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What to expect at Disney World on New Year’s Eve


Can you believe that we are a few weeks away from the end of 2021? Now is the time to start thinking about how you want to spend New Year’s Eve to call 2022!

Fireworks at Magic Kingdom 2018 © Disney

If you’re thinking about a trip to Disney World on December 31st, you may be wondering what the parks will be like this year. Last year there were no major celebrations due to the health and safety measures in place at the time, this could be the first time from 2019 to 2020 that we will see any significant New Year celebrations!

While Disney has not announced exact details on what will be available, let’s take a look at what we know for sure, as well as what we’re seeing in other major destinations in the country.

Park schedule availability and park pass reservation

At the time of writing, the schedule for Disney World Park on December 31, 2021 is as follows:

  • Magical Kingdom: from 9 to 12 h
  • EPCOT: from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
  • Disney’s Hollywood Studios: from 9 to 12 h
  • Disney’s animal kingdom: from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Three of the four parks will remain open until midnight on New Year’s Eve, which means there will probably be three options for where you want to count down to 2022. That said, it’s also important to review the last one. Park Pass booking availability to know if you can enter the park of your choice. At the time of writing, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom have Park Pass reservations available on December 31 for guests with tickets to the theme park …

Park Pass Availability of New Year’s Eve booking for guests with theme park tickets from November 18 © Disney

… As well as guests staying at Select Resort Hotels.

Park Pass Reservation availability on New Year’s Eve for guests staying at Select Resort Hotels from November 18 © Disney

Currently, the annual availability of the Park Pass reservation of the season ticket holder is the same as that of the other two types of guests: if you are not blocked on December 31, you can currently make a Park Pass reservation at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Please note that if the park you want to visit is full, you can always try going to this park after 2pm if you have the Park Hopper option added to your ticket; just remember that Park Hopping is subject to park capacity.

How could the crowds be?

One of this year’s wildcards is the size of the crowd in the parks on New Year’s Eve. In the past, New Year’s Eve was one of the busiest days of the year at Disney World, with guests camping hours before midnight for that perfect place to watch the fireworks.

New Year’s fireworks in the Magic Kingdom | 2019

Last year there was not much midnight celebration to discourage crowds at a time when social distancing was still a driving factor in places where large crowds could gather. So while it looks like this year will be different from last year, it’s hard to predict at this point whether 2021 New Year’s Eve will be exactly like New Year’s Eve 2019, 2018, 2017, and so on.

New Year’s Eve crowd on December 31, 2020

We start to see some signs of “normalcy” taking shape elsewhere on New Year’s Eve. According to the New York Times, Times Square will allow fully vaccinated people to gather this year to see how the ball goes down. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city wants to show “evidence to the world that we are 100% behind,” but that “everyone should be vaccinated.”

Crowd fireworks in 2021! Will New Year’s Eve be similar?

There are currently no vaccination warrants at Disney World, but the parks could have a similar feeling when it comes to allowing a large number of guests to reunite outdoors for Cape Town fireworks. Year this year. We’ve already seen a major congestion in terms of the fireworks returning to Disney World this year, so if the fireworks take place on December 31st, they’re likely to be full.

What will Disney offer guests on New Year’s Eve?

Besides fireworks, what more could we expect to see on New Year’s Eve? Last year, Disney World offered a variety of candies for a limited time to enjoy in parks and resorts, including cakes …

Midnight cake at Sunshine Seasons

… Midnight themed cupcakes…

New Year’s Cupcake Capt. Cook’s

… As well as a package of sparkling wines for guests to enjoy while playing the new year at their hotel. So, even if you don’t like these massive crowds of fireworks, there should still be little fun ways to celebrate the New Year at Disney World.

New Year celebration package

Also watch out for New Year’s merchandise, which we’ve already started to see in the parks.

The merchandise of 2022 has already arrived at Disney World

If you plan to visit Disney World on New Year’s Eve, it may be a good idea to assume that the crowds will look similar to past years. This means arriving early so you can enjoy the park without the potential risk of this park reaching its capacity. As always, be patient and remember to extend a good dose of kindness to the cast members and other guests who want to enjoy the New Year as much as you do!

New Year’s Eve can be a stressful day at Disney World, but spreading kindness is very important!

We will continue to keep an eye on all things New Year’s Eve over the coming weeks and will share with you the latest updates so you can prepare to call 2022 as a professional!

Click here for a list of Disney World vacation delights this year.

Are you planning to visit Disney World on New Year’s Eve? Let us know in the comments!

Disney World Planning Tips!

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