A look at how Epcot celebrated New Year’s Eve 2011

New Year’s Eve at Epcot is always a blast! This year there were four DJ parties, two fireworks shows and one enormous park-wide party! Let’s start with a highlights video:

Epcot New Year's Eve Highlights 2011-2012 - Walt Disney World

It’s a very busy day, and the space near the monorail station becomes the “Journey Grass” parking lot.

Additional grassy areas are also used for parking.

The arrow points to where 46,000 people will cross the finish line for the three races of Disney Marathon Weekend … just five days from now.

The lines for bag check.

The right half of this group is in line for Spaceship Earth. The left half is entering the park.

Opposite view.

The line for Spaceship Earth. The end of the line at this particular time extended behind this view, all the way to the garden on the south side of Project Tomorrow (the post show building).

Water flow at the fountain was very low. The usual dancing jets of water were also off. This will be explained later …

The line for Ellen’s Energy Adventure winds in front, before entering as normal on the left of the building.

The line for The Seas With Nemo and Friends also wound in front, before entering on the left of this view.

The longest wait times seen on the board at that time.

All of the fireworks platforms were placed before noon.

World Showcase is not normally this busy so early in the day.

These signs were placed near Spaceship Earth. If you were heading out of Epcot to do some park hopping, you would see the sign and reconsider your plan.

It was a warm day, and much warmer in the sun. Many guests took advantage of the shade – provided here in part by the new Monorail Peach.

Other shady park areas were used to cool down and relax a bit.

Preparing to distribute complimentary party hats and noise makers to guests.

The park immediately filled with the toots of party horns.

Much of World Showcase was marked with tape, indicating direction for guest traffic flow, medians of wide walkways, and setting up smaller walkways between fireworks viewing areas.

Fireworks viewing in the grassy lawns was enormously popular.

As the sun sets on 2011, we’re ready for a party!

The first fireworks show was a 7 p.m. Here’s how they were seen from the west grassy lawn …

… and the east grassy lawn.

The New Year’s party began immediately after fireworks. Note the lighted mouse ears!

Note the projections on Spaceship Earth.

Music from the stage was broadcast all around the fountain from these speakers. This is why the flow of the fountain is so low today — the roar of the rushing water would have drowned out some of the music from the speakers.

Fireballs jet upward at China’s dance floor.

The dragon glows over his dancers, and sometimes breathes smoke.

Another dance party electrifies Italy.

It was a constantly changing, impressive laser show.

Latin dance filled the American Gardens Theater.

A once-a-year opportunity for guests to dance on this show stage.

Cast members sometimes suspended ropes to form medians in the wide walkways.

To ease congestion, there were two backstage routes between World Showcase and Future World. This year they operated all night long, beginning with the first fireworks show. This year, the Canada-to-Imagination backstage route had a leg over to the Land pavilion.

That leg to the Land pavilion was a fantastic idea. It allowed you to quickly duck back and forth between the party at World Showcase, and shorter lines in the Land’s food court for food and beverages.

The constellation Orion joins the party, appropriately at Imagination. The three stars in the row in the middle are Orion’s belt. The rest of Orion is the two trapezoids seen here to left and right of his belt. Orion’s torso is to left, his legs to the right.

In the other backstage route, there was an opportunity to walk under Test Track.

The motion blur of the headlights of a Test Track car is the white smear in the far end of the curve.

A garden element near Epcot’s cast wardrobe building. Although backstage, Disney does theming in some places that usually only the cast members can enjoy.

Cones just like this are usually seen in this area during the full 26.2 mile marathon. In the last several years, two different starting legs begin the merge together here, at about mile 3.3 in the course.

The east-side backstage alternate route for the party ends here, at the space between China and Norway.

Spaceship Earth also joined the party, seen here from all angles.


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  1. I was there! Got there real early in the morning and stayed ALL day. The DJ dance parties were spectacular and the fireworks even more so! This was the best New Year’s Eve I’ve ever had!

  2. I was there with two of my friends. The final fireworks show at midnight was unbelievable, just unbelievable. We had a lovely dinner in France. Spent the evening getting blitzed. I hope to do the same thing for 2013…if we make it…lol