Nothing is more magical than spending New Year’s Eve at Disneyland, and these tips will help if you’re a first-timer. Disney fans flock to Main Street USA, so you’ll be surrounded by thousands of like-minded fans. It’s the most crowded night of the year at Disneyland, but you’ll enjoy the best holiday entertainment and special events. Show up early, and pre-purchase your passes. Although Disneyland keeps admission numbers a secret, they do stop selling admissions if it’s too crowded—sometimes this happens before noon!
It will take longer than usual for parking and bag check, but it’s well worth it. Gates usually open at 8 a.m. on NYE, or 7 a.m. if you have a CityPASS. The park doesn’t close until 2 a.m., so expect a full day of fun. Even if you have a multi-park pass, stick to just one for the day. Dress in layers, or at least bring a jacket to store in a locker. It’s sure to be chilly by midnight.
Tricks of the Trade
FastPass is always a good idea, but it’s a lifesaver on New Year’s Eve. Understand how your FastPass works, check the timings and map out what you want to do, see and experience in advance. Get to your “must” rides first, but embrace flexibility. Remember that longer wait times should be used to enjoy time with loved ones. Play games and be patient. Fast lines usually include Pirates of the Caribbean, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and It’s a Small World (which features a special holiday show).
If you’re up for it, Splash Mountain has relatively short lines in the winter. The Christmas Fantasy Parade happens at 1:00 p.m., 3:15 p.m. and a Paint the Night Parade at 6:15 p.m. You’ll need to arrive early for parades if you want to get a good spot. Aladdin’s Oasis does offer an on-the-go package for reserved seating at the Paint the Night Parade.
Nightly snowfall happens usually around 8 p.m., as well as after the fireworks display (at both 9 p.m. and 11:59 p.m.).