Thinking of spending NYE in Disney World? This is how we did it.
Disclaimer: I am by no means, in any way responsible for any vacation you make take, including but not limited to Disney World. This was our experience and how we enjoyed it. Even if you were to plan it exactly the same it the experience may alter.
- Know expectations
- Dining Reservations
- Don’t Over Schedule This Specific Day
⭐️ It is now October- so if you’re planning on going to Disney for NYE or Christmas you’re going to need to start planning NOW⭐️
Plan Ahead For Major Crowds
When I say Major Crowds, I mean Magic Kingdom was packed to capacity by 11am New Years Eve December 31, 2019. Walking inside Magic Kingdom shoulder to shoulder with people filling all empty space. Small World had a 2 hour wait. This was right before Covid plagued the World and things were running normally. Everything was open and we had the Deluxe Dining Plan.
Keep Your Expectations Low
Due to the crowd levels inside of the most magical place on Earth at this time of the year, we knew we had to keep our expectations low. Since we travel to Disney World at least once a year or more, we were not worried about “getting everything in” as we always know we will be back. We did however have all of our dining plans in place, and at the time – Fast Passes. In fact we were out of Magic Kingdom by 4pm this day to head to our dining reservations.
My number one priority was to make sure we got to see the Christmas Parade at Magic Kingdom since we only flew in the night before New Year’s Eve and it would only show twice that day and be done until the following November. So I planned our lunch dining plans around the timing of the parade and camped out early for a perfect spot. But keep in mind – people filled up all around us. We did not plan to stay for fireworks and headed out about 4pm to head to Disney Springs for dinner.
We Stayed at a Magic Kingdom Resort
This trip we were so lucky and fortunate to stay at Disney’s Grand Floridian. For New Year’s Eve we had a Lagoon View so it was like having our very own personal fireworks display right from our bedroom! We didn’t even need to leave the room!! No matter what room you have, you can view the fireworks from outside the quick service by the boat docks on the hotel.
***You are able to view the Magic Kingdom Fireworks from any surrounding hotel grounds – which includes: The Polynesian, Fort Wilderness, The Wilderness Lodge, The Contemporary and the Grand Floridian. ***
Not booking a dining reservation at our resort. Instead we had reservations for the Rainforest Cafe in an extremely crowded Disney Springs… even though we had reservations we had to wait ALMOST an entire HOUR before we were seated!! The stores were shoulder to shoulder… it was a complete waste of time.
Sample Disney Plan New Years Eve (without being in a park for Fireworks)
- Reservations for preferred park in advance
- Dining reservations for inside that park
- Up and at the park early
- Leave park by 4pm
- Dinner Reservations at the resort where you are staying or maybe a resort that has a view of a park for fireworks .
- *Some restaurants have seated viewing of Fireworks – for example: The California Grill at the Contemporary Resort has seating for Magic Kingdom Fireworks.
- If you want to stay inside a park but don’t want to hold your place for 6 hours, try a restaurant with firework seating. Cinderella’s Royal Table for Magic Kingdom. Restaurants inside Epcot have seating for fireworks as well.
- Most resorts have great shopping and lounge options – so many things to do!
Are you planning on visiting Disney World this holiday season?
Finally putting my photography to good use…..
I am NOW selling some customizable downloadable items created in Canva and sold on Etsy. There will be more to come as time goes by but check out my first product.
A downloadable customizable Christmas Card! Once you purchase the card you will receive a PDF with steps on how to download and a link inside the PDF will bring you to the Canva template. However you do need a Canva account.
Let me know what you think!
Planning a Walt Disney World Vacation and don’t know where to start? Look no further
After making your resort reservations and deciding on how many days of park tickets and IF they will be hoppers you will need to make PARK RESERVATIONS!
Here is a sample guide from our most recent Disney Vacation from August 2022
When is your next Walt Disney World Vacation?!
Disney World’s Genie Plus
Summer / Fall 2022 –
We Mastered How to Use It!
After watching countless YouTube Videos we finally figured out how to use Disney’s Genie Plus in the My Disney Experience App during our July/August 2022 Vacation.
DISCLAIMER: Genie + is continuously changing and we cannot be held responsible if it is any different during the time of your vacation. I am not responsible for any upsets or anything that can/will go wrong during your vacation or trip.
Purchase Genie at 12 midnight or 6am during day of your visit
You’re going to want to get up early so you have it purchased in plenty of time before 7am.
Have a plan!
Know what park you’re visiting and have a Top Attractions List idea in mind.
7am Book Your First Ride of the Day
When you open Genie you will find the time selections available located inside the TIP BOARD. You will want to click BOOK EXPERIENCE.
