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Epcot for NYE 2013: Tips and tricks

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Seeking a place to spend NYE 2013 in Orlando, Florida can be quite a daunting task. Really, it depends what the desire of the night will be. Will it be fireworks? Will it be fun with friends? Will it be a romantic evening with that special someone? Whatever the most important thing may be, Epcot at the Walt Disney World Resort is a great choice.

Epcot offers a certain flair of international flavor that simply cannot be topped. Imagine ringing in the New Year as you cross countries around the globe! Epcot can give you the multicultural experience that is sure to leave a lasting memory. From China to Germany guests can experience the cultural traditions of New Year’s cultures around the world in the World Showcase. And hey, you can fool your friends as you take photos from around the world with some major landmarks like the Eiffel Tower and Canadian Totem Poles. In fact, you can even pick your favorite “country” to stand in for that big moment when we reach the new year of 2014 at midnight. Normally, Epcot closes at 9 p.m., but for this special occasion, Epcot will ring in the New Year and will close at 1:00 a.m.

Whichever countries around World Showcase you decide to visit, you will not want to miss out on arguably the best New Year’s firework display in the southeast. Epcot has a nightly firework show, Illuminations, but the NYE version is like Illuminations on adrenaline. Epcot amps up their usual show with much more bang and volume. So, now that you have decided to go, what are some tips to help you enjoy your time, despite the inevitable crowds?

-Get there early. Disney does have a history of closing parks on New Year’s Eve due to the crowds hitting capacity. If you can, get there before 6.

-Park valet. Did you know you can valet park at any of the Epcot area resorts for a similar fee to the Epcot parking lot? Save the hassle of riding those annoying trams at the end of the night and park at a resort so you can enjoy a leisurely resort transportation ride back to your car at the end of the night.

-Leave the rides. You may be able to ride a few rides, but don’t expect to. Some of the more popular rides like Soarin’ and Test Track can have wait times of over three hours at some point in the night. If you are able to visit in the morning, grab a Fast Pass so you can ride it later in the night with a very minimal wait.

-Bring a blanket. Many of the best viewing areas for the NYE fireworks are in the grassy areas where future world and World Showcase meet. Bring a blanket and even pack a little picnic in a lunch cooler for the optimal Firework viewing.

-Expect crowds. You are not the only one with the idea to go to Epcot for New Year’s. Be polite and be ready for some crowd navigation and you will have a better, less grouchy night.

-Make dining reservations before you go to the park. Unfortunately, the night of New Year’s Eve most of the restaurants are already booked. However, if you try, you just may be surprised. Don’t expect to get in “last minute” while you are in the park. You may wait hours on a “walk-in” basis.

Follow these tips to really enjoy your New Year’s Eve at Epcot Center in the Walt Disney World resort. Remember to have a steady meet up plan if you are in a big group. Go in with a fun attitude and be sure to be nice to your fellow Epcot NYE guests!

What is the best “hidden” experience at Epcot?

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