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Celebrate New Years Eve at Disneyland!

Or view the "Fireworks and Fountains" midnight spectacular at Disney's California Adventure!

There are times when words fail and one's jaw is simply left dropping in amazement. If you watched the New Year's Eve "Fireworks and Fountains" display at Disney's California Adventure last year (Disneyland's "sister park" in Anaheim, California,) then you surely experienced one of those moments. Disneyland-lovers are now going to face a SERIOUS choice on New Year's Eve: should they head to Disneyland Park? Or, should they head to Disney's California Adventure?

Disneyland Resort's super-popular New Year's Eve event

Will you make plans to be there to ring in New Year 2015?

Do you want a fun "family style" way to ring in the New Year?

Then, celebrate New Year's Eve at Disneyland! Every year Disneyland throws a HUGE family party---and you're invited!

But, if you DO make it into Disnelyand, here's what you can expect when you attend the exciting bash for New Years Eve at Disneyland (in addition to the park's very LONG lines!)---

1.) Plenty of extra entertainment---For this special event, the park will be featuring one-day-only bands (with varying musical styles) to help you party down & get into the mood to celebrate.

2.) Party Favors---There will be party hats and favors. What's New Year's Eve without looking and sounding, should I say, "Goofy!" You may also pay to purchase a special set of New Year's mouse ears, if you want a higher quality souvenir.

3.) Special Ring-in-the-New-Year fireworks show---You won't have to look at your watch to tell if it's midnight at Disneyland---you'll KNOW!!! Fireworks will splash in the sky, music will play, and the crowd will roar!

4.) Special Park Hours---Keep listning to the bands and riding your favorite rides until 2 am! on January 1st (Note: If you celebrate at Disney's California Adventure, closing is one hour earlier, at 1 am.)

5.) Christmas entertainment & attractions--By attending Disneyland Park on December 31st, you'll still be in time to see the popular Disney Christmas parade and fireworks show...and snowfall, too! Plus, the Holiday Haunted Mansion (starring Jack Skellington from 3D Nightmare Before Christmas!) will still be running. So will the holiday version of "It's A Small World." In addition, several showings of the popular nighttime spectacular "Fantasmic" will be performed. To see pictures and discover details about all of the Disneyland Resort's wonderful holiday activities, please see the Disneyland Christmas Events page of this site.

BUT HERE'S A SPECIAL WARNING: GO EXTRA EARLY! Although it's normal for Disneyland to sell out by early afternoon every year, for the Christmas thru New Year's vacation week last year, Disneyland started turning away guests as early as 10 am on some days. Only guests with pre-purchased tickets and annual passes with NO blockout dates are admitted when this happens. NO ticket booth transactions will get you into the park once it's deemed to be "at full capacity." Yes, you can still go to Disney's California Adventure, instead...but it, too, experienced sell-out days during the Christmas vacation week last year.

Bitter tales were seen on Twitter last year, as people from out of town and locals alike arrived at Disneyland only to be turned away. Don't let this happen to you! Either arrive mega-early...or make other plans! Don't forget to include as much as 2 hours for parking and purchasing your tickets...more than double the amount of time you'd need on days when the crowd is less.

Disneyland New Year's Eve--Busy entertainment schedule!

Holiday-themed entertainment draws huge crowds

Picture: Reindeer costumed characters precede Santa Claus at the finale of Disneyland's Christmas Parade Maximum amount of "extra" entertainment for New Year's Eve---Disneyland always has plenty of entertainment on hand year-round. For New Year's Eve, you'll be treated to some favorite features from Disneyland's regular non-holiday special seasonal extravaganzas, too.

A Christmas Fantasy Parade: Heading the list of must-view seasonal activities is Disneyland's ultra-popular holiday parade. You'll view Disney and Pixar characters, Santa Claus...and a mix of other traditional holiday standards (such as gingerbread men, Christmas trees & trimmings, snowflakes, and more.)

Believe it or not, "A Christmas Fantasy" appears quite different during the day than at night. By day, you can be stunned the many variations in color and texture as the lively parade passes by you. And yet, at night you'll be able to ooh and aah at the special lighting effects which are featured on all the floats. Which is best? If you're a parade fanatac, the answer is that you'll want to see it both and night! You can check out our Disneyland Christmas Parade page if you'd like to see photos of this cute & nostalgic event.

