It’s hard to believe this year is almost over, which also means it’s time plan your Dec. 31, 2018 celebrations. If you’re looking to celebrate New Year’s Eve at Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort, you’ll want to read this list. Side note: You can make reservations for many of the following events, so you better book ASAP! With that, here’s how you can celebrate the end of 2018 and ring in 2019 at the happiest places on earth.
Walt Disney World
-New Year’s Celebration Dance Parties
Frontierland and Tomorrowland will throw dance parties, where you can either dance to “toe-tappin’ tunes” or “futuristic beats,” respectively. The parties will be thrown on Dec. 30 and Dec. 31 from 7 p.m. to midnight.
-Fantasy in the Sky Fireworks
On Dec. 30 and Dec. 31, you can ring in the New Year with this fireworks spectacular at either 6:30 p.m. or 11:50 p.m. on both evenings.
-Live Stream Fireworks
If you can’t make it to Magic Kingdom in person, you can live stream the fireworks online at the Disney Parks Blog on Dec. 31 at 11:45 p.m EST!
-Celebrations Around the World Showcase
There will be a variety of events around the World Showcase at several of the pavilions, including “lively dance parties.” PLUS, an announcement and fireworks will go off every time it turns midnight on Dec. 31 in each respective country located in the World Showcase.
-New Year’s Eve Dinner at the World ShowPlace Pavilion
On Dec. 31, you can enjoy a custom New Year’s Eve buffet with a pre-set menu at the World ShowPlace Events Pavilion located between the Canada and the United Kingdom pavilions. The buffet includes a soup and salad station, all kinds of entrees, like seafood mac and cheese with butter-toasted panko. There is also kid-friendly choices, including chicken fritters. Of course, dessert is also featured and the snow-dusted hazelnut-stuffed chocolate Bundt cakes sound like a top choice. There will even be classic Disney tunes playing and fun photo ops!
The buffet runs from 4 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. and costs $72.90 per adult and $44.38 per child (tax and gratuity included in both prices). The Disney Dining plan is accepted (two table-service meals are required per person), and Epcot admission is not included the price. To make reservations call Disney Dining (407-939-3463).
–Dine At Monsieur Paul
This sounds like a really special way to celebrate the end of 2018. If you weren’t aware (I just learned this myself, actually), there is a restaurant located above Les Chefs de France in the France Pavilion at Epcot! This particular signature dining restaurant that was recently refurbished is called Monsieur Paul (previously known as Bistro de Paris) and you can have a New Year’s Eve meal at the location. On Dec. 31, Chef Paul Bocuse is offering a special NYE lunch and dinner menu (seatings run as follows: 12 p.m., 12:30 p.m., 2:00 p.m., 2:30 p.m., 4 p.m., 6 p.m., and 6:30 p.m.)
For lunch, you can choose from braised ribs with bordelaise sauce, roasted halibut with a beurre blanc sauce, roast turkey and more. For dinner, you can have fish courses that include roasted black bass with a lobster mousse and poached halibut served with seared scallops in a champagne sauce. There is also have meat courses featuring roasted venison loin and quail stuffed with truffles. Both lunch and dinner also have a special New Year’s Eve dessert. You can make your reservation online or by calling 407-939-3463 and you must pay in full at the time of booking: $110.81 per guest (tax and gratuity included).
-La Hacienda de San Angel
If you’d like to ring in the New Year with some Mexican cuisine, you should book reservations at La Hacienda de San Angel, located in Epcot’s Mexico Pavilion. On Dec. 31 from 9:30 p.m. to 1 a.m., the restaurant is serving a five-course, prix fixe dinner. Not only will you get a “welcome margarita,” but you will also enjoy a tequila pairing with appetizers and a glass of wine to complement the Surf and Turf main course. The event costs $280.13/adult and $73.54/child (tax and gratuity included in both prices). To make reservations, just call 407-939-3463.
-Get Into The Spirit With Live Music
Be sure head to the America Gardens Theatre on Dec. 31 for live music!
–Fireworks, Of Course
You can also catch the 11:40 p.m. IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth show, which will be followed by a countdown to 2019 and even a special New Year’s Eve display on Dec. 31.
If you want to visit Hollywood Studios on New Year’s Eve, you can celebrate with a midnight countdown and fireworks spectacular. The official Disney World website also says to “Stay tuned for more details!” regarding Hollywood Studios’ NYE celebration. Once or if any more details are announced, I will be sure to update you.
-Live Entertainment & Food
Disney Springs is another option for when the clock strikes midnight on the special holiday, as it offers a variety of dining and entertainment options. That said, there will not be any fireworks at Disney Springs. Even though fireworks won’t be set off, there will be plenty of live musicians and DJ dance parties. Plus, there’s a range of food and beverages to enjoy. Special New Year’s Eve menus may also be offered at certain restaurants.
For those in search of a legit NYE party, you’ll want to head on over to The Edison. According to the Patina Restaurant Group, you can get the party started when The Edison’s doors open at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 31. You must be 21 to attend the event, which also celebrates the establishment’s one-year anniversary until midnight. Tickets are $150/person, which includes tray-passed hors d’oeuvres, live-action food stations, and beer, wine, and premium spirits. Coffee, dessert, and a midnight toast will also be offered.
