Guide to New Years Eve at Epcot

Epcot Fireworks Walt Disney World

Epcot has been one of the best parks to spend New Year's Eve at in the past. While their offerings this year are a little less than in previous years it will still be one of the best ways to ring in the New Year at Walt Disney World.

We're going to give you all the information on how to spend your best New Years' Eve at Epcot in 2019.

Park Hours

Future World: 8AM-1AM

World Showcase: 9AM-1AM

Fireworks Times

Epcot Forever: 6:30PM, 11:40PM

Countdown to Midnight: Various


First things first. Once you get in the park DO NOT LEAVE. If you leave you may not be allowed back in, so make sure when you leave the park it is for the last time of the night.

Second, utilize Fastpass+. Be sure you book your Fastpasses as early as you can as they may the only ones you get that day. Strike that. They may be the only rides you get on with under an hour's wait.

Third, prioritize shows over rides. If you expect to get a normal amount done, you will be disappointed. Waits may be double or triple the norm. Shows are easier to see and you will likely be able to get more done. Epcot is great for New Year's Eve because of all of the entertainment outside of the rides.

A couple other general things. Because of the nature of Epcot, it is probably not the place to ring in the New Year if you have small children. There are a LOT of bars and people are going to get drunk and crazy. Look up stories if you think I'm kidding. If that is your thing then that is great. If not you may want to consider one of the other parks which offer a calmer New Year's Eve experience.

Wait Times Guide

Epcot New Year's Eve 2019 Wait Times Disney World

The wait times for all attractions will be double if not triple the normal wait you would find any other day of the year. Be prepared for an hour for rides that are normally walk-ons and for multiple hours waiting for any signature attractions.

Fireworks Guide

Now just full disclosure, there is very little we know about how this is going to play out. Epcot Forever is much less popular than the extinct IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth which people would camp out for over four hours for a spot to see on New Year's Eve. There will still be a special New Year's Eve addition to the fireworks after the show, but it may not be as elaborate.

What you should experience is each of the countries celebrating the new year, which is always a fun holiday treat, happening when it becomes midnight in each country.

I still say you should camp out at least three hours early for a good spot, and two hours early for an ok spot. In short, be ready to wait a long time for fireworks and if you see people lining up, GRAB A SPOT. Once someone starts it has a snowballing effect and if you wait too long it may be too late.

The earlier fireworks will be calmer and if you have kids then you need to go to this one. The park will not be safe for them later on.

Food Guide

The lines for food on New Year's Eve are going to be just about as long as the ride lines. I would recommend using mobile ordering if available or planning double the amount of time to order and consume food. Also try and eat at off times, not at actual meal times. Get a snack at noon and eat lunch at around three.

Leaving the Park Guide

At some point, you are going to have to leave the park. But try and be smart about it.

By Car

So you've decided to arrive by car. Don't.

Ok here's where the real guide starts.

Do not and I mean DO NOT leave right after the second fireworks. Any time before this you should be fine. But after the second fireworks, the parking lot becomes a madhouse.

There will be multihour traffic. There will be car crashes. There will be drunken fights. It is just a fact.

Do yourself a favor and stay in the park. It is open until 1am and the fireworks will be done at about midnight. Get on another ride. Eat a meal. Stop for one last drink. Just don't head right out of the park after Epcot Forever.

In fact, I would recommend trying to stay in the park as long as possible. They will not kick you out at 1am. You just can't get on any new rides. So at 12:55 get in another long line. It will be shorter than you expect as the Fastpass line stops at 1am, and it keeps you in the park longer. Alternatively, spend some time in Mouse Gear after the park closes. Just try to stay as long as possible.

By Monorail

The monorail lines will be LONG and keep in mind you are just going to run into the same traffic problems at the TTC as the Magic Kingdom lets out at about the same time. If you are staying on the Magic Kingdom monorail loop this is probably your best option but otherwise, I'd avoid it.

By Bus

I don't recommend this option to anyone. You will likely be standing and for just as long as you would be driving your car, maybe well over an hour. And you will be tightly packed with dozens of all your closest drunk friends. Seriously avoid this at all costs or wait until well after the fireworks and hope for a less crowded bus.

By Skyliner

This is a new option and we don't know how it's going to work. I would guess it would work relatively well, but with a massive backup following the fireworks. If all works as it should this could be the best way to leave the park. But it is untested against this level of crowds. Use it at your own risk. You may be rewarded or you may be punished.

By Rideshare

Don't. Just don't. It will be expensive and take just as long as by car.

By Foot

Walking is only an option for very few hotels but if you are staying at one of them it is by far the best option. If you are staying at the Boardwalk, Swan and Dolphin, Yacht, and Beach Club then you should, by all means, leave through the International Gateway and walk to your resort. It will be by far the fastest way back to your room.

Last Tips

Enjoy the dance parties. Don't treat it like a normal day. Stay late.

And above all have fun!