Guide to New Year's Eve at Disney's Animal Kingdom

Disney's Animal Kingdom

Rivers of Light We Are One Lotus Fountains Sunset

This is the first year that Disney's Animal Kingdom is celebrating New Year's Eve in any real way and are we excited.

Because of this much of our crowd patterns are going to be complete predictions. There is no precedent here to follow as there is with the other three parks.

Park Hours


Night Show Times

Rivers of Light: We Are One: 6:30PM, 8:00PM, 11:15PM

Tree of Life Awakenings: Continuous 6:00PM-12:00AM

Special Offerings

Pin Event

There is an exclusive pin event taking place several times throughout the day in locations in every land except Pandora and the Oasis. There is a two-pin limit per person per location

Times: 1:00PM-2:00PM, 2:45PM-3:45PM, 5:45PM-6:45PM, 7:30PM-8:30PM

Exclusive Pin

Disney's Animal Kingdom New Years 2020 Pin

An exclusive Animal Kingdom themed New Year's Eve pin will be available at 7:00AM in Discovery Trading Company. There is a purchase limit of two per person and only 1,000 were made.

Countdown to Midnight

The Tree of Life will have a special countdown to midnight. We don't know what this is as it is premiering this year.


Honestly, this will probably be the most laid back New Year's Eve experience offered in a Walt Disney World park. If you have small children or just don't want to deal with insanity, this is the park for you.

Similar to our guide for Epcot, we recommend prioritizing shows over rides. Waits in this park will likely get over two hours as there are not that many rides and the ones there tend to be more popular. If doing rides, try some underappreciated ones like Dinosaur or Primeval Whirl, which is seasonal and only open at these busy times. If not, catch Finding Nemo the Musical or Festival of the Lion King, two of the best shows on Disney property. Even catch the Up bird show.

Another way to enjoy the holiday is by checking out the wildlife exhibits. These are barely ever crowded and a lot of fun.

I just want to mention to make sure you book Fastpass+ reservations in advance as they are likely to run out before the end of the night.

Wait Times

New Year's Eve Wait Times Avatar Disney's Animal Kingdom

New Year's Eve does not have a large impact on wait times at Disney's Animal Kingdom. Really most of the wait times are no higher than any other normally crowded day at the park.

Disney's Animal Kingdom NYE 2019 Wait Times Night

In fact, it gets less crowded the closer you get to midnight.

If you are looking for a calm New Year's Eve experience at Disney World, Disney's Animal Kingdom is for you.

Night Show Guide

There are three different performances of Rivers of Light. Normally I would say the later shows would be less busy but it being New Years it could become busier later on. But honestly, there isn't a bad seat to see Rivers of Light so as long as you get inside the amphitheater it shouldn't be a problem. See whichever show you want, just know there isn't a performance actually happening at midnight.

The Tree of Life Awakenings will be performed continually throughout the night so be sure to catch them at some point after 6PM. I would expect crowd levels to be relatively stable throughout the night.

Food Guide

Food should not be a problem in this park as there are plenty of options and this will likely be the least popular place to ring in the new year. Waits will be longer than normal, but not chaotic.

Leaving the Park Guide

This shouldn't be hard but expect a lot of traffic if you leave via bus or car. Try and avoid the Epcot and Magic Kingdom areas as the traffic there is going to be unbearable. If you are willing, leave before midnight and avoid running into the massive crowds. There aren't special entertainment offerings at actual midnight so you could leave and avoid the traffic from the other parks.

Last Tips

If you are looking for a calmer and untraditional New Year's Eve experience, this is for you. It won't have the crowds of some of the other parks or the same level of drinking, but the trade-off is less at night.

Have fun with your Animal Kingdom themed New Years!