By the co-author of The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit 2018, from the best-reviewed Disney World guidebook series ever. Paperback available on Amazon here. Kindle version available on Amazon here.—Disney World Instructions for the First-Time Visitor

New Year’s Eve 2015/2016 at Walt Disney World

By Dave Shute


New Years Eve 2015 at Walt Disney WorldNew Year’s Eve festivities and fireworks will happen on December 31, 2015 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 fireworks, but will–for the first time– be offering a “New Year’s Eve Street Parti” in Africa’s Harambe Market from 3:30p to 8:30p.

Hours may be extended, but here’s what’s currently scheduled:

  • 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 until 2a
  • The Magic Kingdom will have Wishes at 6.30p, and special New Year’s Eve fireworks at 11.50p
  • Epcot will have its Illuminations fireworks show at 6p and 11.40p, plus DJs in various pavilions.
  • Disney’s Hollywood Studios will have fireworks at midnight
  • 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 Animal Kingdom the least likely.

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1 Denise { 11.25.15 at 4:34 pm }

Hi, my family of 11 will be coming to Orlando for Christmas and NYE can you recommend where to eat and in which park can I make a NYE reservations.

2 Dave { 11.29.15 at 10:08 am }

Denise, I agree with Kelly.

3 Kelly B - Agent with Destinations in Florida { 11.27.15 at 9:07 am }

Denise – Reservations are going to be extremely hard to find this late into the booking window. Christmas/NYE is the busiest time of year. And you have a large party.

I did a quick check for you and right now the ONLY restaurant that you make a reservation for, for you party size of 11, on NYE is at Epcots Restaurant Marrakesh (at 5:05). There is not a single other reservation available inside the parks. Breaking your party into smaller tables may give you a few more options. But from what I can see, they are all outside of the parks (at resorts and at Disney Springs).

You can look at quick service options (walk up and no reservations needed). Plan for long lines for these. In either case arrive early to your intended park. Parks do reach capacity during this time. The best way to guarantee that you will get in is to arrive very early and stay the whole day. If you leave the parks for any reason you are not guaranteed re-entry should they reach capacity (even if you have family waiting inside or were there earlier).

4 Jessica { 12.01.15 at 12:33 am }

Hi Im Planning to go with my family in December. I was wondering if you know what park univision will be doing their fiesta for nye.

5 Lauren { 12.16.15 at 10:18 am }

My husband and I are arriving at MCO (Orlando Airport) at 7:30 on New Years Eve. Do you think we’ll be able to get into the parks that night or will we have a problem due to closing?


6 Lauren { 12.16.15 at 10:29 am }

I should note that we are staying on site at the Pop Century.

7 Dave { 12.17.15 at 7:56 am }

Lauren it’s awfully hard to predict, but you’ll have a MUCH better chance if you park at Pop and take the bus form there.

8 Jillian { 12.20.15 at 2:18 am }

We were planning to go to Magic Kingdom on the 31st totally unknowing of how crowded it would be… But now that we know there’s a probability that we are now going to spend the day doing something else…. However, do you think that there’s a chance that we would be able to come back to the park much later in the night? Say about 9:00-10:00? Would it still be crowded then?

9 Dave { 12.21.15 at 8:31 am }

Jillian, it will still be mobbed then. The best park 12/31 is AK.

10 Daniela { 12.26.15 at 11:38 pm }

Hi Dave we will be going to Disney the31 is there any celebrities going to be there on the 31 or the 1st

11 Dave { 12.29.15 at 8:54 am }

No, Daniela.

12 Michelle { 12.29.15 at 2:54 pm }

Hi, thanks for all your help and advice. So I have an acl sprain of course when we are here in Orlando :/ I wanted to do MK on the 30th but really just want a picture with Mickey and see Fireworks. What is latest you think we could get in and be safe?


13 Dave { 12.30.15 at 9:17 am }

Michelle, I’m sorry but I really can’t predict that.

14 Claudia { 12.30.15 at 9:23 am }

Hi! Im going to epcot to new years eve, is it better to buy the tickets in advance or i can buy it tomorrow at the park?

15 Dave { 12.30.15 at 11:23 am }

Before, without question. The first step of park closures is people without tickets…

16 Patti { 12.30.15 at 1:58 pm }

Hi Dave do you know if they are passing out the hats and horns this year at Ebcot for NYE?

17 Dave { 12.30.15 at 4:55 pm }

Patti, from the blog today: “Hats and horns will be distributed beginning at 4:30 p.m. and last until supplies run out at the Disney Performing Arts stage in Future World West, the Wonders of Life walkway in Future World East, and at the American Adventure.”

18 Kelly { 08.08.16 at 5:13 am }

Hi Dave,

Looking foradvice for NYE2016. We have a villa booked from the 29th Dec and my husbands 40th is on NYE. I was looking to book the caribbean resort for a surpirse for the 30th/31st but wanted to know if it was worth paying the prices. We would like to have a couple of drinks for his birthday so wasn’t looking to drive so thought it would be a great idea to book the hotel also hoping it would be easier to get out of the park after the fireworks. We have a 7 and 9 year old so thought it would great for them too. Looking to book the next couple of days so not to mis out. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you! Kelly

19 Dave { 08.09.16 at 9:44 am }

Caribbean Beach, Kelly?

20 Emily { 06.09.17 at 1:17 pm }

When is the best time to dine for NYE at Epcot? Is better to eat early (like 4 or 5) and try to save a spot somewhere? Or is it fine to eat later and just find a spot about 10 or 11? Where are the best places to view the fireworks? Are the lawns open for viewing? Sorry there are so many questions I just want to make the right ADR

21 Dave { 06.09.17 at 2:17 pm }

Emily, it’s hard to describe how many people will be at Epcot, far too many for much of a proportion to to pick spots ahead of time. There are lots of good viewing areas, so I’d pick your dining time when its convenient to you, rather than framing it around a spot.

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