Category Archives: Disney Holidays

New Year’s Eve Eve in Magic Kingdom

When I was planning my family’s New Year’s trip to Walt Disney World, I faced a real dilemma. How should we spend New Year’s Eve? Magic Kingdom is my favorite park, and my heart was pulling me there to ring in 2014. But my head was telling me that it would be too crowded for my family, transportation back to Beach Club would be a nightmare, and my husband and I wouldn’t be able to enjoy an adult toast to the New Year.

The solution became clear when I confirmed that Magic Kingdom would once again present Festival in the Sky, their New Year’s Eve fireworks complete with a countdown on December 30th as well as the 31st. Extra Magic Hours at Magic Kingdom until 3:00am that night sealed the deal!

Our day was filled with pixie dust from a late lunch at Be Our Guest (deserving of its own review in a separate post) to an unexpected meet up with friends we hadn’t seen in a decade. Thanks to Fast Pass+, we were able to enjoy our favorite attractions without long lines even on that busy day.

Watching Holiday Wishes with my family, I reflected on the joy and love of the season and got a bit emotional.

But the true highlight was watching Fantasy in the Sky from Fantasyland. As the fireworks surrounded me, soaring and spiraling into the clear, night sky, I felt exhilaration and hope for a year of dreams coming true. It was a day early but it’s never too soon to chase your dreams.



Perfect Timing on New Year’s Eve in Epcot

My family vacationed at Walt Disney World from December 30, 2013 -January 3, 2014. There is so much to share about our magical trip, I hardly know where to start. My brain is buzzing while my fingers are frozen on the keyboard! So let me begin in the middle of our trip with a highlight from New Year’s Eve!

We arrived in Epcot at about 6pm and used a backstage walkway that was open to walk over to Future World. My 10-year-old son gets very anxious inching through crowds, so these walkways were a lifesaver!  I had previously booked Fast Pass+ for our favorite Epcot attractions, Soarin’, Test Track, and Spaceship Earth. We really enjoy Soarin’, but The Land (the pavilion housing Soarin’) can get very busy on any given day at Epcot. I was concerned that my son would be uncomfortable getting through the crowds inside, so we chose to skip it this trip. Instead, we headed straight for Test Track and breezed past the 200 minute wait in the Standby Line with our Fast Passes.

My son designed a killer car for us, while my daughter and husband worked on their own creation. We were ready to battle it out for capability, efficiency, responsiveness, and power. As we sped outside, our hearts racing with excitement, we heard the first explosions and saw the starbursts of fireworks from the 6:30pm display of Illuminations! I thought my heart would burst with the sheer joy of that moment. I’m not sure if I laughed or cried (probably both), as we continued to race around the track as the fireworks rang through the sky. We exited Test Track in awe of the pixie dust that had just rained down upon us, marveling at our perfect timing,  and eager for the next steps of our magical evening.

Magical Countdown to 2014! Part 3 Downtown Disney

Decisions, decisions! Where to spend New Year’s Eve in Walt Disney World? In previous posts, I described New Year’s Eve events at Hollywood Studios and Magic Kingdom. In this post, I’ll fill you in on some great options at Downtown Disney.

If you have teens or tweens, Disney Quest’s New Year’s Eve Party may be the ticket for your family! Your ticket includes dinner,  unlimited video games and all the DQ attractions. There will also be character meet and greets,  dancing and a confetti drop at Midnight! Tickets are $55 in advance which is a great deal for dinner and full night of entertainment!

If you are looking for a more upscale, adult oriented experience, Paradiso 37 is hosting a party with reserved seating,  live entertainment, a five course dinner, bottle of champagne and a house level open bar for $180 per person.

Raglan Road is celebrating 2014 with champagne toasts at 7pm and again at Midnight with live Irish music and the Raglan Road Irish Dancers throughout the night.

Raglan Road

Have you seen Cirque Du Soleil La Nouba? As of today, tickets are still available for the 6pm and 9pm performances on December 31st.  La Nouba is a mesmerizing and beautiful show that will make for an unforgettable New Year’s Eve.

Downtown Disney is sure to be a fun spot to celebrate! Which of these options will you choose for your countdown to 2014? Hurry and make your plans now before it’s too late. Let me know how you plan to spend New Year’s Eve!

Magical Countdown to 2014! Part 2

New Year’s Eve is 10 days away, and I’ll be celebrating in Walt Disney World! In Part 1, I summarized events at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  Today, I’ll give you the details of New Year’s Eve happenings at Magic Kingdom!

Magic Kingdom offers the most family-friendly environment for your 2014 countdown as no alcohol is served in the park (except for guests lucky enough to dine at Be Our Guest for dinner). The day is packed with character greetings, shows and special events marking the holiday season! Highlights include:


Click here for a complete New Year’s Eve schedule at                          Magic Kingdom!

Remember that Magic Kingdom is the most popular park for New Year’s Eve and the park may close. TouringPlans has a great description of how Disney implements phased closures of the parks:

Your best bet is to stay at a Disney Resort, arrive early and settle in to enjoy the festivities.  This would be a great day to prebook attractions using FastPass+ as lines will be long throughout the day and night.

Stay tuned for highlights of New Year’s events at Epcot and Downtown Disney! Choices, choices. Where will you spend New Year’s Eve? I’ll write about my family’s countdown plans soon too!

Magical Countdown to 2014! Part 1

Are you ready for the most magical countdown of the year? Join me as I review all the possibilities to spend your New Year’s Eve at Walt Disney World. Over the next several posts, I will share NYE happenings throughout Disney. I’ll then share how I will ring in 2014 with my family and post frequent updates from the parks!

In true Disney World style, there really is “more to do than can ever be done” on New Year’s Eve. Downtown Disney, Hollywood Studios, Magic Kingdom and Epcot all have exciting options as do several of the Disney Resorts.

Behind Door #1: Disney’s Hollywood Studios! Hollywood Studios will be open from 8am to Midnight with Extra Magic Hours for resort guests until 3am. The evening will feautre:

  •  Showings of Fantasmic! Nighttime Spectacular
    at 6:30pm, 8pm, and 10pm.
  •  The Comedy Warehouse Holiday Special (a family-friendly, improv comedy show) will also be running throughout the afternoon and evening.
  • Mickey’s Christmas Carol throughout the day
  • Hat & Horn Distribution beginning at 6pm at the Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show
  • Disney Junior Dance Party from 8:30pm to 11:30pm
  • DJ Elliott at the Sorcerer Hat State from 6pm to Midinght
  • Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights 
  • Mulch, Sweat & Shears at the Sorcerer Hat Stage at 8:30pm, 9:30, 10:30 and 11:25
  •  New Years Eve Fireworks starting at 11:50pm

Hollywood Studios NYE

Doesn’t it sound amazing? But wait! There’s more! What’s behind Door #2? Read my next post to find out!