December 31st is overwhelmingly the busiest day of the year at Disney World. For your amusement, we’ll take a look at what that translates to in terms of wait times.
Not a whole lot to see at Animal Kingdom, the website’s most recommended Park. You’ve got some long waits in the heart of the afternoon, but there isn’t much we can do about that with crowds of this magnitude.
It’s ummmmmmm not every day that you would wait 45 minutes to see Captain EO, let alone 95 minutes for Living with the Land, 90 minutes for Figment, or two hours for Spaceship Earth. Five hours for Test Track isn’t great either. There really isn’t any other day like it.
According to the crowd calendar:
Hollywood Studios comes tentatively recommended if you’re looking for a special New Year’s Eve celebration. While it will still be one of the most crowded days of the year at the Studios, it won’t be anywhere near as crowded as Epcot or Magic Kingdom. The New Year’s Eve fireworks show is a lot of fun too, with fireworks shot off the various buildings over Mickey’s Sorcerer’s Hat. Disney sets up the big stage in front of the Hat and Mulch, Sweat, and Shears performs throughout the evening to keep the crowd entertained. If you’d also like to visit the attractions, your best and only real opportunity to ride with short waits is in the early morning. This means you’ll want to arrive by 7:15am and head straight to the headliners, beginning of course with Toy Story Mania. The late night evening Extra Magic Hours are also a viable time to tour, particularly if you can stay up until 2am. This would be very difficult if you arrive early and don’t take a sizable afternoon break. Plan to return to Toy Story Mania and Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster after 1am when crowds will die down significantly. Overall, Hollywood Studios is the best place to go if you’re looking for a fun New Year’s Eve event. The crowds will be heavy, but not stifling and you’ll be able to enjoy a wonderful fireworks celebration. If you’re interested in seeing Fantasmic, I would save it for another night if possible. If not, I highly recommend the Fantasmic Dining Package that guarantees everyone on the reservation a seat in the reserved section of the theater. Because crowds will begin to build on Hollywood Studios for the fireworks show around 8pm, you won’t want to be caught in the middle of the huge crowds exiting Fantasmic at 8:30pm because many of them will stop on Hollywood Boulevard to save spots for the fireworks. The same is true for the 10pm Fantasmic. While that Fantasmic will be the least crowded, you’ll exit at 10:30pm to a wall of people on Sunset Boulevard and Hollywood Boulevard. You’ll need to be ready to hold down spots on Hollywood Boulevard by 9:50pm should you be interested in seeing the Fireworks. If Hollywood Boulevard isn’t already filling up, you’ll have time to complete some additional attractions. Otherwise, plan to stay near the back of the Park – away from Sunset Boulevard.
At least you could see Muppet Vision 3D without much of a wait before 1pm, even with average and peak waits higher than any other day of the year.
Yes, that is an hour for Stitch’s Great Escape and Mickey’s PhilharMagic, not to mention the longest peak and average waits of the year. Magic Kingdom closed to a Phase A closure before 9:30am and didn’t reopen to all guests until 5:30pm.
Fortunately, things will die down considerably beginning January 4th.