95 responses

  1. Sarah D.
    October 20, 2014

    Hello! We will be traveling to Disney World between Christmas and New Years Day this year. We plan to spend NYE at Hollywood Studios but I was hoping to visit Magic Kingdom in the morning. We are staying on site and 6 of the 8 people in our group are Annual Pass Holders. What is the latest we should plan to be at Hollywood Studios to prevent being turned away due to park closure? If we stay at Magic Kingdom until around noon or 1pm, will we still be able to get into Hollywood Studios that late? Thank you for your help!

    Reply

    • Dave
      October 20, 2014

      Sarah, I’m sorry but that requires a level of precision in forecasting that I don’t have.

      Reply

  2. Jane
    October 3, 2014

    Also, if you have a dining reservation but can’t get in, do they let you cancel it without penalty if you call to tell them?

    Reply

    • Dave
      October 5, 2014

      Jane, not automatically, but if you explain to guest services they will almost certainly remove the penalty charge…

      Reply

  3. Jane
    October 3, 2014

    Thanks so much! Do you have any opinion as to whether HS might get closed on the day before Tgiving this year (Wed Nov 26)? Or MK that night, or Black Friday night?

    Reply

    • Dave
      October 5, 2014

      Jane, I doubt it for either.

      Reply

  4. Jane
    October 2, 2014

    Do parks get closed during Thanksgiving week? I am especially interested in Wed (day before Thanksgiving) and Black Friday. Actual Tgiving day is our down day, partly to avoid the crowds. 🙂

    Reply

    • Dave
      October 3, 2014

      I can’t recall that it is common, Jane, but they might, especially on Weds and Thurs.

      Reply

  5. Amy
    October 1, 2014

    Hello:
    Our family of 4 is visiting Orlando this April(2015) during Easter time. We are staying off site. What time should we arrive at either Magic Kingdome or Epcot to be assured of a good parking spot along with park admittance on Friday 4/3 and Easter weekend? Also, if we decide to leave a park around 2pm for a reprieve, would we be guaranteed reentry into parks later in day being we were already in? Thanks so much!

    Reply

    • Dave
      October 1, 2014

      Amy, the trick is to arrive well before they open–not for parking, but becasue that’s when lines will be lowest. Unfortunately at MK every day during the holiday it opens an hour early to WDW hotel guests, so crowds will not be great when you arrive–still better than a late arrival, but not as good as on days when it does not open early.

      Right now opens for the general public are listed at 9a, but I expect those to change to 8a.

      And no, sadly there’s no “guaranteed re-entry.”

      Reply

  6. Alisa
    September 11, 2014

    My children’s father lives overseas and has planned to go with them and his extended family (10 people total) to MK over New Years @ Epcot; however, he’s staying in a house off site and didn’t know about the chance of park closures, our daughter mentioned it. Should they be concerned, and if so, what should their greatest concern be such that maybe he doesn’t fly all this way only to not be able to attend New Year’s Eve? Thank you.

    Reply

    • Dave
      September 12, 2014

      Alisa, I would get him a room on property.

      Reply

  7. beth
    August 6, 2014

    Our son’s high school marching band is scheduled to perform at Magic Kingdom at 3pm on New Years Eve. Sounded great at first, but now I’m scared. I know its advisable to get there early in the am, but would it also be beneficial to purchase advance tix?

    Reply

    • Dave
      August 7, 2014

      Beth, absolutely, as that’s the only way you can get FastPass+ booked ahead of time!!

      Reply

  8. Jessica
    December 30, 2013

    Is getting into Epcot around 6pm on NYE possible? Or do you think the park would have reached capacity at that point?

    Reply

    • Dave
      December 31, 2013

      Jessica, I don’t know! If you are staying at a WDW resort it should be possible. If you are off property I wouldn’t count on it…

      Reply

  9. Desiree
    December 27, 2013

    My husband and I are spending NYE 2013 in Disney. We are planning to arrive at MK before the park opens to make our chances of getting in a little more solid…as I am really going for the park, not so much the nighttime activities. If we WERE to stay for the NYE celebration how would we do that? Is there a special ticket or is the regular day pass good for the evening as well, the website isn’t very clear? I do understand that we should not leave the park once we get there if we do plan on staying for the MK after hours celebration. Thanks for the help!