Believe in Holiday Magic" Fireworks Show: Disneyland Park is famous for its fireworks displays year-round. During the Christmas holiday season...including New Year's Eve...a special seasonal fireworks spectacular is available for view. You'll want to plan your evening around this event if it's important to you, because there's only one show time. Yes, there IS a fireworks display which rings in the New Year at midnight. However, the midnight display is NOT the park's holiday fireworks show.

Fantasmic! Disneyland's year-round Fantasmic spectacular may not be holiday-themed...but it's definitely a crowd-pleaser even on New Year's Eve. "Fantasmic" is held in the New Orleans Square/Frontierland section of the park. The action takes place on the lagoon between the shore and Tom Sawyer's Island...while the spectators line the banks of the shore. This popular show is crowded, so you'll need to stake out your spot 'way in advance.

Christmas Rides, Decorations, Activities: Not every Disnelyand Christmas event is run on a time schedule, like those listed above (and below.) For other choices which run all day (and night) long, please visit our Disneyland Christmas Events page.

Jedi Training Academy

Picture: Darth Vader costumed character arrives at Disneyland's Jedi Training Academy Jedi Training Academy---Boys love the Jedi Training Academy...and so do girls! Alhough little girls pretty much have the Princess Fantasy Faire all to themselves, little boys have to share the Jedi Training Academy with the fairer sex. Not all little girls want to become princesses; others wish to save the universe! Thus, whether your child is a girl or a boy, they're nearly certain to enjoy this "real" training session for wannabe Jedi. Over 2 dozen children (between about age 4 and 9: they have to fit the costumes) are selected from the audience. They're given both Jedi robes to wear and "light sabers" to carry. A Jedi Master leads them in group instructions that teach them how to wield this instrument of deadly destruction.

Picture: Darth Maul costumed character arrives in a cloud of smoke

The kids learn their craft just in the nick of time---a space ship bearing BOTH Dart Maul AND Darth Vader arrives. The new padowans have to fight fiercely both physically...AND mentally, as well. (They are given kind, almost pleading invitations to turn to the Dark Side. The kids all gallantly refuse.) Any Star Wars fan is bound to think this show is cute...even if he or she doesn't have any kids.

More about the Jedi Training Academy: If you'd like to see more pictures of Star Wars characters, and learn more about what goes on at the Jedi Training Academy show at Disneyland Park, please visit the "Jedi Training Academy Pictures" page of this website.

Disneyland New Years Eve--Things to watch out for

Picture: Princess Jasmine signs autographs at the Disney theme parkDisneyland Park rolls out its longest hours of operation every year for their New Year's Eve celebration. The full schedule of entertainment is available for the people attending on this special holiday. Extra bands are brought in. Party hats and favors are handed out free of charge. And, to top off the event, after the crowd counts down the last seconds of the old year, in bursts the brand new year with an extra fireworks show at midnight.

What could possibly be wrong with this scenario? Nothing really...IF you're mentally prepared for what some guests may consider to be "the dark side" of New Years Eve at Disneyland Park.

1.) Disneyland generally fills to capacity on New Year's Eve. The fire marshall has set a "maximum capacity limit" for the amount of guests Disneyland theme park can safely hold. And Disneyland carefully abides by those rules.

What does this mean for would-be New Year's Eve celebrants? It means a great deal about how you need to plan your day! Even though the New Year won't be ushered-in until midnight, you'll have to arrive at Disneyland's gates long before then if you want to be sure you're admitted. Once the park's maximum attendance figure has been reached, no more new guests can be admitted.

Will you get tired from arriving so early for an event that won't happen until midnight? Quite possibly! You might think that you can go into the theme park, claim your spot, then go back to your hotel for a rest.'ll have to think again, because that's not allowed! Once you leave the Disneyland, you will NOT be allowed back in if the gates close due to reaching the maximum attendance limit.

2.) Maximum crowds mean maximum lines inside the park. Even though Disneyland has the maximum amount of rides open and entertainment going on, a crowd is still a crowd. Plan on waiting much longer than usual for rides and attractions. Plan on waiting longer than usual for a good spot to see the parades & fireworks. Plan on waiting in line for your meals. Bring your patience with you to the park!

Furthermore, plan on waiting in lines BEFORE you even reach Disneyland! It's possible that you may have a line to get off the freeway. You may have a line to get into the parking lot. The parking lot will undoubtedly fill up, and you may need to go to a satellite parking lot (and then take a tram to Disneyland.) In that case, be prepared for a wait for that tram!

