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Old 02-03-2013, 03:38 PM   #1
stitchineeyore
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What do I need to know about New Year's at WDW?

We are coming in on the 28th and staying until after DH's birthday on January 7. If I have done my research well enough, I believe that all the Christmasy things will still be going on except for MVMCP. I have read that we should count on walking to where we want to spend New Year's Eve. We will be at Boardwalk, so first question - Epcot or the Studios for New Year's? Any valuable advice from you holiday regulars out there? Thanks so much
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Old 02-03-2013, 04:57 PM   #2
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The first tip I would give you is to not plan on riding a lot of rides. NYE is insane and there's no way to conceive of the sheer number of people at the parks until you have lived through it!!! I did NYE at MK two years ago and just did Xmas week with Xmas at MK this past year. Don't get me wrong, I had a blast! However, you need to pick your must do's, get to the park early, and just enjoy the ambience or resort hop to see the decorations.

When I did NYE in 2011, I was a novice. I got to MK at 8 am and the park closed because it was to capacity by 11am. I rode what I wanted to ride first and by 11am most ride lines were 2 hours long, even the one for the train. I watched all the parades and ate in the park. Unfortunately, by 9pm I was pooped and never made it to midnight. My feet were killing me.

When I did Xmas last year, I took a more leisurely approach. I had breakfast in the park, rode a couple of rides, watched the parades and then left the park for dinner. I had planned to return to the park for the fireworks, etc. However, I was too tired by that time.

Sorry, I don't know what the crowds are like at Epcot or HS. If you plan on eating at table service restaurants, make your dining reservations at the 180 day window(if you're staying at a WDW resort). You will have very little success trying to walk up and get a reservation.
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Old 02-03-2013, 07:06 PM   #3
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I did NYE at Epcot this year. People had sleeping bags and were staking front row spots for Illuminations at 11am. It was wall to wall people. Most of the countries had special booths with special drinks. It was very crowded but fun. The fireworks were spectacular.

The exit afterwards was fierce. We were staying at BWI and it was wall to wall people going there. We sat out and watched the angry drunks who were furious when they discovered there were no resort buses there. This went on for 2 hours. It was quite entertaining.
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Old 02-03-2013, 08:04 PM   #4
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We were there NYE this year. Spent all day at Studios until about 8 PM and then took a Friendship Boat to Epcot. Had no problem getting in. The parks were quite crowded, but honestly it was not as bad as DW and I anticipated. It was wall to wall people, but honestly I was expecting not to be able to walk. We were able to walk around Osborne Lights at 7, and then @ Epcot we went on Test Track and then walked around WS. Granted, we left about 10:30 because there was no way DD was going to make it to Midnight.
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Old 02-03-2013, 08:56 PM   #5
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Pack your patience, you will need them. We spent NYE at EPCOT 2 years ago. Crowds were huge. I have pictures from American Advanture showing only heads and shoulders. They opened up restrooms that you actually left the normal 'public' area to use. After the fireworks, it was a wall of humanity moving through the park. I will do it again, now that the kids are older. But if you are under 5'4" (my DW) she could not see the fireworks. Stake out your area and hold your ground. Good Luck!! We will be doing it again 1/1/2014.
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Old 02-03-2013, 10:02 PM   #6
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This was our 4th NYE at Disney. Each year we have stayed at BWV. We go to MK for their fireworks on the 30th. For 3 years we had seen Illuminations, and one of our best experiences there was going in with other Disboarders for a NYE Illuminations cruise.

This past NYE we saw the fireworks at DHS. Except for the cruise, this was the "easiest" NYE for us. We found seats near the stage and large screen around 9 and we stayed put. We had a picnic table, people came, sat, chatted, and went on. When the fireworks came, it was just a matter of closing the umbrella, standing and enjoying the show. We were tired, and left afterwards, we made the next boat back to BWV....absolutely no problems with crowds,

Personally, I think Illuminations is the better of the two shows, Epcot or DHS, but I do like the MK's best. So, do try to get there for the 30th. This year we did not stay for them, it was just too crowded, and we were just too tired.

Be patient, expect crowds, and thank heaven that you are staying at the BWV so you will not deal with traffic!

This year, I offered a room to DSis, so she'll be there, we are taking this year off from the excitement.

Bobbi
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Old 02-03-2013, 10:31 PM   #7
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Have done EPCOT 2 times and DHS once. EPCOT was much roomier and a better show we thought. Main Street at DHS was complete sardines and the fireworks just were kinds over in that direction. Kept waiting for some nicer big ones but just seemed spotty. Plus that walk back from EPCOT to BWV is much closer than DHS. IG is kind of a less traveled exit as well.
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Old 02-04-2013, 07:38 AM   #8
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We did BLT this past year and DD and friend went to MK for NYE - we had MK view and choose to not fight crowds and hang on the balcony. DD went to park at 5PM - the park had closed at 10AM but we were told resort guest could still get in - she did not have a problem getting in. She stayed until the park closed and did a bunch of rides after midnight. The next evening Jan 1st DH and rest of DD's went over to MK in the evening and said they were able to do most rides and the waits were about 15 minutes! They actually did some of the new Fantasy land rides with little wait. The fire works at MK were amazing!!!! Its crowded but it did not bother us and we would do it again! Enjoy
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Old 02-04-2013, 12:13 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pakey View Post
I did NYE at Epcot this year. People had sleeping bags and were staking front row spots for Illuminations at 11am. It was wall to wall people. Most of the countries had special booths with special drinks. It was very crowded but fun. The fireworks were spectacular.

