After the Halloween Parties in October, New Years Eve is the best time to check out Downtown Orlando. The city already comes alive each weekend as it is, but throw together the event of New Years Eve, and college students and alumni of the four schools playing in Orlando’s two bowl games (Champs Sports Bowl and Capital One Bowl) and this provides a recipe of craziness. The theme parks draw crowds for their firework spectaculars but Downtown Orlando is the place to be for a traditional New Years Eve experience.
Wall Street and Church Street
At the Wall Street Party in years past they have shown the ball drop in Time’s Square in New York City at midnight on large screen’s around the plaza (see picture above) throughout the plaza’s 9 nightclub’s and outdoor bars. There are live bands, dj’s, and a champagne toast at midnight.
At the Church Street party, an Orlando version of the NYC ball drop occurs with their Orange Drop at midnight with fireworks that includes access to their nightclubs of Chillers, Big Belly Brewery, Latitudes, and Rok Room.
Disney World and Universal Orlando
There is something to be said to say that you were able to countdown the New Year on Main Street USA at the Magic Kingdom on New Years Eve. I celebrated New Years this way one year with party hats and party horns and had a blast. The streets are packed and fireworks surround you as you experience a true international New Years Eve countdown. This is also one of the few times of the year that Disney’s Hollywood Studios launches fireworks behind the Sorcerer’s Hat. Epcot has several DJ’s located around World Showcase and a special fireworks display at Midnight.
A Quick Word on Downtown Disney
Doing a search online for New Years Eve events at Downtown Disney is not going to bring back any good results and there is a good reason for that. Pleasure Island used to celebrate New Years Eve every night of the year but those days are long gone. New Years Eve at Downtown Disney in 2012 is a little more low-key that consists of going to one of their restaurants on property and catching a movie at the AMC.
The one venue at Downtown Disney that has a special event to bring in the new year is the indoor theme park attraction Disney Quest that you can read about here, but there are much better ways to spend your New Years Eve (see above).
Another lower key event for New Years Eve is at the Atlantic Dance Hall at Disney’s Boardwalk that you can find more information about here.
Orange Drop in Downtown Orlando
Wall Street New Years Eve
Downtown Orlando Map