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New Years Eve 2020 w/kids - fireworks viewing?

Scit143Mama

New Member
Original Poster
We just booked our trip for Dec 25th, 2020, through Jan 1st, 2021 (rented DVC points for a 1 bedroom at AKL, our first at this resort) -- I'm already freaking out about going during what is perhaps the absolute busiest week of the entire year, but it was the only week my husband would agree to go (easiest for him to miss work, kids miss no school). So we are going to suck it up, try to plan everything ahead of time as best we can, and hope for the best. Our daughter will be 6 (and turning 7 during our trip) and our son will be 8.5 year old (he is autistic, so this makes crowds extra tricky, but planning to use DAS).

I already have a ton of questions, but my biggest right now is -- what's the best strategy for viewing the early fireworks show at Epcot on NYE (6:30pm, I believe it is?). Is there a dining experience (like the World Showcase Pavillion dinner) that guarantees a view of the fireworks? Ideally, we'd like to be in a contained/less crowded environment like a restaurant with the possibility of having seats. Am willing to throw $ at this problem, so cost isn't an issue. Alternatively, would consider MK or AK instead of Epcot, if there's a dining experience/booking that checks those boxes too. Those of you have been at the parks on NYE, what do you suggest?? There is no way we will make it to midnight, btw ... so planning for dinner and an early fireworks show, then back to resort by 9pm, at the latest.

Any other tips or info for AKL Kidani Village also appreciated ... I know it's far from everything, which I'm worried about, but we booked there for the animals and savannah views because our kids will LOVE it. Should we endure the shuttles or just take Ubers or Lyfts everywhere? Thanks!
 

RememberWhen

Well-Known Member
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Ok. I can’t answer your questions about fireworks viewing, but I think you’re going to have a fantastic trip. We were there over Christmas week 2018 with our then 6 yo and 18month old. We had a blast!
The kids will love the resort. Make sure you schedule a little bit of down time there so you can enjoy the animals (and maybe the pool if it’s warm enough!).
I would try to set expectations pretty low. Make your FP and plan to hit those rides/experiences and nothing else. If you get to do more, great! If not, nobody is horribly disappointed. Try to get a feel (ask them if they’ll be helpful) about what experiences/rides are most important to each of your family members. Try to make sure you do those. Maybe let everyone pick one thing from each park. Or one or two things total. It makes it easier to check off those boxes so that people feel happy with their trip.
Definitely make use of EMH in the morning if you can get kids up and out early. We got more done in that hour at Magic Kingdom than we did the rest of the day.
And I would just use the busses. AKL is not out in the boonies. You’ll be fine. Just get to the bus stop a bit early and you should be good.
 

RememberWhen

Well-Known Member
Also, you could do one of the dessert parties , though I’m not sure of the timing for the two fireworks shows.
 

Scit143Mama

New Member
Original Poster
Thanks so much, this is awesome :) Appreciate the encouraging words about that week, I'll admit I'm kind of scared of the mobs, haha. Really glad you all had a good trip, and "low expectations" for how much can get done in a day is good advice. Between FP+ and a few DAS return times w/my son's pass, we can hopefully at least do a handful of rides at each park per day. We aren't super early risers, but whatever day MK has EMH, we will set our alarms and plan to be there at rope drop -- I know that's the only way we'll get to do anything extra, so it will be worth it. Glad to hear buses were okay - some of the trip times of 40 mins from AKL to parks scared me a bit.

Wondering if you ever to and able to book additional FP+ for later in the day during that week after using up the first three that are pre-booked -- is it so crowded that you can't actually get any more FP+ for the day? (Not talking about the insanely popular rides necessarily, just anything)
 

Zé_Carioca

Active Member
As far as I know there aren't restaurant packages for fireworks at Epcot, those are usually for priority seating for the shows during festivals.

There are however Fast Passes for priority fireworks viewing. IDK if those are still offered for NYE, others can better answer that.

I would not recommend DAK if you want fireworks since they don't have a fireworks show due to the animals. As for MK, it is very popular for NYE so it might be too crowded. While Epcot is also very popular for NYE, there is more fireworks viewing areas since you can watch from anywhere around world showcase.
 

RememberWhen

Well-Known Member
Thanks so much, this is awesome :) Appreciate the encouraging words about that week, I'll admit I'm kind of scared of the mobs, haha. Really glad you all had a good trip, and "low expectations" for how much can get done in a day is good advice. Between FP+ and a few DAS return times w/my son's pass, we can hopefully at least do a handful of rides at each park per day. We aren't super early risers, but whatever day MK has EMH, we will set our alarms and plan to be there at rope drop -- I know that's the only way we'll get to do anything extra, so it will be worth it. Glad to hear buses were okay - some of the trip times of 40 mins from AKL to parks scared me a bit.

Wondering if you ever to and able to book additional FP+ for later in the day during that week after using up the first three that are pre-booked -- is it so crowded that you can't actually get any more FP+ for the day? (Not talking about the insanely popular rides necessarily, just anything)
We definitely did find 4th FPs sometimes. You might have to stalk the app a bit, but there’s usually something. If I remember correctly (I may not...) I thought MK had early EMH many days.
 

Gaston's gal

Well-Known Member
We were there this past NYE. We started our day at Epcot around 10am. They had several special food offerings that day at the leftover food booths from the International Food Festival between Nov/Dec. It was really crowded so if you don't have any FP's, you will regret that. Anyway, they did two firework shows. We watched the first show at 6:40pm, then left the park. Went back to our resort, the Polynesian, and enjoyed the festivities there. Ended with watching the fireworks over MK at 11:40pm. Great evening! Every resort had something going on for NYE so you can see what AKL offers you. Enjoy!
 

Swissmiss

Premium Member
We were there this past NYE; when we decided to go that week, we also decided that NYE would be a non-park day. Since we knew it would be crowded, we went early to the parks (on other days), used our fast passes and lower standby waits and usually went back to the resort for most afternoons and out again in the evenings. Knowing that it would be crowded, we paid for a couple of dessert parties (at AK to see Rivers of Light and at MK). While neither was “worth it” in terms of consumption (there is only so much sweet stuff I can eat!), both were definitely worth it in terms of crowd control. There weren’t tons of extra fast passes available after the first three were finished, but we did manage to sometimes get a 4th or 5th one, and some of the stand by lines were acceptable in length. I would suggest trying to get FP for the rides that you absolutely don’t want to miss, just in case the return time with DAS won’t work with your schedule. It was crowded, but we still managed to have fun.
 
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