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NYE: Celebrating Around the World at Epcot

  • By Tammy van der Westhuizen
  • Published 27 September 2022
  • Revised 20 September 2023
NYE: Celebrating Around the World at Epcot
  • By Tammy van der Westhuizen
  • Published 27 September 2022
  • Revised 20 September 2023
NYE: Celebrating Around the World at Epcot
  • By Tammy van der Westhuizen
  • Published 27 September 2022
  • Revised 20 September 2023

When it comes to ushering in the new year, there’s no better place to welcome 2024 than at The Most Magical Place on Earth. And if you’re stuck deciding which Walt Disney World theme park to celebrate Earth’s lap around the sun, Epcot wins hands down for its enigmatic energy and bustling New Year’s Eve extravaganza. 

Hosting a medley of lively dance parties, awe-inspiring light spectacles, and a worldly array of culinary delights, there’s something for everyone at this NYE bash. So, whether you're marking the occasion with family, friends, or your significant other, head to Epcot for a holiday you'll never forget…

Epcot's Global Parties

Ready to kick-start 2024 with some banging tunes? Lace-up your dancing boots and discover why Epcot has garnered a reputation for its knockout NYE parties. 

Disney World's largest park boasts 11 countries in the World Showcase, each displaying dedicated pavilions and restaurants that whisk you away to far-off lands.  And when New Year's Eve rolls around, the World Showcase springs to life, pulsating with electrifying techno beats, chart-toppers, and dazzling special effects. Think Eurovision gone global, with groove-busting beats for every genre.

Watch Epcot transform into a pulsing outdoor disco with neon strobe lights piercing the dense, smokey air. Dance in a Chinese temple courtyard with dragons blazing smoke and fire shooting from the steel rafters. Or jive to the techno beat in an Italian piazza, a San Marco Square replica. And join in the festivities as each Epcot mini-country celebrates the new year, an exciting build-up for Epcot's final countdown.

Epcot's Future World even hosts a silent disco, where you bounce to the grooves in luminous headphones. So feel free to sing along as loud as you like without judgement! 

Whichever Epcot party you decide to revel in, it's the perfect prelude to the breathtaking fireworks spectacle that awaits, offering you the ideal opportunity to let your hair down and welcome the new year in style.

Sample Global Cuisines 

Moving and shaking on the dancefloor can be vigorous exercise, so you'll need food for fuel. And what better way to enjoy this worldwide festive celebration than to taste each country's national dish? 

Epcot's mini-world park has many restaurants and alfresco food courts selling cuisine from its eleven countries. Once you've replenished your cravings for Chinese dumplings or French crepes, you can also toast each country with its national drink. Now that’s how you get the party started! 

The more cost-effective option is to grab a bite at the outdoor food joints. And to beat the NYE queues, consider getting into the eateries early doors. 

Indulge in a New Year’s Eve Feast

Treat yourself to a final feast of 2023, indulging in multiple course lunch and dinner options at Epcot’s diverse selection of restaurants. And if you’re super strategic, then you’ll combine dinner with fireworks at select eateries overlooking the World Showcase Lagoon. However, due to popularity, pre-bookings are essential to ensure you don’t miss out.

For succulent surf and turf and toasting tequilas to 2024, dine at La Hacienda de San Angel at the Mexican Pavillion. Fine diners will love Monsieur Paul’s refined menu of French classics, while those seeking a waterfront dining experience coupled with the exotic flavors of Morocco, all set against the backdrop of a dazzling fireworks show, should look no further than Spice Road Table.

NYE Countdown Fireworks

Epcot's eagerly anticipated EPCOT Forever fireworks extravaganza officially kicks off the evening's festivities at 9 p.m., but this mesmerizing display of multicolored brilliance serves merely as a tantalizing prelude to the main event - Epcot's New Year's Eve Countdown Fireworks.

The grand finale of the old year begins at 11:54 pm, with the fireworks spectacular shooting from Epcot's iconic Spaceship Earth. First paying homage to Japan and China, a light show, reflect bright imagery against the World Showcase Lagoon, as the folk music of each country plays.

Progressing along the world's time zones, Epcot honours Germany, Norway, and Italy next, then Morocco and the United Kingdom. Finally, the 10-second countdown begins with a thunderous clap of exploding light. 

Blazing shards erupt throughout the evening sky, illuminating the darkness with crackling neon offshoots. Then Auld Lang Syne bellows through the arena, carried by the singing crowds embracing the early seconds of the new year at the Happiest Place on Earth.

As this event is Epcot's main NYE attraction, you'll have to secure a prime viewing spot at least 2 hours before the spectacle. While seating along the World Showcase lakeside entrance is the most desired, other places offer brilliant outlooks of the fireworks.

For a unique perspective of the pyrotechnic display, stand on the Mitsukoshi Department Store's second-story floor outside the Tokyo Dining restaurant. Here, you can capture the entire performance from your elevated position with the torii gate, adding character to the picture.

Another spot to admire the show is on the France Bridge, which links to the United Kingdom zone. As it's further away from the usual fanfare, you'll enjoy the light explosions without having to crane your neck.

Celebrate On Water

Grab a front-row seat to the fireworks display as you get the party started sailing on the World Showcase Lagoon. Hugely popular and at a price, the Epcot Fireworks Cruise holds up to a party of ten, so you can celebrate the new year with your nearest and dearest.

The hire includes snacks, cold drinks, and water, but you can arrange private dining beforehand. Pop the champagne, toast your bubbly, and await the magical light show from your private pontoon. What's more, you'll feel immersed in the experience as the fireworks show audio blares through the boat's speakers.

Enjoy your private party as you view Epcot's epic energy from the lakeside parties. Away from the hustle and bustle, you'll have unrivalled views of the iconic light show as you'll be nearest to the action.

Enjoy an Hour of Rides

New Year's Eve at Epcot is a much-loved event as crowds descend to revel in Epcot's festive atmosphere. Expect long lines at popular attractions, with groups at capacity. At specific points in the night, like the fireworks shows, ride queues shorten as most people gravitate towards the World Showcase Lagoon.

However, the queue for popular rides begins to swell between the show-stopping fireworks performance. Take advantage of any less frequented rides and attractions at this time to partake in the Epcot magic. 

After midnight strikes, Epcot's NYE crowds vacate the park, usually creating a bottleneck at the gate. Consider staying in the park until 1 pm closing time to relieve yourself of the overwhelm. Spend the first hour of 2024 climbing to great heights and coasting to glory on hair-raising, octave-shrilling rides like Test Track, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Soarin' Around the World.

Does an Epcot NYE party sound like your kind of celebration? Check out our award-winning Walt Disney World holidays for 2024 and 2025

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