New Years Eve Events Orlando: Things to Do and Where to Celebrate

Why spend your New Years Eve shivering in Times Square or stuffed like a sardine at an overhyped nightclub?

Make a beeline for the city of sunshine, citrus, and palm trees, and delight in New Years festivals, fireworks, and parties galore. Indeed, an ideal New Year’s Eve awaits both kids and adults alike in this theme park haven. Follow along to learn where to celebrate New Years in Orlando.

The young and young at heart will have no trouble finding a celebration suited to them on New Year’s Eve in Orlando. Orlando theme parks show off their festive spirit with exclusive parties and epic live-action entertainment.

Other Orlando attractions and restaurants come to life with sizzling New Year’s Eve Orlando events featuring special menus, tasty treats, and favors.

From sizzling fireworks to exhilarating rides to delicious food, there’s no shortage of New Year magic at this dreamy destination. Delight in New Years Eve Orlando celebrations with Mickey, or prime yourself for loads of bricktacular fun and family-friendly activities at LEGOLAND.

Thanks to a plethora of things to do for New Years Eve, The City Beautiful is the perfect place to kick off the new year!

Keep reading for our roundup of the best ways to spend Orlando New Years Eve!

Is Orlando Busy Between Christmas and New Year’s?

You might be asking, is Orlando busy between Christmas and New Year’s? The straightforward answer is yes. It is undoubtedly the most busy and crowded time of the entire year, with people flocking from all over to bask in the holiday magic that the city offers, from Walt Disney World’s festive events to Universal Studios’ spectacular New Year’s Eve celebrations.

Orlando Hotels

Before we dive headfirst into all of the best things to do for New Years in this bustling hub of the Sunshine State, it’s time to secure your Orlando lodgings.

Whether you have big plans to party till the wee hours of the night in downtown Orlando or have your eye on a more low-key night courtesy of your Orlando resort, we offer accommodations for every type of traveler.

Make the most out of the wide variety of New Years Eve Orlando events when you book any of our premier Orlando Hotels and Resorts today. From relaxing spa treatments to help you unwind pre-midnight countdown to aquatic playgrounds that will delight the kiddies, these exclusive offerings take the guesswork out of where to spend New Year pre and post-partying.

fireworks behind disney world castle with walt disney and mickey mouse statue in frontNew Year’s Eve Events in Orlando for Kids

Walt Disney World

The magic of Disney World is amplified on New Year’s Eve with a swirl of dreamlike sights and sounds to leave you enchanted as you begin the new year.  For Mouseketeers, there truly is no better place to spend New Years Eve in Orlando.

Take your pick of the parks as EPCOT, Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios will all stay open until midnight or later, while Animal Kingdom closes at 8 p.m.*

Related Post: Ultimate Guide to Walt Disney World®: Coupons, Discounts, and Deals

Due to the busyness of the Disney parks on this holiday, we recommend choosing your favorite to camp out at all day. Arrive early in the morning to guarantee entrance before the park reaches full capacity. If you’re wondering where to celebrate New Year’s Eve, this is certainly a popular spot!

Pro Tip: You’re more likely to find an Orlando New Year’s Eve celebration geared toward adults at Disney Springs. However, we won’t blame you if you’d rather stay in the parks and get whisked away by nostalgia!

A night at Disney wouldn’t be complete without mesmerizing fireworks displays. Catch a vibrant explosion of color, sound, and storytelling with the just-announced Luminous: The Symphony of Us Nighttime spectacular at EPCOT. Or, make some time to check out the interactive aqua play of the Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana.

*Please be aware that these times are based on last year’s events and information.

Wide shot of the Christmas tree and surrounding area at Celebration Town Center in Orlando, Florida, USA
photo credit: Celebration Town Center via Facebook

Celebration Town Center

Snow in Florida isn’t something you see every day, but the Now Snowing event at Celebration Town Center makes the impossible possible.