Disney’s Boardwalk Resort
-Atlantic Dance Hall
From 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Dec. 31, anyone 21 and over can head over to the Atlantic Dance Hall, which is known for playing hits from the ’80s, ’90s, and today. The event costs $75/person (tax and gratuity not included). The hall will have a live video DJ and it sounds like the perfect place to dance the night away. You’ll also have great views of the Epcot fireworks and be provided party hats, horns, two beverage vouchers, and a champagne toast at midnight. There will also be a “light-bite menu” featuring:
- Assorted antipasto and charcuterie
- Late-night dip station: raw vegetables, chips and salsa, pretzel bites, assorted flatbreads, and more
- Small bites, including cheeseburger spring rolls, pork pot stickers, and vegetable samosa
- A create-your-own slider and taco bar
- A selection of desserts like mini cupcakes and macaroons
To make reservations, call 407-939-3463.
Also at the Boardwalk, Flying Fish is offering a multi-course, prix fixe menu from Chef Tim Majoras on Dec. 31. There are two seatings with the 1st Seating from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and costs $121.57/adult and $63.52/child (tax and gratuity included for both). The 2nd Seating is from 8:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. and costs $153.51/adult and $83.64/child (tax and gratuity included for both). The 2nd Seating also includes a Sustainable Seafood Tower and Intermezzo. For reservations, call 407-939-3463.
Here is the menu:
- Balyk Cut Arctic Char Canape: Caper Berry, Cherry Bomb Radish, Brioche, Sea Trout Roe (Modification for Vegetarian without Arctic Char)
- Sustainable Seafood Tower (2nd Seating Only)
- Aged Cognac Lobster Bisque: Carabinero Prawn, Winter Truffles, Fleur de Sel
- Hand Carved Yellowfin Ahi Tuna Crudo: Provençial Herbs, Meyer Lemon, Tapanade, Mustard Frills
- Painted Huron Lettuces:Grana Padono Crisp, Fire Roasted Boquerones
- Gallete of Dungeness Crab: Shrimp Mousse, Saffron Spiced Vegetable Julienne
- Oak Grilled Cool Water Lobster: Celeriac Pillow, Root Crop Brunoise, Cultured Butter
- Marlborough Sound’s Ora Salmon: Country Lentils, Chervil Fume, Peruvian Peppers
- Snake River Wagyu Filet Mignon: Foraged Exotic Mushrooms, Golden Potato Gratinee, Veal Demi Glace
- Wild Alaskan King Blue Crab: Holland Asparagus, Cara Cara Orange Sauce
- Chilean Sea Bass: Fricassee of Vita le Palma Shrimp, Bomba Arroz
INTERMEZZO (2nd Seating Only)
- Cocoa Breach: Chocolate Hazelnut Cake, Warm Ganache
- Florida Sunset: Vanilla Custard, Lemon Broth, Segmented Fruits, White Chocolate
Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground
Dessert, beer, wine, cheese, and fruit? Yes, please. You can enjoy all of the previously mentioned at the Fort Wilderness Beach Dessert Party on Dec. 31 from 10 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. at Clementine’s Beach, all while watching the Magic Kingdom fireworks! The special experience costs $99/adult and $59/child (ages 3 to 9) minus tax; gratuity not included or required. You can make reservations online or by calling 407-939-3463.
Disney’s Contemporary Resort
-Disney Countdown to Midnight: A New Year’s Eve Celebration
This all-inclusive event just might be what you’re looking for on Dec. 31. It is definitely an all-out experience and will help you ring in 2019 in style. The event is held at in the Fantasia Ballroom at Contemporary’s Convention Center, begins at 8 p.m. and ends at 12:15 a.m., and costs $275/person (tax and gratuity included). There will be dancing, an interactive DJ, the New Year’s Eve Bash Band, food, and beverages. Speaking of food, you’ll be able to enjoy “cheftainment” from chefs behind animated shadowboxes. You can also try yummy dishes from California Grill, Flying Fish Cafe, Jiko — The Cooking Place, and Narcoossee’s. You can even watch Magic Kingdom’s fireworks spectacular from the Porte Cochère and even take pictures with photo ops and backdrops.
You can make reservations online or call 407-939-3463. Note: Tables are assigned and multiple parties will be seated together. If you want to sit with another party attending, be sure to make note of that when booking your reservation and Disney will try to accommodate your request.
There is also a dress code for the event:
- Men: Dress pants or slacks with a collared shirt.
- Women: Dresses, skirts, pants, and blouses.
- Jeans may also be worn if in good condition (no holes).
- Not Permitted: Tank tops, swimsuits, swimsuit cover-ups, shorts, hats, cut-offs, torn clothing, T-shirts with offensive language and/or graphics, flip-flops and tennis shoes.
