Ringing in the New Year at Disney’s California Adventure Park

Heather Hust Rivera

by , Vice President, Consumer Products

New Year’s Eve is a popular time to visit the Disneyland Resort, and I can see why, now that I know all the fun things going on.

If you’re still looking for plans on December 31, or if you’re already planning a visit to the Resort that day, it sounds to me like Disney’s California Adventure park is really the place to be.
Hollywood Pictures
There is a high-energy pyrotechnic display in Sunshine Plaza at midnight and if you’re looking for great music and want to dance the night away, there are three different dance parties to celebrate the countdown to midnight:

  • Power 106 at the Hollywood Backlot Stage is hosting a dance club from 9:30p.m. to 1:00a.m. and promises to blow the roof off.
  • You can break out your salsa, samba and popular Latin dance moves at a waterfront club at the Pacific Wharf hosted by DJs from 107.1 KSEE-FM Super Estrella from 9:30p.m. to 1:00a.m.
  • If the hottest dance hits from the ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s are more your style, then check out the DJs from 104.3 MYfm at Stage 17 near Sunshine Plaza from 9:00p.m. to 1:00a.m.

Can’t decide on just one dance party at Disney’s California Adventure park? I’m told you can bounce from one to another.

In case you’re interested, here’s a look at what’s happening at Disneyland park:

  • “Fantasy in the Sky” fireworks kicks off the new year at 12:00a.m. in the skies above Disneyland park.
  • There’s a Mardi-Gras-style party with live music at the Rivers of America at 8:00p.m., 9:45p.m., 11:00p.m. and 11:45p.m.
  • Doc Anello and the Swing Machine perform at Plaza Gardens Stage at 7:30p.m., 8:45p.m., 9:50pm, 11:00pm and 12:15a.m.
  • Mickey, Minnie and a DJ will be hosting a party at Sleeping Beauty’s Winder Castle from 9:00p.m. to 12:00a.m.
  • The band Surburban Legends rocks Tomorrowland in Tomorrowland Terrace at 8:30p.m., 10:00p.m., 11:00p.m., 11:45p.m. and 1:00a.m.

I’ve never been at the parks for New Year’s Eve, so I’d love to hear from someone who has. What do you like best at the Resort during the New Years celebration?


  • The New Years celebration was great at the resort and you were right the place to be was at Disney’s California Adventure. The park really had a party atmosphere all around and with its more ample walkways people were having a blast. The midnight countdown was amazing i am so glad that Disney is finally starting to spread out the Holiday offerings between both parks. I am hoping next year California Adventure takes another step forward in getting involve in the Christmas spirit as well. The park has lacked any kind of Christmas atmosphere with the lack of decorations and entertainment offerings during that time.
    2010 will hopefully be another year where California adventure will be the place to wait for 2011. The whole new renovated pier area and all the equipment being added in the water should make for a grand new years eve show. Lets hope that someone is looking into the idea.
    While i am at it maybe you could talk with someone about buying a few more snow machines. The grizzly area would be a perfect winter wonderland for the holidays. Hollywood blvd would also make the perfect place to start a smaller version of the osborne light show. Those additions would definately make both parks a must for the winter season and not only Disneyland

  • For the person who asked about kid friendly, I would say no, only because it is so crowded with people bigger then they are and riding rides is a chore.

    What we have done several times is to go on New Years Day (after the eve) and all the crowds of the night before are going home to sleep. Crowds are only medium and getting on rides is much better than the night before. The Christmas things are still up and the parade going. Good for a last look at the holidays!

  • Does anyone know if it dies down on new year’s day or the 2nd of January? I would like to go this weekend, but I don’t think I can handle the crowd on New Year’s Eve. I was there for 2000, which was great, but I was 21 and single. Now I just want to enjoy the time with my husband and son without all the congestion.

  • I’ve been to several New Year’s Eve parties at Disneyland. It was packed and full of energy. I was younger then and really enjoyed the non-stop action. Now, I’m sure I wouldn’t enjoy it as much, but I might enjoy California Adventure’s party! More space and maybe less congestion.

