This year Orlando ranks fifth on WalletHub's Best Winter Holiday Destinations, included for its wonderfully warm weather, low travel costs and hassles and world-famous attractions. This tip of the cap for Orlando comes just a year after the destination was named the No. 1 most fun and affordable city to celebrate New Year's Eve in the nation by WalletHub, a financial news, services and information site.
From a magical party at Cinderella's castle to our version of the ball drop featuring a giant illuminated orange, Orlando holds dozens of NYE celebrations kicking off 2017. No matter your style, here’s a list of bars, balls and bashes perfect for raising a glass when the clock strikes midnight.
EVE at Universal CityWalk: At Universal’s free outdoor entertainment complex, enjoy six unique party zones, each with signature drinks, along with awesome clubs with live music and unlimited gourmet cuisine. You won’t want to miss Orlando’s largest dance floor as well as appearances by celebrities, top fashion designers and prominent corporate brands.
NBC Sports Grill & Brew: Cheer on your favorite college football teams in the playoffs as they compete on nearly 100 HD TV screens throughout this unique sports-dining experience at Universal. The full dinner menu is served until 1:30 am, New Year’s Day.
Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom: Enjoy two nights of "Fantasy in the Sky" fireworks on Dec. 30 and 31 over Cinderella's Castle.
Epcot: Celebrate all night long at Epcot with DJs and live music pumping beats from around the globe. Two showings of "IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth" fireworks spectacular light up the sky, followed by a countdown and pyrotechnic salute to the new year.
Hollywood Studios: Rock 'n' roll into the new year with a brilliant fireworks spectacular at Disney's Hollywood Studios.
Atlantic Dance Hall at Disney's BoardWalk Resort: Swing in the new year at Atlantic Dance Hall with the sounds of a live big band. Party hats and horns, a viewing of the Epcot fireworks at midnight and a champagne toast included.
Raglan Road at Disney Springs: This lively Irish pub is popular year-round at Disney Springs and especially on New Year's Eve. Come for dinner and the late-night, Irish menu and stay for the live entertainment on both stages. Guests enjoy complimentary champagne toasts when it’s midnight in Ireland (7 pm ET) and again at midnight.
SeaWorld Orlando: Celebrate your connection to the sea, sea life and the world with special music and fireworks at SeaWorld.
Legoland Florida - Kid's New Year's Eve: Spend New Year’s Eve with the family at Legoland Florida, where the giant Lego brick drops at a very kid-friendly 7 pm, followed by fireworks and a dance party DJ.
New Year’s Eve Gala at Bull & Bear: Guests and visitors of the Waldorf Astoria Orlando celebrate the new year with a seven-course prix-fixe menu, bottomless Louis Roederer Champagne, nonstop live entertainment, a spectacular private fireworks display and dancing all night.
Twilight Cabanas at the Waldorf Astoria: Celebrate New Year’s Eve in a private cabana, complete with a bottle of champagne, decorations and the best vantage point to watch the fireworks show.
NYE at Deep Blu Seafood Grille: Savor a five-course, prix-fixe dinner at the Wyndham Grand Orlando Resort Bonnet Creek. The party continues at the adjacent Bar 1521 with live music and sparkling cocktail specials.
NYE at Caribe Royale: At this beautiful resort, you can enjoy a buffet in Tropicale or an intimate dinner in The Venetian Room, which comes with a complimentary glass of wine or sparkling wine. Dancing and live music take place in The Falls Lounge and, at midnight, a complimentary champagne toast and ballroom drop.
New Year’s Eve at Capa: The Four Seasons Resort Orlando’s Capa presents a three-course, pre-fixe seating between 5 and 7 pm and a five-course, pre-fixe menu served between 8 and 11 pm. Located on the 17th floor, the rooftop bar and restaurant is a perfect place to watch the Disney fireworks. Dinner seatings include access to the New Year’s Eve “After Party” in the Grand Ballroom featuring a DJ, dance floor and balloon drop.
Zeta Bar “Bubble Lounge” at Hilton Bonnet Creek: Zeta Bar & Sushi Lounge transforms into the “Bubble Lounge” featuring a DJ until midnight, a selection of champagnes and a live screening of the ball drop on 10 large-screen televisions at the Hilton.