*The VIP Experience
You can turn the Disney Countdown to Midnight into a VIP enhanced experience at the Disney Ink & Paint Club lounge in The Sorcerer’s Apprentice Ballroom at Contemporary’s Convention Center. The event runs from 7 p.m. until 12:15 a.m. and includes everything mentioned above, in addition to an elegant private reception with special food (menu below), a live pianist, a Mickey and Minnie visit, and other special surprises. The experience is only available as a combination ticket to Disney Countdown to Midnight for a total ticket price of $450/person (tax and gratuity included). You can book the all-inclusive VIP package online or by calling 407-939-3463.
The Reception Menu is served only until 8:30 p.m, but cocktails, champagne, and cordials will be available at the bar all night. Here’s the menu:
Cold Seafood Action Station:
- Whole Alaskan Dutch Harbor king crab
- Florida stone crabs
- Spicy remoulade and classic cocktail sauce
From The Carving Board:
- Calvados-glazed pork
- Steamship round
- Savory apple strudel
Gnocchi Action Station:
- Sheep’s milk ricotta gnocchi
- Asparagus, black trumpet mushrooms, and sweet garlic parmesan emulsion
Mac & Cheese Action Station:
- Lobster Thermidor macaroni and cheese, served on the half-shell and brûléed tableside
Savory Cone & Teaspoon Presentation:
- Tuna tartare cone with sesame seeds and wasabi
- Caponata pesto cone with aged balsamic
- Smoked salmon mousse cone with caviar
- Kobe beef tartare spoon
Charcuterie Bistro Classics:
- Boudin blanc rutabaga sauerkraut and pistachio emulsion
- Loin of rabbit wrapped in bacon, jicama slaw and whole grain mustard vinaigrette
Disney California Adventure Park
- There will be music and dancing courtesy of DJ Juan.
- A “Countdown to Midnight”: The intersection of Hollywood and Sunset will have a special event stage transformed into its very own version of Times Square with a countdown clock!
-Paradise Gardens Park:
- Phat Cat Swinger: Live musical performances at the Palisades Stage at 8 p.m., 9:05 p.m., and 10:45 p.m.
- DJ Wendy Walker: She’ll play the hottest hits at the Palisades Stage at 8:30 p.m., 9:45 p.m, and 11:30 p.m.
- East Coast Countdown: As the clock strikes midnight on the east coast at Walt Disney World, there will be a special East Coast Countdown moment at 9 p.m. and with appearances by Mickey and Minnie.
- Midnight Celebration: A midnight countdown with celebratory music and fireworks! Plus, DJ Wendy will return to play music all the way until 1 a.m.
Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa
If you’d like to dine at a fine dining restaurant on Dec. 31, Napa Rose is the choice. The restaurant is putting on a New Year’s Eve bash with both early seating and a late-night dinner dance party! Early dinner, a four-course wine country feast, runs from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. The early dinner costs $140/person. As for the late night dinner and gala, it starts at 8:15 p.m. and ends at 1 a.m. You’ll be able to enjoy a dance party and a “Napa Style” five-course tasting menu at 8:45 p.m. The late-night celebration is $300/person and for an additional cost, you can also purchase a special flight of wines. FYI: wine, liquor, beverages, tax, and gratuity are not included in the price of meals. To make reservations, book online or call 714-781-3463.
Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel
What’s better than counting down to the New Year than by celebrating with your favorite characters form The Incredibles? Disney’s PCH Grill Have an Incredible New Year Dinner Buffet and Celebration will be held on Dec. 31 inside the Pacific Ballroom at the Paradise Pier Hotel. In addition to hanging with the beloved Pixar characters, guests will also enjoy an all-you-can-eat buffet. Speaking of the buffet, you’ll choose from soup, cheeses, salads, fruit, a carving station that includes:
- Herb-marinated prime rib served with savory au jus and horseradish sauce
- Herb-roasted turkey breast served with cranberry relish and sage-infused turkey gravy
- House-made fried chicken
- Salmon coulibiac with roasted cauliflower butter sauce
- Stout beer-braised short ribs with a coffee ancho chile sauce
- Braised short ribs with a red wine reduction sauce
Vegetarian options will also be offered, including saffron rice pilaf, chef’s pan-seared wild mushroom blend, and more. Of course, desserts, like a Yule log, cranberry mousse pie, tiramisu cheesecake, mud pie, and others will be featured. There will also be buffet options for children, including grilled beef tips, oven-baked mac and cheese, and create-your-own pizzas.
At this party, you’ll also be able to ring in the New Year twice. A balloon drop will happen at both 9 p.m. and midnight. As for other important times, dinner will be served from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. The character celebration runs from 6 p.m. until 12:30 a.m. It’s $100/adults and $35/child (ages 3 to 9), minus tax and gratuity. If you have a party of eight or more, there will be an automatic service charge. You can make reservations online or by calling 714-781-3463.
If or when more New Year’s Eve details are released, I will definitely update my post immediately with the necessary information. Until then, if any of the above interests you and you haven’t already, hurry up and make reservations, while you hopefully still can!
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Featured Image: Courtesy of Walt Disney World Resort