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Photo TR: Celebrating New Year's Eve(s) at Walt Disney World

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Having lived in Orlando my entire life, it is surprisingly that it had taken me so long to get a chance to experience New Year's Eve at Walt Disney World. It had been on my bucket list for quite some time, but for one reason or another I'd never gotten around to getting myself to the parks to experience the insanely awesome extras that guests get to enjoy on December 30th and on the 31st. This year, that changed as I finally had the opportunity to visit the Magic Kingdom for the 30th and Epcot for the 31st.


The following is an account of what took place during these visits.




This is THE best indicator of crowd levels at the park.


I love that they added a DJ setup in Frontierland on the bridge between Frontierland and Adventureland!


There were three fireworks shows on December 30th, 2013. Two showings of Holiday Wishes and one showing of Fantasy in the Sky.


If you've never had the chance before, give viewing the fireworks from behind Cinderella Castle a try. It is an awesome experience!


You're far closer to the larger fireworks that are launched from behind New Fantasyland.


The line for the Tomorrowland Transit Authority Peoplemover ran all the way towards the back of the Stitch's Supersonic Celebration/Club 626/Rocket Tower Plaza Stage.


Tomorrow's New Year's Eve celebration at Epcot is just a dream away!


Sat in the front row of Carousel of Progress for the first time in forever... A friend pointed out something I've never noticed before: there is a cat in each scene. Fun facts from New Year's Eve Eve.


The wait time for the Monster's Inc. Laugh Floor was minimal, which for me was a great opportunity to enjoy one of my favorite attractions in Tomorrowland.


Staked out a good spot to see Fantasy in the Sky, the special New Year's Eve fireworks at Magic Kingdom.


In case you didn't know, Magic Kingdom almost always does a showing of their specialty fireworks shows (New Year's Eve and Fourth of July specifically) the night before it is supposed to be shown.




Had a flashback to Magic, Music and Mayhem from the much-missed Pirate and Princess Party, with the castle being fully engulfed in smoke.


Castle go bye-bye?


The New Year's Eve fireworks show Fantasy in the Sky also features the 360 degree perimeter fireworks.


This night is a carousel of color!


Pyro burst!


So much COLOR!


After the fireworks, the DJ took control of the castle forecourt for a dance party with the mixed music playing throughout the park.





It was a cold winter's night, so we huddled around the table for warmth.


Following my adventures in the Magic Kingdom the night before, I ventured to Epcot to experience the New Year's Eve celebrations that I'd long heard about as being the best theme park celebration in town.


Nothing says Happy New Year like one last viewing of Captain EO for the year!





Spaceship Earth is being derezzed!




They had an awesome DJ setup on the Fountain of Nations stage near the front of the park.


Crowds were wild around here!


Some tip board food for thought to illustrate how the wait times were looking like earlier in the evening.


A wait for Ellen's Energy Adventure.


Earlier in the day Test Track broke a wait time of over 300 minutes.




For reference.


Just to give you an idea of how that 200 minute wait looked...


In case you were looking to drop that wait time by 60 minutes.


When wait times are high, I resort to the go-to's time-passers...


This whole night felt like a dream sequence.


The Earth Globe from Illuminations: Reflections of Earth remained in the World Showcase lagoon throughout the evening with an active clock counting down to the New Year.




Epcot also hosts a number of DJ nightclub setups throughout World Showcase that appeal to a wide variety of musical tastes. China's played electronic and dance music.


The dragon even breathes CO2! Flashback to Mannequins, anyone?




Italy's DJ setup was my favorite, also playing trance music (much of which I actually recognized) with an awesome laser package playing along.


Over in the America Gardens Theatre there was a Latin dance music setup with guests actually allowed to dance on the stage!


Time for the main event!


The evening's fireworks started with a normal showing of Illuminations: Reflections of Earth, my favorite fireworks show on the planet!


Normal finale...


The New Year's Eve tag started with fireworks launch from each of the World Showcase countries in the order in which they had already started celebrating the coming of the New Year around the globe.


It was really cool to see fireworks come from so many different places around World Showcase.


It was unlike any Epcot fireworks show I'd ever seen!


Really loving this!




Next the World Showcase became a countdown clock as each of the World Showcase countries launched off a fireworks package around the lagoon...


We were also treated to a special bonus from our view in Italy as Fantasy in the Sky was playing in the Magic Kingdom.

Edited by jedimaster1227
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With the round the globe fireworks out of the way, it was time to focus our attention back on the center of World Showcase lagoon.


Time for the big blasts!


Looks great!


Starting to get intense!






It wouldn't be a special tag without fireworks that create shapes!








The finale pyro burst, like the ones I'd experienced during the Epcot 25th anniversary and 30th anniversary fireworks tags, was so powerful you could feel the force of the explosions in the air. Simply an awesome conclusion to an awesome show!


After the fireworks were over we were treated to a little sendoff by the Earth Globe.


It wished us a Happy New Year as we started to make our way out...


We ended the night moving through this, but it was well worth it for such an amazing experience!

Edited by jedimaster1227
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^ Nope. No additional ticket, just super-crowded.


Great photos. Spent NYE myself at Hollywood Studios this year, and the place wasn't nearly as crowded. Was at EPCOT last year, and dare I say I may have enjoyed this year over last year. I'll post some photos later.


OP, you mind if I add my photos to this thread?

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^Knowing me, I would sit and wait it out, until it was practically empty, then be

one of The Last People in the Park, lol. I would of course, be in a hotel on site,

so no big deal.

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That looks insane. I'd be tempted to do this for the awesome fireworks, but the amount of people would likely annoy me. So I'm glad you went and took photos for the rest of us!





Was thinking the same thing. Looks amazing, but the crowds look crazy.


Thanks for sharing! Disney's fireworks look incredible.

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^ Nope. No additional ticket, just super-crowded.


Great photos. Spent NYE myself at Hollywood Studios this year, and the place wasn't nearly as crowded. Was at EPCOT last year, and dare I say I may have enjoyed this year over last year. I'll post some photos later.


OP, you mind if I add my photos to this thread?

I was there as well and can attest to this. They also missed midnight by about 2 minutes with the fireworks. Someone must not have been paying attention because Mulch, Sweat and Shears played right on through without even acknowledging. Everyone was looking at their phones for the time so people just started randomly celebrating and Epcot's fireworks went off in the background. It was pretty hilarious.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Thanks everyone for the great response! This was definitely an experience I'd recommend to any park fan, let alone any Disney Parks fan! You just have to go into it knowing well that the crowd levels will be significantly higher than normal!

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