You will have advanced park reservations – so you know what park you will be heading into for the day. Know in advance which attraction your party wants to conquer first! Possibly make a list in your NOTES section in your phone.
*It is best to know which rides are a must-do at every park before you even set out on your adventure! This way you know what you are looking to book at 7am. If you’re not sure you might miss out on a time.
Be already on Genie at 6:45am refreshing until 7am for first choice selections.
During our July/August vacation I was not able to book a second Genie selection until after we scanned in to our first selection of the day – despite what we had been told. I heard you could stack another selection 2 hours after park opening each day – however it would not work for us. If it works for you please let me know in the comments! If I am not mistaken selected experiences need to be 2 hours apart?
Make Another Selection AFTER you SCAN Your 1st Selection of the Day
REFRESH REFRESH REFRESH!
When you open Genie (after you have scanned in to ride your attraction) INSIDE THE TIP BOARD to book another selection, you might not like the times available; but do not despair! ✨🌟Keep pulling down 🌟and refreshing 🌟and the times should change💫 – giving you some better options.
You Can Even Change Parks When Park Hopping!
You won’t be able to book another selection at another park until after 2pm which is when Park Hopping Time Begins (is allowed). Then in MDE inside Genie + you will need to change which park you want to head to.
Is Genie Worth It?
Yes for our family it is – but possibly not for everyone. We also utilize the DAS system which is the Disability Access System. My husband is a type 1 diabetic affected by temperature and not able to stand in long lines. My younger son has POTS and a hypermobility disorder with no temperature regulation; so the temperature can cause him to become ill and he is not able to stand in long lines/ needs quick access to bathrooms. Sitting in a wheelchair could also make my son a faint hazard. My other son has a severe anxiety disorder. We are not that healthy family that is capable of standing in long lines… SO…….we utilize DAS as well as Genie Plus for ease of access to bathrooms, rest and snacks instead of waiting on long lines. We felt that in order for OUR best use of times we almost had to have both – some people choose not to.
YOU HAVE TO DECIDE WHAT IS BEST FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILLY!
Can a trip be great at WDW even without Genie? Sure, but it might be tricky and you will need to put on your Patient Hat.
Do we wish Disney would bring back the FREE Fast Pass System? Absolutely! We cannot give up hope.
Are You Planning a Walt Disney World Vacation? I would love to hear in the comments below.
Our Experience with Genie+
BUY IT PRIOR TO YOUR TRIP OR THE MORNING OF HEADING TO THE PARK BUT BEFORE 6:45AM
When we travel to Disney World we always use Disney’s Disability Access System for our younger son who suffers from POTS and Ehlers Danlos Syndrome. Both of these chronic medical conditions can cause him to have blood pooling in the legs, get dizzy/pass out, it messes with his blood pressure and pulse just from standing in one place too long -without moving. They also bring on a lot of IBS – just from extra exercise or warmer temps. We have never had any issues with it UNTIL our December 2021 trip.
Our first park day was at Hollywood Studios and Upon Arrival the Cast Member at Guest Services told us that DAS was now for people with cognitive disabilities and pointed us in the the way of wheelchairs. My son does not need a wheel chair……. he can walk – actually the more exercise is better for him because if he conforms to a wheelchair it will make his already weak muscles weaker. This woman clearer did NOT understand the impact of his condition at all. DAS simply states it is for people that are NOT able to stand in long lines. PERIOD.
So trying not to feel too angry and let it destroy our day, we decided to add the Genie+. It came to over an extra $60 for the day for the 4 of us. Since we had not signed up and booked something at 7am Rise of Resistance and Slinky – Hollywood’s 2 most popular rides – were completely sold out for the day. Pure heart ache right here. Rise of the Resistance had 2 hour wait times. Slinky always has about a 90 minute wait. DISNEY WHAT ARE YOU DOING!?
If we had KNOWN prior and signed up for this “amazing” Genie+ before 7am**** we could have booked RIR and then made it to Slinky at rope drop. Rope Drop is a simple term Disney Addicts use for getting inside the park as soon as it opens and you make a beeline to your ride of choice. Typically at rope drop there are minimal to low wait times.
We Only Used Genie+ for 1 maybe 2 Rides.
What a waste.
KNOW BEFORE YOU GO
Plan to pay $15 per person extra per day for any day you want to utilize Disney+.
Research Disney+ prior to your vacation. Watch YouTube videos on how to use it. We love DFB – Disney Food Blog and All Ears Molly.
I believe you have the option to purchase Disney+ now when booking your vacation but do not quote me on that, I am not 100% sure. Just make sure you plan to purchase it 6:30 the morning of your park day (if you’re a resort guest) and from 6:45 on keep trying to book the most popular rides that you and your family are interested in getting on. Then for the others plan to “rope drop” or hit it at park closing.