Your Guide to New Year's Eve at Disney and Universal

December 30, 2015, 2:50 PM · Who's ready for New Year's Eve?

The week between Christmas and New Year's traditionally is the busiest of the year at the Disney and Universal theme parks, and this year has not changed that pattern. Crowds have been driving average wait times to an hour (or two) across the parks, and tomorrow's crowd levels are expected to be even worse.

But you don't need to be in the parks this year to enjoy the New Year's celebrations. For those of you staying at home, Walt Disney World will be live streaming its Magic Kingdom fireworks show on the official Disney Parks Blog tomorrow evening. If you are in the Orlando area and want to see the show in person, plan to arrive at the park before 10am if you want to be certain of getting into the Magic Kingdom for the day. And even with the expanded viewing around the hub this year, you should start checking the hub by mid-afternoon to claim your space for the show.

Disney World also will present New Year's Eve fireworks at Epcot and Disney's Hollywood Studios. At Universal Studios Florida, the park will show a special midnight presentation of Universal's Cinematic Spectacular. In California, Disneyland will have its New Year's Fireworks at midnight and Disney California Adventure will show World of Color - Celebrate! at midnight, as well.

Again, plan to claim space several hours before the shows... or zig while everyone else zags and hit the other attractions in the park while thousands of other guests watch the fireworks. And if you can find a good WiFi or data connection... do both! Watch the Magic Kingdom show on your tablet or smartphone while waiting in line for other attractions in the parks.

Even though the park is not open until midnight, Universal Studios Hollywood is celebrating the New Year by lifting blackouts on its annual and seasonal passes.

On Friday, New Year's Day, we will be covering the annual Tournament of Roses Parade from Pasadena, with photos of Disneyland's 60th anniversary float in the parade. Please follow us on Twitter and on Instagram for our live coverage.

Replies (4)

December 31, 2015 at 7:36 AM · 9:30 and MK is already in Phase A
December 31, 2015 at 8:59 AM · I just checked their hotline and MK is closed. There is still availability at the other 3 parks for the time being at 10.55am EST
December 31, 2015 at 11:05 AM · I'm ready to celebrate at White Slaver Park. Are you? Just kidding.
December 31, 2015 at 1:39 PM · Anybody got that hotline number?

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