 at 7:25 am }

Justin, there’s bus service between Pop Century and MK. The bus stop will be just mobbed right after the fireworks, so I’d play in the park for at least another 45 minutes!

32 Elizabeth { 11.02.13 at 12:51 pm }

Hi, my sister and I will be staying in all star movies resort and we want to do dinner at epcot then head over to magic kingdom do you think we will still be able to get in if we arrive at 7-8?

33 Dave { 11.03.13 at 9:35 am }

Elizabeth, honestly I don’t know…

34 lynne { 11.03.13 at 12:07 pm }

We have no choice but to travel to WDW over xmas due to work commitments. I am seeing that this is going to be mental! We either have the choice to look for an alternative destination or go for it and bring the kids age 11 and 6 to see mickey….is it pointless even trying to enjoy it with two kids? We would arrive on the 26th dec and fly back 4th jan 2014/15. If we come are we better at a disney hotel or not?

35 Dave { 11.04.13 at 7:08 am }

Hi Lynne, I’d certainly reschedule to a better time if you can.

If you must visit then, do stay at a Disney hotel–you’ll be bale to enter the parks early, and also use the new FastPass+ program. For some hints on how to make it work, see this–written for last year, but the principles still apply this year:

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36 lynne { 11.17.13 at 2:27 pm }

Hi there
We have decided we are just going to have to go for’s either go then or not at all! So am after some advice…we will be there 25th dec-4th jan …which park would you recommend for new years eve? (we have children aged 6 and 11) and we will be taking a day out of disney to visit discovery cove..which day would you do this? was thinking about half way through but that was New years eve and was guessing if we want to be in one of the parks for NYE we would need to be in before the evening! Thanks for your help

37 Janna Miller { 11.17.13 at 11:54 pm }

How are the crowds on Jan 2nd and 3rd? We might just stay at the resort and watch some football on New years!!

38 Dave { 11.18.13 at 7:26 am }

Well, Lynne, I wouldn’t be in any park New Years Eve. If you are looking to avoid crushing crowds, then AK is the best choice. But it has no NYE program. If you are looking for evening shows, then MK is the most crowded, most loved, and dry; Epcot is crowded and wet; Hollywood Studios is a little less crowded, wet, but more dull.

Sorry, but I don’t track Discovery Cove closely enough to have an opinion on it at this time of year…

39 Dave { 11.18.13 at 7:31 am }

Janna, while better than the week before, in 2014 they will still be lousy. See this:

40 jan { 11.18.13 at 12:59 pm }

I want to buy my sis & husband(40′s) a “gift ” to enjoy their DisneyWorld stay over NYE, b4 his brothers family arrive Jan.5 , They like steak, good food/wine ,and probably early-ish fireworks. I don’t know where they r staying . Suggestions ,please?

41 Dave { 11.19.13 at 4:24 pm }

Jan, what a great idea! I’m not thinking of any way you can pre-pay…so maybe get them a gift card?

42 tessie paguio { 12.03.13 at 11:00 pm }

Dave, my family of 7 is arriving Orlando to celebrate my husbands bda y on Jan.1 2014.We bought a 4 day ticket for Dec29 till Jan 1
I really want to celebrate on the 31st of dec. and Jan1 . My in laws will arrive on 31′st 1108 am at airport get a car rental and should follow us wherever we are. Which park do you suggest we go first so we can all be together at midnight. The next day we will go
to another park to have lunch for his bday but we will all be together early am, there should not be any problem. Please advise me

43 Dave { 12.05.13 at 8:47 am }

Well, Tessie, I cna’t guarantee anything. If it were me, I’d pick Epcot. MK is wall to wall people, but more to the point has no alcohol… HS has alcohol, but is not so traditional a place to celebrate. That leaves Epcot…it will be mobbed, but has alcohol and a celebratory atmosphere that’s hard to beat…

44 Tracy { 12.05.13 at 6:42 pm }

OMG!!! I am travelling with my husband and 2 sons from the UK on 28 Dec. for some strange reason I thought WDW would be quieter during the Xmas period as its the coolest month, lol. I am a bit concerned now as I have terminal cancer and the crowds are going to be tough for me, especially with a 4 and 12 year old. (WDW is on my bucket list). Any suggestions? We are not saying in DW hotel, we are in Ramada Celebration Resort, which is the closest park to our hotel? Any idea how long it would take to walk?

