December 31st marks the day that Disneyland can be considered the “Busiest Place on Earth.” Although very busy and crowded, it is still magical. After experiencing two New Year’s Eve at the park (and soon–to–be three), here are 10 tips in my survival guide that I hope will be helpful for those who are planning on celebrating at Disneyland or Disney California Adventure.
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1. Come early (before noon) and avoid leaving the park
It is very likely that the parks will reach maximum capacity at one point of the day—especially Disneyland. At this time, guests will not be allowed to re-enter.
2. Choose which park you would like to countdown to New Year’s
Disneyland or DCA? I’d recommend DCA. There is a huge difference in how crowded each park is. Expect to be shoulder–to–shoulder with other guests and be packed like sardines if Disneyland is your choice. DCA, on the other hand is more spacious and has more breathing room.
3. Check the entertainment schedule
There are special nighttime spectaculars and entertainment that guests can enjoy only on New Year’s Eve. Join in the New Year’s Eve “Fantasy In The Sky” Fireworks Spectacular, “it’s a small world” Dance Party, New Year’s Eve Countdown Central at Sleeping Beauty Castle, New Year’s Eve “Fountains and Fireworks” Countdown, and more! Click HERE for more information on the events schedule.
4. Wear/bring layers of clothing
This is not a warning. It WILL get cold. It may be sunny and warm during the afternoon, but once the sun goes down, you won’t regret bringing many layers and a thick jacket. Dress comfortably in long pants, hats/beanies, gloves, scarves, and closed-toed shoes.
5. Bring a blanket
Whether you need to place it on the ground while waiting for the countdown or need an extra layer to bundle up, this will surely come in handy.
6. Bring chargers
Your phones and electronic devices will need to last throughout the day. Here are some locations around Disneyland and Disney California Adventure to charge them or simply bring a portable battery pack to fuel your devices on–the–go.
7. Pack snacks
Lines for dining can get long, so be sure to bring your favorite snacks to keep your stomachs satisfied. Did you know that you can get free cups of hot water at restaurants and locations like the Refreshment Corner? Don’t forget to pack hot cocoa or tea bags to make your own hot beverage.
8. Prepare yourself with the mentality that there is a chance you won’t get to go on all the attractions
Wait times for many attractions will most likely be in the triple digits. Be sure to take advantage of the FASTPASS services or opt for the Single Riders’ line (sometimes, you’ll even get lucky and sit with your party).
9. Avoid riding attractions at night
Secure your spot for the countdown and enjoy all of the entertainment available around the parks instead.
10. Bring games and activities
Playing cards and these 7 games to play while waiting in line will help you kill time.
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New Year’s Eve park hours are the following:
Disneyland Park // 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 a.m.
Disney California Adventure Park // 8:00 a.m. – 1:00 a.m.
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