New Year’s Adventures at WDW by Jenn Romano

Every year, we visit one of the Walt Disney World parks for New Year’s Eve, and this year was no different. Miraculously, I was not working this year on New Year’s Eve, so we had the opportunity to brave the crowds and visit several of the parks. Our adventures began on December 30th with a trip to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. We saw the Frozen show, Fantasmic, and we ate dinner at Momma Melrose’s. Unfortunately, it rained the entire evening. Honestly, the weather was miserable, but this terrible weather worked to our advantage.

Being insane, we left DHS, and then we journeyed to the Magic Kingdom in order to see the fireworks. Many people do not realize this, but Magic Kingdom offers the New Year’s fireworks on December 30th and the 31st. The earlier show is much less crowded, and it is the exact same fireworks. Due to the horrible weather, Magic Kingdom was not terribly crowded. This was wonderful for us because we strolled in and found a prime viewing spot right in the middle of Main Street! The fireworks were amazing because the show happens both behind the train station and behind Cinderella Castle. There are also perimeter fireworks during the New Year’s countdown. This is a serious pyrotechnics show, and the rain did not put a damper on any part of the show. As soon as the fireworks ended, we booked it to the monorail in order to return to the TTC. We left the Magic Kingdom at 12:05 am, and we arrived home by 12:25 am. This was pretty impressive given that the Magic Kingdom had been enduring phase closures throughout the day.

On New Year’s Eve, we started off with breakfast at Kona Café, which was delicious. Parking restrictions were in effect, so we could not leave our car at the Polynesian. World Drive was a parking lot, so we couldn’t even get into Magic Kingdom parking. We knew that we wanted to end up at Animal Kingdom later that evening, so we parked at Animal Kingdom and took a bus to Magic Kingdom. There were actually guest relations cast members waiting to check ticket types at the bus stop because Magic Kingdom was in Phase closures again that morning. This means that guests with certain types of tickets were not admitted into the Magic Kingdom due to capacity issues. We have annual passes, so we didn’t have any trouble. After a lengthy bus ride, we finally made it to the Magic Kingdom. We used our three fastpasses, and then we left. It was just too crowded, and that large of a crowd does not leave a lot of room for enjoyable park touring.

After catching a bus back to Animal Kingdom, we enjoyed the Festival of the Lion King and It’s Tough to be a Bug. We then visited the Animal Kingdom Lodge for our dinner reservations at Sanaa. Dinner was delicious, and then we drove back home. I had work the next day, and we knew that the parks would be uncomfortably crowded by the time we arrived at any of them. All in all, we had a really successful New Year’s Eve at WDW. However, we planned pretty much every second of these two days so that we would not have to endure the enormous crowds that were in each of the parks. You can definitely have fun on New Year’s at Disney World, but you need a really good plan, realistic expectations, and bottomless amounts of patience! Until next time, have a magical day, and keep moving forward!

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