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Ultimate Guide to New Year’s Eve 2018 at Orlando’s theme parks and attractions

by Brittani Tuttle

Still need plans for something to do on New Year’s Eve in Orlando? Don’t worry, we’ve got an Ultimate Guide prepared to help you get ready for the big night!

new year's eve

Celebrate New Year’s Eve at one of the many celebrations going on at Orlando’s major theme parks and attractions.

Walt Disney World

If you’re heading to “the Most Magical Place on Earth” on New Year’s Eve, then you’ll have plenty to do. Nearly all four parks and Disney Springs will have activities, entertainment, and other offerings to celebrate the occasion.

At Magic Kingdom, guests can boogie until the end of 2018 with a pair of DJ dance parties in Tomorrowland and Frontierland, plus enjoy the Fantasy in the Sky fireworks display. Both dance parties will take place on Dec. 30-31 from 7 p.m. – midnight, and Fantasy in the Sky will light up the night on Dec. 30-31 at 6:30 p.m. and 11:50 p.m.

If your plans are taking you to Epcot for NYE, you’ll get to ring in the new year multiple times! As the clock strikes midnight in each of the World Showcase’s countries, guests will hear a festive announcement and a colorful burst of fireworks in the sky. There will also be lively dance parties in several country pavilions around the World Showcase.

Guests can also enjoy live music at the America Gardens Theatre, plus the iconic IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth New Year’s show at 11:40 p.m. This will be the final performance of this nighttime spectacular with its New Year’s end tag.

Details have yet to be released on festivities happening at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. However, guests can count on enjoying a fireworks spectacular and a midnight countdown.

new year's eve

Disney Springs will have a variety of live entertainment and delicious dining available to guests on NYE. However, there will be no fireworks displays here to celebrate the new year. Two of these events include an Epic New Year’s Eve at Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant, and the glamorous New Year’s Eve Gala at The Edison.

Guests can also enjoy special ticketed events at Walt Disney World for New Year’s Eve, like the New Year’s Eve Bash at Atlantic Dance Hall and New Year’s Eve 2018 at Flying Fish!

On Dec. 31, guests can head to the Atlantic Dance Hall at Disney’s BoardWalk to let loose and get down while waiting for 2019! Limited to guests 21 and up only, this party features a live DJ, views of the Epcot fireworks, party hats, horns, a menu of light bites, two beverage vouchers, and a champagne toast at midnight. The party runs from 8 p.m. – 2 a.m., and is $75 per person, plus tax and gratuity. To book, call (407) WDW-DINE.

If fine dining on NYE is more your style, head to Flying Fish for a multi-course, prix fixe menu inspired by Chef Tim Majoras. This special meal will be served at two seatings, starting at 5 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., respectively. The first seating is $121.75 for adults and $63.52 for children; the second seating is $153.51 for adults and $83.64 for children. To book, call (407) WDW-DINE.

new year's eve

If all of this seems a little crazy and you just want to stay home, don’t stress! We have an option for you too: the Disney Parks Blog will livestream the Fantasy in the Sky fireworks on Dec. 31 starting at 11:45 p.m. EST. Get the details here.

Be sure to visit DisneyWorld.com for more details on their New Year’s Eve offerings.

Universal Orlando

Kick off your 2019 with New Year’s Eve festivities at Universal Orlando Resort! From dance parties with your favorite characters to upscale EVE offerings at Universal CityWalk, there’s something for everyone.

On Dec. 31, Universal Studios Florida will host party zones at the Music Plaza Stage and Centra Park areas, plus offer live music, character appearances, party favors, confetti, and pyrotechnics. This celebration is included with regular theme park admission. The Music Plaza Stage zone will be open from 6:15 p.m. – 1 a.m.; the Central Park zone will be open from 8:30 p.m. – 1 a.m.

new year's eve

If you’re looking for something a little more upscale, head to Universal CityWalk for EVE. Guests ages 21 and older can head to this event to enjoy signature drinks, unlimited gourmet cuisine, and CityWalk’s six clubs featuring live bands and DJs – plus Orlando’s biggest outdoor dance floor. EVE runs from 8 p.m. – 2 a.m., and tickets are available now.

