From celebrations in the theme parks to an upscale dining experience and dancing on Disney’s BoardWalk, take your pick of how you want to ring in the New Year.
La Hacienda de San Angel in the Mexico Pavilion is offering a delicious six-course menu and live music at 9 p.m. on December 31 – as well as a primo view of IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth.
Start with a classic margarita and ceviche (marinated lobster, crab, shrimp, onions, tomatoes, cilantro, avocado and lime juice). Chiles toreados y chorizitos (roasted sweet peppers with lime and sea salt and mini chorizos) is next, then sope de chilorio (marinated pork) and a cheese empanada with green sauce. Salad is spinach with queso fresco, pine nuts and avocado, followed by generous meat and seafood platters. Finish with a sweet tamal filled with guava. You can ring in the New Year with a glass of champagne and grapes (a dozen grapes at midnight is a Spanish tradition said to be a predictor of the year ahead – each sweet grape represents a good month; each sour grape a less-than-lucky one).
Seating starts at 9 p.m. Cost is $199, or $225 with wine and spirits (plus tax and gratuity), $49.95 ages 3 to 9. For reservations, call 407-842-1107 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Epcot admission required.
At Bistro de Paris in the France Pavilion, the special New Year’s Eve menu starts with smoked salmon with stuffed with crab and served with horseradish and caviar cream, then a lobster and vegetable salad or truffle soup. The fish course is scallops or sea bass, the meat course grilled filet of beef or roasted venison. All, of course, with a fab French flair. End with assiette de dessert de réveillon (that’s “New Year’s Eve dessert.”)
Cost is $150, $225 with wine pairings with each course. For reservations, call 407-617-2788.
Celebrate at California Grill
Head to the top of Disney’s Contemporary Resort for culinary fireworks and bird’s eye view of the Magic Kingdom pyrotechnics. The event features over-the-top food stations, an open bar, a casino-style game room, DJ, dancing, Disney characters and more live entertainment. Magic Kingdom fireworks are at 8:30 p.m. and 11:50 p.m.
Food, glorious food, and here’s a taste: the cold appetizer stations offers “boutique caviars,” salt-cured Kobe beef tenderloin carpaccio, Maine lobster with vanilla vinaigrette and other wonderful small tastes. Hot appetizers include seared bison loin, seared loin of local rabbit and squash bisque with lump crab hushpuppies. Sushi, seafood, meats and poultry, wood-burning-oven flatbreads, porcini mushroom risotto, beautiful cheeses and delectable desserts…the list goes on. And on.
Cost is $525, all inclusive. And this one sells out fast. Call 407-WDW-DINE for reservations.
Dance, Dance, Dance
Dance your way into the New Year at Atlantic Dance Hall at Disney’s BoardWalk Resort from 8 p.m. – 2 a.m. on December 31. For $35, you get access to the main floor of the Dance Hall (with a video DJ), party favors and a champagne toast at midnight.
Upgrade with a VIP ticket for $75 that adds a private upstairs area with seating; limited viewing for Epcot fireworks with guaranteed seating coffee, tea or hot chocolate with dessert bar, and a premium bar.
Tickets are limited. Dress is business casual or formal. Guests must be 21 or older with an ID. Parking passes for the self-parking lot will be issued with advance purchases.
Magic Kingdom Park
Though the New Year’s Eve party is sold out, you still can get an up-close view of the dazzling Magic Kingdom fireworks at Tomorrowland Terrace on December 30 for the Dessert Party at either 7:30 p.m. or 10:50 p.m.
The Dessert Party features a fabulous buffet of sweets and beverages – including a non-alcoholic bubbly to toast the New Year. Cost is $39.99, $21.99 ages 3 to 9.
Reservations are highly encouraged by calling 407-WDW-DINE. Park admission required. Disney Dining Plan not accepted, and you must pay when you make a reservation.