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New Year's Eve

castevens

Member
Hi all!

My wife and I (we got engaged at WDW during Wishes! in 2008) will be taking our delayed honeymoon on a Carnival cruise out of Port Canaveral starting on January 1, 2011. We're scared of flight delays preventing us from getting to Port before the ship leaves, so we are planning on arriving to MCO on December 31.

That means that we will be in Orlando for New Year's Eve, and we are trying to plan a one-night stay on a WDW resort. This is causing logistical challenges such as getting the Magical Express to bring us back to the airport on the 1st even though we don't have a flight (can we tell them that we're going on Southwest?), and getting the Carnival bus to take us to Port Canaveral on the 1st even though our flight lands on the 31st...

But the REAL question I came to ask was this:

On average, when does the Magic Kingdom close due to capacity on the 31st? What phases occur at what times? Likewise, Epcot?

I know it's going to be hell that day, and we're likely to have a "bad" time because the lines are so long and such, but I figure the fireworks will be worth it for two reasons: 1) we got engaged during the fireworks at Disney (full circle), and 2) it's better than staying at a cheap airport hotel for New Year's...

Thanks for any and all help!!
 

dizzney

Member
Speakign from being down there this past New Years Eve, MK closed and reopened several times that day, Epcot never closed (before we arrvied at 6pm at least) but c=got continually crowded whereby by 11PM you could barely move around World Showcase. We ahd been lucky enough to get water side seats at Rose and Crown for dinner and saw the early Iluminations presentation and ending up returning to teh Boardwalk and celebrating the New Year in there with a view of both MK and Epcot from our Boardwalk Villas balcony and the Boardwalk itself was packed- wonderful experience

Good Luck and enjoy!
 
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durangojim

Well-Known Member
I'd do either DHS or EPCOT over MK on NYE and stay at BC, YC, or BW(how that for abbreviations:lol:). At MK they do the same fireworks as the night before, and while nice, I like the other two parks' better. Additionally you can't enjoy an adult libation at MK. Finally, walking to the EPCOT resort of your choice from either EPCOT or DHS is soooooo much nicer than waiting to get on a bus, car, or monorail. Have a great time!
 
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Frightful

New Member
We did in in 2006-07, whole day of the 31st at MK. I'm sure it went into phased closings but since we were pretty much in line all day we didn't pay much attention :) The one real issue was that they passed out complimentary hats and noisemakers at 2:00 or so. Thousands and thousands of people trying out the same horns at the same time... see the World Cup. Madness. I couldn't handle it. We decided to take the risk of not getting back in and left in late afternoon, then came back at about 7 or so? and got in, no problem. There were very few people at the turn-styles at that time. The park was open until 4 am that night and the lines were more reasonable after midnight. Dumbo still took 30-40 minutes, but meh. Worth it!

If you're staying on-site the phased closings shouldn't be a huge issue since that's the last phase. I think "closed to all guests" is very rare and tends not to last too long. I actually recommend MK's NYE, if just once, it's really... you know. Magical.
 
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CAPTAIN HOOK

Well-Known Member
Thank you both for your help!

Any other takers out there? Was last year a fluke, or the norm?

We were also there in 2008, EPCOT and MK both closed by mid morning. I believe that when you visit on NYE you take your chances - prepare for a park to be closed by late morning and if you walk in, great. If not - what a bummer
 
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David S.

Member
I've done MK on New Years Eve the last 4 years and had an AWESOME time! I got there at rope drop and had no worries whatsoever about the park closing the gates. I was able to start collecting my FPs early, so long lines at the peak of the day did not prevent me from experiencing all the attractions!

I also enjoyed seeing the Christmas parade (twice a day!), Castle Lighting show, Celebrate the Season Castle show, Christmas Wishes, and of course the Fantasy In the Sky New Year's Eve Fireworks, where Mickey and the gang count down backwards from 10 to ring in the New Year!

After the fireworks ended, the masses stormed to the exits, and I was able to kick off my New Year with rides on my favorite attractions with little to no wait, all the way up until the 2AM close!

The lack of "adult libations" has never bothered me as that's not really my scene.

