Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida has a reputation for throwing some pretty massive New Year’s Eve festivities, and as usual the Mouse doesn’t let us down this year.
Magic Kingdom has the famous Electrical Parade on Main Street from 7–9:30pm, a DJ dance party by the castle, and ‘Holiday Wishes’ fireworks and ‘Fantasy in the Sky’ fireworks at 8:30pm and 11:50pm, respectively.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios has The Mulch, Sweat, and Shears New Year’s Eve Spectacular, a set of four concerts with special effects and pyrotechnics—6:30pm, 8pm, and 10pm Fantasmic! shows as well as ‘Lights, Camera, Happy New Year’ fireworks at midnight. Epcot has DJ dance parties and an Illuminations fireworks show at 6:30pm and 11:40pm. Animal Kingdom continues its Mickey’s Jingle Jungle Parade at 3:45pm. Downtown Disney hosts Cirque du Soleil performances.
General note for adults: Magic Kingdom doesn’t have alcohol, but Hollywood Studios and Epcot do. Also, Magic Kingdom has fireworks on Dec. 30 as well, just in case you can’t make New Year’s Eve at Disney this year.
As fun as it is to plan for the fun parts, don’t forget to work out logistics. Organize your Fastpass strategy upon arrival to prevent waiting in too many long lines. Bring warm and waterproof clothing to store in a locker just in case the need arises. Also, don’t assume you’ll be able to get in to your preferred park (even if you’re staying at a Disney Resort); when parks begin reaching capacity, first they close the parking lot to cars, then to non-Disney hotel shuttles, then the park to non-ticket holders, and then to everyone, so your best bet to get in to your park of choice is to stay at a Disney Resort, buy your ticket ahead of time, and take a Disney shuttle to get there. Show up early in the day, then stay there through New Year’s Eve—and into 2013!