There are few more magical places to be on New Year’s Eve than the Disneyland Resort. There’s already magic in the air as people get ready to dive into a new year. Add to that the Disney touch and New Year’s Eve becomes one of those experiences in life you will never forget. New Year’s Eve can be memorable in either a good way or a bad way. This really comes down to preparation and expectations of what New Year’s Eve at the Disneyland Resort will be like. Today we are going to share with you a few tips for how to ring in the new year at the Happiest Place on Earth and have a blast doing so!

Plan Ahead

First off, make sure and plan ahead for your adventure to the Disneyland Resort for New Year’s Eve. The parks will be very busy so if you go without a plan, your chances of frustration are going to get much greater. Here are a few details to know and think about:

  • Park Hours for Disneyland and Disney California Adventure (listed below)
  • What Annual Passports are unblocked (only Signature Plus)
  • Ticket Prices (New Year’s Eve is a peak day and currently $124 for a single day/single park ticket)
  • Normal Entertainment Offerings and Times (can be found here)
  • Special Entertainment Offerings and Times for New Year’s Eve (listed below)
  • Food Locations and Times You Want to Eat. Get reservations if possible. If not, plan to either eat at off-peak meal times or wait in some hefty lines.
  • Check the Weather Report. It WILL cool off as the night progresses, especially if you are camping out for the fireworks, Fantasmic!, or World of Color.
  • When you will be arriving at the Disneyland Resort. Remember, the parks will be busy so the parking lots will also be busy. Plan for extra time and extra patience in regards to parking. Odds are you will need both.
  • Where you want to be at midnight!

In the Parks

Once inside the parks, the real fun begins! Often there are party favors (hats and noise-makers) passed out by cast members in the evenings. Hosts will be at the different countdown locations spurring on the crowds and building more excitement as the day and the evening progresses. Here are a few things to keep in mind to make it a great experience once you are in the parks:

  • Stick to your plan. Pick those top priorities and aim to make those happen. If you are planning on seeing one of the big shows (i.e. fireworks, World of Color, or Fantasmic!), know that there will be a significant time investment beforehand connected with that.
  • Stick together. As much as possible you want to keep your group together. Don’t save a huge spot with a blanket and leave one person to guard it while five others go off to go to some attractions. This just won’t work out well. The person saving space will find the space constantly being encroached on by others. Also, when the group returns they will not be liked by those around them at all. Final thought on this, as the night progresses at the parks things will get busier and busier. It gets harder to get back together if you split up.
  • Think ahead. It is a foregone conclusion that as the day progresses, things will get busier. Knowing this, strategize everything. Plan to eat before you think you’ll need to. Plan to use the restroom before you are desperate. Plan to get a spot for whatever you want to see early and not last minute. Odds are that you just won’t be able to experience whatever it is that you want to experience if you show up right as it is starting.
  • Stay Late. Both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure will be open quite late for New Year’s Eve. After the midnight excitement is a great time to get on some attractions. This also gives time for people to leave the parks and parking lot so you don’t spend time just waiting in line to leave.

Park Hours for New Year’s Eve

Disneyland: 8:00 AM – 2:00 AM

  • Extra Magic Hour: 7:00 AM – 8:00 AM
  • Magic Morning: 7:00 AM – 8:00 AM

Disney California Adventure: 8:00 AM – 1:00 AM

Seasonal Entertainment for New Year’s Eve at the Disneyland Resort

Disneyland

  • A Christmas Fantasy Parade: 1:00 PM, 3:30 PM
  • Fantasmic!: 9:05 PM, 10:30 PM, 11:59 PM
  • New Year’s Eve Fantasy in the Sky Spectacular: 9:00 PM, 11: 55 PM
  • “it’s a small world” Dance Party: 7:30 PM – 1:30 AM
  • New Year’s Eve Countdown Celebration at Sleeping Beauty Castle: 8:30 PM – 12:30 AM
  • Royal Theatre Dance Party: 7:15 PM – 12:35 AM
  • Tomorrowland Terrace Dance Party: 8:00 PM – 1:15 AM
  • Wintertime Enchantment at Sleeping Beauty’s Winter Castle: 6:00 PM, 7:30 PM

Disney California Adventure

  • Fountains and Fireworks Countdown to 2018: 9:00 PM, 10:15 PM, 11:45 PM
  • World of Color – Season of Light: 8:30 PM, 9:45 PM
  • Festival of Holidays – 8:00 AM – 1:00 AM
  • AP Corner at Festival of Holidays: 10:00 AM – 9:00 PM
  • Disney ¡Viva Navidad!: 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM
  • Disney ¡Viva Navidad! Street Party: 12:00 PM, 1:00 PM, 2:15 PM, 4:15 PM, 5:15 PM, 6:30 PM
  • Holiday Sunset Concert featuring Phat Cat Swinger: 6:45 PM
  • New Year’s Eve Countdown Celebration at Hollywood Land: 8:00 PM – 1:00 AM
  • Princess Elena’s Musical Grand Arrival: 12:35 PM, 1:30 PM, 3:25 PM, 4:50 PM
  • Holiday Toy Drummers: 10:30 AM, 11:20 AM, 12:35 PM, 1:20 PM, 3:10 PM, 4:05 PM
  • Mariachi Divas: 2:40 PM, 3:40 PM, 5:00 PM

More entertainment listings can be found for New Year’s Eve on the Disneyland Entertainment Guide here.  There are also special things happening in the Downtown Disney District as well. This year, Suburban Legends will be performing throughout the night at the Downtown Disney District stage.

The Disneyland Resort can be a fantastic place to celebrate New Year’s Eve. Just remember that thousands of others think exactly the same thing! It will be busy. It will be crowded. Bring your patience and sense of adventure and it can be an absolutely fantastic way to ring in the new year! Just like so many other things in life, the experience you have will be contingent on the attitude you bring!

Have a happy New Year!