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A look at New Year’s Eve preparations at Epcot, and Magic Kingdom celebrating twice

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Here’s a quick photo update to show what New Year’s Eve preparations were in progress on Dec. 30, 2011. The Magic Kingdom celebrates New Year’s two nights in a row. Above is the stage in China at Epcot, prepared for the party.


The party stage is where the acrobats normally perform, so they move indoors, in the waiting area for the Circlevision movie. The doors to the theater opened just prior to this performance, and few entered. Nearly everyone was there to see the performers.

Pretty close to the ceiling!


A stage has also been set up in Italy.


This year, additional fireworks viewing is also available on the east side of the promenade connecting Future World and World Showcase.

Last year, only this side had the additional viewing and families could spread out a blanket here and have plenty of space. It was a great idea.


A third DJ stage is here at the fountains.

Note that additional character lighting — nightclub lighting — has been placed on the roof.


This character lighting has also changed. It had been a snowflake pattern, to match the Christmas entrance garden.


Strollers prepped for a big day!


We now jump over to Magic Kingdom, where additional bus transportation is available. The buses, ferries and monorail trains were loaded with amazing efficiency. There were practically no lines on Friday at the Transportation and Ticket Center, even with the increased number of guests.


Additional bag checks were also at the turnstiles.


Here’s the current state of the re-do of one of the original tents of what is now Storybook Circus.

The current state of the tent over the new queue attraction for Dumbo. Note the yellow stripes.


And now we jump ahead to nighttime at the Fantasyland expansion.

Work lights were blazing well into the night, as Earth moving equipment continued to shape Storybook Circus.

Note the golden top of the new clock-wise Dumbo glistening in the work lights.


Here’a part of the entertainment schedule. Note that the Friday and Saturday times are identical. It’s like celebrating New Year’s Eve two nights in a row! A difference is that complimentary party hats and noise makers are only distributed to guests on Saturday. But both nights are jam-packed with some of the best and most favorite Disney theme park entertainment. (Also notice the misspelling of Fantasy.)


The Main Street Electrical Parade. Isn’t this a great train to have under the Christmas tree?


Big Ben has been trimmed, due to the height limits of the Christmas garlands.

Just enough clearance.


During the parade, a backstage bypass to Tomorrowland opens. It’s a rare opportunity to step backstage. No photos are allowed backstage, of course.


To help guest flow, cast members with orange flashlights form medians in some of the tight areas of the park. Guests need to stay to the right, as if driving on a road. The system works fantastic. It’s very easy to get through these spaces.

Some of the areas have arrows to indicate the flow.


The regular nightly fireworks show, Holiday Wishes, at its regular time.


The party begins immediately after the regular fireworks show. The DJ takes over the Magic Kingdom’s sound system, and nightclub music fills the park.

The DJ booth and light show were quietly installed on the castle stage, just before the first performance of Magic Memories and You started.


A dancing group quickly formed in the castle forecourt.


While the DJ light show glows on the castle stage, it’s snowing on Main Street USA – to club music!

You can see people dancing to the music as they walk up and down Main Street USA.


The statue of Walt looks out on the party. “To all who come to this happy place, welcome!”


Meanwhile, out on the Seven Seas Lagoon, a regatta of chartered boats is positioning to watch the midnight fireworks show.

And the Fantasy in the Sky fireworks begin at 11:50 p.m. Really, the best place to see the show is within the park. This view, however, captures the enormity of the show, which completely surrounds the Magic Kingdom. To see more of the fireworks, watch the video below.

Magic Kingdom New Years 2011-2012 fireworks grand finale - Fantasy in the Sky
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