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Vote of the Week: Where's the best place for New Year's Eve in the Orlando area theme parks?

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Published: December 27, 2013 at 11:38 AM

What's your favorite thing to do at the Orlando theme parks on New Year's Eve?

Fireworks

If the week between Christmas and New Year's is the busiest of the year at the nation's year-round theme parks, New Year's Eve in Orlando is the most crowded moment of this most crowded week. You'll find midnight celebrations at many of the top parks, and visitors claiming their spaces for the event beginning in the late afternoon.

But which event to choose?

Let's take a look at the big options. Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom will launch its Fantasy in the Sky fireworks at a few minutes before midnight, with a countdown to the big midnight finale. Pyro's the attraction over at Epcot, too, where a New Year's Countdown Fireworks celebration surrounds the World Showcase lagoon. To make way for the midnight extravaganzas, both parks will push their traditional evening entertainment up to earlier start times: 7pm for the Main Street Electrical Parade and 8:30pm for the Holiday Wishes fireworks at the Magic Kingdom, and 6:30pm for Illuminations at Epcot.

Universal Studios Florida will celebrate the New Year with a special showing of Universal's Cinematic Spectacular at midnight. Meanwhile, CityWalk will be hosting a hard-ticket party with food, drinks and dancing at several of CityWalk's clubs.

Our final option is SeaWorld Orlando, which will be hosting another big fireworks celebration, along with entertainment throughout the evening.

Where's your go-to destination for New Year's Eve in the parks? Let's break down the pros and cons of each event, in the comments. And, Orlando locals, we'd love to hear from you some additional options for where to celebrate the new year.


Have a great time in the parks, or wherever you are this holiday week. And thank you, as always, for being part of the Theme Park Insider community.

Readers' Opinions

From 209.156.160.90 on December 27, 2013 at 12:25 PM
A couple of years ago we tried Epcot, but the drunken revelry was too much for us so (thanks to having APs that get us in even when gates are closed) we moved over to MK for what could be the greatest firework display I've ever seen.

We enjoyed it so much we are going back this year!

From TH Creative on December 27, 2013 at 3:02 PM
Absolutely EPCOT. Largest of the parks so the crowds spread out. Plenty of entertainment (DJs in Italy, China and in Futureworld last time we went). Great fireworks.
From 98.21.96.213 on December 27, 2013 at 9:37 PM
Why is Disney's Hollywood Studios not an option? I went there one year for New Years Eve and I thought they had a great fireworks display and it was a fun park to be in that night. The fact that the fireworks are kind of overhead there makes me think I'd like it better than Epcot (since theirs are over water and you have to look out toward them and others can stand in the way a little more if it's like the nightly fireworks there).
From Anthony Murphy on December 28, 2013 at 11:05 AM
I picked EPCOT for one reason (I have been in all three parks for NYE):

Size of Sidewalk- The best at EPCOT

From TH Creative on December 28, 2013 at 1:41 PM
Aye-Em NAILS IT!
From Anon Mouse on December 30, 2013 at 11:37 AM
I went to EPCOT many years ago. It turned out to be a very good choice. There is no bad viewing spot for the lagoon show. They gave away excellent hats and noise makers. I highly advise getting a restaurant reservation. The evening went without a hitch. The vast amount of space around the lagoon is much better than crowding around the castle at the Magic Kingdom. Exiting the park wasn't so hard either.

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