The exit afterwards was fierce. We were staying at BWI and it was wall to wall people going there. We sat out and watched the angry drunks who were furious when they discovered there were no resort buses there. This went on for 2 hours. It was quite entertaining.
I was there too. I checked into OKW in the middle of the afternoon of NYE. I agree that the Fireworks were some of the best I've ever seen.

Like some of the other posters have said, NYE was packed but at least at EPCOT you could still move. I got a decent spot for the second showing of Illuminations at about 11:30 outside the Mexico Pavillion. Being tall helped but I was maybe 4-5 people back from the railing.

As far as your vacation in general. Early mornings and late nights are your friend. On New Years eve, after Illuminations, I rode TT in the single rider line with maybe a 20 min. wait. It also helped clear out the sea of humanity heading for the busses. On New Years Day, I did MK in the Afternoon and Evening. At 12:30a.m., I walked onto Little Mermaid and Storytime with Belle.

The middle of the afternoon can be just crazy. At EPCOT, I saw posted wait of 4+ hours for TT and Soarin'. At the MK on Jan 2nd, I hit Sardine crowds in the afternoon going between Fantasyland and Liberty Square.

After having done it, would I do it again. Yes, but not this next trip. I've booked Dec 15-20 so far for next year. Based on prior experience I'm guessing the crowds will start showing up in earnest Dec 20-22 and stay through Jan 4-5. I would like to have been able to book a week earlier but that's final week at the college I teach at.
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Old 02-04-2013, 05:09 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johde

I was there too. I checked into OKW in the middle of the afternoon of NYE. I agree that the Fireworks were some of the best I've ever seen.

Like some of the other posters have said, NYE was packed but at least at EPCOT you could still move. I got a decent spot for the second showing of Illuminations at about 11:30 outside the Mexico Pavillion. Being tall helped but I was maybe 4-5 people back from the railing.

As far as your vacation in general. Early mornings and late nights are your friend. On New Years eve, after Illuminations, I rode TT in the single rider line with maybe a 20 min. wait. It also helped clear out the sea of humanity heading for the busses. On New Years Day, I did MK in the Afternoon and Evening. At 12:30a.m., I walked onto Little Mermaid and Storytime with Belle.

The middle of the afternoon can be just crazy. At EPCOT, I saw posted wait of 4+ hours for TT and Soarin'. At the MK on Jan 2nd, I hit Sardine crowds in the afternoon going between Fantasyland and Liberty Square.

After having done it, would I do it again. Yes, but not this next trip. I've booked Dec 15-20 so far for next year. Based on prior experience I'm guessing the crowds will start showing up in earnest Dec 20-22 and stay through Jan 4-5. I would like to have been able to book a week earlier but that's final week at the college I teach at.
I think anywhere you go on NYE is going to be crowded.
Sounds like the crowds on NYD aren't so bad. We 're going January 1-7 and I was worried but figured We'd take it slow at the beginning of the week and try to get on rides during the second part.
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Old 02-05-2013, 10:01 AM   #11
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Thanks so much for all the good information and tips! We are hoping that things will slow down during the second half of our stay. No one is counting on doing much except enjoying the holiday decorations and events that are still happening up to New Year's. I think the Candlelight Processional extends past Christmas Day, doesn't it? And also the lights at the studios. I've always wanted to see those. We've been down for Halloween a number of times and have seen them up, but we've never seen them lit.
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Old 02-05-2013, 10:07 AM   #12
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Thanks so much for all the good information and tips! We are hoping that things will slow down during the second half of our stay. No one is counting on doing much except enjoying the holiday decorations and events that are still happening up to New Year's. I think the Candlelight Processional extends past Christmas Day, doesn't it? And also the lights at the studios. I've always wanted to see those. We've been down for Halloween a number of times and have seen them up, but we've never seen them lit.

The CP's last night has been the 30th. I think that's why we were so tired this year and didn't stay at MK for the fireworks. We waited in line for the first CP show that day (It was a long stand by line, lots of standing), then rushed over to MK for our dinner at CP. I just couldn't stand anymore. If I were to do that again, go to CP on the 30th, I would get the package, just to have a seat earlier. Of better yet, go straight to MK. It's just that I insist on seeing the CP twice every season, and I had only seen it once until then.
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Old 02-05-2013, 10:11 AM   #13
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Good to know! I seem to remember that the packages are announced on a particular date, and it's not just the 180 days out. Am I thinking correctly?
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Old 02-05-2013, 10:17 AM   #14
bobbiwoz
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Good to know! I seem to remember that the packages are announced on a particular date, and it's not just the 180 days out. Am I thinking correctly?
They are announced on a particular date. We had a great package meal at Chef de France earlier in December. I just keep an eye on the Disboards to find out when we can book!
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Old 02-05-2013, 10:20 AM   #15
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Of course you find out the dates on the Disboards first. Joining up with this bunch has given me the BEST information, saved our family a lot of headaches, and given us a lot of fun. Thanks!
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