The crowds at Disneyland on New Year's Eve are not for the frail of body nor faint of heart! This is an endurance contest more than a celebration, in some people's opinion. You'll face shoulder to shoulder crowds, lines for everything (including restaurants, stores and rides)...and very chilly evening weather (temperatures drop sharply after dark despite balmy daytime weather. You'll need to bring a heavy jacket and a hat that can keep you warm when late-night temps fall into the 40's.)

3.) Most season pass holders won't get into the park "free." Only the Premium Annual Disneyland Passport holders...the ones with absolutely NO block-out dates...will be able to wave their passes and walk past the turnstiles. For owners of every other type of Disneyland season pass, this will be a black-out day, and you'll have to purchase an extra ticket.

4.) Disneyland Resort hotels are full. If you haven't yet made reservations, and you were hoping to stay overnight at one of the Disney Resort hotels, your chances of getting a room are slim to none. In addition, Disney's "good neighbor" hotels (the independent establishments which surround the park) also fill up fast...and rates are higher than they would normally be, as well. Nevertheless, the GOOD news is that if you have a car and can stay a bit further away from the park, you'll find that Orange County has many motels, and you'll most likely find room at one of them, even on short notice. Play it safe, however: once you firm up your travel dates, it's always the best idea to reserve a room, no matter what part of town you'll be staying in.

New Year's Eve at Disney's California Adventure

is now some Disney fans' first choice for New Year's Eve!

You can celebrate New Year's Eve with the entire Disneyland's sister-park, Disney's California Adventure.

This traditionally has not been most people's first choice of New Year's Eve celebrations...but that situation has now changed; you MUST be prepared for the possibility of sell-out crowds at Disney's California Adventure Park.

The Disney honchos knew that the park was unpopular, and that's why a billion-dollar plan to beef up this park recently took place...taking 5 whole years to complete! Now that all the new additions have been opened (especially Cars Land, which debuted in June, 2012,) then people have been flocking in droves to Disney's California Adventure for the first time since the park's opening. Yes, all the new additions have been popular indeed!

There are a number of reasons, however, why you might choose to attend the New Years Eve celebration at Disney's California Adventure instead of Disneyland. These reasons might include---

1.) You don't have to arrive at DCA as early in the day as you would in order to be admitted to Disneyland (which, as mentioned above, always closes its gates after reaching its maximum capacity crowd, sometimes by noon on New Year's Eve.) This is actually a very compelling reason. The reason families want an all-ages New Year's Eve celebration is because they want their kids to have fun. But, kids tend to wear out & get grumpy after a certain amount of hours. Yes, you must still be cautious about what time you'll arrive...because the Disney California Adventure Park is certain to sell-out for New Year's Eve this year. However, you should be able to arrive in the early afternoon...rather than in the morning (like you must do if you wish to get inside of Disneyland Park for New Year's Eve.)

2.) Disney's World of Color show is a red-hot attraction. It was brand-new in 2010, and it's still HUGELY popular. In fact, this year, "World of Color" will be MORE POPULAR than ever. Why? Because this year, "WORLD OF COLOR" will feature holiday scenes prominently during the performance. How so? Because it features scenes from the Disney animated film "Frozen," which was released for Thanksgiving, 2013. Not only that, but holiday and snow-themed segments from other Disney movies in the past have been added to the mix...and it's guaranted to deliver everyone more than a few "awww, gee, isn't that cute!" moments.

What is the World of Color show? It's a nighttime spectacular featuring dancing waters, colorful lights, special music...and selected Disney movie scenes shown on screens made of water. You can even purchase a special set of Mouse Ears that changes colors in time with the show, if you like!

3.) The Fireworks & Fountain show which will ring in the New Year will be breathtaking. To some fans, even the Disneyland fireworks pale by comparison. Catching this show could be daunting, however. Unlike Disneyland's fireworks show...which everyone can see because they're 'way up in the sky...there's a limited viewing area around the lagoon where this show will take place. Yes, you'll be able to see the fireworks segment if you can't get next to the lagoon...but you may miss viewing some of the colorful fountains.

4.) If New Year's Eve just isn't New Year's Eve for you without drinking, then you'll want to choose the Disney California Adventure celebration over Disneyland (which has a "dry" New Year's Eve party.) DCA's street party in the Hollywood section of the park will be held nightly during the holidays, and New Year's Eve is no exception. Street parties feature dancing and alcoholic beverages served from portable bars in the party area. And yet, this still remains a family-friendly event with kids dancing right alongside their parents.

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