    Reply

    • Dave
      December 28, 2013

      Hi Desiree, one regular day ticket works all day long–there’s no special or additional ticket

      Reply

  10. Judy from NSW Australia
    December 26, 2013

    Oh dear this plan of mine is sounding like a nightmare…it sounds much worse than Sydney on NYE, but, here goes…We are arriving in Orlando on 29th Dec , from NSW Australia, staying at a resort on Turkey Lake Road for 1 week. We will have a car, but I think the resort has a shuttle to Disneyworld. I would love to spend NYE at Magic Kingdom or any of the parks which have fireworks. What is EPCOT?
    I have had a lot of trouble phoning the ticket office from Australia and have been a bit fearful of ordering the tickets on line. I had been worried about getting in if I had booked a lunch or dinner reservation, but they’re all gone now it appears anyway. What are your thoughts?
    Thanks Judy

    Reply

    • Dave
      December 27, 2013

      Judy, what I’d do is celebrate NYE a night early, on 12/30 at the Magic Kingdom. It as the same fireworks that night as it does the 31st. Then I’d go to the Animal Kingdom–the only park without fireworks on New Years Eve–the 31st. See this for more: https://yourfirstvisit.net/2013/05/16/new-years-eve-20132014-at-walt-disney-world/

      Epcot is one of the four Disney World theme parks…and one of two (Hollywood Studios) that has both fireworks and alcohol on New Years Eve. Magic Kingdom has fireworks but no alcohol…

      Reply

  11. Dave
    December 1, 2013

    Crystal, sorry, I didn’t see the first comment!! You will not be hurried out, and the restaurant itself won’t be trampled by teenagers They will be all over the place when you leave, though!

    Reply

  12. Crystal b
    November 30, 2013

    Or am I wrong about the early closing?

    Reply

  13. Crystal b
    November 23, 2013

    We have Sci-fi dinner reservations 12/11 at 520, I’ve seen that that HS closes at 600 for a pop warner party, will we be rushed out of the restaurant and / or trampled by teenagers?

    Reply

  14. Brooke
    November 19, 2013

    Hey Dave! I knew HS would be busy based on EMH that day. We have reservations for lunch at Akershus on the 5th. Our problem is that my husband’s grandmother is flying into Orlando late afternoon on the 4th and won’t be able to join us for a meal until the 5th. She wants to join us for the princess lunch since she really wants to see the girls in their dresses. The 4th would not be our only day at HS. We have a full day planned for there on Thursday, Jan. 9th. Just wanted to make sure we got there for a half day before the Osborne Lights were taken down. And honestly, if all we get to do is see the lights that day, I will consider it mission accomplished. Does that make any difference in your perspective? : ) I know ideally it would be better to do HS on the 5th, but I just don’t think we can switch our days based on Grandma! Just really hoping it all works out at HS on the 4th…fingers crossed for no closings!

    Reply

    • Dave
      November 20, 2013

      Brooke, OK now I get it, and understand your approach!!

      Reply

  15. Brooke
    November 19, 2013

    Hi Dave! I know most of your comments regarding closings during the holidays are for Christmas or New Year’s Eve/Day. Our first day in the parks will be Jan. 4th. We have reservations for 1900 Park Fare late morning, then were going to go to Hollywood Studios in the afternoon/evening. We really want to make sure we see Osborne Spectacle of Lights (I know they end the 5th), but we have reservations at Epcot on the 5th and we don’t have a park hopper. So, our only chance to see the lights will be the 4th. Do you think there’s any chance of park closings on the 4th? And does HS close very often? We are staying in a condo off property, so I’m nervous about closings. Thanks for your thoughts!

    Reply

    • Dave
      November 19, 2013

      Hi Brooke! The 4th is not a good day at HS–the park has morning extra magic hours, so will be crowded when you arrive. However, I don’t think the park will close that day…it’s for many departure day.

      What’s your Epcot reservation the 5th? I’d swap those two days in a heartbeat for almost any Epcot meal…

      Reply

  16. Matthew
    October 20, 2013

    Hello we are staying in the wdw riverside hotel and have made dinner booking for Cinderella’s castle at 9:30 pm nye what is the best time to get to the park in the morning . Also if we cant get in what would happen with our booking thats paid for. We have all the park tickets and use disney bus’s . Thank you

    Reply

    • Dave
      October 21, 2013

      Matthew, you should be able to get in.

      Reply

  17. cathy
    September 11, 2013

    Hi, I’m arriving at Disney on New Years Eve. If we go to the park, then leave to check into our room, are we likely to get back into the park?

    Thank you!

    Reply

    • Dave
      September 12, 2013

      Cathy, which park, and are you staying in a Disney hotel? If you are targeting MK, and are not in a Disney hotel, I wouldn’t bet on it. If you are in a Disney hotel and targeting AK or Epcot, you should be OK…

      Was this even remotely helpful?

