Maybe you’re the type of person who prefers to welcome in the New Year sitting at home in your jammies. But, then again, maybe you’re NOT. You don’t have to brave the crazy crowds in Times Square to have a good time. Check out these best New Year’s Eve celebrations in Florida for a warm and festive way to ring in the old and ring in the new. From festivities at Walt Disney World to sophisticated galas, there’s something to suit every style.
Here are the 8 best New Year’s Eve celebrations in Florida:
1 Walt Disney World Resort New Year’s Eve Celebrations
Every year, Magic Kingdom stays open until midnight, so that guests can bring the new year in in style. The festivities begin at eight in the morning on the thirty-first and continue until the clock reaches midnight. In addition to all the rides, guests can meet with Disney characters, watch the Festival of Fantasy Parade, which boasts an original score and themed floats featuring Frozen, Little Mermaid and Brave, among many others. Join in the fun at the New Year’s Dance parties held in Frontierland and Tomorrowland on December 30 and 31 from 7 until midnight. The Fantasy in the Sky fireworks spectacular leads up to the clock striking twelve.
Looking for a smaller party that still packs the Disney magic? Disney’ Contemporary Resort is hosting an all-ages Pixar Party. Guests can meet and mingle with Disney/Pixar characters while enjoying food, music, dancing, and games. Cost is $190 per guest.
Epcot offers DJs, live music and food from around the world. Each pavilion strikes midnight at a different time, reflecting the globe-spanning nature of the park. Illuminations: Reflections of Earth, an extravaganza of fireworks, fountains, light shows and music caps off the evening. This show is wrapping up in the summer of 2019, so catch it before it’s gone!
2 Orlando New Year’s Eve Gala
This year’s black-tie gala held in the Park Avenue Ballroom at the Alfond Inn at Rollins features an all-night chef-catered buffet and open premium bar. The celebration begins at 8:30 in the evening, and guests are encouraged to dance the night away, while also wandering around the art show and sitting at a casino table or two. All the proceeds of this event benefit the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Florida.
3 New Year’s Eve Time Lord Ball
This Third New Year’s Eve Timey Wimey Time Lord Ball takes place in Tampa, and it is the perfect choice for all those Doctor Who and science fiction fans. The host, Ken Spivey, kicks off the fun at six in the evening, and every ticketholder will receive free admission to the Lord Fest, which is being held on January 28th. There will be a special performance by the Time Lord Rock Band, trivia on Rassilon game and a plethora of goodies for everyone.
4 New Year’s Eve in Key West
There is no better place to celebrate the new year than Key West in the Florida Keys. The Mallory Square Sunset Celebration begins two hours before sunset, with street performers, music, food and drink and more. Ernest Hemingway’s old hangout, Sloppy Joe’s, is highly recommended as is the Schooner Wharf Bar. Sloppy Joe’s is the site of the uniquely Floridian Conch Drop, turning the area into a crazy, mini version of Times Square. However, no matter where a person is in Key West, their attention will be drawn to Key West Harbor where the fireworks will be set off at midnight.
5 First Night 2018 in St. Petersburg
This First Night event in St. Petersburg begins at four in the afternoon, and this year’s celebration will be the 26th Annual New Year’s Eve Celebration of the Arts. Families will enjoy watching the musical performances and other entertainment on stage, while also dancing along to the music. Children and their parents can play games and create works of art, before watching the fireworks light up the nighttime sky.
6 New Year’s Eve Fireworks Cruise in Miami
This year’s cruise aboard the South Beach Lady, a 350 passenger mega yacht, offers up a luxury-loving Great Gatsby theme. Cocktail attire is required and flapper dress is encouraged. The multi-level yacht features climate controlled decks, so that everyone is comfortable in any type of weather. Live music is provided by one of the top DJs in Miami, a premium open bar keeps the evening moving, and everyone gets to sit and enjoy a full buffet dinner. Guests will want to grab their champagne and welcome in the new year under the fireworks as the clock strikes midnight.
7 New Year’s Eve in Daytona Beach
The Oceanfront Bandshell and Ocean Walk Shoppes is quite festive as a band plays music in the background. Once the band has finished their set in the early evening, fireworks will explode over the ocean. Once the fireworks are done, people can venture over to the festivities on Main Street, where the block party offers an illuminated ball drop that rivals the one in New York City. There are also live bands, DJs, food vendors, and stiltwalkers. As the new year arrives, more fireworks will be set off over the ocean as a promise of a fabulous new year.
8 Legoland Florida’s Kids’ New Year’s Eve Party
This family-friendly celebration is perfect for the little ones. Explore the Legoland park, complete with amazing holiday decorations and special Lego creations, participate in a holiday scavenger hunt, and join in at the fun-for-all dance party. Fireworks light up the sky at 8:00, with a brick drop to ring in the New Year at a kid-friendly hour. Bonus – mom and dad will have time to tuck the kids in and have an adult celebration at midnight.
No one will need to stay home on New Year’s Eve this year if they live in Florida, because there are quite a few places to go for food, entertainment, and even adventures. Everyone will want to check out these New Year’s Eve events and choose the one that will be perfect for them.