Re-post in case you missed it!
Happy New Year Everyone! It’s 2019, and I hope you enjoyed your New Year’s Eve wherever you decided to celebrate it. For us, we decided to give Disney’s Magic Kingdom a try. We were called crazy, people tried to sway us from going, be we went anyway. For those who have considered doing Disney for NYE, I wanted to share my experience, plus offer some tips as well. It really was NOT that bad! Let’s chat!
There is a lot of chatter about going to Magic Kingdom on NYE, some of it factual, some not. People say you have to get into the park in the morning and STAY there all day. Nope, you sure don’t. We had dinner reservations at Trails End at the Ft. Wilderness Campground at 5:00. The restaurant wasn’t crowded at all, and we got seated pretty quickly. There were 9 of us in our party. We had a relaxing dinner, then headed to the boat to take it over to the Magic Kingdom. There was basically no wait for the boat, and once we got to the front of the park, there was NO line for security or to get into the park to scan your bands. I was shocked at how smoothly it went. Now, please keep in mind, we avoided World Drive at the TTC altogether, so that really took time off of our venture to get into the park. It was a smart move actually! We arrived at the Magic Kingdom just before 7:00 pm. So no, we didn’t have to camp there all day, it was great.
Once we got inside the park, we headed up Main Street. Yes, it was crowded, but not as bad as I expected. There were people camping out on the sidelines waiting for the fireworks, but the main walking areas were decent. The park has three different dance parties happening to keep guests entertained… Tomorrowland, Frontierland and up by the Castle. The dance parties really were a lot of fun. Cast Members had a LOT of areas taped off for firework viewing, in various areas across the park. Being that the fireworks are 360, you can see them from just about everywhere. We opted to not wait in a taped off area, and decided to take our chances on finding a place when it came time for the show.
Just after 11:00, the wait times for rides drastically decreased, as many people were already in their desired spot waiting on the fireworks. We decided to go on the Haunted Mansion since there was no wait. Once we got off of the ride, the kids were talking to the HM Cast Members, and they said that you can see the fireworks from back there pretty well. There was NO crowd, so we took the CM’s advice and stayed put. Once the show started, you could see fireworks everywhere. We stood in front of the Haunted Mansion, basically by ourselves with a handful of Cast Members, and watched the entire display. The finale is the 360 fireworks and there were blasts of Disney magic completely surrounding us, it was amazing. Honestly, I had never seen anything like it, Disney truly does an outstanding job. So yes, we got to see the show after finding a VERY last minute viewing location, with no crowds and an awesome view. I’d say that’s another win for the evening. (video below of the finale).
After the fireworks were over with, instead of fighting the crowds to get out of the park, we stayed back and walked around a bit. There was still a dance party happening at the Castle so that was our destination. The Castle had 2019 projections on it which was great for photos. The dance party was hopping, and not too crowded at all. Everyone was pretty tired around 1 or so, and we made our way to the front of the park. Here is where the crowd comes in. All night long, we didn’t experience any major trouble or hassle when it came to getting where we wanted to go or walking freely in the park. Leaving though, was a different story. Even though we stayed about an hour past the fireworks, the mass amount of people leaving the park was still insane. Lucky for us, we were heading on the boat back to the campgrounds, NOT waiting on transportation to go back to the TTC. Thank God for that, because it was a sea of people trying to get on the ferry boat and monorail. Once again, we walked right on the boat, no wait, and took a nice ride back to Ft. Wilderness. I felt bad for the people who were waiting at the front of the park still, because I’d guess it was going to be an hour or two before they’d even get back to the parking lot. Truthfully, that was the only time of the evening where we felt crowded or overwhelmed, the rest of the evening was fantastic.
So, the moral of my story is this; you indeed CAN do Disney’s Magic Kingdom on NYE, you just have to plan accordingly. I honestly was nervous about going earlier yesterday afternoon because we didn’t follow the advice on social media, and get there in the morning. Yes, the park has phase closures, but it didn’t hinder us from going. Disney resort guests, Annual Passholders, those with FP’s and dining reservations… all were fine. Having dinner at the campground and using the boat transportation was the best decision we could have made, it saved us so much time and frustration. Also, watching the fireworks from someplace OTHER than Main Street is a wise choice, so keep that in mind as well. All in all, spending the last day of 2018 at my happy place was something that I’m so glad we did. Great memories were made, and hopefully my experience will give you some insight on whether you want to try the Magic Kingdom out for NYE in the future. It’s definitely do-able! Happy New Year everyone, I truly hope that 2019 brings you much happiness and love. ~M
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