What You Can Expect at Disney World on New Year’s Eve

Can you believe that we are just a few weeks away from the end of 2021? Now is the time to start thinking about how you want to spend New Year’s Eve to ring in 2022!

Fireworks in Magic Kingdom 2018 ©Disney

If you’re considering a trip to Disney World on December 31st, you may be wondering what the parks will look like this year. With no major celebrations happening last year due to the health and safety measures in place at the time, this is the first time since 2019 into 2020 that we’ll see any significant New Year’s celebration!

Park Hours & Park Pass Reservation Availability

Here’s what Disney World’s park hours look like for December 31st, 2021:

  • Magic Kingdom: 9AM-1AM
  • EPCOT: 9:30AM-1AM
  • Disney’s Hollywood Studios: 8:30AM-12AM
  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom: 8AM-8PM

Three of those four parks are open to midnight, which means that you have a choice of where you’d like to celebrate! Although, if you haven’t already made a Disney Park Pass reservation for Friday, you may be out of luck — all four theme parks are completely booked for resort guests, guests with tickets, and Annual Passholders.

Magic Kingdom at night.

What could crowds look like?

One of the wildcards this year is how big the crowd sizes will be in the parks on New Year’s Eve. In the past, New Year’s Eve was one of the busiest days of the entire year at Disney World, with guests camping out hours before midnight for that picture-perfect fireworks viewing spot.

New Year’s Eve Fireworks at Magic Kingdom | 2019

Last year there wasn’t much of a midnight celebration at all to discourage crowds in a time when social distancing was still a driving factor in places where large crowds could gather.

New Year’s Eve crowds on December 31st, 2020

We’ve seen pretty big crowds the week leading up to New Year’s Eve so far, which has definitely earned the days following Christmas the title of “Busiest Week of the Year.” Many guests are out of school and off of work for a few days, so it makes sense that they’d want to take a vacation during that time.

Crowds on December 27th, 2021

We’ve also seen a trend of very high wait times. So, if those two things continue, expect to have a particularly packed New Year’s Eve in Disney World. With all the park passes booked up, it’s going to get very “people-y” up in here.

Expect big crowds this week.

What kind of entertainment can we expect?

Good news for you if you’re heading to the parks on December 31st — Disney World has a stellar lineup of New Year’s Eve offerings to enjoy! First of all, Magic Kingdom guests can celebrate with the Fantasy in the Sky Fireworks Show at 11:50PM. Disney Enchantment will start at 6:30PM.

Fireworks Crowds in 2021! Will New Year’s Eve look similar?

Over at EPCOT, there will be DJ Dance Parties around World Showcase, along with Harmonious at 6:30PM. At 11:54PM, the “Cheers to the New Year: A Sparkling Celebration” will begin, counting down guests to midnight.

Harmonious at EPCOT

And at Hollywood Studios, a DJ Dance Party will take place in front of the Chinese Theater. You can dance your way into the new year! Wonderful World of Animation will start at 9PM like usual.

Who’s ready to dance?!

What will Disney offer guests on New Year’s Eve?

In addition to fireworks, what else could we expect to see on New Year’s Eve? Last year, Disney World offered a variety of limited-time treats to enjoy in the parks and resorts, including cakes…

Stroke of Midnight Cake at Sunshine Seasons

…midnight-themed cupcakes…

New Year’s Cupcake at Capt. Cook’s

…as well as a sparkling wine package for guests to enjoy as they ring in the new year at their hotel. So even if you aren’t into those massive fireworks crowds, there should still be fun little ways to celebrate the New Year around Disney World.

New Year’s Celebration Package

Be on the lookout for New Year’s merchandise as well, which we’ve already started to spot around the parks.

2022 Merchandise has already arrived in Disney World

If you are planning on visiting Disney World on New Year’s Eve, it may be a good idea to assume that crowds will look similar to years past. That means arriving early so you can enjoy the park without the potential risk of that park reaching capacity. As always, pack your patience and remember to extend a healthy dose of kindness to Cast Members and fellow guests who want to enjoy the New Year as much as you do!

New Year’s Eve can be a stressful day in Disney World, but spreading kindness goes a long way!

We’ll continue to keep an eye on all things New Year’s Eve in the weeks to come, and we’ll share with you the latest updates so you can be prepared to ring in 2022 like a pro!

Click here for a list of the holiday treats at Disney World this year.

Are you planning on visiting Disney World on New Year’s Eve? Let us know in the comments!

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