Related Post: Orlando on a Budget: How to Save BIG With a Go City Pass

Catch a snowfall at the top of every hour from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. to experience a winter wonderland in the middle of the Sunshine State heat! Hop on a horse-drawn carriage or glide across the ice at the skating rink for a night like no other. The last night of this season-long event is New Year’s Eve, so don’t miss it!

*These times are based on last year’s event, information for this season has yet to be released, but Now Snowing’s 26th anniversary may run from November 25th to December 31st.

Looking up at bright fireworks and a water show with lights at SeaWorld Orlando in Orlando, Florida, USA
photo credit: SeaWorld Orlando via Facebook

SeaWorld

Searching for some splashtastic New Years events Orlando? Dive into the new year with riveting rides and marine life mania at SeaWorld! A grand midnight fireworks show can be seen from multiple viewing points throughout the park.

We recommend the Shark Underwater Grill New Year’s Eve dinner for a truly unique experience. It includes a three-course meal and reserved seating to watch the fireworks!

The Wheel

For a bird’s eye view of the new year, visit The Wheel at ICON Park.This International Drive attraction will take you 400 feet in the air for a breathtaking view of Orlando! It’s open until 11 p.m. on New Year’s in Orlando.

Grab tickets today so you can end the year on a high note!  

LEGOLAND Florida

It’s no secret that LEGOLAND Florida knows how to go all out for New Year’s Eve! If you’re wondering where to celebrate NYE with the littles, this is a great choice.

The park hosts a party just for the kiddos, complete with dancing, fireworks, and bricking awesome rides! These aren’t your typical Orlando New Years fireworks, though.

Put on special viewing glasses to watch the sky burst into LEGO bricks! This fireworks show occurs earlier, so both kids (and parents) can celebrate way before midnight and get to bed on time.

A crowd of people dancing at Universal CityWalk at night on New Years Eve in Orlando, Florida, USA
photo credit: Universal Orlando Resort via Facebook

New Year’s Eve Events Orlando for Adults

EVE at Universal CityWalk

So that you can party all night long on New Year’s Eve, Universal Orlando Resort stays open until 1 a.m.! The park-wide Universal Orlando New Years EVE party is included with park admission. This is, hands-down, one of the best things to do for New Year’s Eve!

The holiday festivities begin in the evening, including live music and a selection of food and drinks to purchase. The finale is a countdown and fireworks display!

Photo Alert: Come prepared to strike a pose at one of the many photo ops sprinkled throughout the park.

Cuba Libre NYE in Havana

You’ll be shouting, “Fantastico!” when you begin your night with dinner and drinks at Cuba Libre. The after-dinner party is complete with a live DJ, dancing, party favors, and balloon drop.

Watch the Times Square ball drop on a big screen that’s the next best thing to actually being there.

Be sure to save room for dessert! Indulge in a traditional Cuban dessert of vanilla custard, dulce de leche, whipped cream, and a vanilla cookie. Or, opt for churros con chocolate if you’re a chocolate lover!

*Based on the previous NYE schedule, this year’s party details are still awaiting confirmation.

friend celebrating with sparklers and champagneBusch Gardens

Millions of lights brighten up the night at Busch Gardens Christmas Town which lasts through January 7th, 2024. Take in the sights and thrills of the park during the day, then ring in the new year with a spectacular fireworks show.

The show is set to a fantastic New Year’s Eve soundtrack to start the new year on the right foot!

Aventura’s New Year’s Eve Celebration

Raise the roof at Universal’s Aventura Hotel this New Year’s Eve… or, just stand on it! This rooftop party includes delicious food and drinks with a view. Take in Orlando’s skyline and fireworks from one of the best seats in the city!

Thornton Park Street Party*

Ready to party like a rockstar at Orlando’s biggest New Year’s Eve event? Get ready to get down like Flo Rida, when you attend Central Florida’s premier NYE’s bash. Featuring three levels of tickets, multiple stages, and two Jumbotrons, this raging fete offers something for everyone.