Rock 'Til The Drop at the Hard Rock Live: The popular live music venue presents a New Year's Eve party featuring "The Decades Show" by cover group Epic Evolve along with heavy hors d'oeuvres and a champagne toast at midnight. A separate party is held for VIPs in the Lennon Room complete with live music, free food and open bar.
Rock-in 2017 New Year’s Eve Lobby Party: Ring in the New Year like a rock star at the Hard Rock Hotel during a family-friendly party brimming with specialty desserts, Universal characters, a DJ, balloon drop and a champagne toast.
New Year’s Eve Party on the Piazza: Countdown to the new year under the twinkling lights of the Harbor Piazza at Universal's Loews Portofino Bay, a resort that looks like a scene straight out of the Italian Riviera. The event features a selection of wine and gourmet food from the hotel’s restaurants plus a sparkling wine toast at midnight.
Holidays Wantilan Luau: Journey to the islands for a special holiday luau at the Loews Royal Pacific Resort that includes a tropical buffet, fire and hula dancers and live music.
Orchid Court Lounge New Year’s Eve: Enjoy a sweet New Year at Orchid Court’s dessert party featuring a decadent dessert buffet, live DJ, streaming of the ball drop and champagne toast at midnight.
New Year’s Eve at Bayliner Diner: Throwback to the 1950s and '60s at Universal's Cabana Bay Beach Resort with groovy meal, live DJ, face painters and a midnight balloon drop.
International Drive – Pointe Orlando
Blue Martini: Dress to impress at an elegant party complete with an open bar from 8-10 pm and live entertainment all night.
Cuba Libre: Ring in the new year in 1950s Cuban-style with an open bar from 10 pm – midnight, live entertainment, balloon drop, champagne toast and complimentary Cuban carnations for the ladies and complimentary Cuban-style fedoras for the gentlemen.
ICEBAR Masquerade: Attend a hot New Year’s Eve ball in a cool venue that’s literally below freezing in the ice bar where the barstools and even the glasses are made of solid ice.
Taverna Opa Goes Live New Year’s Eve Celebration: Enjoy live performances, a five-course meal, open bar and champagne toast at this lively Greek restaurant at Pointe Orlando. Opa!
Dave & Buster's: Start the year off as a winner at Dave and Buster's as you eat, drink, and play your way to 2016. Packages include a buffet, games, a ball drop and party favors to ring in the new year. The family-fun event lasts from 5-8 pm followed by a late-night celebration until 1 am. There is also a sports bar for watching the college playoff games. Across the street from Pointe Orlando.
DRIP's New Year's Eve Experience: Dazzle in the colors of a full theatrical show and party filled with confetti, paint, glitter, champagne cocktails and interactive surprises at Orlando's premier performance art production. Tickets include a special edition gold glitter DRIP shirt, a paint station for you to paint your shirts, complimentary champagne toast, live countdown performance,afterparty DJ and dancing and an interactive paint shower.
International Drive – I-Drive 360
Five Star New Year's Eve: Walk the red carpet at one of the most exclusive parties in Orlando. See and bee seen at a palatial pop-up party at I-Drive 360 where guests enjoy exclusive access to an all-inclusive, non-stop, full-service bar and food, a boutique and styling suite, private cigar room, tunes by a live DJ, recreational activities for the kids and service from on-site concierge.
Tapa Toro: Beginning at 10 pm, enjoy a five-course tapas and paella meal complete with champagne toast, open beer and wine bar plus flamenco, samba and belly dancing.
Wall Street Plaza: Join an all-out New Year's Eve block party equipped with a street-wide light show, outdoor dance party and a huge countdown to 2017.
Church Street Station: Enjoy Orlando's biggest street party featuring the Orange Drop, fireworks, DJs and a video wall of a live simulcast of Times Square.
One80 Lounge: The rooftop ONE80 Lounge holds a sophisticated New Year’s Eve party on top of the Amway Center overlooking downtown Orlando.
RuPaul’s Drag Race & New Year’s Eve at Parliament House Orlando: Spend New Year’s Eve with six past winners of “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” including the reigning queen Violet Chachki at Parliament House.
Brew Year’s Eve at Orlando Brewing: Ring in a brew year with a tapping of Eve's Tonic keg followed by local, original music at Orlando’s signature brewery.
New Year’s Eve Gala at The Alfond Inn: Delight the night away with live entertainment, an open bar, champagne toast and chef-attended dining stations at this upscale, boutique hotel at Rollins College in the heart of Winter Park.