Mom and daughter on Expedition Everest
  • On Dec 7, 2011
    Karleen from ON Asked Note: This answer was provided prior to the change to planDisney and may still contain references to Disney Parks Moms Panel.

    Experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    Hi - planning to go to Epcot for New Year's Eve, but concerned about crowd levels. Travelling with seniors and young children. What is the latest time that we should arrive in order to be admitted to park?

    Hi there, Karleen!

    You have already hit upon a very real issue at Disney during holiday time: crowd levels. While historical crowd data indicate that Epcot is likely not going to be as crowded as the Magic Kingdom, it will certainly be a heavily-attended day.

    Open until 1:00AM, Epcot will be running its incredible holiday version of its nighttime Illuminations: Reflections of Earth twice: once at 7pm, and once at approximately 11:40pm to celebrate New Year's Eve with a bang.

    Certainly, to minimize your chances of being turned away, you will want to be at the Park reasonably early, While it's ideal, certainly, to be in line when the Park opens, it's a long day for any traveling party, particularly one that includes, as yours does, children and seniors. You'll want to take advantage of table service restaurants to rest and regroup; remember that many of the pavilions in World Showcase offer movies, rides, and themed sitting areas for taking some downtime.

    I hesitate to recommend a particular time for you, since the crowd levels can be unpredictable. It's my best advice that the earlier you can arrive, the better off you will be. Again, while Epcot is not likely to reach capacity and close, it will certainly be full that day. Take time to rest and regroup, and remember that thanks to the two performances, you can celebrate early -- and go back to your Resort to ring it in later.

    See you later, celebrator,
    -Deborah B.
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Meet the Panelist: Deborah, Florida

As a Florida native, my life has always included Walt Disney World. Now I share that magic with my husband and my sons, ages seven and eight. In between trips to the World, I teach for the Department of English at the University of South Florida. Learn More About Deborah

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