Opt for a Thornton Park Street Party VIP pass and revel in a premium open bar, optimal stage viewing, and VIP DJ beats in the Veranda. Or, simply kick back with your friends as you explore this raging party that spans over two and a half city blocks. Located just a few blocks outside of downtown Thornton Park, both visitors and locals can party hop from venue to venue as they dance till 2 a.m.

Man wearing a bracelet DJing a party with lots of lights in the backgroundOrlando New Years Eve Fireworks

Orlando New Year’s fireworks are a classic way to usher in a shiny new year. Watch with glowing eyes as bursts of light explode across the sky!

To begin your year with a crackle and  a bang, here’s where you can catch some of the best fireworks shows in and around Orlando on New Year’s Eve:

What Time Are Disney Fireworks Orlando?

Truly one of the highlights of any visit to Orlando is the spectacular fireworks display that lights up the night sky over Disney. The Magic Kingdom’s nightly fireworks usually begin at 9pm, transforming the park into a mesmerizing sight of sparkling lights and magical sounds. Remember to check the schedule, as the exact timing may change depending on the season and special events.

Is There a Ball Drop in Orlando Florida?

Yes, indeed, Orlando, Florida is among the many locations that offer a festive ball drop experience. The city is renowned for its iconic Orange Ball drop, a unique twist on the classic New Year’s Eve tradition, attracting both locals and tourists. This vibrant event, which symbolizes the departure of the old year and the start of the new, is a highlight of the city’s holiday festivities every year.

Attractions Open on New Year’s Eve in Orlando

It’s a given that Orlando is filled with great theme parks as mentioned above. However, if you’re looking for other Orlando New Years Eve things to do or things to do on New Year’s Day, there are plenty of options. Book your tickets with us for the best rates!

If you’re searching for a little mystery or a chance to get into nature, check out these options:

The Best Eats on New Year’s Eve in Orlando

A fun-filled day of activities and parties wouldn’t be complete without some tasty noms! When you’re looking to chow down on New Year’s Eve in Orlando, keep these choices in mind. 

Related Post: 10 Totally Free Things to Do in Orlando for Adults

Don’t forget to call ahead to check for schedule changes and see if you need reservations. These top spots are bound to be hopping on a holiday night!

Additionally, if you’re looking for New Year’s Day things to do, we suggest dining at one of these delectable restaurants.

Wide shot of chefs working in the kitchen at Deep Blu Seafood Grille in Orlando, Florida, USA
photo credit: deep blu seafood grille via Facebook

Here’s where to go if you’re craving…

Fantastic Florida Seafood

A special New Year’s Eve meal is waiting for you at deep blu Seafood Grille.

Modern Coastal Cuisine

Find a seven-course chef’s tasting dinner at The Osprey.

A Mediterranean Steakhouse

Make a reservation at The H Orlando.

Classic American Cuisine

The executive chef at Luke’s Kitchen & Bar has you covered.

Delicious Spanish Food

Offering four-course and five-course dining options during two different seatings on New Year’s Eve, Tapa Toro is the place to be.

Psst..on the hunt for a decadent brunch to jump-start the new year? Before you get ready to tackle all of your New Years Day Things to Do, head to Hampton Social, White Wolf Cafe, or the Boheme for a mouthwatering meal of eggs, french toast, champagne, and more!

Will You Spend New Year’s Eve Orlando?

This popular destination is a crowded hot spot on New Year’s Eve that you won’t want to miss out on! Join other revelers for a night of parties, events, and attractions you’ll be talking about for years to come. There are plenty of things to do for New Year’s Eve in the Theme Park Capital of the World!

Related Post: Orlando on a Budget: How to Visit Without Breaking the Bank

When you’re done living it up for the night at New Year’s festivals and events, you’ll need a place to crash. Book your hotel with Tripster so you can combine it with attraction tickets for the best deals!

How are you going to kick off the new year in Orlando? Let us know in the comments!

What Fun Orlando New Year’s Eve Events Did We Miss?

Share your top Orlando New Years plans in the comments below!


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Written by Isis Maya Nissman

A New York native, Isis-Maya spent most of her professional life working in TV production until a vacation whisked her away to Central...


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