45 Tracy { 12.06.13 at 4:27 am }

Hi Dave, sorry another question. What are the provisions if Amy for disabled guests? Can we hire wheelchairs or motorised scooters from the parks x

46 Dave { 12.07.13 at 3:08 pm }

Tracy, I’m so sorry…

On your question, I don’t track the off-site hotels–I can barely keep up with the WDW hotels. But you will not be able to walk anywhere in Disney World from any off-site hotel…it looks like Hollywood Studios is closest, but you are still miles away…

47 Dave { 12.07.13 at 3:12 pm }

Tracy, don;t be sorry, I love answering quesitons.

You can try to rent, but the park scooters and chairs sell out quickly on such crowded days. If I were in your shoes I’d a. convert to a WDW hotel, and b. rent a scooter for the duration. All the Disney buses–which take you to all the parks from your WDW hotel–accommodate scooters and wheel chairs…

See also my friend Melissa’s

48 tasha { 12.11.13 at 3:02 pm }

My husband and I will be in dw for our first time for only one day on Nye. We’re staying in a nearby hotel and will have to leave the park a few times throughout the day to tend to our infant who will be staying at the hotel with my mother.
I realize it will be super crowded at all parks, would you recommend getting a hopper pass and attempt to do multiple parks or just stick with one and if only one, which?

49 Dave { 12.12.13 at 7:19 am }

Oh Tasha, I would not do this at all. Because of the lines of cars at the parking lots and lines of people at transportation, it will take you forever to get back and forth…and you may not know if a park is closed to new visitors until you get into the parking lines… if you simply must, then I would do a hopper. I’d start at MK when it opens–8a for you, 7a for those staying at a WDW resort, go to AK second after the first baby visit, and go to HS for the evening including fireworks…

50 Rhea { 12.18.13 at 5:13 pm }

Can we get the fast pass and all other benefits as the disney hotels if we are staying at the Dolphin resort??

51 Dave { 12.19.13 at 7:42 am }

Rhea, you get some, but not all. You get the old-style fastpass, plus EMH but not the Magical Express and can’t buy the dining plan. Depending on your dates, the Dolphin may also offer a version of FastPass+…

52 Alicia { 12.25.13 at 8:13 pm }

Hello, we received a trip to WDW as a Christmas present and will be there 12/29-1/3, staying at a resort in the Animal Kingdom. We were thinking of trying out Hollywood Studios for New Years. I know everywhere will be crowded, but would you say Hollywood is probably the least crowded? We don’t usually do well with crowds, but we are willing to embrace it for a nice time in Disney. We have a four-day pass and were thinking of one day in each park, so that whole day would be for Hollywood Studios.

53 Dave { 12.26.13 at 10:16 am }

Alicia, AK will be least crowded park on the New Years Eve…

54 Brian { 12.26.13 at 7:30 pm }

Is the MK parade schedule and content any different for NYE versus other days that week? We want a special NYE celebration and are considering watching the parade and then watching the fireworks from the parking lot if the timing works out to help reduce traffic time. If the parade is the same we will probably go to one of the other parks.

55 Dave { 12.27.13 at 8:25 am }

Brian, the parades are the same. I can’t recommend watching the fireworks from the parking lot, tho…it’s pretty far away…The bets plan is to see them 12/30 instead–it’ll still be mobbed but not as bad as 12/31

56 Josh { 12.28.13 at 10:15 pm }

My wife and I live about 20 minutes from WDW and are Annual Pass holders but just recently got them and don’t know all the ins and outs of things. With that said we do not have a need to stay at resorts so Extra Magic Hours aren’t available to us if we go to HS how strict is the midnight closing? Will we be able to atleast see the midnight fireworks? I only ask because we have some out of town friends staying at a resort hotel and that is the park they wanted to be at.

57 Dave { 12.29.13 at 8:11 am }

Hey Josh, you’ll be fine for the midnight fireworks at HS. You may get pushed out after, but not befroe. They may also let you hang out after, but just not let you on the rides…

58 Diane { 12.29.13 at 12:39 pm }

We are driving up from West Palm Beach for NYE and staying at Caribbean Beach for just the one night. We do not have any park tickets, and are wondering if there any fireworks at midnite at Downtown Disney????

59 Dave { 12.30.13 at 7:13 am }

Hi Diane, no there are no fireworks at Downtown Disney that I can find…

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