I honestly can't compare the MK NYE firework show to the Epcot and Studios NYE shows because I haven't seen them. But I do prefer the more fantasy-based Wishes over Illuminations, and I get the impression that the NYE show in the Kingdom is the most Fantasy-themed of the three, so that works good for me.

I choose MK on NYE simply because it's my favorite park, and I can't imagine being anywhere else to ring in the New Year!

The one real issue was that they passed out complimentary hats and noisemakers at 2:00 or so. Thousands and thousands of people trying out the same horns at the same time... see the World Cup. Madness. I couldn't handle it.

Yes, those horns took some getting used to my first year! As did the DJs cranking up all the contemporary pop music, and talking cliched "DJ talk" over the parkwide PA system that muted all the classic music loops - and that aspect made the park feel sonically "unmagical" like "Club Todayland," rather than a world of "yesterday, tomorrow, and Fantasy". The experience certainly makes you realize how important a role music plays in setting the mood, tone, and atmosphere of the park, as the MK feels VERY different when the monotonous beats of the pop music replaces the usual music loops.

Having said that, I bet the other parks do this, too, and I am now prepared for these "out of character" audio assaults and they don't catch me by surprise anymore, so I can focus more on the aspects of the Kingdom on New Year's Eve that I do enjoy!
 
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RickEff

Active Member
Both MK and EPCOT shows are terrific!

One thing to note - you can see both shows. Magic Kingdom does their NYE fireworks shows on both the 30th and the 31st. At least they have the last couple of years. We've got our dining reservations for the 30th at MK and 31st at Epcot again this year hoping the tradition continues.

Another thing to note - getting out of any park on NYE is brutal. Be prepared to take a couple of hours getting back "home" unless you've got a resort around the Epcot World Showcase entrance. That's what we do every year and just walk back!

Epcot is VERY crowded on NYE. Find your place and stay put is the best advice I can give.
 
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devoy1701

Well-Known Member
Hi all!

My wife and I (we got engaged at WDW during Wishes! in 2008) will be taking our delayed honeymoon on a Carnival cruise out of Port Canaveral starting on January 1, 2011. We're scared of flight delays preventing us from getting to Port before the ship leaves, so we are planning on arriving to MCO on December 31.

That means that we will be in Orlando for New Year's Eve, and we are trying to plan a one-night stay on a WDW resort. This is causing logistical challenges such as getting the Magical Express to bring us back to the airport on the 1st even though we don't have a flight (can we tell them that we're going on Southwest?), and getting the Carnival bus to take us to Port Canaveral on the 1st even though our flight lands on the 31st...

But the REAL question I came to ask was this:

On average, when does the Magic Kingdom close due to capacity on the 31st? What phases occur at what times? Likewise, Epcot?

I know it's going to be hell that day, and we're likely to have a "bad" time because the lines are so long and such, but I figure the fireworks will be worth it for two reasons: 1) we got engaged during the fireworks at Disney (full circle), and 2) it's better than staying at a cheap airport hotel for New Year's...

Thanks for any and all help!!


I don't think you can get on DME without actually having a flight unless you slip the driver some extra cash (good thing they don't work for disney). They usually give you an assigned DME departure time based on what time your flight is if I understand it correctly.
 
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castevens

Member
Original Poster
I don't think you can get on DME without actually having a flight unless you slip the driver some extra cash (good thing they don't work for disney). They usually give you an assigned DME departure time based on what time your flight is if I understand it correctly.

Actually I just called Disney last night and they said it would be no problem whatsoever to use DME without a flight. They do it all the time with people traveling on Southwest, because SW is not affiliated they technically have "no flight" listed with Disney
 
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David S.

Member
Another thing to note - getting out of any park on NYE is brutal. Be prepared to take a couple of hours getting back "home" unless you've got a resort around the Epcot World Showcase entrance. That's what we do every year and just walk back!

I've never had that problem, but then again I always stay to the very end doing attractions until they all close, and then I like to stay on Main Street for at least another hour while the Emporium is still open, enjoying the Main Street lights, Castle lights, Christmas tree, and Christmas music loop (which comes back on after the DJs finally finish).

I'm able to walk right onto the next ferryboat or monorail and am back to my car in no time!
 
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