      Well then mosey on over to the home page, and like it on Facebook or pin it on Pinterest!

      Reply

  18. Chaneymom
    August 31, 2013

    I am a single mother traveling to Disney 12/28 to 1/4. We are staying at POR and have been to Disney many times, but never over a busy holiday season. I know that the children will want to spend NYE at MK – but from what I have been reading – I wonder if I should consider a different park? I already have dining reservations for the 31st in MK – and I am afraid that if I cannot get into the park that I will be stuck paying if I am a no-show. What time do you think I would have to arrive at the park on the 31st? I was hoping to arrive early afternoon so that my children can rest in the morning so that they can last until midnight. Thank you for any insight or advice that you can share!

    Reply

    • Dave
      September 2, 2013

      Hi Chaneymom, I can’t give you much specific advice as MK tends to close, re-open, close again, re-open again etc on NYE, and I can’t forecast the times.

      If I had to pick a time to go to MK after opening, it would be some time 45 minutes to an hour after the afternoon parade (becasue a lot of people will leave after the parade) …but honestly, I’d just go to AK that day–whihc will be the teals crowded of the WDW parks–and hit MK the 30th, when it will have the exact same NYE program, but slightly lower crowds. See https://yourfirstvisit.net/2013/05/16/new-years-eve-20132014-at-walt-disney-world/

      Was this even remotely helpful? Then mosey on over to the home page, and like it on Facebook or pin it on Pinterest!

      Reply

  19. Larry
    April 6, 2013

    Hi Dave,
    Our Family, consisting of 17 members, will be arriving at Bay Lake Towers on Dec. 30th. We will be flying in from Detroit, arriving at BLT at approximately noon. It is our plan to visit the Magic Kingdom either on Dec 30th or Dec 31st. Depending on your recommendations, we hope to have reservations at the California Grill one of those days with reservations at The Plaza the other day. We will celebrate New Years Eve at the Top of the World Lounge one evening while the other at the Magic Kingdom. What is your recommendation?

    Reply

    • Dave
      April 6, 2013

      Larry, both dates will be spectacularly crowded at MK–with 3 hour waits in the afternoons, etc. The 30th will be slightly less crowded–not that you will really notice–so I’d go for the 30th at MK and the 31st at Top of The World.

      The California Grill is undergoing renovations right now, and I’m not sure when they will start accepting reservations again. Typically you can reserve beginning 180 days in advance–and as you can imagine, that’ll be a very hot reservation. So I’d aim for 180 days out…if you do end up going at such a massively crowded time of the year…

      Follow yourfirstvisit.net on Facebook!

      Reply

  20. Kamille
    March 22, 2013

    Hi Dave,
    Thanks in advance for any help you can provide me.
    Unfortunately, my group of 3 could only coordinate our schedules for a visit this upcoming week before Easter. We’re used to low-moderate crowds when we’re at WDW, so this is going to be a new experience for us. We’re fairly flexible for most of the trip except day 1. We arrive very early in the morning of 3/25 around 6:00am to MCO. We have Ohana reservations (tradition) for a late breakfast at 11:25am. Our big priority for the day, however, is our Be Our Guest reservation. The only one we could pull for dinner throughout the entire trip was 8:45pm. I’m worried about the crowds, and the possibility of being closed out. Given that we are unlikely to have check-in ability at our arrival time, we don’t have the option of hanging out at MK all day long. Do you have any recommendations as to timing for MK arrival to ensure that we can make it in for these dining reservations?

    Reply

    • Dave
      March 23, 2013

      Hi Kamille, your best bet is probably around 4.15 or 4.30. Many people leave after the 3p parade, so if there is any closure or parking restriction in effect, it may be eased after they leave, get to their cars, and leave the lot.

      Follow yourfirstvisit.net on Facebook!

      Reply

  21. Load More Comments…

Leave a Reply

 

 

 

My response to questions and comments will be on the same page as the original comment, likely within 24-36 hours . . . I reserve the right to edit and delete comments as I choose . . . All rights reserved. Copyright 2008-2024 . . . Unless otherwise noted, all photos are by me--even the ones in focus--except for half a dozen from my niecelets . . . This site is entirely unofficial and not authorized by any organizations written about in it . . . All references to Disney and other copyrighted characters, trademarks, marks, etc., are made solely for editorial purposes. The author makes no commercial claim to their use . . . Nobody's perfect, so follow any advice here at your own risk.

Back to top
mobile desktop