The fun continues at Universal’s on-site hotels, as all six will feature special activities for the holiday:

  • Loews Portofino Bay Hotel – Enjoy the New Year’s Eve Party on the Piazza starting at 8:30 p.m. and running through a midnight toast on the hotel’s Harbor Piazza. This event includes a DJ, face painter and balloonist, in addition to dancing and children’s crafts.
  • Hard Rock Hotel – Dine in style with the New Year’s Eve Buffet from 5-11 p.m. at The Kitchen restaurant, or rock the night away at the ROCK-in 2019! New Year’s Eve Lobby Party from 8 p.m. – 1 a.m.
  • Loews Royal Pacific Resort – Loews Royal Pacific Resort is celebrating the new year with a variety of dining offerings, including the New Year’s Eve Buffet, Jakes “Best of 2018” Beer Dinner, New Year’s Eve Dessert Buffet, Wantilan New Year’s Eve Luau, and the New Year’s Day Breakfast Buffet.
  • Loews Sapphire Falls Resort – Guests visiting Sapphire Falls can enjoy a variety of offerings, including a New Year’s Eve Buffet, New Year’s Eve Celebration, and a New Year’s Day Breakfast Buffet in Amatista Cookhouse.
  • Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort – Celebrate 2019 with Cabana Bay’s New Year’s Eve Party Spectacular. This guest-only event runs from 8 p.m. – 12:30 a.m., and features a carving dining special, balloon artists and a midnight balloon drop.
  • Universal’s Aventura Hotel – Kick off your new year in style with New Year’s Eve in Urban Pantry, or New Year’s Eve at Bar 17 Bistro with a live DJ.

Visit UniversalOrlando.com for more details on their NYE offerings.

SeaWorld Orlando

Celebrate the start of a brand-new year with SeaWorld Orlando’s New Year’s Eve festivities.

new year's eve

On Dec. 31, guests can kick off their 2019 with a spectacular musical celebration and fireworks display, plus festive entertainment throughout the park. Guests can also purchase the Christmas Show Seating Package for New Year’s Eve online now for $50 each.

This package includes one-time reserved seating at a specific time to SeaWorld’s most popular holiday shows: Clyde and Seamore’s Countdown to Christmas, O Wondrous Night, Shamu Christmas Miracles, Winter Wonderland on Ice, and the New Year’s Eve fireworks show.

Guests must arrive 15 minutes prior to each showtime, as the reserved seats will be released to the general public after that time.

To learn more, and to purchase tickets, head to SeaWorld.com/Orlando.

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

On Dec. 31, ring in the new year with music, fireworks, and plenty of thrills at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay.

Guests will be able to enjoy thrill rides in the dark to celebrate the new year, including Cobra’s Curse, Falcon’s Fury, and Cheetah Hunt. If that’s not your style, jam out to music found throughout the park instead and celebrate 2019 with a fireworks spectacular in Gwazi Park.

new year's eve

Gwazi Park opens for seating at 10 p.m. with a DJ and live music, followed by the fireworks display. As an added bonus, Busch Gardens Tampa will stay open until 1 a.m. to keep the fun going!

Admission to the park’s New Year’s Eve Celebration is included with regular admission. To learn more, head to BuschGardens.com/Tampa.

Legoland Florida Resort

On Dec. 31, guests visiting the park that’s “built for kids” can ring in 2019 with a Lego brick-drop countdown to midnight for kids (that’s 8 p.m. for adults).

new year's eve

Plus, Legoland Florida Resort will also offer a kid-focused dance party and a fireworks display, enhanced by complimentary viewing glasses that make it look as though Lego bricks are exploding in the sky! These activities are included with regular park admission.

To learn more, visit Legoland.com/Florida.

ICON Orlando 360

If you’re looking for a unique way to ring in 2019 in Central Florida, look no further! Sixteen hours of family fun await visitors at ICON Orlando 360 on New Year’s Eve.

new year's eve

Starting at 10 a.m. on Dec. 31 until 2 a.m. on Jan. 1, guests can enjoy a variety of flight packages for New Year’s Eve, including:

  • New Year’s Flight ($39.99 per person) – includes a complimentary beverage (beer, wine, or soft drink)
  • Flight with Champagne ($44.99 per person) – includes a glass of champagne
  • Private Capsule with Stocked Bar ($600 per capsule) – includes private party capsule for up to 10 guests, stocked with beer, wine, and champagne
  • Midnight Fireworks Flight ($1,500 per capsule) – VIP package includes concierge escort upon arrival; midnight access to a private capsule with stocked bar; two full rotations to experience 360-degree views of Central Florida fireworks; three commemorative photo books and free digital phots

Additional New Year’s festivities at ICON Orlando include:

  • Wheel light show and traditional New Year’s countdown
  • All-new “Best of 2018” music playlist in each flight capsule
  • Face painting and balloon artists from 1-7 p.m.
  • Live music at Tin Roof

To learn more, and to purchase tickets, visit IconOrlando.com/NewYears.

How will you celebrate?

Orlando’s theme parks and attractions are full of activities and events to help you ring in 2019 in style. Be sure to make reservations or buy tickets in advance, and get to the parks early to make celebrating the New Year easy.

Stay tuned to our websiteTwitter, Instagram, and Facebook for all our New Year’s Eve coverage.

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