Disabled man with family at parade
  • On Jun 12, 2023
    Christine from NJ Asked Please note that experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    I am planning to go to Epcot on New Year's Eve. I will have park reservations, but I heard that it can hit capacity on that day. Is there anyway we can be blocked from entering if we arrive later in the day? I know my parents will need to nap :)

    Well hi there Christine, and welcome to planDisney!

    Celebrating the holidays at Walt Disney World Resort can definitely make that popular time of year extra-special for so many folks and families, and you probably already know how much this draws in the crowds. In fact, every time that I've personally been in and around the Theme Parks at the end of December it has consistently been the only time of year when I've spent more time waiting in queues from attractions to dining options and even the restrooms - especially at EPCOT and Magic Kingdom Park. Just from historical data that I've gathered and along with my first-hand experience, here are definitely some things to keep in mind:

    • On December 31st, the most popular Theme Parks have restricted guests from entering if they have hit capacity and this is primarily due to ensuring a safe and comfortable experience for the guests that are inside - can you imagine what it's like to be surrounded by over 100,000 fellow guests? It's so important that you all have a Theme Park Reservation for that day, especially if you're a Walt Disney World Resort Hotel guest; it is also important to know that policies and offerings are subject to change without prior notice but admission into the Theme Parks will prioritize entry to those with the appropriate reservation on that day, if they do close to other guests. (In our experience this tends to be more of a concern at Magic Kingdom Park which has often reached capacity much earlier; despite having a reservation you might experience congestion just getting through security which may pause for crowd control, and folks bunching up around the turnstiles.)
    • It becomes trickier if you start off your day at another Theme Park and will be Park Hopping, so I recommend ensuring that your reservations are indeed set to EPCOT. Some especially busy times of day to look out for are right around 2:00 p.m. EST when Park Hoppers make their way in, with another wave coming from Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park as it closes. With Cast Members and locals coming from work to celebrate, transportation routes slow down and the Theme Parks get steadily busier with each hour leading up to midnight, so it's usually best to head in earlier and stay there!
    • I highly recommend snagging a coveted evening dining reservation early and considering a stay around Disney's BoardWalk with easier access at a less-congested entry point for a quick nap break, and a stress-free escape at the end of the night. (Leaving the Theme Parks after celebrating New Year's Eve can be quite the adventurous ordeal in and of itself, especially with the waits for transportation!)

    In anticipation of the influx of guests looking to ring in the new year, you'll likely see stages and locations set up for DJ dance parties all across the World Showcase lagoon - keep an eye out for countries celebrating the New Year in sync with their global time zones throughout the day! Now's the perfect time of year to start establishing your game plan and looking ahead; be sure to keep an eye on the Disney Parks Blog for the latest and great news about what to expect coming at the end of 2023, and ask us anything else right here at planDisney!

    Here's to ringing in the New Year with among the tens of thousands at the Most Magical Place on Earth!
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Meet the Panelist: Prince, Ontario

Hello, Bonjour, Aloha and Ahoy there! As a performer and world explorer who's been to all of the Disney theme parks around the globe, I'm always happy to provide my best adventuring advice and knowledge to navigate your way to all of the greatest snacks, attractions and entertainment on land and at sea. Find me featured on the planDisney Podcast and on the Disney Parks Blog, discussing Disney Eats at festivals and beyond, holiday events at Walt Disney World Resort and planning my Disney Fairy Tale Wedding! Learn More About Prince

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