  • My sisters and I have been going to DCA for NYE for the past four years with our friends. Disneyland is always so packed with families it usually fills to capacity around noon and doesn’t admit anyone else. But who wants to ring in the New Year with a bunch of children anyway? DCA always hosts great radio stations drawing in the young adult crowd. I love dancing ’till midnight, watching the fireworks, then riding rides for that last hour before the park closes. We all have the Deluxe pass, but the 40$ blockout ticket is often a lot less than what you could pay as a cover charge for a good OC or LA club.

  • is that true? If you have a Park Hopper ticket and you leave to go to CA then you might not be able to get back into D-land?

  • I love Disneyland, NYE is SO fun there. but it is crowded on NYE, plan on getting their early, and i mean EARLY (they stopped selling tickets at 11 am last year), spending the whole day there (if you leave the park you may not get back in) and having a blast when the countdown starts, and you can see the fireworks from the Grand Californian if your room faces the park

  • Can you really see the fireworks from Downtown Disney? What about from the Grand Californian? Can you see the stuff in CA?

  • A couple friends, my husband and I will be celebrating our 10th year of ringing in the New Year at Disneyland/California Adventure. We generally alternate parks for the midnight hour and this year would be California Adventure. Sounds like it will be another fun-filled year!
    Yes, it is SUPER busy! Just know ahead of time that you will wait in lines and it will take you a long time to get from point A to point B and everywhere in between. The parks, I believe are open until 1:00 (DCA) and 2:00 (Disney)this year.
    IRMA:Yes it is regular admission price, however they do tend to “sell out” by mid afternoon and unless you have a Premium pass you can’t get in once they sell out!
    TERI: I think that kids your age would be fine. Personally I don’t think it’s a good place for strollers however you will find lots of those too.

  • im want to definitely look into this!!!
    Q: is it regular admission to attend??

  • I’ve made it a tradition to go to Disneyland for New Year’s Eve and I love it! Yes, it’s crowded but the energy and excitement in the Park are wonderful! Glad to hear tht DCA is planning something special – I just might ring in the new year THERE!

  • I’m wondering if the crowds are kid friendly (ages 8 and 11) or is it more of an adult atmosphere?

  • I went to watch the fireworks last year in Downtown Disney and it was REALLY crowded but, I was determined to watch my fireworks anyways! We found a good spot but I was sad because some fog had rolled in as midnight approached and I ended up not being able to see anything. The fireworks SOUNDED great though! LOL!

    We’ll be going back this year! I can’t wait!

  • I have been to Disneyland for New Years Eve. It was 10 years ago. It was for the Millennium. And My husband and I had a great time, but since it was the millennium, it was really packed. We lost each other for a few minutes when we were leaving from in front of the castle to go to adventureland. I can say that it was a good time and experience. Now that we have a 5 year old son, we are debating on going again since it will be cold at night. But I can say this, Disneyland is a great place for those kind for memories for you and your family. To all who go, Have a great time and LOTS OF FUN!! CHEERS!! HAPPY NEW YEARS!!

  • Disneyland is always going to be packed regardless but with all the lights, fireworks, and attractions during this holiday season its totally worth it. Im going for sure 🙂

  • It’s nice to see Disneyland get some love. =) I’ve never been on New Year’s, but one of my family members is a cast member, and she worked last year and said it looked really fun. =) Unfortunately, I can’t go because I don’t have the Premium pass, so I’m blocked out.
    PS. It’s Sleeping Beauty’s “Winter” Castle =)

  • I cant’ wait!!! I was at the Disneyland for 2000 and it was the most memorable event! yes I have to agree it is crazy busy, but sooooooo worth it! See you all there !!!

  • Suburban Legends concerts are awesome! I’ve seen them there regularly for the past few years. The double firework show is pretty cool too.

  • I heard it’s crazy insane busy on New Years Eve. In fact, a cast member was trying to talk us out of going. But after reading your blog…its sounds like so much fun! 🙂 Hmmm…what to do…what to do! Thanks for the information! 🙂

Comments are closed.